We booked this cruise October 2017 with the RC UK doing BOGO Half Price plus free all-inclusive. It was a no-brainer for us as we loved the ABC island previously visiting them with Carnival. Plus it was a good opportunity to try the competition. After two cruises with Carnival and a couple with the European Cruise Line TUI, we think that we will be future "Loyal to Royal" cruisers.
We got to Port of Miami for about 1030 and was on board for 1110, very quick and easy. We were some of the first people on board. Making full use of the All Inclusive!
I have to admit the ship is outstanding! the biggest ship we have been on to date, we often looked down the Royal Promenade and thought how does this float? The ships main areas such as the dining room, promenade and Atrium still look pretty fresh and up to date, however in the rooms you can see slight age and wear and tear. The sofa, in particular, has seen better days and the dated 00's woodwork also shows the ships true age. The main thing for us was that the room was clean, which it certainly was by our steward Raul. I understand the ship is due a dry dock refurb next year so I will look forward to the result.
Food was pretty good on the ship and this along with the service is basically was has swung us to Royal. Windjammer was the usual buffet food, nice mixture of everything. Food looked fresh and well presented. The crew were always about asking if you wanted tea, coffee at breakfast and cold drinks at lunch. Only thing I didn't rate was the breakfast, no eggs Bennie was a gripe of mine at the Windjammer as we don't usual have that served much in the UK. We often went to Cafe Promenade for a quick continental Breakfast along with a iced coffee (AI)
The main dinning room was fab, the decor centered around this amazing chandelier was wonderful, our waiters Elvis and Igor made our holiday. We were a 8pm sitting and where the only ones at a 8 top table, fortunately for us we were treated like kings and made a fuss over. Both were very down to earth and attentive. Igor had a promotion one of the nights and told us he was getting promoted to Waiter from Assistant. Good Luck to him!
Entertainment was a bit of a let down apart from the Ice Skating show which was outstanding, a true highlight of the 9 days. The Royal Caribbean production was such a let down. Especially the Ball Room fever... by any means I am not hard to please, however it was that bad we walked out, as did others. We heard people joking in the elevators about the two male singers, they were awful. The dancers were pretty good but. We had a juggler and a Comedian. We stayed away from the RC productions after this. Carnivals Entertainment was far superior. Cuddy was ok, he seemed very scripted, I know this is the norm with a cruise director but you could really tell he was saying the same jokes for the last three months. It sounds very blunt but he didn't really add anything to my cruise.
People who have been moaning about this ship, cannot take away the fact that this ship has had some of the friendliest crew members I have ever sailed with. We loved Boleros, the guys and gals were wonderful, always smiling and making up drinks for you when you wanted something new. Everyone from the bar staff all the way to guest services was great. I cannot comment on the officers and we did not see any of them once in the full 9 days we were there. We once seen the captain on the Carnival Liberty with his kids at the buffet at night, along with others. Carnival seem to be very actively meeting guest or at least be seen.
All the ports of call where what we expected as we have been before, except Labadee which was pretty awesome. Very pretty and relaxing.
Overall I don't have any major complaints about the ship or service. We have been looking at RC next year and are considering one of the Oasis class ships. Hopefully they will bring back the free All Inclusive upgrade for 2019.
Cabin was very quite, easy to navigate as it was pretty much at the back. A quick walk to the elevators to go anywhere on the ship. We had our bed together when we arrived but did request separate. Once this was done the room was very specious for a Inside. Plenty of storage space and little areas to store items. Shower pressure was excellent. Cabin does show its ages as does most on the ship apparently. Nothing major however. Room was very clean.