I've been told for years that I need to try a cruise. Everything is included, you visit multiple exotic locations, the people are so nice...Ok, well, not everything is included and when you're a 1st timer (they have ways of determining this when you're booking), they do the best they can to nickel and dime you. The included restaurant fare is typical of a standard all-you-can-eat buffet in the US, with unspectacular but good food. The extra cost "specialty" dining is NOT WORTH the upcharge (we paid an extra $85 per person for 2 special meals (Chops and Izumi) that were better than the standard fare but NOT WORTH the extra cost). The house phones at the elevators were mostly not working. The casino is smokey, even on the non-smoking side. The excursion costs are marked up ridiculously. My fishing excursion could be purchased direct for 70% less than what RCI charged. Book excursion direct with reputable providers! They know how to get you back to the boat on time. Ports: Roatan was cool and Cozumel is at least mostly clean and you're protected from the constant harassment of beach vendors on the excursions at both places. Costa Maya should not be a port of call in my opinion. The immediate port area is small and you must go into town to find a beach, but you cannot relax as you're constantly bombarded by vendors. Also, since it's a Western Caribbean cruise, I think Key West, Cayman Islands or even Belize should be included rather than Nassau and most certainly rather than Costa Maya (but they will cost RCI more to visit). It wasn't all negative...My stateroom attendant Sandy did a great job and one of the waitresses, Kaping at the Solarium pool area was beyond attentive and helpful. My son (17) had a great time (although he was banished to his room the last night for having a pushing match with another teen, which I thought was excessive).
Overall, this cruise cost my family of 5 over $12,000 (we had two rooms, the budget balcony for the 3 girls and an inside 2-twin closet for my son and I) and I have to say, an all-inclusive resort that we looked at would have cost about $8,000 and in my opinion, would most likely be a better value.
Was small but served it's purpose and Sandy did a great job of keeping it clean and fresh. Shower pressure was awesome.
This is where you get on/off the boat. I wouldn't call it a port of call.