We have just returned from a two week cruise to the Med on Adventure of the Seas. The ship accomodates 3800 guests when full (which it was) and 1200 staff. Obviously with that number of guests, there were a lot of under 18s, which makes this ship better for families than retired folk, but it is still good for both.
The food and service was superb throughout the ship, and the facilities matched. Everywhere was clean and the stateroom was no exception...cleaned twice a day by our room attendant Jualito. Our waiters were Ivor and Franco, who, along with Julianna and George who managed the evening service in the main restaurant were so professional and personable; nothing was too much trouble and the food was fantastic. If we had wanted to dine casually, the Windjammer self service buffet restaurant is designed for that purpose - and maybe half the guests chose that option.
The activities were run very well, and the excursion tours well worth the money - especially Rome. At one of our destinations, the 'tender boats' to take us ashore were delayed, but this was no fault of the cruise company, rather the need for the lcals to stop for lunch! Some guests were thus delayed, but the staff kept everyone fully informed and apologised for the situation.
The stop at Gibraltar was really interesting and if you go to the second world war tunnels, ask for Hans...a knowledgeable guide with a great sense of humour.
If we had to be picky about the holiday, the sheer volume of young people onboard made the pool areas a bit of a bun fight, and the ships ability to absorb that many young folk was tested, but we found areas of the ship where we could move, so it wasnt a big deal.
One dissappointing observation for me is how we live in an era of 'professional complainers' who seem intent on finding fault with what is a fantastic holiday. These are not 'cruise critics' with constructive feedback, but rather they are the people who seek compensation at every opportunity.
In the middle of the cruise, I watched a young man complain to the guest services wanting "compensation from Royal Carribean" for some aspect of his holiday. He chose to complain by ranting as loudly and as publicly as possible to cause the guest relations person maximum distress and embarrassment. The guest relations lady dealt with him as professionally as she could could trying to solve his problem, where most of us would have thumped him if we had the chance! Every member of the ships crew clearly tried to provide the very best service they could throughout the cruise. Royal Carribean get things right 99% of the time and for that, they should be congratulated as this cruise and our previous one was a first class experience.