We chose this cruise based on price and intinerary. It was our first on RCCL and third cruise overall. Traveled as a family of four, with kids ages 9 and 11. We thought this cruise and ship were outstanding. We didn't realize upon booking that it was going in for refurbishment, so that was a great surprise.
Embarking and disembarking for us went well, but we were there very early at 11:30am. My understanding is that those that arrived even a half hour later waited for quite some time to board.
The staff was outstanding, especially to our kids. The Flowrider and waterslide assistants were particularly helpful! Dining room staff and stateroom attendant were all very good, though I'd stop short of saying excellent.
We were never nickel and dimed for anything. Just a few offers from staff for the specialty restaurants, but nothing beyond that. The photographers are there of course, but tolerable.
Elevators were a struggle throughout the cruise. Waiting times were long and even when a car arrived, it was often full. Elevators were sometimes marked out of service. It would be improved if able bodied people who were only going one level would just use the stairs. For reasons I don't understand, the aft starboard set was the most reliable for us.
We took great advantage of most of what the ship had to offer:
- Waterslides: excellent. The single rider one is a bit fast for adults so I only rode it a few times. The double slide, where I could go with my kids, we did dozens of times. It was busy from 11-2 or so, and we avoided those times. After 4pm, we had the place to ourselves and took advantage! Great fun! It was usually open until 8pm.
- Flowrider: My kids did this many times. Staff was outstanding in helping them!
- Mini golf: Very well done and the best mini golf I've seen on a ship. Only complaint is that it is VERY poorly lit at night and it mostly unusable after sundown.
- Basketball courts, table tennis, etc: your standard stuff. Equipment in great shape.
- Pool loungers and pool: While the pool area was often crowded, away from the pool it never seemed too crowded. There were always plenty of chairs available somewhere on the ship. The areas by the mini golf course were usually available and well designed with wind blocks. The round sofa loungers are excellent and I want some for my backyard! A hidden gem is if you go to the Flowrider, on the starboard side is a staircase that goes down one level - there were 30 or so chairs down there that no one knew about. I usually had the whole place to myself, though it was sometimes shady depending on how the ship was oriented. The pools were excellent and never too crowded. My kids enjoyed them.
- Laser tag: average. Music was painfully LOUD!!! We didn't go more often just because of the noise level in here. Bring earplugs.
- Ice skating: My daughter loved it. Very nice setup and not crowded at all.
Windjammer: It's a buffet with standard buffet food. Desserts were excellent. I usually opted for whatever was on the carving tray and it was quite good. Music again too loud in here, and on too short a loop so that you hear the same songs over and over. By Day 5 of 10, it was irritating. It was well laid out and the all you can eat seafood buffet on the last night was excellent.
Main Dining Room: We did My Time Dining and it worked out pretty well. We dined here 5 of the 9 nights. (The rest of the nights we were busy doing other things and just wanted a quick bite in the buffet.) One night they sent us to a table that was already occupied, but otherwise it was flawless. Service and food were very good. Prime rib on Night 1 was excellent. Same thing on Night 7 was disappointing. Not sure why. But otherwise, pretty good. Service was just as quick as an American restaurant.
Loco Fresh: We loved this place for a quick bite to eat for lunch. Freshly made and great taste. No clue what to do with my dishes afterward though?
We did not do any of the specialty restaurants or Johnny Rockets as the "included" food was plenty good for us.
I thought it was excellent. We saw almost every show. The ventriloquist and hypnotist were our favorites. The Showgirl show was excellent, but the follow up Ballroom Show was very disappointing and slow. All other shows were above average. Live music throughout the ship was pretty good although there were some hits and misses mostly based on personal taste.
Cabin: Small, as expected. We booked very late so we were on level 2. Not so bad 90% of the time, but there were two nights in which there was excessive noise (maintenance or machinery) from below, which woke us up, sometimes for an hour or so. I would try to avoid this level, though if it was all that was available, I'd still book it as the rest of the cruise was great! Temperature was perfect (although the rest of the ship was warm.)
Shore excursions we did all on our own or third party. Haiti: beach (food provided on the beach is average to below average.) Aruba: horse riding with Rancho Notorious. Curacao: wandered Willemstad and visited the Maritime Museum, local shops, etc. Bonaire: glass bottom kayaking and (first time) snorkeling.
Despite the few hiccups (noise, elevators) we would absolutely do this same cruise again. The staff were fantastic and the ship was immaculate.
A standard stateroom. We only used it to sleep and change. Comfortable but small. The view was excellent out the porthole window. Close to dining (one floor up) and Studio B. Water pressure and temperature were excellent. Had a sofa and closet and enough storage for us. On two of the nine nights, there was loud noise from the staff area below, either machinery or maintenance. I would probably look for a higher level stateroom in the future, although we booked last minute so this was all there was. I would book it again, but with reservations only because of the occasional noise from below.
Prompt and priced right. Would definitely book again.View All 10 Horseback Riding Reviews
The beaches are gorgeous, but the food is poor and the vendors are very aggressive.
The cruise port is a disaster. Long lines, no one knows where to stand or to go. Silly me, I thought the rental car van would stop in the area called "Car Rental Shuttles." Nope. They stop where everyone else stops. There is no rhyme or reason to this place and it was the worst part of doing this cruise.
Beautiful. We only did our own walking tour and visited the Maritime Museum. Shopping was good as well. If we go back, we would go out to see more of the island.
We were first time snorkelers, so this tour was perfect for me and my kids. Experienced snorkelers should make sure it's up to par for them.View All 171 Snorkeling Reviews