This was our 3rd cruise and 1st on RC. Overall we were pleased and had a great time, but I was annoyed at a few things. I realize that cruise ships make most of their money while guests are on board. My husband and I are more than happy to purchase bottles of wine at dinner and drinks while at the pool, and being from NYC, we think the prices are reasonable - in fact some seem cheaper than what we are used to. This cruise I was annoyed about 80% of the time - I was approached by every waiter while at the pool - even when I would have a full or nearly full drink in my hand. I don't remember being this annoyed on my other cruises. At one show in the theater a waiter literally stood next to my husband the entire show and as soon as his drink was low, he would say to him 'Mr. Michael' (using his first name, which I thought was rude - our last name is an easily pronounced name) can I get you another? While it was nice to have the waiter on stand-by, it was annoying to have him hoovering over us like that.
Another thing that annoyed me were the organized pool activities. I am sure some people loved it - they were often crowded and people seemed to enjoy it. My husband and I like to sit close to the pool, so we were subject to hearing the staff on the microphone doing various contests, etc. One contest, Mr. Enchantment of the Seas, was over an hour long. It was very annoying. I guess we could have moved, but we were already set up and had good chairs, so I didn't want to. At times the contest was funny but 60 minutes of it was just too much. The ship had a lot of activities to offer and we didn't participate in many. Sea days we slept late and enjoyed the pool and port days we went off the ship.
We went to all the shows in the theater and everything was great - funny comedians, great musicians, and a fun production show. The 2 other cruises we went on had several productions, this only had one. I think it was due to the short length of the cruise. We also went to see various musicians at various bars on board and all were great.
The casino allowed smoking - only 1 night of the 5 nights was smoke free - I thought it should have been at least 3.... so it was very smokey, which I don't like, so we only had the tolerance to play for a little while.
We had an inside stateroom, which we had on a previous ship, and we are not at all bothered by the darkness. We have an infant at home, and this trip was to celebrate our anniversary, so we were more than happy to sleep late and relax. Our room was in the front of the ship and sometimes we would hear very loud cranking sounds - it wasn't related to ports, but maybe it was related to the speed? Maybe we were speeding up or slowing down for some reason? It wasn't all the time, it happened maybe 4 times during our trip. But, if given the chance, get a cabin in the rear of the ship!
Our room was always clean upon our return from the pool/ports. Our stateroom attendant was nice. He did a nice job. One side note, we would see him often in the hallway upon returning and he would be polite, ask about our day, etc. but never opened the door. On a previous cruise, any time we saw our attendant in the hallway, he would open the door for us as soon as he saw us approaching, which I thought was a nice touch. Overall, we were happy with both the attendant and the room.
Our first night on the ship we went to Chops - the speciality steakhouse on board. I had the fillet mignon and it was perfect. My husband had the NY Strip and he was not happy. He had asked for it to be cooked rare and it was closer to medium well (he hates sending food back, so he just ate it) it was also a very fatty piece of meat. The appetizers, side dishes, and desserts were all excellent.
We chose 'my time dining' and on the second night, I called in the afternoon to make a reservation and the vm picked up - I tried several times and never an answer - even though at lunch they told me to call after 230pm. I left a message requesting the time we wanted and also requested a table for 2. We never heard back from them and so we went to the dining room at the time we wanted. Upon walking in, the head waiter was seating another couple and then said good evening to us, and the phone rang - he asked us to wait a moment and took the call, which I could tell was a reservation. I felt he should have put the call on hold. Considering I called several times and got no answer, I was amazed that he would answer while guests were standing in front of him. Another waiter lead us to a table of 8. I pulled him aside and informed him that I left a message requesting a table for 2. He went back to the main desk while we stood there and then brought us to a new table - for 2. We happily sat down. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent and we sat at that table 3/5 nights (one night at chops, one night at another table).
We got a bottle of wine each night and we were pleased with the selection and our choices. The menu was decent. I prefer a 4 course menu (salad/soup, appetizer, entree, dessert) and this menu was just 3 (appetizer, entree, dessert) so I would just order 2 appetizers - one dish, and a salad. Overall the food was good - some nights it was great, others it was OK. Service was always excellent.
Shopping on board was good. They had some great sales. I got a great Lacoste bag that was $105 for only $41. They have the usual ship shopping - RC items, jewelry, booze, perfume, etc.
We booked our flights through RC. We flew from LGA to Miami and then a bus took us to Fort Lauderdale. We were the only 2 people on the bus. We were told it would take about 45 minutes, but our driver drove VERY fast - at times I thought it was too fast, and we arrived at the ship in 20 minutes. Check in was OK. After going through security, I was waiting for my husband and so I was standing there filling out some of the cruise paperwork and was rudely told to 'not do that here' - so I stopped writing. Then a moment later I was told to 'move along'. I told them I was waiting for my husband and they said keep moving. I was annoyed at this - they were very rude and all of this took place in less than a minute, it's not like I was standing there for 10 minutes. From that point on, check in was quick and efficient.
On the morning of disembarkation we had an 8:30am time slot to leave the ship. We quickly got ready and met our group on the way out of the meeting spot, so we just headed off the ship. We got on the Miami airport bus and about 10 other people were already on it. So maybe the time was 8:45am. We sat there until 10:15 and during that time I asked what time we were leaving and was told by the driver we were waiting for more people. During that hour and a half only 3 more people got on, and I would say they got on about 10am and yet we sat there for 15 more minutes and then suddenly left at 10:15. Our flight was departing at noon so I was very nervous. The bus pulled out of the lot and we headed towards the high way - the driver took a few turns that ended us at a dead end. He said 'opps, it's my first day' - so we turned around and instead of going on our way, he went back to the cruise terminal to ask for directions - 95south. We pulled a u-turn and headed back out. We then turned toward 95north and the entire bus told him the way to go. He laughed and thought this was funny. I was practically having a panic attack. Luckily, traffic was light and we made it to the airport at around 10:50 - he pulled into the wrong lane - the car lane, not the bus lane, so we passed American Airlines and he would not pull over - I begged him, telling him our flight was boarding in 40 minutes. He continued driving until he could pull into the bus lane, so now we had to run back to AA. We made it to the gate just as boarding was almost done. While I appreciate the ease of booking with the ship, and going to the ship I don't mind delays, but going home, it may be worth it to pay for a cab so you can control your departure from the cruise lot and hopefully arrive at the airport at a time that you are comfortable.
Overall, out of my 3 cruises, I would rate this #3. I wasn't as impressed with the service as I was on other ships. This was the shortest cruise we have taken, so that might account for some of my disappointment. The ports were nice. The ship was well kept. The service was good, sometimes great. The menu could use some improvements and the bar staff could lay off a little. I would cruise with RC again, although not my first choice.
We had an inside stateroom in the front of the ship. It was a typical size. The layout was OK, not the best layout we have had. Sometimes we would hear very loud cranking sounds - it wasn't related to ports, but maybe it was related to the speed? Maybe we were speeding up or slowing down for some reason? It wasn't all the time, it happened maybe 4 times during our trip. But, if given the chance, get a cabin in the rear of the ship!
Our room was always clean upon our return from the pool/ports.
Grand Cayman is an excellent port - great beaches, excellent shopping, and other things to see and do (stingrays, turtles, etc) We visited this port on a previous cruise and did shopping, so this visit we decided to hit the ocean. We had booked an excursion to do a snorkel and beach day. When we arrived to the port we were immediately approached by people trying to sell their packages/trips/taxis/etc. We told them we already had tickets. We saw various signs for various tours, but not ours. We walked around and finally one of the locals asked to see our tickets and directed us to the correct meeting spot (which had signs, but not one for our excursion, but we asked other people waiting and we were all waiting for the same trip.) We waited about 10-15 minutes and then an employee came over and told us that the boat broke down and they did not have another one. Our options were a full refund or we could go to the turtle farm. We chose to get a refund. We went back over to the taxi area and boarded a van headed to 7 mile beach. We waited for the van to fill up and then we headed out. We were given options - a private beach or the public beach. Everyone on the van agreed the public beach. Upon arrival we all paid our $5 per person fee for the ride. At the beach area - Calico Jack's - we were able to rent 2 chairs and an umbrella for $16. Also in the area was a tent offering water sports - wave runners, snorkel, etc. I thought the prices were high - I think it was $75 for 30 mins on the wave runner. We just hung out in the water and relaxed on our chairs. Calico Jack's has a bar area and we enjoyed jerk chicken made by a bunch of local women in the kitchen and some drinks. Drinks were about $10 each (frozen) or about $6 for beers. The area also had a stand selling t-shirts, etc. and a woman braiding hair. They did not bother you, which I appreciated. Once we were ready to leave, they had vans ready to take people back to the port. It was another $5 per person to return to the port. We went into a few stores, but since we had already shopped there a few years, weren't really interested so we headed back to the ship.
For Cozumel we booked an excursion for a speedboat and beach day. Upon arriving at the port we easily found our tour guide standing under a clearly labeled sign. He informed us about the day and we signed the forms. It was a short bus ride to a private beach area - bathrooms, showers, pool, hammocks, food area, volleyball, shopping stand, massages and beach area. After 10-15 minutes of instruction we all got into our speedboats. The leader went first, then we had about 12 boats, and another staff followed. We drove for about 30 minutes to another private beach, that was just beach, to swim and relax for about 30 minutes. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area and was telling us about the area. Then we got back in our boats to go back to the private beach. Once there we had a little over an hour to relax, use the facilities, and enjoy a lunch that was prepared for us - which was delicious and included in our package. Then, a bus can to bring us back to the port. Once we got back, we browsed in the shops and purchased some items. My husband and I agree that this was a GREAT excursion and we had a great time. We highly recommend it.