My friend and I were interested in doing a cruise together and we were recommended Royal Caribbean by our travel agent. I had cruised before on the Queen Mary 2 but was interested in experiencing a more casual cruise. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it as much but I definitely did! I did a lot of research about Royal Caribbean beforehand so I was well prepared with what to expect when we were on board.
Boarding in Sydney was pretty painless. We arrived a little earlier than our boarding time but they said it wasn't a problem. We had to cue for about half an hour but the line moved very fast and in no time we were on board. We went straight up to the Windjammer to have some lunch, and thankfully we arrived right before the rush so we had a nice table overlooking Sydney Harbour. The food in the Windjammer was decent - I really enjoyed the pasta and the yummy cookies - but the crowds were a nightmare. We eventually ended up avoiding the Windjammer completely because it was nearly impossible to find a seat.
We were in room 9504, right at the front of the ship overlooking the bow. The beds were okay - a little bit too hard. The sheets and pillows also seemed like they'd seen better days but everything was clean. Our room attendant was Randy and I could not fault him, he was fantastic. As we were at the front of the ship there was a lot of movement but it didn't bother me - I actually found it quite nice!
We booked a large oceanview room - it was very spacious, lots of cupboards and places to put things. The bathroom was small and we noticed that when we had a shower it tended to flood the bathroom, even with us having the shower doors closed. The beds were a bit hard but not too bad.
We booked a $15 transfer on the ship for the bus to Yejele Beach. There is nothing much else to do at Mare - there is only a little village and some houses on the island. The beach is beautiful but there was a long wait to get on the buses, and also to get back from the beach and then back on the ship. The beach is sheltered, and the water was crystal clear and great for snorkelling.