This was our third cruise, the first with kids. The other two cruise lines were Carnival and Princess. Other than food, RCI definitely was the best of the three lines.
Royal Caribbean definitely has the best entertainment, hands down. I enjoyed everything, especially the magic show and the skating show. We'd booked the shows three months before the sail date online, but found that the staff only checked reservations for the one time we went to the late show. We saw all the other shows at 7 and just walked right in.
We ate only at the "free" places. The buffet was fine and substantial for breakfast and lunch, if not repetitive. We ate lunch in the dining room only once. Service was very slow but we enjoyed the down time looking out the large window at the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Dinner in the dining room was pretty good as well. Service time was to be expected. We ate at 5:30. One huge plus for us was that our waiters went out of their way to make sure our kids (who have food allergies) had fresh, delicious, and safe meals every time. We were incredibly impressed as they exceeded our expectations. I was a bit worried before the cruise but now I have no more trepidation.
It was more difficult to get a seat in the breakfast buffet on port days, when everyone woke up early to eat. We ate at 8:30 am or so on the other days and had no problems finding a seat.
They enjoyed the camps very much. We would only put them in in the morning.
The talent show at the end was cool; they enjoyed earning medals. The black light show put on by the staff was excellent. Don't mIss it. We also attended the Dreamworks character breakfast. Same food as the buffet but it was cool meeting the characters. We also booked this three months in advance online. No cost.
Fabulous! Impossible to get deck chairs as they're all reserved by towels all day long. We came back early from port all three days to enjoy the quiet and non busy times. The kids loved the H2O Zone.
All in all, it was an excellent cruise. We would definitely travel on the Freedom class of ships again.