Embarkation was efficient, warm & quick. No band playing live when we first got on like other cruises in the past.
I asked if the entertainment director was new since the level of this service seemed to be novice. Many activities dragged on and did not include most of the audience but a few guest only with the majority being forced to be a spectator.
Personal shopping director seemed to be working harder with the tons of jewelry store merchants than the guest. His presentation was long and always ended up with a long queue line to get his 'super discount card' that did nothing for us when we went to buy a ring. After we left the Alaska ports he disappeared from sight and offered nothing for shopping tips in Vancouver BC.
Many evening productions took place during our dining times and we could not see them in their entirety. We dined at 8:30 (a bit late for us) but often didn't leave until 10 or 10:15pm.
BTW - there are no IPads in the staterooms. They are still having some type of glitch. The touchscreen interactive monitors around the ship were awesome. One thing though, under dining options it said that the Lattitudes Cafe (Starbucks & Ben & Jerrys) was complimentary. I pointed this out to the desk on day 2 of our cruise and they wrote down this error. It was never fixed.
Room attendant and all wait staff were the best. They work very hard and we so appreciated them.
My favorite activity was the free steam room & sauna. I would hit this up twice a day. There were separate men's & women's as well as free lockers, changing room & showers. A great place to relax and chew the fat with fellow passengers.
We did book another cruise for 2013 on Allure of the Seas but have since found out that there are no similar steam/sauna areas like this ship and they are fee based. That's a deal breaker for me so we will have to rebook to some other ship.
BTW - the jewelry vendors in each Alaskan port can be very pushy. It was worse than trying to negotiate with a car dealer! Finally in Skagway I told a jeweler that I only want one price and they get one shot for my business. I didn't want to speak to more than 1 sales rep and I'm reluctant to being pushed into any emotional buying decisions (I'm a fairly straight shooter and want to skip the shop talk/jargon). He did a great job, very helpful and I bought my wife a new wedding ring for our 25th.
Overall it was an 'OK' cruise but I don't want to ever feel board on the ship and this one had our entire family bugging out at times.
I do it again knowing what I know now? Most likely not...there are better cruises out there. I'm still a RCI fan!