Arrived back in Southampton on July 30th 05, after 2 weeks cruising the med.
Everything was to such a high standard. Cruising has the reputation of being for 'older' people, but believe me there were all age groups on board, from small babes to pensioners, just as you would get in any holiday hotel.
The stateroom as they now call the cabins were excellent, with plenty of storage space for all our outfits. Also, people have the idea that you have to dress formally for dinner, there are formal evenings (3 each cruise) but men DO NOT have to wear the full dinner jacket suit, any smart suit will do. And if you want to opt out of the formal evenings then that is fine there are other dining options on board, but I enjoyed the option of getting dressed up.
There is wall to wall food 24 hours a day. Room service is 24 hours and doesn't cost any extra. The only things you pay extra for are your bar drinks and any excursions that you want to take. The day starts with breakfast served from 6.30 am onwards, and for lunch there was adaily barbecue by the pool area with plenty of salad and different types of meat etc., or you could go to the Windjammer restaurant for your lunch which is a hot and cold self serve buffet all excellent. Then if you are peckish mid afternoon there is afternoon tea with freshly baked scones fresh sandwiches etc. There are 2 sittings for evening in the main restaurants earlt at 6.15pm and later at 8.30pm, we preferred the earlier one as otherwise you would be finishing you evening meal at around 10pm and that would mean a full stomach when you want to go for a few drinks. Twice, during the 2 week cruise they had a midnight chocolate buffet where everything was chocolate orientated from fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, to delicious gateaus. There were also 2 parties around the pool area from about 10.30 onwards where a full buffet was put on including a suckling pig and you could watch them doing the ice carvings used for the buffet display.
Entertainment each night was fantastic with live shows in the theatre, piano sing alongs in some bars, a full casino, or if you would like a quieter drink then they have more intimate bars. The crew staff were excellent and nothing was too much trouble, one crew staff member that we got friendly with was Kate Turner who hosted activities such as bingo, game shows and singing and dancing with the other crew staff members and they all contributed to a memorable holiday.
I must mention the stateroom attendants who clean and tidy the staterooms, they seem to be invisible,you just nip out for a short while and when you return your bed is made! each evening they turn back your beds and put a chocolate on your pillow, and sometimes they make you a small animal such as a dog or an elephant out of the hand towels. After cruising all other holidays seem to be only half a holiday, and I have already been looking at the Royal Caribbean brochures for next year.
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