When we first entered the ship we were pleased with the welcome. It was quick to check in and we were pushed rapidly on and directed with much welcome and happiness. The ship was daunting, although I expected huge, this was still larger than I had imagined. 13 years ago we were on, what was considered the largest at its time, Voyager of the Seas. That was so large that I hadn't wanted to repeat that experience again, and didn't till now. This ship did not feel crowded with people like the Voyager did, so that was a pleasant surprise. Except when you went for breakfast or lunch. Than the crowds were there and the seating was not.
The Windjammer's food was terrible and never changed from day to day. Difficult to get to the food and impossible to find a seat and eat the food when it was warm. A very bad experience. We tried all different times to eat in hopes that an off time would work, but even that didn't solve the problem.
The dining room in the evening was run well and the food was good. No complaints there.
The Rita Cantina was very good, worth the extra money if you like to drink. You are given 3 drinks and we could not even get to our 3rd. Two are enough. The waiters are not clear about the procedure, and it takes a long time to get served, so many people were leaving before the finish of their meals came out. I kept asking and was told it's on it's way. Too long between courses and in fact we had no idea what we were eating. Had a good time, but wish there were more information.
The shows were impossible to book, the procedure was crazy. If you are not computer savvy, you missed out. There were several we never got to see because they were booked, no matter how hard we tried. We felt cheated.
The ship is paperless, and that presented a problem to us. If you wanted to know what was going on you had to find it on the TV. Neither one of us were able to work that situation for several days and when we figured it out we missed it all. I would not recommend this cruise to any senior citizen that is not computer savvy.
The ipod docks were a nice surprise for us and I wish every cruise ship had them. The package that was offered with the unlimited Internet was great and again I wish every cruise ship offered it. I appreciated being able to keep up on my emails while at sea, it made it easier to come home to caught up emails too. My family were able to keep in touch more easier. We have a business and it relieved our mind that we could answer questions and carry on without additional costs.
The worst thing about this cruise is the smoking. I did not research it and to my detriment did not think about it beforehand. I am allergic to the cigarette smoke and didn't realize that any cruise line allowed it any longer in the rooms. Well to be clear, they don't, in the rooms. But they do on the balconies. As luck would have it, the people next to me and below me smoked on their balconies. I was unable to use my balcony for that reason and that ruined the cruise for me, especially the days out to sea. It essentially turned my balcony room into a window room because I was unable to open it at all for the duration of the cruise. Quite a bit of the common areas also allowed smoking on the 5th floor main promenade area. If all the RCCL ships allow this, than it's my last cruise on this line.
We had the status of "Diamond" from several years ago accumulation of cruises with RCCL. They really treat their repeat cruisers well. We had a special room to have coffee in the morning and afternoons. A special cocktail room with hor dorves every evening before dinner. We didn't find out about any of these added benefit's till half way into our 7 day cruise, which I attribute to the paperless ship. They do not give you information readily about what you are entitled to.
Overall it was a nice ship, the help couldn't do enough for you and bent over backwards to see that you were having a nice vacation. If it were not for the smoking, I would have liked to try this cruise again now that I know where things are. We really missed out on most of what it had to offer and didn't get in step till the final two days of the cruise. Too late for us.