This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean but we have cruised many other lines. We had read up on cruise critic lots of tips so we knew what to expect.
Embarkation: We took a shuttle to the port at around 10:15. When we arrived, security would not let our driver drop us off where he normally is allowed so we had to walk a bit to enter the port. I was 19 weeks pregnant at the time and I have a 2 year old DD so this was a bit of a hassle with all of our luggage. There was a small line to get through security and it took about 15 minutes to do so. Since we were in a JS, our set sail pass said suite so we were allowed to use the suite check in line which was a breeze. We were then escorted to a waiting area and were allowed on the ship at 11:30. Overall, it was relatively painless.
Stateroom: When we first got to our stateroom, the hallway outside smelled of sewage. Not the most pleasant way to make a first impression. But by the time the boat sailed away, the smell was gone. Our room, 7412, was an aft JS. It was roughly 300 sq ft with a 90 sq ft balcony. The room had a walk in closet and TONS of storage which was nice. The bathroom had a tub which was great for my DD. The only couple of negatives was: 1. We had requested a pack n play for our DD ahead of time. It was not in the room and there were no cabin attendants to be found before the muster drill. We tried calling housekeeping but there was an error on the phone. We called guest services and they said they would notify the attendant. We notified a few staff we saw in the hallway and they said they would notify the attendant. Needless to say our pack n play wasn't set up until 6pm. Our DD missed her nap and was miserable the rest of the evening. It did put a damper on things. 2. There is a curtain that separates the bed from the couch, however it only goes the length of the couch so there was no separation from our DD. 3. Our cabin attendant, while he did a good job keeping our room clean, never came by to introduce himself. I never even met him. I am used to cabin attendants being more friendly. In fact, other cabin attendants in our hallway were more friendly to us. Not a huge issue but one that was definitely noticed.
Food: I had read many reviews stating how bad the food was. Overall, I felt the food was ok. The Windjammer breakfast buffet had a lot of options. It was pretty standard. For lunch, there was little variation from day to day. One issue though is that the buffet for lunch is not very kid friendly. Other lines have a special kids section which had mac n cheese, chicken fingers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, fries, etc. It was very difficult finding food for my DD. For such a kid friendly line, I was disappointed in their food options for lunch. The main dining room food was good. There was nothing I did not like. Our waitstaff was very friendly and did a good job. We were usually done eating after 1 hour. Sorrentos and the Promenade Cafe were both good. Try the chocolate espresso brownies at the cafe! They are to die for! We did eat at Johnny Rockets and Portofino. Johnny Rockets was ok....although their milk shakes were very good. Portofino was lovely. Great food, great staff....I highly recommend going there. We did try a cupcake from the Cupcake Cupboard. It was just ok. I would have liked a different flavor but since I was splitting it with my DH, we went with what he wanted. Overall, the food was fine for us. Not great, but good.
Entertainment: We got to most of the shows on board with the exception of the first night. The ice show was pretty good although there were a lot of falls. I was a professional figure skater growing up so I was a bit more critical but overall it was good. We saw a Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons Tribute Band and they were fantastic...a lot of fun and great music! Up in the Air was well done...similar to Circue de Soleil. Saturday Night Fever was well done and a lot of fun. Lots of great dancing. The last night was a variety show with an action comedian. He was pretty funny and used members of the audience in his routine. Overall, we enjoyed the entertainment but make sure to get to the theater early to get good seats.
Royal Tots Nursery: I cannot say enough good things about the nursery. My DD spent a total of 13 hours in the nursery. I posted a more complete review in the Family Boards section. The staff was wonderful with my daughter and very thorough in their reports. My DD LOVED it there.
Labadee: We went to the Columbus Cove section on Labadee. Make sure to take the tram there since it is a far walk. The beach was nice, the water was calm and it was relatively quiet. We had our biggest issue though here: As I said earlier, I am pregnant. My DH went to the bar to get us drinks. He asked for a non alcoholic specialty drink for me and an alcoholic drink for him. After a few sips of my drink, I tasted rum. My DH brought the drink back to the bar and indeed, there was rum in the drink. The bartender apologized and gave me a true non alcoholic drink but still, that was a huge mistake. We did report this to guest services. They were apologetic and said they would notify the bar services manager and guest services manager. We never heard from anyone since. The drink wasn't even taken off our our bill. We didn't expect much, but they could have at least done that.
Falmouth: We used jamaica for a day and went to the Hilton Rose Hall. It was lovely there. We spent more of our time by the pool. They had water slides and a lazy river. Our pass included lunch and unlimited drinks. The beach was under renovation but there was a small area to go to. However, it was pretty muddy and there was a lot of seaweed in the sand. So we chose to stay by the pool.
Disembarkation: We chose to use Royal Caribbean's luggage valet and airport check in service. It was $20 pp to do this but we had an 11:45am flight so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the airport. So once our luggage was placed outside, we didn't see it again until we got home. We walked right off the ship after breakfast and had no lines at customs. It took us all of 10 minutes to get into a shuttle and back to the airport. It was definitely a great service and one we would use again.
Overall, we had a very nice time. We would cruise Royal Caribbean again but next time would want to try either the Oasis or Allure. There were some bumps along the way but that happens on every cruise. Overall, it was a great trip.