This was our second Royal Caribbean trip from Rome. On our first cruise, we went to Greece, Turkey and Israel. This was a bit shorter, but just as much fun. From our arrival at the airport in Rome to entering our cabin, the Royal Caribbean staff conducted a smooth easy transfer. The cabin attendant was very nice. The cabin itself was clean, obviously new, and more than adequate for two people. The door to the balcony opened easily. The ship was noticeably smaller than the Mariner of the Seas, which had been our previous ship.
We chose Our Time dining, and for us it worked well, although I saw a number of people complaining throughout the cruise as they were waiting to get into the dining room on the 5th deck. Our preference has been to try to sit at a sharing table with as many people as possible. So, during the week we sat most of the time with a couple in their early 50s from Texas, several times with two young women from Germany, an older woman from Australia, travelers from U.K., and Canada. If you want to share tables, and don't want the hassle of any lines, the best time to go is at 7pm. After our showing up on time, etc. for the first 3 nights, the Maitre D always checked us in to the same table. We and the Texas couple were always joined by a rotating group of four others. On the whole, while we found the waiters attentive, we felt the pace of service to be slow. I was very disappointed in the steak I ordered in our first meal, but found the main dining food during the week to be adequate. While on the subject of food, the buffet on the 9th deck was always excellent.
I read some of the other reviews. The social staff was excellent The entertainment was always good. We missed the feature entertainment on the first night, because the meal took a very long time (service was slow).
When we got to our cabin, the tour tickets had already been delivered. Unfortunately we did not open the envelope right away, and were disappointed to find too late after dinner our tour for the first day had been canceled. While there was a note inside the envelope informing us of this, I think the Royal Caribbean could have done a better job by additionally placing this info prominently on the outside of the envelope. By the time we saw this, the excursion office had closed. Luckily, we were able to book the alternate tour early the next morning.
There is nothing in the cabin telling you how to retrieve a message from the phone. We had not noticed the blinking light until we returned to the cabin, and did not have a clue that our passcode was simply to put in our cabin number. Why it needs a passcode is another question since we were calling from our cabin. Guest Services at The front desk was of no help. The clerk told us to put in "1111" as the code. That did not work, and we wasted $15.00 trying to call our home because we were worried that the blinking light meant an emergency at home. Guest Services sent up a maintenance man for the phone, and he told us to enter the cabin number. The message that we retrieved was simply to tell us about the canceled tour.
One other complaint---even with an IPad, computer access is slow and needlessly expensive. We resented the expense of just getting online.
Many, many passengers became seasick on the last day. I was told that was not uncommon because we were on open seas trying to get back to Italy at a fast clip in a storm. the crew was helpful-free Dramamine at the front desk, barf bags everywhere, and cut up granny smith apples were handed out. The Captain announced that moving to the center of the ship on the fourth and fifth decks was the best place to be.
On the whole--- a wonderful cruise, and we would recommend it.