We decided to book this cruise as we were running out of options with Princess and RCL offered a better value. In fact, we surprised our teen-age children with their own stateroom. Two balcony staterooms turned out to be a great start to an awesome cruise.
The Embarkation was very disorganized. Lots of room for improvement. San Diego is a great city to sail out of, but they need to work on the port area from taxis to actually getting on the ship.
Our first impressions of the ship was tremendous. A very beautiful, clean ship, well maintained and looked brand new. We were impressed with the stainless steel accents around the ship. Nice change from the usual brass one sees on most ships. The ship was fully booked, but we found there to be lots of space in most public rooms. The service was excellent, meals were good. The shows that we liked were: Revolution (a Beatles Tribute), the magician, and believe it or not...Marty Allen and his wife had us laughing.
The Ports: We loved Cabo..We went whale watching on Zodiacs. Best way to see whales, and we weren't disappointed. Mazatlan we stayed on-board, big port city, not much to see close to the port. Puerto Vallarta, we spent the day at the beach. Manzanillo was a huge disappointment. The port wasn't really equipped to handle cruise passengers. We wandered around for abit and felt unsafe, and quickly returned back to the ship. Our last port of call was Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. We enjoyed this port, but found we had a limited amount of time to explore. Coronas were cheap. $1 US dollar.
What we didn't like: We found the deck chairs to be VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, and were crammed together...to the point that they were hard to get in and out of. Would it kill RCL to have a couple of side tables between some chairs. Imagine 50 chairs side by side so tight you couldn't put a piece of paper between them. One thing this ship lacked, was a poolside grill. There was a BBQ one sea day which was very popular. We enjoyed the Windjammer cafe but found it closed most evenings by 9pm. We missed the late night snacks and only found there to be a small seaside cafe open with a limited menu until about 1am. This ship was fully booked and we were disappointed that we were located in a small dining area off the main cascades dining-room. In some regards, we felt like 2nd class passengers...despite the fact that we booked 2 suites on deck 10.
It's easy to point out the minor faults, but we really enjoyed the ship and RCL. We wouldn't hesitate to book again with RCL. It was a great family cruise.