We just disembarked and are relaxing pool side at the Ritz Carlton. The reviews were so helpful to our family prior to our cruise that I wanted to share our thoughts and tips while they are still fresh in our mind. Hopefully it is helpful.
We traveled with our Nanny, her husband and our three children for a total of 7. We flew in the day before sailing and stayed at the Gallery One Doubletree Suites. We DO NOT recommend this hotel. It was very pricey for what we received. The rooms were average and service was lacking. Our nanny and her husband arrived at the hotel prior to my family and they would not let them check into the room. They were very short in their answers to us. We were down at the breakfast buffet the next morning by 9:00 and they were out of food. They never did re-stock prior to us leaving for the ship so we got by on cereal, fruit and some sausage. They did comp our breakfast so at least we did not have to pay for it.
The transportation to the ship was really great. We did arrange that through the hotel. We left the hotel at 10:30 and were on the ship by 11:30. So easy and the process was very organized.
I can't even begin to describe this ship. The destination is truly the ship. It is the only ship that we have completed a cruise on and said we need to cruise on the ship again because there is so much to see and do. We found several families who booked back to back cruises so they could spend 14 days on the ship. If you can do this- I recommend it.
We begin walking around the ship as our rooms were not ready until 1:00. My kids rode the carousel and we ate lunch at Johnny Rockets. The ship NEVER felt crowded. This was amazing considering there were 5,000 people on board.
If you have not booked your shows and dinner reservations prior to boarding the ship I recommend you go directly to your stateroom as soon as it opens and book them on the T.V. Everything fills up quickly.
If you are traveling with an infant we recommend taking a travel pack n play. This is half the size of a regular pack n play and we were able to take it with us on Labadee. It fit in the room nicely and was great to set up on the beach.
The late night movies were a big hit with my kids. Every night at 10;30 they show a different movie (Harry Potter, Grease, Wizard of Oz). Check the Compass for the detail.
The service on this ship is lacking greatly. We love to cruise because the attention to detail is typically great and we usually feel so spoiled. This ship was not the case. This was our first cruise on RC so I don't know if this is their standard or if it is just that the ship holds so many guests that they cannot deliver their usual standard. Nobody went above and beyond except for in the specialty restaurants. We ate at all of them and recommend them all except for Ritas. Ritas is not worth the extra charge. Giovannis is EXCELLENT and was our favorite. We also ate at the cupcake cupboard everyday. My girls loved seeing the different flavors that appeared in the case on a daily basis.
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton after we disembarked. EXCELLENT. Such a nice way to unwind after a great trip. The service is beyond exceptional and we would highly recommend this as a great place to stay. Wish we had started our trip here.