We were a group of 5 from grandparents to the grandchild and we couldn't have been happier! Well, if Mother Nature had helped us, then yes, we would have been happier, but we can't control her! The crew made sure there were a thousand other things to do so you never felt inconvenienced because of the rain.
The crew was amazing. Out first real person we met was Irwin B., our cabin steward (9606 & 9604). He was extremely friendly, funny, and made sure to address my child every time he saw him. As a parent (and as a 9 year old) that means the world! I have a feeling that Irwin is exactly the kind of person that you look for when hiring. The cabin was always clean, things were in order, and we never felt as though he was intrusive. There was more room than I thought. Our two suitcases fit under the bed so the closet didn't have to deal with that extra bulk. There were tons of hangers in the closet -- at least 20. The closets also had shelves and a safe. In the bathroom there was more space than we thought there was going to be. There were shelves in one corner behind the mirror and a bottom shelf under the sink. The shower was round and only a few feet across. There was no tub.
The beds were way more comfortable than I thought. Bigger too. The pull out couch was big as well. We only have one child, but could have fit 2 on there with no problem.
We went to the main dining room 4 of our 5 nights. We were on the 5th floor. Madhu was our waiter and Jose was our assistant waiter. Once again, two wonderful people! They remembered us, what we liked, and they even heard us teasing my dad about one of his favorite foods and what do you know?? There it was -- sitting on a plate no more than a minute later! Talk about service. Those guys were amazing and another reason that we loved our dinners there.
Breakfasts were good as well. We went to the Windjammer one morning which was the buffet but didn't want to fight the crowds so went to the dining room the rest of the time. If you are a fan of tator tots you must try them! It became the running joke how wonderful and crunchy those things were. In the dining room for breakfast they had a menu option or the buffett and the buffett had roughly the same items. If you are health conscious they had choices for you. And they were wonderful!! I would usually order those because they were delicious and portion controlled.
On the other night, we went to Johnny Rockets. For a while we were the only people in there, but that didn't matter to the servers. They sang, danced, and the whole time they were smiling!!! For the life of me I can't remember our servers name, and I am upset because she also deserves props. I want to say Vanessa, but that's not right. She had braids and a beautiful smile. I think it was Sunday night? We had never been to a Johnny Rockets but this will make us go back when we see one! The onion rings were amazing. The funny thing is that we normally don't even eat friend food at home, but the cruising devil made us do it!
Marlon at the cupcake factory and the female with him were always smiling and addressed us by name. They really were a good face to see at the counter. My son and I both did the cupcake decorating and it was really, really fun! We both got home and joked that we were going to try to make dogs and monkeys again.
Andrew at the pool bar was the nicest man! His smile, energy, and ability to sell alcohol was amazing! He is making you all millions! I know this because he has some of my money now!! He also took the time to remember us, even after seeing him twice he knew our name. And for having a few thousand people, that's impressive. He made sure the drinks were strong and when we didn't want the souvenier glass (extra $$) he got us our drinks without them.
The kids club was amazing. We laugh because our son would grab our arms to look at the time to see when he could go. He would shove his dinner in his mouth and then announce that he was done and wanted to go back up! We loved knowing that he was having such fun and the staff always looked like they were having a good time as well. It was nice to be able to feel comfortable leaving him there and not worry if the caregivers were competent. He would come back with things he made, science stuff, etc. We are teachers so we were pleased to see that if they did do something, he could explain it because they were actually teaching him something.
The entertainment was great. The Ice Show, parades, bingo, pool contest and the pool area - everything was wonderful. The personal shopping trio was friendly and a nice face to see at the stores in Cozumel. I loved the fact they were there. When I win the lotto, I am taking a RC cruise and the 3 of them with me everywhere I go! The shopping on board was good. I wish there would have been a few things on sale or a buck or two cheaper because I would have bought more -- but a sweatshirt for $35? Eh, I don't think so.
I have read complaints about nickel and diming people and I can see where they are coming from. I was disappointed to pay $38 or so for a soda package, but to find out it was only for 3 flavors, well, not happy about that. I felt it should have been anything in that soda gun or any soda on the ship. Some of the extras should have been included or at least not as expensive. I would have loved more pictures, spa services or souvenirs, but after a while, those nickel and dimes add up.
The two stops were Belize and Cozumel. On both of them we bought excursions through the ship because we wanted the security of buying through them. In Belize we paid for the city trolley tour but didn't go. The weather was atrocious and I was not going to sit in a trolley and get poured on. The company didn't refund but at that point I wasn't going to argue. They were still running, it was my choice to go back to the ship. But I personally feel that that part of Belize is a dump. You go to the port where only cruisers and salesmen are walking around, but still -- not someplace I would go again.
Cozumel was a docked port so that was nice. We did the jewelry thing but didn't buy anything, but they pay for your taxi (do the shopping show for that info). We started to walk back with the intention of getting a cab but ended up walking the whole way. We did Margaritaville. Yes -- it is a chain, but I was sick of looking a menus or peeking into restaurants and then have the barking salesmen right there. We wouldn't go 10 steps without someone trying to sell us something. So at that point, we just wanted familiar. Plus, I went to Playa Del Carmen a few years ago and got insanely sick. I wanted a chain to be able to back up their product.
Hopefully this was worthwhile to someone. I enjoyed my first experience on Royal Carribbean and would go with them again. I did read a lot of the reviews before but wanted to make my own experience. I would say 99% of the people we came in contact with were friendly.