This cruise was picked for a group because of the itinerary. We travelled from the West Coast of Canada so our expectations were high. Embarkation went very smoothly as one of our group had priority status. We were given early access to our cabin and our luggage came along very quickly.
We had a balcony cabin but it wasn't much larger than the Oceanview cabin our friends had and there was little opportunity to use the balcony so I don't think it was worth the extra money. There was lots of storage but our suitcases didn't fit under the beds. The corner shower was teeny-tiny with just a curtain so impossible to get a proper shower.
This ship is very beautiful, especially the multi-story atrium and I really liked the glitz and glamour. It didn't feel dated at all.
We went to the buffet for breakfast and the offerings were pretty standard. The coffee was way too strong but we had the Deluxe beverage package so most days we stopped at the Cafe Lattes for a specialty coffee before going for breakfast. There were two options for dinner and we got the 5:30 seating. I found it too early and would have preferred Anytime Dining but was outvoted. We were seated at a table for twelve with a family group of eight (no children) who were very nice. The appetizers and desserts were good but lacked variety. The entrees were hit and miss and I had to send one meal back. I didn't like the heavy duty sales pitch for the specialty restaurants that we were subjected to during dinner on a couple of occasions.
There was a reduced price for the Italian restaurant on the first night so we did that. The food was delicious but too much waste - just a lot more food than we could eat. I went by myself to the Japanese restaurant for lunch one day and had very good tempura.
We played a lot of trivia on the sea days and took in some of the nightly entertainment although I retired most nights around 10pm. We did find a shortage of seating in some places. Went to the Solarium pool a couple of times but no seats available, most were being occupied by a towel. There is supposed to be a 30 minute limit for this but it wasn't enforced. The Park Cafe had drinks and snacks but it was disappointing there was no pub-type restaurant for things like chicken wings or potato skins. There are more pay restaurants than free ones.
The thing that stood out most for me was the excellent service. There is no shortage of staff on this ship and everyone was friendly and helpful. Almost everyone I came in contact with remembered my name and, in some cases, my drink selection. We loved the Schooner Bar where the trivia staff kept us entertained and challenged.
I was very happy with all the shore excursions I selected but the biggest disappointment of this cruise was the inability to get into CoCo Cay due to bad weather. Of course, safety must come first but In speaking with regulars on the ship, this is not unusual and sometimes they stay an extra day in Nassau instead. I would have really liked that. If I had known there were only going to be four stops I may not have booked this cruise. I certainly think RCI could have anticipated this problem and had a backup plan.
I'm not going to say never, but not sure I would sail on Royal Caribbean again.
I booked my own carriage ride around town through Palmetto Carriage tours. It was excellent. Just a couple of blocks from the pier and around the corner from the huge market. Very reasonably priced too.
I enjoyed this cruise although there was very little wildlife sightings, A bit oversold but still pleasant and relaxing.View All 20 Pontoon River Cruise Reviews
I thought this was great fun. Saw lots of birdlife and a few alligators. Loved the fast airboat. Really enjoyed the show after the boat ride as well.View All 129 Everglades Tour Reviews
I was very annoyed that most of these excursions were not offered before the cruise and I didn't know about them. This tour was definitely not as described. This is a tiny island with no shopping and is just a beach break. It included lunch and a drink which were excellent. The water was gorgeous but there was a shortage of shade and I was ready to go back earlier. There was not enough room on the first boat going back for everyone. As my dinner on the ship was 5:30 and I wanted a few minutes to shop I pushed my way onto the first boat to get back. When it turned out that we couldn't get into CoCo Cay the next day, I was very glad I picked this tour but probably would have gone to Atlantis had I known about it.View All undefined undefined Reviews