Leaving England on 28th Feb we were delayed for 3hrs due to our local airport being closed due to heavy snow, however we were re-scheduled onto a later flight and arrived Miami at 1800 finding glorious sunshine. However we were then delayed for 1hr due to no RCCL representatives being there to meet us or provide transport, we arrived at our hotel, the Miami Hyatt at 2000hrs. The hotel was fine no problems and we used the metro mover to go to bayside for the rest of the evening.
On 29th we left the hotel by Taxi to the ship at 1130am and were quickly through the embarkation process and on board by 12 noon. We arrived at our cabin and found it to be a twin when we booked a double, our cabin steward (when he came on duty at 5pm) remade it into a double, however this room type is Not suitable (in our opinion) as a double, due to restricted access around the bed, we were after 3 days moved to cabin 7043 which is much better suited for double bed occupancy.
When we sailed from Miami at 1700 hrs the weather was super sunshine and wonderfully hot, the next day we awoke to fine weather with high winds and seas of 14-18 ft, however the ship coped with this no problem and my wife who had been seasick on our 2 previous cruise had no ill effects at all. The ship was clean, bright and imposing and did not show any real signs of wear and tear, overall a very pleasant and beautiful ship with lots of glass and artwork. The dining room was from what we saw quite good, however as we were seated at table 002, right next to the entrance and nearly in the Centrium we didn't feel part of the dining experience, it was also cold and draughty. We did request a move, but as the ship was full only second sitting was available so we stayed put.
The food was the poorest of any RCCL ship we have been on, if this is a result of cutbacks then I am sure that guests will soon object and start to look at other cruise lines. The service in the dining room was not good, 30-40 mins before we were served our 1st course and a meal time of 2hrs 5mins was normal and this was 1st sitting. The windjammer was fine and served very good meals although breakfast and lunch were predictable, the staff in here were very helpful. The entertainment was good and other service staff on ship were very helpful. The cruise director John and his wife were very good, however the cruise staff were noticeable by their absence, once an event was underway they vanished, leaving guests to party themselves, the hoe down became a letdown.
The ports of call were great especially the transit of the Panama Canal, our favourite port was Cabo San Lucas. Upon arrival at San Diego we were up at 0530am, US immigration at 0615am, breakfast at 0700 and waiting to get off the ship at 0815, disembarked at 0900 and were dumped at San Diego commuter terminal by 0930 with a 6hr airport wait, with no proper food available, except muffins and potato chips not what I expected of RCCL and not what you need before a 10hr flt with airline food. In the past RCCL have always provided a day room so that guests can relax and prepare for their flt home. Overall a great cruise spoilt by RCCL cutbacks in food and service in the Dining Room and lack of end of cruise facilities.