I was leader of a group of twenty friends age 60-70. And we chose this cruise for the Panama Canal itinerary. We ate in 4 special dining rooms and the Alizar and Grand Pacific for dinner with reservations made before we left home. My group generally agreed the food and service was very good.
Embarkation procedure was good although the terminal was hot and didn’t have enough seating. The entrance to the ship was lame and the atrium space is under whelming (but clean and nice) after being on some of the bigger ships. The public spaces were always clean. The food at dinner was very good to excellent, for lunch, in the Garden Cafe, the food was a little repitious but tasted fine. We did lunch several times in O’Sheehan’s. The burgers on the pooldeck were very good too. Dinner at Teppanaki was terrific, the food was delicious and I am not even a fan of Asian food. The chefs and their “shows” were fantastic. The group loved it. Cagney’s food was great too and service good. They were helpful with a large group. LaCucina was ok. It is small (as are all of the specialty restaurants) so less able to accommodate a group of twenty. Also there is nothing special about the ambience. No tablecloths just plastic place mats. And Moderno was also just ok. The same placemats as in LaCucina. The meat in Cagney’s and Teppanaki was better, but it was our last night and I could hardly look at food because I had already eaten so much.
The cabin (a balcony mini suite) was great, clean and comfortable. The bathroom had a tub and shower. So much closet and storage space.
We didn’t see all of the theater entertainment, but Blazing Boots was good. We felt like they missed the age demographic in the nightclubs. Not enough dance music from my time and too many games. Our cruise director was Jacky and I was not a fan. He tried too hard to get suggestive responses during the night time games and it felt like the only type of dancing he knew was line dancing. I felt the bar service was fine. There were always waiters circulating, but you can get a drink fast enough at the bar too. And a special kudo to Diamond, our bar waiter in the Bliss Lounge.
We did a few excursions. Basically they all worked well and were as described. The day at the Panama Canal was not as smooth we spent too much time waiting in the theater for the tenders, probably because we were late getting into and through the canal. The good news was the ship was early getting out of the lake and to Colon where everyone who went on an excursion was taken to reboard the ship. That way less time to kill in Colon.
Debarkation went well and we did an excursion in the Everglades that was a good way to spend time before a 5pm flight and it was also transport for the group to Fort Lauderdale.
And one final point. We had an included drink package but bottled water isn’t even included. Considering the ‘charge’ is shown as higher than RCI’s drink package. Water bottles should be included. It is on RCI.
Good space and storage. There was late night and early morning noise of chair moving that might disturb some people. Some of my friends left their balcony door open and said the waves drown the sound out. I use a mediation app on my iPad for White noise that worked. The sconces by the bed have a USB port on the underside of the light.