This was our first family cruise, and every single aspect of our trip, from embarkation to disembarkation, was phenomenal. Every single RC employee we came into contact with, from the janitorial staff, to the deck attendants and maître d, ... Read More
This was our first family cruise, and every single aspect of our trip, from embarkation to disembarkation, was phenomenal. Every single RC employee we came into contact with, from the janitorial staff, to the deck attendants and maître d, were pleasant, friendly, personable, and SO professional. Our balcony stateroom was immaculate, beautiful, bigger than we expected, and cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis. Our porter Gina was so cheerful and happy every single time we saw her, and she did an incredible job of helping to set the tone of our vacation.
Last year we went to an all-inclusive resort, and we were curious about how the food with RC would compare. HUGE difference-and surprising considering that the all-inclusive was considerably more expensive. Every single bite of food we had on the ship was fresh, well prepared, and honestly delicious-particularly in the main dining room. The variety from night to night was perfect, every course of every meal came out quickly and was hot, tasted delicious, and amazingly somehow did not feel "mass prepared". We are picky eaters and were absolutely blown away by the quality of the food everywhere we went. Sorrento's was fabulous (and we're from Philly-we KNOW good pizza!), and we appreciated that fresh roasted vegetables were always available to go along with our pizza. Our waiter in the main dining room, Alberto, was one of our best memories of the trip-kind, pleasant, and SO attentive, as was his beverage assistant Iputu. The fact that he meticulously cut our 4 year old son's food up each night probably seems like a minor detail to your management, but it's those little details that completely elevated the whole experience for us. The delicious jerk chicken that was off menu that we were served on Caribbean night was also a great surprise!
We had heard great things about the kids club, and were hoping our son would be comfortable enough for us to leave him there one night of the trip so we could enjoy a date night. After a private and very thorough Q&A meeting initially with one of the kids club managers (standard protocol for newcomers), we left him for about an hour on the 2nd day, hoping he'd be ok, since he's a bit shy at first. When we returned, he didn't want to leave! We ended up taking him every day of the trip-at HIS request! My husband and I got to have a date night almost every night of the trip after enjoying a nice family dinner together, which was wonderful and totally unexpected. The kids club was immaculate, and every staff member was friendly, warm, engaged, and remembered our child by name. The various activities and themes each night were SO fun for him and perfectly age appropriate. It was honestly the best surprise of the whole trip, and he's already asking about when he can go back :)
The commitment to cleanliness everywhere we went on the ship was extremely impressive. While I'm sure that extra precautions were being taken because we happened to sail the week after the norovirus outbreak, our nerves were quickly put to rest. I recall a few evenings when we were heading back to our stateroom and the janitorial staff were literally washing down the walls in the hallway. The restrooms around the ship were completely spotless morning, noon, and night, no matter how busy. I can't recall even one instance when I walked in to a ladies room and there was a piece of trash on the floor-amazing considering just how many guests were aboard.
The cleanliness and ease of use with regard to the pools and activities onboard were another awesome layer of our vacation. Pools rarely felt crowded, even on sea days, and the incredible number of lifeguards, pool attendants, and deck attendants really helped us to relax and enjoy. All of the equipment was in great condition, and the pool areas like the rest of the ship were constantly being cleaned. Common areas never felt crowded either, and we never had an issue with finding a place to sit.
I'd be remiss not to also mention another excellent experience we had with the medical facility. Our 4 year old son was unfortunately running on the pool deck with some new friends and slipped and fell, and hit his head. Concerned about a possible concussion, we quickly rushed him down to the medical deck-but as soon as it happened there were no fewer than FIVE RC employees right there to assist us. We couldn't believe it. One of them escorted us to the medical deck, where we signed in and were immediately assessed by a nurse. After a 5 minute wait we were seen by a very sweet doctor who carefully examined our son and ran some tests. Thankfully he was completely fine, and we were met by a security manager who took a detailed account of the incident and then walked us back up to our spot by the pool, where he had me explain to him what happened AND took pictures of the area. Obviously good business sense on their end, as an issue like this could present a potential liability, but it was clear that they took the situation seriously and were so kind and caring. We could not have been more impressed with the way in which the incident was handled all around.
The entertainment on the ship was fabulous. The performers were all obviously very highly trained, and the production value of the shows, particularly the ice skating show, far surpassed our expectations. Seating was ample, and none of the shows ever felt crowded.
Lastly, a major highlight of our trip was membership in the Key program, which we purchased prior to the trip. We figured that in comparing the cost of the internet packages alone, that the Key program seemed worth the nominal upgrade-and we could not have been more right. Our welcome lunch at the specialty restaurant Chops Grille on the first day of our trip was an amazing way to start our vacation, and premier seating at all of the shows was great. The best part of this program came on the last day, when the ship felt the most crowded with everyone trying to figure out where to go to exit the ship. We followed the instructions and arrived at a thankfully EMPTY! hallway, that led to a beautiful private dining room we hadn't yet seen. I can't think of a better way to start a long day of travel than with a leisurely breakfast of filet mignon, eggs, and gorgeous pastries. At the end of our meal, we were personally escorted to a private exit, and it was truly a wonderful way to end the trip.
Thank you Royal Caribbean, for your incredible commitment to doing the right thing as a business by consistently making decisions that put your customers first, and doing everything in your power to give your guests extraordinary travel experiences and memories to last a lifetime. My family and I had such a wonderful time that we booked our next cruise on the 5th day of our trip for next January, and we are counting the minutes already! THANK you, sincerely, for everything! Read Less