The Davina - The good and not so good from a newbie point of view.
I have done about 17 Royal Carribean cruises and wanted a change of pace. We chose the Davina. There were three of us. Myself, my wife and 1.2 year old son.
Embarkation while chaotic went relatively smooth. The ship is pure eye candy. It sparkles from end to end. The cabins were beautiful. The Gelatto was tasty. And while they charge for it outside of dinner, they were giving it away free on the day before the cruise ended. The 4-D show was worth the $7 dollar chage, andfelt and was similar to what you would get at Universal studios...Just smaller scale..- Our child sailed FREE which was a nice savings - There is child care for children 3 years and "older". Seemed to us like you could drop your kids off in the morning and pick them up in the evening. They had those children very busy.And those parents had it made.
The show costumes were excellent.The theater was the best I have seen with no columns so you would be hard pressed to find a bad seat. The Michael Jackson show was a good effort. Notably the smooth criminal part with the "lean." The acrobatics in the other shows were standouts along with the times the cast members would come OFF stage into the audience. The photagraphy shop consistantly took great pictures. Arguably, the best I have seen on a ship.
The lunch menu was great at the Calmut buffet. The pizza...The pizza! I have never eaten so much of it in all my days. No premade crust here. All handmade in front of you. The cheeses and different meats were great at the Mediterannian section in the Calmut buffet. They also baked most of their baked goods in that giant pizza oven. I had [I]my first[/I] right out the oven fresh croissants. The main dining room was as beautiful as the rest of the ship. Room service was good. We did not wait longer than 25 minutes to get anything we ordered.
The cabin while nice had a plasma TV. You are able to feel the back of the set and find and extra HDMI slot to plug in your computer, tablet or other device. An though I dont thnk they you want you doing that, I was able to plug in and watch a couple movies from my computerat nights end. The soap dispensers in the bathroom were also nice to have. I liked having the balcony door open to get fresh air. My neighbor who was always smoking on his balcony without regard for anyone else. I complained to the front desk. The reception desk was great at handling that problem. ( Did he continue to smoke after the reception desk sent him a nasty gram?....YES...Just not as often. ) The crew was so helpful. Even on the last day..even on the last morning!
The shows had minimal sets. The Michael Jackson show lookalike mainly danced and lipsynced. The Frank Sinatra show's main singer wore so much mascara and eyeliner, I felt it took away from his otherwise great performance. The bowling should have been free in the sports bar, as that place seemed empty most of the time.
WAY TOO MUCH SMOKING! There was alot of it. Especially on deck 14, the main pool area. Just walking from one end to the other to get to the Calmute buffet was ridiculous with all the ciggarette smoke. Still it did not seem to bother the kids playing in the pool areas.
The dinners in the main dining room overall were not impressive. The lobster was cold. So, I ordered another. It too was served cold and neither with butter. Also, way too many people for the staff to handle in the main dining room though they tried. An A for effort.
The rocking of the ship. Perhaps it was the time of year. Perhaps we did not have the best weather. But this ship seemed to rock the majority of the time we were there. Now I don't get sea sick, but even I got that "fun house " feeling at times during this cruise. Cant say I felt that way about many other cruises I have been on.
The tipping system needs work as I do not believe the money goes to the staff that actually helped you. I dont know. They get $1200 a month from what I am told and thats it. -No child care for children 3 years and "under "- Let me be more specific. The program they have is a one hour thing in the morning and another in the afternoon where a parent has to be there. Its not very useful. There are not alot of activities, so you wont miss much during the day. You will have time to babysit your own child. Dont worry..
My overall opinion...and thats all it is...Is that this ship while beautiful is still suffering from growing pains.
Would I sail on her again? I say, Maybe, if they change a couple things... My wife says no because of the smoking and child care policies.