1st cruise ever, we chose a short one. We will be back...longer! Room with balcony of sits and table. Excellent service room care. Dining service of care, especially Gluten Free issues for us, was passionate and delicious. So many eating ... Read More
1st cruise ever, we chose a short one. We will be back...longer! Room with balcony of sits and table. Excellent service room care. Dining service of care, especially Gluten Free issues for us, was passionate and delicious. So many eating areas available; main dinning room, Windjamer buffet just two of the many we loved. Outside and inside pools, decks and decks outside sitting. So many shows in theatre and bars/lounges. Casino and fun games in bars/lounges. Honestly if you couldn't find it...just ask. Need assistance, just ask...doctor and three nurses. Transfer to islands so easy. Options for the islands are there. Walk, ride via carriage, bus, taxi, tours...pick what you want. Food, beaches, souvenirs. How about ride to the ocean and ride submarine to see the fish, turtles and corals. Ask Bahama people where THEY go to eat out. Anyone can eat McDonald's...you should eat Conch food or local fish, the local way. You will be thrilled. Not an activity person? Enjoy relaxation and food, you will be thrilled. Read Less
We have been on Carnival before and switched to RCCL. We live in Cocoa and the port is right there in Port Canaveral. This was 4 day cruise and we had planned it 6 months in advance hoping for good weather..Man...........what a great ... Read More
We have been on Carnival before and switched to RCCL. We live in Cocoa and the port is right there in Port Canaveral. This was 4 day cruise and we had planned it 6 months in advance hoping for good weather..Man...........what a great time....
The food was wonderful. The crew was ALL polite and accommodating. We met some more wonderful cruisers along the way...We watched the shows.....The tribute to Whitney Houston by Stephaney Paker was incredible.(.#divaoftheseas ) We drink Miami Vice's and Strawberry Dackeries and those were totally awesome. We had so much fun with watching the goings on in the center area, the music, the fun and dancing was fantastic. The Staff Flag showing was mind blowing. All these people from different countries and the work so very hard to give everyone all the want for a great time..It truly was a fantastic time. My wife and I were are semi-retired enjoy the boat so very much. I were will always go on RCCL because of the people and the treatment.
The island Coco Kay was fantastic and I i got to be reunited with a friend whom I got to see again after 4 years...Rollin - You are a brother Man...See you again soon...I hope..
Getting On and Off the ship before and after the cruise was extremely quick and easy. The people were friendly and awesome. We have cruised many times with RCCL and are Platinum members and I can tell you.......It never gets Old. This is a wonderful place to take a vacation. Our Cabin Stewart, Leroy was amazing. He made out stay wonderful..The dInners were great...We did not get to go to chops but maybe next time..
We went over to Atlantis and played at the Casino walked the shops. What a relaxing time..
The day at sea was a great time to reflect on how nice the cruise was and just chill out on the boat. we hit the casino, broke even, we watched the days events and it was such a great time...We will be going back hoping in November...
If you have never cruised before, i would highly reccommend starting out on a 3-4 day cruise.these boats are big enough to get you to understand how cruising works. The 7-10 cruises are a blast and something to go towards. But for a quick, need a complete break, elegant fun and easy time on a ship this is the way to go...
All cruise have to deal with weather. it is the one factor no one can control but the rest of it.......turn off your phone, your ipad and tablet and just have some good ole fashion fun and Dance the nights away.......Thats what we did ....thats what we will do again...awesome cruise...10 OUT OF A 10..Thank You RCCL Read Less
My girlfriend and I decided to book a cruise after her sister and her boyfriend recommended it. I was skeptical about it thinking that I would get bored and it would be too crowded but decided to book a 4 night one to test it. Enchantment ... Read More
My girlfriend and I decided to book a cruise after her sister and her boyfriend recommended it. I was skeptical about it thinking that I would get bored and it would be too crowded but decided to book a 4 night one to test it. Enchantment of the Seas totally changed my mind about cruising! There were 2,400 passengers but it did not feel crowded and we could always find a chair in the deck and space at the pools.
FOOD: We loved breakfast at the Windjammer; they had good variety of options and the staff was extremely attentive. For dinner we were at the second seating at My Fair Lady and the food quality was well above my expectations; we did not feel the need to go to the Choppes Grill restaurant since My Fair Lady dinner was great.
ENTERTAINMENT: Our cruise director was amazing! always funny and full of energy. We enjoyed all of the shows especially the Marriage and couples show (get there early since it fills up quickly). Other shows included comedy and Broadway style productions.
PORTS OF CALL:
COCO CAY was very relaxing and the food on the island was good. I really enjoyed the floating bar and snorkeling.
NASSAU we explored downtown in the morning and walked to the Queens Stairs, the fort next to Queens stairs and the Pirate Museum ($14/person). In the afternoon we took bus #10 ($1.25/person) to Cable beach and spent the afternoon at the Melia resort ($45/person for the day pass) where we had access to the pools, chairs, towels and the beach.
I would definitely cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas again although for our next cruise vacation we will try 7 nights since we were left wanting more! Read Less
We chose this cruise strictly by price. We cruise often but first time on RCl. After reading some reviews I had concerns-not to worry I really enjoyed this ship. First of all the crew was terrific! Enjoyed the Buffet and Dining Room. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise strictly by price. We cruise often but first time on RCl. After reading some reviews I had concerns-not to worry I really enjoyed this ship. First of all the crew was terrific! Enjoyed the Buffet and Dining Room. I thought the food was really done well and also liked the variety.. YES THE INSIDE CABINS ARE TIGHT. I cannot explain why I just felt at home on this ship .Getting back to buffet all the crew were helpful but Abi was so nice. He always made sure table was cleaned and always spoke to us and often helped us. Forgot to tell you to try the Deli. Best pastrami and I do not like pastrami also pizza bar is good. Finally-Yes I will go back on Majesty of the Seas. Embarking and disembarking were very well planned. I saw a few people in Johnny Rockets-we did not go if you went I would like to read about it. Read Less
We chose this cruise because it was Western Med. We hadn't visited 5 of the stops, so the itinerary suited us. The passengers were largely American, only about 300 English but this wasn't a problem. The cabin with balcony was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was Western Med. We hadn't visited 5 of the stops, so the itinerary suited us. The passengers were largely American, only about 300 English but this wasn't a problem. The cabin with balcony was lovely, very quiet and beautifully looked after by our cabin attendant. Iglu cruises organised our holiday and they were very helpful . We had a free AI premium drink package free with our booking and drinks were very expensive, so this was a bonus. It included all cocktails, beer, wine, bottled water, and premium coffees and teas. Breakfast was good, buffet style in the Windjammer as was lunch, and we ate our supper in Tides with waiter service. There was a pizza counter by the pool and desserts and homemade biscuits in the specialty coffee bar. Entertainment tended to be a bit raucous for us, but obviously most people enjoyed it. There as some nice music in the Centrum lounge in the evenings and shows twice a night in the theatre which we did not attend. The bad things were the decks and open air restaurant floors needed a good scrub and the tables were not cleared or wiped between use. Given the emphasis the ship puts on hygiene, I was surprised at this. Other areas were spotless. Food in Tides was spectacular and beautifully served. We floundered when we first embarked, couldn't find places and didn't understand procedures. Our cases took 5 hours to get to our cabin, which wss unsettling. Most people were seasoned cruisers and more laid back about keeping time. I felt I was on a moving platform for the first few days trying to keep times! The Windjammer was a free for all with the children running about. I didn't like the plastic plates particularly when they were warmed! I felt the shore excursions were overpriced and unorganized and wished I hadn't booked them. Lastly I objected to being taken to the airport 6 hours early. There was no RC rep to meet us. Once we'd left the ship we were obviously on our own! Read Less
We chose this ship because the dates fit and we liked the itinerary. We were first time RC and in a balcony room. So, if you have status or a suite- your mileage may vary.
The food in non speciality restaurants was ok. By day last we ... Read More
We chose this ship because the dates fit and we liked the itinerary. We were first time RC and in a balcony room. So, if you have status or a suite- your mileage may vary.
The food in non speciality restaurants was ok. By day last we skipped breakfast. The caveat is that I travel extensively for work. So, someone cooking for me is not as big of a treat as it is for some. The service was what made it.
We tried 3 specialty restaurants and all were fantastic!
We did not know about the first night $20 specialty restaurants. We would have booked that when we got on.
We have done the thermal spa on other ships and it was an oasis. We elected not to on this one. No windows and 4 heated chairs.
If you get the specialty dining onboard- you get 40% off bottles of wine! Winning as we loved Vintages and the service Rohan provided.
Would we do another RC? Probably. But, this would not be our “go to” line. Read Less
We are a loyal cruiser family - and I have been on several Carnival cruises - going back to the early 90's with the Carnival Tropicale. Our honeymoon was spent on the Carnival Destiny (now Sunshine) with a Southern Caribbean cruise - ... Read More
We are a loyal cruiser family - and I have been on several Carnival cruises - going back to the early 90's with the Carnival Tropicale. Our honeymoon was spent on the Carnival Destiny (now Sunshine) with a Southern Caribbean cruise - getting married in Aruba. Anyway, as a family we wanted to see what RCCL was all about - as we heard it was more family oriented. We were blown away.
From the time we got on the ship. we noticed the layout was great. We were in cabin 1852, located on deck 12 in the very front of the ship. Our floor-to-ceiling window was smack dab in the front-middle of the ship, directly below the bridge. What a view! This made the whole trip - we were spoiled. MUCH better than a balcony. The size of the room was about the same as Carnival - but as we all say - you don't spend a lot of time in the room. The bath seemed smaller tho.
The big difference that we noticed where Carnival has an advantage was food. We were spoiled on Carnival with Guy's Burgers, the Taco place by the pool and their BBQ place. RCCL's food was average. The buffet on deck 11 was ok. Not bad - just ok. On Carnival, being able to quickly grab a bite from Guy's or the Taco place was a convenient treat. RCCL does have a very tasty ice cream machine poolside called Sprinkles. Definite must--try for those cruising.
The activities on board blows Carnival away. From the Flowrider to the slides (one was an awesome 2 seater half pipe), to the rock climbing wall and ice skating (yes ice skating) - we had a blast. There were so many activities that we missed - but got to see highlights of them on the TV when we were back in our room in the evenings.
From a photo perspective - Carnival has RCCL beat. Every night on Carnival - there are a slew of professional photographers set up to snap photos with several backgrounds. Not so much on RCCL - but we did not fret - as the cost of photos is $$$ (20.00 for 1 photo). RCCL's picture viewing area is top notch. All you had to do to view photos was swipe your room key at a monitor (they had about 50 in one room) and use the touch screen to select the photos you wanted - and come back an hour later to pick up your photos (they even drop them off to your room if you want).
We booked out own shore excursions - and this time we hit it out of the park with the choices. First stop was Cozumel. We booked Mr. Sancho's. I would definitely recommend this again -as we had a fantastic beach, wait staff was attentive - and all the food and drinks you want - ALL DAY!. Kids had a blast on the waterpark (slight charge more for this) but I recommend as well. All we needed to do was catch a cab there (17 each way). Second stop was Grand Cayman. We have been here several times before - having gone to stingray island with a bad vendor, and also last year we went to the turtle farm (great too). We booked grandcaymancruiseexcursions.com and had an absolutely amazing time. The trimaran was roomy, we had an intimate amount of ppl (24) and the boat made 3 stops - snorkeling on the reef, stingray city and a third stop to starfish island. GREAT staff and a GREAT time. Final stop was in Falmouth Jamaica. This port is beautiful! Well laid out and clean. We chose www.excursionsinjamaica.com. By far this was the best part of the cruise. We had been to Jamaica before - and had a bad taste in our mouths from the pushy people. This company was 1st class - and totally changed our minds about Jamaica. Donald our driver took us to a white water tubing adventure first, and then to Dunn's River Falls. He even took us to a great place to buy some rum on the way back.
We liked RCCL so much, we booked our next cruise while on board! Next up - the Harmony of the Seas out of Port Canaveral on 9/1/19. Looks like we are converted to RCCL loyals now! Read Less
I had been wanting to try an oasis class ship, and I heard marvelous things about this particular ship. My rating of 3 is purely based on my own experience. I can see this ship being a great option for larger groups, as it has a lot of ... Read More
I had been wanting to try an oasis class ship, and I heard marvelous things about this particular ship. My rating of 3 is purely based on my own experience. I can see this ship being a great option for larger groups, as it has a lot of activities to offer. Pros: you can usually always find something to do, the neighborhoods are well done, the ship is clean for the most part, many dining options, the solarium was very nice, VOOM was awesome, the aqua show was great. Cons: it was rather challenging making friends just because I rarely saw people more than once, the thermal suite is too small to accommodate the capacity, the buffet layout seems poorly done (people constantly bumping into one another or only half of the buffet being open...literally the Hunger Games), many additional charges for things onboard, sometimes the crew seemed annoyed or exhausted (which is almost understandable given the number of passengers). Bottom line, I think a group traveling on this ship could have a great time. I think it just wasn’t the best fit for me, but I am glad I tried it. Read Less
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean (once on Liberty of the Seas and once on Oasis of the Seas). Total party of 3 adults. I’ve also sailed two times with Carnival and once with Norwegian.
In looking at the ship overall, ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean (once on Liberty of the Seas and once on Oasis of the Seas). Total party of 3 adults. I’ve also sailed two times with Carnival and once with Norwegian.
In looking at the ship overall, I guess a lot of the wow factor had been gone due to the fact we went on the sister ship the Oasis of the Seas two years prior. That being said, the layout is amazing and we still had a great time with plenty of things to do onboard.
The service was very attentive--even moreso than the Oasis of the Seas. People would always be coming by, asking how we felt about the cruise and the service. Many smiles shared all around. They would always be checking to make sure the public bathrooms were clean and well-stocked. While there were many people trying to upsell things, like specialty dining or pictures and such, I never felt pressured into buying any of it. I felt the service on the Allure was better overall than the Oasis or the Liberty.
Elevators were slow (which is to be expected) at peak times like after a show, and be prepared to have to literally stop at every floor more often than not. Just when you think there is no more space for another person to fit, there will always be another person who will want to squish themselves in, so hopefully are all friendly people!
We stayed at the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport North Cruise Port and it was a great experience! The price was great (about $130 after taxes and fees) for two queen beds. Breakfast was included, which had a full array of cold and some hot foods (cereal, scrambled eggs, sausage, pastries, bagels, toast, waffles, juices) along with 24/7 coffee and tea and water availability. They also give you a free bottled water when you check in and if you want when you check out. Free wifi. Room did smell a bit musty before the AC was turned on and you can see some wear and tear, but everything was clean.
We took a LYFT to the cruiseport, which was about 11 dollars and change, and it took about 10-15 minutes. Since there was three of us, we did not need a LYFT XL, but a word of caution. If you are 4+ people each with good-sized suitcases, I suggest that you consider paying for the XL side, as one of the sedans could not fit all three of our suitcases in the back and we had to put one in the front seat instead. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle, which was about 8 dollars per person from our hotel.
The weather on the day of embarkation was horrendous, and at one point it was almost like hurricane-force winds and heavy downpour. Make sure to have your passport ready to get past security when getting into the cruiseport area. Luggage was dropped off with the luggage porter, and this was the first time I felt pressured to tip right off the get-go in such a rude way. Thankfully, the luggage came to the stateroom without any issues right when we went to the room at 1PM (earliest time they let you go to the room).
Getting into the ship was quick and we went to eat at the Windjammer around 11:45AM, which must have been the magic time as by the time we were leaving, there was a queue to get in.
Pre-cruise, we actually saw an amazing deal for suite guarantees, which guaranteed a suite (not junior suite) which only ended up being 1000 bucks per person! That being said, our family does not care so much to be in the room besides for sleeping, so we went ahead with someone lesser.
We left our room fate up to the RCCL gods and went with a neighborhood balcony guarantee, in which we lucked out and were assigned to cabin 10303 in the boardwalk. This was coincidentally exactly two floors below our room when we went on Oasis--I think the chances of us getting this room is higher because we are three adults, as these rooms have the sofa bed for the third guest. I thought the sofa bed was comfy, and the blankets were not too heavy/light, and the pillows were good as well.
Now our room had obvious signs of aging. For one, the shampoo dispenser was cracked and broken, yet no one came to fix it until I called to have it done. Our sink was also clogged, in which I had to ask them to fix as well. I understand why they have to be so small, but it was ridiculous to try to wash your face with the sink, as you will splash and make a mess in doing so. The water in the sink and the shower were either hot or warm. No possible way to get cold water.
I did not bring an extension cord, but I did have a multiport USB charger, which worked fine. I tried bringing a multi port plug in, but unfortunately it did not fit on the electric plugs in the room. They have the three regular ports on top of the desk with additional plugs in the back side under the desk. For some reason, they had a clock with outdated iphone 4 and below charging docks in the room as well.
For the blankets, they do cover over with a fresh sheet, but looking at the blanket for the bed was kind of...gross. I could see blood stains from who knows how long ago and obvious discoloration. Also, they do not change the sheets at all during the course of the cruise. We did make a small spill on one of the sheets with soda, and our steward continued to use it during the entire cruise. I do not know when the last time they vacuumed as well, as there was blonde/white hairs (I’m asian so I know those aren’t mine!) pilling on the carpet in some places.
If you bring back a mug of tea and want it cleared, our steward did not take away the mugs ever, thus we had to leave it outside of the room. It did not appear that they cleared those empty plates and cups often on our floor, as I would see them left in its same place almost all day. But some fellow guests were pretty liberal in what they left outside their room (some person even left a used baby diaper outside in a dish, gyah!)
Plenty of storage space by the desk and in the closet.
For those who are light sleepers or like to tuck in early for the night, I suggest that you do not consider a boardwalk balcony. Although the soundproofing lock does a great job blocking away most of the sound, it still very audible to hear when they are doing the Oceanaria water show (they do a late night showing several days in the week). My family slept like the dead, so we can no problem sleeping through it all. We also heard a lot of door slamming from our fellow guests at all hours as well. Additionally, you can probably hear the toilet flush a mile away by the noise it makes.
If you did get my room, make sure you also close the door completely, as the door does not automatically close shut all the way.
Air conditioner in our room worked well. Television did not have many channels and nothing was worth watching.
We did not order room service because of the fee now tied to it, but they have basic things like salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and a small kids menu available. Continental breakfast is free of charge.
Phone calls to the stewards, maintenance, and for dining were all equally awful. Expect to be on hold for quite some time before someone picks up.
One of the reasons we love going on the Oasis-class ships is the high speed internet. We were able to get a great deal pre-cruise where we got two lines for only 19.99 per day (compared to the 15.99 per line onboard). Streaming tv on sea days and at night was pretty bad though--expect it to be super choppy, but no issues with simple web browsing and facebooking. RCCL does have the cruise app which is nice to check your stateroom balance, your reservations, menus for each restaurant at night, activities, and so forth.
As a complete side-note, I do play Pokemon Go, and will make note to my fellow players regarding the playability of the game on shore.
The cruiseport itself does not have a pokestop, but plenty of spawns (not really many Heracross’s or Corsola though). St. Martin had a handful of stops and pokemon spawns, but the connectivity there was awful through Verizon’s roaming. Labadee surprisingly had several pokestops and gyms along with pokemon spawns. Puerto Rico was awesome for pokemon and pokestops all around.
The first thing I did upon entering the ship was go to Giovanni’s and schedule my dining reservation. I purchased the BOGO option for dining, which was an amazing deal as long as you do not mind eating at a speciality restaurant on the first formal night. I already picked the time for my first restaurant pre-cruise (6PM--we are early eaters), and they picked Giovannis for us (which is good because this is what we wanted). When you first go to your stateroom, they give you a welcome pamphlet that tells you where you are going to eat and at what times for the BOGO deal. You can change to whatever restaurant you want if you speak with any specialty restaurant rep (I was chosen SAMBA for the second day, but we rescheduled for Chops Grille instead for 5:30PM). If you do not go early, prepare to eat either pre-6PM or 9PM or later.
Giovannis was absolutely amazing. My family and I tried about 5 different apps to start off, which were...okay. The best thing I had was the pork belly app, while my parents preferred the octopus. The main course is where they blew us away. I ordered the filet mignon, and it was perfectly cooked. The sides were also well seasoned. My mother ordered the shrimp and she said that the sauce was amazing. My father ordered the branzino and he enjoyed this well. We ordered the half-portion of the clams pasta and bolognese, in which we all agreed the bolognese was the better of the two. Despite our full bellies, the waiter insisted that we try their “sampler” of desserts, which ended up being these huge portions of their desserts: cannoli, tiramisu, and chocolate brownie with caramel sauce. The tiramisu by far was the best--you definitely do not get that level of alcohol tones when eating the tiramisu at the Windjammer. Waiter informed me that if we wanted to return back to this restaurant later on, we could seek him out and he would give us a 50% discount the next meal. Very tempting.
Chops Grille was good, but not amazing. I felt the highlight of this restaurant was their appetizers. Once again, my family tried a bunch of different apps. The candied pepper bacon was delicious, but my favorite thing was their lobster bisque (very indepth flavor of lobster and it is not super sweet and heavily creamy like most other places). My parents preferred the crab cake appetizer (they do not skimp out of the crab in it!) so much they ordered another crab cake for dessert instead of something sweet. The entrees is where they fell sort of flat. My mother enjoyed her shrimp dish, but not as much as Giovannis. I ordered the bone-in ribeye, which was dry and overcooked. My father ordered a NY strip, which was pretty standard. We ordered many side dishes, but none of them particularly wow’d us or stood out. For dessert, I ordered the red velvet cake, which was great and nothing like the one they serve upstairs in the windjammer.
Service at both restaurants was amazing, and unlike the other dining packages where you pay the tip on top of the cost, the BOGO has the tip cost already factored in. That being said, because the service was so great, I gave both of our servers additional tip on top of it.
As for the dining room, we only went to the dining room one night, but did My Time Dining. You have the ability to call dining reservations from 9A-4P and schedule a time, versus just showing up without a reservation. I called ahead of time first thing that morning, but the only time slot available was 5:30PM or 9PM. This was for the second formal night so of course the family and I all ordered the lobster. During our last cruise on the Oasis, they gave us warm water lobster tails, but this time on the Allure it was cold water ones. Without even asking for a second, they brought over a second tail, stating that the portion sizes were small. The first one was cooked perfectly, but the second ones were stuck to the shell and near impossible to eat. As a side note, while we were standing outside of the dining room (American Icon), the staff members at Izumi were trying to promote a 50% off deal for the restaurant instead.
As we stayed in a Boardwalk Balcony room, we had the EAT DRINK PLAY benefits attached to the room. Upon entering our stateroom, there was the refillable soda cups already there for us to use. We also received a free lunch at Johnny Rockets. We went on the last sea day here, and were glad to get a seat inside to avoid the scorching hot sun. We have eaten at Johnny Rockets plenty of times off the ship, and the quality of the food was the same. I hear that they now increased the cost to $11 per person, but that with the exception of milkshakes, you can ordered as much food as you want and have soda included. My mother and I both ordered the salad and my dad a burger, which all came out well. My mother wanted to try the BBQ chicken melt they had, but they forgot to put the BBQ sauce on it, and it was unflavorful and boring even when they added the sauce on after. Our server didn’t know we existed at the start, but later on was very attentive to our needs, thus we tipped him extra considering it was a free meals also on our end.
We tried the Boardwalk hot dogs and the donuts, which require no upcharge. The boardwalk hotdog (The Sicilian) I had was better than the regular ones they had upstairs in the Windjammer. The donuts were nothing to write home about, but they are convenient to pick up (in hopes that people used the tongs and didn’t grab with their hands…).
For pretty much all other meals, we went to the Windjammer, as we prefer convenience more than anything else. Since once again we are early eaters, we never had to wait in the queue to get in, but saw plenty of lines leaving. Breakfast was always the same in Windjammer (we enjoyed having miso soup available every day), but on the last sea day they offered free mimosas to everyone). Lunch tended to be pretty similar for the most part as well. At dinner, they always had a theme night, whether it was Caribbean, Indian, or BBQ. The last sea day, they had the best surprise for dinner. Lo and behold, there was an iced seafood bar filled out shrimp, calamari, mussels, baby scallops, crawfish, and even crab arms! The crab arms must have been too popular though, because they ran out fast and had to replace it with even more calamari. They always will have a station section with pasta/sauce, burgers/hot dogs, indian/asian food there. Fruits were primarily melons and pineapple. Salads were fresh. They did have a chocolate/dessert bar on one of the themed nights (maybe the BBQ night?). RCCL should consider cutting down the portion sizes of the desserts though, as I feel people want to try everything. So much I saw was being thrown away/wasted. Free drinks included unsweetened tea, some fruit of fruity beverage, water, hot tea, and coffee.
They must have made some changes to service in the Windjammer, as I did not remember them being so attentive two years ago on the Oasis. There were always people coming around, asking us if we wanted refills on our drinks, offered us desserts and other things. They were usually quick to clean up after people left.
Sorrentos had pretty solid pizza (well, I call it fake pizza since it’s closer to the pizza you buy frozen and microwaveable over something you get in a restaurant), that was warm and crispy. Not too greasy.
At Central Park, I did try the sliced roast beef sandwich that many people rave about, which was okay, but I felt that they sliced it too thick for my liking. They offer burritos and sandwiches hot for lunch, along with packaged foods like asian salad (shrimp in it) or egg salad sandwiches. In the morning, they do fruit cups, yogurt, and hot breakfast options. Pretty much the only place I could get a complimentary bag of potato chips on board as well.
Cafe Promenade was always open, and I had some of the cake there, which was the same as what they served upstairs at the Windjammer. Was a nice place to refill on coffee and tea.
We do not drink alcohol, so none of us bought the alcohol package. I did notice on Day 6 (the last sea day) on board, they had signs out for a “10 DRINKS SAVINGS CARD” that said: “10 DRINKS FOR ONLY $79. SHARE THIS PACKAGE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS! VISIT ANY BAR ONBOARD TO PURCHASE YOUR CARD”
We did have our soda cups from the boardwalk promotion and there were spots to refill in the Windjammer, Wipe Out Cafe, and on the 5th floor by Sorrentos--I did notice that as the days went on, those machines started smelling bad (people dump their drinks into the drip trays, which likely sat there for who knows how long). Sodas always went flat quickly, but it was nice to have.
Overall, I enjoyed the entertainment on board. We booked our reservations for the shows ahead of time, thus we did not have to wait on the sidelines to get in. Be prepared to come about 30 minutes prior to the show if you want half-decent seats though, or you may need to sit behind a pole. They do block off sections of seats for the Star Class/suite people (three whole middle row sections in the theater), where they had people stationed on each side to tell people to sit elsewhere. Man, did I feel for those workers, as they would have people arguing and complaining about not being allowed to sit there. They do open up the seats right before the show starts though.
They tend to sell popcorn (yes, “sell”) for about two fiddy outside of the shows, which in the end I feel is a smart decision for RCCL. I could only imagine the mess you would see everywhere if popcorn was free. I feel like people would be more careful not to spill and drop it all over the place knowing they are paying extra.
Oceanaria, the water show, was similar to the one we saw on Oasis. Never ceases to scare the crap out of me watching the divers who jump at the way top.
There were two different ice shows. How to Train Your Dragon show was really just for kids, and we felt bored watching it. The Ice Games show was awesome and the costumes were great--wouldn’t miss this one for sure.
Mamma Mia was great too, but at times I would think to myself...is this really appropriate for children as well!? Having conservative parents, even I would feel a sweat drop when I saw them grabbing breasts or making sexual jokes. The singers were great and the show has a lot of energy. My parents enjoyed the show a heck of a lot more than CATS (which they left during intermission on).
The cast of Mamma Mia came back to do Blue Planet...which was not what we were expecting. We thought it would be more acrobatics and such, but for the most part, it was modern dance in crazy odd nature costumes singing to popular songs that related to nature. I would probably not go back to this one.
The Ronn Lucas show was entertaining, but I feel like I may have seen him on a different ship before. Solid entertainer if you need a good laugh.
I’m getting on in my years (30s are a rough time!), thus I did not end up going to the late night comedy shows.
Activities On Board/Fitness:
We are not the type of family to go to all of the events, like BINGO or karaoke, so I cannot comment on that.
I did enjoy the zumba classes they had on the sea days, and thankful that they moved it to the promenade indoors, as having to do it outside on the basketball court on the Oasis was brutal because of the sun. The dance classes were fun. I loved watched the flash mob dancing and people of all ages joining in.
I am not brave enough to try to flow ride or the zipline, but I enjoyed watching my fellow passengers doing so. Having a boardwalk balcony room give you “exclusive” time to use the rock climbing wall, but we did not use it.
I did not bother going to the spa this time. I had a “complimentary” facial in the past on Oasis (you have to pay tip), which was nothing special.
The gym was large with a lot of machines, but I preferred going on the walking/jogging track instead. The biggest issue was some of the fellow passengers. It requests that walkers stay on the right and allow the joggers to pass on the left, but several passengers every time I went on the track felt the need to link arms or walk slowly in rows of three, walk in the wrong direction, or even just stand there and block the way to take pictures at the aft area, looking at you with constipated annoyed faces when you try to pass by them.
The casino was open and always awaiting to take your monetary donations. Those quarter machines can be super addicting though! They have low limit tables usually during the early afternoons on sea days. One of the few places where you can smoke on board, thus I did not spend that much time down there.
The promenade at night and on embarkation day was usually crowded as heck. Especially on embarkation day because it was pouring rain, or when they were doing the $10 on everything on the table sales.
Central Park, while I do like the layout, I did not find any particular reason to hang out there beyond going to eat at the restaurants, as the air circulation was not that great.
The hot tubs and pools were pretty crowded on sea days and right before sail away at days at port, so my family and I would try to come in a couple hours before sail away to spend some time without being packed in and to find a nice chair in the shade. One of the jacuzzis was broken and didn’t seem to get fixed for the course of the cruise. Didn’t seem to have any issues with bratty children jumping around--seems like the ones that joined their folks in the hot tubs kept to themselves and were splashy-free.
Mini golf is straightforward, but another nice free perk to have if you are bored.
The merry-go-round was a treat, even if you go on without children, haha.
Despite the thousands of people onboard, I felt that there was still places to go hide away for some quiet time. I personally like the jogging track aft area, where most people would just go to read.
The library was claustrophobic-feeling and pretty lame. Some person was studying in there, but making an awful lot of racket (mumbling to himself while listening to something), so I chose to read elsewhere.
Ports and Excursions:
As we had been to all of these ports in the past, there was no need for us to book a tour or excursion.
St. Martin: We stayed on the Dutch side and did not bother to go to the French-side, as we know that our beloved Serafina’s is no more. We walked ourselves from the pier down to Front Street, which took about 10-15 minutes on foot--there is a sidewalk to avoid traffic. For those who do not need a fancy pants beach, they do have a beach in that area. I saw many signs that offered two chairs, an umbrella, and 4-5 beers/drinks for a total of only 20-25 bucks, which I felt was a good deal. We did not go to the beach ourselves, but spent a couple hours walking around front street. The stores were pretty boring (lots of souvenir and jewelry stores) along with some run down small casinos. The locals did not seem pushy at all about pushing you to buy things. We went back to the ship for lunch and enjoyed the almost empty pool and jacuzzis for hours. Be mindful that when people come back to the boat--it is that odd hour between lunch and dinner, thus places like the Wipeout Cafe and the Windjammer were incredibly packed with lines during these hours.
Our next place was San Juan. We first did a quick tour around old San Juan. As soon as you get off the ship and to the main street, there will be people trying to get you to join in on their tour. The buses all looked clean and were air conditioned. They take you around old San Juan for about 1-1.5 hours before everything opens (since you come into port around 7-7:30AM) and stop at a few places for picture opportunities. These tours charge 15 dollars a person, which I felt was reasonable, and you can choose where you want to be dropped off (either at one of the forts, in downtown shopping area, or back at the ship). We chose to get off in the downtown area and walk around. We decided to try Cafe Cuatro Sombras, which had good reviews on yelp. Their guava slathered bread was delicious. They were once known for their locally grown coffee, but the barista informed me that the hurricane wiped out their entire supply and thus has to come from elsewhere. I also tried the hummus and red pepper, which was also good. After we looked around Old San Juan, we took an Uber to Plaza Las Americas, which is a big shopping mall about 10 minute driving wise from Old San Juan. Was only about 7 bucks and change to get there. Really, in the end it is just like a large mall you find in America, but we enjoyed walking around outside of the heat. Took an Uber back to the cruiseport after that was about 8 bucks and change originally, but we had some issues come up on the ride back, where the Uber driver “forgot” to say that the ride was completed and drove off and kept it running for quite some time before I force cancelled it and complained to Uber’s customer support. Needless to say, I did not give the extra tip that I usually leave to my Uber drivers, but Uber was quick to reimburse me for the wrongfully charged addition. It is always a good reminder to be cautious when using Uber/LYFT, as not all drivers are honest and will try to take advantage of tourists/outsiders by taking extra long routes or dragging out costs by doing shady things.
Right by the cruiseport, there are people selling souvenirs and fake designer bags (haha). They did ask people for photo ID when getting back into the cruise boat, so make sure to bring it with you.
Our last stop was at Labadee, Haiti, so of course it was a beach day! We had no problem finding a place in the shade and enjoyed watching the zip liners go by. I heard it is now about 100 bucks for the 45 second ride down, which is too rich for my blood. If you do not want to lug the chairs yourself, there are people who offer to help out for the sake of receiving tip. They do offer lunch on the island at several food stations, which consists of burgers, hot dogs, spare ribs, chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, fruits and so forth. Not too many options for those vegetarians/vegans out there though. They have free tram rides for those who do not want to walk, but we chose to go on foot, which was not a bad walk at all. The bathrooms were kept clean. The souvenir place was a bit overwhelming, but I did not feel pressured to buy anything (I bought vanilla coffee there as a gift though!).
Overall, we felt that people were well-mannered and courteous to their fellow passengers. No issues with people blasting loud music, cursing and being excessively rude.
We chose to go at this time in hopes that kids were all back in school and the number of children would be minimal, but there were still many kids on board. Given the thousands of people on, it is to be expected to have bratty, unsupervised children here and there. One of the nights at Giovannis, some little kid was wailing and crying the whole time and the family just let her sit there and cry while everyone was trying to have dinner. Another time in a show some lady was sitting there with her crying baby and didn’t get up to leave. Some parents did not care that their children were running and bumping into people. But then you have the children who sit quietly, are well mannered and behaved (I felt this time it was the majority), and try not to get in people’s way.
They tell you numerous times to not use flash photography during shows, people plenty of people do it anyway. Some people had no awareness of others around them--had this same family of people constantly knock over my drink and be pushy during a show.
Some people had no hygiene awareness and would let their dirty clothes drag in the food at the buffet areas, so I strongly suggest you reach for the food in the back rather than the front. There are always plenty of workers asking for you to be happy happy and washy washy.
It is amazing to see how much more culturally diverse cruising has become over the years and it was a delight to talk with fellow passengers about their lives back at home.
Expect motorized scooters aplenty.
Some people had pets on board, but the pets were always tucked into someone’s arm and did not seem to bother anyone else. None of them actually seemed like dogs for medical reasons (none of them were wearing official vests or were used as seeing-eye dogs). They have a small spot off to the side on the jogging track for animals to do their business there.
Now that they took away expected dress codes, formal nights are not what they used to be. Many people showed us to dining in jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. I guess part of me misses seeing people dressed up to the nines, but I for one do like comfort more than anything else. My dad is relieved he does not have to pack in a suit and tie anymore.
I was amazed on how fast this process was, as it took much longer to get off on the Oasis. We had a flight at around 2:15PM leaving from Fort Lauderdale, so we were put into group 16 scheduled to get off the ship around 8-8:15AM. We actually went off around 7:55AM, and all of luggage was out and waiting for us. For those who are naughty and brought items on the no-no list, there is a large table with all the banned items when walking off the ship for you to reclaim (I saw irons, humidifiers, extension cords, and all sorts of whacky gadgets there).
If you do not have Mobile Passport app on your phone, I strongly suggest you download it and fill it out. For those who have completed it, you get a special cut the entire line from the masses exit to go straight to the customs officer. You still need your passport for the person, but literally it took us 30 minutes to get off the ship, go through customs, and get an LYFT to the airport (arrived at the airport at 8:30AM). LYFT costed 11 bucks and change.
Would we go back? Heck yes! Read Less
Got to the ship a little early and was a little confusing because one person in our group had expedited and we had passcards instead of passbooks. They told us we could all check in together but didn't know how to handle the passcards so ... Read More
Got to the ship a little early and was a little confusing because one person in our group had expedited and we had passcards instead of passbooks. They told us we could all check in together but didn't know how to handle the passcards so ended up going through normally which in all fairness wasn't bad - took about 30 - 40 minutes to get onboard. We had an early flight so debarkation went extremely smooth. We left the boat at 6:30 am with our luggage and couldn't have gone any smoother. Didn't have to wait on luggage or "my time to leave".
The cabin was clean and well cared for. Our steward (Carlos) was awesome. There was never a time that he was not there for anything we needed and he kept the room in tip top shape and of course loved his towel art. And really the entire crew was awesome. I don't think i had any negative experiences.
The main reason the ship did not get a 5 star was because of the food. Other than the main dining room, the food was mediocre or worse. The food in the Windjammer was tasteless and at times not suited for consumption. I did eat breakfast at Johnny Rockets one morning and dinner at Johnny Rockets one night and both times the food was great. Ate at the main dining room twice and both times the food and service was awesome. Could not have had a better experience. The Windjammer needs to reevaluate their food and quality of food.
I didn't get to see much in the way of shows but the shows i did see were great. The excursions were great - was really disappointed in Labadee's shopping area. The locals made it extremely hard to shop without being harassed. Had to leave the shopping area without being able to look at everything i wanted to look at.
Overall had a great time....however will not cruise on this ship again because of its size. Felt like we were not at sea but in a huge hotel. Read Less
Welcome to Cruise Critic; we’re happy you decided to register to become a Cruise Critic Member.
Important: Do Not Use Your REAL NAME as your USER NAME
Important: Please disable your email verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Please add @cruisecritic.com to your email safelist.
Please respect that this is a MODERATED community for people who absolutely LOVE cruise travel or want to learn about cruise travel.
Registration to Cruise Critic’s Cruise Community is free! We require that you use a valid e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your e-mail address before you are allowed to login and post on the boards. Again, please disable your spamblocking or verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Also, as a member of Cruise Critic you will receive copies of our weekly newsletter plus our "Cruise Sails" and one "Member Offer" mailing. Should you not want to continue to receive these e-mailings, simply unsubscribe by following the directions in the newsletter. By agreeing to become a member, you are agreeing to receipt of our newsletters.
Additionally, we do insist that you abide by the rules and policies detailed at this link: Community Guidelines.
This is a moderated Community. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Web site and do not wish to be bound by them, please do not use this Web site or continue the registration process. Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any content in its sole discretion. Additionally, if you violate our Community Guidelines you may lose your posting privileges — permanently — without warning. By continuing the registration you are agreeing to the terms.
These are moderated message boards. What this means is that we do our best to remove all objectionable messages from the boards. It also means that you cannot say whatever you’d like on the forums. If you are looking for an "anything goes" setting, Cruise Critic might not be the place for you. Understand, too, that our community is comprised of folks who LOVE to cruise. It therefore stands to reason that they will have a favorite cruise line or port of call — in other words, they are "fans" and will sometimes take offense when a brand new member has arrived on the scene to bash a cruise line.
Keep in mind that we do not prescreen posts so there may be a period of time when an inappropriate post is visible. Please use the Report A Post icon located in the UPPER right hand corner of each posting if you wish to report a violation of our Community Guidelines. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Cruise Critic Message Board Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.
By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, are in violation of our Community Guidelines or otherwise violative of any laws.
Cruise Critic reserves to right to remove, edit, move or close any thread (discussion) for any reason from the forums without warning. or notification to the Community. Additionally, we also reserve the right to deny posting privileges to any member at our sole discretion.
You hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in our message board community (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.
Our mission is to provide a haven on the Internet free of harassment and advertising for our community members’ enjoyment. Any company or person(s) that interfere with that mission risk losing their posting privileges.
If you have any questions about how our community is moderated, please address them to our Community Manager via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not post on the boards.
LauraS Community Manager
Become a cruise insider
Get the best cruise deals, along with the latest news and insider tips, right to your inbox
Thank you for Signing Up
Now help us get to know you better to enhance your experience.