We Flew into Miami on the 6am flight. We arrived at the pier at approximately 10:30am. There were no lines at all and we were checked in and given our room keys right away. We were then told to go stand in line and wait until they could let us on the ship. This was a disaster. We ended up standing in line for two and a half hours until 1:00pm. Supposedly, immigration was giving the guests departing the ship from the cruise week before us a hard time and this caused the long delays.
Our room was a larger oceanview family stateroom. It had the 2 beds pushed together and a sofa sleeper that was a double bed. My boys had to share the sofa sleeper. There were lumps at every break in the cushions and the feet area was about a foot lower than the head area so they were sleeping on an angle. I complained to our room steward and he said the bed was broken but no one came and fixed it the entire week. When the sofa sleeper bed was fully opened there was no way to walk from the queen size bed to the bathroom. You literally had to climb onto the sofa bed every time you had to go to the bathroom. It was a nightmare and not pleasant for the entire week. The steward opened the sofa bed while we were at dinner and the entire evening before we went to bed we had to deal with this sofa sleeper in our way. Each morning as we showered and got ready to leave the cabin we had to deal with the sofa bed again, as the steward didnâ?Tt close it until late morning.
This ship has lots of extras in the area of entertainment for kids and that is one of the reasons that we picked the Navigator. But only one of my sons got to do rock climbing and only one time. There was a special time on a couple of the sea days when kids were allowed to do the climbing wall. The first 20 kids to show up were allowed to climb and the rest were sent away. This made it very difficult for my kids to get a chance with over 1500 kids on our cruise during the week. As far as roller blading went, it was not clearly marked where the roller blade skates were given o, and therefore they never even tried roller blading all week. The ice rink was only open in the morning for free skate from 9am - 11am on a couple days at sea and my kids never woke up this early to try ice skating so again they didnâ?Tt use the facilities that I paid a premium for by booking the Navigator. I booked this ship thinking they would have a ball doing all these different activities when in actuality they werenâ?Tt necessary for their enjoyment of the cruise.
The entertainment on this ship was excellent. Ken Rush was the cruise director and he was full of life and very entertaining. He is one of the best cruise directors I have seen at sea. The Broadway type shows were good and the comedians they had were also good. We usually went to the theater about a half hour early to be sure to get a seat. The house was jam packed each night. The ice show was great too. Just a pain to get tickets for the ice show. If you have first seating of dinner the best show is on Tuesday at 9pm after dinner. For this particular show the tickets are given out in the first 10 minutes after the line opens. People had to wake up extremely early on their first day at sea to stand in line to get these tickets. Other options for first seating dinner were at 7:30pm (had to rush thru dinner to make this show) or 5:15pm on the 2nd formal night. Who wants to get ready early for formal night dinner and then go to ice show dressed formally. But the ice show is definitely not to be missed. We were exhausted the first morning of the cruise but forced ourselves to wake up early to get in line for these tickets.
There were two different parades going down the promenade at midnight. One was the first evening and was called the Welcome Aboard parade. There was a second parade near the end of the cruise called the Mardi Gras Parade. These were fun to watch.
They had only one midnight buffet. Viewing and picture taking was until 12:45am. And they didnâ?Tt even open it up for eating until 1:00am. We didnâ?Tt even stay up to try the food. It was just way too late to gorge ourselves.
This was our 11th cruise and our first on Royal Caribbean and we felt the food was not good. I didn't even gain one pound. The choices were terrible and the food was not prepared properly. Everything was hard and tough and tasteless. We were really disappointed in the dining room food. The buffets were typical cruise food and were fine. The desserts were all horrible and tasteless too!!! I was shocked. The ice cream machines were always broken. The buffet closes at 9pm each night so no late night snacking. They had a little shop on the promenade with a Ben and Jerryâ?Ts ice cream for $2.75 scoop which was open 24 hours a day. This place also had cookies and pizza all night long. It had desserts and little sandwiches which werenâ?Tt very good. My favorite thing on the cruise were the cookies. I lived on cookies most of the week.
The teen program was very poorly run and I was really surprised at this knowing how many people chose Royal Caribbean because of there childrenâ?Ts programs. Activities were listed on the daily planner for teens and when my teens would arrive at the center the counselor wouldnâ?Tt run the programs, he would just say that it was â?ochill timeâ?. My boys were very upset by this having cruised Carnival and Princess in the past and having a fantastic time in the teen program, Royal Caribbean was a real let down for them.
The pop card was the most expensive I have seen on a cruise line at $35. This is expensive and you have to drink a lot of pop to get your moneys worth. If you want to celebrate a birthday in the dining room they expect you to pay $8 for the little cake that they will bring to your table. If you want to watch a cable type movie in your cabin you have to pay $12 for the experience. If you wanted to try out Johnny Rockets for burgers and milkshakes you had to pay $3.95 per person for the experience. This was the only restaurant on the ship that was open until 1:00am for snacking and you had to pay for the privilege.
There are 2 outdoor pools on this ship but one of the pools was always being used for scuba diving lessons and was closed. When you are on a ship with 3200 people and one pool isnâ?Tt even available most of the day and it is hot out, this is not a good thing. There was one other pool which was considered adults only, but chair space at this pool was limited and it was next to impossible to ever get a seat around this pool except on port days. None of the pools were heated and all of the pools were filled with salt water.
I had a relaxing week at sea, but truthfully I was not thrilled with Royal Caribbean. My boys were very upset with the teen program. There was a game room on this ship and all games were priced from $2 and up. Using a room card the games could be played.
Now that travel agents are not allowed to discount Royal Caribbean, I really donâ?Tt think it will be worthwhile to book a Royal Caribbean ship in the future. The prices are extremely expensive without discounts and I feel what Royal Caribbean is offering is no better than some of the other lines where discounting will still be available. The ship was beautiful not gawdy like Carnival, but it really didnâ?Tt offer anything special to warrant paying the extra money needed to sail this line. They seem to nickel and dime the customer once they are onboard. Charging for birthday cakes and in room movies, things that used to be free while onboard.