Arrival: We stayed at Orlando Airport Embassy Suites one night, took shuttle back to airport for transfer to ship. RCCL has a staffed desk on baggage claim level. Did not need to show transfer, they checked our names off a list (we did the transfers on return trip). We got a number when we checked in at the desk that was used to order the bus loading, so earlier arrivals get earlier buses. Clean, comfortable trip of 55 minutes to the port. Had priority check-in, as suite guests, total time from arrival to boarding was 15 minutes. Rooms opened at 12:40, 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. Baggage delivered 5:45.
Cabin: Grand Suite 8528, exceptionally roomy and a deeper balcony than usual. Spotless, well-maintained. Location was perfect, at a jig in the hallway with little traffic. A curved bump-out above our balcony gave extra shade and privacy.
Public Rooms: Atrium impressive as always, even for this smaller ship. Several usable dance floors including the Centrum, Spotlight Lounge, Boleros Lounge and Viking Crown Lounge. Shops were roomy and easily navigated. Orpheum Theater had plenty of seating every night.
Dining: My Fair Lady dining room is cramped, as on most ships. Food was excellent every night, but no special dinners were served. Lobster, prime rib, and upgraded steaks cost extra. Windjammer buffet was standard fare, nothing special. Best casual food was at Park Café in the Solarium, very fresh and grilled to order sandwiches.
Pools: Crowded, plenty of chair hogs, no noticeable effort by staff to enforce the 30-minute rule on unattended chairs. Solarium pool took longer to fill, and never ran out of chairs, although sets of three or more together were hard to find by 11:00 a.m. Staff was diligent in keeping children away from this adults-only area.
Entertainment: Standard Broadway-style shows. One good comedy act in Orpheum and a fun adults-oriented game in Spotlight lounge. Music was disappointing; a Ballroom Dance band (BMW Trio) was strictly old-school, nothing newer than ‘50s waltz, foxtrot and rumba, and couldn’t draw much of a crowd. The “Latin Music with DJ Conrad” was a computer set of cha-cha and salsa, one or two salsa and merengue tracks. The Starbridge Band covered 70s & 80s ballads, usually in the Centrum. Not many dancers at any of the events.
Concierge Lounge: Great view from the tower, much better location than the interior lounge on Enchantment. Excellent service from the Concierge, who booked our cabana in Cococay, and the bar staff. Great experience.
Service: Top-notch throughout the ship, from the efficient and friendly cabin steward to the bartenders and dining room staff. Ship’s officers stopped and chatted with us in restaurants, lounges, even poolside every day. One of the best crews we’ve encountered in our many voyages.
Special items: The 4th of July was a standard day at sea, not many Independence Day events. A few crepe streamers and small American flags were in some of the public areas, but no big festivities.
Hiccups: Had one extraneous towel charge on final bill, which was easily removed upon request.
Departure: Smooth, orderly and unhurried. No backups at the exit, bags waiting in the terminal, staff on hand to direct us to the airport bus. They made sure we knew which terminal we needed for our airline, and the driver announced each stop and got bags unloaded quickly. Very efficient process.