Older couple Our ninth cruise -- third on RCCL
Arrived at Port of Miami at 10:30 a.m. and were on the ship at 11:40 a.m.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Looked around a bit and went to Windjammer for lunch to find a huge crowd outside closed doors. A crew member emerged and advised it wouldn't open until 12:30 and those waiting to make reservations at Chops and Portofino's could simply call without waiting in line. I walked over to the phone on the wall and made Chops reservations for the desired day and time. Next we went to the dining room to check out our table which turned out to be for four (our traveling companions and us) but was just inside the main door. I asked if we could change to a table elsewhere and was told no (however, this table turned out to be a fine location). Since Windjammer wasn't open, we headed to Sorrento's for pizza which was good. A little more exploring and it was 1:00 p.m. and time to check out our cabin. The doors to the hallways were closed and a crew member advised it would be a little while before we could get in. We checked back in about 30 minutes but the doors were still closed. Others started opening the doors and going to their cabins anyway and we followed.
OUR LITTLE HOME AT SEA:
Our promenade cabin was compact and delightful. The new bedding is great and there is storage galore. The bed seemed huge - more like a king. The new duvet is quite impractical as it is too heavy to sleep under and must be removed before retiring. Life jackets and luggage fit under the bed. Two little sofas were quite useful and the round shower door is a terrific improvement. Our cabin was two floors above the entrance to the promenade and yes, we could hear music but it was not loud at all and honestly didn't bother us. It was fun people watching from the window seat. It is very important to remember to close your curtains before stripping (I forgot once and I pray my photo isn't on webshots). Our cabin steward, Lucky, met our every need.
Dining Room - Meal on the first evening was perfection. Remaining meals were good. Great servers and a very talented guitarist entertained us on two nights.
Chops - A total waste of money. Service was no better than the dining room. My fish was so bad I could not finish it and DH's filet mignon was not good. However, the mud pie was to die for (but not worth $40).
Windjammer - You couldn't help but smile at the enthusiastic greeters. Good with lots of choices but always very hectic. It usually took some searching to find a table.
Sorrento's - Good
Cafe Promenade - Good place to get coffee, good sandwiches, and (some of them) good cookies and cakes.
Johnny Rockets - Got seated immediately for lunch on the second day and used the C&A coupons for free meals. Food and entertainment were great as usual.
Sprinkles - Sure was yummy trying over and over to perfect those curly tops.
Labadee BBQ - Good
The two parades were lots of fun. In The Air (very good), Ever After (good), and a singer who was inspired by Sammy Davis, Jr. I wish I could remember the name of was excellent. The ice show was the best entertainment on any ship EVER.
It was a riot watching folks on the Flowrider.
Not too many climbing the wall.
Only saw a couple people playing basketball on one occasion.
Played mini golf but it was so windy it became impossible.
Children's area looked great.
Casino was very good to DH.
Several good shops.
The promenade was THE place to be and I don't know what I'll do on a ship without one.
All bars and lounges are lovely. Catacombs is very cool.
The art has to be seen to be appreciated.
Helipad was our favorite place to be when pulling into port.
By the third day we had seen every area of the ship. Don't know why people say you can't possibly see it all in a week.
San Juan - Been there a few times so stayed on the ship and played in the H2O Zone without children around, soaked in the overhanging hot tubs which were normally packed, and enjoyed the uncrowded ship.
St. Maarten - Took a bus to Marigot on the French side. Dirty and wish I hadn't wasted my time. I love the Dutch side.
Labadee - Changed drastically in the 11 years since I was there. Still wonderful.
Prepare to be shocked/amused. We saw everything from topless sunbathing (crew member made her cover up to DH's dismay), to a man dropping trow while attempting to hold a towel around him, to a mammoth mammary munching baby (no, the baby wasn't mammoth). I thought it was all too funny - even the Speedos.
Opted to carry our own luggage off very early and avoid the crowds. We waited and waited and no announcement. Finally at 7:15 a.m. we headed off and discovered two colors had already been called (don't know where as we heard nothing). We ended up in a huge line after all. Thank goodness we were renting a car and driving to Sanibel Island (paradise!) for a few days and were in no particular hurry.
The choices - there are so many.
Circular doors to the pool deck - RCCL, please get rid of them.
You must fight your way into the Windjammer for a glass of ice tea. This is the only place on the ship it is available. Drink stations should also be outside the Windjammer doors as on other RCCL ships.
Not enough elevators.
THE BEAUTIFUL (THERE IS NO UGLY):
The entire ship.
This is the only ship I have been on where I did not sway for a few days after getting home. I did not have one moment of this.
Although lack of elevators and fighting crowds were huge problems, I'd go on this ship again in a heartbeat.
This was one fantastic adventure on the most incredible ship ever and I would recommend everyone try this class of ship.