This was my partners and my first Atlantis cruise. We have done 25+ RSVP and
1 straight cruise prior to this. We both agreed that this was probably one of the
top three cruises we have taken (after RSVP's own small ship the Seaspirit to Alaska
and Renessance's 10 day Tahati). The ship is absolutely FANTASTIC ! We were on
the RSVP Mardi Gras cruise in March on the Holland America Zuiderdam. Both
it and the Dawn are less than 1 year old, but that is where the similarities end. The
Zuiderdam was a TUB compared to the Dawn. Maybe it was the construction or
design, but the Dawn just seemed better made with higher quality materials. The
decor and furnishings are far superior with rich paneling that while we know it was
not real wood, didn't look tacky plastic like the Zuiderdam. It appeared there was a
plan and colors went well together. The didn't try to decorate by committee (a la
Las Vegas...every color imaginable in each room) or that Wild casino carpeting so
popular on Carnival and now ,since the purchase , Holland America. Furnishings are
Danish modern (Ikea-like) and very tasteful. A perfect example is one of the main
diningrooms on the Zuiderdam. We were being seated and asked for a deuce by
the window. Oh no, said the host, you don't want that. Too much noise and vibration.
Sure enough. You could see the place settings jumping up and down. We have heard that the ship is going back in to drydock at the end of the year to try and correct the
Dining: The Free-Style dining was great. Ten restaurants t o choose from and the
ability to decide when and with who you wanted to eat was great. We thought the
food was very good, well seasoned, and served fresh and hot (a rareity on cruise
ships). Cagney's Steak House and the Japanese Beni-Hana restaurant were
our favorites.Some restaurants charge a sur-charge but we thought it was worth it.
Service in the restaurants as well as throughout the ship was great. The employees
seemed to be having a great time and confided that they are usually not allowed
to go to the parties with the regualr passengers but are allowed to go to the
deck parties with us.
Entertainment: Great variety. Comedians were our favorites. Pam Ann and Miss
Richfield 1981 were both a riot. The ship's entertainers were fantastic ( 3 shows)
also the Honey Boys, four cuties who I know will be back on future Atlantis trips.
Disco on deck was amazing with laser light shows and great DJ's. Parties going on
all the time until the wee hours of the morning
Roseanne Barr was the surprise guest. Mixed reviews. We went to the first show and we ,along with the majority of the large audience , thought she was pretty good. The second show was a different story with alot of people walking out.
Ports were predictable. Key West was disappointing, They were supposed to have a big block party for us, but it never came together. The private island was very nice
with a great beach and water sports.
We ubderstand the age group was a little older than the normal Atlantis cruise and
overall everyone seemed well behaved. We didn't see nearly as many costumes or
drag as we do on RSVP. The ship had only about 1400 of the capacity 2200.
Overall a great cruise and we will definately do Atlantis again.
We also enjoyed this cruise. We were on the Dawn with Atlantis in January and the primary reason we booked (aside from the price) was to repeat the ship because we enjoyed it so much! We really did not care about this itinerary at all. Key West was the only day we even got off the ship!
There were less costumes on this cruise than the other Atlantis cruises we have been on as well. I think part of that was the huge proportion of people who were on their first ever cruise, first gay cruise, or both.
The comparison of the Dawn and Zuiderdam is interesting. If that is true, I'll stick with NCL. We are reluctantly giving Carnival a try this October on the Pride with Atlantis. We are going because it is Atlantis and because we have so many friends going. It is supposed to be one of their best ships, but.......
The Dawn was our first cruise and we've decided this is the way to travel. We found everyone friendly. We talked some of the help and they were very happy to be working the gay cruise. They said we bring on the best entertainment, music and we are there to have a good time. Seems the str8 people are all up tight about money and being pampered.
The freestyle dining was definitely "me". I don't do well with structure when I'm on vacation. The food was great and we never had to wait for a table.
Some of my friends have done the RSVP cruises and have had a great time on those. Is there any difference between RSVP and Atlantis?
From what MartyPary said, it sounds like the ship makes the biggest difference in the experience.