I have been on 6 other cruises and this was my first time on RCL. This was a special cruise as it was a gift from my husband for my 65th birthday- a "ladies trip" with my best friend.
We stayed at the Intercontinental in San Juan before departing which was nice. It was a short taxi ride for $15 to the cruise port. We got on board immediately which was about 12:30 PM. The Cafe was not crowded and we had a leisurely lunch. I had asked when the cabins would be ready and I was told, "soon.:
We went to the Solarium and lounged there until 3 PM. I asked an officer at that time when the cabins would be ready and I was told they were ready 2 hours ago. No announcement was ever made as other cruise lines do. Thankfully our luggage was there and we unpacked but it would have been nice to do this earlier.
When we left, no announcement of sail away was made nor did they blow any whistles. If we hadn't gone outside, we wouldn't have know we left the port.
This time we chose an aft cabin. The balcony was a bit larger than other's. However, the bathroom was the smallest I have ever had in a ship!! Our room was superior ocean/balcony.
Every one the crew was very nice with the exception of a very fresh girl at the towel booth the first day. I asked the procedure about towels and she was really fresh!! The rest of the crew, there was a lovely girl who was so nice, we made sure to tip her at the end of the cruise.
The food was good- nothing special - in the cafe and main dining room. For some reason, we did not get a table assignment and had to wait in line the first day. We had requested to be at a table for 8. However, some of the people in line, who also were not assigned tables, were so nasty, we opted for a table for 2. It was not in the main dining room but a side room- right next to where the servers bring out the food. After 3 days, we asked for a table change. We were given a table in the main dining room for 8 but no one else was assigned it. We looked forward to the 2nd formal night where lobster was served. The tails were large but lacked flavor.
We saw 2 shows- Beatlemania and the Motown Divas. Both were excellent. However, I wish they had comedians give two shows instead of only late night shows. I heard from other's that they were disappointed with the two production shows- we did not go.
The Solarium pool area was supposed to be for adults only but there were young children running around and in the whirlpool. There was very little staff around to check. Several times many groups of teenagers filled the whirlpool and blocked the entrance to the pool. If there had been adequate staff around, this should have been corrected as I saw many people try to get into the pool and they had a hard time. Many, many of the guests spoke Spanish and did not respond if you said, "excuse me" to try to get by them in the pool entrance as I guess they did not understand English (this cruise left from San Juan so there were many Spanish speaking people on board and all announcements were in both languages).
As far as shore excursions, the beach itself at Antigua was nice but the area and facility was so dirty, I wouldn't even go in the ladies room nor ever considered ordering a drink or something to eat there. The chairs were filthy too. The vendors were constantly bothering you and some got nasty after you said, No, thank you,"- saying you could at least look at their things before deciding. St. Lucia was beautiful and the beach the ship excursion went to was much nicer as it had condos and a hotel behind it. We took a catamaran tour to swim with the turtles in Barbados which was wonderful. The stop at the beach was right next to the Sandy Lane Hotel and the beach was clean and beautiful-no vendors.
We both have been on Celebrity and Princess and felt they were just so much better than RCL is so many ways. There was no attendant at the computer station to help if you had a problem. This ship lacked a variety of dining options- only the cafe, main dining room, a coffee station, and 2 extra charge restaurants. The shops were very small and limited. This is the first cruise I did not buy anything at all.
My husband and I are taking a cruise next year and it will be with Celebrity.
There was no problem and lines leaving the ship. Taxis were available and we did not have to wait.