GETTING ON THE SHIP: We got there about 10:45 started the process, it was really quick. It would have been quicker but I told them that both my kids were on antibotics for ear infections. They had us wait in the terminal until one of the nurses could come down from the ship and check the kids temperatures and find out what medicines the kids had been on. This took about 30 minutes. We then boarded the ship.Yeas, it is as spectacular as everyone says.
We spent some time trying to fing the royal connect phones, which were not working. We then went up to the kids club to let the kids check it out. In the kids theatre they were issuing out DECT phones for kids in the 3-5yo club and younger. These were great b/c these phones can call other DECT phones, the rooms or any extension on the ship. These are the ones the crew members use.
THE KIDS CLUB: I had a kids in the 3-5 yo group and the 6-8yo group. To sum it up my kids LOVED it. They had scheduled activities and put on plays and parades, made pillowcases and a million other things. The kids club is not open on the first day or night. When at port it is open all day to leave your kids there when you go to port, which we did not do but should have in Nassau, b/c all we did was quickly shop. At sea days the kids club opens in the morning at 8 I think then closes from 12n-2p unless you pay 6.95 for them to take them to lunch and play for those two hours. The club also closes from 5p-7p unless you opt for them to be taken to dinner. It is free at dinner. We liked to feed the kids but ran into problems when we had dinner reservations at one of the nicer restaurants at 6p as we had no where to take the kids. Fortunately we were able to move our reservation times to 7:30p with no problem. They also have a late night zome from 10p-2a. During this time they charge 6.00 per hour. My kids begged to do it so I let them do it one night and they loved it.
CABIN: We were in 3837 DO NOT get this room! There was a compressor for something that kept turning off and on all night and day! This was a large interior room (LOL!) they are tiny. The bathroom shower is round and I am 5'4" and average weight and I was comfortable but any bigger and it might be a little rough. Make chicken wings with your arms and stick your elbows out, both of my elbows touched the walls. No bathtub, so al little wet showering the kids and we had some problems regulating the water temperature, would get hot then cold. Our cabin had the fold out sofa along with the bed. After the first night we had them not open the sofa. With the sofa open it leaves you about 12' between it and the desk, which means no where to dress the kids in the morning. All four of us slept in the bed and it was really big and comfortable so no problems. They also left the sofa closed and left sheets on it in case someone wanted to sleep on the closed sofa. Definately bring a power stip if you are going to plug in more than one thing as it is under the desk. No outlets in the bathroom. The BEST THING I did was bring two shoe organizers. One to hang on the door in the bathroom, to put all my makeup, hair stuff, brushes, hairdryer, etc...b/c limited counter and cabinet space. They do provide bar soap and a dispenser in the shower w/ shampoo. Also one to hand on the closet door to put all of our shoes in. The was the room is arranged there ia bout another 12" between the sofa and the closet so you can only reach stuff in about half ot it. DEFINATELY put the coffee table in the back of the closet as it you don't need it and it adds more room. It does have shelves in the closet which are nice and three small drawers in the vanity/desk area. They also provide a hair dryer. We took all of the stuff for charge out of the refrigerator and put our own stuff in it. We put their stuff on the shelf on top so the kids would not inadventently open it. Call in your room service, much more reliable then leaving the card on the door. We had coffee and milk for the kids delivered every morning, and it was forgotten a few mornings until we started calling it in.
FOOD: Skip the Windjammer buffet. We did it twice and the food was good, and not too packed, but we did it when everyone was at port. People said it was a zoo otherwise.
Park Cafe was THE place for us for breakfast. Oatmeal for the kids, a bagel bar, great breakfast paninis, and free. Lunch was also really good there, salad bar and great paninis and yes fantastic roast beef sandwiches.
We did Giovanni's on the boarding day, we had reservations for 12:30 which was great b/c everyone else was going to the buffet. Service was good the food was ok. $10/per person for lunch. Skip the steak, it sucked, the potato leek soup was really good, antipasti, good, the kids pasta was severly overcooked, the kids would not eat it. The salads were average.
150 CENTRAL PARK $35 per person. service was good, server kept apologizing b/c they were really busy. The best part of the dinner was the tasting salts. Really cool idea. To me the food was just ok, not fnatastic but not bad. There was a table of 8 next to us that walked out of their meal b/c they hated the food. My sister and BIL liked it.
CHOPS, $25/person, I think, was AWESOME. From the appetizers to the dessert it was great! The filet is by far your best bet, and don't miss the mud pie for dessert.
By far the BEST FOOD EXPERIENCE was CHEF"S TABLE. 14 people a 5 course menu narrated by the chef that made t and paired with wine. The sommalier comes out and explains the wine to you and about the family who produces it and why it pairs well with the food. I can be a food snob and don't know hardly anything about wine, but man, those wines were good and the food was incredible. $75/per person and worth every penny. You also get a cookbook signed by the chef and a chef's table apron. The only way you can get into this is to email or call RCI. It is not advertised.
IZUMI: Sushi was amazing. We asked the chef to just make a specialty roll for us and he called it the Firecracker and it was awesome! The champagne lobster roll was also really good. We did the hot rock. Fine for the experience but wouldn't do it again.
Main Dining Room: The most painful experience. Two solid hours everynight!! The waiter kept telling us it was disorganized and when we complained to the head waiter he also apologized about the disorganization, and serice picked up a little But a solid two hours with young kids is a nightmare!! Food was nothingI care to revisit, soggy duck skin, over salted food. You know it is bad when the waiter tells you not to order a dish b/c it is too salty. Note to everyone, some people though it was fine. I have to remin myself that they are trying to serve a hell of a lot of people at one time, but i still want good tasting dishes. Apple pie was likeappleasuce on the inside it was soo overcooked. However all breads are made fresh on the ship and they were awesome everywhere!
Skipped Johnny Rockets (can get it at home) and Seafood Shack (no point for me). Didn't do any other for pay stuff. Corndogs were good in the boardwalk and didn't try the pretzel dogs and wipeout.
SHOWS: The were all incredible we say Come Fly with Me and THe Dive Show, both were amazing and everyone raved about the iceskating, and comedy show. I also heard not to miss the Scavenger hunt/quest they do with the passengers everyone said it was hysterical. So much to do so little time!!!
Note, all restaurant experiences including Giovanni's for lunch were a solid two hours. A little extreme for lunch, we had to hurry the waiters along.
Everyone talks about a disconnect with the ocean, it was really rough so we stumbled around the ship for about a day and a half and we felt very connected with the rough seas!!! It was so rough they deactivated the doors on certain decks so you could not go outside.
All the way forward on Deck 14 is two small decks that are always empty. Also the solarium was a good view was leaving ports and the deck below it was always almost empty.
The interactive touchscreens are awesome for finding your way around. The elevators have the day of the week on the floor. On deck 3 and 4 on the elevators always push down, b/c it was priority, no matter which was you are going!
In your room you can check your reservations, change them, see how packed the restaurants are, check the menus and go over your seapass card charges. It is awesome! All on your TV.
Never felt crowded on this ship. Absolutely recommend it to others.
I know this was crazy long, but hopefully some useful info, I will add more as I remember it.