My wife and I took the little 5 day cruise to Nassau and Cozumel. It was my first time on on RCI and my wife's second. Our previous history includes Carnival (a long time ago, but a good time with the kids), Norwegian, then Celebrity.
My wife saw a deal, and that was that.
We purchased the drinks package and BOGO (the first 2 nights dinner package). We loved them both and would do both again.
She is in good shape. You can find something if you want to look hard enough. Some parts of her might be a little dated, but all in all, I thought she was pretty. We were in a standard balcony on deck 8. Plenty of storage, the A/C worked fine, the balcony was nice, if not huge.
She is big enough to have most of the stuff RCI is known for without the need for months in advance reservations to see or use them. Reservations alone will keep me off of the bigger ships, I think.
The drink plan worked well, the bartenders were mostly very nice, but finding a good Bloody Mary was the challenge. A good Martini, no problem.
Chops was excellent. Sabor was very good. Main dining dinners were surprisingly good We tended to eat late (8:30 or so) and got in and out in an hour. Didn't feel rushed either. The waiters were great, attentive without being obtrusive. Windjammer breakfasts were fine. Seemed to have everything but herring and English bacon. Windjammer lunches were another story. My wife and I had trouble finding much that was good. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. The Windjammer lunch is what makes this a 4 star cruise for us.
Diverse, young and old with an amazing number of kids. Well behaved kids. They may have started to crumble a little on the last night but a lot of us were slowing down by the last night too. Our fellow passengers were almost all fun, open, easy to talk to and a joy to be around. They were some of the nicest cruisers I have been around.
What we did:
Nassau. We didn't even get off the ship. We have been there a lot and decided to enjoy a quiet ship. We did and had a nice day.
Cozumel. Went to Mr. Sanchos. Mr. Sanchos is a cheesy name for a really nice all inclusive day time resort. 2 pools with swim up pool bars, a nice beach with tables, chairs, umbrellas, and lounge chairs. The food, drinks, and service were great. We will go back if we ever end up in Cozumel again.
Would we sail RCI again?
We have to get over the lunches. You don't have a lot of choice for lunch unless you want to change your clothes and pay $20 per person to eat lunch at Sabor or Giovanni's. The Windjammer lunch just didn't really cut it for us. That being said, if the right cruise at the right price came along we would probably book it and would get by just fine. First world problems, 'eh?
However, if I was a parent with little or not so little kids, I'd live on those ships.
But not on 5 day cruises. Too short.
Fine. Lots of storage, nice and quiet, felt a little narrow.