Flew in same day, made our own flight arrangements with Jet Blue out of Kennedy. On time, early actually. We landed at 11:20 and were checking our luggage at the boat by 11:40! Royal Caribbean had an extraordinarily efficient check-in ... Read More
Flew in same day, made our own flight arrangements with Jet Blue out of Kennedy. On time, early actually. We landed at 11:20 and were checking our luggage at the boat by 11:40! Royal Caribbean had an extraordinarily efficient check-in process. They said our rooms would be ready by 1:00, so we went to the Windjammer cafe for a buffet. There was lots of energy , a little anxiety , no seats inside where it was air conditioned and people seemed a little hot and tired of carrying their bags. We ate outside, no problem, by the pool. Its hot? was the complaint. ...but afterall wasn't that the point of sailing to Mexico.? We had one day over 90 degrees all summer in New York, so we were loving the heat. The boat sailed on time.
Our rooms were ready as promised. An added bonus was luggage arrived at our rooms before dinner so we could wear something more formal. (Something not rolled in a ball in our carry on). Our experience with our cabin steward was pleasant as promised. However, all of the day to day details that can make a cruise smoother sailing [pun intended] were always provided by friendly strangers we met on board.
There were so many important things he could have and should have told us. Our rooms were immaculately cleaned twice per day. Very crucial in a tiny room. He was sweet, but even when we asked him questions, he smiled and never answered directly. So what, still not an issue to put a damper on things. I have done extensive traveling in Europe, islands, etc. This was our first cruise. It was by far one of my most favorite vacations overall. The service is impeccable from your cabin, to dining, to drinking poolside, to the bars...Can't say enough. Waiters who learn your name in the first half hour and peel your shrimp for you? Those details go a long way in making someone very happy. One breakfast, I was rushing, so I ordered a banana. I thought I would take it to go, but never mentioned that...The waiter cut it up for me. I told him "this is awesome, I don't even cut it up for my two year old at home." The entire experience spells "make the customers smile". They do again and again and again. Whatever glitches there were were ones that we were forewarned about and couldn't' possibly have put a damper on this experience.
Our beverage service in the dining room was awful. We usually ordered iced teas, cocktails ect. and waited for them forever. No one else we spoke to had this experience, so it was probably a fluke . Water is what I prefer most anyway so I stuck with that and went elsewhere for drinks. Our favorite was the champagne bar. There were two female tenders, Maria from Chile and Merci from??sorry forgot. They were quite a team. So friendly, efficient and clearly made the best drinks I have ever had. We called it the "M&M" bar for their first names and everyone we met began to refer to them.
We would take turns and leave the casino or theatre show to go back to that bar to get our perfect every time drinks. The food in the dining room was excellent 3 nights and awful one night. Dessert was consistently weak but edible. Their desserts are always absolutely gorgeous show pieces to look at , but could use a lot of improvement taste-wise. As we were forewarned by excellent viewers here at this site...the coffee in the dining room was very good and fresh brewed. The buffet and elsewhere coffees were awful. So we knew that, once again, not a problem. We weren't there on the trip just seeking coffee. The or'derves oh give me spell check!! at about midnight in the champagne bar were fabulous but not easy to locate every night, they fared far better than the scary looking dogs/burgers/fries found in the solarium midnight buffets were appealing to the eye, but not nec. the palate.
Once again we knew in advance, and nothing could have spoiled the trip. We were in Key West and Cozumel when promised. We sailed on schedule. Excursions were very available and all were interesting and lots of fun. The crowd was mostly 35 to 50, mixed with couples, a few groups male and female like us sailing without spouses and kids, some with kids, great mix of great people. What's up with Pembrooke Pines Florida ? We met about 32 people, none of whom knew each other, all from that town. I don't feel the need to go into great detail here because overall the point is that this cruise, all of its employees and the company itself clearly has happy people working there as a whole who go completely out of their way to make sure we were always happy. Now that's a vacation! Read Less