Thank you's The staff really made this holiday - they were so friendly and professional. Royal Caribbean must have a policy that encourage staff to engage with cruisers. Staff were from over 60 different countries and it was interesting to find out a little of how they live and how they remain in contact with families whilst being away for 3 or 6 months at a time.
A big thank you to the Americans on our cruise for being so welcoming, kind and considerate. Come on Brits - lets see if we can match them.
It took us just under an hour to travel over from Orlando and we parked at parkportcanaveral just opposite the Radison for $43. Transfer to port was 5 minutes. Embarkation would have taken 45 minutes but there was a 45 minute delay whilst there was a coast guard check.
Quite a bit of queuing - windjammer was busy, had to queue to book mytime, queued for us to register for climbing wall and flow rider (even though we had completed the waiver on line) - you need a wrist band to confirm that these waivers have been signed and you have passed height restrictions. Queued again to sign Joe up for the kids club - he only went once to play dodgeball.
Very comfy beds, whilst Joe had a pull down bunk over us. Teresa and myself were supposed to be in separate rooms as non of the children were 21. Our attendant Manual quickly converted the 2 singles into a double. Cases fitted under the bed. Enough room for all. Good shower. We did have a look at some off the suites and they were superb. It must be nice to open your curtains in the morning and see the sea or the harbour. I'm sure that I would have had room service for breakfast as well if I was staying in one of these.
We were on my time which you needed to book each day or sign up for the whole week. If we were to cruise again I would just book for 8 each night and not bother with mytime. The shows normally started at 7 and were finished at 8. If you do prefer earlier dining then shows are repeated at 9.
The evening meals are waiter service and were very good.
We did have one breakfast in the main dining room but we preferred the selection in the windjammer. Fruits, ham cheese and tomatoes, cereals, muesli, cooked breakfasts, coffee etc.
Lunches were really good.
Pizza and tapas is available from Sorrentos and cake and cookies is available from the cafe on the main promenade.
Cake is available from the windjammer.
Afternoon tea - the Brits were invited for sandwiches, scones jam and cream in one of the main dining rooms. Teresa went and enjoyed it.
Soda packages were $45. A beer was $5.50. 2 for 1 Margaritas were $7.50.
You could call into the windjammer for thirst quenchers when you wanted. Water was also available from sorrentos. Coffee was available from. Windjammer and at the back of the cafe on the main promenade.
Bars - plenty pool side and we enjoyed Schooner.
Kelly Monteith - comedian - excellent.
Abba tribute - superb show.
Magician - winner of Americas got talent - ok
Broadway show - good
Ice show - would have been good but there was an appearance by this Chinese girl who was fantastic.
Flow rider - give it a go - great fun. Joe was the family champion. Not as easy as it looks - I struggled just keeping the board straight.
Climbing wall - once again not as easy as it looks. Flow rider and climbing wall staff were excellent - made you feel like a child again.
Crazy golf - fun.
I played in the adult table tennis competitions. There are soccer, dodgeball, basketball competitions that you can sign up to for different age groups. Would liked to have played against other family members but there was a restriction on age.
Cinema - watched the Crudes with Joe which was great, Avengers Joe enjoyed, rise of the guardians - average.
There were plenty of activities - health related, Teresa went to a detox session. Teresa and Lauren went to napkin folding (they don't get out much) which they enjoyed. All the waiters had a good time trying to better their napkin folding skills at meal times. Bingo, cookery etc. etc.
There is a running track on the top deck - 4.5 times round was 1 mile. You could only run or walk in the morning as it became too busy later.
I had a walk round the gym and it looked like it had all the machinery that you would normally expect.
Didn't have a look in any
Looked like there was plenty to do
Get as many as you can - there is no obligation to buy and you might find a standout picture.
We think that James had sea sickness and guest services provided some sea sick pills which made him really dozy (dozier than normal). He only felt 70/80% for the whole cruise.
Lauren made some friends at the teenage club and would meet up mainly at Sorrentos at 9:30 on a night.
Joe went to the 10 year club to play dodgeball but was happy to spend time with us. Whatever works for you but I like to see the bambinos when we are on holiday.
Ports of call
Haiti - big beach. Find some shade under the trees - there is plenty of it. Northern beach is a bit rocky and the southern beach was busier but sandier. Plenty of rest rooms and lunch was fine.
Jamaica - we arranged a private tour through knowjamaica and had a lovely guide called Michelle $225. We did the tubing for $30 per head which was excellent at Ocho Rios. I had numerous conversations with Marva that I wanted to end up in the sea and we were pulled out at a car park near the bottom. Michelle explained that we could have ended up at the sea if we had wanted. We were the taken to a really tacky beach but when we explained that we would like to go somewhere nicer Michelle took us to a really exclusive beach. Couple of weddings at the hotel next door. Security guard on the beach and had a chat about football - John Barnes because he was Jamaican.
Don't go to the jerk chicken place for lunch as they rip you off with the dollar conversion - happened to an American couple just before us.
I wouldn't go back to Jamaica again as I felt hustled and wouldn't have felt safe if Michelle wasn't with us.
No real sites on the way to Ocho Rios so it might be cheaper to arrange a taxi to the tubing and then a beach.
Gran cayman - we did take the tender to have a quick look round but we had decided to have a day on the boat when it would be quiet.
Cozumel - great guide called Alberto from toursplaza who took us round a few sites and explained the Mayan culture. Then we went to the other side of the island which took 10 minutes and went to a beach which was deserted. Great surf, great sand, crystal clear water. We just snorkeled and surfed - best beach that I had been on. Had a look around the town for a few bits of tack. $3 dollars for 2 beers on the port complex - enjoyed a couple of cheap beers. There was a bar where everyone seemed to be getting completely trolleyed.
We pre paid. If you aren't satisfied with any element of your service you can withhold payment. Europeans aren't accustomed to tipping. You just need to think of it as a charity contribution though. These ships are register out of foreign ports and I don't think that there will be a minimum wage - these guys will be working for tips - let me tell you they earn it. You can't blame Royal Caribbean as all lines will be doing it and that's how they all remain competitive.
Up at 6:30, breakfast at 6:40 and then just carried our cases off at 7:35.