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Let me start by saying this was an AWESOME cruise. Pre Cruise - we stayed at the FLL Airport Sheraton. I had enough SPG points so this was a free stay. The room was a corner room on the 3rd floor and overlooked an air conditioning tower (well the room was for free!!!). Unfortunately the room had bugs - I think they were spider mites. Our lunch hamburgers were over cooked and not good. For dinner we went to the River Walk area (cab ride was about $20). It was very nice but expensive. We ate at the Grill Room and the food was excellent. DW then went shopping at Chicos and DS and I went shopping at Tommy Bahamas. Close to a grand later we headed back to the hotel (I told you it was expensive!!!). We woke up early, had a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel, and took a van to the port. The van cost $24 plus tip. All things considered, I would not stay at this hotel again. Embarkation - we arrived at the port around 11:00 am and there was a long line of cars waiting to get thru the security check point. It took us about ½ hour to eventually get to the luggage drop off area but once there the rest of the embarkation process was a breeze. I thought the luggage drop off area at Miami was much better organized than at Everglades. I actually worried a bit that our luggage was going to go to the wrong ship as they seemed to store it very close to where they were storing the luggage for the Costa ship that was docked nearby. Can you imagine a 6 day cruise and no luggage (I hope not !!!). The line to check in was quick and we were on the ship in about 20 minutes. Interestingly, while docked, our cabin looked out on the security check point and luggage drop off area. When we got to our cabin around 1:00 pm and looked at both areas there were no lines! I think next time we may wait until a bit later to get on. Cabin - we had 1400 which is a corner aft on deck 10. This was a great cabin. The walk aft was not an issue (especially after eating). The peace and quiet was nice. The view was unbelievable. I am now a committed aft cabin junkie. There is nothing like wake watching at sunset with a glass of wine!!! The cabin was much larger than a typical D1 balcony (it was almost as big as a JS). The room does have the infamous "stripper" pole. It is located at the foot of the bed and was not an issue in walking around (it did provide some interesting entertainment on several evenings!!!). The balcony was huge. It had 2 loungers, 2 chairs and a table. The room and balcony are directly underneath the Windjammer floor structure. We did not hear any noise from the Windjammer. The overhead did cause most of the balcony to have limited sun and lots of shade. While the ship was moving there was a nice breeze but while the ship was still the air was a bit stuffy. The overhead did also protect us from the smokestack dust that was visible on the aft cabin balconies that were below us. They seemed to do a very nice job of cleaning the dust every day but one of our Meet and Mingle friends that had an aft on deck 9 reported that the dust was not only on the deck but also on the loungers and table. I would imagine it could have gotten on your clothes if you left them out to dry. I probably would not take that risk and would aim for a deck 10 aft next time. Another thing about our balcony - the ships structure was sloped toward the corner. I am very tall so the far corner parts of the balcony were a bit low to my liking but I never bumped my head. Again - this was a great cabin and I would try to book it again. Wait a minute - strike all of this - the cabin was terrible and you should avoid it at all costs (so that I can get it again)!!! Day 1 - once we had gotten DS his soda card, set up our spa appointment, checked out our dining room table location we went to the Windjammer for lunch. This was the only time that we struggled to get a table. Windjammer food was as I remembered it - decent quality, lots of variety and something for everyone. No complaints here (I hardly ever complain about food!!!). I actually like the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We then went to our cabin but our luggage was not yet available. We then went to the Oliver and Twist lounge to meet up with our Meet and Mingle friends. This was fantastic as we got to meet everyone we had been posting with and were able to get the kids introduced. Our group was led by Sue (boss lady) Waterman and was as nice a Meet and Mingle group that we have ever had. We wound up spending most of our time with our new found cruising buddies. Around 4 pm we had our muster drill (boring) and were sailing away before we even got back to our cabin. By this time our luggage had arrived so we unpacked. Dinner was next. We had early dining and went to our table to find a couple in their sixties from Massachusetts. We had been expecting another couple with their 2 children (about our DS's age) but they were a no show. The Massachusetts couple quickly informed us they were moving to another table the next night so my DW and I were a bit worried we would be sitting alone the rest of the cruise (as well as wondering if it was something we said !!!). Any case dinner conversation was nice and dinner was great. Again - I never really complain about food. To me the dining room dinners are fine and if you do not like something - send it back. They will do anything they can to make you happy even if that includes bringing out 1 of each entree until you find something you like. How can you beat that? Our waitress was very attentive and knew our names and preferences quickly. It was then off to the champagne bar. Without going into too much detail - this is where the majority of my OBC went !!!. DJ and Claudia were great bartenders and kept the champagne bar groupies well entertained. Day 2 - Sea day. We woke up late, had breakfast and then went to our Meet and Mingle cabin crawl. I had never been in a promenade room before so this was great. We then had lunch and followed this up with a couples massage. We make the couples massage a cruise ritual but this time it was not that great. I like a real deep tissue (hard) massage and these girls did not quite get it done. Overall it was okay but for $240 plus tip it was not worth it especially considering Cost Maya (more on this later). DW and I agreed we will probably not do this anymore unless they had the Filipino girls we had on the Explorer and Navigator (they were awesome). DW then went to have her hair done (it was formal night) and then it was dinner time. This night the other couple with their 2 children were already at the table (yea!!!). They were from upstate NY and were really nice. We really enjoyed their conversation and our kids wound up spending quite a bit of time together. This is why I will probably never try MTD. Every time we have cruised we have met the most unbelievable people and always had a great time. To me, this is part of the cruising experience that should not be missed. After dinner it was off to the champagne bar (see a trend here yet?) and then to the casino. I played roulette for a bit and then found some friends from Meet and Mingle that were playing craps. I had never played before and they were nice enough to teach me how. I wound up playing for 2 hours and only losing $8. Well worth it. Day 3 - Belize. We took the RCL Paradise Beach excursion. The beach was unbelievable. The ride in was even more impressive. This truly is an island in the middle of nowhere. We did not take the snorkeling excursion from the island but our Meet and Mingle friends did. They said it was the best snorkeling they had ever done. Next time we would make sure to do this. DS spent some time playing volleyball while DW and I tanned and drank Dos XXX. I think we got the better of that deal. That night we had dinner at Chops. On our last cruise we had tried Chops for the first time and I was not impressed. We decided to give it another go this time. I had the NY strip and again was somewhat disappointed. Remember - I do not complain about food. The steak was about an inch thick. For those of you that really like a good steak you know that it should be 2 or more inches thick to cook properly and give you the texture that a good steak should. This steak almost tasted like it was broiled in a frying pan. It was okay but not really a steak house steak. DW had the filet and loved it. Go figure - different strokes for different folks. I would probably not go back but DW said she would. Sounds like singles night on our next cruise !!!!. Any case, the service was excellent. We then booked an hour lesson for our DS on the Flowrider. Normally they require 4 - 8 people to schedule a lesson. For us they only had 3 people but they decided to go ahead with the lesson anyway. What a deal !!! DS and 2 other guys had the Flowrider to themselves for an hour with 2 really cute girl RCL pros. I think the guys were all in heaven. In the end DS was able to surf for a few seconds at a time before crashing. Talk about wipe outs. There were some beauties. DS was sore for days but smiled the entire time. After the lesson the RCL pros but on a little show as to what they could do. That was amazing. We wound up tipping both girls for their patience, help and time. It was probably the best money I spent on the trip. Day 4 - Costa Maya. We took a taxi to the Pez Quadro beach club in Majahual (the taxi cost $6 plus tip). The ride to the beach was sad as most of the vegetation was still destroyed from last years (I think) hurricanes. The club was great. No charge as long as you bought drinks and food (I do not think there was a minimum). Beers were $3 and food was good and cheap. I bought what I hope are some Cuban cigars and had an hour long massage for $20. That's right - $20. How can you beat that? We then rented some jet skis ($50 for ½ hour) and had a blast. The wind was up so we had 2 - 4 foot seas but if you rode the crests or valleys of the waves you could really get up a lot of speed and then go for your "air time". By the time the ½ hour was up I was beat and my butt was sore. We then snorkeled but there was not much there to really see. Dinner was nice and our table mates again offered some engaging conversation. I remember a cold fruit soup that was fantastic. It was then off to the champagne bar and casino (surprise, surprise). This time I spent most of my time at the craps table and wound up winning $40. I had been up about $200 but got greedy and tried to push it when lady luck ran out. Day 5 - Cozumel. We went to the Nachi Cocum beach club. The cab ride was $15 plus tip. The club was great. It has limited availability (I think 50 people) so make sure to make a reservation. As RCL does not offer this excursion you need to use an outside excursion company to do this. You can find lots of them on the web - we used Island Marketing. It was the highlight of our excursions. The beach was beautiful, the club facilities were clean, and the restaurant food was outstanding. Drinks and food are included in the price and it was all well worth it. The staff was very attentive. We snorkeled a bit - the water was really clear but again not a lot of coral at the beach. We did not take a snorkeling excursion nor did we hear any feedback from those that did. We again rented jet skis (this time $60 ½ hour) and again had a blast. This time the wind was down so the ride was much smoother and we were able to really crank up the speed. The rest of the day was catching rays and sipping beers. Life is a beach and I did not want to go back!!!. We then took a cab back to the port and walked around to do some shopping. This night we had dinner at Portofino. As on all of our other cruises - Portofino's dinner was fantastic and the service exemplary. And yes, after it was off to the champagne bar and the casino (I am beginning to think I may be a lush !!!). This night I actually won $300 at craps. We had an older lady roll for about 20 minutes and everyone at the table made a killing. After that I was always looking for her at the table !!! Day 6 - Sea day. DS and I slept most of the day. Cruising is a lot of work and we really needed the rest. Once we got going we went to a late lunch and then went to the photo area to get our pictures. We then had a late cup of coffee and hung out on the promenade for a while with some Meet and Mingle cruising buddies. I then showed my DW how slots work. She had never really played and had previously commented that it looked really boring. After winning nearly $40 bucks on her 2nd machine I think she was hooked. We played until she lost her original stake and she seemed to enjoy it. I am not sure she is a slot junkie yet but at least she will probably play again (at least while I am at the craps tables). Dinner was again nice although DW did not like her chicken. I told her to ask for something else but she decided not to (I sometimes do not understand that woman !!!). DW then went to the final night show and reported that it was great. There was a juggler that also rode a unicycle. Apparently he nearly crashed into the audience and joked that he (and the audience member that almost got clipped) had done a number 2 !!!. DW said the rest of the show was just as entertaining and thought it was one of the best cruise shows she had ever seen. Of course dinner was followed by some more champagne bar and casino (I do not have any more doubts about that drinking problem now !!!). Unfortunately this time I lost $300. I had begun to think that craps was a sure thing (it probably is but not in the way that I was hoping) !!! Anyway I had a blast and almost breaking even for the whole cruise was worth it. Disembarkation - we were yellow and were scheduled to get off at 9 am. We went for a quick bite at Windjammers and then headed down to the Alhambra lounge to wait for our color to be called. Before we got there we saw our dinner table mates (who were also yellow) and they told us our color had just been called. We then headed to the elevator to go down to deck 1 (or was it 2?) and get off. Here is my biggest gripe with the cruise (and it really is not a big one !!!). Once we got off the elevator there was no place to move. We were barely able to find a place to stand when another elevator arrived and we were like anchovies looking for a caper. I would have suggested that RCL post someone at the elevators to hold them until there was room for the next batch to arrive. That being said, we did get moving in about 10 minutes and were in the taxi in 45 minutes from leaving our cabin. Like I said, not a big gripe but definitely something they could improve with a little better coordination. We then took a taxi to Miami (cost about $80 plus tax). Post Cruise - we stayed at the Hilton Airport. Again it was a free room - yea for business travel!!! This time we were on the 6th floor and had a partial view of the canal. The room was nice and was bug free !!!. We had a nice brunch, relaxed by the pool and then had dinner and watched a movie (Australia - what a tear jerker). The buffet dinner was really nice. They had big shrimp cocktail and the desserts were wonderful. I would stay in this hotel again (even if I had to pay!!!). Misc - Lots of families and kids. I prefer it this way - it keeps me feeling young. Graham was the cruise director. From the little that I saw him he was a blast. I only went to the show the first night. I did get to see him on the cruise TV recaps every morning. It looked like he was funny and kept everyone engaged. His try out video for the ice show was hilarious. The ship itself is amazing. That it was laid out like the Explorer class ships made it easy to find things. The added length and girth were noticeable but not by much. The ship still looked new and I did not see any signs of wear or tear. I love the Royal Promenade. DW reported the gym was great and she was always able to get a machine. The cantilevered hot tubs were cool. I cannot imagine a better class of ship. I can not imagine a better cruise. Yes - I remain a RCL fan and can not wait until the next time. Oasis - here I come.

IOTS February 15th 2009 (Presidents Week) Western Caribbean

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by IamJPT

Trip Details
Let me start by saying this was an AWESOME cruise.
Pre Cruise - we stayed at the FLL Airport Sheraton. I had enough SPG points so this was a free stay. The room was a corner room on the 3rd floor and overlooked an air conditioning tower (well the room was for free!!!). Unfortunately the room had bugs - I think they were spider mites. Our lunch hamburgers were over cooked and not good. For dinner we went to the River Walk area (cab ride was about $20). It was very nice but expensive. We ate at the Grill Room and the food was excellent. DW then went shopping at Chicos and DS and I went shopping at Tommy Bahamas. Close to a grand later we headed back to the hotel (I told you it was expensive!!!). We woke up early, had a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel, and took a van to the port. The van cost $24 plus tip. All things considered, I would not stay at this hotel again.
Embarkation - we arrived at the port around 11:00 am and there was a long line of cars waiting to get thru the security check point. It took us about ½ hour to eventually get to the luggage drop off area but once there the rest of the embarkation process was a breeze. I thought the luggage drop off area at Miami was much better organized than at Everglades. I actually worried a bit that our luggage was going to go to the wrong ship as they seemed to store it very close to where they were storing the luggage for the Costa ship that was docked nearby. Can you imagine a 6 day cruise and no luggage (I hope not !!!). The line to check in was quick and we were on the ship in about 20 minutes. Interestingly, while docked, our cabin looked out on the security check point and luggage drop off area. When we got to our cabin around 1:00 pm and looked at both areas there were no lines! I think next time we may wait until a bit later to get on.
Cabin - we had 1400 which is a corner aft on deck 10. This was a great cabin. The walk aft was not an issue (especially after eating). The peace and quiet was nice. The view was unbelievable. I am now a committed aft cabin junkie. There is nothing like wake watching at sunset with a glass of wine!!! The cabin was much larger than a typical D1 balcony (it was almost as big as a JS). The room does have the infamous "stripper" pole. It is located at the foot of the bed and was not an issue in walking around (it did provide some interesting entertainment on several evenings!!!). The balcony was huge. It had 2 loungers, 2 chairs and a table. The room and balcony are directly underneath the Windjammer floor structure. We did not hear any noise from the Windjammer. The overhead did cause most of the balcony to have limited sun and lots of shade. While the ship was moving there was a nice breeze but while the ship was still the air was a bit stuffy. The overhead did also protect us from the smokestack dust that was visible on the aft cabin balconies that were below us. They seemed to do a very nice job of cleaning the dust every day but one of our Meet and Mingle friends that had an aft on deck 9 reported that the dust was not only on the deck but also on the loungers and table. I would imagine it could have gotten on your clothes if you left them out to dry. I probably would not take that risk and would aim for a deck 10 aft next time. Another thing about our balcony - the ships structure was sloped toward the corner. I am very tall so the far corner parts of the balcony were a bit low to my liking but I never bumped my head. Again - this was a great cabin and I would try to book it again. Wait a minute - strike all of this - the cabin was terrible and you should avoid it at all costs (so that I can get it again)!!!
Day 1 - once we had gotten DS his soda card, set up our spa appointment, checked out our dining room table location we went to the Windjammer for lunch. This was the only time that we struggled to get a table. Windjammer food was as I remembered it - decent quality, lots of variety and something for everyone. No complaints here (I hardly ever complain about food!!!). I actually like the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We then went to our cabin but our luggage was not yet available. We then went to the Oliver and Twist lounge to meet up with our Meet and Mingle friends. This was fantastic as we got to meet everyone we had been posting with and were able to get the kids introduced. Our group was led by Sue (boss lady) Waterman and was as nice a Meet and Mingle group that we have ever had. We wound up spending most of our time with our new found cruising buddies. Around 4 pm we had our muster drill (boring) and were sailing away before we even got back to our cabin. By this time our luggage had arrived so we unpacked. Dinner was next. We had early dining and went to our table to find a couple in their sixties from Massachusetts. We had been expecting another couple with their 2 children (about our DS's age) but they were a no show. The Massachusetts couple quickly informed us they were moving to another table the next night so my DW and I were a bit worried we would be sitting alone the rest of the cruise (as well as wondering if it was something we said !!!). Any case dinner conversation was nice and dinner was great. Again - I never really complain about food. To me the dining room dinners are fine and if you do not like something - send it back. They will do anything they can to make you happy even if that includes bringing out 1 of each entree until you find something you like. How can you beat that? Our waitress was very attentive and knew our names and preferences quickly. It was then off to the champagne bar. Without going into too much detail - this is where the majority of my OBC went !!!. DJ and Claudia were great bartenders and kept the champagne bar groupies well entertained.
Day 2 - Sea day. We woke up late, had breakfast and then went to our Meet and Mingle cabin crawl. I had never been in a promenade room before so this was great. We then had lunch and followed this up with a couples massage. We make the couples massage a cruise ritual but this time it was not that great. I like a real deep tissue (hard) massage and these girls did not quite get it done. Overall it was okay but for $240 plus tip it was not worth it especially considering Cost Maya (more on this later). DW and I agreed we will probably not do this anymore unless they had the Filipino girls we had on the Explorer and Navigator (they were awesome). DW then went to have her hair done (it was formal night) and then it was dinner time. This night the other couple with their 2 children were already at the table (yea!!!). They were from upstate NY and were really nice. We really enjoyed their conversation and our kids wound up spending quite a bit of time together. This is why I will probably never try MTD. Every time we have cruised we have met the most unbelievable people and always had a great time. To me, this is part of the cruising experience that should not be missed. After dinner it was off to the champagne bar (see a trend here yet?) and then to the casino. I played roulette for a bit and then found some friends from Meet and Mingle that were playing craps. I had never played before and they were nice enough to teach me how. I wound up playing for 2 hours and only losing $8. Well worth it.
Day 3 - Belize. We took the RCL Paradise Beach excursion. The beach was unbelievable. The ride in was even more impressive. This truly is an island in the middle of nowhere. We did not take the snorkeling excursion from the island but our Meet and Mingle friends did. They said it was the best snorkeling they had ever done. Next time we would make sure to do this. DS spent some time playing volleyball while DW and I tanned and drank Dos XXX. I think we got the better of that deal. That night we had dinner at Chops. On our last cruise we had tried Chops for the first time and I was not impressed. We decided to give it another go this time. I had the NY strip and again was somewhat disappointed. Remember - I do not complain about food. The steak was about an inch thick. For those of you that really like a good steak you know that it should be 2 or more inches thick to cook properly and give you the texture that a good steak should. This steak almost tasted like it was broiled in a frying pan. It was okay but not really a steak house steak. DW had the filet and loved it. Go figure - different strokes for different folks. I would probably not go back but DW said she would. Sounds like singles night on our next cruise !!!!. Any case, the service was excellent. We then booked an hour lesson for our DS on the Flowrider. Normally they require 4 - 8 people to schedule a lesson. For us they only had 3 people but they decided to go ahead with the lesson anyway. What a deal !!! DS and 2 other guys had the Flowrider to themselves for an hour with 2 really cute girl RCL pros. I think the guys were all in heaven. In the end DS was able to surf for a few seconds at a time before crashing. Talk about wipe outs. There were some beauties. DS was sore for days but smiled the entire time. After the lesson the RCL pros but on a little show as to what they could do. That was amazing. We wound up tipping both girls for their patience, help and time. It was probably the best money I spent on the trip.
Day 4 - Costa Maya. We took a taxi to the Pez Quadro beach club in Majahual (the taxi cost $6 plus tip). The ride to the beach was sad as most of the vegetation was still destroyed from last years (I think) hurricanes. The club was great. No charge as long as you bought drinks and food (I do not think there was a minimum). Beers were $3 and food was good and cheap. I bought what I hope are some Cuban cigars and had an hour long massage for $20. That's right - $20. How can you beat that? We then rented some jet skis ($50 for ½ hour) and had a blast. The wind was up so we had 2 - 4 foot seas but if you rode the crests or valleys of the waves you could really get up a lot of speed and then go for your "air time". By the time the ½ hour was up I was beat and my butt was sore. We then snorkeled but there was not much there to really see. Dinner was nice and our table mates again offered some engaging conversation. I remember a cold fruit soup that was fantastic. It was then off to the champagne bar and casino (surprise, surprise). This time I spent most of my time at the craps table and wound up winning $40. I had been up about $200 but got greedy and tried to push it when lady luck ran out.
Day 5 - Cozumel. We went to the Nachi Cocum beach club. The cab ride was $15 plus tip. The club was great. It has limited availability (I think 50 people) so make sure to make a reservation. As RCL does not offer this excursion you need to use an outside excursion company to do this. You can find lots of them on the web - we used Island Marketing. It was the highlight of our excursions. The beach was beautiful, the club facilities were clean, and the restaurant food was outstanding. Drinks and food are included in the price and it was all well worth it. The staff was very attentive. We snorkeled a bit - the water was really clear but again not a lot of coral at the beach. We did not take a snorkeling excursion nor did we hear any feedback from those that did. We again rented jet skis (this time $60 ½ hour) and again had a blast. This time the wind was down so the ride was much smoother and we were able to really crank up the speed. The rest of the day was catching rays and sipping beers. Life is a beach and I did not want to go back!!!. We then took a cab back to the port and walked around to do some shopping. This night we had dinner at Portofino. As on all of our other cruises - Portofino's dinner was fantastic and the service exemplary. And yes, after it was off to the champagne bar and the casino (I am beginning to think I may be a lush !!!). This night I actually won $300 at craps. We had an older lady roll for about 20 minutes and everyone at the table made a killing. After that I was always looking for her at the table !!!
Day 6 - Sea day. DS and I slept most of the day. Cruising is a lot of work and we really needed the rest. Once we got going we went to a late lunch and then went to the photo area to get our pictures. We then had a late cup of coffee and hung out on the promenade for a while with some Meet and Mingle cruising buddies. I then showed my DW how slots work. She had never really played and had previously commented that it looked really boring. After winning nearly $40 bucks on her 2nd machine I think she was hooked. We played until she lost her original stake and she seemed to enjoy it. I am not sure she is a slot junkie yet but at least she will probably play again (at least while I am at the craps tables). Dinner was again nice although DW did not like her chicken. I told her to ask for something else but she decided not to (I sometimes do not understand that woman !!!). DW then went to the final night show and reported that it was great. There was a juggler that also rode a unicycle. Apparently he nearly crashed into the audience and joked that he (and the audience member that almost got clipped) had done a number 2 !!!. DW said the rest of the show was just as entertaining and thought it was one of the best cruise shows she had ever seen. Of course dinner was followed by some more champagne bar and casino (I do not have any more doubts about that drinking problem now !!!). Unfortunately this time I lost $300. I had begun to think that craps was a sure thing (it probably is but not in the way that I was hoping) !!! Anyway I had a blast and almost breaking even for the whole cruise was worth it.
Disembarkation - we were yellow and were scheduled to get off at 9 am. We went for a quick bite at Windjammers and then headed down to the Alhambra lounge to wait for our color to be called. Before we got there we saw our dinner table mates (who were also yellow) and they told us our color had just been called. We then headed to the elevator to go down to deck 1 (or was it 2?) and get off. Here is my biggest gripe with the cruise (and it really is not a big one !!!). Once we got off the elevator there was no place to move. We were barely able to find a place to stand when another elevator arrived and we were like anchovies looking for a caper. I would have suggested that RCL post someone at the elevators to hold them until there was room for the next batch to arrive. That being said, we did get moving in about 10 minutes and were in the taxi in 45 minutes from leaving our cabin. Like I said, not a big gripe but definitely something they could improve with a little better coordination. We then took a taxi to Miami (cost about $80 plus tax).
Post Cruise - we stayed at the Hilton Airport. Again it was a free room - yea for business travel!!! This time we were on the 6th floor and had a partial view of the canal. The room was nice and was bug free !!!. We had a nice brunch, relaxed by the pool and then had dinner and watched a movie (Australia - what a tear jerker). The buffet dinner was really nice. They had big shrimp cocktail and the desserts were wonderful. I would stay in this hotel again (even if I had to pay!!!).
Misc - Lots of families and kids. I prefer it this way - it keeps me feeling young. Graham was the cruise director. From the little that I saw him he was a blast. I only went to the show the first night. I did get to see him on the cruise TV recaps every morning. It looked like he was funny and kept everyone engaged. His try out video for the ice show was hilarious. The ship itself is amazing. That it was laid out like the Explorer class ships made it easy to find things. The added length and girth were noticeable but not by much. The ship still looked new and I did not see any signs of wear or tear. I love the Royal Promenade. DW reported the gym was great and she was always able to get a machine. The cantilevered hot tubs were cool. I cannot imagine a better class of ship. I can not imagine a better cruise.
Yes - I remain a RCL fan and can not wait until the next time. Oasis - here I come.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1400
Cabin - we had 1400 which is a corner aft on deck 10. This was a great cabin. The walk aft was not an issue (especially after eating). The peace and quiet was nice. The view was unbelievable. I am now a committed aft cabin junkie. There is nothing like wake watching at sunset with a glass of wine!!! The cabin was much larger than a typical D1 balcony (it was almost as big as a JS). The room does have the infamous "stripper" pole. It is located at the foot of the bed and was not an issue in walking around (it did provide some interesting entertainment on several evenings!!!). The balcony was huge. It had 2 loungers, 2 chairs and a table. The room and balcony are directly underneath the Windjammer floor structure. We did not hear any noise from the Windjammer. The overhead did cause most of the balcony to have limited sun and lots of shade. While the ship was moving there was a nice breeze but while the ship was still the air was a bit stuffy. The overhead did also protect us from the smokestack dust that was visible on the aft cabin balconies that were below us. They seemed to do a very nice job of cleaning the dust every day but one of our Meet and Mingle friends that had an aft on deck 9 reported that the dust was not only on the deck but also on the loungers and table. I would imagine it could have gotten on your clothes if you left them out to dry. I probably would not take that risk and would aim for a deck 10 aft next time. Another thing about our balcony - the ships structure was sloped toward the corner. I am very tall so the far corner parts of the balcony were a bit low to my liking but I never bumped my head. Again - this was a great cabin and I would try to book it again. Wait a minute - strike all of this - the cabin was terrible and you should avoid it at all costs (so that I can get it again)!!!
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