Once onboard, we went directly to the Windjammer where we were offered a very disappointing lunch. Clearly, this was the worst food we had ever had on any Royal Caribbean cruise that we have ever taken. The selections were odd, to say the least, and poor at that. Service, however, was excellent. As far as the breakfast is concerned, after one try at the Windjammer, we decided to stay in the Dining Room, as this was never disappointing.
Lunches were so bad, that I find it difficult to even describe. It didn't matter where you ate: it was a repetition every day in both the main Dining Room and in the Windjammer. A couple of meals were so bad, that I pushed my plate away and didn't even bother reordering. We quickly found that it was better to order Room Service at lunchtime. Those meals were much better than anything else offered.
Dinners fluctuated from inedible to incredible. We ate one night at Izumi, but were not terribly impressed. Other passengers didn't seem to be entirely pleased over the other restaurants, so we didn't even bother. In fact, I think that business was so slow there, that that is the reason why they were offering 20% off at Izumi and a "Buy Chops and get Giovanni's Table for free". I do want to take this moment, however, to mention that the Dining Room service was impeccable and the best we ever had. Ernesto and Saturnino were on the ball and everyone was pleased for the entire two weeks. The maître d was visible every night, making sure to stop at our table and make sure everything was running smoothly.
The balcony was huge, wrapping around the port corner of the ship. However, there were rust spots all over and where an attempt at repair was made, a different color paint was used. It gave a very old, tired appearance, as did the entire cabin. I have heard that this ship was renovated, but if it was, Royal Caribbean has clearly wasted its money. The cabin ceiling needed a paint job and the bathroom had some rust issues as well. There were several minor things broken in the stateroom, none of which in itself was not a big deal, but it became more and more obvious as the journey wore on that all these things existed at all. The bed was comfortable. There was plenty of storage space. However, the décor was terrible and one couldn't help but feel that the room was decorated by a couple of frat brothers. The curtains didn't match the carpet or the furniture, et., al.
The television was almost a complete waste. There were barely any stations and once you had managed to see the current films (which you had to catch at their convenience), there was nothing to watch; not even an American news program was available.
Although we asked our steward for additional water on several occasions, as well as some other things, he was pretty poor at doing so. He did get the automatic tipping, but for the first time, we did not tip our steward any additional tip.
This was a real surprise. I think that this stop was one of the most interesting ports of call on the entire cruise. From the monkeys to the caves, this excursion was well worth the money.
We did not take any excursion in Tampa. We simply arrived from the airport and took a cab directly to embarkation. The process went smoothly and took almost no time at all.
This turned out to be fun. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. Aside from the fact that I still can't feel my legs, the toboggan down the mountain was worth it all. Everyone seemed to have fun with it.