This was a our 7th cruise, our fourth on Royal Caribbean,over a 20 year period. Last year we did a Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel, a Radiance class ship. It was nice after boarding to already know the layout of the ship.
This cruise was, as was the cruise on the Jewel, top notch. We love Royal Caribbean and have never had a bad experience on any of their ships.
Cruise Detail: CABIN - Our stateroom on the 9th deck was just behind the centrum was very quiet and was convenient to everything.
FOOD - We ate in the dining room for every evening meal on the My Time Dining plan. After the third night we joined with three other couples we liked and ate together the rest of the cruise. It was just like the early seating only we got to choose our table mates. We always found food we liked on the menu and in the Windjammer.
SERVICE - We would like to make special mention of our waiter and his assistant, Arthur from Peru and Micheline from South Africa. They were the most pleasant and efficient and friendly waiters we ever had on a cruise. They added much enjoyment to our cruise experience. Our cabin steward took care of all our needs. We didn't see him much but didn't need to. ACTIVITIES - One of our main focuses was ballroom dancing. We took every dance class that Joyce and Sam offered. They were excellent teachers and interesting people. We learned some new dances and improved the ones we already knew. Joyce, a music history major in college, also gave a couple of enrichment presentations that we attended. Those were very enjoyable and interesting as well.
There were many places to dance on the ship and several different groups to dance to. We got to know the other hard core dancers and formed friendships with them. We especially liked the Sock Hop, which was led by our great cruise director, and dancing to the ships orchestra. I wished the orchestra had been available for more than one night.
ENTERTAINMENT - We've heard people complain about the entertainment on other posts but we were extremely pleased. We enjoyed all the shows and the dance bands. The classical guitarist was the best I've ever heard and the Rosario Strings were great as always.
We didn't encounter any of the previously reported plumbing problems although there were unpleasant odors in some of the public restrooms.
All in all was a great cruise. Kudos to Royal Caribbean for giving us a consistently wonderful cruise experience.
The cabin was fine. Conveniently located to the Windjammer, theater, centrum and dining room. It was clean and spacious enough for two people. The balcony was small but adequate. There was no noticeable noise filtering through from the outside. We would take this cabin again in a heartbeat.
Cabo had very attractive port area. We went to Easter Mass there and walked around. It's a pleasant place to stroll and seems safe. Things are more expensive as a rule in Cabo because of the heavy American influence but bargains can still be had through bargaining. We had three drinks in one of the local watering spots for the price of one drink on the ship.
We took a local tour arranged through Mazatlan Frank. Ismael Osuna gave us a great tour and was a very pleasant and knowledgeable tour host. We enjoyed all the tour stops except for the requisite visit to the silver store. We especially liked visiting the cathedral and the nearby market.
We didn't care for Acapulco. It's a big city with lots of heavy traffic. We saw the cliff divers and a stopped at a couple of high overlooks. Once was enough. We would definitely look for something different to do the next time or we might just stay on the ship.
We took a taxi to Playa La Ropa ($4) in Zihuatanejo and had an enjoyable day at the beach. We payed $10 for two premium lounge chairs at a beachfront bar. We didn't find the free lounge chairs I saw in other reports. We were satisfied with our experience and the service that was forthcoming from the bar/restaurant. I don't know the name of the place but they had blue pads on the lounges and tan colored beach umbrellas.
There was all kinds of activity on the beach. Wave riders, parasails etc. We talked to others who went to Playa Las Gatas and had a similar experience although Las Gatas is much busier.
We didn't go into Puerto Vallarta because of illness. The port itself isn't that attractive. We pulled in close to Sam's Club/Walmart. I hear there is some good ziplining beyond the port. We hope to do that on a future cruise. Sundries, medicines etc. can be had at the port without crossing the very busy street to Wal Mart.