WE chose this cruise because my husband had the week off, the port was close to home, and we had enjoyed all of our other Royal Caribbean Cruises. This cruise was the exception. Just as a side note. This was our 14th cruise, the 4th on Royal Caribbean. We have also cruised on Holland America, Princess, Norweigan and Celebrity.
First, the stateroom. We were in cabin #9370, a balcony cabin. The bed was terrible. It was like sleeping on a table. We could not sleep more than 3 or 4 hours at a time without waking up in pain and having to move around. We asked our room steward for an egg crate to put over the mattress, but apparently the ship does not stock them anymore. The room steward was able to only get an extra quilt to put on top of the mattress,which helped not at all. The room itself was adequate, the steward did a nice job keeping it clean, no complaints there.
The Windjammer Cafe. Disgusting. I have never been on a cruise before where the staff sees food on the floor and simply walks past it without cleaning it up. Whole pieces of bacon, lettuce leaves, pieces of fruit. Just laying there in front of or near the buffet line. The staff in the Cafe were indifferent. You were lucky to catch them to get you water, or lemonade. Mostly, you ended up getting it yourself. I never saw such a lackadaisical attitude on any ship or cruise line we have been on. We had to ask to have the tables cleared off and wiped off, and even if you could get a crew member to do that, you would still be left with pieces of food on the chairs and on the floor around you. It was really gross and unappetizing. The food itself. Horrible. Old food. Rotten fruit. Pieces of watermelon that would bend in half from being so either frozen or waterlogged. Blackened and burnt potatoes. Overcooked hamburgers and hot dogs. Breakfast sausages and bacon so overcooked as to be almost inedible. There was not a lot of variety. Much of the time, half of the Windjammer would be closed for cleaning, even on sea days when there was no where else to eat.
The main dining room. The food was good. The wait staff was excellent. The one thing that was very disappointing was the fact that, although we had two formal nights, and most people made an effort to look nice, there were still many people that chose to come to the dining room, in one case, a man wearing a "beater" t shirt, people wearing shorts, baseball caps on backwards, and just a general attitude of disrespect for that tradition. It made us feel foolish to bother getting dressed up.
The shows were pretty good. The hypnotist was great, as was the comedian. One observation was that the Adults Only rule was not followed. Kids were everywhere. In the 80's dance party, which was after 9:00 pm, the dance floor was filled with young children. In fact, they almost took over the venue. There was one little girl, maybe around 6 years old, that was so overtired she lay down in the middle of the dance floor and pulled her dress up to her waist. Her mother just stood by, talking, ignoring her . . . .Kids pushed their way into the adult games,. woman vs. men, and the Irish activities director just ignored it. The only "adult" in the room was during The Quest, when Mercedes, the cruise director, actually insisted that the parents remove their young children from the room.
As far as the ports. We have been to Grand Cayman before, so we just walked around, did some shopping, and had a turtle burger.
Costa Maya was the newest port, and it was very, very overpriced and overcrowded. Imagine Times Square on New Year's Eve. The port is still under construction, so there is pretty much only one path to walk on, a very small pool to sit in, and very overpriced shops. For example, there was a cute flamingo shirt I wanted to get for my husband. Asking the price, the man said $60.00. I started laughing. At that starting price, there is no negotiating. I could probably buy the same shirt at Bealls for $29. There was a very sad and small pool for the dolphin encounter. There was barely enough room for the dolphins to swim around. I felt so sorry for the animals and hoped they got to go to a larger space at the end of their "work day". The port could barely sustain one ship, yet there were 3 ships docked that day. It was almost impossible to even walk around, and we pretty quickly decided to go back to the ship.
Cozumel was our favorite stop. We have been here several times. We did the beach break. In the past, that price included an all you can eat lunch buffet. No more. The ocean was so choppy it was unsafe to swim. The red flags were out. The water toys were all removed from the water. The pool was overcrowded with kids. We took a chance on the excursion, because the excursion sales person did mention that there was a lot of seaweed on the beach and the tides were high. We gambled and lost. It was too windy to stay at the beach, so after about an hour we ended up taking a taxi back to the cruise port, and spent some time shopping around.
It seems that in the past, there used to be a lot more activities on the ship. Now, most of them seem geared to a "seminar" to get you to buy jewelry, beauty treatments, cigars, liquor . . .it feels like it has become a big, captive audience sales event. We laughed when we went on Holland America for the first time, because it skewed with such an older cruising crowd, but we had a two day cooking class that we really enjoyed, and to this day make a few of the recipes.
Royal Caribbean used to be our favorite cruise line. I really feel that Royal Caribbean has become the Walmart of cruise lines, which makes Carnival, in my opinion, be downgraded to the Dollar Store of Cruise Lines. The room steward told us that we should have brought our own blow up mattress to put on top of the terrible bed. Yeh, like that is going to happen.
As I stated before, the bed was terrible. It was like sleeping on a table. The steward told us we should have brought our own blow up mattress. There were no egg crates to put on the bed. Only an extra quilt, which did not help. The cabin itself was fine, the bathroom was tired. We had to ask for extra towels as only two were provided.
We love the port because we got off the shop at 7:00 a.m., and by 7:45 a.m. we were sitting at the Cracker Barrel near our home having breakfast.
Same shops as everywhere else. You could be anywhere.
Overcrowded and overpriced. Don't bother getting off the ship, unless you want to see dolphins kept in inhumane conditions.
The ocean was too dangerous to go into, the water toys were removed from the water, and unlike before, lunch was not included in the beach break experience.View All 696 Beach Reviews