My last cruise on RCL was an 11-day cruise on December, 2012 in the Southern Caribbean. First off, I traveled alone for the first time since I booked this cruise on the spur of the moment. My DW did not wish to accompany me on such short notice..
I drove to Port Canavaral from North Carolina, spending the night in Ormand Beach, Fl. I used off-site parking that whisked me to the terminal quickly. Aboard ship by 11:10 AM because I'm Emerald class of C&A. The ship, though aging gracefully, was spotless. I was immediately impressed by the genuine warm greetings of all the staff. Lunch in the Windjammer was the same fare as in the past. A buffett was set up on the pool deck for two lunches, including grilling steaks over real glowing briquets. Wind was a problem, blowing plates, etc. across the deck. Even deck chairs were blown about one afternoon. The Solarium, on the othe hand, was peaceful. The one intrusion by children was quickly squelched by staff. I should mention that, although there were many children, they were well bahaved.
i saw a portion of the Welcome Aboard Show in the theater. Did enjoy the listing of nationalities and numbers of each, including newly-weds [always good for a chuckle]. I attended Haynes Magic show as well. Presentation was excellent though many of the tricks presented were ones I had seen more than once.
Dinner was superb. The beef tenderloin was as good as I've ever tasted. Lobster bisque was great. I was really impressed with the quality of the food and selections. Service, though slow seemed to be attentive as possible. It was at this point that I realized the cruiseline continues to cut costs. In the past I got iced tea and water with each meal. This time it was water only. I was served iced tea but one, at lunch after I insisted.
My cabin, 3013, was fine. My room steward. Aymee Omier, did an excellent job keeping it neat and providing me with extra ice each day.
My snorkel excursion at Nassau was cut short by severe thunderstorms. Lightning danced over the ocean as we moved back to the harbor from Rainbow Reef. The reef was crowded with excursion boats from the other two ships in the harbor. Walking back to the ship in pouring rain left my water logged camera shorting out in my pocket and me rather cold. I was so wet that I stepped into my hot shower before I removed my clothing. We passed Cococay by because of strong wind and waves. This cruise counted as my third trip to Cococay and I have only once managed to get into the water there.
I spent afternoon bar time at the Schooner Bar where I spent time with staff and guests. Both were friendly and my order of Singapore Slings brought forth comments from the Bartender, waiter, and guests regarding the long ago drink that no longer appears on menus. They were GREAT! Two put a silly smile on my face.
They have raised the minimum bet to $10 for Blackjack, eliminating me as a participant. I did play during the one hour of $1 Introduction to Blackjack. The slots gave me back all that I had lost earlier on the last evening.
I disembarked early by carrying my own luggage. I was in my car and driving north on I-95 before 8:15 AM.
I've already booked 5 cabins for a cruise in December to celebrate my upcoming retirement. I purchased a booking certificate for a future cruise as well while on board. I will never cruise alone again because I missed someone to share the adventure. Make no mistake I enjoyed the cruise immensely.