This was the largest ship we ever sailed on & despite having sailed frequently, was our first on Royal Caribbean.
We spent 3 days before we boarded the ship in New Orleans to put us in the vacation mood & it was wonderful.
The trip was booked by our travel agent & transfers back to the airport were prepaid. Royal Caribbean had no record of this!
First off their website was difficult to navigate, certain tours could not be booked on line. We were looking to pre-book spa treatments & could only book the longer, more expensive 75 minute massages, and some spa offerings we did book were not available on the ship. While I can understand that not all services were available on all ships, one would think that those that were not available would be blocked from a particular ship.
We actually had to re-book everything once we were on board.
The check-in process was quick & efficient, & the staff were pleasant & knowledgeable. Most of our luggage was delivered to our cabin before dinner so we were able to change from our traveling clothes.
The first night we ate at the specialty restaurant, Chops Grill. The cost of this was $30 extra per person. Dinner was a big disappointment. I ordered a petite filet, rare, & was given a t-bone steak. While the waiter offered to change it, I opted not to do this, but I didn't enjoy it. The 4 of us at our table each ordered 2 side dishes, that came with the meal. But none of us were served what we had ordered. The vegetables were served family style. again we mentioned that some things were missing but nothing was done to rectify the situation.
Only one of our group was completely satisfied with the meal.
The dining room experience was much better. Although the selection of food seemed to be limited, mostly everyone at our table found something appealing. The waitstaff were a pleasure to deal with & made this trip so much better.
The buffet for breakfast & lunch was the highlight of the trip- they offered something for everyone & for every taste. Not a bad meal was had there.
One thing kept us from truly enjoying our on board time was the fact that smoking was permitted in some of the inside common areas, & this was distasteful to those of us who did not smoke. There should have been a ventilation/filtration system in place to draw the smoke from the non-smoking areas. You had to hold your breath when walking through the Casino since the air was so bad. I am sure non-smokers stayed away. Smoking was allowed in some of the cabins & you could smell the smoke when walking through the corridors.
The entertainment was top notch & fun, particularly the circus parade & the ice skating show.