We had a fantastic time on this short 3 night cruise. This was our 8th cruise, and the second with Royal Caribbean. The embarkation process was very smooth and without issue. The guest services staff were all friendly and accommodating. We arrived early at the port, around 11 am. We checked in very quickly and had a short wait before we were able to board the ship. Since we have sailed with Royal Caribbean previously and are members of the Crown and Anchor program, we were able to wait in a different area and were allowed priority boarding once the ship was ready to receive guests. By 11:30 we were welcomed on board and were in the Windjammer Cafe enjoying lunch.
Cabins were ready shortly after 1pm. The cabin was certainly adequate for a 3 night cruise, however they are small. Please note that this ship does not have in room safes, so if you have valuables you wish to lock up you have to get a safe deposit box at the guest services desk. There is no charge for this unless you lose the key. The cabin was in good working order, no issues at all as I have seen in several other reviews. We traveled with another couple who were next door and their cabin was fine as well. Our cabin steward was very friendly and accommodating. He did everything possible to make our stay great. The room was cleaned and turn down service provided daily.
Dining...As compared to some other cruise lines, we were overall very pleased with our dining experience. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet with the exception of one day when we did eat breakfast in the dining room. The food and selections were all adequate. Nothing that I would rave about, but it was all good. Most of the desserts at the buffet were dry or bland, but not terrible by any means. We ate dinner in the main dining room at the 5:45pm seating. Our waiter, Gonzalo was very friendly and efficient. The assistant waiter however seemed as if he had no idea what he was supposed to be doing. The waiter had to pick up for his inadequacies and really worked himself to death. The food was all good and served at appropriate temperatures. Portions were very good and of course any extras requested were honored right away. The service was great in the dining room with the exception of the bewildered assistant waiter who needed much more training.
One complaint that I have is the pool towel check out policy. The whole process to check out a towel with your Sea Pass card is cumbersome. If you do not return the towel, you are charged $25 for each towel. The towels were old, stained and ugly. Believe me, no one wants to steal these towels. I did not get my towels returned by the "cut off" time on the last evening of the cruise, and I was told to go to Guest Services on deck 4. I took the towels there and was told that they cannot take the towels and I would have to bring them back in the morning to turn them in before disembarking the vessel and they would remove the charges from my account. The whole wait in line to get a towel, then wait in line again to turn in the towels is not good. I hope that Royal Caribbean will re-think this process. Why not just put the towels in the stateroom and tell folks if they are not there when you disembark, you will be charged?
Entertainment...we went to all the shows while on board. The entertainment was okay, but definitely not something to write home about. The second night was a illusionist/magician. Wow was he horrible! Otherwise the entertainment was pretty good and the cruise director Mark was funny and entertaining as well.
We were a little disappointed that there was not more venues to go and listen to different music on this ship. Really, other than the entertainment in the theatre, there was very little to choose from.
In general, the ship was in very good order. Yes, it is almost ready to celebrate its 20 year anniversary and it does show some signs of this, but it has been very well maintained. There were no big issues at all and the crew were busy about the ship doing small projects and cleaning throughout the cruise.
Disembarkation was also fairly painless. The cruise staff have this process down to a science and it goes as smoothly as it can. Overall, we were very pleased with our cruising experience and Royal Caribbean. I would have no reservations recommending this cruise to anyone looking for a short weekend getaway.