We are a family of 5. My wife and I, a daughter 17, son 14, and daughter 4 went on this cruise. All but my son have cruised before, all on RCI. Sailing was 3/15 through 3/23. We visited San Juan, St Thomas, St Martin, Antigua, and Nassau. We arrived two days before departure to keep airfare for the cruise reasonable due to spring break. We stayed the Sheraton Yankee Clipper in Fort Lauderdale. She is an older hotel but the room we had was nice and clean and reasonable size and it's on the beach. It's a nice pre or post cruise hotel; I don't know the cost because we used Sheraton points.
We virtually walked strait onto the ship because we arrived about 11 am. One bag took quite awhile to get to our room but it was because it had a knife in it we had purchased in Fort Lauderdale to cut limes for gin and tonics. Cabin was in middle of deck 8 with a balcony. It was a great size. My wife and daughters and me stayed in it while my son stayed in a nearby. I had never stayed in a balcony cabin before so I did know about the strong wind through the cabin when both the balcony door and cabin door are open. We learned to close the balcony door after a few near misses of being slammed by the cabin door. Our cabin steward was outstanding making sure our room was clean and we had plenty of ice. His towel animals really pleased my 4 year old and as soon as he found out she loved the chocolates, she always had plenty.
WJ food was nice and breakfast in the main dinning room was nice. The one day we had lunch in the main dinning room the waiter was learning and he is going to be a slow learner. Sea view cafe was great for after shore and late night snacks. Be warned if you want to eat there after a shore excursion, get back about 15 minutes early and go strait there other wise there is a wait because all the food is cooked to order. Room service was good and fairly quick.
We ate in the main dinning room every night. We ate at second seating. We cannot say enough about our waitress Cheryl from the Philippines and assistant server (whose name I cannot recall also from the Philippines). There was just our table and one other in their section and from what I could tell we all received outstanding service. They immediately took to my 4 year old daughter (after all who wouldn't) and treated her like a princess throughout the cruise. After the first night she had salad and veggies as soon as we set down. She was in a pre growth eating phase the whole trip and it was amazing how much salad and bread she would eat. The head waiter even brought her deserts and he let her lead the line of waiters and waitresses on the last night. This was the most we have ever seen a head waiter. Like many have said the food was good, not great. I do like the fact you can try different items on the cruise without fear of not liking it because you can always get something else. On lobster night our serving staff had already stashed extra lobsters because many on second seating did not get a second lobster tail that wanted one.
The entertainment was good we set on the front row and my 4 year old daughter always garnered attention of the performers. Our cruise was during the first week of March Madness and it would have been nice to have more than one game on at a time in the sports bar.
The islands were all nice. We did not use any RCI excursions because we have been to these islands before and know our way around. If you are in San Juan on Saturday get the tour at the old fort because the tour guide who gives it on Saturday writes the scripts for the all of the other tour guides. He gives the tour with great passion and insight into the design of the fort and how it appeared to the British attackers.
We never saw our 14 year old son so the youth program on this ship must be pretty good. My 4 year old daughter loved the pirate night, super hero day, and the kids program in general. She really liked the late night baby sitting when the charge was $5/hour. My 17 year old was at a little bit of an awkward age, to old for the teen program and to young for the adult program, but she was happy shopping all the time and catching rays by the pools.
Disembarkation was easy and to fast. We did sign up for a cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas next January out of Barcelona.