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4,031 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

My husband and I are frequent cruisers but have been loyal to Royal Caribbean, and occasionally Carnival for convenience. This was our first NCL cruise, and we chose it because we wanted to visit Key West on a short weekend cruise. The ... Read More
My husband and I are frequent cruisers but have been loyal to Royal Caribbean, and occasionally Carnival for convenience. This was our first NCL cruise, and we chose it because we wanted to visit Key West on a short weekend cruise. The schedule and value were perfect, and a low priced direct flight out of Charleston, SC was the icing on the cake! (We live 2 hours from Charleston). Having never experienced the open bar concept, we weren't expecting much as far as service or food (to compensate for the free alcohol), and also expected a ship full of belligerent drunk people. Boy, were we wrong! The ship was beautiful (although a little confusing at first), the crew was SUPER friendly, the food and drinks were amazing, and other cruisers were a blast! We didn't experience any extremely drunk people, surprisingly enough, and the ambiance of the ship was laid-back and just fun. Our oceanview room was perfectly comfortable from the cool AC to the bed and pillows. We are extremely satisfied and pleasantly surprised, and look forward to more cruises on NCL, particularly the Sky. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My Husband and I badly needed a little getaway that could fit into just 3 days off work, and the regular departure dates on this line made it happen. Having read some pretty awful reviews I had prepared myself to take the good with the ... Read More
My Husband and I badly needed a little getaway that could fit into just 3 days off work, and the regular departure dates on this line made it happen. Having read some pretty awful reviews I had prepared myself to take the good with the bad. That said, I'm very happy to report we experienced far more of the good than the bad! First thing to report back is that we were originally booked on an earlier sailing date but due to a death in the family had to push the cruise back a couple of weeks. The fact that this line offers daily departures for the 2 night itinerary between its 2 ships made it easy to find another date. Although we had insurance on the trip, we decided the $50 re-booking fee from the cruise line was way more convenient than dealing with an insurance claim and waiting for a refund before being able to travel. (Like I said we really needed this getaway) The person on the phone was very helpful and did this quickly. Although we were told that we would not receive the promotion of 10 free drinks and $50obc on the new sailing date, when we received the new confirmation the promotion still showed and in fact was provided on board, so not sure what that was about. Embarkation was a breeze, from the valet parking, to the opportunity to make dining reservations, it was simple and easy. We sailed midweek so the ship wasn't full, and we did arrive early on in the embarkation process which may have helped. They offer desks in the waiting area where you could buy beverage packages, make reservations at the paid upgrade restaurants, buy shore excursions, and sign up for the wine tasting event (which we really enjoyed) Some reviews refer to this as "nickel and dimeing" but personally I found it a good use of our time while we waited to board the ship. The ship itself is very well maintained and clean. Given it's age there are some interesting quirks in regards to the layout and some features, but I felt the cruise line did a good job of maintaining her. The only thing I didn't like about the appearance were these really strange garish blue and orange signs that were placed over some of the old signage to update for the new venue names and offerings. I get that they acquired the ship and that it's a budget cruise but it really was a shame as the ship is otherwise quite Glitzy and classy. On day one we attended a wine tasting that was $12 and we really enjoyed this. We tried lots of wines that were also available for purchase (obviously) but we also met some great people who we ended up spending a lot of time with. We probably wouldn't have had the time to connect with people otherwise, it being such a short cruise. Our room was ready right on time and our luggage was delivered late afternoon in time to change before dinner. The room itself was standard for an inside room on an older ship. The bathroom was small, and the TV wobbled a lot. But the bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and the steward was attentive. And let's face it, for 2 days, we weren't really there to be in the room. The service on-board was great. Every bar we went to had a friendly bar server, and the lounges and restaurants had attentive waiters. We were offered souvenir cups with discounted refills several times, or the drink coupons, but not hounded like some people said. A polite "no thank you" is all it took to move on. Drink Coupons we found to be a good deal, about $75 got you 10 drinks. Cocktails, wine, and mixed drinks were probably best value. If you only drink beer you probably don't need them. I was happy to see that we paid a gratuity relative to the value of each drink when we ordered. I care about servers and know that this is how they make a living, so that protected them from being "stiffed" by stingy passengers! The food on board was standard for cruise ships. I wouldn't offer them a Michelin star any time soon but it was mostly good. That said, the buffet was less than great, but with so many options from the grill, to the main dining room, that didn't effect us. PRO TIP 1: Listen when the servers suggest a dish, that means its good and fresh. On the first night we didn't follow the recommendation and our dish was not as good as our table mate's. PRO TIP 2: If you are dissatisfied with your dish at any of the meals, simply ask to have something else, the servers were so accommodating, and in the event above we switched to the recommended dish and it was wonderful. The on board entertainment was fun and high energy and we enjoyed every single one. The lounge artists were wonderful, and so professional. The theater group were awesome and both shows were very enjoyable. We did pay to see the late night comedian and we are glad we did. Seriously good entertainment! We did not do any shore excursion as we had been to Grand Bahama Island before and were really just looking to relax on the ship, however we did go for a walk around the port area. We sailed before Hurricane Dorian devastated the island, and when we go back we will make sure to go off the ship and spend some money top help them recover. We also donated to the Relief Cruise fund and the Grand Celebration has already sailed on two missions with supplies and volunteers. It is great to see the cruise line is dedicated to helping the island recover! Overall, I would say to approach the cruise with an open mind. Don't expect miracles and you will be pleasantly surprised. We placed a deposit down while on board for another cruise and hope to sail in February. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It was difficult to navigate the ship with limited direction, very few signs, some staff could assist others didn’t have a clue. Housekeeping staff was awesome. We paid for excursions, although the money spent for the benefits received ... Read More
It was difficult to navigate the ship with limited direction, very few signs, some staff could assist others didn’t have a clue. Housekeeping staff was awesome. We paid for excursions, although the money spent for the benefits received was severely overpriced. No guidance was provided on what to do, where to go or how to get there. Our evening dinners were great.. there we a few oddities with the proteins on the menu on what you thought you were expecting versus what was actually served. Chalk it up to American cuisine and what others believe it to be. All in all I would rate the service staff outstanding. There needs to be a “1st time cruisers” class on how to get the most out of your cruise. We bought “faster to the fun” option. Only thing it got us, was on the boat quicker, no benefit to any excursion and didn’t help with debarking the ship as we were promoted through the line to get off the boat and out the door with no mention on when we we to get our bags, as they had been picked up earlier the night before, needless to say, if you don’t have them in hand before exiting customs, you’ll have to wait at least ‘3’ hours to get them, after everyone else has left the ship, gone through customs and are well on their way home. The note we recurved the night before told us what to do to get off the boat, but no additional mention, of what to do when you get to the terminal.. We don’t travel internationally very often, so we were oblivious as to what was expected. (It always helps to know how to Stop before pressing the gas). Will we cruise Carnival again? Maybe? Did we have a good time? Mostly. Was the drink package worth it? Absolutely Was the excursion worth the cost? Nope Were the meals good? Mostly Was “Faster to the Fun” worth the cost? Don’t feel so. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Was looking for a short cruise to see how Norwegian is. This was our 20th cruise. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Holland, and Carnival. We do not want to go on Carnival anymore so thought we would give Norwegian a try. We had read ... Read More
Was looking for a short cruise to see how Norwegian is. This was our 20th cruise. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Holland, and Carnival. We do not want to go on Carnival anymore so thought we would give Norwegian a try. We had read reviews, both positive and negative for Norwegian. Some people will complain about any and everything. We know all cannot be 100%. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. All the crew were so friendly, more genuine that some others. I did get the names of those that served us and let Norwegian know. (Always a good idea for the individuals.) The buffet is smaller than a lot of ships but there was more than enough to select. A couple of things I did not care for, but that could just be me. We did eat in the beautiful dining room, Seven Seas, at night. Service and food was excellent. Assistant cruise director came around asking different questions about the cruise, etc. and his assistant taking notes Since it was a short cruise, they did allow shorts at night. The Four Seasons does all the time. The unlimited drink package did not seem abused too much. Saw/heard a few loud ones but not many. They do not serve you drinks at the table. You do have to get in line and you can get 2 at a time but it goes so quick. No card needed. We did give tips. Most did not. Disappointed with casino. Minimum on table games higher than other cruises, so we did not play as much. Nobody seemed to be hitting big anywhere. Take what you plan to lose, then quit. We did not go to shows or excursions. We just wanted to relax and enjoy the smooth cruise. We did self disembarking with suitcases. Very quick even though many were also doing that. Overall, well pleased with Norwegian and will definitely be sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because we loved the ports and wanted to drive to Cape Liberty to avoid flying. Embarking and disembarking was fast and easy. Our inside cabin was tiny, only 150 square feet, but we were only in it to sleep, so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we loved the ports and wanted to drive to Cape Liberty to avoid flying. Embarking and disembarking was fast and easy. Our inside cabin was tiny, only 150 square feet, but we were only in it to sleep, so we made do. Our son is 15, and he made friends the first night onboard, but the teens had to find stuff to do on their own, since activities were lacking. They gave the kids a dance party, but scheduled it for 2pm one day? No one showed up of course, LOL! Do NOT waste your money on the VOOM internet package. We had bought the most expensive surf and stream option and it was HORRIBLE! Royal should be ashamed to market it as being fast! We would send one text or email and it would take eight hours to go through, if at all. The line to complain at the VOOM table was consistently long the entire week. every single person that I met on the cruise was furious about the internet not working. If you are considering the soda package, please know that the Coke Freestyle machines are only in the royal Promenade and in the Windjammer, so if the Windjammer is closed, you have no access to the machine. Also, the machines were down or out of certain drinks quite frequently. You may bring one case of soda per stateroom on board, so take advantage of that instead! The food was just fine. We are not picky eaters. The staff tries hard to please and the Windjammer had something for everyone. The lines at the buffet were long all week, and not many people went to the Main Dining Room, except for Lobster night, when the dining room staff was completely overwhelmed by the packed house! Coco Cay is the Perfect Day, I could not find fault with how amazing the island is. Get there early to get a free locker for your stuff, they are all taken after the first hour. In Bermuda we booked a snorkeling trip to the coral reef through Hat Trick Charters. They only take 6-12 people to the reef and you will find that they have a perfect rating on TripAdvisor for good reason!!!!! In Nassau, we booked a room at Comfort Suites Paradise island to get free passes to the Atlantis resort for the day in port. ( it is across the street from Atlantis, a few steps away literally.). We saved so much money, compared to the people that booked through Royal Caribbean. We saved hundreds and got twice the amount of time in Atlantis as well. LOL! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just came back from an 8 day cruise to the Bahamas, Bermuda and Coco Cay. The main dining room had fantastic food, our servers were great, no issue. Our stateroom attendant was great too. The majority of the cruise ships were ... Read More
Just came back from an 8 day cruise to the Bahamas, Bermuda and Coco Cay. The main dining room had fantastic food, our servers were great, no issue. Our stateroom attendant was great too. The majority of the cruise ships were friendly. The imperial lounge had 1 female bartender that I felt need to go to training again.. one of the most nasty bartender I ever met. The rest of the bartenders at the Schooner bar and everyplace else was great. I went to every activity from the sushi making class, to the wine tasting, which was great. I also took the bottom brunch galley tour. I took one in the past and I was really disappointed. It was a brief tour. You don't go to the refrigerator area, or bridge, or the laundry area.. If I knew it was this brief I would not take it. I would rather see more of the ship than have brunch at the end of the tour. Also another issue I had is I prepaid for all of my spa treatment for me and family but for some reason I was still charged for the treatment. If you are going to the spa, make sure you are not charged again for any prepaid treatment. this happen several times for me. Overall it was a great trip for me and my family. It was memorable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took Mariner of the Seas with two kids, ages 9 and 12 mainly so we could check out the new cococay! We have taken the 3 day disney cruise 6-7 times and absolutely loved it but felt like our kids were ready for some big kid activity! ... Read More
We took Mariner of the Seas with two kids, ages 9 and 12 mainly so we could check out the new cococay! We have taken the 3 day disney cruise 6-7 times and absolutely loved it but felt like our kids were ready for some big kid activity! Because it was so much cheaper than Disney we decided to upgrade where we could so obviously that added to our enjoyment! The pros: 1. Jamies italian was very good 2. teppanyaki was very good 3. flowrider was a blast- we booked a private session, but got on again later 4. laser tag was really fun (free) 5. ice skating (free) 6. bungee jump was really fun (free) 7. we really enjoyed the under the big top ice skating show 8. buffet was not crowded and pretty good for breakfast and lunch 9. we loved mid day starbucks 10. cococay was amazing!! Much better than disney's private island! Its new of course but the water park was very fun and not crowded, the wave pool was fun, south beach was beautiful and lagoon pool was as well. It was under capacity so we never had any issues with finding chairs at the pool and beach. There were many food options and it was fresh and plentiful! all in all it was awesome! 11. in nassau we did a snorkeling and fishing through a private boat charter The cons: 1. the crowd was less kid friendly 2. they allow smoking in some areas 3. they had little to no activity during the day on the agenda aside from silly stuff like trying on perfume or the art auction 4. the rooms need updating even though the rest of the ship was amped 5. the kids club programming was blah-my kids checked it out once and said pass! 6. we paid extra for a lot-dining, soda, flowrider I will definitely try RC again to get to cococay, but didnt love the ship. If I do I may try a longer itinerary that is more family focused! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I’m shocked at the negative reviews, other than a few that compare cruises that cost twice as much. This is our 15h Carnival cruise, though we are not Carnival loyalists. Many NCL cruises, quite a few MSC, one RCCL, Princess and even ... Read More
I’m shocked at the negative reviews, other than a few that compare cruises that cost twice as much. This is our 15h Carnival cruise, though we are not Carnival loyalists. Many NCL cruises, quite a few MSC, one RCCL, Princess and even an SS France or two! We thought the public spaces were great. The Sirenity lounge is about 3 or 4 times the size of other ships. Something for everyone there. Quiet up in the bow, more part of the Lido elsewhere, but with great seating and no kids. We loved the Havana bar which doubled the Lido seating, into much more grownup areas. I think many passengers never even discover the options there, huge at breakfast and much (free) and dinner (several for pay, Asian and Italian). The cabin hallways are wide, bright and beachy. The cabins and balconies are very dated and worn, however. Our balcony floor was almost disgusting, even after a power wash. And the bathroom while clean was, well, not up to par; damage to sink and floor. We chose to be happy with the clean part. The staff was wonderful. Everyone, fro our wonderful cabin attendant, Anok, to the waitstaff in the Havana, Lido, FDR and elsewhere could not have been friendlier, often initiating conversations. IDK where all the negative reviews come from. I consider myself a foodie, look for high levels of service, but set the bar appropriately- not going to hold Carnival to standards of a line that costs significantly more - and Sunshine more than met expectations. I am glad she is home ported in Charleston and look forward to many more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to ... Read More
The cruise was relaxing. We went to Princess Cays, where we got a Sanctuary Bungalow that we enjoyed very much. We weren't fans of the Nassau market off the port since we don't like having all the vendors constantly trying to convince you to go into their shop (or get your hair braided). The food in the MDR was great. We had your-time-dining and only had to wait once. We enjoyed the music shows and went to both showings both times. I wish there had been more of them instead of only two nights. The main reason for my review is to share a warning about room E82, and really all the rooms around there. I had no idea how loud it would be in that room due to the music in the Atrium. I had researched the room beforehand and hadn't seen any warning, so I decided to add my own review afterward so that others would know better. This isn't something that would be better one or two rooms further away. The noise was loud enough that I wouldn't recommend any rooms in the midsection of the Emerald deck at all. I would recommend going with a different deck, or perhaps all the way in the Aft section. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We just wrapped up a four-night Bahamas cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. We had the Key, got to the terminal about 9:30am, checked in, did security, sat in the Key area and were literally the first to board at 10:40am. We had ... Read More
We just wrapped up a four-night Bahamas cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. We had the Key, got to the terminal about 9:30am, checked in, did security, sat in the Key area and were literally the first to board at 10:40am. We had already dropped our luggage with the stevedores, but should have waited and dropped it at the Key area on deck 4. Information about the Key was sort of scarce. We didn’t receive our bags until about 5pm. Fortunately we had packed swimsuits and sunblock and were able to enjoy the pools and slides. About the Key: -The internet package was great. -We didn’t know until the last day that the Key acts as a “fast pass” for the water slides (grr). -The Chops lunch was excellent (filet) -We only used the priority seating for the ice show, but there was plenty of room at the other shows. -Our main dining room departure breakfast the last morning was really nice. -Info on departure procedures was a bit sketchy, so we left our baggage in the cabin during breakfast and after we grabbed our luggage and just went to the bamboo room to be escorted off (shorter line). It worked out just fine. -Our “checked luggage” was with everyone else’s, no specific “Key” Area was marked off at customs. Service was always friendly and attentive, except the bar servers were surly. At the theater one night, a server refused to provide a drink menu, and at one of the pool bars the last night, the bartender acted as though he was doing us a favor by making drinks and wouldn’t even talk to us. Hopefully these were the exception. The water slides and flow rider were fun, although the pools were really crowded on the sea day. We enjoyed the soft serve ice cream once we found it, and were so stuffed from meals we didn’t snack too often! We aren’t big drinkers, but the $12 mixed drink prices seemed high. We felt that RCI “nickels and dimes” passengers a lot. The main dining room charged an extra $8 for squeezed orange juice. That’s ridiculous. We didn’t do any formal excursions and instead explored Nassau independently and spent the Cococay day at Chill Beach (the island food was better than the Windjammer buffet, especially the brownies!) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I know a lot of people love this ship, so we were excited to try it out. I found the layout not as easy as other Carnival ships. The dining room service was the worst in nine cruises. Normally, the dining room staff blows us away. I’m ... Read More
I know a lot of people love this ship, so we were excited to try it out. I found the layout not as easy as other Carnival ships. The dining room service was the worst in nine cruises. Normally, the dining room staff blows us away. I’m not sure if they had a lot of trainees, but I was unimpressed. The taller guy at the Java Blue Cafe (his tag was covered) was, by far, the best service we received. The milk shakes there are awesome, but the blue velvet cake they are still advertising as their signature dessert doesn’t exist. The spa charged us twice (once a couple months ago and again on board) for the thermal spa pass. I don’t like ships that force you thru the smoky casino to get everywhere. It was weird that the Serenity Deck was connected to the regular Lido pool deck — it was not serene. Half Moon Cay was awesome. Adam the Cruise Director was really good. All in all, it was a decent cruise, but not my favorite ship and the service could use a lot of improvement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Adventure of the seas 8N cruise Bahamas and perfect day Stayed overnight at doubletree Hilton. Free airport shuttle and $25 to the port. Wasn't happy they threw my luggage in the back of their free airport shuttle and as only ... Read More
Adventure of the seas 8N cruise Bahamas and perfect day Stayed overnight at doubletree Hilton. Free airport shuttle and $25 to the port. Wasn't happy they threw my luggage in the back of their free airport shuttle and as only 2 other people the bad slid around and was black not red! I still can't get it clean. Hotel excellent, and had swimming pool, cafe and Starbucks. Cruise Check in was quite quick although the queue for security was long and this was 10.30am. Once onboard there was a long queue waiting for the buffet Windjammer restaurant to open. Best avoided so went to cafe on deck 5 for a cheese and ham sandwich instead. Signs at guest services saying no upgrades as full. I did receive several emails since I paid for my cruise asking me to bid for an upgrade so it would appear unlikely you would now get any free upgrades or be able to pay for any onboard, instead they will go to the highest bidder. I selected my balcony cabin location right by the elevators so didn't want the upgrade anyway. Cabins opened just after 1pm. If you have ever bought a new build house you will understand what I mean when I say I then went on to 'snag' the room for issues. The TV volume would not turn down and was so loud I had to keep it off. The cabin steward said he has reported it but on day 2 I called maintenance myself and they sent an electrician within 30 minutes who advised it was a faulty cable. Several hours later after dinner they swapped the cable and it then worked fine. The sink tap was spraying water all over me as was probably clogged with lime scale and spraying everywhere, the cupboard door to the safe was loose on one of the hinges and almost fell off and one of the balcony chair seats was very dirty. The air con also doesn't seem to work properly either. Again my room steward said he reported these issues on day 1. On day 3 I rang maintenance again myself and within half an hour the tap spray was swapped and works perfectly now and he called a colleague who sorted the cupboard door also. Should I really have to do these things, I would suggest the room steward or supervisor should test these things. You should book my cabin 8622 I have had it fixed! Surprisingly I didn't have to ask for my free drink and welcome gift for crown and anchor which I normally spend two days chasing so that was good. I pre booked arcade credit as it came with a bonus amount so I had a letter in cabin to go to the arcade and dial a number. I did this and was told to just put my card in the machines and it will work out the credit. A nice man appeared and was very helpful, showed me how it all worked. A lot of machines were broken, poorly stocked or simply would not accept the sea pass card. You win tickets and can claim them at a machine in the arcade room on the last evening from 7pm. Needless to say we had to stand around waiting for someone else to arrive as the machine was broken! Then we had to wait whilst all the kids took forever choosing their prizes. Casino credit - was told can use OBC in the casino at no charge. You transfer the money on the machines. They have instructions in the casino. Unfortunately the casino was ruined by the smoking as usual. It goes through the whole casino and not just the smoking section. This is very poor RC. The staff are very unhappy here and are worried about the smoke to their health. People were using the casino as a smoking room instead of going outside. I walked through when it was closed and there were 2 people smoking. Entertainment was good. Mix of dancers and comedians as well as a fabulous entertainer. Dinner was busy in the windjammer most nights which is unusual. It was often busy but plenty of tables in the evening for those not wanting to go down to the restaurant. I had to live on Frosted flakes for breakfast as there were no weetabx. They also had no salad cream which normally I manage to find a bottle hidden away. The restaurant manager told me they've never had it. My reply was that on my last 20+ cruises, I must have imagined it then! I struggled to find any cooked vegetables, broccoli some days but lots of fried food and potato wedges - same all week. It was much better last year. Lovely man in the Windjammer looked after me and was very helpful. He even went to get me some French fries the last evening when they were not on the buffet. Diamond lounge - lovely to see Christopher there again, nothing was too much trouble and he even helped me find something to do the last day whilst waiting all day for my flight. Buffet continental breakfast is served in the diamond lounge although they don't have cereal in there now so was a bit disappointed. Also no snacks during the say when I went in there. I guess it gets wasted so no point putting too much out but would have been nice to find a few cookies. Diamond and above guests please note that guest services advised RC's new policy is to open all cans in the happy hour promotion (5-8pm offer). So where we get 3 X free drinks per day, if we choose to have soda cans, they now open them. I was given two cans of Coke Zero open which I then wasted as couldn't drink two at once. I like to save one for the next afternoon. Apparently they tell me they now open them so we don't give them away! I said look, I don't drink alcohol so I want my free cans of soda to enjoy when I like. If this is your new policy I will still give them away opened or waste them. I suggested RC stop those people who are costing them a fortune drinking for 3 solid hours alcohol at the free bar each night rather than worry about a few cans of soda. I am really cross having got to diamond plus I may now have to switch to P&O!!! The 3 free drinks is a perk I have spent a lot of money with RC to get. Port info: Very little information on each port, maps were not given out unless you went to some sales talk! They just wanted to talk about the overpriced stores and bamboo sheets. I assume they get commission? The Ship ha the usual merchandise, and overpriced general items. I even gave one guest some Ibuprofen for a headache as they were a small fortune in the shop. Usual $10 tat sale as I call it. Day 3 Port Canaveral - very hot! Harmony of the Seas had taken the best dock right by the Exploratory Tower so we ended up too far away to walk to anything by the Port and certainly is this 90F plus heat. There was nothing you could walk to and one of the few attractions nearby was also closed Sunday's. I got off to check I hadn't missed anything but just got bombarded by these giant flies which were everywhere. If not been before, would have done the trip to Kennedy but as we did that in November we stayed on board. Disappointed we couldn't walk to anything. Other people cancelled their tours to Disney as it was just so oppressively hot. Found some people who went to Universal Studios and they said it was unbearable and couldn't queue in this heat. Day 4 Miami - loads of cruise ships in port as you would expect. We docked on the starboard side, walked through the terminal to the HOHO buses. I booked this $49 tour on board as had lots of OBC otherwise would have bought cheaper on shore. Lots of people selling tours ashore and cheaper. They didn't tell us that we would queue for 45 minutes to get a bus that then dropped us off 5-10 mins away to then stand and wait for the proper bus to start the tour. We were left stood next to buses with engines running, it was so hot, 91F/33C in the shade plus the heat from the buses. A lady then shouted we were in the line for the blue route and we would not get on the next bus so would have another 30 minutes to wait after the next one arrived, so she said we could queue for the red bus route and moved us further along. There was no organisation, it was a free for all when the bus came. Nobody dare get off as they knew they would not get a seat back. No air con downstairs, I guess as open top buses but very poor for a hot city. I wouldn't be surprised if people were unwell due to the heat. Even with the windows open downstairs there wasn't much of a cool breeze, in fact it was a warm breeze most of the time. Other than then beach and shops, there wasn't much to see. After the tour ended we had to get off the bus and wait another 20 minutes for the bus back to the Ship. Total waste of $49 as had been to Miami before. Took 4 hours to do nothing. I did give the diamond concierge feedback which he did log and I would have left it at that but as I was infuriated at being given two cans of coke open (total waste) I went to guest services to complain. The excursions manager did call me to discuss and offered a 50% refund which was fair. Day 5 Nassau - docked furthest away so four ships in front of us. On the port side so I had a view of the ocean, ships the other side. I booked the morning essential Nassau tour in advance saved ten dollars. This was a fantastic tour. The only thing I was unhappy about was the man who decided to walk us from the furthest dock to the bus (a good 5-8 minute walk) just as the rain fell down. To say we were all soaked was really an understatement. I took out a cardigan to cover me but it was literally wringing wet. Needless to say the rain stopped after ten minutes and the man abandoned us for another ten minutes. Like they couldn't have waited for the heavy shower to pass! It took 2 hours to dry out. We went to the rum cake factory, Atlantis, the rum factory and more, it was great. Restrooms at every place. Had 3 other ships in with us so was busy around the shops/market right by the port. You can walk wall around this area. There is even a McDonalds just round the corner by the Hilton. Be prepared to haggle at the stalls though. Change was given in local currency at one of the shops on the tour so ask if paying cash whether it's USD change or Bahamas currency. Day 6 the much talked about Perfect Day, Coco Cay We docked on the left as you look at the island so the whole island was to the back of the ship as we had turned around. Grandeur was also in port. Little open mini buses took us from the ship exit to the island. They were driving a little fast! The water park looks amazing. There is also the balloon but it looked too swaying to tempt me. There are a number of shops in huts to the left of the island. Unfortunately I am very fair skinned to cannot stay out in the sun for more than a hour or so, even with factor 50 on. They were selling factor 70 and one lady factor 100 cream in the huts. There was very little shade on the island, some under the food places but not all tables were in the shade. Also you had to venture off the path through sand and sharp shells to find a table. They need to work on this which I'm sure they are doing. Also all the restrooms all had queues for the ladies. Enjoyed seeing the island but too hot for me and set my heat rash off! Internet package $15.99 for the basic one device if purchased for the duration of the cruise, 24 hour pass gone up to $22.99. Slow connection but handy to keep in touch with family and friends. I tried to download the Uber app for cheaper taxi to the airport but the pictures where you have to select store fronts etc. just would not load as it was too slow speed. Disembarkation - transfer to Newark airport it was $27.50 and left at 7.40am only! The excursions booklet had 2 X 4 hour tours leaving at 9.30am (note meeting time is 8.30 in lounges to get you out, collect luggage and through customs etc). At the back of the booklet it said have a late flight, after 3.30pm we have late tours - what they actually meant was the tours in the booklet would get you to the airport for flights after 3.30pm - total waste of time confusing people! They went on to do the same with just airport transfers saying if not in a hurry and flights after 3pm book a transfer to Newark ($27.95) or Times Square ($44.95)Again, they meant only one bus for each, both at 7.40am!!! Seriously! Excursion desk were not helpful at all. They offered no long tours or later tours and said latest time to get off her ship was 9.45am. I was going to book one of the tours but they were all cancelled as they didn't have enough people to run them. So, I was left with nothing to do and a flight at 10pm at night! RC were not helpful at all. I asked if there was luggage storage at the airport and they gave me a leaflet for storage in New York. I google one near the HOHO bus and it said sorry this location is temporarily closed. The rest appeared to be self storage. For those not knowing New York this was not good. Can someone please set up a business collecting luggage from the cruise ship on departure day and returning to the airport or nearby later. Surely a profitable business. I opted to leave at 9.30am, but was told final call to leave around 8.30am. I was going to get a taxi but there was a shuttle for just $20. Ok, so it went to the Hilton and Best western first but didn't take long. Far cheaper than a taxi if just one person. Met a lovely family also from the UK on the shuttle. Worth noting you can get a day room for around $79 plus tax $90 if you have a late flight. Newark Airport - Delta wouldn't let me check in nor offload luggage saying had to wait for virgin Atlantic (code share) staff at 5.30pm. No luggage storage they say after 9/11. However, I was able to walk all around the airport and get within 50 feet of aircraft on the AirTrain with a suitcase that had not been scanned/checked. This is really poor security. So I had 12 hours to kill before my flight. A lovely man in the shop suggested I take the shuttle outside P4 on the AirTrain to The Mills at Jersey Gardens shopping mall. I took the AirTrain around the terminals, just 2 stops and was at P4. The shuttle was outside waiting. $5 one way, $9 return. They accept luggage and even put it onboard for me. The mall is 10 minutes away, buses every half hour and he even gave me the timetable. It is huge! I never covered half. Really good prices and on designer stuff like handbags. I'm not a big shopping fan but really enjoyed this. Luckily I had my suitcase so wedged some things in! Another option with a late flight is to take the train to Manhattan. Follow signs to AirTrain at Newark airport and buy a ticket at the machine right at the AirTrain entrance (I think they were orange/blue). Buy a ticket to New York Penn station (not Newark Penn station). This ticket will cover both the AirTrain and the N Transit train. Take the AirTrain to Newark Liberty International Airport AirTrain station. Takes 10 mins max. Then get off the AirTrain and get on the NJ Transit train going to New York Penn Station. There are signs at the station. Download a map online. Once there, you can either walk around or get the underground to the main sights. You may be able to find a luggage storage location! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
First time cruiser. Last minute booking. Great price on the cruise, chose the specialty dining pkg. Had inside stateroom. Size was comparable to a smaller hotel room. Perfect size for 2 people. Anymore than that, and it starts to ... Read More
First time cruiser. Last minute booking. Great price on the cruise, chose the specialty dining pkg. Had inside stateroom. Size was comparable to a smaller hotel room. Perfect size for 2 people. Anymore than that, and it starts to feel claustrophobic. Staff was nice. Nice mixture of people. Not too many old folks, not too many "spring break " types. Food was good in the main restaurants and steakhouse was better than your typical outback or Longhorns. Buffet food was ok. Sports bar food was the most disappointing food on the ship. Wings were meh and spinach dip was more like watery queso. Omg. The "tap water" was not good! Buy the water package, you will thank me later. Spa was way overpriced. DJ Toeknee was pretty good. He had bliss lounge jammin. Great stirrup cay was nice. Water was blue. Not overcrowded on the beach, rented a clam shell to cover our beach chairs and some floaties to chill in the water. Did our own excursions for Nassau. Boarding and disembarking were easy. Casino sucked. Money pit! Some areas of the ship were very hot. And uncomfortable. Like the observation lounge and even the main restaurants. Could use more AC there. Oh. The mixed drinks were hit and miss. You could order the "floridita" from one bartender, and then go to the other side of the ship and order same thing and it taste terrible! Overall I was impressed. for a first time cruise, this is a great one, especially if you are looking for a smaller ship, with a good mix of people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Embarkation was a breeze, arriving at 11:00, changed into bathing suits and had a great day at the pool. The band was entertaining and great dj music and enjoyed tacos by the pool. Our luggage arrived to our cabin by the time we finished ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze, arriving at 11:00, changed into bathing suits and had a great day at the pool. The band was entertaining and great dj music and enjoyed tacos by the pool. Our luggage arrived to our cabin by the time we finished at the pool, in plenty of time to clean up for dinner. Dinner service was great in My Time Dining and with our pre-board reservations we were sat immediately. The only real complaints I have for the ship is the lack of bar service. There was only one waiter in the casino and he served only the table games. If you played slots or video poker, you must fend for yourself. There was usually only one bartender at the casino bar as well. The other thing that we found lacking was the Diamond Lounge. We missed the ambiance and the view from the Crown Lounge. Being a small lounge with no windows on Deck 5 (I think) was no where we wanted to be. However the Concierge there was wonderful. Debarkation was very fast although no one adhered to their departure time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Took this on a lark since I had an unexpected 3 day weekend. The key to this experience is to set expectations accordingly. This is from start to finish, and by the line’s own admission, a party cruise. For folks like me who just want a ... Read More
Took this on a lark since I had an unexpected 3 day weekend. The key to this experience is to set expectations accordingly. This is from start to finish, and by the line’s own admission, a party cruise. For folks like me who just want a ship, clean room, view of the ocean, place to read and sunbathe, and a helpful crew it’s perfect. For folks who expect an experience comparable to any of the big 3, you’ll be disappointed. Boarding: efficient for US passport holders. I appreciated the ability to book shore excursions and make dinner reservations while waiting, I’m surprised more companies don’t do this. Ship: a classic, in a good way. A former costa ship (with lots of relics from its past) that has been reasonably refurbished. In a lot of ways it was actually a pleasant change from some of the more pretentious newer ships I’ve been on. I’m low maintenance though and it checked all my boxes - a well-equipped fitness center, plenty of lounge chairs, and enough quiet spots to read a book. Cabin: clean, basic, showing it’s age but given the turnover they go through (new passengers every 2 nights) unsurprising. Attendant was, well, attentive - regularly checked to make sure I had enough towels, etc. Dining: basic but sufficient. Again, for what it is they try hard. Food quality was what you’d expect at this price point (I’d say comparable to an Applebee’s). Which isn’t to say it’s bad, just not at the same level as the majors. One highlight - Indian food in the main dining room was quite good, as it tends to be on many ships (given the proliferation of workers from South Asia in the marine hospitality industry). Additionally, was able to sample drinks from several bars onboard; contrary to other reports of weak cocktails I found them to be stronger than average. YMMV. Port: Freeport isn’t anything to write home about, as anyone who has been there will attest. Took the shared taxi ($5 each way) to Taino beach, had lunch at the Stoned Crab (recommend) and a couple drinks (also recommend). Their loungers and umbrellas were included with lunch, space is great, and service lovely. Avoid the chaotic Pirates Cove next door. Crew: unfailingly pleasant, and trying the best with what they’ve got. Many have worked on other ships before and it shows. Fellow Passengers: most are locals and, as one would expect on a party cruise, here to drink, tan, and unwind. If Carnival attracts the Walmart crowd, this is the Dollar General crowd. Manners, speaking volumes, and attire follow accordingly. The old adage applies: you get what you pay for. Given the frequent ridiculously low fares on Bahamas Paradise it is fair to say this winds up being a good deal for folks who want a quick getaway and love to be on a ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an ... Read More
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an older crowd and there are few children, teens and college aged folks. Since the ship is older and lacks these amenities the price point is lower and attracts cotton tops on a fixed income and people who are looking for a bargain. The crew was awesome. It is not unusual for crew to try and remember you and your tastes but it seems that this crew really has a talent to make to feel you are the only person they are taking care of. I could write a review on Dan Burgess, the piano player in the Schooner Bar, and his talent for making connections and bringing an entire room of people together and making them have a great time. The food is standard Royal Caribbean offerings. I don’t find any uniqueness or variation in menu, quality or presentation from one RC ship to another. I believe corporate does this to maintain a homogenous expectation much like a chain of restaurants. I think this is a mistake because passengers feel like they are eating at the same chain restaurant every night and every cruise. The food in the MDR and the buffet are the same. The premium restaurants do serve a notch higher quality and portion and variety of menu. I would like to see RC put an exec chef of every ship and give them autonomy to create dining venues and offering that make one RC ship unique from another. My only truly negative feelings are of RC and their incessant and relentless jamming of dining, drink, internet, next cruise, jewelry, shore excursions etc etc. They are there to sell these things and I am here to buy them. Their nonstop, high pressure tactics is a HUGE turn off for me. Immediately upon entering the door of their terminal we were ordered, in a not so nice way, to empty all of our outside drinks on the ground. After checking in and even before getting to the ship we were hit up for dining packages, drink packages and the usual obligatory photo. I have no issue with this. Once on the ship, we were approached NINE (yes nine) times in the first hour to purchase premium dining. I began for feel this was rude and I had no problem being rude to anyone who approached me with a smile and a brochure by telling them to go away. Hitting the Windjammer for lunch as soon as you board is a bad idea unless you want to start your vacation by becoming angry. The spa personnel set up a table and greeted guests as you approached them instead of circling an area like a street beggar who is desperately pan handling for drug money. I purchased over $500 in spa services for my family. This is proof that slamming your guests with an army of beggars is not effective and creates a paradigm of anger that lasts for the entire cruise. If you are not a stickler for details and can turn a blind eye to sloppy repairs in public areas, worn furniture and scratches; then this may be a good fit for you. I would sail on Grandure again as the value is fair. If those little things bother you and mildew totally turns you off then you may want to look at Oasis class ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our 9th cruise, 2nd with Royal. After cruising on the Oasis, I have to say that the small to medium size ship are more attractive to me. Although the Grandeur is an older ship, and smaller ship, it has a charm to it that makes ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, 2nd with Royal. After cruising on the Oasis, I have to say that the small to medium size ship are more attractive to me. Although the Grandeur is an older ship, and smaller ship, it has a charm to it that makes you look over some of its dated look. The open atrium (centrum) makes the ship feel larger than it is. We are a family of four, and travel with friends We booked two ocean view rooms, deck 2, Rooms are adequate with plenty of storage, and drawer space. Dining. Overall a good variety of offerings in the Windjammer, healthy corner was appreciated. Omelet station was frequented often by some. Lots of choices for meat lovers of vegans. Main dining room was also quite good, with a nice rotation of different meals every night. Crab cakes were especially good. Service was great, fun friendly staff made our mealtime enjoyable. Entertainment. Enjoyed John Blair and his team. Smaller ships give you the opportunity to see this group in action more readily than the larger ships. Always a fun activity to watch or participate. John also gives a matinee performance Tribute to Neil Diamond. If you close your eyes you would think Mr Diamond was in the room, very good. Ports.Bermuda was beautiful, next time maybe 3 night stay would make it even better. Did a 4 hour tour with local Taxi. Very informative tour with lots of local tidbits from this native driver. Stops at St George, Hamilton and other points of interest Horseshoe Bay was spectacular, beautiful pink sand and rock formations were visually satisfying.(bring the camera) Nassau. walked to The Queens staircase for a few photos, some shopping on Bay street, overall a pleasant few hours, we skipped the beach, have been here before CoCo Cay. Amazing transformation to this island, making it an absolutely wonderful, or shall I say "Perfect Day", spent a few hours on Chill Island, relaxed, some beach time, a quick meal at the food/ grill shack, lots of Beveridge stations as well.Moved to the Oasis pool for a quick afternoon dip and DJ music, the pool is HUGE, clean and refreshing, very enjoyable. Negatives? Yes there were some, food a little on he salty side, not used to that. The ship is scheduled for a major Dry Dock, I believe next year? and probable needs more than a coat of paint, a upgrade in many areas would benefit this already charming little ship. The staff is encouraged to upsell, upsell, upsell, specialty restaurants, drinks, spa, photos and more, no issue with that, but at mealtime it seemed a bit much to have it mentioned numerous times to accept one offering or another. Would I sail her again? Yes, for 2 reasons, no need to fly from where we live, drove to the departure port the night before, stayed at the Best Western in Elkridge , one night and provided parking for the duration of the cruise, really convenient. Complimentary breakfast, great staff, clean rooms. Shuttle to and from the port and they also drove us and picked up from Arundel Mills Mall nearby. The ship has a few itineraries that are of interest, would do Bermuda again, New England Canada cruise and have my eye on the 12 night southern Caribbean itinerary. Overall a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The ship is not very new, but its clean and looks good. Cabins are a good size, and amenities are good. Food was great, pretty standard though. They don't have 24/7 food like all the other cruises I went on, but they have it until ... Read More
The ship is not very new, but its clean and looks good. Cabins are a good size, and amenities are good. Food was great, pretty standard though. They don't have 24/7 food like all the other cruises I went on, but they have it until 2/3am. The entertainment was good. But the comedian, Jeff Norris, on the final day went a bit far and people started yelling at him and leaving... Would not want to see him again. Wish they weren't partnered with him. Service was good. They strive to give you perfection, but make sure you speak up. The ports and excursions were good. You can disembark quickly and they provide a lot of support for getting to where you need to go. Finally I did dislike the upselling. When you are eating your food they have ads for more expensive options. If you go to the spa, they will give you want you want and try and sell you more and more. The art auctions they let the crowd choose what art to see, but only show half of those AFTER they try and sell you on the ones they want to show you. I don't remember that being as bad on Carnival and Princess, but maybe it's the changing times. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our second time on the NCL Sun for Memorial Day weekend. A quick three day cruise to the Bahamas seems to get our Summer started as we are both unable to get away from the Northeast winter. The ship is mid size and limited in ... Read More
This was our second time on the NCL Sun for Memorial Day weekend. A quick three day cruise to the Bahamas seems to get our Summer started as we are both unable to get away from the Northeast winter. The ship is mid size and limited in some ways but makes good use of the space she has. The pool deck area is crowded, but always loungers on second deck available. The restaurants and bars are well staffed and crew are very efficient in their duties. I found the bartenders very accommodating for an open bar ship. We dined in the main dining room for dinner and found choices we liked. The desserts still need attention.....not very good. We were able to get french press coffee delivered to the room in the morning before breakfast and there is a Starbucks in the Atrium. We stayed in a suite on the eight deck forward. The room was very nicely appointed, very comfortable bed. The Bathroom was oversized with a very large whirlpool tub. The balcony, which we used, was large with two loungers and two chairs. The suites come with a private dining venue for breakfast and lunch. Our Concierge, Gian, was very helpful as was our Butler. I can not say enough about the casino staff....so much fun. Yes, we did contribute but this is considered entertainment for us and not an opportunity! The casino manager, Quasi Mc Lean was again over the top in personality and his management skills. I have never seen another casino manager so focused on attention to detail. Anna, the casino host, is very special person. We know Anna from her time on the Escape. She is just a lovely, warm, kindhearted person. The pit staff was very attentive. Star, a pit supervisor, was very personable and fun. The whole staff in the casino were fun to be around and understood how to treat people that were either winning or losing. This comes from the top....Quasi. Now the not so good. We were looking forward to Great Stirrup Cay from the day we booked. Booking a suite with all the construction being done, we were hoping for a great beach day. Well, after two years of work, the Lagoon area is not opened.....I heard the lagoon doesn't work and they are considering building a pool in this area. Yet, you look right next door to Coco Cay....they dock their ship, no tendering....largest water slide on the planet.....colorful....you could almost hear the fun their guest were having. Norwegian you dropped the ball.... I was told by pre cruise concierge that if I got locked out of a villa, I could book a massage on the Island and have use of the private area....Sorry, Policy change along with itinerary change. Our Plan was changed, again like last year after final payment. Due to change we had two ships at Great Stirrup Cay and none on the original day....nice work. Over all we had a good cruise....it served our purpose. The crew aboard this ship made the itinerary worth the travel from the Northeast. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We went on an extended family cruise which included four "twenty-somethings" and there was something for everyone. Embarking was smooth as we choose 12 noon boarding. We parked in the multi-story garage and were on the first ... Read More
We went on an extended family cruise which included four "twenty-somethings" and there was something for everyone. Embarking was smooth as we choose 12 noon boarding. We parked in the multi-story garage and were on the first floor. Our mid-ship balcony room was larger than other balcony rooms in back of ship. The balcony door needs another coat of paint however I found it easy to open and close the door. I eat a vegan menu and found everyone most accommodating. I was able to get almond or soy milk for my coffee and cereal. I was surprised how many side dishes were made with beef or chicken broth so I was very limited on what I could choose. Believe me, I was never at a loss for great things to eat. Only complaint was the one hour trolley tour of Key West. The trolly does not pick up at same location as your drop off. The driver kept pointing out were we could go and then just "stand at a bus stop" and flag down a return ride. NO, don't do it. We were hot and tired and no one was stopping for us. The shopkeepers and locals could not tell us how to get back to the Navy yard to re-board the ship. We tried to flag down trolleys and buses in front of the gate but no one would stop. Thank goodness I called my sister who told me to walk back into town and catch her non-NCL bus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was perfect for our two first time cruisers. Not too big, not too long and ports that have lots to choose from. Same great Carnival food, service and dance parties as the big ships. Benefits of a smaller ship and carnival include ... Read More
This was perfect for our two first time cruisers. Not too big, not too long and ports that have lots to choose from. Same great Carnival food, service and dance parties as the big ships. Benefits of a smaller ship and carnival include fastest and friendliest dinner service at sea. Also way easier to get on and off of than a mega ship. It was a younger, rowdier crowd than we’re used to seeing on cruise ships out of Florida. Older ship with no rock climbing walls or ropes course and only one pool. But maintained very well. It works for a short cruise with one sea day. I wouldn’t want a longer cruise with more sea days on this ship. Drinks were way more expensive than any cruise we’ve ever been on. You need to have planned excursions tours or daypasses in Bahamas. We always go to Atlantis in Nassau. We got a day pass for viva Wyndham fortuna in Freeport. Was really great day. Kayaking some snorkeling pools great beach buffets snack bars and drinks included. They have a scuba shop but we did not use it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise for Cocoa Cay and we really enjoyed it. The food in the main dining room was delicious except one night. Part of my steak was chewy and part was delicious, order rare to get a medium rare. The deluxe beverage package ... Read More
We choose this cruise for Cocoa Cay and we really enjoyed it. The food in the main dining room was delicious except one night. Part of my steak was chewy and part was delicious, order rare to get a medium rare. The deluxe beverage package is on sale before getting on the ship and it is so worth it. No worries about charges later and water, soda, latte,capuchino, alcoholic beverages, etc all are included on board and on Cocoa Cay island. Entertainment in the lounges and the boardwalk were good The ice show was great. The regular show had a guest juggeler he was okay, three of the four singers we're good but only three harmonized well, the fourth person threw them off key . She sang well on her own. Trivia is in the bar by the casino so it's smokey we couldn't attend. There were lots of entertainment opportunities. It's a get four Day vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we’d sailed on Navigator OTS and really liked the layout of the ship. Since Mariner OTS recently received an overhaul, she became even more attractive to us for a weekend get-away sailing out of our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we’d sailed on Navigator OTS and really liked the layout of the ship. Since Mariner OTS recently received an overhaul, she became even more attractive to us for a weekend get-away sailing out of our favorite, close-to-home port - Canaveral. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship within minutes of arriving at the pier, about a half-hour before our room became available. For the first time (and surely what will be the last), we chose a guaranty cabin based on cruise duration and price. It turned out to be a disappointing experience. Our interior room, located on Deck 8 and very close to the very rear of the ship, clearly had not been updated as evidenced by the stains on the back of the desk chair and the musty odor in the room caused by carpeting badly in need of a thorough cleaning and deodorizing, or better yet - replacement. Also, my husband called Maintenance staff in the middle of the night because he was unable to sleep due to the rattling and vibration within the room. When they left the issue seemed to be resolved, only to start up again within a short time. We were happily surprised by the quality and variety of food in the Windjammer Café and, although we had to scout around a little bit for seating, we were pleased with all of our breakfast and lunch visits. Our Main Dining Room experience was totally enhanced by the excellent service provided by our waiter Dony and his assistant Noril at Table 471. They were totally committed to providing superior service and a cheerful ambience --- the best waiters we’ve had in a long time! The meals were two hits and a miss. The chicken marsala was good; the beef tenderloin excellent; however, the green pasta totally lacked flavor and was barely warm. My husband enjoyed the seafood entrée and the beef tenderloin as well. We caught both general audience and adult comedy shows, and came away wishing they had been better. We like to play in the casino and found Mariner’s casino staff very friendly and helpful. Bar service was good throughout the ship. A special shout-out goes to Luis at the Boleros Bar! We’ve visited Freeport/Lucaya and Coco Cay in the past and since we’re not really beach and/or water park people, we stayed on the ship to relax and explore. While disembarkation wasn’t too bad at Port Canaveral, I must say, I absolutely love the digital disembarkation program now available at Miami and Fort Lauderdale ports, and hope that Port Canaveral will soon have it, too. With the exception of our accommodations, we had a good time onboard Mariner of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I took this cruise as a quick getaway with friends. But it would be a great itinerary for singles, families and couples also. The ship was very diverse. Embarkation: Amazingly fast! We arrived around 1pm and were on ship in less ... Read More
I took this cruise as a quick getaway with friends. But it would be a great itinerary for singles, families and couples also. The ship was very diverse. Embarkation: Amazingly fast! We arrived around 1pm and were on ship in less than half an hour from parking the car. Disembarkation: Sadly a MADHOUSE. Customs got "full" and they stopped calling numbers at one point. Luckily, we had a very late flight and were self-disembarking so we were not in a rush and hung out on the ship. We still had time after leaving the ship and attempted visiting the Kennedy Space Center. We just had time to look around and were annoyed that after parking for $10 it cost an additional $60 per person to even go to the gift shop! We didn't have time to tour, so we left. Entertainment and Activities: The only downside to a 3 day cruise was there were so many things to do and we didn't have time to do everything we wanted! Some of the times were awkward and we could never find the "Box Office" to schedule things like laser tag. We had late set dining (hoping to avoid the kids and enjoy the evening entertainment), but often things were scheduled during that time. In the future, I would do MyTimeDining for a short cruise, but I will miss having the same wait staff each night. Service: Speaking of service, everyone was impeccable. Our room steward was wonderful, and the dining staff in the MDR and Buffet were great. Dining: The only let down was the MDR food. It came up unexpectedly bland and overcooked every night. To my surprise, some of the best food I ate was for lunch in the buffet. It had a better breakfast than the MDR also. Breakfast was a buffet in the MDR too, so unless you just like the relaxing atmosphere there, the Windjammer had more fresh choices. Deserts were only good once and I was sad that there were not better options in the Cafe Promenade where we have had excellent ones before. Ports: Nassau - This is a busy port but seems to handle the crowds well (5 ships in port that Saturday). We started the day early before most of the shops opened walking the 3-4 blocks up to the Queen's Staircase and Fort Finnacle. Easy to do on your own and not busy at 9-10 am. Nice but nothing overtly special. We shopped in town, ate lunch back on the ship and then went out for a Glass Bottom Boat tour with one of the locals sitting out in the port($35 pp). (Same excursion on the ship was only $5 more, so not a ridiculous savings. Bring cash and you can save a few dollars though with a local vendor.) We were going to go to the beach but decided to enjoy the ship for the afternoon. It was really fun eating dinner as we sailed away at 8:30! Coco Cay - BEST DAY EVER!!!! You can make this island whatever you want. Adventure: zip lining and water park, and rentals. Relaxing: plenty of free beach chairs, snorkeling, multiple swimming areas. We chose to spend the morning snorkeling at Chill Island, which was easy with my own gear even though they do have expensive rentals if you need some. Left that area and spent later in the afternoon relaxing on North Beach where it was actually quieter. There were a couple sharks and sting ray in the water to snorkel with if you were brave (only by the floating bar area)... which I was super excited about. Life guards are at each beach too and some organized beach activities. Free Food on the island was pretty good. A nice BBQ with mexican choices also. The drinks at the bars were some of the best on the whole trip. The pool bar looked like a fun party even though we went for relaxing areas instead. The entire family can be entertained here. I could have spent the whole cruise on this island! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because many of our cruising friends wanting to be on her first "return" sailing out of Port Canaveral after being gone for over 10 years. We also decided to have a first "Back to Back" experience, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because many of our cruising friends wanting to be on her first "return" sailing out of Port Canaveral after being gone for over 10 years. We also decided to have a first "Back to Back" experience, and so, also sailed on the May 10th sailing. Pre Cruise Stay We stayed, as usual, at Radisson Resort at the Port. For this first time, we elected to take their shuttle to the port; not sure why we never did this before, as, it was efficiently run and not overly crowded. We took the 9:30 shuttle, and were at the port and going through security well before 10. Check In Very efficient, at least for us (others in our group ended up waiting in long lines to get through security). We were approached by employees who scanned our Set Sail passess, checked us in, took our pictures, and sent us through the line for suites (we were in a junior suite). That was it! We then went to the departure lounge and waited roughly 15 minutes before they becan boarding (first Pinnacle and Suites, then, I believe The Key, then Diamond Plus, etc.) In any case, we were on the ship by 10:30. The only bad part, and this was not Royal Caribbean's fault at all, was the ship was being swarmed by love bugs. We had to walk all the way down Deck 4 to get scanned onto the ship, fighting the bugs the entire way. Gross. Later, we sat in The Schooner Bar were we had a good view of all the folks getting on the ship, shooing the bugs as they did so. This was the first time (other than when we were on Anthem) where they did not give us our Sea Pass cards before we boarded, rather, they were in an envelop outside our staterooms. Although the Set Sail Passes work to order drinks, etc., some in our group were told they could go to their rooms prior to 1:00 to get the cards. We were not told this, and, I was somewhat surprised this was allowed, as they typically do not want PAX wandering around the hallways while they are trying to get the rooms finished up. Ship The ship has been totally "amped" up. She is pretty, with a lot of interesting art work. The dining room was just lovely. Of course, this is the way of most Royal Caribbean ships. Other than the decor in the staterooms being a bit dated (still the "old" pink/green drapes, carpets, etc.), the ship was fresh looking. The Promenade is a bit shorter/smaller than Freedom Class, so, was missing a few things (e.g., Sorrento's). They'd swapped out Vintages for The Tiki Room. We were sorry to see Vintages go, however, our one foray to The Tiki Room was nice enough; interesting drinks and decor; although most of the time, it seemed there was a sign there saying "Closed for Private Function". The pool area was always packed, including The Solarium. There did seem to be more lounge chairs/seating available than what I recalled being on Explorer (sister ship). Everytthing was BRIGHT!!!!! There is a Dog House now on the pool deck, too. Other places we found ourselves frequenting were the pub (on Deck 5), Schooner Bark (Deck 4; good place to meet up with our group), and Ellington's (Deck 14), due mostly to The Diamond Lounge (also on Deck 14) being so crowded, they overflowed us to Ellington's. The only minor issue we had with the ship in general was the elevators. Many, many times, they elevators would go flying by our deck without stopping (even if there was no one in them). It was really weird. Food We ate dinner each night in the main dining room. There was a group of 7 of us, and we had the same table for both parts of our cruise (different wait staff team, though). Generally speaking, the food was just ok. I do think the quality and variety is slipping, though. For example, one night a bunch ordered the grilled tiger shrimp, and no one could get the shells peeled off. I order chicken cordon bleu and it was partially raw. Someone else ordered the extra cost filet from Chops and it was tough as shoe leather. And, everything comes with mashed potatoes! I like mashed potatoes as much as the next person, but not with every single entree I order. By far the best category of food in the MDR are the appetizers, soups, and salads. I think from now on, I'm just going to load up on these, and not even order an entree some nights. The desserts are ok too, they had special 50th anniversary cakes on the last night of the cruise that were pretty tasty. We also ate in the MDR for lunch one day and breakfast another. For whatever reason, the meals these times were much better, especially the lunch. We only ordered room service for coffee and continental breakfast (anything else has a charge); the coffee is HORRIBLE, but, we use this as a sort of wake up call. Better coffee is to be had in either The Diamond Lounge or The Promenade Cafe (there is also a Starbucks, but of course, there is a charge for this). We had a few breakfasts in The Windjammer (The People Jammer); it was ok. Buffets are not my thing. Bevos We had the alcoholic beverage package; got a good deal on it during last year's Black Friday sale. It was MUCH more expensive on board, but, they were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale (no surprise given the make up of the majority of the PAX on this cruise and the one following, party animals!) Anyway, between the drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees, etc., it is worth it for us. Crew and Service We hardly ever run into any issues with any of the crew or the service. This time, all of the folks that took care of us (stateroom attendant, dining room team, bar tenders, etc., were just great. Even the headwaiter on this cruise was personable and came around several times (and found us our own pepper mill to keep at our table each night!) Entertainment Cruise Director Ricky and team were good. I like the silly shows they do on the Promenade (70s, 80s, etc.) We also watched a magician/comedian (can't remember his name) who was good with the magic but that was about it. The performer in the pub was good (even if he sang the same songs every night) as was the guy in Schooner. As of now, we're just not huge show people, and, we've already "been there done that" so many times with The Quest, Majority Rules, etc. Casino We don't gamble and it was always WAY TOO smoky in there. Stateroom See cabin review section Ports See port review section Fellow PAX I think a lot of first time cruisers this go around, and, a lot of huge groups traveling together for weddings (I think we saw at least three weddings) and family reunions. A good amount of children, too, which somewhat surprised me being it was a Monday-Friday cruise in early May. Most seemed friendly and having a good time (if a bit clueless). Some of the upper tier PAX (Diamond, Diamond Plus, Pinnacle) were downright snotty. Disembarkation As we were on a B2B, we did not do the usual disembarkation process. Also, since we did not change staterooms, we did not have to pack up. Rather, we met in lounge (maybe 20 of us total) and they checked us out/in there. After all the other PAX were off, they walked us off, took us through customs, had us sit in the departure lounge for a few minutes, and then walked us back on. Final note. This and the following cruise were pretty expensive for four nights/three nights, meaning, each leg was close to what we've paid for 7 night cruises in the past. I think some of this is Royal's strategy to entice younger professionals and/or families who can only get away for shorter periods of time, but, are willing to pay to do so. My guess is we won't run into this on longer cruises and/or shorter cruises on some of the older, smaller, less "amped" ships. As much as we like Royal (and are now Diamond Plus), we'll probably move toward the more sedate sister company Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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