This was our first RCCL cruise, we've also done Princess and Carnival several times. I liked the cruise a lot, but probably will not sail with RCCL again.
- The crew was extremely friendly and the service was outstanding.
- The ship was very clean, including the bathrooms. There were Purrell hand santiizers everywhere. There was a hand washing station at the buffet that you had to walk through to get to the buffet.
- The ship looked very modern and stylish, with nice artwork and contemporary decor.
- We had an ocean-view balcony. The room was plenty big for myself, my wife, and our two small children. The trundle beds (converted from a couch) was comfortable for the kids. I slept in one of the twin beds one night and it was fine for me too. The king bed my wife and I shared the other nights was comfortable too, though the pillows were a little hard. The balcony was sufficiently big to put our feet up an relax. The door had a child lock and sealed off the sound from outside too, we never heard anything and there was no soot on the balcony either (we were towards the back of the ship). The showed was comparatively big with the round "glass" door providing a lot of space, and good water pressure too.
- There were a lot of activities on the boat and a lot too do all the time (probably too much to do, we had to skip some things).
-The shows we went to were fantastic, especially the Columbus musical. That was really really good. The Aqua Theater show (the Fine Line) was also really good with incredible diving and acrobatics. I've never seen shows that good on a ship, it rivaled Vegas.
- Roatan is a great stop, probably one of the best beaches we've been to in the Caribbean. Go to West Bay beach and walk around the West End area if you go. It's great!
-Embarkation was smooth and fast. We got there at 10 and we were on the ship by 10:45. You should scan your passport using the app so that you can use the expidited line to get on faster.
-Debarkation was very fast, we walked off the ship at 9am (we chose to stat on a little later) and were off the boat and through customs 10 mins later using their facial recognition. One of our bags got lost (someone wasn't paying attention and walked off with our bag, but left it outside the terminal when they realized their mistake). The port staff helped track it down after about 20 mins of us looking inside. I was very relieved they found it, but it would be great if they had a more secure way for people to confirm their bags (e.g. showing some form of ID, or using a barcode scanning process).
- The comedian they had was really good, but he did the same act each night. Carnival has great comedians and they do a different act every night, so you can go every night and see something good.
- The food was sub-par all around. The dinner in the MDR had a pretty repetitive menu and the cuts of meat were not very good. I wasn't looking forward to dinner. The dessert were generally uninspired and they only had a warm cookie or brownie one night (I really like warm desserts with ice cream on top, rather than just a cold cake). Food is the main reason I cruise, so that deficiency on this ship is a show-stopper for me. I only ate in one specialty restaurant (Izumi Hibachi, which was very good itself and the show there was fantastic), but the food in the MDR and Windjammer were mediocre at best. I think they are trying to get you to buy the upsold specialty restaurants. I thought the food on Carnival was much better, especially since I like burgers and pizza. The Guy's burgers on Carnival are really good and their pizza is better than HOTS too. The breakfast and desserts on Carnival were also much better, they have melting chocolate cake every night.
- The cruise director and his staff were not very visible for the first few days of the sailing. One of the questions at trivia on the third day was "what's the name of your cruise director." I think it speaks volumes that that was a trivia question. The atmosphere on the ship was not as fun as past cruises we've been on.
- The stop at Costa Maya was not very interesting. We got off the ship for 30 mins and then got back on.
- The ice skating was only open for a few hours the entire cruise and you had to get there early to get a slot. We ended up having to skip that due to its limited availability.
- The kids club was ok. My 4 year old liked it a lot, but my 7 year old did not have such a great time there. He really wanted to play a specific video game they had there, but there was another kid that was hogging it the whole time and the staff did nothing to enforce time limits or sharing among the kids, despite me asking them multiple times to ensure my son got a turn.
- Elevator wait times were not great, but I recommend using the stairs if you aren't too lazy and if you aren't disabled.
This cabin was the second to last cabin in the back of the ship on the port side. It was very stylish and plenty big for two adults and two kids. The balcony was also plenty big to stretch our and relax. The shower was also nice and big. The toilet was too small and uncomfortable to sit on. The bathroom has a small light that is on all night, making it useful if someone needs to use it in the middle of the night without having to wake up everyone else when turning on the light. The beds were comfortable, but the pillows were not. The attendant was really friendly. The walk to the aft stairs took a couple of mins, and it was about 10 mins to get to the front of the ship where the kids club was. However, the buffet and MDR were at the back of the ship, so all else equal, I'd choose the back of the ship over the front of the ship, ideally as close to the aft stairs as possible. The cabin was generally quiet.
Sailing out of Port Canaveral was easy. It was a Sunday, so there wasn't much traffic. We hired a shuttle service (U-cruise) for $100 to take us in a private van from MCO to the port. They were on time, clean, and friendly. We rented a car from Alamo for the return to MCO for $50. It was pretty quick getting from the boat to the rental office and into a car. I would do that again.
The food here is great, better than on the ship in my opinion. The sand was a little bit rougher than I would have liked. I've been to other beaches in the Bahamas that have had more powdery sand. There was also next to no sea life in the ocean for good snorkeling. I think the construction chased the fish away. We did not participate in the Thrill side with the water slides due to the cost of entry. The beaches were free however, so if you don't want to spend any money, that's no problem.
This was a disappointing stop. There are much better ports, I don't think I'd choose another cruise that has this port on the itinerary. We got off the ship for about an hour and then got back on it.
We went to the Paradise Beach Club. It was a $15 cab ride one way, about a 10 min drive. The pool there is excellent and warm. We spent most of the day in the pool. The beach there was not great, the water was a bit cold (in Feb) and not very clear. I would not go there for the beach. The food at the club was pretty good too, especially the taco truck. It was only $3pp to get in, with a minimum $10pp for food and drink. I would go to that beach club again for sure and it's a lot more affordable than the other places on Cozumel.