RCI has figured how to board over 6,000 passengers with amazing ease. We we're through check in in less than 10 minutes. Off our flight at 11am, on the ship by noon! We explored the ship a bit and had lunch before we were able to go to our cabin. Don't miss the Park Cafe in Central Park for the best roast beef sandwich. I packed my swim suit in my carry on luggage so I was able to change on go swimming in the afternoon before the pools got crowded.
Chops Grill for dinner was delicious, we tried it the first night and hoped to go back, but we ate in the dining room the next night and enjoyed the company of our table mates/new friends so we ate dinner in the dining room the rest of the cruise. Patricia was our man server and she was wonderful. J J kept the drinks coming. The food was just okay in the dining room. We also had breakfast in the main dining room a few times, they offer a buffet or menu service, the Windjammer was always busy and sometimes finding a table was a challenge.
The ship is beautiful. Lots of activities to do, it was hard to choose some days. You can book all of your shows on line in advance, otherwise the shows book up. We booked all of the shows and enjoyed them all. If you go do not miss the 70's night in the Promenade hosted by the most amazing cruise directer ever Richard Spacey, seriously this guy is so entertaining! This show was on night 6 after the late dinner and shows ended, over 4,000 guests dancing in the Promenade to great music.
We did a couples massage, a little pricey but nice, but didn't care for the hard sell on the spa products that followed, this was a huge turn off. After spending $300 for the couples massage we were not interested in buying the lotions for another $150.
Ports.....Labadee was a paradise. So pretty, and they provide a huge BBQ on the beach for the guests. Lots of chairs and attendants to help you. Use your sea pass card to buy drinks on the beach. It you're adventurous book the zip line, and do it ahead of time as it books up, and bring your sneakers for this.
Hurricaine Alex prevented us from docking in Costa Maya, so we had an extra sea day.
Cozemel.....we took a taxi to the recommended shopping mall, mostly high end jewelry and again a very hard sell from the merchants. We walked a bit down the main drag and we were turned off to the constant hounding from the shop keepers to come in, it was annoying. We did a little shopping and quickly hopped back in a cab to the ship, which was mostly empty so we got to enjoy the space without a crowd. Be prepared if you use your credit card your purchase may appear in pesos, not US $.
Leaving the ship.....again what a breeze! RCI offers valet luggage service for $20 each, they take your luggage the last night and get it to your plane, and deliver you your boarding pass. You don't see your luggage again until you arrive at your destination. Getting through customs was easy and fast. We did see the sea of luggage in the warehouse, it looked well organized.
Loved this ship, can't wait to go again!