We haven't cruised with Royal Caribbean before and expected that its quality was less than we were used to, and it was. However, for the price, it was better than we had expected. The entertainment was fine - very impressed with the orchestra and the dancers. The headliners were a bit weak, but the comedian was particularly funny. The Cruise Director, Leigh Xerbus, was funny as well. We had children with us and much of the entertainment was more adult oriented, whcih was too bad as we like to spend some time with the children after dinner. The ice show was perfect for family entertainment. Not to be missed.
If we have any complaints, it was the fact that this boat is out dated and badly needs a rehab. It is unfortunately dirty in places, not for lack of cleaning, just due to long time wear. There is also A LOT of smoking on the ship. Even where people are not supposed to be smoking, there is smoking. Very few of the rules are enforced and it made for a an occasionally unpleasant experience. Kids in the adult pools, smoking, kids in the casino horsing around, etc. I understand not wanting to ruin people's good time, but allowing other cruisers to impose on guests ruins their good time....just sayin'.
The food for the first two days was not good. We sat with another family and we broke the ice over the bad food. Other than that, I'm not sure why the chef would have allowed such bad, cold food to be served. By day three, the kitchen seemed to have its act together. Some of the dishes were quite good and the buffet upstairs went from Fair to Good. I can say I always found something to eat, but I can't say the food is a selling point. Portofino, however, was very nice. quiet, elegant and the food was above average. Well worth the extra fee.
The staff was fine. The service was fine, but the cruise seemed generally understaffed. You could always get assistance, service, etc., but there was usually a wait.
Finally, although it was very convenient to cruise out of Bayonne, the cruiseport itself is an embarrassment. The abandoned shipping port looks like a mafia killing ground, but we weren't there long. The customs officials were fast. God Bless the USA.