My boyfriend and I just returned from this cruise and really enjoyed ourselves, the weather was great and the staff on the ship were very helpful and friendly. We also felt this cruise was a great value for the money spent. The pros are the helpful staff, our spacious and very clean cabin (I have pictures if you'd like to see) and variety of activities including miniature golf and a great spa. The cons: the food was not so great - although breakfast was fantastic, dinner fell short - and it is clear that Royal Caribbean is still figuring out how to cruise in South America so things such as the port transfer may take longer than expected. (Santos, the port, is an hour and a half outside of Sao Paulo, but the bus transfer may take up to 2 and a half hours)We were in a suite, so it was quite spacious with a bar and pull out couch in the room and a bathroom that I am ashamed to admit is larger than in my NYC apartment! Our balcony was also much larger than expected with room for two chairs, table, and a lounge chair. Very quite with a great view, I highly recommend the suites on this ship. If you would like pictures I have some for review. The ports were great fun as well, but guests must keep in mind this is not America or Europe, so things run a bit different in South America. That is, you may have to be willing to converse a bit in Spanish, or find your way around the cities by yourself, and expect things to run a bit behind. A few brief examples: the port in BA puts you out by a bunch of taxis, you simply get in one and tell the driver where to go, but some Americans on our cruise found this confusing. You also have to remember where to ask the taxi to take you back to (Terminal des cruiseieros, they'll know what you mean) In addition, most of our excursions were cancelled, but this ended up being better. We had booked a schooner cruise in Brazil, but instead when we got off the ship we hired a local to take us out snorkeling on his sail boat. We even got to help sail the ship! It was a great experience and certainly better, and cheaper!, than Royal Caribbean's plan. The second important point is that most of the passengers are Brazilian, which means non-english speakers. However, all the staff, and most of the passengers, speak English quite well and we did not feel uncomfortable or awkward at any time on the cruise. In fact, we picked up some Portuguese and had some great cultural experiences. Overall, this cruise was great fun but definitely for more seasoned travelers who are willing to go with the flow and experiment a bit. This cruise is NOT NOT NOT for the typical American traveler who expects perfect English everywhere and spoon fed service, you will miss out but probably be dissatisfied with the cruise. If you are looking for some adventure and fun in a new place, this cruise is for you!
We were in a suite, so it was quite spacious with a bar and pull out couch in the room and a bathroom that I am ashamed to admit is larger than in my NYC apartment! Our balcony was also much larger than expected with room for two chairs, table, and a lounge chair. Very quite with a great view, I highly recommend the suites on this ship. If you would like pictures I have some for review.