First experience in longer, foreign cruise. The best part of the cruise was the RC staff who were outstanding with the exception of the final leg where we paid handsomely for the privilege of taking the RC bus transfer from the boat to the airport on the final day. There was no one in the luggage area or visible outside of the area to direct us to the bus. We wandered around for about 15 minutes trying to find the bus or anyone who could help us (or at least speak English). No one was helpful or had any idea what we were talking about, including the security guard who did not speak English (really?). We finally found the bus parked behind a bunch of city buses and there were all 5 RC employees standing around the bus. Really ticked us off. The only other person who was less than helpful was a Spanish woman at guest relations who was not being very clear in explaining how we were to have credit applied to my card for the arcade (as part of a coupon promotion) and then actually went on to say "I've been doing this for 8 years and think I know how this works" to me.
The food was surprisingly good at dinner, typical "buffet" quality food at the Windjammer. Very few other places to find food during the day - with the exception a single soft-serve ice cream outlet on the pool deck which typically had a 5-10 minute long line. The wait staff at the dinner restaurant were great on every night except the first (and the first waiter and asst waiter were not seen after then) - took us nearly an hour to get any food after we sat down on the first night and we not real nice about it. On nights 2-7 they could not have been any nicer. We did eat at Johnny Rocket on one night and the Italian Restaurant on 2 of the nights and both were really good.
They have three salt water pools that are too small to handle the crowds at peak times. You can do little more than stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other guests at those times. There are no fresh water pools and the 4 hot water spas were also packed most of the time. There is theoretically an area which is for adults only but this is poorly policed and there were kids present in the pool and spas much of the time.
The room was clean and generally quite nice. We had a terrific cabin attendant who was a great help and kept the room clean and well stocked. The shower routinely overflowed into the bathroom and they did not fix it despite us asking several times.
The recreation area which included a basketball court, two ping pong tables and mini-golf course was OK but not particularly well supervised. There were bands of youths cruising around who were generally well behaved but there should have been some official supervision at night. The whole area is in need of some spiffing up and a few more ping pong tables would have been appreciated as there was a long wait to play at times. There was very little for the kids to do with us and they could not access the exercise area which my 16 year would have liked. They really weren't crazy about the pools since they were all salt water and always very crouded.
The health spa area was very nice, rarely too busy and had very nice treadmills and a great spa. One of the nicer areas on the boat.
I had never traveled on a cruise compromised primarily of folks from Spain (or any other European country) but they tend to have a different sense of personal space and common courtesy than I'm used to. You should be ready for a fair amount of pushing, people walking directly in front of you and walking onto elevators before you have a chance to get out if you decide to take this cruise. I never got used to it.
RC provides a pretty good value for the price but they do nickel and dime you for everything outside of your room and meals. Drinks are priced like you are going out to a bar, internet access is expensive, and transfers from ports of call to local cities and destinations are not cheap. Overall, I'd give the entire experience a grade of B-.