We went on the cruise with a small group. Because we have went on several cruises in the past, we were able to know what to expect, and where this particular cruise stacked up in regards to others. It is solidly at the very bottom of the ... Read More
We went on the cruise with a small group. Because we have went on several cruises in the past, we were able to know what to expect, and where this particular cruise stacked up in regards to others. It is solidly at the very bottom of the list. First, we waited at the airport of our pre-arranged transfer with RC for over an hour and a half. Once we finally arrived at the terminal, we were able to get through the embarkation process fairly quickly, but right before the sail off. The ship was more crowded than any ship we have ever been on. There literally wasn't a chair to be found many times.
In the Windjammer, repeatedly people would be told over the loudspeaker to quickly eat and vacate their tables so that others could eat. Not exactly a relaxing dining experience. The noise was deafening and constantly the waiters were dropping plates, and silverware. One even dropped a full glass and it splashed all over a lady sitting nearby from head to toe at our first meal there! At least it was just water..... There simply was not enough room for all of the people to eat.
The only other dining option is the formal dining room, and it wasn't open for every meal. There is a small sandwich area, but usually one person working and a very long line. You would have to wait for a very long time to get even a yogurt, or a bowl of oatmeal, because she had to serve each person individually. It was strange and terribly inefficient. We went there only once because, despite the compass saying the Windjammer would be open at 6:30 for an "early-bird" breakfast, it was not. We stood in line for quite awhile. The sole lady working at the counter did the best she could with a huge smile on her face, but she really needed help! Or, at least some of the things should have been self serve! We both asked for panini breakfast sandwiches. She put them one the grill and served them to us. After we sat down, my husband's was missing he egg totally, so I opened mine to try to give him part of my egg. It was as cold as if it had been in a refrigerator!!! We sadly left our food and walked away. I assume due to the large crowd she was having to really hurry and just couldn't leave it in long enough to fully heat it. We walked back to the Windjammer, but the line to go in was going down two flights of stairs and they still had not opened. We ended up just not eating breakfast as we had to report for our excursion by 7:30. (Although, once there we waited for over an hour just sitting, so I guess we could have eaten!)
The food in the dining room at night was very good. Our waiter, Domingo, was exceptional. We ate at Chops one night, but I personally didn't think it was any better than the dining room. It was quieter though. The main dining room is so cram packed with trying to fit way too many people in that you can barely get around and the noise is truly deafening. It was hard for us to even hear our waiter speak. The only other dining option is the Windjammer.
Our itinerary that was originally given was not followed AT ALL. We were supposed to go to Nassau first, get there early in the morning, and stay all day until midnight. That did not happen. Instead, we were told that we were going to CocoCay first....with no explanation as to why it changed. That did not happen. High winds and waves were blamed and we were told that they could not tender us in. We sailed by it and arrived in Nassau after dark, when all the shops were closed, and you couldn't see a thing. They only gave us until 3pm the next day. Unfortunately, we booked a Segway tour on the "Blue Lagoon" Island tour and it took our entire time. VERY disappointed in this tour. First of all, they wouldn't give us a straight answer on the ship as to whether or not we both had spots on it. They made us come back three different time, wait in a very long and slow moving line, and ask there were spots for both of us. Finally, they said they would call us. They didn't. Secondly, we were told to report to an area at 7:30 am for our excursion. We sat there for over an hour! Then we were marched outside and stood for another very extended period of time waiting on our water transport to take us to the island. After getting on, we sailed for awhile and then stopped at another place to pick up more people! We finally arrived at the Blue Lagoon Island and by then has wasted a ton of time when we could have been doing something else. The Segway tour was ridiculous! We only traveled maybe 1/4 of a mile in all! At a speed that was so slow you could probably have walked faster! They made us get off and showed us a couple of landmarks and then we went back. That was it! Crazy! So disappointing!
The island had a little water area (not a beach on the ocean) and one overpriced restaurant selling gross-looking burgers and hotdogs for crazy high prices. I finally bought a bag of pretzels and it was $8!! We finally left and the boat again took people back to the other stop before taking us and it wasted time. By the time we got to Nassau, it was nearly time to re-board and we had to get back on. We never really got to see Nassau at all. So much for our Bahamas Cruise. Terribly disappointing.
The entertainment on the ship was ok. We saw a couple of shows, pretty costumes, the usual dancers. I had trouble staying awake. We did enjoy the juggler/comedians. The ship itself is nothing remarkable at all. Walking the narrow hallways to our room, you had to navigate around all of the housekeeping carts and bags of laundry that we always on the floor in the halls. All day, every day. Never seen anything like it. There was a sewage-type smell in many, many areas. I saw cigarette butts in many places (people seem to just smoke anywhere and nobody says a word! Grr!) and crushed food in the stairways that didn't get cleaned up all day. The gym is the smallest gym I have ever seen on a cruise ship and horribly HOT. The jogging track is filled with people and closed half the time due to the rock climbing wall. The "walking track" on deck 5 was constantly filled with smokers and it is permanently closed off at one end anyway, so what is the point! If you want to run, do it early, and the mileage on the jogging track is .33, so every three laps will get you a mile. I ran my fastest 5K ever up there one morning!
We did get to enjoy KeyWest and I prearranged some quality hybrid bikes through "WeCycle" and they had them waiting for us. Best bike rental we have ever had! Only $15 each too! It is difficult to ride in the shopping area, due to crowds and traffic, but you can ride for miles along the ocean and I really enjoyed it!
The disembarking was ridiculously unorganized, with staff giving out contradictory instructions. We carried all of our luggage from one end of the ship to another and up and down flights of stairs due to this. It was frustrating. At the cruise terminal they separated us because the forced my husband to wait for a small elevator instead of going down the escalator with me because he had luggage and that upset us as we managed escalators just fine at the airport. I waited a LONG time for him because it as a small and slow elevator and he was in a long line.
In summary, this truly was a very disappointing cruise. The others in our group had never been on a cruise before and have now said they never will again. We know how much better it can be and should have been. So very disappointed. Read Less