First time on RCI after hearing many good things about them from previous passengers. As my lady and I were previous Celebrity Platinum members our status transferred over to this cruise. A nice plus, except it didn't really translate into many benefits. Our complimentary Internet time amounted to about 15 minutes each (just enough to log in and read a couple of emails on the slower than dirt Internet connection), as opposed to the 250 min each we are used to as Platinum Princess members. We also got a couple of free pulls on a slot machine and a couple of match play coupons for the roulette wheel. That's about it for the freebies.
Stuff that we had taken for granted on other cruise lines we enjoy, such as Celebrity, Carnival and Princess, were not visible on this cruise. Talk about cutting corners...no lobster night and no baked Alaska, buffet closed at 9pm instead of midnight, no International cafe that stays open till the wee hours...only a piss poor hotdog and sandwich place. Also, no chocolates on the pillows at night, no complimentary shampoos, conditioners, creams, etc.
The Windjammer was always mobbed at breakfast and lunch, and tables were hard to come by, especially since we were cruising the North Sea and it was too cold outside to have a meal. Still, I found the buffet food decent enough and comparable to the other major lines. I did like the fact that the sugar free drinks were pre-poured and that the coffee was Seattle's Best instead of syrup. A big plus for us! The desserts, especially the sugar free ones, were enjoyable and I liked the layout of the buffet area. Just hated the hours and lack of available seats. One good idea they had was a single diner's seating area at several barside tables, although in most cases the persons sitting there are leaning directly over a table for two or four.
Food in the dining room was hit and miss. We happened to have extremely slow servers and were continuously the last ones out of the dining room, often late for the shows. The entertainment was for the most part very enjoyable. The female cruise director was very outgoing and highly entertaining, and she had a friendly enough staff. We particularly enjoyed the trivia contests, which sometimes numbered three or four a day.