I sailed with my 15 year old son. This was both of our first time cruising. We had a smooth drive from South Jersey to Baltimore which was just under 2 hours. Parking at the port and Embarkation were seamless. We arrived at 11:00pm and they began boarding the ship at 11:30. By 12:00, we were having lunch in the Windjammer.
Our rooms were ready by 2pm, as promised, and our luggage was even waiting for us which I didn't expect. We had enough time to freshen up and make it to the "set sail" party which was at 4pm - we set sail right on schedule. I noticed that one of the pools on the top deck were not open for the set sail party. It looked like they were still cleaning it from the previous cruise. All pools were open and operational by the next day and for the remainder of the cruise.
We had a basic interior room, which was clean, but really small. Even though we didn't spend much time in there, I felt like I was in a sardine can whenever I was in the room. Next time I will opt for an ocean view. The TV is really small, but they showed really good movies throughout the entire cruise. The room attendant was Awesome, it seemed like he cleaned our rooms at least twice a day! And the towel animals were a nice touch and a great surprise each day. He made us a Swan, a Turtle, and a Puppy...too cute!
The list of activities was endless, and a lot of fun. The Production shows were Amazing!! The singers and dancers are truly gifted and talented and they let off SO much energy!! The props and songs were terrific. It almost makes you forget that you're seeing a show on a ship and not in Vegas...It's wonderful! I was a little disappointed that we didn't get production shows each night. I think there where two production shows for the two full-days that we were at sea and then there were comedy shows the other nights. But hey, I guess the dancers need to rest too!! They do such a great job! The 70's party in the Centrum was a Hit!! There were dancers dancing in the elevators, on top of the piano...it was Wonderful!
The Teen Center was empty for the first day or two. They had activities scheduled, but every time my son went up there, no one was there (children or activity coordinators). So my son looked a little "bored" for the first day and a half. He was stuck with me, and I was sea sick! But things picked up the second night. They had a teen dance party and he met some teens there and ended up having a really good time with the teen activities for the rest of the trip.
I did dinner in the My Fairlady Dining room every night which was Exquisite to say the least! The food was amazing...especially the lobster, and they just keep bringing it to you!! I don't think I've EVER eaten that much in my entire life. The staff in the My Fairlady Dining room were very attentive. They were always busy hustling and bustling about with their duties, but they made time to perform a conga line which streamed around the restaurant on one night; and then they all filled the beautiful stairs to sing an Italian song, which I think met "goodbye" on the last night. I was just marvelous, and a lot of fun.
Bermuda was wonderful as well, but we definitely needed more time there. We docked at 10am one day and left at 2pm the following day. Not much time to do a lot. I basically had to choose between doing excursions and doing the shops in Hamilton. I chose the excursions. We did the bike tour, which was great, but a bit challenging in some areas as we were riding through areas that did NOT have bike trails and had a lot of uneven terrain. We also hiked about a half-mile up a hill. The tour guides provided water which was great, but it was definitely a workout. We did the Barbeque Beach Party at Snorkel Park Beach that night, which was WONDERFUL. It absolutely exceeded my expectations. The food was Great, they had "Gumbay" dancers who danced for us and the MC got the crowd involved, so by the end of the night, everyone was up and dancing, having a great time. They also had a limbo line and a conga line which was a really good time. Finally we did the Helmet Diving the next morning. That was amazing as well. The fish come right up to your helmet and look at you. They swim around you like you're not even there. It's a wonderful experience!
All in all, this was a wonderful first cruise. Royal Caribbean had truly spoiled me and set the bar REALLY high for a cruising experience. I don't even want to think about booking a cruise with anyone else, because I do not want to be disappointed. Royal Caribbean...I will definitely be back!! :+)