My husband and I previously sailed this 6-night itinerary on Independence, and we booked this cruise to see more of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. We have sailed many times on RC, but this was our first cruise on LOS. We flew into MIA from California, and spent Friday night at the Downtown Miami Hilton. We were joined by some friends from the east coast and Canada, who we have cruised with many times before. Rather than wait for the hotel shuttle, we opted for a cab from the hotel to the pier -- and were on board by 11:00 am. The embarkation process went very smoothly. However, I really wish that RC would either let you drop your bags in the room upon boarding, or give you a place to check your bags until your room is ready. Everyone milling around with all their carry-on baggage for hours can get quite hectic.
The ship itself was beautiful, very clean, and well maintained. We loved our E-1 aft balcony cabin, and our cabin steward was fantastic. We had been a little apprehensive about the addition of the Dreamworks characters, as well as the new pool-side movie screen. It was nice to discover that the movie screen was not blaring at all hours, and the new character cast was not at all intrusive.
Our group of six decided to try My Time Dining, and we were pleased with the experience, overall. We were able to get the same table at the same time every night, and we had an outstanding wait staff. We did eat at Chops the last night of the cruise, and we had lunch at Johnny Rockets one day. We thought both venues were worth the added expense. The one recurring problem we had was getting anything approaching rare steak/prime rib in the MDR -- everything came out medium to well done. Even sending things back did not help. On the other hand, the desserts and pastries were some of the best I've ever had on an RC ship.
We don't go to many shows, but we caught the Ice Show (Encore), and we managed to stay up late enough to attend The Quest -- both were very enjoyable. We found that the one drawback to MTD is that all of the evening activities are scheduled around early/late seating. We missed a few activities that we normally would have attended, such as the Captain's reception.
On this cruise, we decided to stay on the ship the day we were in Belize. We spent a very enjoyable day in the Solarium, enjoying the cantilevered whirlpools. In Costa Maya, we took the RC combo ruins tour to Dzibanche and Kohunlich. It was a long day (8 hours) on a tour bus, but the ruins at both sites were amazing -- well worth the trip. In Cozumel, we took a cab to an all-inclusive beach (Ocean Resort), where we had a very relaxing day.
We had great weather for the entire week. There was a little wind and "chop" on the two sea days, but no real problem. Considering the size of this ship, disembarkation went very smoothly. We were in a cab and on our way to the airport in no time. Our only real regret on this cruise was that we did not book it as a back-to-back. Six days was just not long enough!