We booked this cruise through the RC website, along with a Universal Orlando package. First two days were at Universal, lodging at the Hard Rock Hotel. All transportation was provided. I only mention this to say the communication aspect was kind of poor. We didn’t really get detailed instructions for the first part of the trip and had to figure things out as we went. I am comparing this to how a travel agent would handle this type of package.
Saddest thing was the weather. 65 and a little rainy on ship-off day. Then, our day at sea was similarly cold, rainy, and windy. I’m pretty tolerant of being on a ship, but I was feeling pretty green after waking up on sea day. Captain said 10 meter seas!
We upgraded to The Key and embarkation/debarkation were a breeze. I mean, amazingly quick and efficient. We self-carried off the ship and showed up at 7:10. By 7:15 we were off. Make sure to tell staff you have this and ask them how to use the benefits. It does include internet for all people in the cabin as well. We didn’t get much value out of this upgrade other than the things mentioned above, mainly because of weather and the nature of the ship itself.
The ship is older and definitely shows its age in places. The cabin and hallways were worn from wall to floor. We had an ocean view at the back of deck 3 and I don’t think I’d do that again. We were right under the main kitchen and it was loud all night. However, the bed was comfy and everything worked.
Service was top notch. Safwan, our room attendant, was extremely nice and attentive. He was great to the kiddos and always had a smile for us. Crisostomo and Mark, our waiter/assistant, were also amazing. Cris gave us a tip that made breakfast so much more enjoyable - eat in the Park Cafe! In all, it seemed everyone had a smile and a greeting for us that made us feel welcome.
Food was good. As a former foodservice manager, I understand the difficulty in providing high level food to thousands of people. RC does an excellent job of this, though I wasn’t too impressed by the Windjammer. In fact, I hope I never have to eat there again. It was just too crowded and the food wasn’t that good. I’m comparing this to the Disney Dream buffet, which I thought was very nice.
The pool deck is large and very nice. Two good size pools and four hot tubs. They opened the Solarium to everybody on the sea day, thankfully. Though I’m sure it annoyed the adults, there wasn’t much to do for the kids that day.
Plenty of places to get drinks and they were consistently delicious. Speaking of drinks, I do wish I’d just bought the dang drink package ahead of time instead of the first day. Probably threw away $100 that way.
We watched one show on night 1 and it was good. Just never managed to make it the other nights. It was Don Gray comedy and the kids loved it. Other nights we played bingo, trivia, watched karaoke, etc. The parade of flags on the last night was awesome! Never did gamble, but the casino looked decent. We have plenty of casinos at home, so it wasn’t a huge draw for us.
Kids club was really well managed and the kids were always annoyed when we came to get them - a good sign! We utilized the kids club dinner once and enjoyed dining as a couple.
As noted, the at-sea day was pretty lame. The crew added indoor activities, so it’s no fault of their own. We just had two kids cooped up in the boat. Originally had planned to use the Key for the rock wall and jumping attraction, but both were closed because of the weather.
Nassau was fun! Last time I hadn’t really liked it much, but we walked down to Junkanoo Beach and the sun came out finally! Enjoyed some street food and drinks and swam the day away.
The pier is open at Coco Cay, which made the benefit of priority status on the tender a non-issue. Well worth it of course, because it was so easy to get off/on the boat. While the water park still isn’t done, the humongous pool and new dining area is. Easily the best lunch of the cruise - they had some very good carnitas tacos. Weather at Coco was awesome and we just enjoyed every minute of the experience. Staff was quick to help with chairs and umbrellas. Tip: the farther you walk, the better your seat. Brought our own snorkels and used the complimentary life vests. Saw some fish and rays. Another tip: the pool is amazing and worth visiting.
In all, we would do it again and hope for better weather. We liked RC for the fact that they make the whole cruise seem like a four night party. While Disney does kids very well, their adult activities sometimes seem like an afterthought compared to the plethora of things RC organizes for adults. Both have good kids clubs, but I think mine preferred RC because theirs was smaller and a little more personal.
Don’t stay here. It’s right under the kitchen and noisy. Pretty prone to waviness too.
The Key made the port a breeze.
Junkanoo was fun! Otherwise, it’s just Nassau.
Amazing. Truly a fantastic experience.