Being a satisfied cruiser with RCCL, I booked this cruise as soon as heard of it on a Monarch cruise. With 6 cruises on the MOS, I rate it above the EOS. True, it did not have a Solarium and Park Cafe, or a Chops Grille. However, I was always satisfied with the dining choices on the MOS. And I found the Solarium to always be misused, with no lounges by the pool. So, those additions did nothing to enhance my enjoyment of the cruise.
Thoughts on the cruise.
Embarkation - Baltimore(& other ports) needs to learn from Port Canaveral. I arrived around 11:30. My daughter was dropping me off. Beginning in the parking lot, there was confusion. We were receiving conflicting instructions from attendants. Once inside terminal it seemed they had mostly new staff members. Guides giving directions were totally basing it on Deck. No consideration for even Diamond Plus, even though there were obvious signs for those observant enough. But I accept those things and wont allow them to spoil my time. Port Canaveral just seems to have it down to a science, both embarkation and debarkation.
Cabin and Attendant - Two highlights of the cruise. The cabin was always very clean and Ida was very attentive. I made use of the DND card in the afternoon and he was always there to ask if I needed anything. When the cabin if basically unused I find it wasteful to occupy this time.
Ship Appearance - I found several areas where there were exterior areas that needed maintenance. I had taken pictures in the event RCCL questions this. The windows in my OV cabin were dirty from the time we left Baltimore till they finally reached Nassau. It was not possible to get a clear view for pictures or sighting. And we had four previous port calls where I had held out hope they would get cleaned. I noticed they were refinishing most of the wooden handrails on Decks 9 & 10. There staff were using a block with sandpaper attached to prepare them for finish coat. It would have been less time consuming if they had utilized battery powered sanders(would have provided time to clean windows).
Staff - The Master was very likable and available. All staff seemed to enjoy what they were doing.
Dining - From what I had heard and have since read, I'm glad I used the Windjammer for meals. I always enjoyed the selections and varieties. As I mentioned earlier, I didnt eat at Chops Grille. The Tea in the afternoon from 3PM-5PM provided a nice touch. I was disappointed with the late night buffets on two nights. Again Monarch knew how to throw a late night buffet, including a Roasted Whole Pig, and more choices.
Entertainment - I missed Mark, Cruise Director, and Irky from Turkey. Those who have had the pleasure of experiencing them will understand. The Blands provided sufficient activities but just wasnt able to liven them up. The Singers and Dancers were above average. I was surprised to see they only performed on two of the 12 nights, well 3 with the farewell show. The Irish comedian had a well received show, as did the female country singer. The outstanding performance was the magic show. For the Singers and Dancers & Magic Act this had been their final show for their contracts.
Ports - St Marteen is always a good stop. One day I will eventually get over to Maho beach to experience the aircraft. Weather or cloudiness has always seemed to keep me from going. Need to try Guavaberry drink that is produced here.
St Kitts - Wasnt much there to impress me. I passed on the Brimstone Fort this time.
Aruba - A lot to offer for all.
Curacao - First time there and took advantage of the $20 2-hr tourbus at the port. I had a very pleasant guide/driver. Presented a broad explanation of Curacao life during the tour. We stopped at The Liqueur Factory where the Curacao liqueur is made. He gave us the option of getting off on the downtown side of the floating bridge, and some rode back to the port.
Nassau - Have stopped many times and merely walked Bay Street this time.
Disembarkation - I became a Self-assist a long time ago. As I said earlier it is amazingly quick at Port Canaveral. Off the ship and through Customs in no time. Usually 20 minutes max.