My party arrived at the port around 1:00 p.m. We drove ourselves since we live 35 minutes away from Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation was the worst I have experienced. Since the Computers were down (I have read previous reviews...seems this is a common excuse!) We had to wait in the terminal over an hour for them to call our row and check us in. We could not pre-register on line....we tried numerous times at home and were not able to get through. Since we carried on our luggage, we didn't need luggage tags. I wonder how that would have worked, as they did not give us any tags to put on our bags!
Once on board, we went to our state room. It was beautiful! we had a superior balcony and my friend and I had plenty of space. The bathroom was roomy and very, very clean. There were no lotions or shampoos at all in the rooms. This was a problem, because I didn't pack any in anticipation of using what was in the bathroom!
A major problem was that 1,000 of the cabins were pre-booked for the Ship-Rocked cruise. Although the DSM who helped my agency book the trip did tell us about it, there was no indication that many of the activities were held poolside and since this is not my music of choice, it kept many of us away from the pool area.
We spoke to many passengers and they were shocked that they had no clue about the hard rock crowd and music on the ship. I think the ship should tell people when they book a trip what is going on that week.
Our day to Coco Cay (the cruise line rents the island from Royal Caribbean)
did not happen, because the sea was very choppy and the tenders would be to dangerous, so we had a day at sea. Fortunately the rock bands could not perform outside at night because of the wind! The ship was very stable - so rocking was at a minimum.
As far as the entertainment was concerned, there was only 1 show a night. Perhaps because the rock groups needed to use the theater it was shortened. The shows were enjoyable. The lounge staff were great!
There was NO entertainment poolside, no music for the rest of the ship's
The entertainment staff was great, but the service staff did not, for the most part, speak English, so communication was virtually impossible. Since this is an Italian line, most of the cuisine was Italian. The food was below average. The buffet lunches featured heavy foods but they never were hot enough. The Pizza was cold. The salad bar boring. You couldn't get a sandwich for lunch on the buffet line. The hamburgers and hot dogs and fries looked unappetizing. I ordered a cheese and fruit plate for dessert and got a small plate with a few slices of cheese 4 red grapes and 1 cracker in the wrapper. Very unappetizing!
Room service was a joke....we never got what we ordered! If you order decaffeinated coffee, it was Sanka and hot water.
The dining room was better, but not great. The Osso Bucco was very fatty, as was the prime rib. My friend had to send it back....1/2 of the portion on the plate was fat!
The bar service was awful, and the mixed drinks mediocre.
The spa was nice, I had a relaxing massage that I did enjoy.
In summary, the ship is so beautiful and spacious, but I feel this cruise did not cater to the American people. The service and staff are unfriendly and difficult to communicate with. That is unfortunate. I will not sail with MSC again.