Even with the cabin flooding issue and sea pass mix-up, I will sail RCCL again. Overall the cruise was great and I realize that the situation we encountered was an isolated incident (although the whole thing could have been avoided had the maintenance worker been quicker to turn the water off and the guest services staff taking care of the room switch paid closer attention in issuing the new sea pass cards...they actually got ours mixed up with another couple who were also moved). It helped that they applied the $100 credit and gave us a 20% discount for another sailing (although we're still waiting for that voucher). If not for those issues, it would have been a great cruise and a great value for the money.
5 out of 5
Sped through at 12:30 with no lines. The whole process took about 15 minutes. My father-in-law has difficulty walking, so the staff at the port provided a wheelchair and assistant who wheeled him all the way to the ship. Note that this is a complimentary service, but they do accept tips.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We ate in the main dining room for lunch and dinner (excellent food and selection during both time settings), the buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (good selection but it didn't change much, especially for breakfast), and the deli (great sandwiches). We also had coffee at the specialty coffee place, which was delicious. Desserts in all venues were delicious and plenty, with a large variety to choose from (especially in the buffet). We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants and don't feel like we missed out on any great meals. As for cocktails, we mostly had wine, but the few cocktails we did order were tasty (but pretty weak in terms of alcohol).
4 out of 5
Most nights we found ourselves in the Centrum area listening to the bands playing and dancing (especially to the music by the Latin band, they were great). We made our way to the nightclub one night. The music was good, typical DJ music. The dance floor was pretty small for a nightclub, but there seemed to be plenty of room to dance as not a lot of people got out there, except on very popular songs. We didn't hang by the pool except for the last sea day, as the weather wasn't warm enough. On that one sea day, people were out having a good time. There seemed to be plenty of lounge chairs for sunbathing and plenty of room in the hot tubs.
4 out of 5
The Latin band was excellent. The stage shows were entertaining and seemed to be well choreographed. The performers were very talented. We saw one comedian (can't remember his name) and he was pretty funny. I chuckled some, but didn't LOL! :) We didn't play in the casino at all, although my in-laws and our friends did. My mother-in-law won about $190 in total. The others didn't win but didn't lose much either. There always seemed to be plenty of slot machines and table spots open. Only issue with the casino is the smoke. I am not a smoker so you notice the smell right away. Unfortunately, you have to walk through the casino to get from the front of the ship to the back, unless you go up or down a floor first.
We didn't have children with us, so we didn't experience the children's programs. There were some kids on board, but it wasn't overrun with kids running and screaming (like on some other cruises). Most (if not all) of the kids we encountered were very well behaved.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
This is where things get sticky. For the most part, the service and staff were great! On the morning (very early morning...5:30) of the last sea day, our toilet started spouting water like a faucet. We called to guest services immediately and were told they would send somebody right down. 10 minutes later, the water started seeping in from the closed bathroom into the main cabin. We called again to let them know and were told again, they had someone on the way. Another 10 minutes later, the carpet in our cabin was sopping wet, and the water was still coming. This time I decided to go to guest services in person, but I ran into a maintenance worker at the end of the hall. As I approached him, he was on his radio saying he didn't see any problem. I interrupted him and directed him down the hall to our room where the carpet in the main hall in front of our cabin was now sopping wet. He turned off the water at the main line outside and left (didn't tell us anything). We assumed someone was coming, but nobody else showed up for another 15-20 minutes, and then they were vacuuming up the water from the cabin next door (who had only minor issues). I asked what about our cabin, he seemed surprised that our cabin "also" needed to be vacuumed up and said he would call his supervisor. He finally came in our cabin and said the carpet would need to be replaced and left. We didn't know what we were supposed to do, so we waited. About half an hour later, the housekeeping supervisor and another maintenance worker came and said they would be replacing the carpet at 8 am, but that they would send someone to clean up our bathroom right away (they fixed the issue and got the water turned back on). We waited and waited (and fell back to sleep). Nobody ever came to clean the bathroom. I wasn't going use it with toilet water all over the place. Finally at 9:30 they came back and told us they were moving us and that we needed to pack everything up RIGHT NOW! So, we had 15 minutes to get everything crammed into our suitcases. They brought us to our new room and told us they needed to get the new sea pass cards made up and would leave them on the counter in our room if we were not in when they were ready. We just needed to get the room steward to open our room for us. We went to breakfast and when we came back, the cards were in the room. Only problem, the new cards had our name but not the room number we were now in (they had a different room number). We tried the cards, they didn't work. The room steward said he would call it in and they would place a corrected set in our room again if we would out when they were ready. We came back about 5 pm to get ready for dinner. We had to hunt down the room steward (took about 15 minutes). The cards were in our room, we tried them, they didn't work AGAIN!! Room steward called to his supervisor who informed him to tell us we needed to go to guest services in person. We went to guest services and explained the situation. The guy who helped us was great, polite, understanding. He finished creating new cards and said he was going to get his supervisor to come talk with us. He was gone at least 15 minutes. When he came back, there was no supervisor with him (which was somewhat irritating to me as I felt our situation did warrant a discussion with a senior person). He told us they had authorized to apply a $100 credit to our on-board account (as well as a 20% discount for the next cruise), then he walked down with us to make sure the cards worked fine (which they finally did). Unfortunately, all this card fiasco caused us to be late in meeting our family and friends for the last dinner and we all wound up eating in the buffet instead of the main dining room as planned.
4 out of 5
The design was good, except the issue of needing to walk through the smoked-filled casino to get from the front to the back on that particular floor. Everything was clean and well maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The cabin was par for the course for an inside cabin. Plenty of closet and drawer space, and the bathroom was adequate. They provide a shampoo/conditioner combo in the shower and a bar of hand soap and bar of gentle cleanser. If you ask, the cabin steward will bring you tubes of body lotion and shower gel. The bed was a little soft for my taste (I prefer a firm mattress), but not so soft that I woke up in pain. The cabin temperature was easily adjustable via the thermostat on the wall by the phone. It warmed up quickly when we set it higher and cooled down quickly when set lower.
It's a surprisingly small ship, so be prepared for that if you're used to the mega ships. Given that, it definitely did not feel crowded.
We took a ship excursion to Merida City ($39). It was a pleasant trip. The bus ride was comfortable and pretty short. The tour guide spoke the entire bus ride there (but not coming back), so it seemed even shorter. In town we walked to a few of the sites and got a brief history of each. Then we had an hour for shopping or lunch. I really don't think that is enough time for both. We had about 45 minutes to shop the port shops once we returned.
I always love visiting Cozumel. We just went on our own. We took a taxi ($8 for up to 4 people or $12 for 5 people...we had 5) into downtown area where there are tons of shops and open air restaurants. We shopped some, then hung out at a place called Woody's for lunch and beverages. They had a guitar player who was AWESOME!!! Very enjoyable afternoon. The port (international pier, I believe) is loaded with shops as well, so this is a shopper's paradise).
4 out of 5
Here we had a little hiccup getting off the ship. First, we had to wait until most passengers were off before we could get off since we were needing wheelchair assistance again. We just waited in the Centrum area until we were called (which was fine). When we went to get our cards scanned to get off, mine pulled up a picture of some random guy (obviously not me), while my husband's didn't work at all (this was all part of the switched room mix-up). It took the staff member at the kiosk about 10 minutes to get it cleared up for us to actually get off. In the end, I think she just wrote down our names and room number and was going to take care of it manually later). We found our luggage easily (as we were among the last to disembark). Again, with wheelchair assistance, they wheeled us to a special line (with nobody ahead of us) to show our passports and then we were off.
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