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We returned home late last night after a long day of travel from Barcelona. I wanted to post my thoughts about the cruise, so here goes - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
Weather - Perfect with the exception of one sea day.
Itinerary - Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! The itinerary included 3 sea days - enough to relax and enjoy the ship.
The Ship - Beautiful, well maintained and easy to navigate. Our cabin (Outside) was mid-ship and nice - loved the very large window. Outdoor dining was a large area with pleantly of seating - it was usually not a problem to find a table for breakfast or lunch. We never had a problem finding chairs around the pool area.
Crown and Anchor Gift - A nice tote bag - much better than the fanny pack.
Ship's Excurions - We took two - The Amalfi Drive in Naples and wine tasting in Livorno - both were very good. The rest of our tours were private.
Service in the dining room - While we had problems with food, the dining room staff went out of their way to correct the problems and make us happy. They were great!
Food - While I did have a few good dinners in the dining room, overall the food was disapointing. I peronally did not care for the new menu and while the Ranch Steak has been replaced with a sirloin, in my oppinion it was tough and never cooked as ordered. One night we did have a filet that was fairly good. Overall, I would rate the food a C+ with a couple of B-'s. Windjammer food for breakfast was fine as well as lunch, but they do not do burgers outside,(with the exception of one sea day) but rather serve them from a tray with cooked onions on them - just not the same.
Entertainment - Because of the international mix of the passengers, most entertainment consisted of musical performances, which ranged from good to excellent with the exception of the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, who were really lousy singers. Dancing was fine, but the four main vocalists need to be replaced.
Spa - I had two services - a massage and a pedicure - both were fine, but there was an additional charge for the Thermal Suite even with the massage -something that is included with Princess.
Pillows were terrible!
The only bath amenity was a shampoo dispenser in the shower. No lotion, shower cap, special soap, unlike Princess, which has products from the Lotus Spa.
Food - The Windjammer closed at 9:30 every evening and the only food available after that time was at the Seaview Cafe, which was pretty good, but only offered a limited menu. There was a coffee and hot tea station set up by the Windjammer, but no iced tea - which my husband and I like to drink. The Gala Buffet was the night before Naples - and should have been the next night, which was before a sea day.
Closet - WAY too small and very little room for shoes - really only enough room for 4 or 5 pairs - we had to leave the rest outside the closet. Not a huge amount of drawer space either.
Tenders - Only 2 ran for the entire ship the day in Cannes. It took forever to get back on.
Overall Evaluation - The itinerary made up for any shortfalls from RCCL and we had a great group of CC folks onboard. Lots of fun and great memories. BUT, this was probably my last RCCL cruise. They simply don't offer what I'm looking for in a cruise.
I'll be happy to answer any questions for those of you sailing later this season.
"Entertainment - Because of the international mix of the passengers, most entertainment consisted of musical performances, which ranged from good to excellent with the exception of the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, who were really lousy singers. Dancing was fine, but the four main vocalists need to be replaced."
Thanks for the review. Would you say there was a good mix of Americans and British on board? How deep was the main pool and is it suitable for kids?
Ship was approximately 60% North American. Many Spaniards and Asians. We only met a few Brits, but I would imagine there were more on board that we realized. All announcements were made in English and Spanish and occasionally, French and German.
Few children were in the main pool - it was probably 5' deep. However, the kids area was really great. There was a pool with a very nice water slide, the rock climbing wall, mini golf, and a basketball court. Most of the families were up in this area.