Four of us were on a "package" which was made up of 3 days in Memphis seeing Elvis (who alas had left the building), a day on Amtrack and 3 days in New Orleans all of which was superb, we all had a great time especially New Orleans and boarded the ship for what was hopefully going to be our 2nd great week.
The ship itself is superb, it is well laid out, clean, tidy and a joy to cruise on, the food in the Windjammer at Lunch was very good and you were never left wanting for choice - however :-
Boat drill was done without lifejackets (a first) and the combination of a foreign accent and a bad tannoy system meant that anyone in B13 station would have gone down with the ship for lack of direction.
The "Wine package" offered on the first night was done without telling you that there was a New Orleans sales tax added AND then 15% as well, if done on the 2nd night then you saved 8% plus a bit for the service. No transparency on this and when questioned the Sales tax was credited.
The food in the main dining area was for the first 5 days poor and we took bets on whether there was actually a chef on board. One steak was so tough we invited the waiters to attempt to cut it while 4 days later another was rare on the inside and cindered on the outside. The last 2 days were much better although while the lamb shank was great it suffered from a lack of mint sauce. We were offered a kind of mint jelly but it somehow looked radio active in colour so we declined.
As a "Gold" member we were invited to a special meeting done to maybe try to sell us more cruises. This consisted of 30 minutes listening to the band, a speech by an Eastern European Officer in maybe his own language and around 100 words from the Captain who then cleared off pronto, end of reception, all clear off ! Did it sell more cruises ? I doubt it.
The Captain boasted that he had around 70 different nationalities on board the ship looking after us all which was good, however the fact they all spoke in what can be called "broken English" meant that on many occasions we hadn't a clue what many of them were saying and I doubt they did either when talking to each other.
Finally, we did take part in some of the quiz times which were in the main good fun. Whatever you do do not believe the answers as some of them are wrong. Alas since 1912 everyone believed the Titanic sailed from Southampton however RCI seem to think it was Liverpool - maybe if it had then it would not have sank !
The ship was great, the ports of call were very good except Jamaica (which as one person said "if it sank without trace no-one would miss it")and overall the cruise was not bad. It is a pity that the running of the ship is so dysfunctional making lines like P&O and Cunard stand head and shoulders above this company.