Three 70+ year-old mothers, each accompanied by their 50+ year-old daughters, all who have been friends for 50 years. Most of us had cruised previously, except one (my mom). When we embarked the ship, we were greeted nicely by crew ... Read More
Three 70+ year-old mothers, each accompanied by their 50+ year-old daughters, all who have been friends for 50 years. Most of us had cruised previously, except one (my mom). When we embarked the ship, we were greeted nicely by crew members. Just a few feet away there was a table with blinking frozen drinks. I had purchased a liquor-included beverage package for $220 for four days, so I was psyched. However, when I showed the attendant my Sea Pass that indicates my beverage package, he told me that you have to pay for these drinks separately because they come in a souvenir glass! Thanks, but no thanks!
When booking the cruise through Royal Caribbean on the phone, we specifically requested our three rooms be located together near an elevator bank, because a few have mobility issues. However, when we arrived at our rooms, we were almost the furthest walk away from the one elevator bank on our floor. And in the hallway down to our rooms was a large bump in the floor that at least one of us tripped or stumbled on every trip to and from the elevator. There were small signs on the walls advising caution, but some of us didn't notice them until someone pointed them out on day 3 or 4. Suggestion for Royal Caribbean: put red (or a different color) carpeting on the bumpy part of the rug to visually remind people as they walk down the long corridor, especially at night after a long day and/or a few drinks.
The room was unfortunately as small as could be. Two separated twin beds, maybe a foot between them. The beds were firm, sometimes uncomfortably so. Room under the bed to store a large suitcase was a good feature. Pillows were sad sacks. Linens were adequate. Room was clean.One thing that irritated me was there were bottles of Evian water and soda, snacks and candy placed on top of the very limited dresser space. Of course, these items were like a hotel snack fridge - you use, you pay (with no prices shown), even though we had purchased beverage packages that included bottled water. After a day of working around this stuff, I tossed it all in the dresser drawers so we had more dresser/desktop space. Good thing we didn't want to put our things in the drawers. There was a small closet with shelving. Inside the closet is a small wall safe (large enough to hold an iPad Mini and a few other small items) that you program with your own personal four-digit PIN number. I used the same number as my cell phone lock, so I didn't forget it. There were about a dozen hangers to hang your clothes, and room on the floor for a bag or two.The bathroom is, of course, tiny as expected. The toilet seat looked worn and should be replaced. The shower was adequate, as long as you don't expect to bend over to shave your legs. Had to stick each leg out to shave which in turn soaked the bathroom floor. Some days we had a bathmat, other days we didn't. Why do they provide only one large towel person? Most women, if not men, need a body towel and a hair towel. So, ladies, be sure to ask your attendant for two extra towels every day.Our cabin attendant was friendly enough, although was sometimes difficult to understand. (I am a very patient person when it comes to language barriers, but it kept me from interacting with our attendant more than saying hello.) The one thing I asked was I needed to refrigerate some medicine. Our cabin attendant said he would take care of it, but when we got back to our room after dinner, there was no refrigerator or any indication that one would be coming. I went to Guest Services, spoke to a crew member there, who told me that he would have a refrigerator delivered to my room immediately. When I returned to my room later that even, the refrigerator was there as promised (free of charge).
The food for breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Cafe was cafeteria-style and okay. The omelet station was always a good choice. The one thing I didn't like there was the amount of flies around the food stations and at the tables.
The food and service at the Starlight Restaurant was a step or two above the Windjammer Cafe. Our waiters were attentive (even feeding my mom her ice cream dessert one evening). They remembered our preferences for things after our first night. The food was good, but not outstanding. If you wanted lobster or filet Mignon, you had to pay extra for it, which we didn't bother.
The only deficiency at dinner was the lack of bar service. Considering a few of us paid for a liquor package, the cocktail waiter didn't frequent our table much, usually just once during dinner.
While we prepaid our tips when we purchased the vacation, we still felt obligated to leave a tip ($15 for six) at the end of each meal. While pre-paying tips seems like the easy way to go, we still tipped the staff each evening.
On a good note, the Casino bartenders were excellent. They made great drinks, which, of course, encourages people to stay and play.
The musical shows were average at best, but the Newlywed Game and Adult Quest activities were a hoot!
One activity I strongly advise against is playing bingo. Yes, bingo! My mother and friends love bingo, so we went to play. There was a long line to wait to buy cards, which were very expensive ($11 per paper strip with three cards on it). They also offered electronic bingo machines that hold 30 games and needs no to interaction to play. These machines were $32 for one, $64 for two and get the third one free!! The most ridiculous thing of all is that bingo was only one -- yes, ONE (1) GAME!!! The letter "X." No $25, $50, $100 games. Not a coverall that takes a while. Just one game, the "X," for $500. There were probably 200 people there, spending probably an average of $20 at least, which would gross Royal Caribbean $4,000, not counting people buying drinks. It took some people 15+ minutes to buy their cards. It took LESS THAN 10 MINUTES for the one game to be played and won!!!!! This was the BIGGEST MONEY GRAB I have ever seen! I was disgusted that I bothered to participate in this charade. Royal Caribbean needs to review this activity and improve it. Charging people $64 for less than ten minutes for one game is outrageous!!!! Read Less