We cruise yearly and really look forward to our trip. We decided to try going out of New Orleans instead of Florida. Going down the Mississippi River is very unique, and at times made me a little nervous due to the fog. Sailing was lovely once on the Ocean. Now...this shop is OLD by ship standards. And looks old. For example there were stains on the faded carpet, torn curtains, broken ATM machines, torn upholstered furniture, and broken exercise equipment. I was dismayed RCCL would operate a ship looking so dowdy and dated.
But that wasn't the worst of it. We always prepare for our cruises by increasing our exercise to be able to enjoy the food whenever we want. We so disappointed in the food--this was definitely the worst food on any of our 10 cruises. The windjammer food tasted reheated from day to day. The French toast and pancakes were so cold and hard you could throw Them and hurt someone. The milk was warm. The selection was the same every day. The dining room food was not much better. We ended up ordering several entrees to try to find one that was good. There were times when the food was barely edible. It really appears that RCCL is cutting corners.
Now the staff. I have heard this ship is going in for a up grade, and the staff reassigned. And that is how they seem. Pleasant but lackluster. Nothing extra just punching the ticket . They have cut back to 3 towel animals a week, no robes,etc to save money. The room refrigerator was warm.
Old tired ship with poor food. We are so concerned that this could be a trend we have reserved on another line next year. So much for our crown and anchor points.
As far as the ports we loved Cozumel the best of all. We hired a taxi and explored the shore and snorkeling ourselves. The shopping is great. Remember you can buy medications cheaply at the Pharmacy which have proven safe and well worth the money.
Cayman is difficult as they do not allow ships to dock, requiring a tender. Voyager was very slow getting us off. We waited an hour on the ship to get off. We had done stingray city in the past and loved it. We had also para sailed here and loved it. If you go by private cab, shop around. They are very expensive, and because their gas is so high, they try to get you into group vans, dropping people off at different locations. Takes forever. The shopping isn't really good because everything is very expensive. The good thing about caymans..safe with no crime.
On Jamaica, i would recommend taking an excursion. Once outside the protective gates, you will be hounded to buy stuff. It also is not as safe as the other islands and the ship trips are safe and will get you back in time.
So, we are done with Royal Caribbean for now-I hope they improve their service in the future!