I am beginning to notice some defeciencies that Royal Caribbean will need to address. I still like their mission, at least I think their mission is to provide value to the adult cruiser. Terminal 1 at Port Canaveral is enormous, and there seem to be some growing pains associated with passenger drop off. Some experience there should help. However, the worst thing abou this cruise was the last thing we encountered. That is self assist disembarkation. It was a shambles. I suspect far more passengers elected this route (for a number of reasons) and the staff was simply not prepared for it. I must also say some passengers had far more gear than they could handle in resonable circumstances. This didn't help. Assembly points were changed without prior notice and there were about 1000 passengers all trying their best to get to where they were directed. It was a dire mess.
Portifino's was very good. The upcharge was worth it if you long for a better dining experience. The food was of higher quality, the preparation was better and the service was ample. The main dining room seems to have more and more Sysco suplied food items like chicken cordon blue. It was poor supermarket quality and should not have been on the menu. Many appetizers arrived at room temperature when they should have been hot or cold. I know serving a couple thousand people at a time is difficult, but this needs improvement.
The staff is good. They all work hard to serve the passengers. Some additional training may help. For eample, the becks are hosed down each night. But the chairs are not wiped off. Some chairs hold a substantial amount of water. Towels are plentiful, but the passengers should not need to clean off the deck chaises each morning.
We had a balcony room on this cruise, like other cruises we have had in the past. The interior was nice, a bit worn, but nice. The balcony was a mess, like the other recent cruise we were on. Paint chips and splatters abounded. Rust was prevalent and the door hadle was ready to simply corrode away. I trust this will be addressed at th eupcoming refit.
This is a pier built for cuise ships. There was no Costa Maya before the pier. There is a small shopping area shoreside that did have some nice local art. There appeared to be nothing else within walking distance. There are some nice excursions to some more recelty found native settlements.
We like CocoCay. It is pretty much just a beach. There are some activities like snorkelling and jet skis and parasailing, but the beach is very nice. Lots of chairs and several hammocks for lounging away the day. Tenders run all the time. However, I don't understand the need to completely fill one tender before leaving the ship, at least not when there is no line of passengers waiting to get on. It can be a prettly long, pretty bumpy wait.