This is our second time sailing with Royal Caribbean. Our first time was last January, on Voyager of the Seas.
I found this ship to be almost identical, with a handful of differences.
We decided to sail this time of year because we are expecting a baby in the summer; we wanted one final trip before the little one's arrival.
There were barely any children or teens on board.
We sailed along with my husband's parents-they stayed in a balcony cabin, and we stayed in a promenade room once again.
My only complaint, barely a complaint, was that our room was directly over the pub. It made for very loud evenings. It really didn't affect us-I wasn't really bothered by the noise. I was able to sleep through the music.
The noticeable differences on this ship, comparing it to Voyager, were the cupcake bakery, the free standing pizza place and boleros is a tiny lounge by the photo gallery. Oops, almost forgot about the Flowrider.
I can tell you that I didn't noticed how much larger it was until our sea days.
There were noticeably, a lot of people. It made me wonder if these mega ships..are too big?? It was difficult to find deck chairs near any of the pools. Forget the solarium seating. IT felt like people camped out a spot at 6am and didn't move at all. I never saw an empty chair near there. It was disappointing.
If you decided to have a late breakfast, after 830, finding seating in the windjammer was challenging. Not impossible, but it did require a lot of walking around and asking for help for seating.
I found the reservation services for the shows to be useless and unnecessary.
We were able to just walk into the shows with no problems. We arrived 20 min before the Freedom Ice tour and were told that at that point, the seating was first come first serve. so what was the point of my online reservation if there is a time limit on when I can use it?
The Mystery theater dinner-save your money please!!! I was excited to experience this on our first night at the Portofino. Terrible, terrible acting.
I have an open mind with entertainment, but this was truly a waste of an evening. The only saving grace was our meal at the portofino. IT was LONG. Something like, 2 1/2 hours.
Our cruise director Graham was interesting, though I felt he was a bit crass (fart jokes every time, really)??, and found some of his attempts at humor regarding the international staff to be tacky and tasteless. Mimicking accents is just, well..rude. I don't think he meant them that way..but it just felt really off color and inappropriate.
The entertainment selections were pretty good for the most part..loved the Once Upon Time Show, Marquee and the Drew Thomas show. The comedian on the farewell show was also hilarious.
If I were to compare it to my Voyager experience, then I'll say Voyager had a more well rounded selection of shows.
On to the ports-
CoCo Cay was lovely-though the day was fairly windy and overcast. I had a virgen coco loco which was delish! The beach areas were nice though the main beach near the inflatables had strange sand texture. My husband described it as stepping into baby poop. The other side of the island was normal feeling sand, so we stayed on that end for the most part.
We did the Magan's bay beach excursion in St Thomas and the Segway tour in St Maarten, which was by far our favorite port. Had a really fun time on the segways.
The dining room service was fantastic-and the windjammer was your usual lunch/breakfast fare. I did enjoy getting coffee delivered to my room every morning.
We watched some Flowrider people but didn't use anything on the sports deck so I can't really say how those things compared to other cruise ships.
My main complaint with this cruise line is the lack of self service laundry/ironing. My steamer was confiscated-so they force you to pay them for pressing service. It annoys me. I don't want to pay for a service I can do for myself. Carnival has shared facilities on each deck, don't see why RCI had to nickel and dime us for something basic.
All in all, yes I would sail them again, though maybe on a smaller vessel.