1st of all this is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. I think the bar was set high by the first cruise (Freedom of the Seas). Anyway this cruise was somewhat crowded. The service was also somewhat lacking because of all the people. Beautiful ship though hence the mixed feelings about this cruise.
Embarkation was smooth. Arrived in the port at around 1100hrs and was on the ship within 15-20 minutes. No issues with embarkation.
Our cabin was great. Clean and neat. We had a bed by the sliding door. Our friends sofa was next to the door so their bed was further away. We had a balcony on the left side forward. Great location as the Windjammer cafe was in the rear of the ship on the 15th floor and the elevators were very busy in the morning and in the afternoon. Book a forward cabin if you can as the forward elevators are less crowed. Our stateroom attendant was ok. She cleaned the room but was not very personable. The beds were very comfortable. We have a temperpedic at home and were concerned about the beds being too soft or too hard but they were great.
The food in the dinning room was good. The service was great. We have three children and love our kids but this was our honeymoon with no kids. The table behind us had three screaming kids during most dinners. They also would throw food on the floor. Our waiter and asst waiter did all they could to keep up with this. The coffee on this ship was awful. The ship used Seattle's Best coffee and is was just awful. We drank Starbucks. It was much better. I hope RCI changes their on board coffee. The Windjammer was a disaster. The food was not that great and you had to look a round to find a table. We went to the solarium. The food was about the same but less crowded.
The ship was well taken care off but it was hard to find a chair on the pool deck. As I said too many people. At night most all the hot tubs were closed and it only left a few open which were crammed with people. I would like to see RCI have more hot tubs open at night. One of the staff on the pool deck did not even know some of the hot tubs were closed.
The shows were okay. Chicago was ok. But we are not into Broadway. If you are this show would probably be good. Ocean aria was great. Good show well rehearsed. Blueplant was ok. It was hard to understand the meaning. The ice show was a bit better but was more about video games and monopoly. The comedy show was great. Good laughs. Over all the shows were a bit off the mark with exception of Ocean Aria and the comedy show. Our Cruise Director was Alan Brooks. He is just great. We had him on the Freedom. Hes full of energy and is a lot of fun. He did a good job.
We stopped at Nassau Bahamas. It was a bit windy and cold. We went to Atlantis and planned on doing the water rides. But we only had a few hours to use the water park and was not enough time after the tour. We complained and RCI gave us a discount. This was one of the things that we like about RCI. If your not happy say something they will try to make it better. St. Thomas was good. No problems. Great island. We recommend Paradise Point and Megan's Bay. Great views and good food and entertainment. Our last stop was St. Maarten. Great Island too. Lots to do. A must see is the Orient Beach if you dont have kids. Its topless and is a clean and well kept beach.
Debarkation was smooth and fast. Its nice to not have to wait in long lines here. They seem to move fast.
Overall it was not all bad just not what we expected. There were a lot of kids on the ship, which again we have kids too and may be we should have selected oasis of the seas. The dream works animation i think draws more family's with kids. We will go again but with look to the Freedom class of ships.