Surprised my wife with a cruise for her birthday. This would be her first cruise and my 3rd. Of course with any present you worry about how it will go over. Let me say that my wife is now hooked on cruises and is planning one for later this year. The only thing I would have done different is come in a day before and stay a day later at the embarkment port. That first day was a marathon trip starting at 4:30 am.
The embarkment was faster than I thought. We moved quickly through the boarding procedure. Thanks to comments on cruise critic, we bought our marriage certificate because we don't have passports yet. Next time we will have passports, but if you don't it's good for the ladies to bring their marriage certificates to easily explain the different last name. Our room was immediately available and I was pleased to see that it was fully stocked with the birthday and romance package as I had requested. The water bottles for the water package were very big (1 liter each). The juice package was also there. Our stewart was very nice and was very good.
Lunch was in full blast in the Windjammer when we got there. We sat down and had a great buffet style lunch (my wife loved the pork chops and mash potatoes).
The emergency procedure seemed really long, but it didn't bother us. We then went to the top deck to listen to the music and relax before the ship pulled out. It was very windy leaving Ft. Lauderdale.
We went to the dining room at 6 pm for our seating. We had a great table, one couple from New Finland and two ladies from Boston. They were GREAT! The food was great too. The service was also great. We had dinner in Portofino the last night. Although we missed our new friends, the food there is exquisite. Next time we are going to try chops.
I would suggest eating breakfast in a variety of places. We tried the Windjammer and dining room. The best was the dining room but the menu doesn't change. The Windjammer has ready made omelets, which my wife loves.
Lunch in the dining room is a must. They had a salad bar that could be two meals by itself. My wife and I shared salad each day. Then you get a lunch too. We were stuffed.
The cruise always had lots of activities. The marriage show was the best! The juggler was pretty good too. The comedian sucked! Our shore excursion (Salsa Salsa) got cancelled so that was kind of a bummer. But we just went to downtown Cozumel and walked around. It was fun haggling for prices.
I have so many good things to say, I probably could fill up 5 pages. I was worried about the food due to the reviews, but I loved all of it. My wife is a little more picky and she was not impressed the first night, but had no complaints any other nights. I guess it has to do with your palate.
I would recommend RCL to anyone and can't wait to get my friends hooked so we can become full time cruisers.