We are a family of 2 adults and 4 children, ages 17, 14, 12, and 10, This was our first RCI cruise, having been on the Norwegian Sun twice with kids and HAl and Costa as a couple. We had big hopes for the family fun atmosphere that appeared to exist on RCI. The kids loved the kids club on Norwegian Sun and were pumped about it being even better on this ship. Didn't quite live up to expectations. 10 year old son did not enjoy going to kids club, 12 and 14 year old daughters were put off by unfriendly attitudes of mostly Long Island teenagers who seemed to dominate the ship. Girls would go to scheduled activity time with seemingly disinterested youth coordinators who didn't put much effort into getting things going. I went to a scheduled pool games and there were no activity directors that ever showed. I usually attend trivia but found very little scheduled on this boat. No craft classes or interesting learning classes offered either. However must say, food quality far surpassed any other cruise we have been on. Both quality and quantity excellent on this ship. Fabulous buffet food in Windjammer, put Norwegian to shame. Kids and mum and dad enjoyed the offerings at the Promenade Cafe. Wonderful cookies and sandwiches and pizza kept us tided over after excursions until our late seating dinner. Excellent service from our waiter and assistant waiter. They treated our children very nicely and made them feel very welcome every evening. Our stateroom attendant was extremely friendly and we enjoyed speaking with her several times a day. Service was excellent throughout the ship except for a little surly bartender in the champagne bar. I had invited a friend to join me for a champagne cocktail and she asked for a cherry to be added to her bellinni. He refused, saying a bellinni should never have a cherry!
Our embarkation was astoundingly quick, we had done everything on line. The bedding in our room was very comfortable, unlike all previous cruises. The ship is a little worn but nothing I would fuss about. Only saw one show with a very entertaining piano playing fellow. We are excursion people so would be cleaning up, napping and snacking when the early show would be playing. We did not go to the ice show since we are Canadian and had no urge to see any reminder of winter while in the Caribbean. The water slide had extremely limited hours and was often closed due to rain and wind that we unfortunately had during sea days. Had a catamaran excursion in St. Thomas that was very disappointing. Could not find our tour group. Kept looking for the signs held by people, husband was stressed thinking they had left without us. Asked someone if they knew where our group was, was told (not too nicely) look over there, sure enough, young blonde girl was holding sign to chest with both arms crossed over it. Snippy young thing, waved us over to a group without apology. Crammed too many of us onto a big cat and then only offered pineapple juice with rum and pretzels. Have been on a similar excursion in St Thomas 3 times before with far better captain on smaller cat with less people and lovely full snack after snorkel. Don't go on Castaway Girl catamaran trip, not worth it! Also do not bother buying the 25 dollar shopping book offered by the cruise shopping girls. BIG WASTE OF MONEY! Promised free jewelry, etc, etc. Consisted of being forced to beg in shops for miniscule cheap trinkets, being told to line up at back of store with others holding the same book. Disembarkation was quick and relatively painless. One word of caution, DO NOT USE BUDGET RENT A CAR, they do not have shuttle to seaport. Cost me unexpected money and VERY LONG WAIT for van cab at end of cruise. Had reservation for mini van, expressly asked for Grand Caravan or Voyageur since only van that will fit 6 people plus luggage. Waited 3 HOURS to get van, that I had to go into lot to find for manager, and have clerk give me wrong paperwork and have to go get redone 3 TIMES!
All in all, great food, lovely bedding, excellent service, crap kids club and not much activity for adults. So will keep on looking for that perfect cruise line. Elusive it seems to be.