1) My husband's sibling set up the cruise so we went along. 2) After a few Carnival Cruises, we wanted to try another cruise line for an upgrade. Didn't quite get that. But overall it was a good cruise relating to RCCI (lol can't do much about the weather which was windy, cloudy & rainy) 3) Haiti stop: Was nice walking around, frustrating walking through the open air shops area which many vendors begging you to stop & talk. These vendors have to stay in a certain area - there were shops that you would have to climb up the hill to get to which likely didn't get as much business. Two vendors wanted to give me a bracelet (no wait, take more!) I asked why they wanted to give them to me - they asked for a donation. Lunch was ok, We happened to be near the lunch area when it opened so the line wasn't bad. 4) Jamaica - Go in a group if you decide to venture outside the gated shopping area. They will happily lure you down back alleys otherwise. 5) Grand Cayman - we had a tour through RCCI that was rained out. I was very disappointed this wasn't announced on the ship messages or in the area where you go to meet your group. We didn't know it was cancelled until we went to sign in for the tour. 6) Cozumel - took a jeep tour through Shore Excursions. They did fine, but the weather didn't. We drove around the whole island mostly in a driving cold rain with an open sided jeep. Fortunately we had a top, but no sides or back. Aside from that, the water was absolutely beautiful. 7) Ship shows, I have seen more polished shows years ago on Commodore & Carnival cruises. But they were ok and well done. We enjoyed the back stage tour as well. 8) Dining - we had a group of 15 and were unable to get our group to sit together - this planning was worked on months before the cruise but fell in through the cracks. Service was slow the first 2 days, one of our party spoke to the waiter - she was quite upset. He came back a few minuted later to apologize. The head water was also around for that to be sure things got smoothed out. They did and service the rest of the week was fine. I appreciate how they handled the irate customer. 9) we had a problem with a coupon for a free specialty dinner - guest services took care of the situation to our satisfaction. 10) The ship overall has a somewhat worn look, but it was clean - our cabin steward was great & helpful. 11) The spa treatment that I had (reflexology & scalp massage) was wonderful. Very happy with the service. 12) we also got a $95 gift card to use at Costco with our package. It arrived within a week of when we got home. 13) Beverage card - my husband was told we would get a premium beverage package, but this ended up being a soda package only. He had reiterated this with the sales person, but alas it wasn't in writing. 14) Disembarkation - If you decide to carry off your luggage, the ship says to get down to the area for this at 6:45. Aim for 6:00 instead. You will stand in line longer, but will get off the ship sooner. Great if you have a long drive ahead. 15) Embarkation - we got there 11am and the wait lines were pretty short. 16) We traveled with 13 other adults. Had a couple spots on the ship where a couple of them tended to be (the English pub or the casino) so we could keep touch. 17) We chose to not buy the internet package (expensive) so communicating with our group could be tough but hey, people survived before cell phones. Our T-Mobile plan did work while we were in ports. I think we have a special something on our plan for international. 18) would I go again? As a person who doesn't drink, gamble, party or enjoy the late night shows, I wonder if its time to retire from cruises. I did enjoy the shows and the peacefulness of our balcony. This is about my 10th cruise. It was relaxing, but expensive. We spend just about $2000 including driving 7 hours each way to the port and staying at family's the night before the cruise.
Cabin average. But with a special we got through Costco, we were able to upgrade from an inside window (over the promenade) to this balcony room. Great location - balcony also has a view forward. :-) Balcony had 2 chairs and a little table.
Embarkation - We went early - 11am and things went fairly fast. $128 parking for the week. We met a couple who stayed at local hotel and their stay included parking for the week and they were shuttled to the ship. Not sure the hotel - maybe Comfort Inn
I enjoyed walking around. Our package included some of the rides & $25 of drinks at this stop. We didn't use them. Lunch was average - we happened to be at the place that served it when it opened (or our plan was to eat on the ship). The vendors inside the building were fine. The ones in the open air markets: it was hard to walk down the street because they want you to come in their booth and check out their wares. We were able to bargin with them. There was a shuttle that took us from the early part of the stop to the market areas. Overall, stopping at Haiti was bothersome for me - as I would rather do mission work there. But in that we made sure to buy some items to help in a small way. We walked around the spa area - the spa was empty, but the walkway was near the water & quite pretty and peaceful.
We did some shopping in the fenced in area. Ever looking for a bargin, my husband wanted to venture outside the gated area. He went alone and at once felt odd & decided to tag along with a group that left the gated area when he did. Nothing happened, but the area isn't as guarded as the fenced in area. Others in our group ventured out, one was asked to come down the alley to see what they sold. Funny though, some of the shops were at every port we stopped at (like the bamboo shop) aside from Haiti. Different from years ago when if you hesitated on a purchase your opportunity was gone.