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8 Orlando (Port Canaveral) Fitness Cruise Reviews

Service was awful from the moment we checked in at Port Canaveral to the last day. Most of the staff was unfriendly, lacked a smile and just rude. We had bad weather day 2, yet Norwegian shut down all outdoor activities, including pools ... Read More
Service was awful from the moment we checked in at Port Canaveral to the last day. Most of the staff was unfriendly, lacked a smile and just rude. We had bad weather day 2, yet Norwegian shut down all outdoor activities, including pools and slides for the first 4 days. They could have compensated by adding more kid friendly activities. The slides were fun for children and adults alike. The food was mediocre at best. The main dining didn't have a large variety. I went to 1 specialty restaurant, which wasn't any better. The ship was beautiful, but the rooms were extremely tiny. We purchased an excursion out of Stirrup Cay. The wave runner adventure should have been 90 minutes, yet we rode for 35 minutes. The shows, casino and the overall elegant feel were the best part of the ship. Unfortunately, not enough to make me use Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your ... Read More
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your needs on pretty much anyone but one may be more suiting depending on your personality, party size and history. I am a 37 year old single male who loves to travel. My first cruise was in 2011 and this was my forth. All have been in the Caribbean and 7 days. I have sailed on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, and The Norwegian Epic. I have sailed from Miami, San Juan, and Port Canaveral. Now onto my review. My cruise sailed out of Port Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Port Canaveral is probably the busiest port in the US. There were about 6 different ships that boarded the day we left. Despite the size, I found embarkation to be efficient and I had no issues. In fact, my luggage was even delivered to my room prior to 5pm which was a first in my experience. I had an inside cabin which many may complain about the design. Mainly the toilet being separate from the shower and the sink being separate from both. For me being a solo traveler, It was different but a non issue. Service to the cabins was done well, however this was the first time I was not introduced to the cabin steward. I commend the staff on the ship, great attitude, personality, and service. Especially due to the large capacity of customers which can only lead to even more complaints justifiable and non justifiable. The ship had great activities, a little bit of something for everyone. I enjoyed using the gym, having multiple free and specialty options for dinner, and even a separate "barbershop" for mens grooming services. The cirque dinner theatre show was wonderful and although it had a fee of $47 for premium seating, it was worth it. The clubs, pool parties, bowling, sports bar, howl at the moon and shows like burn the floor, comedy, and a magician provided a nice variety along with the typical art auction and games that you would find on most ships. The all white deck party was a highlight. Although the ship is huge, I chose to use the steps so that I wouldn't have to wait for elevators. Be aware that due to the size of the ship, many activities require reservations. Some can be made online prior to arrival, at the box office, or even on the room tv. I found the food to be good but not great. I didn't dine at the specialty restaurants because there were adequate other options and I was solo and often wanted to eat alone. This ship has solo cabins for others like me that want an affordable trip without needing to have a cabin mate. They also have optional solo guest gatherings in the solo lounge daily. If you like to be active, are mobile, youthful and energetic, I think the Epic could be a good time. Last but not least, the Free at Sea promotion put this cruise over the top for me. I basically only paid gratuities and had a drink package a.k.a. open bar for an entire week. Incredible savings for even a social drinker. I found that I was a little more social than usual thanks to the drink package. Some travelers that prefer smaller ships with more intimate service may not enjoy this . The haven cabins provide a more luxurious experience for those if they care to try it. But for my demographic and preferences, I will definitely do NCL again. I'm already booked for next December. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise. We usually cruise with Carnival. In many ways we were sorely disappointed and the experience only became nice for us due to blind luck. Pros and Cons are as follows: PROS - 1) Casino staff ... Read More
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise. We usually cruise with Carnival. In many ways we were sorely disappointed and the experience only became nice for us due to blind luck. Pros and Cons are as follows: PROS - 1) Casino staff was great. The casino host was exceptional and bent over backwards to accommodate. We spent several thousands of dollars in it. 2) the boat and activity facilities were amazing 3) we enjoyed some of the adult things like "The Quest" We also enjoyed come fly with me. They were great. CONS: 1) The wait staff and service was very mixed. If we wanted a drink on the pool deck, we had to go and wait in line to get one. We NEVER ONCE had a wait staff come as us for a drink. None of the bar staff seemed friendly or happy to be there. 2) CATS the last day was cancelled. We are both avid theater goers and heard many complaints about the production length and no understandable. We have both seen Cats before and can understand, given the weakness of the storyline why people would not enjoy it that are not musical goers. Would be better to have Momma Mia or Les Miserable or some other more easily understood plot musical. 3) The interior room we received was the smallest interior room we have ever had and have never had a room so small with any other cruise ever. We would never get another interior room again and would go to another cruise line if we were trying to go on a budget. 4) The Prohibition Party was very lacking and the Adult Comedian was pretty boring on the night we were there. OTHER MIXED COMMENTS: We visited several specialty restaurants. 150 Central Park was amazing as well as the wait staff there. Chops, Sabor, and Johnny Rockets food were mediocre at best. We worked out everyday. Gym was nice. Running track equally nice. Spa was too pushy to upsell everything. We also were told 45% of the guest were 65 years or older. This made for less of a "people" atmosphere. Everyone seemed to keep to themselves and isn't the type of vibe we enjoy in a cruise. It may also account for some of the subdued nature of the staff. SUMMARY - I would say try it and maybe your experience will be different but don't get an interior room unless your two college guys who are bringing two hand bags. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Oasis of the Seas is a nice looking ship and getting onto the ship at Port Canaveral was very easy. Getting off the ship on the return trip was a nightmare! Departure started out okay in the meeting location, then everything went bad. We ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas is a nice looking ship and getting onto the ship at Port Canaveral was very easy. Getting off the ship on the return trip was a nightmare! Departure started out okay in the meeting location, then everything went bad. We played a game of hide and seek for our luggage. Then we looked to get a porter but all were taken so we stood on the lines - this is where you get the meltdown. If you were lucky to get a porter then they took you to a special line and you got out. If you stood on line then you played the line game and kept going back and forth for over an hour. Customs needed more people to handle the amount of people on the ship. Cabin was okay and attendant was very good. Did not do any excursions, only got off ship at St. Maarten and paid $14 for water taxi, $20 for 2 lounge chairs and umbrella at Lizzy’s, and $17 for beach bag. Didn’t like “My Time” dining – needed reservations and the food wasn’t good: salmon wasn’t done too “flaky” was more like sushi, grilled chicken had gravy on it, lobster was too salty, lasagna was like beef-a-roni but didn’t taste good. Only liked Chops 11 out of 10 score! Izumi was just so-so, lots of food. Shows were excellent – Oasis of Dreams 45 min, CATS was 3 hours. Headliner was 1 hour. Come fly with me was 1 hour. Standup Comedy was 1 hour. Comedian was so good that there was an extra show added on Saturday night 10 pm. Frozen in time (ice show) was 1 hour. Had the Thermal Spa for the week $140.42 (included Gratuity) had great thermal beds (heated lounge chair), sauna, steam rooms, 2 rain showers, and large showers. I was very upset that most of the gym equipment did not work properly. There were all of four recumbent bikes, three of which could not be adjusted for resistance, incline, time or workout type, so you were pedaling against air only. There were numerous “regular” bikes, some of which could be adjusted and some of which could not be. The same goes for the treadmills. I did not try any weight machines, but I did see people using them and lifting free weights, so that might satisfy some. I went to the gym three of the first four days and then gave up in frustration. I didn’t bother to complain, as I expected the standard of “Oh, we’ll fix that for next week” or “How about $100 off your next cruise?” Too late for me! Overall, I would give the gym a zero! Izumi, the hibachi steakhouse, was all about cutting corners from the usual hibachi experience, even though it was an almost $30 per person upgrade as part of a three night Dining Package ($170 per couple). I expected food to be cooked to order, including the use of seasoning. I ordered my filet mignon medium rare, but mostly, it was medium-well and no one was asked whether they wanted theirs seasoned with anything. We also did not get a shrimp appetizer, so the chef resorted to tossing pieces of zucchini instead of shrimp, as is usual. They also skipped the fried rice noodles (“Japanese spaghetti”). For entertainment, they skipped the usual “oil fire” and the smoking “Mount Fuji” choo-choo train of sliced onion rings, so if you had kids experiencing hibachi for the first time, they got short changed. Overall, this was disappointing and would give Izumi a four out of ten. I would, however, recommend “Chops” steakhouse. The food and service were both excellent and worth the upgrade! We went there twice! Everything was delicious! The hot tubs were cold – maybe mid 80s – very unsatisfactory! For real craft beer ($5.95 – $6.95? + Gratuity) fans, they had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($7 w/gratuity), Unibroue La Fin du Monde ($7.67), Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA ($8+). The rest were crap. Worse, you could only get these at “The Globe and Atlas“pub, so if you were watching football at “On Air”, you had to chance giving up your seat to get another brew. My wife paid $363 (in advance) for a drink package that was upgraded to include bottled water; I went a la carte for my brews, which paid off! So you can figure your own break-even point. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation was great we had priority boarding and were on the ship within 10 minutes. We stayed in a Grand Suite and it was huge, lots of closets, drawers, three sinks, etc... Room Stewart was fantastic...somehow knew our schedule and had ... Read More
Embarkation was great we had priority boarding and were on the ship within 10 minutes. We stayed in a Grand Suite and it was huge, lots of closets, drawers, three sinks, etc... Room Stewart was fantastic...somehow knew our schedule and had the room perfect twice a day; called him once and he was at the door within 2 minutes. Food was amazing, in main dining rooms, ans specialty restruants. All workers we encountered were very friendly and helpful. Casino staff were great and servers were very attentive. Received a steakhouse comp from the casino and it was top notch service and food quality. Spa and fitness center were very well equipped. Good size comedy room and funny comedians. All the shows we went to were very entertaining. Debarkation was a breeze...we were off the ship well ahead of schedule. Will definitely look to cruise aboard the Magic again. Do not listen to the negative reviews the ship and crew are excellent! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
32 Carnival cruises. Never get tired of cruising. Great restaurants on the Sunshine. Lots to do and the Casino was good to me. Beautiful ship. All employees on Carnival are great. Very kind. All the food servers and host are always great. ... Read More
32 Carnival cruises. Never get tired of cruising. Great restaurants on the Sunshine. Lots to do and the Casino was good to me. Beautiful ship. All employees on Carnival are great. Very kind. All the food servers and host are always great. Best bang for your buck. Late night pizza is good too. Love the Casino and karaoke bar. Shows are awesome. We have never cruised another cruise line and don't intend to. We go oo 4-5 cruises a year and each and every one of them make a new moment and memory. We have met so many great people that like to cruise like us. The dinners and special restaurants are great. You should try a BIG steak at the steak house. The guy burgers are the best in the business. Entertainment all over the ship. You never get board. Always something for the kids to do too. Go Carnival!!! Oh yea, the state rooms are big and roomy. Always very clean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We took this cruise for a five day stint as first time cruisers for any cruise line. Before reviewing anything at all, I will let the reader know that the five day cruise for the non experienced cruiser is not enough. I will explain why ... Read More
We took this cruise for a five day stint as first time cruisers for any cruise line. Before reviewing anything at all, I will let the reader know that the five day cruise for the non experienced cruiser is not enough. I will explain why in greater detail below but will simply state that in sum, that by the time you get the hang of what to do, the cruise seems to come to an end. Warning, this is not a short review, but I will break this down into 32 things that will help you as a cruiser on the Dream. I will break this down into precruise, during cruise and post cruise helpful hints. I will not tell you how to book the cruise as that is a personal choice experience (be it online, via Disney cruise line, travel agent etc), but I will give you some hints that allow you to navigate what to do after you have booked your cruise. PRECRUISE: First, and this is for you folks who have a Chase Disney Rewards Card. Make sure that you contact the people at Chase and transfer your Disney Rewards Dollars to a Chase Credit Card that can be used on the ship. You will see where it comes in very handy at the end of this review. After you book your cruise, Second, I would recommend that you book a Disney mid range hotel, such as the Port Orleans (I just reviewed this hotel) on TripAdvisor as well) one day before you arrive for the cruise. Although I traveled with the ever reliable Jet Blue, there is always concern that having a flight arrive on the same day of the cruise can be a bit unsettling, especially if the flight is delayed for any reason. The ship will not wait for you and unless you have awesome travel insurance, good luck getting any money back if you don’t show up on time. I recommend a mid range Disney hotel because you will be afforded the benefit of the Magical Express that will pick you up at the airport and will ensure that your luggage is delivered directly to your room without you having to deal with baggage claim. Third I would highly recommend using Happy Limousine for transport to Port Canaveral, where the cruise ship departs from. There are those who would say that one could use the Magical Express for Cruise lines which is also offered, but the problem here is that you arrive with a busload of people at about 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. and it is a bit of a glut to get on board the ship. Book Happy Limousine and if you are lucky, you will get a driver who is text savvy and will stay in touch with you via text before arrival to pick you up at your hotel to take you on the ship, and will also text you the moment you arrive back at port to coordinate pickup time. Fourth, Book the Atlantis Excursion if you have children who like waterparks. The Excursions will be discussed in the during cruise part of my review but I put this part of the discussion here simply because it is part of the pre cruise process. If you do not have a particular penchant for waterparks, the Atlantis Excursion is going to be nothing more than a couple of fast moving water slides, with or without inner tubes with a lazy river experience. You can experience this at almost any stateside waterpark and I the only difference is that you get to waterslide in a tunnel immersed in a shark aquarium tank. Don’t let the commercials fool you though, you are going through these tunnels in a blink and won’t notice the sharks. I would rather recommend, if you don’t have the kiddies in tow, that you consider exploring a little bit of the Bahamas shopping and local environment. It’s safe if you have an escort and most importantly do not arrive on a Sunday. Why Sunday? Well, if your ship docks at port on a Sunday, most shops are closed. So if a Bahamas excursion/experience is on your plate, this is worthy of consideration. Fifth, While I recommended booking a hotel prior to your cruise, so that you would have a buffer to ensure prompt arrival for the cruise, I would recommend you book an afternoon flight back to your home city on the same date of debarkation (fancy words on the cruise for when your ship comes back to port to boot you off the boat). The ship arrives at port at about 6:00 a.m., and you will be fed at 6:45 (if you chose the earlier dining time – which I will also discuss next) and you will be off the boat and through customs by about 7:45 the latest (assuming you haven’t declared anything unusual on your customs forms and have US passports etc). The ship is prompt and you will be out of port fast, assuming you booked Happy Limo See hint second above and thirtyone below). You will be bound for the airport by about 9:00 the latest and if you have an early afternoon flight, you will have absolutely no problem getting the flight. Sixth, Two items to bring that you wouldn't think to bring: 1. An extension cord since the staterooms are a little sparse on electrical outlets and if you have tablets, computers, MP3 players etc, you will run out of charging areas. You can't bring a power strip, but there does not appear to be a ban on an extension cord with maybe 3 outlets on it. 2. Another item to bring is a waterproof case for your cell phone so you can take it with you on excursions and take pics of what you are doing. Seventh: Your cell phones will not work on the boat - no service, no internet, no email, no youtube, no facebook etc... but hey! You are on a Cruise so get over it. You should load the Disney Cruise App on your phone well in advance of cruise day, since it has a neat countdown function whenever you turn the APP on, which tells you how many days are left for your cruise. With the app, you will be able to use your smart phones to text eachother, if your family is using smart phones. The room provides you with two phones that are like personal communicators that you can use to converse with eachother on board the ship. You can also text eachother, but only exclusively on these phones - try as I might, I could not get these phones to text to my mobile phones. That was the only minus, I could report. I would think that with all the money being spent, that the Ship would provide a phone per person using the Stateroom. It's a big boat and they seem to think that a family of four would pair up leaving two phones per couple. That's not practical, since the activities are geared to literally everyone's personal tastes and you will be tempted to venture off on your own, but still want to be in touch with family. DURING CRUISE: I will first discuss a bit about the process of boarding and then what to do when you get on the boat. Once you are dropped off at Port Canaveral, you can wait on a line to get into the port building that is the Disney Port’s building. It’s a very big air conditioned building that has a basic metal detector that you will need to pass through. It’s not as complicated as the airport security detector (ie shoes off, computers out and in separate trays etc), but it’s still a security checkpoint. Once you take the escalator upstairs, you come into an atrium which you learn is a processing center. You need only ask any uniformed Disney person (who sports the large Mickey Hands) what to do next and they will guide you. That being side, you will get on a line to present your passports to a checking counter where they get scanned and a plastic card gets printed up for you. This card is the equivalent of your wrist band that you would have on any Disney property, as it has you personal info, stateroom number, credit card info etc all rolled into one. It also makes a pretty coot souvenir after the cruise. THERE ARE NO WRISTBANDS ON THE CRUISE, EXCEPT…. If you have a child whom you want to enroll in a club (who is under 12 years old). Eighth: Register your under 12 year old child for the under 12 clubs so that they can be deposited in these clubs or if they are confident enough, can check themselves into the clubs during your cruise. Once you are processed and your child is registered (if you have one under 12), you can go sit on one of the sofas in the waiting area and wait for your group number to be called for boarding. I would take this time to take a few pictures of the model ship. Once youre group number is announced, you board. Your name is announced as you enter the doorway of the ship and you receive an ovation from white uniformed staff. Pretty cool! Ninth: for DVC members. You will see that there is a small kiosk where DVC will welcome you right before you enter passport processing. They will give you lanyards to hold your key card (which is great because you don’t have to buy one on the ship this way and you have the benefit of having access to DVC events and gifts that are handed out on days’ one and two of the cruise. There is also a sales pitch party which is set at about 2:30 p.m, disguised as an orientation of sorts for DVC members, where you can get some other souvenirs(we loved the DVC cups because they were reusable and you can get unlimited soft drinks and water to carry around the boat)… You’ll never not be hydrated. Tenth: Have some lunch! You can Aquaduck anytime! Other sites have stated that you should hit the waterslide on the boat ASAP. Wear swimsuits and go on this ride when you get on board. Well yes, if that’s your thing, I suppose it’s important. But believe me, you, your spouse and kids will be hungry by the time you get on the ship. You don’t have your luggage yet, so you are probably still traveling light with just carry on stuff. Go to the Cabanas buffet. It’s the first meal of the cruise and first impressions are key with Disney. You will not be disappointed and believe me there is anything and everything available, starting from carving tables to different breads for consumption. So as soon as you board, go and eat. Get some energy or just grab some grub so that you can settle into your stateroom for a quick nap prior to the ship leaving port. Eleventh: Yes, there is a party where you will be asked to assemble on Deck 11 and 12 of the ship. Check it out at about 4 pm when the boat leaves. But it’s not Gavin McLeod’s love boat with confetti being tossed onto the docks from the departing ship. Disney’s port is truly utilitarian and no one except the dock people are on the dock. It’s a cute kickoff party so it’s a great idea to go see what all the buzz is about. There is a huge screen in the mid/forward part of the ship, in front of the pools, which also sits above a stage for the shows or DJs or any events that will later take place. The party will have everyone assembling for a kickoff and it is exciting. Twelfth: You will need to attend an evac drill, where you will be assigned a letter, where you would be expected to assemble in the event of having to leave the ship. It is mandatory to attend, so do not think you can skip it, like you would wander off or read a magazine when the stewardess is telling you about how to put on your oxygen masks. It’s not as rigorous, say as the emergency instructions you get when you are waiting for a plane to take off, but there are life vests that are in your stateroom closet that the crew encourages you to try out on your own time. However, they will demonstrate the actual donning of the vest and verify that you and your family have assembled at your designated latter on Deck 4 of the ship, which is next to all the lifeboats. What’s kind of neat is that this deck is also the running deck for you runners out there. The letter signs that also provide great markers as you are running if you need to know exactly where you started and where you want to stop. Thirteenth: Become familiar with your navigator handout. When you are done with the drill, you might want to squeeze in some time to check out what’s going on before dinner, and after the drill. Fourteenth: Opt for the early dinner! You are getting a fresh staff and you are also given the options of attending fun activities after dinner. The dinner times are at 5:45 and 8:15. If you grab an early meal, you will have enough time to digest before passing out on your not very healthy (but tasty) meal. The great thing for an early dinner is that turn down service will happen during this time while you are away. Fifteenth: Check out the movies at the Buena Vista Theater, located in the forward part of the ship after dinner. Disney runs recent and new releases. We were fortunate enough to catch Tomorrowland, Inside Out and Monkey King, on the ship when they were released to theaters. The great deal is that the movies are all free! The Popcorn is not, but if you’re smart, you can grab some snacks at breakfast or lunch at Cabanas and save them for the flick. Also, you can grab free ice cream in a large cup and bring it in with you. Sixteenth: Enter the Buena Vista from the 5th Floor. The theater has 2 levels and you won’t hit a crowd, essentially coming in from the back end top of the auditorium. WOW, THAT WAS JUST DAY 1 Your second day will be at on shore at Castaway Cay (pronounced Key). It’s Disney’s private island with beaches, snorkeling, simple water slides and little souvenier shops with Disney flavored (and some seemingly local/Bahamas style trinkets). Seventeenth If you are a crazy beach enthusiast, eat light and get on a tram for a 5 minute ride to get to the first or second beach. The itinerary says you are supposed to be at the Cay for 9:30, but that’s not mandatory. The only reason to get to the Cay is that I believe that you can only get the buffet lunch at the Cay and that there’s no food service on the ship. I did not think to inquire, but I would tend to believe that for people who stay on ship, there must still be food to eat. If you are interested in the beach activities, then go early, get an umbrella, enjoy the day and get back by 4:00. The neat thing about the Cay is that although you are warned about making sure you return to the ship on time, there’s no other ships at the island and you will more likely than not have your boat within view from wherever you are so you have the security of knowing you have not been “marooned”. Eighteenth: Lunch at the Cay is mostly standard mid grade stuff you’d probably see at a BBQ. You can have anything from Ribs to Hot Dogs to cous cous. Stay away from the Corn on the Cob (nothing was wrong with it really, it just was a little gnarly and surprising considering this was Disney Sanctioned food). The sodas and dessert are free flowing but again not blue ribbon fare that you will see on the ship – ship buffet included. Lunch starts at the Cay at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Remember you will be stopping at the Cay on day 4, so if you do want to stay and explore the ship and take chances on dining on board, it is a worthy exploration of options and you will have a very uncrowded boat. I do not know if all activity ceases (shops close, pools close, aquaduck closes, arcade closes etc), but I did note that on the days that the Cay was in the itinerary, the Navigator did not imply that activities cease on the ship. It seems that people have said that they encourage you to leave the ship for the Cay days, but I do not think it is absolutely mandatory. As I said before, you will only know what you can get if you try. Nineteenth: Get back earlier from the Cay and make use of the spa. Guys… get a haircut and a shave. I’m a straight forward no nononsense guy who usually frequents the mall salon (no appointment necessary) when I remember to get a haircut. I shave with a disposable razor (which overstays it’s welcome long past the time I should have disposed of it) in the shower. I had never experienced a facial, shave and haircut. I had the chance to chat politics with a friendly South African stylist who’s amazing facial earned the incessant caressing of my 11 year old daughter at dinner, who could only exclaim that I actually looked 10 years younger. My wife had the massage spa experience and loved it. Twentieth: Grab another movie after Castaway night 1. Or see a live Disney themed musical show. Check your Navigator. I would tell you to avoid the comedians, magicians and “adult” style entertainment (Don’t worry, it’s not R-rated entertainment, it’s just a little edgy but boy let me tell you, it is 2nd and 3rd rate stuff). The musical performers were good, though, but they pervade the main hall during the evening hours, near the grand staircase which is mid ship. They also alternate playing at clubs that are on board the lower decks of the ship. As I said before, avail yourself of the musicals which have great special effects and are very entertaining. We made the mistake of trying the comedians and missed a couple of shows. I won’t repeat that experience. Twentyfirst: Try room service! It’s fun and you can find out what you can order, literally any time, to be brought to your room. Again, it’s not the same blue ribbon fare you will see at the restaurants or at Cabana’s but it’s not bad food either. Other reviewers have denigrated the food quality of room service on the Cruise Line, but remember, it’s just a convenience thing and if you are still vigourously awake, you can grab a late night snack after you have seen your movie, grabbed your show (and if you don’t feel like free ice-cream again). It’s similar fare to what you would receive at the Theme Parks (sandwiches, pizza, French fries etc), but it’s a cruise! Chill out and enjoy it! If you are a foodie or food snob, rest assured you will be seated at one of the restaurants the next morning. Twentysecond: Royal Palace cannot cook vegetarian to save their lives! If you are a vegetarian, we consistently found that the Royal Palace restaurant was sorely lacking in making Tofu flavorful and undercooking veggies. I have had Korean Vegetarian Tofu dishes, cooked to simulate chicken etc. and the Tofu was excellent – so I know it’s not criticasting but reasonable to expect decent tofu dishes. I did find that they meat dishes were adequate. However, the Beef Wellington was cooked properly, but the pastry around the wellington was soggy. I had a Gordon Ramsay potty mouth moment playing in my head from “Hells’ Kitchen” . That being said, Animator’s Palate and Enchanted Garden were excellent. If you can set up your dining experience ahead of time to limit your dining rotation to only one time at Royal Palace, that’s ideal. Perhaps by the time I go back, RP will be up to snuff! I’m hopeful. Twentythird: Ask for seconds at dinner or two entrees/desserts(or both) at a time. If you are hungry, your server will bring you more than one entrée or side dish. Leave your modesty at home. If you see something interesting that you wouldn’t normally try, give it a whirl. Your server will bring it to you, so long as you are not completely cramping up their efficiency. Remember, they are running two dinner shifts so try not to be too late to dine. Twentyfourth: You sit with your family during dining. There was a time, it appeared, that you sat with others (and I suppose you could if you wanted), but you are limited on this ship to your family. You have an assigned table number and it rotates with you as you rotate from different dinner restaurants nightly. You will be seated if you get there on time or a little later. You won’t be waiting. That’s cool! Twentyfifth: Wake up early and enjoy a sunrise. Coffee is brewing at all hours on deck 11. Get up at 5 and get it. You have solitude and the ship is at its quietest. Watch the sun rise. There's no comparison to a sea sunrise! DAY 3 NASSAU, BAHAMAS You will see the boat pull into Nassau. I already commented on Atlantis vs. touring the island. Again, I would advise you to leave the boat on this date. I do not know if there is any food service but know that all stores have to be closed when the ship is docked in another country. So this particular date, you are encouraged to take your excursion shoreside. Next time, I tour and avoid the waterpark. The only caveat is that you are on your own for dining that day if you do not go to Atlantis. Twentysixth: On Pirate night....Get back to the boat, shower up and put on your Pirate Costume early. There is a Pirate's of the Carribean party with a show that's at the Funnelvision stage. But you will not be able to see the show, unless you get there with some time to spare. If you followed my advice and took the earlier dinner seating, then go dine in costume! Remember, it's going to be hot, so if you like an elaborate costume, then be prepared to lose few pounds dancing. The little children love elaborate costumes and it's fun. If you don't have dinner, don't fret, there's a full dinner/like buffet right after the party that's on Deck 11 at Cabanas, although it's later in the night. If you don't have all the necessary pirate regalia, the Disney Ship's stores will have costumes, tee shirts, toy pistols, toys swords, and even a Captain Jack Cap with dreadlocks (which I bought).... AAARRRRR! DAY 4 Twentyseventh: Regarding Castaway Cay I undertook the Stingray Adventure. There is a snorkel rental area right next to the entrance, so you won't need to bring Snorkeling Equipment with you. The adventure begins with a 20 minute class tutoring you on the types of Rays at the Cay, their origins and habits. You then enter a shallow beach area, which has been cordonned off and populated with Rays that will assemble on a table with your host and eat from you, if you feed them. They don't bit and have no external teeth. If you are daring, you can opt to feed them mouth to mouth. My host told me that I was the only one who ever took him up on the offer. It was an interesting experience. You will have an hour on for this activity and it goes fast, but beware, the rays don't really swim up to you as promised. They move about but don't really show interest, unless you are with your host at the "dining" table. The other caveat is that the host tells you that you will get a badge/pin for having been part of the adventure, and that this pin is tradable with other Disney pin fanatics (at the equivalent of being valued for 3 pins). Beware, it is not true! My family and I don't really do the pin thing, but my 11 year old daughter was curious about the validity of the bold claim. The pin was worth nothing, but it does make a keepsake of the experience, if you weren't taking pics with a waterproof camera/cell phone I described earlier. The rest of day 4 pretty much goes along with Day 2, so I won't belabor the point. DAY 5 This is a great day to shop on the ship, do some of the things you didn't get to do earlier (like hang out on your verandah if your stateroom has one, or get that massage or haircut etc). Get your ice cream and pizza and bring it back to your room and chill out for a while! Get to really use your Navigator and take in any and all live musical shows! I stated this earlier but it bears repeating. Twentyeighth: Beat the crowd to settle your bill. There is a lot of stressing out by people who wait to the last minute to settle the bill with guest services on the last day, especially as night rolls in. So you have an idea of what's coming, I'll break down my experience for you. You will find little envelopes left in your room by staff for tips for your head server, server, drink pourer and person who makes up your room everyday/gives turn down service with the chocolates etc. Note, that you can authorize the tip to be taken from your credit card(which is what I did since I didn't feel like leaving cash/or carrying loose cash either. The total left was $300.00 for the 5 nights, which got apportioned out between the four persons mentioned above. I've heard that people haggle this up or down, but I would suggest not stressing out over it and just go with the suggested tip and the suggested amount (which is what I mentioned above). This monetary figure ($300.00) may not be your tip amount, since I had a party of four people. The only other gripe I could state is that how can one justify tipping the guy who just brings a bottle of wine to the table and pours it, who is not the same person who is actually having to take your order, process it and bring this back to you. I had to wrap my head around the idea also tipping the head server (who really does not serve you but is more a trouble shooter if you have a problem). I settled my bill at the reception area/front desk area of the ship and this was great because there were no surprises Twentyninth: Here is where your Disney Dream Rewards Pays off! If you have a Disney Chase Card which gives you points and you've been saving them, you can square off your bill with any Disney Dream Rewards Dollars that you have racked up. It cut my final bill in half. Thirtieth: Pack smart for departure. You will be given all instructions on gathering and leaving your bags in the hallway at 10:30 that night, so that they can be gathered up and taken to the luggage area for quick offloading. Keep a day back with your clothes for the next morning (or keep them in your closet) and to hold you PJs and toiletries when you leave. Do not pack any thing that you'll need to declare (such as the expensive Jewelry) since you will be facing customs when you get off the boat. You will get Cardboard Disney character tags that will be identical and you will fill in your names on these tags as well as indicate how many pieces you have (for example your first luggage tag will have your name, address etc and state Bag 1 of 3). You then fill in the remaining tags accordingly. Also, fill out the declarations page (real short 1 page document - don't make any mistakes on it. Don't fret though, there are extras at that reception area of the ship (where you settle your bill). DAY 6 - THE DEPRESSION SETS IN Your ship pulls into port at 5:30 a.m.. You will be asked to attend breakfast which is a very meager dish, as compared to what you were offered for the days before and then. It is quick and efficient, but well mannered (you are not hurried off the boat or anything, but you will leave in an organized manner, much like how you entered five glorious days earlier. Once you enter the customs area, you are met with reality. Your luggage will be put together on racks that you collect and walk over to the Customs Officers. NOTE that if you lost anything, Disney has a lost and found it works! My son misplaced a shirt that he removed to go on Aquaduck on Day 2, and the shirt wound up here. Note, The customs agents are not ill mannered but they are not paid to make you feel special. So they will rather indifferently direct you to an officer/agent who will ask you some basic questions and ask you for declarations. Thirtyfirst: Happy Limousine Rescues again! If you used HL to get you to the boat, your driver, if he is tech saavy will text you that he is either en route or waiting out of the pick up area and when you give him a final text advising that you are nearing customs, he or she can be ready to meet you within minutes. Thirtysecond: Here's a personal choice issue but I would advise you to book an afternoon flight to return home on the same day the cruise returns. The ship is very prompt and you will be out of Port Canaveral by 8:30 a.m.. I stayed an extra day at the Port Orleans on Disney Property but it was probably an unnecessary expense. It was enjoyable but not needed. Happy Limo can just the same get you directly to the airport and you can be home bound. Thirtythird: Start thinking about your next cruise at the end of this one. It's the only way you can beat the sadness that has set it. I cannot say enough about how great this cruise line is, starting from the little details, friendly staff and the fact that it is Mickey's nicest boat! My family and I will be likely undertaking an Alaskan Cruise in a couple of years, courtesy of the "Ears" and this time will make it a 7 day gig. I hope it was worth your read. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Our family of three left Port Canaveral to Bahamas, 4 nights. We were part of the VIFP group and had priority check-in. We had room U-87. Embarkment was a breeze & organized. It did take long for us to receive our luggages (3 ... Read More
Our family of three left Port Canaveral to Bahamas, 4 nights. We were part of the VIFP group and had priority check-in. We had room U-87. Embarkment was a breeze & organized. It did take long for us to receive our luggages (3 checked-bags), we got our luggages around 6 p.m.! luckily I packed us a small carry-out with a change of clothes and shoes. Ship decor is a bit dated but otherwise kinda cool looking. I did notice some areas of the ship have been renovated (washrooms, cafe's) Housekeeping: Excellent, our rooms was serviced twice a day (mid-morning and early-evening), clean and tidy. Room U-87 was one of the largest rooms on the ship, in the middle of the ship, with a king size bed, large couch that turns into a bed, coffee table, chair, 40-inch tv, plenty of mirrors and lighting all around the room, drawer space, small refrigerator, walk-in closet, safe, large washroom with jet tub and a large balcony. Well worth the money for staying on the cruise. with Large windows and view of the oceans waters. Food: was just OK - a couple items were really good, each day was something different but it was not terrible, just OK. If you dine in Ecstasy/Fantasy is much better then the lido/seagrill buffet Dining Service in Lido Buffet, Ecstasy/Fantasy Dining Rooms, all EXCELLENT, they remember your names and take great care of you and want to provide you with excellent service and make sure you're satisfied. Many Activities through-out the day with tons of shows in the theatre, lounges, nightclub, casino, arcade, photo-taking, pools, mini-golf, track, gym, waterslides. Great music/dj. We did not have our child participate in the available toddler programs but I did see select rooms for youths that looked pretty cool. Shopping is available on the cruise, men and women's clothing, jewellery (brand-name, low or high-end merchandise), merchandise for children and youth, candy store. Excursions we tried were the private island in the Nassau, Bahamas (was beside a Sandals Resport) beautiful white sands, clear blue water, clean vacinity, plenty of chairs of everyone, food was pretty darn good, HUGE portions. and Dolphin Close encounter in Freeport. THis was an amazing experience to be able to get up close and personal with a live dolphin beside you. and the instructors were excellent and friendly, they encourage their visitors to ask many questions about their dolphins. Summary: Despite the negative reviews I have read on this site prior to my cruise. We enjoyed our stay, nice large size room helped a lot with all the space and windows/mirrors and a balcony doesn't make us feel claustrophobic, we thought the service was excellent and really nice workers, they will get to know you and have a chat with you, very friendly. The only cons I have with this ship are Food - was just OK, I got sick of the buffet, although they change their menus daily and have plenty of options, Its probably a personal preference as my husband enjoyed the food they served and had no problems eating over and over again! and that it is a bit dated. It certainly looks kinda cool and out-there but it was a bit too dated for my taste. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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