This was my me and my wife's first cruise ever\, despite living in Florida (the land of Disney and cruise ships). We decided to take this cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.
Overall\, I had a hard time deciding between a \"Good\" or \"Average\" rating.
One of the worst parts of our trip was the \"premium beverage\" package that we purchased for $440 ($220 per person). I'll mention it here as I don't think it fits comfortably into any of the sub-categories below. The package (a fairly new invention by Royal Caribbean) allows the holder to essentially pre-pay for all beverage purchases on-board. No more shocking \"Sea-Pas\" invoice when you get back home with $10 margaritas\, and $5 draft beers. Instead\, you pay before hand and drink all you want.
My wife and I\, while not heavy drinkers\, didn't want to be concerned about the price of this drink or that drink. We just wanted to have a fun\, all-inclusive kind of experience. So\, we purchased the \"premium beverage package\". We also pre-paid our gratuities for the same reason.
The biggest hang-up came when trying to order non-alcoholic beverages: specifically soda. RC has a system of using two\, self-service soda fountains for soda drinks. They want you to purchase a special soda mug that unlocks these fountains. My wife and I\, having already purchased the end-all\, be-all of beverage packages (and being assured by RC that the package included all lesser packages) were shocked to be informed that all our soda would need to come from a bar... not a soda fountain. Bars don't open until 11\, 12 or later... depending on where you are in the ship.
We complained to Guest Services and after about 15 minutes of pleading our case were provided with a free fountain mug under the strict guidelines that we NOT mention this to any other guests and in the future we purchase the soda fountain package in ADDITION to the premium beverage package.
Given that this package is so new to RC\, I'm
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Overall\, we were disappointed by the food on RC. Maybe our expectations were too high or this was just a bad cruise/ship. The end result was the same: lack-luster.
The My Fair Lady Dining Room's food quality was okay. The Windjammer Cafe (the buffet location on Enchantment) served about the same line-up for each breakfast and lunch we attended - the quality was always less than we had hoped.
Chops Grille's fare was quite good. However\, you have to pay $30 each to eat at this specialty restaurant and\, I guess\, its what I expected to be eating at dinner every night (without having to pay more than what I had already paid).
1 out of 5
The musicians throughout the ship were great\, but the \"Broadway quality stage shows\" were lacking the Broadway quality. Again\, this may be a tempered expectations situation\, given that this was our first cruise. None-the-less\, we were disappointed.
Also\, their karaoke was never more than an hour long. Personally\, I've never been to a karaoke bar that tried to fit all their singers in in one hour. If everyone's enjoying themselves\, why cut it off?
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Everyone we met was friendly and willing to help. Some staff wasn't well-informed about some questions we asked\, but everyone was happy to try.
3 out of 5
The ship is not massive\, by modern standards and some of the furniture and decoration is dated. None-the-less\, I never experienced any cleanliness issues and everything was in good order.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
My wife and I loved our room - always clean and well-kept\, it was lovely. We opted for a room with a balcony and I don't regret the extra we paid for a moment. Our own private views while sailing\, arriving or departing ports of call\, was one of the high-lights of our trip.
Our attendant\, while soft-spoken and shy\, did a great job on everything we asked of him - with one exception.
When arriving on board\, we noticed that our fridge was empty with the exception of two diet coke cans. Our attendant said he would \"take care of that\". On the last day of our cruise\, we noticed that the fridge was now full of bottled-water and various sodas - like a hotel mini-bar.
What surprised us is our sea-pass account was charged for emptying the fridge\, when we never touched it. Apparently they had missed what the previous cruisers had removed and thought to tack it onto our bill?
I called RC customer service\, but they can't do anything about it for a few days. Hopefully all will be fixed.
Pros: Room and Staff were top notch
Cons: Food was merely okay\, drink package has flaws\, entertainment lacking
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