Psgs: We are a couple in our very late 30's and travelling with our 5 year old son and inlaws. We have sailed on Celebrity (pre-kid) 3 times and this is our 4th RCCL cruise. This is my sons 3rd cruise. We most recently sailed on Adventure of the Seas in February. We now choose to cruise RCCL for the activities offered to keep an active 5 year old busy.
General Impressions: We booked this 5 night cruise to Bermuda last June as a little getaway over Memorial Day weekend. We decided to invite the inlaws for a little family style vacation. After a 20+ minutes drive to Bayonne, we parked the car for $95 for the 5 days and headed onto the ship. We are platinum members so were easily onboard within 10 minutes. We arrived about 2pm so were just able to get into our stateroom and drop off bags and headed out to explore. We both agreed we liked Explorer even more than Adventure. The cabin hallways were wider and able to pass other people without someone stepping aside. For some reason we also liked the promenade better - seemed narrower but more comfy. The balcony cabin was just as we remember and housekeeping (Renny) was just great. Everything was clean and in order and no complaints. The balcony looks as if it had recently been painted and was nice and bright and clean. All public rooms and rest-rooms were always spotless. We spent the majority of our evenings after dinner at the irish style pub and promenade area. We enjoyed a couple of shows, the casino and bingo.
Food: Never a complaint. We enjoyed a lunch at Johnny Rockets...3 dinners/1 breakfast in dining room...1 dinner at Portofinos.. Windjammers for breakfasts and lunches. This is our second time to Portofino and just cannot be beat. The service, presentation and food were just excellent. We especially enjoyed the restaurant manager as he was very interactive with us and other tables.
KIDS CLUB: Cannot say enough...this is the reason we chose RCCL. We spent every day and all meals (except Portofino) with our son and it is nice to have a few hours at night to have some drinks, casino time and enjoy the rest of the ships adult amenities. They have wonderful themed night (Pirates, Space, Un-birthday) and he loved every night of fun! He did not participate in any of the daily activities there as he was with us so I cannot make any comments on those days. The slide and kids pools in the back of the ship were great - it was sunny but windy the first day and the back of the ship was just perfect. When I was complaining "Why do we have to leave? Can't we stay on board another week?" our last morning, my son replied he could "move into the kids club and live there." We didn't take it personally, just reassured us he had a great time.
Bermuda: For once, we did not book any excursions. We learned prior to sailing that he first day in port was Bermuda Day which is a national holiday. All our internet research indicated limited ferry and bus service due to the holiday. There were two ships (ours and NCL) in port at Kings Wharf that day and maybe as a result of the tourism, they were running a regular schedule. Some morning buses were delayed due to the morning marathon in Hamilton and parade but people jumped on the ferry. We did see the marathon, the parade, Hamilton Fort and enjoyed a wonderful lunch in Hamilton. All the shops were closed so no comments on shopping. We enjoyed a dinner at Frog & Onion in the dockyard and walked around to enjoy some of the shops. Tuesday we went to the maritime museum and the boys golfed. WE did not make it to the beaches due to prior day of sunburns and the timing. I wil be using that as an excuse why we simply MUST go back. There is not nearly enough time spent in Bermuda but was fun while it lasted.
Overall: Great time...so great, would not mind seeing more of Bermuda and looking at this same cruise during school spring break in April next year.