First off, this was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean and definitely the last. I know that many reading this will think it very negative, but we are just hoping to alert others suffering thru this cruise/air nightmare. From the moment we booked our 10-day Panama Canal cruise with AAA things went downhill. I am familiar with booking airfare for other vacations, but was told by AAA that if I booked it, cruise insurance would not cover if our flight was delayed for some reason. So we bought the Air/Sea program. RCCL does not give you a choice on flight times. Our return flight was scheduled for eight hours after disembarkation. I called AAA to change the return flight time, and was charged $130 as a reissue fee. I will discuss this after the rest of the cruise review.
The Geriatric Cruise: The average age on this cruise had to be 75 years old. It was crowded with wheelchairs and walkers. Unbeknownst to us, we were informed by many staff on the cruise that RCCL had promoted this cruise to several retirement communities in southern Florida. Not what a couple in early 50's was prepared for on a cruise. Because of age of passengers, it was difficult to get on an elevator that was not overloaded by at least 5 people. Extremely unsafe and scary. Definitely not a lively, fun party atmosphere.
The ports of call were terrible. They had to be the very least expensive that RCCL could obtain. We were excited to go to Costa Rica to see the volcanos and waterfalls that I had read about on-line. When I called the tour guide from the on-line site, they asked where we would be docking. I said Puerto Limon. They said that there was nothing near that port to do and it was so remote that we didn't have enough time to travel to anything nice. We were also told by staff that we should just stay on board. In the end Costa Rica was the second of four ports that we had missed due to weather. An entertainer onboard told the audience at the show that night that we didn't miss anything by not visiting Puerto Limon.