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Kerry

Age: 33

Occupation:Bank officer

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: November 20th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

My first 3 cruises were with Carnival...the way my parents were always raving about RC convinced me to give it a try.

EZ Cruise was great, took all our luggage and was much cheaper than other parking facilities!!

By far the fastest disembarkment I have been a part of. Got to EZ cruise at 11:30 and we were on the boat at the latest 12:30. Rooms were to be ready by 1:00, so we went to the buffet to buy coke cards and eat lunch to pass the time. Rooms were ready as they said...much smaller than the Carnival rooms I might add, and I had an Oceanview this time!!

Muster is mandatory, so be prepared. It is not the most exciting part of the trip, but you are on vacation. Make the best of it, they do check on lists if you don't show.

Stops:
Key West -
didn't happen, too much wind from a cold front and rough seas! Never got sick, it was like riding a rolling coaster. My kids 11 and 13 didn't seem to be bothered by it too much either, some people did look a little green though...

Grand Cayman - Tendering nightmare!! 5 ships in at the same time is craziness at best. Went to 7 mile beach and had about 2 hours good weather, and then the skies opened. Be prepared to fork out big money for cab rides. Beach is very nice, you will have to rent your beach chairs - $5 I think. Food, drinks and bathrooms close by. Again Grand Cayman is a little expensive, but a beautiful place. Looking forward to trying it again soon. Tried to go downtown for shopping afterwards, but it was far too crowded with all the ships there. Managed to get to Del Sol which has some cool sun changing shirts, so my kids were thrilled.

Cozumel - Had to do tenders here for the first time due to the hurricane taking out the port. Went much smoother, Carnival Conquest the only other ship here that day. Things are a mess in town, but the trip to Paradise Beach was awesome. For an $8 bracelet the kids could use kayaks, snorkel gear, water trampoline and climbing glacier. Had some great food too. Shopping was good, got a $350.00 tanzanite ring for $80.00 - just keep saying NO :) Can't help feel bad for the people trying to rebuild their lives, but everyone was very friendly and glad to see us. I always have the most fun on this stop. Tip well here folks!!

Food: Not so great...with the exception of the flourless cake which is to die for. I have always enjoyed the Carnival food, and thought sometimes the food on RC was a little too extravagant for my taste. I can say now though that I have tried Escargot!

Service:
Go see Levi from Nicuaragua in the Viking Crown and tell him I said Hi!! I was a single mom traveling w/ my kids and would go up to the Viking Crown at night to meet people my age. When alone he would always make sure to check on me, and talk to me. He made my trip awesome! I knew I had a friend up there everyday because of him.

Crasto was our waiter from India, and he was so nice. Always remembered what we wanted each night, and was great about recommending things if we weren't sure. Thanks!

Cecil our room steward took great care of our room, which is hard to do with kids along. Always had a smile on his face, and made us feel great.

Disembarking:
Is it really that hard to get people off a boat? Good grief, this has just never been a good experience. Maybe I am just grumpy because my trip is over??

Entertainment:
Comedians were awesome, kids loved the magic show, and I can't say enough about the dancers - so fun to watch. Great job! Must attend the Quest Adult scavenger hunt with Drew your cruise director - unless you are easily offended, you will have the best time at this event.

Suggestions:
-take an alarm clock, no clocks in your room
-walkie talkies work great if you have older kids
-make sure you have shampoo in your shower dispenser BEFORE you start taking the shower
-bring wire hangers to leave behind after the trip
-bring an empty bottle to put water in. Unpack, spray your clothes and hang. You will NEVER have to iron them.

Overall I had a great time, and met some wonderful people. I still prefer Carnival over RC, but I would travel with them again. The biggest disappointment for me was not being given any kind of credit for missing Key West. This is something that Carnival is very good about, and is better customer service in my opinion.

And finally - hi to all the friends I made....Rudy and Jessie, LeeAnn and dad, Roy and Michelle (congrats on engagement), Mike and Melissa, Zack, Thomas, April and Melynee, and Jordan.

Thanks,
Kerry

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