The embarkation and disembarkation was done perfectly without any wait time. Well done. The ship was probably sold out but we did not check with the captain on the number of passengers. The ship was always crowded no matter where we went. Dining room, promenade, buffet, any public area, it did feel like a holiday cruise, but somehow I wished it could be a little bit less crowded. The Promenade is beautifully decorated. Dining room food was good, although not exceptional. However, service was extremely good with a Caribbean team (our waiter is from Trinidad and our assistant waitress is from Dominican). Considering we had a group of ten and a large table is usually hard to serve, they really did a great job and we had very good dining experience. RCCL's ice show was always a sold out show so we were asked to obtain ticket on the first night. One member of our group went and waited in line for more than 30 minutes to get our tickets, why could they not let us do the booking on the interactive TV? Or let us reserve our seat online like the other RCCL ships (Allure and Oasis)? Due to the ice show time at 7 pm and our dinner time at 6 pm, we made a special request a day before for an expedited dinner service. We were extremely pleased with the service we got and we did not even miss the dessert and still on time to watch the ice show, well done.
There were very good musicians onboard, we like the Latin band Mambo Cliente and the Filipino quartet called New Version the most. Unfortunately they were assigned to two very tiny lounges to play most of the time. Mambo Cliente played at the Aquarium Lounge the most while The New Version Quartet played at the Dizzy Lounge the most. Both lounges were too small to accommodate the number of passengers who wanted to dance.
NYE celebration: well done with all the novelty and free champagne, the Promenade was flooded with people, luckily no stampede....
The less than perfects: dining room food quality was less than perfect, it was good, but we felt the cut back. Fish served were not top quality fish, meat dishes were good, but again, did not feel like AAA grade. The buffet food was even less appealing and always crowded. Not enough server to clean the table (since we just got off the Emerald Princess's xmas cruise, that was such a cultural shock to have such a huge difference in the food and service quality). They freq made public announcement asking passengers to leave their table when they were done so other passengers can have a seat. That was so annoying and prob a major design fraud.
Activities: outdoor activities were plentiful, but limited to weather as the ship sails out from Bayonne. Indoor activities were limited, we were surprised there were no line dance nor dance lessons on the last sea days, making the last day so boring as we were not shoppers. It seems RCCL is always pushing people to buy buy buy. I did buy some stuff from the stores, including two pairs of costume earrings. When I noticed one pair was defected, I took it back and wanted a refund (right away on the same day), I was told they cannot do a refund, and I had to buy something else more expensive. I did, but the clerk was doing a refund first for the defected item (then why was I told no refund) and then another sales slip for the new item.
Internet : A major disappointment, first of all, we cannot have wifi in the cabin, we have to be in the public rooms where it was a hot spot to do our emails and internet surfing. Secondly, its slow (OK, its slow probably on other ships too) and to log on you need at least 2-3 minutes, if you realized you were not getting the internet, you wasted 2-3 minutes time (at 65 cents a minute). I bought a package (at 55 cents a minute), and two occasions, before my package ran out, I was charged additional money for internet access. I had to go to Guest Service, line up, and talked to an agent so he can revert the charge. That was such a waste of time. Lastly, on the last day, from mid afternoon, internet service was off and on often. From 10 pm, virtually no internet service. I still had over $12 worth of internet time left, which I intended to use on the last day to check weather and possible flight delays. Guess what, no internet service on the disembarkation day neither, what a scam. I wrote a complain letter, brought it to the Guest Service, and was only told that it will be handed to the appropriate department.
Earlier in the cruise, we wrote a suggestion to have the Maharajas lounge to house the two music groups (Mamba Cliente, and New Version Quartet) for listening and dancing pleasure as the other lounges (Aquarium, Dizzy) were too small to accommodate people who wanted to enjoy the music and did a little bit of dancing. Someone called us the last day from Guest Relation, and asked if I were the one who wrote the suggestion, I said yes, and that was it. No action was taken, no additional words were said, so what was the point of having us writing comments?
Port: Bayonne really has nothing to offer, its difficult to get to, and nothing to do if you want to go out after registration.
Port: Port Canaveral has nothing to offer at the terminal, you either have to take a taxi to a beach or join an excursion