We had previously cruised for the first time on the Sun Princess, and when trying to decide on our next cruise, numerous experienced travellers suggested Royal Caribbean. We were told, "If you think Princess was good, wait until you go with Royal Caribbean".
Unfortunately RC did not live up to this. The room was slightly better in layout and the staff all round were exceptional. However in general the quality of the shows, food and on board activities were not impressive.
While they were reasonable, there was definitely not the wow factor that we had experienced on the Sun Princess. The meals were generally dressed up versions of the upstairs buffet and lacked a lot of substance. It appeared that as the cruise progressed the food got slightly better.
Some of the female dancers were overweight, out of time with the music and in general the regular on board entertainers quite amateurish. The special guest entertainers were very good, but like the food left the best to late on the cruise.
The other main issues were a general disregard for rules and standards, such as young men coming to dinner in the Cascades dining room on formal nights drunk, loud and in T shirts, yet dining room managers letting them in. Children of all ages were allowed to run wild in all areas of the ship unaccompanied by any adults.
The on board activities seemed to all revolve around getting more money out of you, Bingo, Casino, Fitness Programs or Beauty Treatment. There was very little information about our destinations and what there was to do at these ports, and considering our ports were reduced from 5 to 3, you would think it not that difficult. We received more helpful information from fellow travellers than from the RC staff and cruise director.
Generally it was a pleasant cruise and if you were a first timer, very nice, however there were many vastly more experienced cruisers than myself also expressing similar thoughts of dissatisfaction.
I am not sure if I expected too much from RC or I struck it lucky on Princess, but the experience did not live up to the hype!