It’s a shame about the recent bad luck concerning Royal Caribbean cruises lately, because in 2006, I took my mother on an 11-day cruise and let me tell you…it was the best vacation I have ever had! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I believe my mother would agree.
Side Note: the previous year, she took me to Aruba for 11-days and we left after being there for only 5 days. It was that bad! Let’s put it this way: if the Aruba Board of Tourism were to see my horrible review and wanted to prove me wrong by giving me a free all-inclusive trip…I wouldn’t go! Needless to say, after having gone to Aruba, this cruise would naturally be the best vacation I’ve ever had. Comparably speaking.
Anyway, Mom felt bad about that trip to Aruba, so the following year, I figured we’d try to do it right. We were going cruising! I booked us for an 11-day Caribbean cruise, which would take us to 6 destinations: Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I had seen pictures of cruise ships before and they look massive, but nothing quite prepares you for seeing it in person:
I don’t even think that picture does it justice, because the closer we got, the more insignificant I felt. It was a floating city and as we entered, I was mesmerized. Even the rooms weren’t as small as I thought they would be:
I think I was even floored by the customer service. We had our own, “Butler,” who even had our luggage delivered and waiting for us before we got to the room. When we arrived, he began to show us around and let us know that if we needed anything, to give him a call. Seriously, Jeeves? You got it! Okay, his name wasn’t Jeeves and actually, he wasn’t our personal butler, because seriously? If each pasty-white vacationer/cruiser had their own, there’d be too many people on the boat. He was a butler to about 12 cabins (I think), but still…it was awesome!
I was ready to hit the Lido deck, where I would get my daily dose of UV rays by the pool, while we sailed to our first destination, the Bahamas. I put on my redneck ‘kini (aka shorts and a tank top) and announced that I would be by the pool, but first I was interrupted by the Captain over the intercom, saying that we had to put on our life preservers and meet every other passenger on deck for our Passenger Survivor Tutorial. Dang! I wanted to duck and hide, but they take roll call and if you aren’t there, you are sent to the brig. Well, they don’t really put you in Ship Jail, but you wind up delaying the process until you do show up and the more the passengers have to wait, the more pissed off they get. They wanted to get their vacation on too and I didn’t want to start a riot before we officially set sail. So, I put on my life preserver and reluctantly waddled out on deck. We were all so crammed together, it felt like we were extras in March of the Penguins. I get it though…safety first!
On to the Lido Deck! And, whaddya ya know? A freaking personal waiter! By the pool! Ready to serve my every whim! Holy Bocephus! I was so flummoxed that by the time he finished saying, “What can I get you, Madam,” I was speechless. I had already felt spoiled and he continued to make me more so as he laid out my beach towel and pillow. I almost asked him if he’d put suntan lotion on my back, but I resisted. I’m sure he would have though.
The ship had everything you could imagine:
- 24-hour room service
- Broadway shows/Comedians, Concerts, etc.
- Cooking Classes
- Themed parties
- Fine Dining and Buffet
- Health Spa, including facials and massage
- Rock climbing, ice skating, and a surf pool
- All kinds of lounges and bars (i.e. Big Band, Jazz, Dance, etc)
I’m tellin’ ya, it’ll blow your mind and if Royal Caribbean doesn’t have it, you don’t need it!
Tomorrow….The Bahamas (with even more pictures!)