We have continued to find cruising a great way to get away for the hustle of life. Just sit back and enjoy. There is so much to enjoy and, of course, there is always something that goes askew. This cruise had so many positives and one, big time problem. But, overall the many good over rode the one bad.
Embarkation: The flow of traffic in port was great - an easy in and out for our driver. The lines moved swiftly and we encountered one problem. There were 5 of us traveling in two cabins and they insisted that we split for check in. Since I was paying for this trip, I assigned my credit to the on-line check in. Well, we separated at the check in windows and had to assign a different credit card to the other room. No big deal but just an unnecessary confusion. The total in the process was less than 20 minutes from getting on line to getting on board the ship. THUMBS UP ON THE PROCESS
Cabins: We had connected rooms and had them open the balcony between the rooms. It was super. The rooms were clean and well maintained. Our cabin steward met all our needs and request. Here too the service excelled.
Windjammer: The selection was varied and complete. Overall I would say the food was very well prepared for both lunch and breakfast. There were three vegetarians in our family and they were able to meet their needs. There was not problem finding a table for five at any point (better than usual on RCI). The service was exceptional.
My Time Dinning: Big time problem here. Although we signed up for my time, four of our party was assigned main dinning room and one to my time. When we approached the reservation desk early in the day we were told "Sorry we can't help you. We have over 100 people trying to get onto my time." I informed her that we had previously signed up before the cruise. She said "Your travel agent lied to you." Here we had a problem, since I'm the T/A. I explained that I have with me the RCI email with their heading stating that we were assigned "my time" and she said "I don't what your names on the dinning rooster so I can't help you." I immediately asked to speak to the manager. Soon the Assistant Manger arrived.
He explained that it would be impossible to resolve the problem today and asked me to consider an alternative. He offered a table of four being reconfigured to handle five in the inner circle by the captain's table -"a prime location." If were displeased with the accommodation he would fix the problem with my time the next day.
Well, he lied. The table he assigned us was a table for six with a guest already seated there. The table was in a very undesirable location (traffic wise between service areas and surely out side the sight of the captain's table.) Fortunately, the head waiter came to the rescue. He arraigned for the table to be set for five, acted in a very professional manner, and treated us to two bottles of wine. He saved my face with my family and did a great service for RCI.
Dinning Room: Some meals were of excellent quality and some were not. But, overall they were acceptable. Here, the staff went out of their way to provide alternative vegetarian selections outside the menu choices. The service was excellent.
Adventure Youth Program: Well if my five year old grandchild is any judge - This program was super. He did not want to leave. This along with the other youth activities really make this a truly great vacation for the kids (and parents). I liked what they offered the kids so much that I booked a cruise for my other three grand kids. (5,6 and 9)
Entertainment: The production shows were very good to excellent, the parade was entertaining to young and old alike, flow rider was great to watch ( and to enjoy for the young at heart), and ice show is a must no miss event.
Overall Value: Best bang for the buck.