This was our 3rd time sailing with Royal Caribbean. We also have sailed with Disney, Princess and Norwegian. I personally like Royal Caribbean the best due to the amount of activities they have for the whole family especially now that our kids are in their early twenties. I almost never get upset with things when I am on vacation as long as others don't impose their negativity on me. Nothing in life is perfect and I just want to relax and forget about my real life back home.
We did the fly, snooze and cruise with the Hampton Inn...no problems at all. They picked us up with a van and in the morning a busload of guests went to the port. We boarded the ship about 20 minutes after we arrived at the terminal. Having sailed on Oasis last winter, I had lower expectations of this ship. I was actually quite pleased with the condition of the ship and our cabins. Yes the ship was smaller and had less entertainment options but again I knew that before I booked the cruise. My cabin steward was fine but my kids was awful. They never saw him and he only cleaned their cabin twice during the cruise. I got my steward to give them clean towels and clean their bathroom although he wasn't happy about it. Again, not the end of the world but their stewards lack of effort was definitely taken into consideration when it came time to tip him.
Our first stop was to go to Coco Cay but due to the wind, the ship was not able to stop and tender us to the island. The wind blew at 40 to 50 knots the first 2 days. The ship rocked quite abit and I saw lots of people with patches behind their ears. LOTS of people were upset that we missed the island but what is the captain suppose to do? Not stopping at the island gave us an additional day at sea which I enjoy anyway.
When we arrived at St.Thomas it was raining. We took a cab to Sapphire Beach hoping that the weather would improve but unfortunately it didn't. We took a cab back to the ship but ended up getting a tour of the island. Our driver told us that since there was 6 ships at the island, he would take a slightly longer route back but insisted it would be quicker. We left the resort and the next thing we were picking his daughter up at school. He then dropped her off at home and picked up his wife for work. Lucky for us, she worked at the mall at the pier. It took about an hour but it was actually pretty funny because we saw parts of the island we would never of seen on any tour. When we got to the pier I went to pay him what he quoted but he said he only wanted 4 dollars a person since he ran "a few errands". I probably would of got upset if it was a nice day but since it was raining not a big deal and it made a great story to tell others.
The next day was at St. Maartin and we had a ball. We took a cab to Orient Beach and went to Kon Tiki to para sail and swim. Delightful day...I highly recommend them.
The next 2 days were sea days and the weather was perfect. As usual, I got the pre-departure blues the day before we arrived back in Port Canaveral.
I will mention that the food in the MDR was awefully. No matter what we ordered, it just wasn't good. We did have the two best servers I have ever had. They tried everything to make us happy. I kept telling them that it wasn't their fault that food wasn't good but they reacted like it was. In fact I told the Head Waiter that they should be the guys who train all of their dining room staff. We had dinner in Chops two nights and the food was great. The food in the Windjammer was your typical food, not bad. The only bad moment I had on the cruise did happen there. After I got some food from the carving station, an elderly man with a cane walked in front of me. No big deal, I let him go and waited for him to take some food. The man behind was furious and started giving me a hard time about letting a person get in front of me. I told him to relax, the ship wasn't going to run out food. He told me that it was too bad for him and that he should get in line like everyone else. He pushed the wrong guy's buttons. After that, I took my sweet time getting the food I wanted. Sorry but I have tolerance for jerks like that.
If the food was better, my trip would of been just about perfect. As it was, a good time. I will continue to sail Royal Caribbean but have to say I liked Oasis better. Now if the prices could be cheaper....