We are a couple in our young mid 50's cruising FOTS on our 8th cruise, 1st time with RCCL...and we couldn't have chosen a better ship! We chose FOTS b/c of all the great reviews on CC, in spite of the fact that we have been to most of the ports before.
We got to Orlando the day before (Sat.) rented a car, and drove to Port Canaveral (about a 30 min. straight drive) to our hotel (Country Inn Suites). We had a lovely dinner at the Port at Miliken's Seafood Rest. Great place and good food! The hotel is very nice & clean w/free shuttle service to and from the port. You just park your car, leave it there for a week...enjoy your cruise, and when you get back, your car is there for you to drive back to the airport! Very easy, no hassle, extremely convenient.
Embarkation was pretty smooth. The line was long but it continuously moved due to the fact there were a lot of RCCL agents to check you in. Was anxious to get on board. The ship is huge & it's just gorgeous. It was all tastefully decorated for the holidays. Walking around the Royal Promenade felt like you were walking around the mall, not on a cruise ship.They have a welcome parade on the first night....very nice & fun to watch. They also do a circus parade on the last night at sea day. The Promenade is always busy but never overly crowded, where you are bumping everyone. There are lots of shops & great coffee, sandwiches, & desserts for free in cafe Promenade. We loved to sit out there & people watch!
My husband & I tried all the restaurants the ship offers, i.e. Portofino's,Chops
Grille, Johnny Rockets, & Ben & Jerry's for yummy ice cream sundae's. We went to all the evening shows. The entertainment & the RCCL dancers & singers in the Arcadia Theatre are excellent! They all work very, very hard & we really enjoyed watching them.
The food was great in the Main Dining Room. We were on level 4 (Isaac;s) for the 8:30 seating. We sat with 2 other couples from India that we didn't know, but quickly became friends 7 exchanged e-mails when the cruise ended. We had a lot of laughs. The service was excellent & our waiter & asst. waited were great as well. They knew our names after the first night, and my husband had his iced tea glass waiting at the table every night, without having to ask.
Our balcony cabin was just perfect. I think they might be slightly smaller than on Carnival, but we had sufficient space for two. It was nice & quiet & perfectly situated, mid-ship & not too far from the elevators.
The pool areas are spacious and we did not find it difficult to get lounge chairs late morning. I really didn't see too much of "saving" lounges for friends. We mostly stayed at the Solarium pool, the pool for adults only. It was quiet, peaceful, and very relaxing.....especially after a long day of walking in port. there is H2Zone for all the kids to enjoy....and let me tell you....there were a lot of kids on this cruise. It wasn't a holiday week, so I don't know why they weren't in school, but they were fun to watch, especially on Flowrider and well behaved. The main pool had the live band playing music all day. It was nice too.
The one complaint I have is that you CANNOT get any water, iced tea, or coffee at the pool area. You can only get soda from these soda machines that only accept the insulated cups that the ship sells. I found that very annoying to have to walk to the Windjammer just for a cup of coffee or a glass of water. The Windjammer is a lovely eating area. Lots of choices for all tastes, plenty of tables, no long lines, & very nice staff. They will bring you your drink of choice when you ask them.
We did the Mystery Dinner Theatre on the 1st night which takes place in Olive or Twist(just love that name for a bar) & ends up in Portafino for a lovely dinner & to solve the mystery! Lots of fun. Chops Grille is a great place for an upscale dinner. I know people say,"why should I pay $25 p/p xtra for dinner when I have all the food I want for free"....well,if you like fine dining with the staff waiting on you like you are a V.I.P....then it's worth the xtra $$$$$.....we loved it!!
We loved this cruise and would sail on FOTS again if it went to different ports.
It was a great 7-day cruise....now back to reality.....work, cooking, cleaning, laundry....Royal Caribbean.....take me away.....AGAIN!!!!!!