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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
BACKGROUND I am writing this on the day we returned from the cruise, so everything is still pretty fresh on my mind. Our second cruise with Royal Caribbean was again outstanding. Our first was just my wife an I on a honey moon. We loved ... Read More
BACKGROUND I am writing this on the day we returned from the cruise, so everything is still pretty fresh on my mind. Our second cruise with Royal Caribbean was again outstanding. Our first was just my wife an I on a honey moon. We loved it and wished to go back with the family. This time, about 7 years later, was with my 2 small children, my parents, my brother, his wife and 3 children. Amazing experience overall. Loved it. Wish I had brought walkie-talkies to communicate. BOARDING We came from Fort Lauderdale on I-95, so we followed Google until we took exit 2D to I-395. This was key as Google told us to go through another way. We simply followed the signs for Port Miami through the Tunnel and got there easily. Once we arrived at the terminal, our bags were immediately taken by the terminal staff. Next we made our way through customs and checked into the ship. Even though my dad forgot his SeaPass print out, we were in the ship within 25 minutes of arriving. Which was very speedy in my opinion. CABIN The cabin was small, but they made great use of the space. I got the most inexpensive interior cabin, so I expected it to be small, however, we slept on the king size bed and my kids were each on their own bunk above the main bed. They loved it and so did we. FOOD Great food, both at the Windjammer and at the Main Dining Room. There was absolutely no need for the specialty restaurants, in my opinion. Vegetarian options for my wife, very actually very delicious as well. ENTERTAINMENT - SPORTS ACTIVITIES Very, very fun. Participated in 2 soccer tournaments and a ping pong tournament with my dad. Lots of fun and medals were awarded. It was competitive, but not rough or professional. Also played basketball with him and a fellow cruise goer on the first night. Rock climbing was fun for my wife and I, and FlowRider was very fun as well. ENTERTAINMENT - CHILDRENS' ACTIVITIES Not great on this ship for us. The arcade was high priced and over in the blink of an eye. Also, we don't really like leaving our kids with anyone, especially someone we do not know. I do wish there were more family oriented activities for families with small children. I know the Liberty of the Seas has H2O Zones, but this one does not, which was a bummer. ENTERTAINMENT - SHOWS Didn't really go to too many shows. Ice skating show on the first night, and a "Minute to Win it" like show. Both were good. Went to to other 'talks' or giveaways, which turn out to be sales pitches. Waste of time. STAFF Outstanding in every way. Friendly, courteous, and genuinely want to make you happier while on the cruise. Some fellow cruise-goers were rude, especially with the staff, the kind of people that have never had a service job. Unfortunately, these people also have to be served. Yet the staff still does their best to give you a memorable experience. SPA The SPA hot stone massage was phenomenal. My dad had knots on his back and had pain and difficulty moving his neck. During the massage was quite painful, but after, he felt like a new man. He enjoyed the cruise with a new way. It was a bit pricey, at $208 + service fee for 75 minutes, but it was worth every penny seeing my dad enjoy the rest of the cruise. EXCURSIONS Cozumel was a let down from last time, partially because of the weather. It was cloudy and very windy. So much so that many excursions were cancelled because of the wind. This time we didn't go on the Cruise excursion, but decided to have a tour guide take us to different places. For 11 people, it was definitely less expensive, but also was not that great. The taxis were cutthroat. It went from $200 for a taxi for 4 hours, to $120 and they tell you to keep it quiet so you think you're getting a good deal. It's best to go directly to the taxi instead of the guys standing trying to sell you the service as they simply refer you to the taxi and get a commission. The places there weren't great. We saw the ruins, which was an OK experience. The tequila place was also just OK. Everybody is trying to sell you something and you can always cut the price by at least half. Less of an experience, and more of a everyone trying to make a buck. I guess it is what it is. Costa Maya was much different. The prices were great, the experience was great. We simply went to the public beach by the ferry ride ($3/person) and then just reserved a bed literally on the shore. We ordered (virgin) drinks and just relaxed in the sun, went in the beach, and my mom got a massage. The massage was very sub-par, but what do you expect for a $20/hour massage? It was very nice, and we were back on the ship for lunch. DISEMBARKATION Had a small issue with having towels left from the day before which we were charged $25/towel for. There looked to be a problem in the system, but at the end the towels were returned and the charges taken off. The bags were taken the night before at 11 PM and we left the room shortly before 8 AM. We had breakfast, had a small family worship in the chapel, and off we went to our area to leave the ship. From the time we were called to the terminal were about 20 minutes or less. So baggage claim, customs, and walking were less than 20 minutes. Super impressive. Very organized. OVERALL Overall, we loved the experience, and were already planning our next cruise. It will most likely be on the Freedom or Oasis as they offer more children-oriented things. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Went on RC Oasis with a family group of ten out of Port Canaveral, Jan 28.......... Our embarkation went a smoothly as any ship we have ever been on. For some 6,000 passengers, RC has this down very well out of Port Canaveral. I think ... Read More
Went on RC Oasis with a family group of ten out of Port Canaveral, Jan 28.......... Our embarkation went a smoothly as any ship we have ever been on. For some 6,000 passengers, RC has this down very well out of Port Canaveral. I think we were aboard it under 20 minutes. We carried our own bags off and this also went fairly fast. We had three cabins for our group with balcony's over the boardwalk. Some noise, but not really enough to complain about. Our 4th cabin was a seaside balcony and they loved it. Felt the food was good and good variety as we tried just about everything, except the special ones... entertainment was good, ship was clean, employees friendly and helpful. With two young grandsons, age 2 and 5, the servers and hostess in the main dining room went out of their way to get them some food to snack on right away when we sat down. That was so helpful in a long sitting at dinner. Room attendant was attentive to our needs, friendly and kept it very tidy throughout... The Oasis was something to see. What a masterpiece. Other than the windjammer buffet, you hardly realized their was 6,000 other passengers. It got crowded in there... Johnny Rockets was a hit and our group stopped twice. The salad and sandwich shop central park was very good also and at no charge. The entertainment was good and really liked the diving shows & ice skating shows The passengers on the Oasis had a good number of elderly, family's with children and I can see why. It offers something for everyone. The elevators were often crowded, but generally people were patient and helpful to each other as their were a fair amount of handicapped. Several from our group went into shore at St Maarten and San Juan. My wife and I stayed on the ship. We all got off and enjoyed the day at Labadee Cruising isn't for everyone, the we have now been on ten and enjoyed everyone..... As many of you say, if you didn't have a good time on today's cruise ship, you weren't trying. The pool areas are crowded and busy on sea days, but their are chairs everywhere. So, it wasn't hard to find a couple.... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This is our second cruise with the Allure of the Seas! Now we completed both Eastern Caribbean Cruise in 2016 and just finished the Western Caribbean Cruise in Feb 2018 with the Allure of the Seas. We thank our head weiter Mr. Marian for ... Read More
This is our second cruise with the Allure of the Seas! Now we completed both Eastern Caribbean Cruise in 2016 and just finished the Western Caribbean Cruise in Feb 2018 with the Allure of the Seas. We thank our head weiter Mr. Marian for taking care of us for both cruises! Great main dining. We also tried the IZUMI the Japanese Hibachi restaurant for special dining and had a great time! The chef was so funny! Stake was super delicious! We took 3 shore excursions. The Monster Jeep to Hidden Mayan Ruin in Cozumel, Bamboo Beach Club and Dunns River in Jamaica, and A Private Cove Escape and Haitian Village Experience in Labadee! We enjoyed the Dunns River the best! Services at the ship was excellent! The stateroom attendant, Marianne was so sweet and professional. She was always asking for if we need anything... We enjoyed the Ice Skating, and the water shows!!! Those were amazing!!! We enjoyed the cruise very much! We also thank you for the gluten free hamburger buns! Thank you!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We travelled with kids so we were looking for activities and enterteinment for them. DreamWorks experience was a good option. Good quality and variety of food. Waitress and all staff in dining and eating places great confortable ... Read More
We travelled with kids so we were looking for activities and enterteinment for them. DreamWorks experience was a good option. Good quality and variety of food. Waitress and all staff in dining and eating places great confortable cabin for 4 (since we are a family of 5, I d like to know if there are cabins for 5, this time we travelled with my mother in law, so we used two cabins). The cabin was checked and cleaned twice a day Activities and shows for all the family and all those involved in recreation were great Good variety of sports to play Several pools with different options, calm one, with waves, one that takes you round, jacuzzi I definitely would like to go again probably touching other ports so as to get to know new places. Since I have small children I d probably look for a cruise with options for the kids to do and play Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Been on the Getaway twice before and liked it. We received $140 credit from NCL and planned on applying it toward the daily cabin grautity. The $140 credit was on our account when we checked in. When we received our departure ... Read More
Been on the Getaway twice before and liked it. We received $140 credit from NCL and planned on applying it toward the daily cabin grautity. The $140 credit was on our account when we checked in. When we received our departure statement, the credit was removed and said it was monrefundable. Called NCL and they told us the credit could not be used for room gratuities (service charge). Why wasn't this made clear up front? We certainly wouldn't have left $140 behind. Won't be going on NCL again. The food in the Tropicana and the the Taste and the Savor were almost identical menus every night. The beef entrees were substandard and very tough. The appetizers did not offer shrimp cocktail as have on past cruises and the seafood entrees were limited. We tried to eat at Cagneys upscale restaurant every evening. We were told there was never any availability. We would have had to have purchased the upscale dining package before the cruise. Very disappointing. The beverage package, which we prepurchased was good. We also prepurchased the Internet package which worked only part of the time. We are leaving soon on Royal Caribbean as Diamond members and hoping for a better experience. We are leaving on our sixth cruise with Regent in the spring. Now that Regent is part of NCL, we hope that their service hasn't been downgraded. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Royal Caribbean goes out of their way to be sure you comfortable and happy. The room attendant"s" (even in other areas than your room) go out of their way to be friendly, helpful and accommodating. It isn't just a dining room - ... Read More
Royal Caribbean goes out of their way to be sure you comfortable and happy. The room attendant"s" (even in other areas than your room) go out of their way to be friendly, helpful and accommodating. It isn't just a dining room - it's a cater to you and your kids and refills and help carrying plates and attention to cleanliness. Even the 2 yr old was mesmerized by the shows and all the attention. The 4 yr old was treated like a star! Leaving the ship, purchases, etc is made so easy with your sea pass in your pocket and no purse, wallet, etc. The "freebies" are too many to mention. The entertainment is outstanding with lots of variety and choices in scheduling. It is more like visiting a small town rather than being on a ship. Most important is the environment of friends and family that the staff promotes. Everyone is happy and enjoying themselves because of the excellent treatment you are given by all the staff. It's fun to look forward to the many daily specials they have throughout the ship (but especially in the spa) I have gone in the past - and are already booked for our next cruise with Royal Caribbean of course!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our friends chose the cruise to celebrate their anniversary (50 yrs) and invited anyone who wanted to go to join them. In the end there ended up being about 11 of us and we had a great time. The ship was well maintained and everyone was ... Read More
Our friends chose the cruise to celebrate their anniversary (50 yrs) and invited anyone who wanted to go to join them. In the end there ended up being about 11 of us and we had a great time. The ship was well maintained and everyone was very friendly. It seemed that every time we got into the elevator, sat down to eat or even went to the casino or a show, we made new friends. Both the crew and passengers were friendly and helpful. We had an absolute wonderful time and we plan on doing it again! We stayed in room 9354, a Junior Suite, and it was wonderful. Although there were no extra perks like in the other Suite types, the extra room, walk-in closet and tub in the bathroom were very nice touches. Our room steward was wonderful and friendly. Although the food in the Windjammer was okay, we really enjoyed the food in the Main Dining Room. We ate in the Galileo dining room for dinner and enjoyed Leonardos for lunch on one day. We splurged on Chops one night and the food was delicious. We went to Giovanni's on Sunday for a Mystery Dinner theater. The food was very good there as well, although the Mystery Dinner theater could have been better. They needed to be more interactive with the guests for it to be entertaining. We had fun giving our money to the Cruise ship in the casino. (lol), Even though we didn't win, we enjoyed the slot machines and table games, On the last night, we went to the variety show and it was funny, Our favorite parts were the comedian, Ralph Morris and the cruise director, Abe. They had us in stitches! Although we weren't able to go to Grand Caymen, due to rough seas and the tender operation being cancelled, we did make it to Costa Maya and Cozumel. There were too many shop keepers hassling you to come look and buy their stuff, but Cozumel was great. We went to Chankanaab and had a wonderful time. Highly recommend it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I chose this cruise because it seemed to have a lot of family friendly (we brought the kids) activities and Orlando had the best rates for us to fly to. My husband and I sailed the NCL Sun 2 years ago and loved it. We came and went ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it seemed to have a lot of family friendly (we brought the kids) activities and Orlando had the best rates for us to fly to. My husband and I sailed the NCL Sun 2 years ago and loved it. We came and went anywhere as we pleased. This time if you had the dining package, everything was booked up, we didn't even think it necessary to make reservations before boarding. Drink lines at the pool sometimes took up to 20 minutes, same as other bars/lounges in the evening. Tendering was a confusing process and some waited far too long, we got lucky. Staff was not as friendly or chatty as our last cruise on the Sun, which made me feel bad for them and wonder if they are over worked and/or the ship was understaffed. My whole family enjoyed the food! Not a complaint there at all. Cagney's was impossible to get a reservation, but from what I have read and personally experienced Moderno is the way to go!! Garden Cafe' was a little too crowded at prime hours at the buffet and to find a table. Sometimes it was just easier to go grab a plate and bring it to our balcony to eat. Overall, I think they cram too many people onto this ship and the customer service and freestyle feel NCL loves to boast about severely lacks because of it. I would still cruise NCL, just not this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Family has been with royal caribbean in the past and it is the best cruise line they have ever taken. The crew and staff are very friendly and respectable. If we had any problems, they fixed it very fast with no issue. Even when people got ... Read More
Family has been with royal caribbean in the past and it is the best cruise line they have ever taken. The crew and staff are very friendly and respectable. If we had any problems, they fixed it very fast with no issue. Even when people got sea sick at the beginning, they were even checking up and taking care of the guests. Provided medication for the dizziness and nausea experienced at the beginning. Very helpful staff they have at all the restaurants. It was a wonderful experience. I was very happy to see the cleanliness of the boat, even at windjammers, they had sinks to wash our hands to ensure everyone is taking their precautions in staying safe and clean. Very happy with the ports, coming off and on the ship again. The captain's updates on the intercom of the ship was very helpful and reassuring as well. It was my first cruise and i loved it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Cruising is all about managing your expectations. We had never cruised with Carnival before, and only had Princess, Norwegian, and Cunard to compare with. From what I had read in prior reviews, I wasn't expecting to be over impressed with ... Read More
Cruising is all about managing your expectations. We had never cruised with Carnival before, and only had Princess, Norwegian, and Cunard to compare with. From what I had read in prior reviews, I wasn't expecting to be over impressed with this trip. HOWEVER, that being said, Carnival was just fine in all major departments . Nothing either above or below average. Embarkation was a breeze, but we were staying in a suite and had priority boarding. I have only cruised at the level, so I don't know how boarding is otherwise. Overall it looked like everyone was moving along quite well. Disembarkation went very smooth as well. The Carnival system seemed to work a little better than other's I have experienced. The ship, while we saw efforts to maintain, does show some wear. But think about it, 3000 people, 365 days a year....it's going to wear out. For the most part, everything appeared clean, and in good working order. Our Suite (7242) had ample space with tons of closet and storage space. I think it may be more akin to a balcony room on other lines, rather than a suite. We were in an Ocean Suite, but booked a Grand Suite for my daughter, son in law, and grand daughter. They had tons of room as well, with great arrangements for traveling with a little one (5). They really appreciated to extra room. I feel that there Grand Suite was more like the suites I have experienced on other lines. Regardless we all enjoyed enough space for the duration of the cruise. The décor is odd, and I just don't have words to describe it. Unlike any other line I've sailed with. Not totally distasteful, but not very cheery either. I fount the MDR to be dark in my opinion. Speaking of dining rooms.....The food on Carnival was much the same as other lines. When you are cooking for 3000 it's difficult to capture every ones delight. Everything I tried in the MDR was editable...soups were plenty warm, and main course was still warm. Breakfast seemed better in selection than dinner, Enjoyed the Eggs Benedict of the Seaday Brunch. Pastries were also above average, as were deserts. Portions were large enough for even the more robust appetites. We dined at the steakhouse one night, found the steak to be very good and the sides appropriate. Not sure it's worth $35.00 additional, but maybe. Everyone at our table tried a different steak and all were cooked as ordered, meat was tender, and had a good flavor. The buffets offer so many choices, most were fair to good, with a few items (cornmeal breaded chicken - for one) moving out of the good and coming close to really good. The Pizza was always a hit, very consistent, as was the Deli. The breakfast burritos from Blue Iguana were really quite good as well. (How do you mess up scrambled eggs in a tortilla?) Mongolian Wok was decent, and the soft serve a great alternative to the pre made deserts. All in all, I give the food a 7 ...no one lost weight...or went hungry. One note, the morning room service lacks a little. We always order room service on days we have excursions, limited to cereal and pastries...continental breakfast on Carnival. The ship has tons of stuff going on. You can choose to participate, spectate, or just veg in your own space. My grand daughter loved Camp Ocean and it appeared to be well run. We took in a couple of shows...ok but not outstanding....Scotts Piano Bar is a fun place to hang out, along with Red Frog....or just take in the action in the Atrium. With 3 and 4 generations of people all traveling together, I think Carnival did a pretty good job of capturing entertainment for everyone group. I tried the Spa for a facial. The facility was clean and the operators friendly. Nice facial as well! No high pitched sales...but I did buy a product from them. Overall service was quite good. Everyone was attentive and address us by name. All of the staff we had interactions were pleasant and easy to communicate with. We canceled our Atlantis Excursion, because the weather was supposed to be cold and rainy. Turned out to be only chilly but sunny. We found a private glass bottom boat offering at the port and decided to take it. My granddaughter loved feeding the fish and seeing under the water. It was a little chilly on the water, but overall a nice tour for $35.00 (kids free) adventure. We did the old town hop on hop off tour in Key West. Not so sure about this...here's how it went for us. There was a line to board the "trolley" that stretched down the street, around the corner and three blocks down was the trolley. We opted to walk to the place we wanted to grab lunch, and catch a trolley at a later point. We went to Blue Heaven (Key Lime Pie is their claim to fame) had lunch and then caught a trolley later along the way. We got on at stop 6 I think and rode to the end or starting point again, with out getting off. The trip is slow, we were afraid we wouldn't be able to get back to the Southern Most Point if we stayed on the trolley and had to wait for the next one (and hope it had seats) to get back. We took a golf cart taxi instead...shot over to the SMP...did the photos (around the line, as there was a line about a block long to take a picture with the marker). The trolley passes on great information, but takes quite a bit of time. You can hop off, but you have to hope for a seat being available to "hop" back on. Very Busy...I think I would investigate some other way to tour Key West. We planned nothing for Freeport, just checked out the market place at the port, and took advantage of the empty ship!. This trip was a birthday celebration for me, my daughter, and grand daughter. We really had fun, and spent some quality time together, something that's hard to find with everyone's busy schedules. I've done some comparisons and think that Carnival might not be a bad option for quick cruises. You get what you pay for...manage your expectations, and it all works out fine. I knew before getting on the ship that they offer no special perks for their suite passengers (no private breakfast area, no private entrance to MDR, no butler, no stocked mini fridge, of free use of spa areas, no invitation to meet the captain or attend private functions, no daily treats brought to your room, no comp bottle of champagne at sail away, (so we brought our own!) no full menu room service, etc. etc.) but the price for two on a seven day cruise was about 30% less expensive. It's just a matter of what you want and what is important to you. All in All I would consider Carnival again, if planning a cruise. Convenient it is out of Galveston, less that 30 miles from home! Read Less

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