A cruise ship is basically a floating hotel, some better than others and is reflected in the price. RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line) is not the cheapest nor the most expensive, but you do get what you pay for. Having only two cruises with RCCL, I have noticed you can expect consistency. The very helpful and competent staff will greet you by name, the entire ship is always clean, and the food is always very good.
We booked the 4-day cruise out of Miami which stops in Key West, Nassau, and RCCL's private island Coco Cay.
We live south of Tampa, so we booked a ride with Cruise Connection bus line. The bus ride was worth the price considering that I didn't have to stress out about directions, traffic, and paying $20 a day to park at the port.
Upon arrival at the port, we were quickly met by a porter who took care of our bags. Check-in was quick and we were on board in no time.
After a few cocktails by the pool, we headed to our cabin to prepare for the muster drill. Our cabin was the size I expected, some people say small, but I say it's an efficient use of space. The cabin was clean and the bed was comfortable. There was a small flat screen television that played several channels including movies, news, and music.
We enjoyed the first night aboard by wandering around to find out where everything was. We had a very good dinner in the Starlight dining room then off to bed early for a 7 a.m. arrival in Key West.
I think my wife and I were the first ones off the ship in Key West, we were eager to explore and have fun. We got a map from the jet-ski rental shack and walked into town. Once we got our bearings, we went sightseeing.
We came upon the Little White House first. The main house didn't open until 9 a.m. but we walked around the grounds and took photos. Next stop, the Hemmingway house, also not open until 9 a.m., I shot a few photos from the gate. We came upon the street sign for mile-marker zero and took the obligatory tourist photo. After a very long walk, we finally made it to the Southernmost Point. Had we known that the Southernmost Point was about two miles from the port we would have rented a scooter or bicycles. By the time we made it back to where we started, the shops started to open. We did the pub tour which was fun and informational. Must try in Key West - Key Lime Pie on a Stick, oh so good! All aboard by 2:30 p.m. to depart at 3 p.m. and head to Nassau, too soon in my opinion.
We arrived just before 1 p.m. in Nassau. My wife and I had booked a 31' charter boat, from blue hole watersports based out of the Colonial Hilton, for some fishing and to get away from the crowds. The wind was blowing about 20 mph and the seas were running 3'-5'. We did catch several fish, but decided to go in a bit early because of the rough conditions. We stopped at Senor Frogs for a beer and was charged $12.50 for two bottles of beer. We decided to go back to the ship after that fleecing, besides it was nearly 6 p.m. and the shops were starting to close up. We were docked in Nassau until 11:59 p.m., too long in my opinion.
Our final stop, Coco Cay. Coco Cay is not very big but RCCL has made this little island very nice. There is so much to do on this island that you couldn't do it all in one day. I went snorkeling while my wife relaxed in a beach chair. Later in the day we enjoyed the BBQ style lunch served on the island. All aboard by 4:30 p.m. to sail back to Miami.
Would I do this cruise again? Probably not. The time in Key West was too short and we arrived too early. Nassau is dirty, smells like urine and the vendors are very pushy. Coco Cay was the best part of the trip.