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4,016 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very ... Read More
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very easy), get through security and walk in room at 100 pm (we roll are own luggage on). There were four of us travelling; us mid fifties and our two adult (21/24) sons. Security/Embarkation: As stated above, was parked by 1230, through security by 1245, checked in with a rep by 1255 and walked in room just as they were opening. Since Royal has numerous check in reps roaming with hand-held devices we barely stopped walking from the time we got through security and got to our rooms. Why any one would pay for the"Key" or worry about status is beyond me at check in. As long as you had your set sail pass and docs/passports in hand you get checked in at lightning speed. Seapass cards waiting at room. Rooms/Ship/First Impression: We had two balcony rooms on the "hump" port side, floor 6. Excellent location, easy access to promenade and lower decks. Ships looks great, clean; rooms are average, could use updating. Put your water, soda in cooler/fridge right away. It does not get very cold. Cabin attendant was fine; quiet fellow but was around as needed and kept ice for us in our rooms as asked (extra cash tip likely helped). Lots of pushy up-sell for dining packages, specialty restaurants at boarding. We just said a polite no and kept walking. Plus the promenade looks more like a flea market with all the t-shirts, watches and junk littering the entire area. Not appealing at all. Drinks/packages: We bought the ultimate drink packages prior to sailing; I think we paid about 48 dollars a person (was watching on-line) per day. Good thing; the price was 81 a day for the first person and then "half price" for second person if you bought day of sailing. RCCL has got to be kidding with this "half price" gimmick. Whatever. Drink package well worth it. A domestic 16 ounce beer is now 9 dollars plus 18 percent gratuity, wine 13, and it only goes up from there. You also get the soda, bottled water, etc. with package and can use it on CoCo Cay. So we were happy with the drink package. Still carried on two bottles of wine for room and soda allowance (12 pack) for room cooler. No drinks cards ever sold (4 night cruise). Muster/Sail Away: Same old same old; stand outside and sweat for 20 minutes. We got there as late as possible. Plenty of time to get topside for sail away. Lots of servers on deck. Food/Bars: Food was average at best. The MDR (used two of four nights) was half full. Service was very good. Wear whatever you want because no one cares anymore. Main courses tasted bland and "banquet" quality, mass produced. I know it's mass produced but was not as good as previous cruises. MDR breakfast was better than dinner. My favorite omelet of the week (ham/cheese) was the one that came with room service. The Wingoldjamcorraler was a buffet; feeding trough. Borderline disgusting. Not sure what was worse the people there or the food. Just a mess. Horrible coffee, and something that sort of resembled orange juice. Best part about it was the guys singing as you walked in. Pizza on promenade best we have ever had on RCCL. Sandwiches actually pretty good also. Donuts in morning stale. Decent hot dogs/brats, slaw, potato salad on pool deck. Two ice cream machines on pool deck worked great, hardly any lines. Not sure why but never, ever, once waited for a drink at any bar, including pool. Sat in solarium one day, multiple roving servers. Even at Schooner Bar, casino bar, pub, etc., all had multiple bar tenders who were beyond helpful. Even the pools never seemed crowded and we got two chairs in solarium on sea day. Playmakers is nice but never saw anyone once order any food; it was never crowded. Bamboo lounge nice also as well as Pub. Great singer in there multiple nights and no one was ever in there, had the whole place to ourselves; we love live music but all the venues seemed to be under attended for some reason. Smoking: It is an absolute joke that it is almost 2020 and there is still smoking on half the pool deck and the casino. The casino smoke escapes into most of the areas surrounding the space; it is awful. On the pool deck parents were sucking down cigarettes, sitting with there small children; horrible. Hey Royal, just stop it, now. Designate some smoking areas away from the ones that are infecting the rest of the ship. CoCo Cay: We have been CoCo Cay several times. This is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe. Great food (two big venues with incredible array of fresh Tex Mex, salads and more, snack shacks with take away burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozzarella sticks). I liked the food better here than on the ship. Go to Youtube, there are numerous great videos showcasing the Island. Remember, you do not have to pay for a thing; all the zip lines, hot air balloons, water park are optional; there are more than enough beach chairs, umbrellas for all; and we got there late morning. Lunch in the big venues goes to 330 in the afternoon; zero lines ample tables. No other cruise lines private island comes close to this. Plus your drink package follows you on island and with the permanent dock the ship will never miss the stop (which happened allot before). Dogs: No (fake) service/emotional support animals!! Yes....! Crew: Very friendly, seems like a happy crew. Much happier than our last cruise on Independence. Entertainment: Pretty good; Guy from Jersey Boys show in Vegas was great; magician was entertaining. Comic probably not right for this ship (older female; more appropriate for a Holland America crowd). Cruise director was funny; do not recall his name, is from Chile and seemed like a nice enough guy. Nassau: We booked our own private excursion (less than 8 people) on a small boat; 4 hours (two snorkeling stops, remote beach, drinks, snacks included, very reasonable price); 5 dollar a person cab ride to a small marina. Allot of you are "stay on the boat" in Nassau people; do yourself a favor and get on Tripadvisor and find some out of the way things to do. New Providence is a beautiful island and there is lots to see and do beyond the Port; friendly people and great out of the way stops if you look. We did not go this trip but Atlantis is free (hotel/lobby/aquarium) after 5 pm. All aboard was 830 pm so many times you will have the chance. Debarkation: We did self assist off. Left room at 705 am (had to be out of rooms by 8 am anyway - did not really want to do the buffet madhouse on last morning); took elevator down to four and never stopped walking. One last seapass card scan (funny, one lady got stopped by security at last scan, was told to go to guest services/not allowed to leave ship - never seen that before), walked down to Customs; exited via facial recognition/never showed passport or anything. Was in car by 725. Some of you people remember what a zoo debarks were; this is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe how easy it is now. Overall: Great four night cruise; I think the 3 night would feel rushed. Mariner is such an improvement over the last ships that did this cruise (Majesty/Enchantment/Monarch); and having been on the bigger ships than Mariner, do not think could ever go on this cruise on anything smaller than Mariner. Would give it an 8/10 rating. CoCo Cay was definite high point. Only advice I would give is shop prices early (drink packages/even cruise fare); because prices were dramatically higher closer to sailing (for cruise fare also; book as early as you can). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I researched ship, cruise ports and excursions for this cruise ahead of time. The oceanview stateroom was fine no complaints other than minor cosmetic issues. The entertainment was ok. I really enjoyed the comedy show. Re-entering the ship ... Read More
I researched ship, cruise ports and excursions for this cruise ahead of time. The oceanview stateroom was fine no complaints other than minor cosmetic issues. The entertainment was ok. I really enjoyed the comedy show. Re-entering the ship from port was quick with no issues. The food in the buffet was not not but rather just warm enough to tolerate if you at right away. Some in my group complained that their food was cold. The cruise lines offered a shuttle service to airport however, there was only 1 shuttle and if you had to claim luggage, you may have missed the shuttle. I was a little disappointed that there was no adult pool area or quiet cabanas on this ship. There was a smaller kiddie pool in the front of the ship. I think that this could have been the adult area rather than the kiddie area. I did snorkeling on the private island for $30 but later found that if you brought your own mask it was much cheaper. When I purchased the excursion there was not an option to bring personal equipment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I chose the 8-day to the Bahamas with a stop at Port Canaveral to relax, and spend a short time visiting Disney's Epcot. This cruise included a lot of (relaxing) at-sea time and was relatively inexpensive conpared to ... Read More
My wife and I chose the 8-day to the Bahamas with a stop at Port Canaveral to relax, and spend a short time visiting Disney's Epcot. This cruise included a lot of (relaxing) at-sea time and was relatively inexpensive conpared to other itineraries. The ship was nice and clean, the staff was extremely friendly and fairly competent but only a few crew members seemed to do anything more than they had to. Some were clearly not properly trained or prepared for their roles. The cruise director (Richard) was exceptional and seemingly everywhere but he was the exception to the rule. Food handlers seemed unsure of how to handle special requests, our art "teacher" did not know the english words for all of the colors of paint and could not help with artistic questions, and the staff at Mondavi's wine bar were not at all knowledgeable about wine. One cabin steward did not know the word "tissue" although a quick mime solved the problem. They were ALL very nice, just not always trained to do their jobs and handle requests. We did not choose the dining package in an attenpt to save money. The food at both free, main dining rooms (The Venetian and Aqua) was good to very good, but nothing we would say was delicious. Portions were very small but you could order multiple choices. Some better-than-average-dishes included Chicken Pho soup, scallops, seafood with orzo, and salmon. Service here too was friendly, but they forgot a few orders, had gtoi be asked multiple times to refill water glasses, and rarely offered refills on drinks. The buffet was good with many choices but again, nothing we felt was outstanding. There are multiple buffet lines and we didn't realize until after the first few days that they often offer different items. There is no direction or signage or :"themed" areas that would have helped us find things we were interested in. We stood on each (4) lines looking for our best choices. Nothing at the buffet was bad or inedible but nothing was outstanding. There were many "international" choices we enjoyed, with various Indian and Asian dishes available. Staff was friendly but again, did not handle special requests well (can I add spinach to the omlette please? was a problem that required 3 crew members to resolve). We felt the shows were good but nothing on par with cruises on other lines, although this ship was smaller than those we had been on, which may limit the performances. Comedian wasn't particulalrly funny and "blockbuster" show, "Elements" was not that impressive. Our excursion to Disney (through NCL) went well, trip was a little more than an hour each was by air conditioned motor coach. We had only 4-5 hours at Disney but we knew that when we planned the trip. Los Lobos- the only specialty dining we paid for, was delicious! Service was great. We enjoyed table-side made quacamole and chips, fish tacos, salsa, and steak. O"Sheehan's- With a large bar and practically 24-hour service, this became our "go-to" for a drink or snack. Wings were good, sandwiches and fries were good. This choice is included in the cruise and is not an extra charge. "Great Stirrup Cay" waa clean and well stocked with food and drink. There is no pier large enough to accomodate the ships so small boat "tenders" that carry 100-150 people shuttle guests back and forth to the island. The ride is nice (only 6-8 minutes) but the waiting process to get on at each end can take 10-45 minutes depending on how many people want to travel at the same time you do. There is no food or water avilable in the waiting areas or on the tenders. If everyone wants to leave the island at once (late in the dayor rainstorm), the 2-3 tenders could take more than an hour and a alf to get everyone back to the ship. RCL has a nearby private isalnd too (within view) and they have a pier. We did have one actual complaint. There is open smoking allowed in some areas (that's fine" but some are not enclosed. We could avoid areas like oudoor smoking areas an casino, but the area around "Gatsby's Bar" in between the cigar lounge and LeBistro was always smoke-filled and it wafted to the open areas above. You get what you pay for. We wanted a relatively inexpensive and relaxing vacatation with good food and fridendly service and we did get all that....just not much more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were limited to choose between several 3 day cruises and this 5 day cruise because of our family conflicts. My husband and I chose this cruise as it was similarly priced compared to the 3 night cruises we had priced. I was a little ... Read More
We were limited to choose between several 3 day cruises and this 5 day cruise because of our family conflicts. My husband and I chose this cruise as it was similarly priced compared to the 3 night cruises we had priced. I was a little nervous because the ship is older but read the reviews and and was reassured that it had recently been renovated. We were celebrating my husbands 50th birthday so we splurged a little and booked a junior suite. The cost was not drastically more than a balcony but it got us priority embarkation and disembarkation, which was important for us to get our flight home. At the time of booking we found a promo online which got us $200 drink credit which further offset the upgrade. We had early boarding and got on the ship immediately upon arrival. I wasn't expecting our cabin to be ready early, but they let us know in the terminal that we we could get right into the cabin. Our Room Attendent was great. Knew our names, towel animals, got us whatever we needed. We preordered water and soda which I thought was very useful to have in the cabin. We had 'your time dining' and found an amazing waiter at our first dinner (Mr.C) and we were happy to be able to request his section each meal we had in the dining room. One night I chose the Steakhouse Selection (surf and turf) and it was fantastic. Other than that the food was ok. Could not hold a candle to our RCCL honeymoon cruise (but that was 19 years ago and I think that is likely the case overall). We went to all the shows in the Makado Lounge and they were all top notch. We also went to all of the comedy shows (over 18 only) and really enjoyed them. The Cruise Director (Chris) was a lot of fun. He did a great job trying to include everyone in the activities, he was funny, knowledgeable and really seemed to care that everybody was having fun. The Love and Marriage show and Carnival Quest shows nearly had us in tears from laughing. There was so much to do on the ship we could not possibly fit it all in. There was a broad mix of people on the ship from all different backgrounds and places but the crowd was really respectful. I was very pleasantly surprised (and relieved). We enjoyed Princess Cays. The water was beautiful and there were no waves. You could rent floats and snorkel equipment. Lunch was provided. Really just a beach day. We tried to shop in Nassau but got pretty fed up with the pushy jewelry shop salespeople and it was disgustingly hot. Did the Native Quest excursion with new friends we met on the ship. That was a lot of fun. The guides, Leroy, Natasha and Nash made the group of nearly 30 strangers feel like one group. There were some games and a lot of laughs. Some beach time was included but not lunch ( 11:30-4pm) so have a nice breakfast or plan to bring a snack. We had no plans for Freeport and there is nothing at the port (besides a handful of typical souvenir shops). Once we docked the cruise line announced a few 'last minute' excursions that they put together. We took the Beach at Leisure tour for just $19.99 each. Included bus to and from the beach, chair, umbrella and Taino beach access. It was a nice beach with some small waves. Access to rent water toys, etc. there was a bar/restaurant with bathrooms. Same location as the VIP Beach Day without drinks and food included. Beach stay was only 2 hours, but that was plenty to enjoy. I would definitely cruise the Elation again. Not sure I would go back to Bahamas anytime soon. The only other thing I would mention... I reserved Chefs Table a few weeks in advance. I got an email that it would be confirmed once we were on the ship. The 2nd day I checked with guest services because there was no notification in our cabin. They told us that they had called the cabin to confirm and that my husband had cancelled it. This was absolutely not the case. Our phone never rang. They said they would look into it but never followed up with us so on the 3rd day we checked back in. They repeated the same thing. We told them they were mistaken. Later they called and said it was full and we were waitlisted for it. As it turned out, we passed the library on the way to dinner that night (he Nassau night) and there were 2 empty seats but we had not been called. I chose not to let it get to me but I will mention it in my review for them. ALSO, we got double charged for the only 2 purchases we made at Princess Cays. 1 pair of water shoes and 1 round of drinks. It's a good idea to check your account statement as some purchases are reconciled when the crew gets back on the ship (water shoes) and the receipt printer at the bar was on the fritz so they hand wrote a receipt for this. It would not have been a big deal but we had to visit guest services 3 times to have them research the charges before they finally took them off our account. So I wasn't too thrilled with the guest service desk. But they were not a good representation of the rest of the staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We traveled with a group of 12 people ranging from 24-84 years old. Frequent cruisers, prefer Royal Caribbean but have been on Disney, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity. We choose this trip based on departure port as well as the ... Read More
We traveled with a group of 12 people ranging from 24-84 years old. Frequent cruisers, prefer Royal Caribbean but have been on Disney, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity. We choose this trip based on departure port as well as the new private island. Embarkation was a very smooth process, took a maximum of 15 minutes. We purchased the Ultimate Drink Package before boarding and immediately went to the bars once we boarded the ship. The Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and small buffet tables of hamburgers/hotdogs were setup to distribute crowds. The ship was clean, hand sanitizer and “washy washy” stations are placed throughout. Although the Adventure does show a bit of wear and tear from the years at sea, it is a fantastic ship! We loved the Duck & Dog Pub on the promenade, live music a majority of the nights. The singer Jess was awesome! You must also visit Andre at the Champagne bar, his Coconut Chocolate Martini was the best. We were able to organize My Time Dining for the same time/table each night, keeping the same waiters (Narciso and Ajay). You are only able to reserve space for 10 people online with Royal Caribbean cruise planner, we spoke with the dining room staff when boarded and they accommodated our party with no problems. They had a variety of foods each night and were able to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters at our table. We didn’t have the best weather - 3 of 8 days were rainy. 2 Sea Days and Bermuda. Activities were added during the rainy sea days, Royal tried to keep everyone happy despite the weather. We have traveled to Bermuda before, but still disappointed not to be able to get to Horseshoe Bay. We have traveled to Nassau NUMEROUS times, we remained on the ship this day in order to enjoy the nice weather and pool deck! If you can, stay on the ship during a port day to do the water slides, we had no wait and were able to ride 5+ times. PERFECT DAY AT COCO CAY was just as the name says! IT WAS AMAZING! The ship was able to add an additional hour to our port time and we enjoyed every minute of it. Did the Zipline (additional charge), Thrill Waterpark (additional charge), and Oasis Lagoon (included). Take advantage of all the island has to offer, it really is a perfect day!!! Debarkation was just as smooth, we had a great trip and cannot wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
had a lot of people tell me about cruising, so I decide to try it for myself and wife my overall experience with the Norwegian cruise is that it had unlimited drinks and if you booked a stateroom you get 2 free offers. I choose premium ... Read More
had a lot of people tell me about cruising, so I decide to try it for myself and wife my overall experience with the Norwegian cruise is that it had unlimited drinks and if you booked a stateroom you get 2 free offers. I choose premium drinks, and speciality dining. but was disappointed when I try to order mich ultra beer no bars on the ship had it, I only drink beers no hard stuff.so that was 1 disappointment on the first day, we boarded at 2.00pm and barely got lunch from the outside café buffet bar, before all the restaurant closed for 45 mins for initiation drill. that is another disappointment, food were only at buffet stations during the days made up of hot dogs and burgers, salad, fruits, cakes. that is no no for me it cost 1300 for 3days to come and eat hot dogs and burgers all day long. also restaurant for fine dining only open at 4.00pm or 5.oopm before you can eat something better than buffet.it should be open all day and night long for passenger to choose. desk service was poor for me and my wife had a women at the desk never smile when you ask a question about the excursion she will answer very short not reassuring us about anything else. I don't think I will pay 1300 to 1400 dollars for 3 day cruise for just hot dogs and burgers during the day it too over rated for me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our second time on the Norwegian Sun. It's a quick drive for us to get to and we enjoy getting away for a quick, relaxing weekend. On a previous cruise we met the principal singer Drake Allen. What an absolute pleasure ... Read More
This is our second time on the Norwegian Sun. It's a quick drive for us to get to and we enjoy getting away for a quick, relaxing weekend. On a previous cruise we met the principal singer Drake Allen. What an absolute pleasure to listen to him each night. He is a talented singer and guitar player and the crowd really enjoys listening to him. I hope we run into him on a future cruise! There was also a new group of singers and dancers at the Starlight Theatre. They were definitely better than the group in May. We met Jamieson and Liam personally and they were genuine and gifted performers. Embarkation continues to be slow however the disembarkation was a breeze! The areas of the ship that were refreshed look much better than previously. The mirrors in the bathrooms and the shower curtains need to be replaced as they bring down the overall effort that was made to spruce her up. The restaurants were very good this time and the staff was very pleasant. We have nothing but good to say about each meal we had. We did not get off the ship for excursions as this was truly a relaxing voyage for us and loved every minute of it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, ... Read More
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, lets talk about the cruise. Cons: The 3 nt is a party run. No one was overly rowdy but into the drink. Food service was good but a little dis-jointed and forgetful Cabins did not benefit from the recent refit but were ok, fairly much on par. Music was way too loud as were the announcements and pool deck big screen. Main production show was awful. Pros: Main dining food was above average to the point where I wouldn't feel the need to pay for specialty dining. Public spaces were tasteful and well thought out. Drink package is worth it and I wouldn't go again without buying the key. Ice show was awesome, we went twice. Did I mention Coco Cay? Way above expectations esp. the food on the island. Better than Disney's. Best embarkation I've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Sailed out of Port Canaveral. We love Port Canaveral-from the parking garage to the terminal right onto the ship, everything went smooth. It is very clean and we felt very safe. Disembarkation from our cabin to our car-under 10 minutes, ... Read More
Sailed out of Port Canaveral. We love Port Canaveral-from the parking garage to the terminal right onto the ship, everything went smooth. It is very clean and we felt very safe. Disembarkation from our cabin to our car-under 10 minutes, easiest one ever. The Ship was quite lovely and felt "new" inside. Everything was clean (with the exception of the restroom near the pool outside buffet door) YUCK! The outside of the ship could stand a little attention as she feels a bit "tired". For the most part the staff was great. Our stateroom host was wonderful. She kept our cabin clean and our ice bucket full. Bar servers were ok, just not enough of them on a ship with Open Bar for all. But they tried to keep up. We did have the premium beverage package, but ran into the bars/bar tenders not have the "premium" wine or the bartender just didnt want to open a bottle. We wouldnt do the premium package again. It doesn't include the coffee (Starbucks), and its just not worth the extra $$ for us. We were in an Oceanview (obstructed Oceanview) which was great. We kept the curtains closed for the most part (we were on the promenade deck, 6th floor. This room had so much storage, wow. It was at the end of a passageway so it was very quiet, and the AC was cold! We ate in the Seven Seas Dining room and the food was meh. Definitely an area they can improve on. We enjoyed Sushi one night and it was good. Le Bistro consistently knocks it out of the park with food and service!. We did try Los Lobos and while service was very good, we probably won't be back. Food was just ok. We enjoyed the Sports Bar and wish it was open longer hours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Booking a aft balcony suite is the way to go when cruising. Gian our Conceirge, Francis our butler and Anvasih our cabin steward could not of been more perfect. Travelled with my 2 nieces 13 and 10. Yes the Sun is an older ship but was in ... Read More
Booking a aft balcony suite is the way to go when cruising. Gian our Conceirge, Francis our butler and Anvasih our cabin steward could not of been more perfect. Travelled with my 2 nieces 13 and 10. Yes the Sun is an older ship but was in good shape. Free drinks and non alcoholic drinks were free. The world show and the comedian were very good and the variety of things to do was appropriate for this cruise. In port every day. The shore excursion in Nassau with the sea lions at Blue Lagoon was the best. Don’t miss this opportunity. The Sun was easy to navigate to the different venues. The Four Seasons the complimentary dinning option was excellent. Wait staff said they just changed the menu. A great place to dine every evening. Only went to Teppanyaki specialty restaurant and this was the best!! What a show and great food. Try the calamari. I can’t say enough about this dining experience... dining for suite guests for breakfast and lunch was fantastic in Cagneys . I only found 2 smoking areas, the top deck 12 at the Champs bar and the casino. Champs bar was packed all the time as well as all table games in the casino. The Sun is still a wonderful ship! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for ... Read More
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for a level of service - and have always thought that NCL was a *bit* better than others. it's a good mix of 'mr. sexy legs' and 'quiet reading on the deck'. We got to the dock and have always left from NYC/NJ. I also continue on NCL because I am Platinum. When I got to the dock - no one seemed to know what to tell me. We were discouraged by two folks to not go to the VIP/Platinum line. I finally asked where to go, the lady rolled her eyes at me and said - ok - over there. Hmmm. I also want to mention that this was after my friend (who has MS) would have had a very difficult time waiting on the 1 hour line for security and then 1 hour to get checked-in. He asked if he could use the handicapped line (which he has plenty of documentation) and she again rolled her eyes. She said, “you can’t use this line without a wheel chair”. (Lots of folks have disabilities that don’t require a wheelchair). So we asked for a wheel chair. “Well… we don’t have them (they do).” The entire process seemed very uninformed and unprofessional. The check-in was flawless and was on the ship about 30 minutes later. We arrived around 11:30 am so getting on the ship around noon/12:15 is pretty good for me. I try my best to avoid the buffet usually - but especially on embarkation day. As I had read in other reviews - the main dining room is open - but many MANY NCL crew members try to steer you away and towards the buffet. I'm glad I knew better. It was quiet start to the cruise. Always start your cruise with a rebellious fish (or two or three). Ship: The ship shows its age - but the crew does an excellent job on keeping her VERY clean and sparkling. Once in a while I found an 'out of order' sign - to be expected - but it was always cleared up the very next day. I found the ship very familiar experience to the Gem which I found very comforting. I loved the Breakaway (and will take the Escape in October) - but it's so very large. This size of ship - to me - is perfect. Not too big - not too small. Cabin: The first one or the second one? :-) Here is my story - I booked a balcony state room - and was offered an upgrade. I did this once before and got a Haven Spa Suite - so cool. So we bid on the upgrade and hoped for the best we could get. They did upgrade us - from a balcony to a mini-suite. YES! oh no! The older ships the better rooms are on higher up decks. That means the mini-suites are DIRECTLY UNDER THE POOL DECK. But I roll with the punches - it's going to be a great curise!! I love crusing! Nope - first night - they were moving deck chairs - and when I say moving - I mean DRAGGING - the deck chairs at midnight - then at 1:30 am - then at 2:30 am - then again at 5:30 am. Now the Dawn is an older ship, as I said - and they don't have a huge pool - they have many more deck chairs on multiple stepped levels - all facing the pool. That's important. So - it was a restless night - no amount of extra rebellious fishes could have solved this problem. Long story short - AVOID the rooms under the pool deck if noise bothers you. I've heard - the rooms under the buffet are worse. But then - during the day? Anytime there is something going on the pool deck (read: pool party) then you hear the sound in your room. I like a nap after time in the sun - but there are generally lots of music happening all day - and then a break for dinner - and then again until about 10/10:30 pm. It was so loud - we really would strain to hear a conversation on our balcony over the loud music on the pool deck. My advice - for the bit of extra room - and extra $$ - stick to the balcony rooms on older ships like the dawn. It's just not worth the extra aggravation. Bright lining - after my cabin mate - complained (not really the right word :-) they *found* me a new room. Still a mini-suite, but just about 5 rooms from the end of the ship (next to the spa). Now - if you really want a mini-suite, that's the best location. Plus - I always get the spa pass - very easy access to spa - main dining room, etc... a great room. My advice: pay VERY close attention to what is above you and below you. And if you are 50/50 on getting the room - be conservative - and careful. It wasn't an upgrade at all. Original room: 11072 . New Room: 11676 Dining: We at at 3 specially restaurants and the Aqua Restaurant. Moderno: Churrascaria. I have to admit that I'm very spoiled living in NYC with GREAT steak places and churrascaria places. They have one of the BEST salad bar I've had. They tell you not to fill up on salad - go for it. The meat - was tough - overcooked - and over-salted. We all made sure we took our BP medication that night. Cagneys: Steakhouse. Here is where we diverged. I had a T-bone and so did my friend. I loved mine - his was VERY tough. But it's a great stop. Le Bistro: French - the best meal of the cruise. The mushroom soup is a NEVER miss item. We had many many drinks and entrees and the service was impeccable. We had our other meals in the Aqua - because you can wear shorts - and it's the same menu as the Main Dining Room. The food was hit-or-miss. I had some spectacular meals (the lamb shank for instance) and had some lack-luster meals. Overall a solid B+/A- My advice - don't be afraid to order more than one thing - and ask for another if you really enjoyed the dish. And if you don't like something - get something else. They will bring you as much and whatever you wish. Don't be timid. Entertainment and Activities: We did a few of the shows. I know they vary by weeks - the performance shows - the Showdown American Idol type of show was blah (remember I live 20 minutes from Broadway) but entertaining enough. The Elements show was quite good. I always like the comedians. Other than that - it was OK. But by idea of a good time is drinks by the pool all day. I don't cruise for the shows. Service: This is where the cruise was hit or miss. One thing I really like - and please don't think I'm petty - but I like a pitcher of water in my room to drink in the evening. It was everyone else's problem - no one could find one and deliver one. I was always told - you can call this one or call that one. Plus - we wanted to re-arrange reservations for the specialty restaurants - and we had the concierge to help us. After leaving a message for two days - I was told (lectured really) that I should call sooner because he can't make changes last minute. And then kept going. I hung up. Ports and Shore excursions: Again to be fair - my cruise mantra is - I pay all this money to get on the ship, why would I pay again to get off the ship?!? The one thing I want to everyone be careful about - in Florida - there were a few other ships in dock - and we got the LAST parking spot. This meant that it was a 15-20 minute walk to the place where you can meet your shore excursion transportation. It was HOT and HUMID and I would have not appreciated that walk... but again - I didn't get off the ship. Plus - remember in Florida - you get in at 1 pm and must be back on the ship at 8:30 pm. The only way I get off the ship is to do Disney. That's not that long in the park - especially when it's super busy in the summer. Overall - it was a fun vacation - lots of great drinks and good food and had a blast. I love to cruise - but some things could have been better. Oh - and I always get the Thermal Spa week pass - what a great value. A few days I was the only person in the spa!!! I swear the pool is bigger than the deck pool - and it's sans kids!! A great value! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because of the date, itinerary, the port, and recommendations from a friend. Was happy with most things, wish there had been one more day but that was our choice. Dined in the preferred dining restaurants only for dinner ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the date, itinerary, the port, and recommendations from a friend. Was happy with most things, wish there had been one more day but that was our choice. Dined in the preferred dining restaurants only for dinner and food was excellent, especially enjoyed Le Bistro and Cagney’s because service was excellent! Buffet was hard to get anything and at breakfast when we did get to eat the food was cold. Decided room service was worth the $7.95 service fee although the selection was limited. Was disappointed in things for teenagers to do on the ship. The private island stop was nice, we did get a cabana which made it extra special. There was some confusion with other guest in disembarking and the required documents and because of rain and thunderstorms the line for the tender was long and slow. Unfortunately our children had to experience a few drunken passengers on the ride back! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a last minute trip and we were able to get a cabin in a great position (9 Starboard/Aft) and perks included 1 special restaurant meal, 100 min of wifi, and drinks package. Our TA upgraded the drinks package to Premium Plus which ... Read More
This was a last minute trip and we were able to get a cabin in a great position (9 Starboard/Aft) and perks included 1 special restaurant meal, 100 min of wifi, and drinks package. Our TA upgraded the drinks package to Premium Plus which got us the nicer brands as well as bottle water, Gatorade etc. This sailing was packed with families (last week before school starts locally) and packed with many Bridal-Girls getaways. Embarkation-- Super smooth. We were at the pier by 11:30 and they were already boarding group 2...having already boarded Priority folks. Waited maybe 10 min to board (group 13) Lunch--plenty of choices for lunch. Daily Buffet is fine. Bar service at Great Outdoors Cafe was slow at embarkation compared to our last sailing (Aug '18). Sail Away in the Spinnaker Lounge-- they have some but not all of the brands of wines/liquors on the Premium Plus Package. Still they had a few to choose from and the view is great. First Night-Dinner at Le Bistro was EXCEPTIONAL. We enjoyed our meal so very much. The service was outstanding. Food was one of the best at land or sea. The smoked duck salad is delightful. The duck is tender and moist, a hint of smoke and is perfectly pink. Escargot was delicious--plenty of garlic and butter. The rack of lamb -- ordered rare was cooked to perfection. Dining companion thoroughly enjoyed the Steak au Poive. Because we had the Premium Plus bev package we enjoyed plenty of Veuve Cliquot and an incredible bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. The head waiter chose wisely--the wine was a perfect pairing. We were so please with our meal and wrote out cards to thank both the server and chef. Word was sent to the Chef at how much we enjoyed our dinner-- he came out to our table to greet us. A very nice and thoughtful gesture. (Chef agreed the server choose the wine well too!) Grand Stirrup Cay-- we stayed on the ship to enjoy the quiet. Tendering to the island was taking a good deal of time. From what we heard from those who enjoyed the beach--they said the beaches were very nice. Second Night- Dinner MDR -- We had a table by the aft windows and enjoyed a lovely view over dinner. Service was exceptionally good. Again our Premium + package allowed the waiter to bring us a great bottle of red which paired perfectly with the Pappardelle and Braised Short rib. We tried the Gnocchi with pesto... and they were perfectly cooked. We wished the pesto was bolder and similar to the pesto on our starter/app. (garlicky and bold with basil) The flourless chocolate cake was excellent as was the fig/apple crumble. Bliss Lounge- Went to hear the Reggae band and stayed for the "Not so Newlywed Game". Hilarious. Nassau-- Rain squalls blew through as we planned to walk into town-- so back to the pool deck for us. Once folks returned from excursions the pool deck was mobbed.MOBBED. Lines at the bar were slow and they claimed to have no Gatorade. They were so busy no one would go fetch it. Disappointed because not having Gatorade on the Pool deck (part of our bev package) --it a real "miss" in service. The DJ cranked up the music which was entirely TOO LOUD. Our phone decibel screening put it Waaaaay up there.. It was absurd and unnecessary. Third Night- MDR -- after having several great meals in MDR on our Aug 2018 sailing on the Sun... and dinner the night before being so great---our last night's dinner in MDR was a miss all the way around and an unpleasant surprise. Apps-The potstickers were yummy as were the cheesy potato app. That is where the bright spot ends for this meal. The app of Asian noodles salad was so under seasoned--it was as though they forgot the dressing. The seabass was so overcooked and VERY dry. We should have sent it back. The Calamari over orzo was ok..we had it as a side dish. Desserts were all misses, the cannolli was not nearly as decadent as a ricotta filled cannoli should be, the coconut cake had no real coconut flavor and the carrot cake was missing spices and a decent cream cheese icing. Service was good and the waiter choose an excellent Sauvignon Blanc. Stateroom-- Our stateroom seemed like it had been refurbished. The cabinets were in great shape (amazing amounts of storage) and the bathroom was in great shape. Carpets, drapes, bedding all were decent. This differed from last year's stateroom Aug '18 also on this ship. Last year--our stateroom on deck 8 was in bad shape and the cabinet drawer fronts were loose. Stateroom attendant.. rarely saw him.... Room was spotless. WiFi We had 100 min of wifi and when I tried to connect-- it was so slow/bogged down, I gave up. Turned the cell phone back to airplane mode Misses-- --At Guest Services I asked for distilled water for CPAP about 2pm embarkation. Didn't arrive. T So the next morning when we saw our attendant -he said that the Guest Services had not gotten a message to him. He fetched the water for use the other nights. --Bartenders at pool deck were overwhelmed. Got wrong orders and the bar was out of Gatorade. Bartenders had eyes and attention for the girls-trip groups in thong bikinis and overlooked others. In fact the girls in front of myself and an older woman behind me--ordered for us at the bar because the bartenders seemed to not "see" us. My traveling companion had the same problem with other bartenders as well. Hits--Exceptional meal and Exceptional service at Le Bistro. Stateroom was kept very clean. MDR Seven Seas Dining staff works hard and delivers nice service. Hit/Miss-- Kitchen for MDR--after having several great meals-- delivered one evening of almost all misses. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his ... Read More
I recommend Carnival Sunshine for the convenience and pleasant experience of sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was comfortable and energetic. We were fortunate to have Adam as our Cruise Director. I was aware of his outstanding reputation of being the premier cruise director for Carnival. He did not disappoint. In fact, a better cruise director would be hard to find throughout the entire industry. The food is very good, but not great. The menu was unexciting, and nothing was compelling enough to pique our interest in having dinner in the dining room. The flavor of the food was plain and bland, even the desserts were flat in taste. This aspect is most likely a company item rather than a Carnival Sunshine item. The service in the Main Dining Room was s-l-o-w. Very s-l-o-w. There were many miscues by the over-tasked wait staff. The tables had no table cloths except on "elegant night" which was a joke in itself. Although Carnival widely publishes a "dress code" of suggested evening attire for the dining rooms, they do nothing to adhere to the suggestions. The "elegance" was stunning! (NOT). Baseball hats, tank tops on men, shorts, flip flops, t-shirts (all forbidden by the "rules") were widely observed. Apparently, the wait staff was reduced in order to have more crew members roving the dining room hawking "shots" leaving the waiters with far too many guests to serve properly on a timely basis. On the first night, my entree' was "forgotten" by the waiter for an hour after the used appetizer plates sat on the table. Food was dumped onto guests at a table two tables away from ours. After another more miserable second night (my birthday dinner which was overlooked by the staff) in the dining room, we opted to "dine" at the buffet instead of being miserable for another two nights in the dining room. The buffet choices were very limited and again the flavor of the food was not exceptional. There is a lack of side dishes at the buffet although there is plenty of rice and potatoes. I found Guy's Burgers to be the most outstanding onboard dining experience. The bottom line is that we would repeat this cruise, mainly for the convenience and downright great experience during embarkation and disembarking at the Port of Charleston. We have taken dozens of cruises and this port experience ranks at the top. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Older ship but well appointed. Some nicer underused areas to escape from crowds. Took our 7 month old and 7 year old. We had a mini suite with balcony which was good for us and 2 kids, the bigger bathroom helped. Like how they made ... Read More
Older ship but well appointed. Some nicer underused areas to escape from crowds. Took our 7 month old and 7 year old. We had a mini suite with balcony which was good for us and 2 kids, the bigger bathroom helped. Like how they made drinks available since it was all inclusive, not big lines to get a drink. Included dining felt good compared to other cruise lines. Most the staff were very nice and prompt. Thought the bar staff was the best overall. Few things I didn't like .. steakhouse quality/taste wasn't good compared to specialty dining in other lines. The guppies playroom was dirty and people were walking with dirty shoes on the floor mat/play area for them. We wouldn't let our baby down to play in there. Buffet always seemed crowded and hard to find a seat without being blasted by hot air. Would cruise on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Recently sailed to Key West and Bahamas and loved the ship experience. Ship was clean, staff was friendly, entertainment was good. Dining was well above average; for-fee dining was superb, included dining was pretty good! ... Read More
Recently sailed to Key West and Bahamas and loved the ship experience. Ship was clean, staff was friendly, entertainment was good. Dining was well above average; for-fee dining was superb, included dining was pretty good! Service on the ship and upkeep was excellent. Seems like the maintenance staff was always repainting and the ship was updated and in good condition. The ship has limited pools and these get crowded, especially in the afternoon. The layout would be most boring for kids (the kids pool is TINY!). Only drawback on this entire adventure was the ports of call. Each left much to be desired. Freeport (Grand Bahama) remains fairly devastated following past hurricane. Nothing to do there. Nassau was just ok (excursion is a must as the town is so-so). I would totally travel with Norwegian again but would never visit these ports of call with this liner or another. In addition, the next cruise I take will need to have more pool options! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Convenient, reputable and reasonably priced. NCL for the most part delivered on our expectations with only a couple of exceptions. Pools were too small and the adult pool was 5.5 to 6.5 feet which made casual relaxation uncomfortable. We ... Read More
Convenient, reputable and reasonably priced. NCL for the most part delivered on our expectations with only a couple of exceptions. Pools were too small and the adult pool was 5.5 to 6.5 feet which made casual relaxation uncomfortable. We stayed in the over crowded kids pool which was ignored by NCL with no life guard or presence. Most of the NCL staff was pleasant and accommodating however the guest services could use a refresher course on service (there were two individuals who saved the day but unfortunately I can’t remember their names). The entertainment was average with the exception of the finale (Earth) The food was plentiful, chose the dining rooms Venetian and Acqua to make it easier to serve our group of 8 (4 adults and 4 children ages 1 to 9). Getting tables in the main dining area Garden Cafe during the prime time was difficult. La Cucina and Cagney were excellent restaurants as well as Tappneki? The hibachi restaurant. The shore excursions met our expectations. We would highly recommend getting a cabana on Grand Cae. Overall a good experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise for a quick mid-summer getaway. We have sailed out of Charleston many times and this time we parked off-site and took an Uber to the port. The check-in process is ina modified building in the parking lot instead of the main terminal. Once we checked in less than five minutes we were shuttled over to the main terminal. we had priority boarding so the boarding process was quick and easy. The food and activities were all on par with Carnival. We did not get off the ship in Half Moon Cay. We spent the day on the Serenity deck which was a nice peaceful experience. The same goes for Nassau since we have been there many times we stayed on the ship. We attended the Diamond captains party in the Red Frog Pub. The Captain and staff were very friendly and the drinks flowed! The VIFP party on the last sea day was good also. The only issue we had was with the host doing Trivia on the Nassau port day. It was obvious he did not agree with American politics or how we did not convert to the metric system like the rest of the world! Debarkation was painless. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our ... Read More
My family went on this cruise&just got back yesterday.It was my first cruise so i didnt know what to expect.it was really fun overall. the rooms were very small. &the bathroom was very tiny, you had to close the door to use it. our steward cleaned our room well but the bad part was that they never changed the sheets. the dining restaurants sunset and sunrise were awesome. i really enjoyed the nightly shows in the Liquid Lounge. the dancers and singer were phenomenal. We went into Half Moon Cay and the water was amazing. it was a nice beach, then let off at Nassau- i wasn’t impressed though but i did buy a bunch of stuff. The only other bad thing was that at night, they would have night clubs for ages 18+ (i’m 19), and whenever they moved the night club to the serenity deck, they were allowed, but during the day when no alcohol was being served on the serenity deck and everything was calm,you had to be 21 to get on the serenity deck, so they kicked us out, it just didn’t make sense to us! why would they let us up there at 2 am with alcohol everywhere but not at 2 pm when everything is calm? just weird. but overall had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This particular cruise that we took was a re-route from Cuba. The price was good and I wanted to see Freeport which I hadnt seen in years. The Norwegian Sun is an older ship, but was surprisingly fun and very enjoyable. The nighttime ... Read More
This particular cruise that we took was a re-route from Cuba. The price was good and I wanted to see Freeport which I hadnt seen in years. The Norwegian Sun is an older ship, but was surprisingly fun and very enjoyable. The nighttime shows were excellent with a huge cast and a very big stage. The only two things I didnt like was the casino which was so smokey I could only take it for 15 minutes. And for me the sports bar was pretty lame. Other than that things were pretty darn good. I loved Freeport. We took a taxi to the market and the driver then took us on to Lighthouse Point hotel. Price was $10 round trip per person, but I understand that taxi fare just went up a bit. There are a couple of day passes at Lighthouse Point hotel to choose from. We chose the $5.00 one which just gave us beach access and look around. There is also all inclusive and beach chairs etc. We walked through most of the Lucayan Beach resort areas and loved it as it had been years since we had stayed there. Most of the hotels are closed, but we still liked it. In Key West we took the air conditioned free city bus first as it was very hot at 1pm and got a feel for the the city and then took the Conch Train at $28.50 each and enjoyed that. In Nassau we took an excursion to the Zoo and saw the pink flamingos and also a tour of the city. It was well worth it for us. The food on board the ship was average in my opinion. Not terrific but certainly not bad either. Service was great. Overall I was very happy with just about everything especially the rooms 6208 and 6207. So nice to be able to sleep all night with no outside noise!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just returned from a 2 dayer on the Grand Celebration. July 25-27. A few things have changed and some I did not know about. If you receive a match comp for the casino it is for the tables only. Not for the slots. If you receive free ... Read More
Just returned from a 2 dayer on the Grand Celebration. July 25-27. A few things have changed and some I did not know about. If you receive a match comp for the casino it is for the tables only. Not for the slots. If you receive free drinks. You pay the 18% gratuity when ordering your drink. So if you get a free $9.00 drink your cost is only $1.62. Can’t beat that. Bingo has changed and not for the good. Price is way out of wack. Extremely high for what it is. $25.00 for 7 cards and only ONE game. Cover all. Normally there are 3 games. The slot tournament does not pay out cash. Only casino play for tables or slots. No evening buffets unless the ship is basically full and then maybe. Last cruise on there the evening buffet was excellent. The first evening in the MDR, neither my wife or I cared for anything on the menu. I ordered a burger and fry’s. Second evening we ate at the grill before they closed at 5:30. The ice-cream was ice milk. At lunch is was OK . Just before they closed it down, it was terrible, gooey. The pizza was very good. As were both of the lunch buffets. Everything was excellent. Breakfast was excellent. The shows were really very, very good. Better than what I remember. The comedian was very good. Getting on and off went very smooth and fast. Frozen drinks were terrible and tasted real bad. First one was a so called Miami Vice YUK! Took it back. Then a Pina Colada, YUK took it back. Mixed drinks were excellent and they even had my wife’s Moscato wine. On the Celebrity ships you had to purchase the bottle $45.00 + 18% By the glass on here. She was very happy. The day at Freeport Harbor was hot, but a beautiful day. Took our usual walk over to there. Three other ships were docked there. The area has been added to. A lot of new buildings and businesses. Everything was very clean and freshly painted. Less than a 10 min. walk from the ship if you cut through the Taxi parking area. The ship as usual, was very clan and looking good considering its age. Everyone working on the ship had smiles and were very nice. It is a great short getaway, considering the cost of the cruise. Worth it for sure. One couple we talked to hated the island but liked the cruise and the ship. It was their first cruise. Not sure what they did not like. Typical island and nothing much different from other island activities. I attached a picture of the vendors and business right there at Freeport Harbor. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First off, The Majesty of the Seas is not one of the Oasis class ships new to the blue seas, but is the perfect value smaller getaway ship for a 4-5 day cruise. We have been on the larger ships as well and had a great time on our recent ... Read More
First off, The Majesty of the Seas is not one of the Oasis class ships new to the blue seas, but is the perfect value smaller getaway ship for a 4-5 day cruise. We have been on the larger ships as well and had a great time on our recent cruise. My wile and I recently went on a 5-day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale and visited Key West and Nassau, Bahamas. Plus two relaxing days at sea. I highly recommend snorkeling in Key West. We also bought a day pass online in advance at the British Royal Hilton in Nassau (included full use of beach/pool, kayaks, generous food/beverage credit and towels). The Hilton is a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal in Nassau. We totally enjoyed both outings. The rooms are small, but all we do in our stateroom is sleep, shower and change so we didn't mind at all. See attached photo of our room 5516. Our room attendant was our best on any cruise to date. The entertainment was really good each night! On par with other RC ships. We saw two different comedians, singing and dancing group was off the charts (two shows) - fantastic, with a full orchestra, and an amazing piano player from Australia who played classic rock and Jerry Lee Lewis. Dining - We are vegan and found very delicious offerings to meet our plant-based diet. The Windjammer buffet was excellent for breakfast and lunch. They had soy milk! We also had a vegan pizza made at Sorrento's pizza restaurant. Hold the meat and cheese please :)! In the main dining room, our head waiter helped plan our vegan dinner for the next day. All meals were delicious! Don't worry, they still have shrimp cocktail apps, prime rib and seafood for those of you that partake! Enjoy! All and all, this was one of the most relaxing cruises we have been on to date. Don't listen to the negative Nellie's, this smaller ship offers a fantastic quick getaway at a reasonable price. A good value. If you want more options and amenities then spend more for one of the larger newer ships. We'll be back on The Majesty of the Seas again soon! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest ... Read More
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest embarkation EVER (8 cruises over the last 22 years). Our tablemates said they arrived around 1:30pm and that they did not have long lines either. TIP: If you are arriving by car – 1st drop off your luggage in the bottom of the parking garage (this was Port Canaveral Area B - Terminal #1) – then they will tell you to proceed up the ramp to park your car. You will have to prepay for your parking – an attendant was at the machine to help us run our credit card through. Then take an elevator back down and enter the building attached to the parking garage. It was so fast partly because not many passengers were there when we arrived and also because we had filled in everything ahead of time online (including providing our credit card) so check in only involved scanning our SetSail Pass and a quick look at our passports and a trip through x-ray. TIP: Be sure to print your “SetSail Pass” at home before you leave – it has a bar code on it. It serves as your SeaPass Card until you get the permanent card (which will be in an envelope on the cabin # sign outside of your cabin). TIP: get used to carrying your SeaPass EVERYWHERE – basically everything you do on board requires your SeaPass (even activities that are free). Lots of passengers had their passes on lanyards around their necks. And while we’re on the topic: be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you go into Nassau – you’ll need it to get back into the Cruise Ship area. You will not need a Photo ID on Coco Cay – you’ll just need your SeaPass Card. Since we got on the ship earlier than expected we just hung out on the Starboard side of the pool (Deck 11) – they were playing videos of funny animals and people doing funny or amazing things . . . almost like a montage of Funniest Home Videos without the commentary. TIP: if you dislike smoking you want to be on the Starboard (Right) side of the ship if you are on Decks 4 or 11 – if you are a smoker the smoking areas are on the Port (Left) side of the ship on Decks 4 and 11 (and one section of the Casino). We were VERY HAPPY that we had booked lunch in Jamie’s Italian Specialty Restaurant (12pm reservation but we went at 11:45 and they seated us right away). We booked lunch to avoid all of the passengers learning their way around the Windjammer on the 1st day. BIG TIP: request to be seated as far back into Jamie’s as possible . . . unfortunately we were seated near the door and heard the clanging silverware of a cleaning station in the Windjammer that must have been right outside the door of Jamie’s. This applies to Chops Grille as well – so when you walk in tell them you would like to be seated in the back of the restaurant. To enter either Jamie’s or Chops you do still need to enter into the Windjammer which means you will pass through the hand washing area – TIP: the paper towels are above the sinks – we saw people struggling to find the towels. There were two fantastic guys playing a guitar and singing “wash – wash your hands” to the tune of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline – this ship had entertaining little touches like that all over – we loved it. The menu at Jamie’s had appetizers that the waiter (Carlos – he was great) explained were small portions so that we were encouraged to order multiple appetizers . . . and so we did! We ordered the “plank” which had sliced meats, fresh mozzarella balls, some dry cheese, and a different kind of cole slaw – it also had some olives and peppers. We also ordered the garlic bread which were two big rolls with garlic and cheese on them – I’m a fan of soft bread so I liked those the best. 3rd item was the crab and avocado bruschetta – sounds weird but it was delicious. I also ordered the Caprese salad which was the same (yummy) mozzarella balls from the plank + two kinds of tomatoes as well as some baby basil leaves and a very nice balsamic drizzle. For the entrée they say you can order a small portion or the regular portion so I had a small portion of the mushroom “taglie something” pasta and it was plenty and fantastic flavor. Husband ordered the chicken which he said was flavored well and was sitting on a nice sauce. He also got a small portion of penne carbonara as his pasta. Dessert was a chocolate torte for me and a lemon meringue for husband – both delicious. Even though we prepaid both of the specialty restaurants – they still brought us a “zero” bill – I believe the sole purpose of this is in case you want to add an additional tip (a tip is already included in the price we paid for the specialty restaurant). We were pleased with both of the servers so we did write in an additional tip. I suppose if we had not wanted to tip extra we would have just left the slip at the table with nothing written on it. They made an announcement when the staterooms were ready – it was before 1:30 - we dropped off our luggage and met our wonderful room steward – Keisha from Jamaica. Then we ventured out again. TIP: If you want to do the Escape Room or Laser Tag during your cruise – be sure to book them as soon as possible on arrival day. We weren’t sure where to go so we asked at Guest Services and we were told to go up to the Rock Climbing Wall desk. There were two friendly guys up there with tablets. We almost signed up for the Escape Room but then found out there would be 13 people in the room (he was going to over-ride the max of 12 to add our party of 2 to the 11 people already signed up). Maybe I’m a Nervous Nellie but being closed up in a room with 11 people we don’t know didn’t really sound like fun for me personally. For some reason I thought it was limited to just 6-8 people. I have heard though that it is a lot of fun . . . maybe we’ll try it next time. Either way – we got up there around 2:30 pm and there were sessions already filled up. We did not sign up for Laser Tag but I heard those all filled up fast as well (before Day 3 and Day 4 when Laser Tag started). So be sure to get signed up early for those two activities. I can’t comment on the Flowrider – we didn’t do that – although I saw private lessons advertised so that may be an advance sign up as well? While we were on the back of the ship at the Rock Wall we decided to check out the “archery” – it is rather hidden – the Rock Wall guy had to point it out – it is next to the basketball court. Kind of cool – the targets are four plastic balls that float in the air because of compressed air blowing them up. The arrows just have soft rubber on the end of them – however they did fly pretty fast. There were only about 6 people there so we waited our turn and it was fun for a few minutes. I was surprised there was not anyone from the ship providing instruction – so passengers who knew how to use a bow and arrow were helping those who needed help. We weren’t there for long but I could see if someone really enjoyed it they could spend longer. They did have a tournament later in the week however we did not attend. We wandered around a bit checking out the upper back of the ship – there is a little area of hammocks and some circle rope swings over by the kids climbing thing (Lucky Climber) and a putt putt course (Mariner Dunes) – accessible by stairs – look for the green painted golf course sign on the wall near the stairs. The putt putt was something we meant to get back to but ahhhh . . . relaxing got in the way and we never made it back up there . . . next time! The Assembly Drill at 3:30 was painless . . . no need to drag the life jackets there as we had done years ago. A note to future passengers – be sure to be there on time – don’t dilly-dally – the faster everyone is there and accounted for (they will scan your SeaPass card) the faster it is over. TIP: if you do not buy the drink package that comes with a cup: bring your own water bottle – you can fill it up at the same Coke machines that the drink package folks use – the ice and the water choice do not require the chipped cup. We found two Coke machines across from the Pub on the Promenade Deck 5 and then of course in the Windjammer. Husband realized he forgot a hat . . . went to the shops on Deck 5 . . . TIP: the shops do not open until 5:30pm on the 1st day. We had early seating (5:30pm) for dinner . . . we ate there the 1st 3 nights and spent the 4th night at Chops Grille. TIP: check online for your dinner seating – I had talked to a Royal Caribbean agent on the phone who said we would be at a large table at the early seating however when we went by the dining room around 2:30 or so a dining room helper looked us up and told us we were assigned to “my time” dining which we did not want. No problem at all – he typed on his computer and moved us to an assigned table at 5:30. I’m really glad we had checked in with them before dinner time. We were at a small table of 6 and enjoyed our tablemates. Dining Room Dinners: the highlights for us were the French Onion Soup (available every night) and the desserts (berry cobbler on the 1st night – ask for the ice cream WITH sugar unless you like (or need) sugar-free ice cream). Dinners were good . . . just nothing amazing for our taste buds. That said – it was very nice being served each meal and we enjoyed each evening and the flavors were good – the only item that was not cooked thoroughly enough was the mushroom risotto on Night 3 which was a bit hard – it needed a few more minutes on simmer I think. We did breakfasts on Days 2, 3 and 5 in the dining room and lunch in the dining room on Day 2. Lunch on Day 4 was on Coco Cay. That means we only ate in the Windjammer once – for breakfast on Day 4 when we had an early excursion on Coco Cay. They had a buffet at both breakfast and lunch in the dining room – along with a menu to order from. The Dining Room breakfast buffet had scrambled eggs, little pre-made omelets, French toast, pancakes, waffles with multiple toppings, lots of fruit, pastries, and cereals. You can get all of that (and more) in the Windjammer – we just prefer the quieter, less hectic, atmosphere of the dining room. The lunch buffet (at Sea Day 2) was a salad prepared as we walked down the line and pointed to what we wanted added (lots of choices) + a pasta bar where again we could choose what we wanted and then they heated it all up in pan. The lunch menu had choices as well – I really enjoyed the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad – it didn’t have any lettuce so I just added it to a small salad from the salad bar. I also had potato soup . . . if you like creamy potato soup then this is your jam . . . however I like chunky potato soup so I was mildly disappointed to not find chunks of potato. But oh how my disappointment turned to joy when I went to the dessert buffet . . . fantastic – tons of choices and everything we tried was great. TIP: if you are going to either breakfast or lunch in the dining room you will need to enter the dining room on Deck 3 Husband likes to drink an Old Fashioned sometimes – he was not impressed with the drink he ordered in the Dining Room on Night 1 – tasted like it had carbonated water in it. However he was very happy with the Old Fashioned that Eugenio in the Pub prepared on Night 2. So if you are serious about your mixed drinks it may be safer to visit one of the bars on the promenade (Deck 5) rather than using the Dining Room bar service – they do not mind if you carry your drink from the promenade bars into the dining room (or even into Chops which we also did). And now a note on dress code . . . as far as we could tell there is no enforced dress code. I think this is wonderful as it allows everyone to enjoy their dining without worrying if they have the correct attire. On the other hand we were stopped on formal night and asked how we knew it was formal night because the woman asking did not see anything announcing it. And she was correct – typically on prior cruises the dining room servers have told the table that the next night is “formal night” and they make a big deal about it. However instead of that announcement on Night 1 they were advertising the champagne brunch with galley tour going on the next day. Also on the Day 2 Cruise Compass (which was in our cabin when we returned from dinner + show on Night 1) the “Dinner Dress Code” for Day 2 was labeled “Wear Your Best” rather than “Formal”. So it definitely seems like they are moving away from “Formal Night”. However there were extra photo areas and an opportunity for a photo with the Captain and some of the passengers dressed up – so it seems like it is Formal Night for those that want to participate. We hardly ever get the chance to dress up and husband had recently bought a new suit so we gussied ourselves up and enjoyed ourselves. We dressed up again for Chops on Night 4 and found two gentlemen at the table to our right in suits and ties while the gentleman to our left was in shorts. So again . . . don’t worry about a dress code. If you want to know ahead of time which night is “Formal Night” just call Royal Caribbean – which is what I did – I just had to tell them the ship and sailing date and they told me it would be Day 2 – our Day at Sea. We attended the 7pm Ice Skating show (we did have to depart dinner quickly and were lucky to find two empty seats as the show was starting). The show was great – it is amazing how they can fit 10 skaters on a small rink. The skaters were from many different countries and included two pairs – one from Canada and one from the U.S. We enjoyed their skating and costumes. The theme is “Under the Big Top”. We are not Night Owls so we did not attend the 10pm Welcome Aboard Show. Our tablemates said it started with Marcelo the Cruise Director and then the comedian – so it lasted over an hour. They said the comedian (Steve Smith) was really funny. Have to admit here that our Day at Sea was mainly about eating and relaxing on our balcony reading our books . . . I did venture up to the gym for a run around 9:45 – found an open treadmill – it did get busy and almost every treadmill had an occupant. The treadmills face a window at the front of the ship so it is a wonderful view while exercising (a little warm – wish I had brought my battery operated fan to clip onto the treadmill but I survived). That is all I did in the gym so I can not comment on the classes or other equipment. I did check out the locker room – lockers, showers and a sauna were available. Oh and they do provide sweat towels so no need to bring one from your cabin. After lunch we watched a little bit of the Art Auction – they did a “mystery” auction where they had 8 prints – the buyers didn’t really blindly bid on them – seemed more like a ploy to keep the excitement up – when they turned them all around they were by Thomas Kinkade (“the painter of light”) and they were offered up for $400 a piece – two people took advantage of the offer – I have no idea if that is a good price but I will say that later that night I was walking through and heard the auctioneer guy talking to a couple and he offered the same $400 price – so it seems it was not just an “auction special”. The evening of Day 2 was the last chance for open ice skating (7-11 pm) so I went down around 8:15 and got into the 8:30 session. It was a popular activity so they limited it to 20 minute sessions. The only time I go ice skating is on Royal Caribbean cruises so I enjoyed just going around in circles – there were tons of beginners so a bit of weaving and dodging was required but I liked it. At 10pm they were doing a “disco” session however I did not stay for that – if it had been at 9pm I’d have been all over it! The only other open ice skating session was on Day 1 (1-2:30) so if you know you want to go ice skating be sure to note the times as they are limited – there is no advance reservations – just show up during the open time and fill out the waiver and they punch your SeaPass Card and they give you a ticket for the next available session. TIP: Long pants and socks are required – a lot of the kids were in their PJ bottoms so those pass as “long pants” as do leggings which is what I had on. On Days 3 and 4 the ice gets covered and the area turns into the Laser Tag area – so that is why Ice Skating is only on a few days and Laser Tag is only on the other few days. Day 3 was Nassau – we are SCUBA divers so we booked a trip with Stuart Cove’s – it is the same operation that the ship uses but since we were in port until 9pm I booked separately to save a little money. If they ship were leaving at 6 I would have booked through the ship to guarantee that we would not miss the departure time. It is a bit of a walk to the meeting point – but not too bad. We walked down the pier, passed through the building and then past the shopping kiosks and the people offering their private tours (“take your pretty lady on a 4 wheel ride” we politely declined and kept walking). We then had to cross the street and then go left on the sidewalk to a concrete/tile pink fountain that serves as Stuart Cove’s (and some other companies) meeting point. There were some locals passing by selling bottles of cold water ($1 each) and a bag of fruit (not sure on price). We had filled our water bottles on the ship so we didn't buy anything. It is about a 40 minute ride to the dive boat – through downtown and by the airport and then by resorts. Our dives were great – “Twin Sisters” is a fantastic wreck dive – two wrecks right next to each other – and then we went to Mike’s Reef which was a nice reef with another wreck. Quick trip in their gift shop and then we were back on their bus at 4:30. The bus dropped us off where it picked us up – to get back into the cruise ship area we had to show our Photo ID’s and SeaPass cards - then to get back onto the ship they only needed our SeaPass cards. It was a race to get to dinner but we got there at 5:40 so all was good! The Day 3 Headliner Show was a rock concert by a band called “Private Stock” and I thoroughly enjoyed them – they did songs by Elton John, Billy Joel, Journey, AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Really good performers – the female singer even changed outfits and could really sing like Stevie Nicks and Heart and Janis Joplin. We went to the 8pm show – they did a repeat at 10pm. We saw some families with kids leaving after about 10 minutes . . . so unless your kids love rock hits from the 70’s & 80’s it might be better to go watch the outdoor movie instead (Wonder Park and Dumbo were playing that night). Day 4 was Perfect Day at Coco Cay and wow they have done a lot with this little island! We were there in 2008 and 2012 before they added so much to the island. It is great that they have a pier now so there is no need to tender over anymore. We did the one tank SCUBA dive excursion and we were the only two that signed up so we had our own private excursion. We got off the ship a few minutes after 8 and walked down the pier – then a left over the bridge to “Chill Island” – to the pink first aid building – the back side of the building is the little “Diver’s Den”. They had our tanks out and ready for us and let us stow our bags in their little office. We then put on our gear (except for mask and fins) and took the short walk to the beach. The reef is a bit far off shore so to save us from swimming out there they had us ride on the rescue sled of a jet ski – it was so fun! William took the dive guide (Brandon) out first and then came back for my husband and then for me. We went down and spent 45 minutes cruising around the reef and slowly making our way back to shore. The reef is a bit sandy and the visibility was not great but they have LOTS of great little tropical fish – we saw a couple of small rays and angel fish, file fish, trigger fish, parrot fish etc. I like the small stuff: flamingo tongues, jaw fish, juvenile tangs, juvenile angels, anemones with shrimp and tiny crabs – there was plenty of small stuff to be found. I saw one larger creature – a small shark cruised through real fast – he was cute. After the dive they had rinse tanks and a hose and hangers and a rod to stow our gear – they said we could keep our stuff there all day which was great – it gave the gear a chance to dry a bit. We had so much fun in the water that we hopped back in just to snorkel and spent about an hour in the water – they have a “shipwreck” which is really just a concrete wall with some cannons on it – but it is a nice little artificial reef and there were some nice critters hanging out on it (including two anemones and a beautiful bright blue/yellow juvenile queen angel fish). TIP: if you are planning on snorkeling bring a long sleeve “rash guard”/”swim shirt” whatever you call it you NEED it – there were so many sunburned backs on the snorkelers. Board shorts for girls are not a bad idea either – protect those cheeks! Be sure to apply lots of sunscreen to the backs of legs and neck and tops of hands – all of those body parts are exposed to the sun while we’re happily looking down into the water. We had lunch at the Chill Grill – buffet of tacos, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, etc – I had a nice fried Portobello and cheese sandwich – yum. Dessert options were chocolate chip cookies, brownies (yum) and soft serve ice cream. Forgot to mention there was also salads and fruit but apparently we weren’t into healthy eating after all the swimming we did! After a bit of lounging under an umbrella on the plentiful lounge chairs on Chill Island we hopped back in the water for some more snorkeling – a nice big Southern Stingray swam by – so beautiful. Have to note that there were some jellyfish in the water – more in the afternoon than in the morning. They did not have long tentacles so they were avoidable – have to look where you are going. One did brush my leg and I have a few spots – they kind of look like little red mosquito bites. They itch on and off so I’ve been putting anti-itch cream on them. After snorkeling Husband sat back on a lounge chair and I walked over to just dip into the Oasis Lagoon Pool (it is fresh water) – I discovered that the reason why Chill Island is so quiet is because the party was at the Pool! The Swim Up Bar was hopping, fun music playing and everyone was having a great time. A bit of shade can be found in the pool where there are some trees and then under a bridge. Most of the pool area is in full sun and I knew I had already gotten more sun than my pale skin should get so I headed back under the umbrella on Chill Island. We decided to take the tram back to the ship to avoid walking with our gear – the tram is on the other side of the Chill Grill so it was a little bit of a walk but not bad. A perk was that the tram goes all the way around the Thrill Waterpark so it gave us a chance to see a bit of it. One unfortunate detail of the tram is that the one that can take you around the island is NOT the same one that can take you to the ship. So the island tram took us sort of near the beginning of the pier and then we had to get off and get into a line (wasn’t too long) to wait for the smaller trams that can go up to the ship. Still well worth it to not have to walk all the way up the pier. TIP: To get onto the 2nd tram you have to show your SeaPass card so have it ready – you then have to show it two more times – and then a final time getting onto the ship. The tram took us to the farthest entry point (front of the ship) to get back onto the ship which avoided a line of people getting back onto the ship at middle of the ship. TIP: when getting back onto the ship they do require bags to be x-rayed – if you do not have a bag with you they’ll let you go to the left to avoid the bag x-ray line. After some relaxing on our balcony it was time to shower up and head to our final dinner – we prepaid for Chops and we were not disappointed! I had the mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil (so good!) and husband had some sort of giant piece of bacon which he raved about. We tried the Wedge Salad as well as a mixed green salad with “crispy goat cheese” (yum). Husband is a steak eater and he enjoyed the ribeye – I had a white fish called “branzino” which was served with sautéed spinach. We each also had baked potatoes and shared some sautéed mushrooms. Dessert was cheesecake and a chocolate lava cake with berries. The entire meal was fantastic – we asked to sit in the back of the restaurant (away from the Windjammer) and we enjoyed a peaceful slow-paced meal looking out at the sea as we headed back to Port Canaveral. No one likes packing up . . . so we got it over with as quickly as possible – bags had to be out in the hallway by 11pm – we saved just our clothes for the next day plus a carry on with our toiletries and items we didn’t want to put in the checked luggage. Morning came too fast – we were out of our cabin by 7:45 (required to be out by 8am) and we went to our final breakfast in the dining room. On the last day they only do menu service in the dining room (we could have also gone up to the Windjammer) – so we ordered eggs and French toast and lingered there until our # was called. To depart the ship they had us go to Deck 4 and then strangely through the dining room to go outside onto the deck – not sure why the regular exterior doors were closed – maybe to be able to have enough room to snake the line around? Since we were #30 we were toward the end of the numbers called and there was not a long line. Off the ship at 8:55am – booooo – I wanted to get right back on – oh to be one of those “back to back” cruisers that get to stay on board . . . maybe in retirement we’ll get to do that! After getting back into the cruise terminal we went down a ramp and then to an area where they were telling Canadians and people with U.S. birth certificates to go the right and U.S. Passport holders to go straight. Not sure where someone from a country other than Canada or the U.S. were supposed to go? The passport line was easy – they had us walk up to a screen that did facial recognition – pause for a few seconds and then the agent told us we were good to go – he never actually looked at our passports – the facial recognition must pull up our passport info? Kind of freaky but also very quick and we liked that! Next stop was the luggage area and we found our bags in the #30 area very easily – I think there were less than 15 bags in the area and 4 of them were ours because of all of our dive gear. We than walked through what seemed like a customs area – there were booths – but no customs agents in the booths – so we just kept walking and boom we were back at the elevator in the parking garage. Back to the real world . . . after a 3 hour drive it was also back to our beloved dogs so at least reuniting with them makes it ok that the vacation is over! Hope you enjoyed the rambling review . . . as I read it back it occurs to me that I ate A LOT of mushrooms on this cruise (pasta, soup, sandwich, etc) – just want to assure the reader that there were lots of other menu choices I just really like mushrooms! *forgot to mention our cabin - #6692 Aft Junior Suite. We LOVE Aft cabins – and we use our points from the Royal Caribbean card to pay for the upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite. The room size was great – the décor/carpet/tile is aged a bit – I do not believe the staterooms were part of the giant upgrade that was recently done on the Mariner. However the bed was very comfortable and the linens were soft. Junior Suites have a nice big closet as well as a bathtub – I took advantage of both. We did feel some vibration while falling asleep and waking up and we definitely could feel when we were docking – but nothing was so bad that our sleep was impacted. We did not experience any soot on our balcony. I did smell cigarette smoke one time – not sure if it was from a nearby balcony (smoking is not permitted on balconies but not all passengers are rule followers) or from the crew area below. Overall we love the Aft cabins for their quietness and we do not mind the long walk to the elevator at all . . . it helps us offset all of the extra calories we are taking in during the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with our two adult children and there girlfriend/boyfriend. The drink package which was included in the price was the main reason we booked this particular cruise. The packages on the other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with our two adult children and there girlfriend/boyfriend. The drink package which was included in the price was the main reason we booked this particular cruise. The packages on the other cruise lines would have made it prohibitive for us to bring everyone on the vacation. The room credits were helpful in booking our excursions. The Norwegian Sky is a smaller ship - good for our long weekend but we prefer larger ships for longer stays. Most staff members were nice but few made eye contact or interacted unless we initiated a "hello". Maybe this is how they are trained but we much prefer the friendliness of the other cruise lines staff who interact with the guests, make you feel welcome and have fun with you. Take some pointers from Royal Caribbean. One exception to this was Regina - who was our Cabana bar tender - she deserves 5 stars!! Compared to some of the other cruise lines, the food options and quality of the food was superior. Always had to be careful not to over indulge !!!! The wait staff in the main dining room never seemed to have it all together . We would start with one waiter then mid way through our meal wound up with a new wait staff - this happened all three nights of the cruise. On several occasions we didn't get what we ordered but when brought to their attention we quickly got the correct meals. Maybe they were being trained and that's ok for us but I imagine this wouldn't go over too well with other guests. Great Stirrup Cay was fabulous - we booked a cabana and what a treat it was!!!!! Regina who was our bar tender was awesome. It was so nice to have the shade, lounge chairs and sofa for our group. The food truck that was close to the cabanas was Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were celebrating my son's high school graduation, my birthday, and my cousin's birthday. There were twelve of us. Three of us had balconies and my sister and her family had a junior suite. I really have no allegiance to any ... Read More
We were celebrating my son's high school graduation, my birthday, and my cousin's birthday. There were twelve of us. Three of us had balconies and my sister and her family had a junior suite. I really have no allegiance to any particular cruise line. This was my eighth cruise and I have not been on the same ship more than once. I tend to cruise every other year. I am a school teacher so my time to cruise is normally in the summer. I was originally going had plans of flying into Islip Thursday, spend the night at my mother's and then take a car service to the port. We were scheduled to take the 6:40 PM on Frontier from RDU into Islip. We got to the airport almost three hours ahead only to find out that there were storms and our flight was cancelled. Make a long story short, we ended up driving and spending the night in Baltimore. We stayed at the Radisson Inner Harbor Hotel, we arrive at almost 1:00am. It was a great hotel and we were perfectly happy. We ended up driving to the port Friday morning. No traffic until we got almost to the port. We paid the $22/day. I would consider doing this again, even if it was not my first choice. If we do fly, we would definitely fly two days ahead of time. I am so glad that we were not still living in Phoenix or we would have might had a problem. We always have travel insurance though. We did Horseshoe Bay while in Bermuda. We have been there several times before. Several of us purchased the two loungers and umbrellas for $50. It is crowded and on other occasions we walked to the far left of the umbrella stands and it is less crowded. However, my mom has mobility issues so we didn't do much walking. Leaving Bermuda, we did have a medical evacuation and ended up returning to the dock. We weren't even that far away from the dock, so we did not lose that much time. My son and I purchased the Atlantis beach day through Atlantis. The dig was nice but I don't know if I would go back. The beach was just okay. My sister and cousin and their respective families went to Cable Beach and rented jet skis and had a great time. My parents stayed on the ship. I had never been to Atlantis so I wanted to at least go but it is more of been there done that. Cocoa Cay was all of what Royal Caribbean said it was be. I had booked the hot air balloon excursion prior to the cruise. Unfortunately, due to weather restrictions, it did not happen. It did not hinder my enjoyment while we were there. My sister and her family as well as my cousin and hers, did ziplining. My son, sister, and cousin also did the half day pass for the water park. They stated that it was good except lines on the big slide were crazy and four of the seven people had received burns due to the lack of water on the slide! We did let the cruise director know when we returned to the ship. It felt that they did not have enough water running down the slide. If you have mobility issues, they had many trams and personnel to assist those who needed it. I really wish they would increase the amount of time that we were there. We did have an extra hour there, but it would have been nice to have more. The WindJammer's set up is not the best. There are other cruise lines that have a better set up. Some ships have a barbecue section, pizza section, etc... However, the flow on this ship did not really flow well. One big line to get food. The quality of the food was not terrible at the WindJammer but not the best either. Most days, we ate breakfast and dinner in the main dining room. We had early seating, which sometimes was sometimes a bit too early but most of us thought the later time was a bit too late. Since we had twelve people, we decided a fixed time would be easier. Prior to the cruise I had reached out to Royal Cruise dining department and requested a table for twelve. They sent me an email with the dining table confirming a table of twelve. As you can guess, we got on the ship, none of us were sitting together. We went to the head waiter on the 4th floor and showed him the email with the copy of the table assignments. He wrote cabin numbers and tables and said he would change and contact our cabins. At the time of our seating, we decided to go to 5th floor dining room since the majority of us were on the fifth floor. The head waiter on that floor was very nice and accommodating. She joined a table of eight and four and put them together. Which actually worked well, we put the adults in one table and the kids at another. Food was much better in the main dining room than the Wind Jammer. Our waiter Manuel and assistant waiter Shadrul were excellent. They were probably one of the best waiters we have had on a cruise. They were both very attentive and went out of their ways every night to make sure we are happy. Five of us did Chops one night. Food and service were very good. Our waiter James was interesting to say the least. Not sure if it was an act or Tourette’s but he did a very good job. He certainly was very amusing. The shows were okay. We enjoyed the acapella group, the juggler and the last comedian. The final show was pretty good. We did not go to the ice show. I heard that the first comedian was not that great but we did not attend. Due to the craziness of the first day and the late night before, we did not go the welcome show. I do know that the most of the group did go to the piano bar the first night and said he was pretty good. Battle of the Sexes and Quest were fun to do. We did have children ranging from age 10 - 18. However, they did not use the kids program. The pool area was very crowded and chair hogs were in abundance. Even at 7:00am it was hard to find a chair. However, I did notice that they were taking items from chairs that were not being used and placing them at the foot of the chair. The solarium area was much more quieter. My son who had turned 18 in April, was happy about being able to use it. Overall, we all thought the ship was very nice. She may be an older ship but she is in great shape. They were consistently disinfecting and cleaning the ship. There were many places that were not crowded. They did make many announcements of not depositing anything other than toilet paper in the toilet. I heard later that there several issues with toilets. I did smell septic by the elevators on deck 7. I think there are pluses and minuses to all ships. As stated before, I have not been on any ship more than once. I have enjoyed all of them. I think Carnival's Lido area definitely has a better layout. I would sail them again, only if I could get the rest of my family to do it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019

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