We never had been on a Christmas cruise before and had never travelled to the Southern Caribbean; therefore, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba and Labadee, Haiti were intriguing choices. We live in Miami, so it was an easy journey to and from the terminal.
Our interior room with a virtual balcony was fine! We could see the ports of call and the ocean. It was a nice touch! Were were on Deck 9 mid-ship and port side which was quiet and centrally located. The cabin’s vanity and storage areas were large, plus we had a safe and a small refrigerator and a flat screen tv which pulled out of the wall. The bathroom was small and clean and the shower had plenty of hot water. The shower stall has circular, rotating doors instead of a yucky shower curtain that sticks to your backside! The bed was reasonably comfortable, plus the AC control worked well.
Cuddy, the Cruise Director was perfect for the job! He was approachable and enthusiastic! We were singing Christmas Carols on the Royal Promenade on Christmas Eve. They even handed out cookies and songbooks while we sang with the professionals. It was a joyful experience!
The ship’s band was superb and played in various acts and ship activities. It was a pleasure listening to them! Horizon, a Motown act, and Jack London, a Las Vegas entertainer gave quality performances. I also recommend the ice show. The costumes and choreography were mesmerizing! Speaking of costumes and choreography, the Royal Caribbean performers rivaled some Broadway shows in terms of talent, theater sets, costumes, and technical aspects. We didn’t miss one of their shows. There were comedians as well, but we couldn’t see them all.
The Windjammer’s food was exceptional! There was expensive oxtail stew along with steak and goat and lamb curries and stews. There was also Indian and American fare. The salads and fruits and vegetables were pleasing as well. There were even large shrimp and paella-like dishes throughout the cruise. On Day 8 there was a large variety of torts and cakes to sample which were artistically presented. The gingerbread display added holiday cheer as well as the 2 greeters who were delightful! “Washy Washy Your Hands!”
The Sapphire dining room boasted lobster and leg of lamb and many other treats. The service was excellent and consistent in both eateries. We didn’t eat at the upcharge restaurants. We participated in a champagne tasting which was reasonable and educational and fun!
There are plenty of ship activities to choose from including wine tasting, salsa dancing, going to the gym, swimming, big screen pool movies, and shopping lectures. You can even ice skate or rock climb! Simply reading or ocean watching or sipping and napping were great in the adults only Solarium. I highly recommend the Captain’s Bridge Tour and the Bottomless Brunch Tour!
Labadee was an exquisite resort. We rented a beach cabana for 2 and rode the Dragon’s Breath Alpine Coaster. Aruba was our favorite island due to its architecture and range of activities and natural beauty, but Bonaire and Curaçao had their charm as well. We took the Royal Caribbean tours which were of high quality and comfortable.
Royal Caribbbean consistently delivers a high quality vacation to cruisers of all walks of life. The crew and passengers we met were positive, and yes, we’d go back again in a heartbeat! Here’s to more adventures in 2018!