Let's see, where to begin? We prepaid for our coke card, room wine, excursions... it was nice to get on board and not have all that cost weighing on you... if there are things you know you want to do, go ahead and book or order them.. it's always stinks to get that wallet out but not being hit with a gigantic lump sum at the end is well worth it. :)
Embarkation: Out of Miami, we've been here before... but I don't remember it being this disorganized. We arrived around noonish, made it through the line pretty quickly only to be shuffled into another room to sit for about an hour+. Once the ball started rolling an announcement was made... "One of our machines are broken, we are down to one line". Ugh! Don't they do this several times a year? Prepare people, prepare! Finally make it on, yippee! We been on Sovereign of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas... the Freedom class is a new one for us. Looking around it is huge, but pretty similar to the Navigator. We stroll around and get a drink of the day, Margarita, we opt for frozen - not a good thing. We tried four different bars they could sure mix one up on the rocks to a "T" (that's what our friends were drinking and were great every time) but they had trouble with the frozen one.
Room: Balcony = LOVE! This is the way to go... being able to open the door and get the breeze in your room or even just let new air circulate is the cat's ass. The room was a good size. Typical bathroom area, tiny shower - but all functions and gets the job done. I moved the small glass table into our closet area and in turn added an extra shelf and more floor room in the "living" area. I'm always amazed how they can push those two twin beds together and throw whatever type mattress pad on there and you never feel any type of gap from the crack. Bravo! We had all our items we preordered online, just sitting for us on vanity. We met our friends outside and managed to open the balcony divider by ourselves so then the four of us doubled our outdoor space. The room steward was good. Didn't hardly see him, but he did a fantastic job of keeping our room in order. The one thing I forgot this cruise and extension cord! Grr... my husband uses a CPap and the cord was quite a stretch this time. I wish they had more than the one vanity plug, but I'm pretty sure I won't ever forget it again. :)
Dining: (Early - it helps to see the shows in the evening)
Night One - Luckily, our bags aren't there yet so we just mosey in super casual. Sit down and sit, sit, sit... where's our people? Finally, they make it over. Somehow all four of us know we are in trouble. The bread / drink guy is virtually impossible to catch. We get our meal, eat and are on our way... it can only get better right?
Night Two - 100% improvement from night one. The service is better. The food is good and YES we all have drinks.
Night Three - Chops - - NOW THIS WILL RANK AS COMPLAINT NO. 1 (THE BIGGEST)FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP. We make 6:30 reservations for four, online prior to even stepping foot on the ship. The four of us walk in, all adults, and are seated towards the back in a sea of kids? Not tweens, not teens.. babies / toddles and kids. They advertise no children allowed. We are not traveling with children, we have paid the $25 extra fee per person and would expect RC to hold any policies they advertise in print. One baby starts screaming and the others chime in... it's like a contest. Anyhow, we get the matradee's attention and ask to be moved. It takes a few minutes for him to locate another table but he does accomadate us and move us to the front of the restaurant vs. the back. Kudo's go out for him moving us... we would have left otherwise.
Night Four - Portofino - - I was worried my husband wouldn't be able to find anything in here to eat. He did, and he liked it. My only complaint was I expected a more traditional Italian menu. It was a little "foo foo" but my food was good. We encountered several couples at the other tables who were in Chops the night before... they recognized us as "the party that had been moved" which opened up a conversation, all of whom were also disappointed they encountered children in there as well.
Cozumel: Good stop, we've been here before. We choose to do the Playa Mia Beach Break this time. Now, we had been here before... they have done some great updates. We were pleasantly pleased with this excursion. The two women opted for a beach side massage, we negotiated for 38 min / 40$. We did ours as soon as we got there, that way we could relax on the beach the rest of the time. I think you could get a better deal if you wait til later. Only thing out of the blue with this one... while getting the massage we were pretty much topless, they ask to pull your suit down, and while you are laying on your stomach if you are pretty busty there is plenty of view from the side. All in all good excursion.
Disembarkation: Horrible! They weren't doing full ship announcements. It took us forever before we even knew people were getting off the ship. Plus side to this, when we made it to our luggage it was ready to roll.
Overall: I think this ship is usually a 7 day cruise, that this 4 day really messed the schedule up. It seemed the food wasn't as good, the server's weren't as friendly, an overall disorganization hovered upon the entire ship. I liked the ship itself... it just wasn't great service which is sad because my prior experiences with RC have always been top notch!
With this cruise we were platinum. I didn't notice this meant anything...