This cruise was booked as a quick way to get an extra cruise point toward Diamond C&A status. Based on some reviews of the ship, I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised.
After a 'security breach' at Miami International Airport that left us stranded between our arrival gate and our luggage for nearly 2 hrs (without any announcement of what the problem was or what was going on) we retrieved our luggage and departed for the airport by taxi ($24 flat rate for 2 passengers & luggage). Arrived at 12 noon to the easiest check in I've had in 9 cruises. Had to get luggage tags from a porter since we booked late and only had e-documents, but this went smoothly. Walked in and mentioned I was a Platinum member and was greeted by 2 RCL employees and ushered up to the ck in counter. Sea Pass was filled out in advance so we were on our way in about 5 minutes....the best I've ever experienced. Not the usual mayhem and hoards of people waiting in line.
The ship itself is in good condition. A little wear and tear, but overall fine...much better than I had expected. F1 cabin was VERY SMALL and bath was TINY, but for 3 days acceptable. Only glitch was beds were not separated as requested on resv, but cabin steward remedied this while we went to dinner. Steward always greeted us by name and was very pleasant.
We ate only one meal in the formal dining rm (formal night) and I found the food to be good. I enjoyed the prime filet but found I was still hungry as portions were not large. Meals in Windjammer were good but typical buffet. Foods seemed to be somewhat more spiced than on previous cruises. Breakfast entrees were lukewarm at best, a little better at lunch and dinner. Pasta bar in the back of Windjammer is great at dinner.
CocoCay was nice altho crowded. Did not eat the island lunch but suspect it was similar to lunch served by the pool onboard, burgers, bbq, salad & dessert. Pool area was quiet in the mornings so enjoyed pool time then. Area was packed in the afternoons, but had no problems finding seating in the shaded part of the deck.
We did not take any excursions, so I can't comment on them.
As a Platinum member we enjoyed the Library as a private departure lounge and were escorted down to the departure gangway by the Crown and Anchor Liaison ahead of the hundred or so passengers that had already congregated at the gangway to depart. The royal treatment really made us feel really special.
We were thru customs in about 20 minutes and made use of the new pier luggage check in available for departures on American, United and Delta. $5 per person. It was a great convenience not having to haul luggage to the airport and even tho we had an early flight 11:36 am departure, our luggage made it to our final destination with us (I was a little concerned about that since the cruise line suggest no flights before 12 noon but it worked fine this time). We were at the airport by 9am...had coffee, watched tv, read and waited for our packed flight home.
Overall, an enjoyable cruise I would take again anytime I could.