This was our second ever cruise. The other was last summer on Liberty of the seas. We were impressed with Royal Caribbean and cruising in general so for our winter sunshine we decided to check out the options from Florida.
At Port everglades embarakation was relatively straight forward.
Our cabin was internal which is not great but you get what you pay for so no complaints. Room was fairly small but it was quiet even though it was joined onto the Dazzles club. The warbrobes were better on the Liberty but the bathroom here was bigger and better organised according to my wife who notices such things (I don't). The air con can be noisy if you want the room to be cool but it was not a huge problem.
The food in the main dining room was far better than the Liberty of the Seas last summer. We had booked a table for two. On the first night we were not assigned this but after kicking up a small bit of a fuss we were re-assigned to our own table. We had breakfast in the Solarium most days - it has healthier options. No kids running around in there so it became our favorite part of the boat. There were good parties there too on two seperate nights that started late. We never went to any speciality dining venues but will the next time.
Beers were $10.92 for two incl 15% gratuity which is about 30% cheaper than they were on the Liberty of the Seas last summer. A pleasant suprise!
There is a brilliant variety of shows. Hairspray is great production, the Aqua is good but my favorite was the Ice show. I particularly liked the bit where a couple did drawings with sand projected onto a big screen. The comedy clubs were always too busy.
The ports were fine. Its mostly places to lie on a beach. Labadee was probably my favorite even though I felt uneasy about visiting Haiti beforehand because of the peoples hardship there. In hindsight I think they need more tourism so I would not hesitate to go back. Falmouth and Cozumel are OK. I hate the way RCI try to make it all about shopping for Diamonds etc. A European cruise is a much better experience overall for the ports.
I loved all the activities on board. There are too many to list. the staff were all excellent especially our room attendant Sharon from Jamaica. Service almost everywhere is top notch.
So overall chepaer beer, better food and loads more to do so a great trip besides the ports being a little less interesting (for me) than Rome or Naples. I wish the Oasis class ships could come to europe in the summer but was told the ports there do not facilitate them. Freedom class will have to do. I highly recommend people trying the Oasis class of ships.
Disembarkation was a little slow but overall it was fine.
PS Amy Flickert is AWESOME.