Let me start off by saying this trip was for our honeymoon. The first cruise either of us have taken. It was just amazing from beginning to end! One of our honeymoon Gifts was a hotel room right on South Beach for the weekend, which was sooo nice and so convenient. We just got up that Sunday morning, left our car at a friends house, and had them drop us off at the Pier. The check in Process was pretty painless, we were on the ship within 20 minutes without any problems. The ship is so breathtaking...its HUGE and gorgeous. We went for some lunch at the Windjammer while we waited for our room to be ready...the food there was awesome and there was just so much of it! It was pretty crowded but that was to expect. We got to our room and it was just your typical room with a balcony...very nice! I highly recommend getting a room with a balcony. Our Room attendant Anthony was Excellent at keeping our room clean for us, and providing a million towels for us throughout that week :o) Our towel animals were something I always looked forward to. The bathroom was a little on the small and tight side, but you only spent a few minutes in there each day anyway so that was fine.
The entertainment onboard was fabulous, from the Welcome Aboard party at the pool deck, to the Ice skating show...they were all great! We went to most of the shows and Ken Rush the Cruise director was so good at what he did, he was pretty funny and pretty handsome too ;o) (shhhhh) They had a pretty funny Comedian on the last couple of days and he was just hilarious! I forgot his name but you have to go see him... The Love and Marriage Show was hilarious and was Quest, I highly recommend both of those shows! The parades at the Royal promenade were pretty cool, there was a 70's party (Dancing in the street), and a circus type parade... The music onboard was pretty ok, not the greatest, but it kept everyone entertained. They really did a good job at not letting anyone get bored.
The Dinning experience was from another world for us! Our waiter Abdel and his assistant waiter Cassenia were great! They were always checking on us making sure that we had everything we wanted. Now, I am a picky eater, and I didn't like the food that was on the Menu a couple of times, so he pretty much just got me whatever I wanted. Same thing with desert time. They had such fancy foods that I just wasn't used to. It all tasted pretty good, not the greatest food I've tasted, but good none the less. What can one really expect when they're cooking for 4,000+ people. Our dining buddies made it an even better experience. We were assigned to a table for 6, when we came the first night, there were 4 people already at our table and they told us that they weren't our permanent dining buddies, because they had the 6:30 dining time, but they missed it that day. So we were excited to see who our permanent buddies were. The next evening we came in only to find that table FULL of people. We went to one of the waiters, and they told us they weren't sure what happened but that they had gotten a table for 2 for us right next to what would be our table. That was totally fine with us, we ended up talking to the people from the other table which we ended up liking a lot more than the other group :o) Our waiters even put our tables together after the second night.
We didn't try Chops or Portofino's because there were plenty of other choices that also offered good food and service without the extra fee. We did try Johnny rockets though, it was really good and for only $3.65 per person...they were extremely friendly and had cute little dance shows and stuff. The food there was pretty good too and so was their sundae...YUUMMM!!!!! We also did not get the Soda card...it was $42 that would have been a waste, because we only drank soda twice...and it doesn't cover juices or anything else, only Soda's...its good if you're a big soda drinker but we stuck to the awesome lemonade that they had! I think we ate ice cream at sprinkles at least twice a day! how yummy...
Both my husband and I did the rock climbing, and it was so much fun! I made it to the top nails and all! And of course he breezed right through it. He also tried the flowrider for surfing and that didn't go very well, but it's not as easy as it looks! I opted for the boogie boarding instead, he also did that with me...it was fun :o)
I loved the way everything was so organized and well thought out. The cruise compass left on our bed every evening was great, it had tons of information that was very useful. I especially loved channel 19 on our TV, it showed you exactly where you were, the path you were going, how far you've traveled and even how deep the water was...I found that pretty interesting. The Only thing I found a little tacky and annoying were all the sales announcements over the speaker...We were on a budget anyway, so we just ignored all of the jewelry announcements and all that stuff, we spent enough money and the actual cruise itself...
Ports of call:
San Juan, P.R.- We didn't get to stop at San Juan because of hurricane Ike, the captain did a great job at keeping us away from rough waters, eventhough sometimes you just couldn't avoid it. Kudos to the captain for always keeping us informed of the weather and all that, I loved it.
St Thomas- What a beautiful sight to wake up to! We just got off the ship and got onto a bus cab that took us to Magen's Bay Beach. The ride itself was a rollercoaster ride! Those people drive crazy! And it was a bit nerve wrecking all the steep hills and turns, but it was kind of fun after all. It cost us $7 per person for the cab ride and $4 to get into the beach itself. I think it was cheaper than doing the actual Excursion through RCCL. It was truly beautiful! The water was very clear and I actually went out and swan up to where the buoys were (FAR). And I am someone who does not get into the water at the beach! We stayed there all day, rented some floating mats and had a nice relaxing day. They also had jet ski's to rent, kayaks and snorkeling equipment...we just watched :o) Did a little shopping on the way back for a few souvenirs and back to the ship we went.
St. Maarten- Another beautiful place! We had booked our own excursion NOT through RCCL with a local stable, and went on a scenic horse back ride that took us to the top of the hills and gave us the most breathtaking views of the island...then we got to go into the beach with them, it was amazing! I highly recommend doing your own excursions, they're probably cheaper and a little less chaotic. After that we took a cab back to Phillipsburg beach and spent the rest of our time there. Rented a couple of beach chairs and we were set! The water there wasn't as clear as St Thomas but it was still a nice beach. We took the water Taxi back to the boat and it was a way better experience than taking the on land Taxi's , they are so chaotic and half of them were always arguing with each other. But all in all it was a very nice day.
I would definitely go on this cruise again, and we are planning to go on the Oasis of the seas once it comes out too! We had a great time, thanks to all the wonderful staff, who were so friendly and always went way beyond to help you with everything. And thanks to all of these reviews that I read for the months leading up to my cruise...they were very helpful! I felt like I knew the ship before I even got on it.