The ship was very pretty, had most of what we like in elegant decor to delight our senses and keep us dazzled. The food, too, was very good, possibly the best we have experienced in a wealth of cruises we have taken with a variety of ... Read More
The ship was very pretty, had most of what we like in elegant decor to delight our senses and keep us dazzled. The food, too, was very good, possibly the best we have experienced in a wealth of cruises we have taken with a variety of cruise lines. We had an inside cabin off the Royal Promenade, which meant we had a window that looked down at the shoppers. The room, itself, was very nice, with a window seat as well as a little couch, besides the desk chair. It was roomy, with enough nooks for storage for our short 4-day cruise, that I would consider to book such a cabin again.
However, the bed was hard - I mean board hard! Our quality of sleep was not good for the 4 nights. We tossed and turned most of the night, only to fall asleep and wake much later in the morning because we had no sense of day or night because of being in an inside. This sleep pattern disrupted our usual cruising routine. Anxious to start using the Workout room, we went straight there the first morning. The weight-powered machines were adequate, but when we attempted to use the bikes, treadmill, etc. they all were password accessible. The place hummed with activity, and I saw no staff member there that would assist us in how to activate any of these equipment. So... we left, and never returned to the workout room for the duration of the cruise.
We dined twice in the dining room with our open dining option, and the service was good both times. We actually made a reservation for those dining nights when we first boarded the ship. I asked the staff taking our reservation which night was formal nigh, and he informed me that they do not do formal nights anymore. Having packed my husband’s suit, I was disappointed this wasn’t made clear on their webpage. We cruised with my daughter and her family, and I hoped to get a nice picture of us all decked out in our best attire. Originally the formal night is the second night of shorter cruises, but we chose a different night to go to the dining room, to better fit with our daytime plans. But what I wasn’t told is that RCI or maybe just this ship does a Dress Up anyway you Like evening which is the same as formal night, and all the photographers were on hand... and we missed it as we sat upstairs in the Windjammer enjoying the casualness of the night, unknowing...
The focus on hand-washing as people entered the Windjammer was humorous, with staffers playing guitars, singing and prancing around “washy-wash your hands, scrubby, scrub your hands” to popular tunes, and with the exception of one very tuneful fellow, sung painfully off key. The service there was good to excellent, but I found the tables so close together, and the chairs difficult to move on the carpet, that it was a struggle to get up and return to your table, weaving through tables and chairs heavy with other diners.
No more pretty glassware is given in the specialty drink. I was told that stopped, even though their website still shows pictures of those lovely glasses. Huge disappointment, hoping to add to my collection. But about the drinks, it costs around $15 per glass. Plan to drop $30+ for two drinks... making those high priced “drink plans” a better choice for some.
Bingo was rather a disappointment, too. Less games, higher prices. No fun Bingo Lingo. Rush, rush, rush. And the same for all the Trivia gatherings we experienced. Boring.
Regarding the dance and singing talent of the theatre shows, It was an experience we could have better spent watching TV in our cabin room. But, ah, there were no movies to be seen on that TV without paying $12 to rent. This included movies the ship was showing poolside each day. It didn’t seem fair. So, hanging in the room was not an option on this ship. But lounging in the Solarium was a real relaxing. Bring a good book or two, and find a pool bed. Or maybe a hammock on the upper open decks. But if you grab a towel or two, be warned that if you will need to show your sea pass, and then must return them, Showing your sea pass again. Maybe bring your own beach towels might be the better choice?
If you are real savvy with technology, then maneuvering the RCI Ap to find out what’s going on day-to-day, hour-to-hour will be all you need on your phone, providing it is no more than a couple years old model. Otherwise, you can still tote around the paper version, as we did. The Ap was difficult to navigate, and caused more frustration than convenience.
We stopped at CocoCay, and it is huge. Daughter had booked a beach bed for her family, and when she stepped off the pier entrance, there were no signs to direct her to where they were. They went to the nearest beach, and walked the sand till they found them an hour later. Later it was discovered that there was an exclusive transport cart to take people to the private beach where rage beach beds were. It took us longer to find them, as we dragged our rented water mats along with our beach bag. We stopped to ask where the beach beds were, and staffers there were clueless till one took the measures to investigate, and put us “elderly” people on a cart transport to the exact beach. It was a nice, quiet beach, I mean very nice. The kids spent the day finding all sorts of sea creatures in the shallows and along their walk through the sandbars. But the beach was far removed from the fun children’s activities, so put on your walking shoes when visiting CocoCay.
The second port stop was at Nassau. We stayed on the ship, We noticed that the pier was different. They have added more piers changing the look of the cruise port entrance. It had been a few years since we last were docked in Nassau.
And lastly, our final bill. We compared the cost to what they changed our credit card, and it did not jive. I have inquired with RCI and have not received a response from them. And, no, we did not a make any additional purchases on our last day. So...? Be mindful that their bookkeeping might have some chinks in their otherwise Royal Caribbean armor. Read Less