We chose this cruise as we wanted to try a more recently built ship. The overall cruise was good. No real show stoppers, but there was some concerns. Embarkation was absolutely perfect. We never stopped moving from our shuttle to inside the ship. While on the subject, the disembarkation was the fastest ever. This new facial recognition for those with passports was so fast I was concerned it never happened.
Odd little things were noted this trip. Many areas are in great condition and others show pretty hard use. Anytime we have had My Time dining on other RCCl ships we have taken a bit of time on the first night but had no issue after that with walking right in with reservations. This cruise had a reserved line as long as the no reservation line.. We waited in line two nights and on third night after another wait - with reservations, we lady and didn’t return for the duration of the cruise. Sad because our waiter and the food was very good. One night we reserved at the Bistro and it was the best of all. If you like Mediterranean food-do it. Free. Food was generally good in all locations aboard. We found the backs of chairs in the marketplace to be a bit grungy. Mostly the upholstered type. I hesitate to say it, but the soiled areas seem to be made by numerous hands with food on them. Ah, er, children. The vinyl covered chairs don’t show this. As for the stateroom, it was generally great. Good room steward and he kept the room very nice. Only issue noticeable was a rather well stained couch that we put towels on not the get the creeps. Not sure how it got so bad, but hard use, spillage, and likely, food made this possible. Anyway, the new room styles (balcony cabin) were the best we have seen. Far more efficient as we saw it. In the area of ports, I won’t go into it as the wind was wicked this trip. One port cool with wind, one port canceled due to wind, wind throughout. Mother Nature. Pay attention to your towel returns. After the cruise, many on followup media mentioned having been billed for towels. They use room cards and readers to electronically record your issues and returns now. No more name on a sheet of paper. Likely better inventory control. Moving right along. I’m not sure anyone ever needs to build a bigger ship. It seems the saturation point has been reached. The only words we could come up explain this was “controlled chaos. Just seemed like too much. Great shows and other entertainment. Maybe too many. Seemed like a full time job trying to reserve them, work around dinner, and other possible activities. Maybe that’s a good problem. In the end the cruise was fine. There are things only a large ship provide and some things they just can’t. We are likely to go back to the smaller Royal Caribbean ships but others might find this ship to be just grand - and in many ways it is! Finally, Those who are Royal regulars and like the inside solariums, you may not care for the more open air solariums on these larger ships. We missed them. Especially in the windy and cooler weather experienced. Fortunately that doesn’t happen too often in the Caribbean Keep cruising.
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Went to Chankanaab Park. Beach, sun, and a SCUBA dive. Great shore dive. Dive shops right on site. Dive equipment and snorkeling equipment available for rent. El Clavato was our shop this day. Great folks.