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We live about an hour from Port Canaveral so we left our house about 10:30 and were aboard the ship by noon. The check-in was very easy and we are Diamond Crown and Anchor members so we didn't have to wait in a line. The lines were still pretty short still anyway. Do not arrive at the port before 11:00 am. as you won't be allowed into the garage and will have to wait or circle around until then. Parking was very easy with the addition of the garage.
This was our 25th cruise and our 18th with RCI and we weren't disappointed. RCI consistently puts out a good product and we all had a wonderful time. It was my husband, my daughter 17 and myself.
The ship is lovely and well kept. We had the aft balcony 7688. It was huge. Spent more time on the balcony then usual because of the size. We had 3 lounge chairs a small table and 2 chairs. Could have easily fit more. It was however pretty shady so very little sunning this week for us which was perfect. Our cabin stewards were very good and they knew our names immediately and greeted us each day by name.
Food: We were in the Rhapsody in Blue dining room late seating table 288. Our waiter Alex and assistant Budi were very good. Alex entertained us each night with tricks. We had 2 boys 10 and 12 at our table and they loved him. He was very eager to please and one of the sweetest waiters I've ever had. The food has improved since our cruise 6 months ago on the Radiance. My only disappointment was the last evening?s menu. Usually it is Prime Rib but they had that the evening before when they also served Lobster and Shrimp. For dinner the last evening I had a huge plate of shrimp cocktail with RCI's mashed potato?s. Very good. They were eager to accommodate pretty much any request. Can't comment on the Windjammer as I don't usually eat in the buffets but my husband enjoyed it. My daughter and I ate lunch most days at the Cafe Promenade. They are open 24 hours a day and serve light meals. We really enjoyed the croissants with Ham and Cheese and I loved the baby shrimp sandwiches. Pizza, cookies, and other desserts are available from lunch time on. Great place to catch a quick bite. My daughter also enjoyed the frozen yogurt at Sprinkles every day. The coffee was usually pretty decent but some days were awful. Dining room coffee was very good.
Bar: My favorite bar to hang out was Vintages, the wine bar located on the Royal Promenade. What a great group of winetenders! We had a marvelous time all week and I enjoyed when they danced to "I heard it through the Grape Vine." The pub was also lots of fun too with live entertainment each evening.
Entertainment: The ice show was very good but I preferred the one on the Navigator more. The ice dancing is beautiful and it's amazing to watch the athletic abilities of the skaters. Don't miss it! We didn't go to any of the production shows and only one of the comedians. We were lucky enough to have John Pinette with us. He was a laugh riot! He has a website if you'd like to check out some of his comedy. My DH who usually can tell you the punch lines before they were delivered could hardly stop laughing the entire time. Simply wonderful! Don't miss the parades on the Royal Promenade but get there early or find a friend with an atrium cabin for easy viewing.
The Crew: Captain Johnny was very personable and a lovely man. He was also pretty funny. Each day he gave us words of wisdom from his Chinese friend. Our cruise Director Becky Thomson was great. She used to be the social hostess on the Grandeur. She always said "Hello Luv." The social hostess Tracy Lemon was exceptional. The concierge Yury was wonderful and eager to lend us a hand if we needed one. We found the crew tried very hard to please us at all times. There were a few exceptions but none of real note.
Adventure Ocean Ages 15-17: There were 500 teenagers aboard this week. My daughter met many new friends and enjoyed herself but the program seemed to be disorganized to her in comparison to our other cruises. The children were pretty well behaved this week.
Ports: We decided since we'd been to Grand Cayman many times to skip the annoyance of tendering and enjoy the ship. I had a marvelous massage with hot stones while everyone else was in Grand Cayman. DH and my DD took a nap and just hung around. It was a very restful day.
Ocho Rios Jamaica: We got off the ship early and headed to Island Village for some coffee to bring home. My DH stayed on the ship and my daughter and I took the River Rafting tour on the White River. It was excellent! Well run. They even had a floating bar!!! Perfect relaxing day.
Cozumel: We decided since the day was so nice we would head over to Paradise Beach. ($12.00 cab ride each direction for 4 passengers). We had heard about it on the internet so we decided to give it a try. It was wonderful. We met Tom (the owner) at the pier and told him we'd see him there. They offered a water trampoline, rock wall, snorkeling, kayaks and floating mats all for free. They do ask that you purchase drinks and food which was no problem for us. I had a few XX's and we ordered the nachos. They were the best!!! Could have eaten more easily. Give them a try. Met Tom at the beach also and told him how wonderful our day was there. A few other notes about PB. They have a place to change, shower the sand off and the restrooms are very clean. All together our day was around $50.00 for 3 of us including the taxi. Shopped a little at the pier and headed to 1/2 Sr. Frogs. Tons of fun as usual.
All in all a wonderful cruise. We would go again tomorrow for sure.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Rose