Well we booked our cruise in January 2012 so we had a long wait for our cruise to come along!
I started to read reviews about two months before we were due to travel and to be honest i was starting to panic, about illness, cleanliness and the general appearance of the ship.
i went out and purchased anti bacterial wipes, gel hand wash etc..
our embarkation was fine, no problems, there was a long queue outside the terminal and i was thinking uh oh here we go but line moved quickly and we dropped our cases off! went up to terminal and had about an hours wait until we got onto ship! we had to line up a few times but hey they are trying to board 3000 people, crew, supplies etc.. so a few line ups is to be expected.
Once we got on the girls got given their wrist bands with the emergency station on and we made our way to our cabin!
we could not believe the size of the ship, we had seen it on you tube and heard about its size but until you are on it you can not appreciate it!
The first person we met was our cabin steward who gave us the warmest welcome went through everything in our stateroom and from this moment on nothing was to much for him, even storing our suitcases for us in his locker!
We were in a quad cabin with a queen bed and two single bunks above the room was small but not tiny plenty of room for us!
we went to windjammer and had lunch! no complaints ever in this buffet restaurant all food was hot all the time and they had hand sanitisers before you entered which was a great idea! we were always greeted with a warm welcome and even when it was very busy we always found a seat!
some dishes were repeated but not a problem just because they had fish chicken pork and lamb out didn't mean we had to eat it all on the same day we could have fish n rice for lunch one day a roast dinner the next, i never ate the same thing twice except for the breakfast as the scrambled eggs where delicious!
the main dining room was gorgeous! we had the early seating and our waiter and bus boy were fantastic very attentive and always interested in what we had to say or what we had done that day and like wise we spoke about their families, food was again always lovely even for myself who is a plain jane and likes simple dishes, i never once found i couldn't eat here!
we also had two character breakfasts on board which have to be booked but no extra charge! it involves having breakfast in the MDR and being entertained by two or three of the dream works characters, both adults and children loved it! well worth getting up that bit earlier!
bar staff and other staff in general where always pleasant and polite even when passing on stairs etc you will always be welcomed with a hello!
never had an issue with the decor never noticed any shabbiness etc.. thought the whole ship looked great!
kids loved the kids club they are 7 and 9 and even though they didn't go all the time the kids club crew remembered their names and greeted them whenever we saw them and tried to encourage them to come along whenever they saw them.
we never had a problem with pool being too busy, or finding a seat and i thoroughly enjoyed the caribbean singers who were on most days! the only problem i had was an elderly lady telling my daughter off as she was swimming and kicking her legs and she splashed her! well surprise surprise your in a pool with kids your going to get wet, think if she didn't like this she should of gone into adult pool!
used the spa for a hot stone massage and pedicure both times was lovely very relaxing and attentive crew.
went to a few shows which were good but not outstanding but my girls loved the ones they saw!
we also watched the two movies in the la scala theatre and these were great! especially in 3d
the movies in the screening room we didn't watch as it is quite small and if you didn't get there early there we no seats left, but no worries we found plenty of other things to do!
we went on a tour with each port and i felt they were very organised and well thought out, the only problem was the heat and humidity but this is no ones fault!
overall we found the cruise to be a great experience and would definitely be cruising with RCI again the people who i had a problem with on the cruise were the rude, aggressive and complainers. they were rude to other pax, staff and and felt they could pick on the young children!
I have two girls myself and yes children can be pains but i truly felt that none of the children i saw ever did anything naughty or disrespectful it was more the other way round! adults pushing children out of the way to see the characters or watch the parade!!!