This was our third cruise and first with Royal Caribbean. It was nice to be on this ship's maiden voyage to Australia (our home country). There were over 1500 Aussies on board. Royal Caribbean really went all out with the fuss they made of the Aussies, including quite a large selection of our alcohol beverages on board. Our embarkation in Honolulu was fast and efficient with very friendly staff. We were very happy with our aft balcony stateroom on Deck 10. That location could not be any better with lovely days spent relaxing on the balcony which was big enough to accommodate two chaise lounges and a table and two chairs. Our room steward, Mauritzio was super efficient and an absolute gentleman and the many towel animals he made for us were great, including the bat hanging from a coathanger from the ceiling.
We had an outbreak of norovirus which was handled efficiently by the ship's staff. We were kept up to date on a daily basis by the Captain on the measures being taken to alleviate the spread of this illness. It meant that we were not allowed to self-serve food in the Windjammer Cafe for quite a substantial part of the cruise but there was always plenty of staff to assist in service to passengers there. Staff who were always friendly and smiling. In fact we were very impressed by the staff everywhere on the ship. It must be a logistical nightmare to cater to the needs of a couple of thousand passengers but they do it so well. Nothing was too much trouble and they even managed to stream some world cup rugby matches and find out the results of our big football grand finals in Australia. They even managed to get the big Bathurst car race televised as well with my husband enjoying his seat at the pool bar watching it on the big screen along with many others. This was very much appreciated. Our lovely young waiters in Cascades, Joanny and Lazly were the best. I miss them. We did not eat in Cascades every night though, preferring to just relax some nights and dine from the Windjammer. We did not go to any of the speciality restaurants. I did hear good reports of some of them from other passengers. We especially liked the dress code for the dining room with many nights being casual, rather than just smart casual and formal. Food was pretty good but I liked the many healthy choices, including having desserts that were sugar-free etc. We enjoyed many a lunchtime salad in the Park Cafe.
We especially loved that area of the ship with The Colony Club, etc and we spent many hours in there playing bingo or pool on the self-levelling pool tables (what fun), dancing and listening to the wonderful Zig Zag Band or having drinks with new friends we made. Willy the barman was wonderful. So friendly and he could make a mean rum and coke (Bundy of course). A lovely area of the ship with great ambience. We also loved the solarium. Especially nice on the cooler days we had at sea.