Our daughter booked this cruise for her family, which included a 6 year old, 4 year old, and a 14 month old. We found an interior room a few doors down last minute so we booked our cruise to join them. I knew nothing about Royal Caribbean or the ship when we booked. Our previous cruises have been on Carnival. We really liked the layout of the ship and we could easily get anywhere within a few minutes. On the flip side, we had some rough seas and really felt the rocking. I had to take motion sickness medicine three different times during the week. I really felt bad for the kids' adventure club staff and the kiddos during those times. The kids' club is located in the front of the ship on deck 10. The kids handled it way better then me. I had to get back down to deck 4 on those days. The kids enjoyed going to the kids' club. The baby went to the Royal Tots a little every day. He did prove to be a challenge for the ladies but they kept at it. We are pretty sure he got to hang out with the captain's little baby boy some of the time.
Our dining experience was super! The only dining time left when we booked was at 8 pm. Meanwhile, our daughter and family had My Time Dining. The hostess was very accommodating and made us standing reservations all together in MTD for 5:30. Our waiter, Estrella, and assistant waiter, Gede, were the BEST! They were great with the little ones, including having fruit bowls ready for them each evening when we first sat down at the table. They really made our dinners enjoyable because of their attentive timing and service!! We ate most meals in the dining room as it was easier with the kiddos. We did eat a few in the Windjammer and enjoyed the offerings as well as Ida, our area server, and Angelina, who greeted the kids by name each time we went there.
We had an interior cabin for the first time ever. We were worried about it but we actually ended up liking it better than an outside cabin. Our daughter's window was dirty, plus we think we slept better since it was darker. The shower curtain kept trying to get intimate with me making it very difficult to shave my legs. Cabins are dated but the bed was comfortable. Our room steward, Dhanny, took great care of us even though I could never remember to put our magnet out alerting him that he could come make our room up. He was always around with a smile on his face.
Entertainment staff was good. Entertainment overall was okay. Never made it to the 11 pm Viking Club dancing and I am a young 55 year old, which probably was on the young side of the median age on the cruise. I wish we would have known about some of the special events prior to leaving home. I would have brought tropical, mardi gras, and disco clothes as well as fun materials for the egg drop contest.
Ports - Cozumel is fine but we've been there 4 times now. The port information guy suggested a beach place for us. It was bad. When you pulled up there was a sign that said "Absolutely no refunds." Luckily, our taxi driver waited while we checked it out. He whispered to me that he would take us somewhere better. He took us to the Paradise Beach Club, which was perfect. My hubby and I had actually been there before but couldn't remember the name of it. Costa Maya we never have to go to again. Grand Cayman was just ok. Some of the locals don't seem as friendly and care more about the money. The port transportation buses don't leave until every seat is filled and they wanted to charge for the baby even though he didn't take up any seat. We went to another beach club for a little while and then did some shopping back near the port.
Overall - the 6 year old said he wanted to go on a cruise every year until he is 100 so I'd say it was overall a hit. Our daughter was very satisfied with the kids' programming and service so she is on board with cruising again in the near future. We will most likely join them as long as it is a slightly bigger ship. I love cruises but don't like being seasick. A little bigger and newer ship would probably be better for that.
Great location mid-ship. Easy to get everywhere. Short walk to the Centrum, dining, elevators either way. They are a little dated but the bed was comfortable. Plenty of storage. Limited walking space. Shower is small with a curtain that kept trying to cling to me.
We walked to the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, church, and riverfront from the port. Sampled beignets and Cafe Beignet.
Second time to Paradise Beach Club. Pool, beach, good food and drinks... what more could you want??
Not too impressed. Didn't take an excursion. Just made the shopping loop and headed back to the ship.
We took the port transportation bus to Calico Jack's. Very narrow beach right there but sugary soft sand. Expensive drinks and food. When shopping, the farther from port the lower the price on almost all souvenirs.