After reading some quite negative reviews my partner asked me to pen something in the hope that future cruisers may get some good feedback. We are a couple of older working people who looked forward to this cruise for 9 months from the time it was booked - they say anticipation is half the fun and it sure was.
We spent a lot of time checking out the RCL site and lots of review and information sites so we could make our holiday a memorable one. We booked all our excursions, restaurant bookings and wine package so they were paid for before we left dry land.
We spent a couple of days in Perth prior to the cruise and this was a really lovely wind-down from work time, we arrived at the terminal in Fremantle and were not surprised at having a wait - there were so many people all wanting to board so we sat and people watched - always a good pastime. After we boarded it was very easy to find our way to our stateroom (we had looked at the deck plans online) and after leaving our carry-on bags went to explore. The Promenade was a good place to start so we had a look around and settled in with a welcome drink. After that we went and explored then went back to our cabin - our luggage had arrived so we unpacked and as we had booked dinner in Portofino for the first night headed there and what a lovely experience to start the cruise with - beautiful food and wine, fantastic service - perfect. We then went back to our stateroom in time for departure and watched the farewell in the balmy night air. The whole of the trip up the east coast of Australia was so calm, you hardly knew you were afloat.
Food in the Main Dining Room was very good, there were plenty of selections and things to try and if you couldn't decide on what you wanted our cheeky waiter bought both things. Our wait staff were fantastic and always ready for a chat about our day and how we were enjoying ourselves. We ate in the main dining room most nights and although we had asked for a small table found ourselves sitting with some really nice people - all around our ages so we had things in common to talk about. We ate in Johnny Rockets twice and the food was good and it was a lot of fun, the lip syncing/dancing staff are a treat to watch. We had breakfast and lunch at both Windjammer and the main dining room, every time the food was plentiful, staff attentive and the only concern was too many choices! On board every day there was so much to do if you wanted to, we were both unwell for a couple of days - nothing serious - and staying in the stateroom wasn't a hardship at all. The library was a great bolt hole for me - I curled up with a book on quite a few occasions - something I never have time for at home. We went to a lot of the shows and for the most part they were very good - good entertainers and plenty of variety as well. We went to a lot of other things like Trivia quizzes etc - these were a bit of fun.
We sampled the Cocktail of the Day quite often and enjoyed them - we had bought a wine package and found plenty of selection on it to have a bottle of wine with our dinner - we had one bottle undrunk on the last night so took it with us and enjoyed it back on land in Singapore. The bars provided a really good selection of cocktails and spirits and were very generous with their serves.
The land tours we booked online before the cruise and were all very well organised and managed - the only problem was there was always "that couple" who help everybody up by not being at the appointed place on time, no fault of the tour guides or organisation - that part was excellent, really well executed, no real hold ups and smooth on and off the ship for each tour. The cool cloths waiting when we got back to the ship were terrific - it was very hot and humid on land but that's Asia for you.
We really enjoyed the Solarium (adults only) area with pool and hot tubs, we didn't go to swim at the main pools - we left them to the families to enjoy. We used the fitness centre as well and this was very well equipped - every type of machine you could want is provided. I went for a massage and this was probably the only disappointment for me, the masseuse was very ineffective and I really felt no benefit, I have had massages in Asia before and they always left you feeling relaxed and wonderfully calm. So all in all, one disappointment in 14 days - the weather was fantastic, the seas like a millpond and the facilities and staff on board always helpful and happy to accommodate our needs.
Forget the whingers, I truly believe they would be unhappy in any situation they were in.