This was our first time going to the Bahamas and departing from Baltimore.
We are a retired couple in our 70's and have cruised RCI 4 other times without any major problems.
We live in the suburban Phila area and the trip to Baltimore is a snap. We left home around 11AM and were on the Port property by 12:15. The entire embarkation process went real well. We were finished lunch in the Windjammer by 1:30 when they announced that the cabins were ready. The Stateroom was midship and very roomy. Plenty of room for storage.
The ship appeared to us to be in good shape. Members of the crew were always cleaning and fixing. As a matter of fact, when we were in Coco Cay, they painted our balcony !
The dining experience was really great. Most of the time, there were plenty of choices, but we picked the alternative every once in a while. We ate in the MDR for late seating, but dined in the WJ for all of the other meals. Contrary to other reviews, we always found tables in the WJ. This is the first cruise where the WJ staff were always attentive even to the extent of bring coffee, tea and juice to your table.
The service was top-notch. Our Cabin Steward, Denny was always on the job and he always anticipated our needs. The towel animals were very good. In the MDR, our waiter and his assistant, Yogesh (Yogi) and Wayne knew our needs after the first night. Even the Head Waiter, Peter, was always around, not just on tip night. In addition to the regular service, we went to the Starbuck's counter and the barista was excellent. She started to prepare our drinks when she saw us coming.
We went to the shows every night and saw no problems getting seats in the Balcony.
As to the Ports and Excursions, in Port Canaveral, where we were there for 12 hours, there wasn't a whole lot to do. The one excursion we wanted was sold out when we tried to book it on line a month before the trip. We went to Cocoa Beach which was better than nothing. Key West was the highlight of the trip. We took the train and walked Duval Street. In Nassau, there were 4 other ships in, all Carnival. We booked a trip to Blue Lagoon Private Beach which turned out to be a good thing. In the town, there were thousands of people trying to get out to town and then back through security. We left from a pier next to the ship. The Beach was nice and it included a nice lunch. Our last port was Coco Cay and it was very nice. We particularly enjoyed the buffet lunch and the beach. Since we were the only ship in Coco Cay, there was no battle to find a chair.
As a footnote: the weather was very nice every day except Sunday coming back to Baltimore.
We opted for the early disembarkation and were off the ship before 9AM and home by 11AM. The only problem was with finding the luggage after disembarkation. Apparently the tags came off a lot of bags including one of ours. They put the untagged bags in an adjacent hallway, but told no one. We don't know if RCI crew or Port stevedores were to blame, but there were a lot of bags not immediately found.
All in all, it was the best cruise we have taken so for. Nothing booked for the future, but we will definitely cruise again and with RCI.