My wife and I are back from this 7 day cruise. It is our 2nd RCCL cruise as we usually sail Celebrity. We had a great time with our friends. We visited Bonaire, Aruba, St. Kitts, and St, Maarten. We were in a aft balcony room 8392 and our friends were next door in 8390. The partition between the rooms could not be opened so we spent balcony time mostly on their side as theirs was bigger than ours. My wife and I are not overly particular about the ships we are on. As long as they have bar service, a pool deck and relatively comfortable amenities, we are good so the condition of the ship never really entered into the determination of a good cruise or not. This ship seemed to be in pretty good shape for her age. Our corner stateroom had a misshapen balcony but was still bigger than most along the side. The room was adequate for our needs given the little amount of time we spent in it.
Dining service was good but not stellar. This probably is the luck of the draw on the staff that serve you so wouldn't take my word for it. Your results may vary. The lines in the buffet seemed to move well and the food will keep you full if you want. If you go hungry, it is your own fault.
We had a bar tender at the pool bar who was fantastic. He made me a margarita that was perfect. No salt, shot of Grand Marnier and Patron silver. I believe he may of even put some mixer in it but I wouldn's swear to it. I was able to ask the pool staff to only ask for him when they were taking my drink order and I was able to get them delivered to the chair by the 2nd day. Didn't even have to get my lazy a$$ out of the deck chair. That is service at its best. The towel checkout was different for us but did not cause us any grief. You can check them out at the pool deck or at the gangway on shore excursions.
We did snorkeling with Woodwind tours in Bonaire and it was really a fantastic time. The food on the tour was good and the snorkeling was excellent. We walked around the downtown area a bit after the tour and I kick myself for not trying some of the jerk chicken and pork in the open air market. It smelled so good and there were a ton of people sitting around eating it.
In Aruba, we went to Eagle beach and spent the day sitting on the beach. We managed to save up 10 beers from our drink package that we took in a soft sided cooler with us to the beach. Our stateroom attendant brought us a big bag of ice to keep it cold in. We walked across the road to a resort and bought some Club sandwiches and fries for lunch. We were lucky to get one of the hard sided shelters to sit in the shade with for the day. the wooden ones are public and first come first served. The beach chairs are all different prices. We had one guy offer $35.00 for a pair of chairs and we found another for $20.00 for 4 so we took that offer. It was a relaxing day.
We had a sea day after Aruba and had a chance to try out the water slides. They are quite cool. I briefly contemplated trying the flow rider but after watching a couple of people land really hard, I realized that I am getting a little too old for things that involve the words "hold my beer and watch this". The rest of the day was spent talking with my friend General Patron and reading on the pool deck.
St.Kitts involved a different shore excursion than typical. We climbed Mount Liamuiga Volcano with Damian and Nevin as our guides from Captain Sunshine. This is a difficult hike. It is 3 miles up and 3 miles back down with very little flat sections. We had a great time and the view was awesome. Stopped at a little local bar for a Carib beer on the way back to the ship. The tour involved just the 4 of us and the 2 guides so it was a great time. Both guides are very motivating and keep you moving when you want to quit. No doubt about it. this is a hard climb.
St. Maarten involved a day tour with Captain Bob of Soualiga Tours. This is great way to see the island from the water. We had several stops to snorkel with sea turtles, a short beach break and a lunch on the French side on the beach. It also included a swim stop and a stop at Maho beach to watch the planes come in. All in all a great tour. The boat is a 38' Scarab with triple 300HP outboards on it. It was a wonderful day and the excursion is only a 15 minute walk from the ship.
We spent 2 days after the cruise in an AirBnB in Condado San Juan. We took a Bio Luminescence Kayak tour on the Saturday night in Fajardo and hiked in the El Yunque rainforest on Sunday. Our apartment was within walking distance of the hotel strip with great nightlife. We had dinner at Tijuana's Mexican restaurant and had a fantastic time. All too soon, we had to climb back on a plane and head back to Toronto. Sad to leave the Caribbean and our friends but we will meet again soon enough.
Feel free to ask any questions about the above or the ship. Happy to provide my .02 cents worth.
Cabin was clean. did have a sewer smell in the hall for a day or so but did not come in the room. Larger balcony with 2 loungers and two chairs and a drink table. The curve of the railing takes some space away but still quite large.