Let me start off by saying that overall, this was a great cruise. We booked this cruise last minute with some friends so were forced into the late dining as the ship was full (8:30). The ship is very pretty. We have done numerous Carnival cruises and RCCL so we were expecting a center atrium -there was none. There is the main location when you enter the ship with a beautiful lit up staircase but it’s only a couple of levels. You are welcomed onboard with complimentary champagne and the staff was very pleasant. We immediately tried to get our dinner reservations changed as we had booked a Concierge Class Balcony (which offers PRIORITY DINING< DISEMBARKATION etc). We could not change our dining time. I will say the late seating is not completed until after 10pm if you get coffee and dessert. So keep that in mind.
Room - We were midship Balcony - The room was beautiful and clean. Plenty of space and storage and I liked how the bed was closest to the entrance with sitting area closest to balcony. It felt like there was more room with the set up this way vs. the bed being against the balcony door and seating area where you first come in like on Carnival. Concierge gives you Champagne in your room upon entry. We did not find out until the last night that we could get champagne EVERY day. (Our steward never informed us of that) You also get assorted canapés delivered each day, providing you fill out the form and leave it a noticeable place. I filled it out the first day and left on the desk. Our room steward did not actually take it until our 3rd day. What came were 6 green olives, 20 raisins, 1tbls of hummus and 4 pieces of wispy pastry bread. Not what I would call a canapé tray.
Our room steward was pleasant but not forthcoming with anything. We had to ask for fresh beach towels everyday even though they were left in a heap on the floor each day. Our desk area and table was not cleaned each day nor was our floor vacuumed every day. I hand washed our glasses each day and by the 3rd day was wiping down my own desk and table area. We got fresh bath towels and our bed made every day. That was all. We asked for a bucket of ice each day and would still need to call once we were back in the room to have it. The refrigerators are not working fridges! We were told "they serve as cooler if you wish to put ice inside of them" What? Really? so none of our water was ever cold. They come stocked with beer and assorted cocktails and soda but who wants a warm soda? Especially when you don't even get ice in a bucket. It was somewhat disappointing. Lastly about room - I never use the robes provided but this trip one day waiting on room service I had to reach for one. I had spilled a small amount of coffee as I was moving the tray so I put the robe on the floor with the towels to be laundered. Returning to the room later that evening, the robe was hanging on the hanger and tied neatly as I had originally found it. However, the robe had not been washed-the coffee spots were still very pronounced on the robe. Eww - that makes me wonder.....are they really laundered? If I had not had something on it-I would have just thought it was now clean again after my using it. Freaked me out a little.
Dining Room - It was beautiful! The food was wonderful, and the service was amazing! Our table waiter was Anthony. He was exceptional. Very funny and charming made it a point to learn our names right away and gave us pointers about different things to do. We were so pleased - it was just so difficult to wait til 8:30 for dinner. Then you start eating more than usual because you are snacking at the buffet just to tie you over until dinner. We dined 3 out of 5 nights in the dining room. All 3 nights - the food was incredible - no complaints. The Matre De made his way around to the tables and our friends that were traveling had spoken to him about "flour-less chocolate cake" The next night, the chef had made it for our table only. (only it was not flour-less chocolate cake-it was yellow cake made without flour and had chocolate drizzled on the top. It was beautiful on the plate but we were so disappointed with the taste. was not good at all-but we loved the gesture) Overall very impressed with the dining room food and service
The Buffet - overall good food. Just disappointing that there was not much of a variety. It was the exact same food every day. I get having a pasta, pizza salad station the same each day but there was not much difference with same desserts on the buffet each day, and the same fish prepared the same way and the same vegetables. At least on Carnival and Royal there is degree of variance in how they serve the vegetables and pastas and even chicken.
Pool decks- this is where we get disappointing. I found most of the wait staff in bar areas and on deck to be rude and distant. Numerous employees walking around but never asking if they could help you. I found it annoying that we had to get our own drinks/cocktails but you were still charged 18% gratuity for getting your own flipping drink! One sea day - I had flagged down a gentlemen with a tray in his hand and asked for a drink, he stated "you need to get it yourself, I am not able to" Really? The lounge chairs are maximized by having no space between them. This makes it a little difficult to get on and off them and when you have rude people sitting next to you. If you don't get out on deck early on a day at sea, you are not getting a chair.
Fitness Center - very clean and a great assortment of equipment and free weights. It is up at the front of the ship so when you are doing your workout, you have the huge expanse of ocean in front of you. It was very peaceful.
Guest services staff - at the counter, we were always met with a smile and "hope your are enjoying your cruise" - they were always efficient in addressing my needs.
This was overall a great tour. Lorenzo was our guide - he was very fun and playful. It is was nice being able to see the whole island. You must know this is NOT a pick up at the port! They meet you there but there is brisk walk to get to the location where the jeeps are. probably 1/2 mile. So be prepared to walk. The jeeps are adequate. Our vinyl roof was torn so while we sat in the back seat, our heads were whipped with the torn piece. We held it most of the way. They need to omit the Mayan Replica - it is a joke. You stop along the main road to get out and see a tiny replica of a Mayan temple and learn its history.
We booked a Catamaran/Snorkel Excursion before we left. Fury water sports. These people were incredible. If you book on your own, you will almost $20/person vs. through the cruise line. They were professional, fun, playful and safe. The seas were rough so we had to go to a different location and not the larger reef. It was still great. The water was a little rough so there was not alot of fish but the area was beautiful with tons of fire coral and urchins. Back on the boat, you get beer or wine if you would like. We really enjoyed this and recommend to this everyone.