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Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, ... Read More
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, comes as opposite to your logic, the balcony suites!! Shoe boxes, (better) have been reduced in width to accommodate more rooms (boxes)! The design has changed the interior to putting the bed near to the window and the sofa next to the heads. On that front, there has been no shortage of hot water, at night the sound of those rooms above, having a shower or running water, can be loud. Everything is bright and new, yet only weeks old, signs of blistering rust, fester in awkward places. The crew as always, are Great! really helpful and accommodating. Some we have known from previous MSC cruises, don’t like the larger ship. It has lost its personality. For the the girls, women and wives, there are plenty of shops! If your in the market for watches, some extremely expensive(€53k)!! Down to tacky 2x €40! This ship was designed specifically for the Med. and less dangerous seas, not for open seas, ask those who travelled out from Southampton! Not good. The shopping plaza will blow your mind! It’s roof is an LED, picture scope, changing scene every few minutes, similar to that seen on the Dancing on Ice back drops. A wonderfull sight to see! Truly beautiful. From previous cruises, the traditional leaving port to Andrea Botchelli and Sarah Brightman singing ‘time to say goodbye’ has been deleted, no longer to thrill the passengers as this Cruise Director ( probably the worst we have ever witnessed), refused to play it!? Andrew Botchelli was in Southampton for the christening ceremony with Sophia Loren, he will be less than enamerored, when he finds out! He was so pleased to learn of the accolade. Shame really, out loud on the tannoy, it fits well with the MSC image, as the ship leaves the port, the recording blasting away! Other cruise lines now do the same, but MSC was first! The food is Good, really good for bulk cooking. The most picky eater would not go hungry. I have no intention of being rude, but how some of the foreigners stack up their plates,only to ditch it 10 mins later. With such a very large passenger number, queueing for food is a nightmare. This very much is the same for getting on and off the ship! Long waits! Double the passengers, but not the staff or exits and it’s a disaster waiting to happen! As above, there are quite a few other matters that can apply too! The theatre, emergency practice, let alone forbid it should ever happen for real! Hey? Perhaps the captain will get off first! Costa on the rocks sir? With ice? One of the other nigly small items is the changing of the drinks packages. One thing other lines should have followed(Cunard)! Obviously MSC found they could screw you out of more money this new way! and the new fantastica package goes far less further than it did! The once formal evening has gone. Not one evening suit to be seen. Shame! Yes shame, we forget the ladies love to dress up! On the Gala night, shorts and tee shirts were seen on many! Bad news is, the staff did little or nothing to stop it. The ship! Yes too big! Too crowded, too many queues, oh yes! There was enough deck chairs, but no staff to organise how far they could go! Main areas were jammed in 2 cases. The ship? An absolute joy to sail in. Even the most sea sick person could manage! Very little roll or pitch! Well done the designer or ship architect. NOW YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MOTHER! There is some good entertainment on board. The nightly shows are well put together as are specialty shows like ‘Circ Du Soliel’, but the ad says, specify! Gourmet food. It is not! Wet, over cooked veg, hard over-baked specialty Potatoes are part of this act! Now in the bin. I did have cause to complain that one time, as my plate went back with no other replacement in sight. But those artists Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early ... Read More
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early 40's. The single friend was a first time cruiser and she loved it! The rest of us have been on 5 or 6 other cruises and thought it was up there in our favorite 2. We didn't go in with huge expectations and maybe that is why we had a blast. Embarkation was a breeze. Because I upgraded to a Suite we had priority boarding which meant a really short line compared to the huge line for everyone else. They will let your non suite friends get in the short line with you. We were there at noon and on the ship by 12:20. We all bought the drink package and thank god! We like to drink and some of them got cut off by midnight because they reached their 15 drink max. But hey, drinks get warm, you set them down, you may not like one, they still count so we were glad we bought it. Lunch on the Lido deck we all chose guys burgers and fries and they were all great. We hung out all day by the pool, in the casino, walking around etc. We missed going under the sky bridge in Tampa as we were in the casino (woopsy) . Anyway this boat rocked alot more than other cruise ships I have been on. Sometimes you noticed it, but I just tried to not look out the windows as we moved and I was generally fine. I am also very sensative to sea sickness and I never heard anyone else complain about it. We met for early 6pm dinner in the main dining room Destiny. We sat the 5 of us and 3 lovely ladies from Virginia. Our two waiters were great and our drinks and apps were on the table in 5 min. All our meals in the main dining room were very good! we did all pay $20 extra one night and got the filet and lobster and it did not disappoint. Day 2- arrive in Key west at noon, I really wished we got here sooner as it is very close to Tampa???? I was confused why the itinerary didnt allow more time at this port. Anyway we had a few cocktails on board and waited for the masses to fight their way off. We walked off at 12:50 ish and no lines. It rained all day in Key West but we did a little bar hopping and had fun anyway. Irish Kevins was for sure our favorite spot with the live singer/comedian guy. Got back on the little trolly thing around 3pm and went back to the ship. I will definately be back in Key West as it wasnt nearly enough time here. Got back went to casino (after we were like 12 miles out of course) and made it to the main dining room again for dinner. I say made it because it was a long day of drinking and some people wanted to nap! Food great again! Day 3- woke up around 8am, some ate breakfast (my husband and I don't really eat breakfast) Waited for most to get off the ship in CUBA, we got off around 11 am with absolutely no one in line. Customs took 30 seconds as did money exchange. Just to give an idea of how much you will need in Cuba, most of us took our $80 US and it was too much (for what we did). First of all DO NOT get suckered into buying an excursion if you want to just walk on your own!!!! Carnival will try and tell you that you have to check off "people to people" and book an excursion. We being in Cuba last year knew to check off "support the cuban people" option and you can totally just walk off. We walked to the main square accross from the ship and you will get a few locals asking if you want to pay $1 each and they will walk you around. We said no, but one guy seemed to never leave so what the heck we let him walk us around. He took us to a local John Lennon bar (dive bar but very cool!!) we all go cubra libras (rum and cokes) and were surprised it was $10 a drink!! We had one, felt very buzzed and moved on to the next stop. We walked through beautiful streets, saw the market, other squares, local people living life. It was great. Ernest Hemingway bar right near the port was our fave as it had live cuban music and here a round of drinks for 5 people was $7.50 US. Or $7.50 CUC. Totally cheap and fun here. We danced and walked around some more. We all tipped our guy $25 US and he was more than happy I am sure. Got back on the boat and only 2 made it to dinner.... Day 4 - Cozumel- We arrived at 12:45pm to port and we chose again to wait an hour before getting off to avoid the crowd. We had booked El Cid's for the twilight day pass as our ship was here 1pm to 9pm. No other day pass resorts were offering this late day pass. It was $65 each I think?? MAKE SURE you bring the printed piece of paper with your reservation or they will make you print it at the hotel. We had drinks, food (good food) towels, pool, snokeling, all included. It was a fun day! The shopping area right a the ship is awesome, I thought it was beautiful clean and lots to do. We were back on the ship around 6 as we are wimps of the sun and apparently cannot drink too much in the sun. Day 5- day at sea, usual activities, silly games by the pool, lots of food.... I dont really know as I was burnt from Mexico and did not hang around outside. We were mostly hanging around the casino area/American bar. Now 3 of us were smokers and even as a smoker I will say that this small one side of the bar and in the casino were always VERY smoky.. The air suckers in this area seemed to not work. This was also the area that they had the trivia games which we LOVED!! So much fun. But dang do something with the smoking vents! CASINO!!!!- Ok we hung out here ALOT!!! Like every day for a long time especially at night. We usually go to Greektown Casino in our hometown near Detroit. We usually hit at greektown pretty much every time we are there so we think it is the loosest best slots in the world lol . This casino was pretty close. It is small but it pays good!!! Every single time you sat down people were hitting like crazy! My husband probably won $1000 a day on slots easily. I couldnt believe it . I loved playing roulette with our group. I won one of the pong games in the casino where they called my name and I had to throw one out of ten ping pong balls into a gift bag with money on it. I won $75 it was fun. Overall the wait staff was fantastic, you always had a drink in your hand, we never waited once at any of the bars nor in the casino. Dinner service was fast, we never waited more than 10 min for dinner. I couldn't believe we were on the same cruise that people were ripping on the slow service and crappy food. We did not think this at all. Look , don't expect Ruth's Chris style meals, expect more like outback or Texas Road House lol. Then you will not be disappointed. This boat is small and therefore you won't get lost and everything is easy to get to. Having said that it is small and can sometimes feel like there is not much to do. There is not much craziness going on near the pool, which I like sometimes. We NEVER had a problem getting a chair, there were never any big drunks partying like it was springbreak. There was no more than 20 kids on the whole ship. It was just a great cool crowd of people. Cabin review is next.... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Majesty is the oldest, smallest of the Royal fleet and it shows. While the food service is above Royal's average the rest is far below. Even the layout of the ship is a bother. If you rely on elevators to go between floor good ... Read More
Majesty is the oldest, smallest of the Royal fleet and it shows. While the food service is above Royal's average the rest is far below. Even the layout of the ship is a bother. If you rely on elevators to go between floor good luck. Everything is all ajumble. Nothing fatal but it speaks to the lack of attention to details. We got notice of an excursion cancellation - 12 hours before it was due to depart. Funny thing was I had never signed up or paid for that excursion. Took 3 days of a 5 day cruise to Cuba to get my Diamond + status sorted out. While everyone did their job the only person I can point to that seemed to be willing to take pride in service to the guests was a guy who wiped down the tables and removed empty cups from the pool deck.. Cuba was great. Majesty was just transportation to the island Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise because our friends son’s senior trip. We were all celebrating. This cruise has us wishing we’re were back on the boat. We had so much fun. The boat was very clean. We had a balcony cabin and it was just ... Read More
We choose this cruise because our friends son’s senior trip. We were all celebrating. This cruise has us wishing we’re were back on the boat. We had so much fun. The boat was very clean. We had a balcony cabin and it was just perfect.we went to a little bar early in our trip called Sid Norman’s the Guilty Pleasures was playing 80’s music. This show was amazing and we went back every night they were playing. It was so much fun and the kids on stage are amazing. We left with wanting more. They did a great job it was fantastic. Debra, Grant, Niki and Billy put on an amazing show time after time. I also want to pay kudos to the Japanese restaurant we eat at. The name started with a T. The food and entertainment was really good. The island of Belize also won us over. The white sand beaches. We can’t wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a balcony, reasonable space and being a new ship did not show any signs of wear and tear. Our cabin steward Genesis was attentive, friendly and always happy to see us. He maintained our cabin beautifully and recognised a particularly special date that we celebrated whilst on board ship. At this location on the ship it was difficult to know whether the ship was moving it was so quiet with no noise from adjoining cabins or fromthe engines. Our allocated restaurant was The Lighthouse on deck 6 excellent choice for us as we had a table for 2. The menu was varied and offered something different every day to suit most requirements. Meals were well presented and of good quality. Service was excellent and the staff who served us each day at table 479 were Carissa and Abdul and are worth a special mention for their professionalism and attention nothing was too much trouble and again went out of their way to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Breakfast and lunch served in the Marketplace was a challenge. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone but the shear numbers of diners at any one time made the experience quite stressful. The staff were as efficient and patient as they could be given the logistics of numbers and seats available at any one time. There were good shows on board and plenty of entertainment for all ages. The musicians who played in all of the areas were first class with music choices to suit all tastes we particularly liked the Jazz trio who played each evening on Deck 16. We purchased the Cirque Soleil show and dinner at 40 euros each which was very good value for money . The show was excellent, food very good and Alwyn and his team served everything beautifully so that dinner was served before the show commenced. We have scored food at 3 because of the breakfast and lunch experience. Weather whilst on board ship was not particularly good so consequently much of the outdoors facilities were not in use. They were however very clean and well presented with water facilities to suit all tastes the water park on deck 18 would be great fun for families. We enjoyed our holiday we would cruise again but not for cruising sake but to see particular places that are included in the itinerary. We did not book MSC excursions but instead booked with local providers in Naples we did a tour if Naples and went to Pompei in a small group of 6 with a very knowledgeable guide. In Messina we did the same and rode the cable car to the top of Etna and visited Tourmina. Again an excellent excursion with small numbers and a local guide. Every other port we did our own thing and really enjoyed. This cruise met our expectations and we would consider MSC in the future provided the itinerary met our requirements. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I don't normally complain. We love cruising and being on the ocean. There was nothing absolutely horrible. Nothing great either. Service is slow and poor. Had to wait forever to be served at the bar, or flag down bar service who ... Read More
I don't normally complain. We love cruising and being on the ocean. There was nothing absolutely horrible. Nothing great either. Service is slow and poor. Had to wait forever to be served at the bar, or flag down bar service who always seemed irritated to be asked. The main dining service was awesome. We had wonderful servers and was the highlight of each day. Julius in the seaside lounge bar was the only great, kind, friendly bartender. None of the shows were good, except the Michael Jackson show. Comedy was all vulgar improv. The food was fine, but the salad bar was literally lettuce and shredded carrots. We saw our cabin steward once. He never cleaned our shower or bathroom floor. It was nasty by day 7. This was our second msc cruise. Both have had a theme of poor service. Hoping they can use these reviews to improve in the future, as their ships are beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on this ship 10+ time and will return for another cruise in October. This is the smallest of the Carnival ships. We enjoy having a fewer number of guests, shorter lines and frankly, just less people everywhere. Sometimes on ... Read More
We have cruised on this ship 10+ time and will return for another cruise in October. This is the smallest of the Carnival ships. We enjoy having a fewer number of guests, shorter lines and frankly, just less people everywhere. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. guests who sail on the Fantasy range from babies to seniors, but it always has a southern hospitality charm. Having sailed nearly 30 times, I can say with confidence that the crew of the Fantasy is second to none. They are open, friendly, and in the few short days you are on the ship, they become friends. The dining room staff always remembers what you doing and most of the time, my drink was sitting on the table when I arrived. The waiters around the pool are awesome. On the cruise last week, the waiter remembered that I ordered a bottle of water with every other drink-FROM THE LAST CRUISE IN DECEMBER! He just started bringing it to me again. On the Fantasy, you will not find rock climbing walls, roller coasters or trampolines. However, the children seem to be entertained and happy playing old school games as ship scavenger hunts. Believe it or not, they even have an adult one that is hugely popular. Our favorite places on the ship are the piano bar, the comedy club and wherever the live band is playing. We do frequent the shows as well. While Country Roads is not my favorite, they are all well done and great entertainment. Sometimes on the larger ships it seems like they increase the cabins but not the common areas. I have read several reviews where people have said this is a great ship for first time cruisers, and it is. However, you will also find diamond guests with over 400+ days who sail this ship out of choice. It truly is a ship with a personality and that personality is based largely on that time of year. During the winter months while school is in session, it is mostly adults taking a short break from parenting, holiday celebrations, and work. Summer months, the ship is all about families making the ship seem twice as crowded (4 people in cabins instead of 2). If you do a Journey cruise on the Fantasy, or any other ship, the clientele seems to be much older. I guess its difficult for working families to take 10 days or more but it is still tons of fun. Just different fun. During spring break, well, the ship "rocks" until 3am or so. I love all the ship seasons but you just have to be prepared mentally for what to expect. The dining room food is great and they will bring you one (or two) of everything on the menu if you ask. Embarkation is so easy. Mobile certainly has it down to a science. Debarkation is typical but not nearly as crazy because you simply have fewer guests leaving the ship. Finally, the Fantasy is a popular ship for people to sail back to back (and to back and to back). We met guests on the last cruise that had been on the ship for 2 months. Don't let the age of the ship (and yes, in places it shows) fool you, the Fantasy is consistently one of the top rated ships on customer service. Enjoy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We were a group of eight, but knew 40 people on this sailing ranging from Elementary school to adults and grandparents. Everyone had an amazing time. We were in adjoining rooms 11286 and 11288. Room 11288 was larger with an angled ... Read More
We were a group of eight, but knew 40 people on this sailing ranging from Elementary school to adults and grandparents. Everyone had an amazing time. We were in adjoining rooms 11286 and 11288. Room 11288 was larger with an angled balcony. I believe it is considered a hump room. It was set up for our children with the couch in the front and their beds in the back. I much preferred that set up, to the king bed in the front of the room of 11288 because it made the room feel smaller than necessary. By my measurements room 11288 has about 5 extra inches in width. The balconies can be partially connected, but there is still some portion blocked. But having both of them was really a nice feature. Our dining staff were exemplary and went out of their way to assist with our allergies. At no time did it feel like I inconvenienced them, and they always took my concerns and needs very seriously. I do wish they had better dessert options for dairy allergies, but I know the chef tried to come up with items. It would have been nice if they had dairy free desserts. Overall the food was good, and the service impeccable. We did the ifly and the north star. Both were really fun. Our ifly instructor was incredibly calming and funny. He helped us go beyond the basics for those that had done it before, which was really appreciated. For those in our party that were afraid, he helped them overcome their fears and succeed in creating amazing memories. We took RC excursions to NASA. They used a company with yellow shirts, although the man on our bus said we could ask any guide with a yellow shirt questions in the park, when I tried to do so, a woman with the company said I did not pay for her tour guide services, merely to ride on their bus when I asked what the best attraction for children would be. I had no idea that there were two different tour options, but that was not a pleasant response. She had not begun any tour as I would not have asked that of someone giving a tour, since we were all congregating around the main entrance I figured a question on where to go was appropriate. So be forewarned that they don't give advice. Coco cay was lovely. It is a long walk on the pier, so wear comfortable shoes. The beach is beautiful and there are plenty of chairs. The pool is fantasy. I loved the white chairs in the water, as well as the swim up bar. There are plenty of chairs with umbrellas to use. The shops have decent souvenirs. Be mindful of the trees as they are planted in cement and I unwittingly stubbed my toe on one. The Atlantis is huge. It really helps if you know where you are going. Please look for a map before going to really understand the resort layout. They have dole whips which are great, near the kids pool play space. Because of height requirements I would recommend going with children who really exceed the limits. The rides are a lot of fun, but I saw kids who were too small denied access to the slides quite miserable. Please make sure to look at the height and weight of your child to not disappoint them. I have to speak about the shows on board. While the acting, singing, stagework, anamatronics, musicians, lighting all did an excellent and amazing job, the overall stories of the shows were confusing at best, and disturbing at worse. If you have a dying family member, skip the gift. The story was terrible. We sat next to someone who saw it 10 times and still could not figure it out. It was just a terrible plot and unnecessarily sad. Spectra's Cabaret was very loud, please bring ear plugs to save your hearing. The TVs were cool, and the stage work was excellent. I enjoyed the music and the showmanship. The bumper cars were a huge, huge hit with my family. I wish we got towel animals daily, but only received two. What we did get were interesting, a frog and a dog. My in laws got a peacock. The one issue with the ship is that the elevators were always going out of order in the aft section of the ship. I spoke with maintenance in person after we were stuck inside the elevator. From speaking to numerous other guests, our experience was not isolated. The elevators would stop on floors and not open doors until someone outside of the elevator would push for the elevator. Sometimes, even when you had a floor pushed and the elevator was going in that direction, it would stop and change directions missing your floor, or not taking you to a higher level floor. The forward elevators seemed to work properly, but with a room in the aft section it made traveling slightly difficult. Overall the ship was great, the staff excellent, and the weather wonderful. We already miss being on board. We were sad to see no April 2020 ships from NJ, except a transatlantic ship which does not fulfill our spring break needs. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We traveled on Anthem with our two sons (4 and 6) and my mom (71). We purchased The Key, and the original reason is because although my son has autism, RCI does not offer priority disembarking for ports of call. It was completely worth it ... Read More
We traveled on Anthem with our two sons (4 and 6) and my mom (71). We purchased The Key, and the original reason is because although my son has autism, RCI does not offer priority disembarking for ports of call. It was completely worth it to skip the lines getting on and off the ship. We had a special lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Italian which was just okay. Occasionally RCI would leave us treats like fruit or cookies in our stateroom, which was pleasant. And the day we disembarked, we had a fabulous special breakfast in the dining room. The VOOM internet service is the fastest at sea, which makes me feel sad for anyone using slower internet. Streaming was near impossible. I downloaded iQ app which took at least 15 minutes. If we didn’t get it with The Key I wouldn’t have paid for it. The Royal iQ app left quite a lot to be desired. It would have been nice to actually see menus for restaurants, give shop opening hours, and allow you to chat with guest services. The service set the experience apart from other vacations. Almost everyone was helpful and nice. Our dining room hostess, Elizabeth, was amazing. She really took the initiative to get to know us and our children. Every morning the boys looked forward to seeing her. Our housekeeper, Daisy, was also great. She set up the impossible pull out bed every afternoon. Adorable towel animals always accompanied our turn down service. And she always wanted to know how she could help make our stay great. We sent the boys to Adventure Ocean kids’ club, which they liked. At first they split the boys up according to age, but that made my older son with ASD uncomfortable, so the next time we asked if they could stay together and they said okay - and after that they had a wonderful time. The pools were nice and of course on a nice day you’d need to fight for a chair or encounter some children being wild or jerks. Nothing atypical. They were clean and of average size. I liked how they offer life vests for babies and little kids. The food was generally okay. Windjammer was basically cafeteria quality. Dining room was good - breakfast excellent, dinner just okay. You can get anything customized which was good for our picky children. We ate at Chops which was a disappointment, unfortunately. My steak was over cooked and the lobster bisque too salty. We were there 90 minutes and decided to skip dessert because it was taking so long. Izumi was really great, yummy ramen. The Dog House had excellent hot dogs. Jamie’s featured gummy calamari and only 4 shrimp in my pasta. The bread was good though. Everything is expensive if you want something more than what you get with your ticket. Shop prices exorbitant. $10-13 for alcoholic drinks, which were just okay. Cococay was beautiful. It’ll be better once they finish the new water park. We loved the pool. The lunch was better than on the ship. The only drawback was the super long walk, and once you get on the island there are very few paved paths, making it take forever to get anywhere, especially with little kids. The on board activities were fun. My husband and son did the iFly and enjoyed it. They liked the bumper cars and the games like table tennis and corn hole toss. We skipped roller skating after we met someone who broke her leg after someone crashed into her. We went to see “We Will Rock You” and the sound was mixed so badly our chests hurt from the bass. Combine that with rough waters and my seasickness was so bad we left 30 minutes in. The story was disappointing anyhow (not RCI’s fault) so we didn’t feel like we missed much. My younger son got a fever and we had to take him to the infirmary. It turned out to be an ear infection. What a smooth experience - I wish urgent care on land was so efficient. They saw us in triage, we waited 5 minutes more, saw the doctor, he checked our son out, and we had antibiotics. The entire encounter was less than 45 minutes. Unfortunately even with an ear infection, my son had to be quarantined to our cabin for 24 hours so we missed our excursion to Nassau. No problem, though. Our money was refunded. All in all, we had a very nice time. I’m not sure I’ll go again, just because of my seasickness. RCI runs a class act, fabulous service. Read Less

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