This is my 11th cruise (6th one with RCI). My husband and I were on this ship in 1988 when it was new and THE ship to be on. It was wonderful then and STILL wonderful. (I was told they will finish updates/renovations in November - so that will be terrific).
4 night Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral. Two families of 4. Kids ages 7, 13, 14, 15. Parents in mid 30's, early 40's range.
We arrived at Port Canaveral early (before 11am), went thru checkin and proceeded upstairs to get our boarding passes, then waited in line to embark. A wedding party embarked first and then our two families were the next ones on board. Eating at Windjammer by 11:30am!! Amazingly smooth and fast. It helped that we left on a Monday and no other ships were in port. (Special tip - bring bath suit and sunblock to change into, if room is not ready yet and no luggage arrives - at least you can lounge by pool and bar in comfort. Alot of people were in too warm clothing and sweltered in the sun)
Upon arrival into ship atrium - they had the Adventure Ocean Club signups for the kids, the soda card purchases,wine at dinner purchases, and a complimentary cup of rum punch waiting for you! It was extremely organized. We needed to change our dinner seating from 2nd to 1st and have 8 people sit together. We met the Maityr'd and within 10 minutes were switched to 1st seating in Gigi.
Ate dinner in Gigi every night. Food ranged from good to excellent. Service was outstanding (we had Nickoli and Bellman-yes, it's his real name). 2 breakfast in dining room were great. All lunches and other were in Windjammer. Breakfast-scrambled eggs were tasty, sausages good, fresh fruits and all typical buffet stuff - good. I personally liked the VERY strong Seattle coffee - but I can see why some would not like that. It borders on expresso strong.
Entertainment was great. Juggler, Vegas style music in Finneran's Rainbow and Music Man lounges, jazz session and upbeat piano playing in the Schooner Bar. Last night on ship, Follie's Landing reopened (there was some water damage from pool pipe leak) - 2nd pool was up and running by Tuesday. 1st pool was ready Monday afternoon before sailing). The new singers and dancers for Sovereign had their debut night on Thursday. They did Rock n Roll Broadway - short skits from Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, and a few others. Great singing and dancing and very high tech screens and sounds system - was definitely updated !
Room steward Susanna was efficient. First night was not that great-never really saw her and had some miscommunications. But starting Day two and throughout the cruise-she was nothing short of perfect. You just need to ask and they will fix it for you (for anything during your cruise, just talk to someone at the Purser's desk or directly to your waiter, steward, etc. It WILL be fixed. I found the staff on this ship extremely helpful and friendly and seemed to really LIKE their jobs.
We fully utilized Adventure Ocean Club for 6-8 yr old for my daughter who is 7. OUTSTANDING team. I cannot say enough about them. Many many activities, and during day in Nassau - they provided kid club from 8am through 5pm !!! Then again 7pm til 1am (small fee after 10pm to 1am - $5 per hour) - every night!!. She did NOT want to leave and neither did the other children. Staff was superb. My son is 15 and only hung out at the Teen Club alittle bit with the 13 and 14 year olds. They said it was fun, but I find that the teens prefer to hang by the pool, game room, and play basketball - oh, and SLEEP.
All in all, I rate this trip a solid 9 out of 10 (but that's only because I was spoiled from being on the Serenade of the Seas last Sept - a new RCI ship).