We live in Canada and knew we would need to reacquaint ourselves with the sun by end Jan - hence this cruise.
For this first time, we decided to splurge on a Jr Suite, which was affordable due to the short length of the cruise. What great accommodations! Could not believe how much storage space we had available - many of the storage cupboards went empty! Wow - a couch and two lounge chairs - yes, purchased at the "uncomfortable furniture store from which Royal purchases all their seating accommodations" but having a choice was wonderful!
Balcony was lovely. Lots of space to kick back and enjoy the view.
Huge soaker tub in the bathroom. We are not bath people, but if we were, it would be great! Shower was OK at best. Temperature setting was not necessarily related to the temperature of the water!
Many issues on this trip ...
Kept doing the USD to CAD conversion and charging my card in CAD even though I asked them to charge my card in USD (because my card gives a much better conversion rate). On Day 2, when I got notice from my card that a purchase had been made, I noted it was in CAD. Called down to guest services, who advised I could not resolve the issue over the phone but needed to go to the service desk. Headed on down, waited in line, got to the desk ... and the staff member said yes they could fix it, but that I needed my credit card in addition to my sea pass card ... like the woman could not have advised this when telling me I had to come down to the desk? OMG! Back up to the stateroom, back down, more time in line to contemplate my wasted time and ... voila ... after only 30 min more, signing the waiver requesting my fees be charged in USD, re-swiping the card, re-issuing the sea pass card, all was fixed. Right until the next day, when I got to do it all again!! There were many in the line-up on day 3 that were having issues that had apparently "been fixed" the previous day. In my case, the day 3 fix did work. Hope everyone else experienced success too.
I have a food allergy. First time on a Royal cruise that we did not see our section head waiter or preview the next day's menu so the cooking staff could ensure my food would be prepared away from the food to which I am allergic. Mind you, we rarely saw our waiter either ... once to place our order and ... that's it. We often order from the non-published Indian food menu on Royal - usually a great variety of curry options. Asked our waiter what the Indian food option was and his answer, without checking mind you, was chicken curry and vegetable curry. If that is the limited choice offered on the boat, it is what it is ... but it is not a move in the right direction! Assistant-waiter was great!
Evening of day four, the toilet made a bizarre noise - like a regurgitation. Hesitantly took a look - volumes of black, gooey slime/sludge was quickly working its way to toward the top of the toilet bowl. Called maintenance who said they would be there in 20 minutes. We had our suite evaluation plans, including putting our suitcases on the bed, and waited for maintenance. Husband called again 60 minutes later; gotta say, tone was a lot less pleasant than mine. About 10 minutes later, an engineer came to take a look. His comment ... OMG! Guess I did not sound panicked enough. He went out into the hallway and accessed the plumbing panel, did his thing, and the goop disappeared. Good news ... did not exceed the volume of the toilet bowl! He sent someone to come and clean the toilet ... took some scrubbing!
The smell of the tobacco smoke from the casino permeated everything on deck four and the promenade on deck five. Consideration should be given to obtaining better smoke eaters, installing two-stage doors into the smoke polluted areas, and creating a negative pressure to keep the smoke in the Casino area, so the rest of the passengers are not subjected to the odour.
Though incredibly overworked, our cabin attendant went the distance to make sure we had everything we needed! Kudos to his hard work and attention to detail.
Mariia was the guest services contact who permanently fixed our card issue. Not only did she fix it, she called the next day to make sure it was not re-occurring. Her attention to detail fixed the problem correctly, her professionalism in checking back to make sure everything was fixed was very much appreciated and her concern and empathy made us feel appreciated and valued.
Diamond Lounge - real plus
Great coffee in the machine!!
Staff were outstanding - attentive, friendly and efficient.
Concierge Lounge ... not on this boat! It has been replaced with a Suite Lounge. Decreased services for Loyal to Royal members. Rather than being disappointed there are more C&A members sailing with Royal and cutting back on level perks, how about maintaining perks and privileges.
Top Tier Event - Absolutely outstanding
Great ice show performance.
Even better were the staff awards. So great to see hard-working team members be recognized for their contributions.
Everyone we spoke to felt the same way. Kudos Royal - great step in the right direction!
Good effort and very entertaining.
One of the shows was centred on a dancing team and, while this seems to be the trend after last year's Tango team, liked the older shows that told a story a bit better.
Headliner shows - great!
So ... some really great stuff; lots of room for improvement.
Each time we ran into issues that seemed to be dismissed by staff, we kept reminding ourselves we were down enjoying a cruise to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel and were enjoying warm, sunny days where we could have been home in the record, cold temperatures. We counted ourselves lucky.
We've done most of the excursions we want to do here.
Found a great little restaurant on our walk. Free snorkelling and diving access. Great townspeople. Had an awesome day.
Huge lunch - 3 draft beer (XX Amber), shared a quesadilla that filled us both, a coke ... and the bill was only $15 USD. Great value!
Walked from the boat to the beach.
Unpleasant to be accosted by so many cab drivers ... but it was a great walk. Palm trees provided shade through the bulk of the walk.
Beach is really nice. Prices get better the farther along you walk. Lots of food. Many places to eat. Tons of vendors for souvenirs. Water was awesome!!
Everything is incredibly overpriced in Grand Cayman.
HOWEVER, we went off the boat to walk around. Found a great dive shop for our next visit. People are really friendly.
Airport improvement is needed - should be bigger, more food outlets, more lounges, more seats, easier access.