This was my second cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, and I must say, even for a slightly older ship, it was first class all the way! My first RC cruise was on the Quantum, which even though it was brand new, classy, and glamourous, the ... Read More
This was my second cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, and I must say, even for a slightly older ship, it was first class all the way! My first RC cruise was on the Quantum, which even though it was brand new, classy, and glamourous, the service was not 100% there. I used to cruise on NCL, but after a terrible experience on the Gem, I will probably stick to Royal.
This was a totally spontaneous, solo cruise. I needed to get away from N.Y.C. I purchased the last room on the ship. A junior suite, no less, the day before it was to sail, for a good price. I have been in a junior suite once before on NCL Breakaway, and was not impressed. It was really no better than a balcony room. I was excited to try a junior suite on RC.
Embarkation was quick. I got there at 11:30, through a short security line, and even shorter priority boarding line. I was on the ship by noon.
I went to their pizza shop on deck 5 instead of the buffet, of course, and waited till 1 for the rooms to be ready. Here is when I was totally impressed...
The Junior Suite: when they say Royal Wow, they mean it. It was a really large room, two big windows, extra long balcony with a table, two chairs, and two loungers. The bed was huge! It also had a big sofa, lounger, TV, make up table, coffeemaker, cabinets, drawers, large bathroom with tub, and the coolest part, a big walk in closet! It had one side with metal racks, the other hangers, and a lot of floor space for my shoes, and luggage. The room attendant was great. He always had my room ready, clean, and with towel animals.
I was alone half the time. I met up with some new friends along the way. The activities I attended ranged from interesting lectures, trivia, to dance classes. I love to dance, and the ship had some great parties at night. If not, at least there was a decent club to dance at. When I wasn't dancing, I was walking around, or at the gym to stay fit. The gym was a pretty good size, and had plenty of machines. Good time to be there was early afternoon. Less crowded.
The food was pretty good, too. I would eat my breakfast at the Windjammer. I eat healthy, and found plenty of healthy options. Lunch was also at the Windjammer, or a slice of pizza at Sorrento's. Dinner was on my time. I had my own table every night (but would chat with people around me), at the Botticelli dinning room. I enjoyed most of the food. My waiter, Daryl, was fabulous! He always was helpful, and attentive.
The entertainment was pretty good. I only missed out on the ice stating show, which I heard was great, but I'll check it out next time. Saturday Night Fever was okay, but I think I enjoyed Mama Mia a little better on my last cruise. The comics were funny, and they also had some good magic shows.
Our port stops were Bermuda, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Labadee. I have been to Bermuda before, but missed out on Horseshoe Bay. It was nice, but a bit crowded. I took a little bus there ($16). I enjoyed the hot beach, but went back early to do some shopping in Kings Warf. St. Maarten was great! It rained that whole morning, but I still took a cab to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes. I go to Maho Beach every time I'm there. I had plenty of time to walk around Philipsburg with my new cruise friends. In Puerto Rico, I took a bus tour of Old, and New San Juan. We also had time to check out the fort. I think I'll skip a tour next time, and walk around town on my own. We didn't really have time to do that since we were only there from 7 to 1. Labadee is really nice! I got a chair, and just relaxed till lunch time. They serve a good buffet on the beach. I didn't go on the zip line (next time), but walked around the shopping area. A word of advice: they are very pushy, so be careful. I did my usual New Yorker walk, and luckily wasn't bothered too much. Some people were forced into buying things. I'm skipping that area next time.
I enjoyed my last sea days going to trivia, lectures, and dancing with friends. Didn't buy much in the shops. Mostly relaxed on my huge balcony with a book, or music.
Disembarkation was actually semi organized. I left my room at 7 (self checkout), got in a long line (but we could put our luggage down, and sit), and was out just before 8. Security was a breeze, then out, and into my car, back to New York.
I really enjoyed my vacation, and was really impressed with the service. Even though the price is a little more than NCL, I think it's worth it. For the foreseeable future, I will be sailing with Royal Caribbean. I enjoy the food, accommodations, and service. I will be sailing again on the Liberty in September, but to Canada/New England. This time in an interior room to save money for my next cruise, after that, on the Anthem. Stay tuned. Read Less