We had a blast. This is Royal Caribbean at its best!
This was a relaxation trip for me and my partner. We are in our 40's, and live in Atlanta, GA. We travel a lot, and by far, cruising is our favorite vacation. We did not plan to get off the ship on the ports of call, and we did not plan much more than boarding and debarkation. It worked! We relaxed, we did what we wanted when we wanted. We had lots of rest, no rush, and got to participate on all activities we choose to participate in.
I got to read a full book. We played in the casino. We soaked in the sun. We experienced all the shows, and we slept.Perfect vacation.
Upon arrival at the port at 10:30 AM, we were immediately checked in, and in the ship. We were in, from getting off the taxi to being in the lobby of the ship, in 10 minutes. We had to wait until 1:00 to get to the room, but that is understandable. Check out was equally efficient. A long line to get off the ship, with people complaining about the long wait to get out, but that did not have anything to do with Royal Caribbean. There is a procedure to get off the ship, you have to check out of the ship, go through immigration, and you have to pick your luggage. Passengers not ready, without their id's on hand, without the forms filled, and trying to get off the ship when their colors were not called were the problem on the delays. It still took us less than 20 minutes to get out once our color was called.
The ship is very clean. It shows some age in the decor, but everything is pretty well preserved, and in working order. When we got to the room, there was no remote control. It took our room attendant all of 10 minutes to get us one. Not bad at all.
Comfortable bed, adequate (If very small) tv. Shower seemed a lot smaller than others on other ships I have been in. Closet space was great. Love all the little storage areas around the mirrors in the bathroom and the bedroom. We did not use them, but if you are traveling with any ladies, they will love the space for all their toiletries. Regular size luggage fit under the bed with no problem at all.
Nothing to say about the facilities except that they were great. All the pools were nice. The casino was large. Lots of smoke in the casino. Exhaust system needs improvement.
Food - We did not use the main dining. We ate all our meals at the buffet in the Windjammer or at different buffets during activities. The variety on lunch and dinner was a lot better than we have experienced for a long time. Much better than Freedom of the Seas. Food was always warm and delicious. breakfast variety was boring. Same stuff every morning. Lots of things but same every morning. They also offered a lot of sugar free items for those on diets or with diabetes. No need to ask for it, all offered there at the buffet. The best coffee on any ship. You have to try their coffee shop, and ask for one of the liquored coffees. They are great.
Entertainment - The activities group was very good and energetic. Probably one of the best activities groups I have seen (2nd to Freedom, I may say). The cruise director was a lady, and she was very funny, pretty, and friendly. Loved her. Tracy Ullman look alike. Younger and prettier. On the second night they did a 70's disco theme with imitations of the Village People. What a party! For those of us that lived in the 70's, and for those that were not even planned in the 70's, it was a great time for all. The production shows were poor. They lacked the energy, and the dancers and singers were second grade. There was a black lady that was GREAT. She sang Whitney Houston's (Dolly Parton's) song 'I will always love you', and brought down the house. Other than her, there was not any other outstanding singer or dancer there. The headliners was a group that does a tribute to the 60's, 70's group 'The Temptations', and they were great. The comedians were good. Specially the juggler guy from Florida.
Overall this was a wonderful experience. The staff was friendly. Everything was clean. The food was good. The entertainment was adequate. Will do it again.