This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth but we were told to wait until the ship was ready for us (cabins need cleaning). There's not an awful lot at the cruise terminal so sat around waiting at least an hour then along came a member of staff with a megaphone, couldn't hear clearly what she said but caught we could board.
We went straight to our cabin, which was ready (had not been told we could not) popped our bags in and went to go for lunch in the buffet restaurant, we were met by a cabin steward who rather rudely asked what we were doing and said we should not be here and showed us out of the corridor. Lunch was good, plenty choices and we had a wee wander around to get our bearings and then headed to our cabin. The cabin was average size for an outside on deck 3 forward, first time we had the bed at the window, which I quite liked. Lifeboat drill went quite smoothly then we were free to enjoy our cruise. As time went on we notice we always seemed to have a problem catching the waiters eye to get a drink order (was this because we had a drinks package) at least in the buffet restaurant anyway which was where we chose to eat all the time. The New Year celebrations were good, although it was the first time we had to buy our own drink to toast in the new year but did find they seemed to be short staffed, are they running the ship down before passing to Thomson,
surely not as that would not be good customer satisfaction. Most of our fellow passengers we spoke to who had cruised with RCCI before said we had chosen the oldest ship of the fleet for our first cruise with them, but surely that should not matter. There just didn't seem to be the same welcome atmosphere you normally get all through your cruise.
When it came to the end of the cruise we had to have our cases outside by a set time as usual, but we were running a little late, got cases outside our cabin only to find they were still there the next day - never had that before. So we had to take our own luggage off the ship and no one offered to help, that made us feel that we were just forgotten about and they were too busy getting ready for the next lot, never felt like that so much before, have noticed that the ships that are America run do seem to like you off the ship asap.
Has it put us off cruising with RCCI, no - if the iterary is right we don't mind who it is with.
Cabin was fine, further forward that we would normally like but the ship didn't have a great deal of motion, hardly knew you were moving. Average amount of room in the cabin, with the usual hanging space and plenty of drawer space, shower room was average for the size of cabin.
Been to Dubai before and enjoyed looking around seeing all the changes, we also stayed a few nights after the cruise.
We did not take any excursions as we just wanted to wander at our leisure.