The ship was one of the most beautiful ships we have traveled on. My husband and I have cruised approx. 12 times, with 2 of them being on Royal Caribbean. We generally travel on Carnival due to the less expensive cost for a family of 4, but the difference in cost is well worth the differences on the ship. I was impressed with all of the fun things to do for teenagers, such as rock climbing, in line skating, ice skating, basketball, and mini golf. The restaurant was beautiful - very elegant - and the food was delicious. Even the buffet food was delicious, with a wide range from pizza and sandwiches, to chicken marsala and pasta dishes. We enjoyed the quaint promenade cafe in the late evenings, just to share coffee and dessert. The parades were an unexpected surprise, and the ice show was outstanding.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Loved the decor and quality of the food in the dinner restaurant, and the windjammer buffet was delicious with a great panoramic view.
5 out of 5
The shows were very good, especially the ice skating show. We took one of the dance lessons (salsa), but they offered many more. The cruise director Dennis was very enthusiastic and fun.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff was very friendly and very willing to answer questions. I went to the "Ladies Night" in the spa - excellent value!
5 out of 5
Although the ship is huge, it did not feel too large to navigate. Everything was very clean and in tip top shape.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
We had a ocean view room and it was very nice for a ship's cabin, but it seemed smaller than other ships we have cruised on. Also, Carnival offers robes to their guests, and I was a little disappointed that we did not have them on Royal Caribbean. Also, we booked the cruise for a couple with older children. We received a room with 2 twin bottom beds and 2 bunkbeds. Although this is our 27th anniversary, and we are not newlyweds, we still like to sleep together. This seemed odd to me that this wasn't assumed and taken care of when it was obvious that is what we expected. We pushed the twin beds together each night, but it was very unconfortable sleeping "in the crack".
Labadee was beautiful with many water activities available. It is a little crowded when you step onto the island, but if you walk around, you can find lounge chairs or hammocks that are relatively quiet. As soon as we stepped onto the island, we were bombarded with people trying to find chairs for us for a tip. I would have liked to get my bearings before I sat down in the middle of the throngs. I was looking forward to shopping in their flea market, but it is extremely high pressure sales. If you even glance at something, they assume you want it and try to sell it to you. Also, most of it is the same thing over and over, not much variety.
We went shopping and took a taxi to "Paradise Beach". We asked the locals which beach was the best and this was their recommendation. It took about 15 minutes by taxi ($12) to get there. They had changing rooms, restrooms, a restaurant, gift shop, and all kinds of water activities. The only thing that cost money was the water activities ($9 for all.)
Although Jamaica is a little high pressure in the sales, not as bad as Labadee. We were warned to stay together and with a group by our room steward. We climbed Dunn's River Falls (our third time.) I would highly recommend this activity for any family with children over 5 or 6, and with adults that are steady on their feet. It is very different and exhilerating. They have photographers that take pictures along the way for a price of $8. The cruise ship photographers also takes pictures if you don't like the ones at the falls. Our excursion also went snorkeling. Pretty much a waste of time snorkeling. We only saw a few fish, but it was nice to get in the water.
We chose not to do stingray city this time since we have been there 4 times before (although it is wonderful.) This time we decided to go "reef and wreck" snorkeling. That was the best snorkeling we have ever done. The price was cheap ($28), and we saw more tropical fish than I have ever seen snorkeling. I was a little concerned when I saw how big the boat was and how many people were going. I was positive that it would be very disorganized. To my amazement, the crew was extremely organized and we were in the water with our (nice) gear on very quickly. It was also a pleasant surprise to see the boat had a glass bottom.
Don't Miss: Reef and Wreck snorkeling or Stingray City
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