My wife and I cruised with our two 20 year old daughters. We arrived two days early in Rome to enjoy the food and visited the Forum, Coliseum, and many other historic sights. This was our first time in Europe and Rome and it was amazing. We also spent two days after the cruise in Rome again. Our first hotel was near Termini station (fun but grittier neighborhood) our second stay was near the Vatican. We used Civitavecchia Cab service for pick ups and transfers and they were consistently on time with no hassles. They picked us up at our hotel, Augusta Lucilla at 10:00 am and we were at the port at about 11:20. He dropped us right in front of the embarkation tent and luggage check area and we were probably on board 20 minutes later.
I was expecting the little wear and tear on the ship because of its age and I can be very critical at time. I thought the ship looked great. Most areas were spotless and looked fine. Most noticeable age was seen a little in hallway carpeting and some of the chrome and metal around the pools. Overall great ship. Rooms were available at 1:00 and we booked two promenade rooms for great prices and they were perfect. We wanted to spend more money on tours and these cabins were clean with plenty of room. The windows allowed you to watch the parades right from your room. They can be loud and we were worried but the music was not noticeable after 11:30.
The Windjammer had a lot of variety and good food. Service was a little sketchy and sometime hard to get drinks at your table. We ate at night in the Nutcracker dining room. This was my 3rd Royal Caribbean cruise and probably the best food. There was a lot of variety on the menu but at time the service was spotty. The waiters were very friendly but it just seemed like there was not enough of them. Food service was slow and cocktail and beverage service at time was not existent. When the food came out it was tasty but on a few occasions we had to send it back because it was cold. The new themed menus seemed to bog things down as well.
I though Simona was one of the best cruise directory I have ever had but the overall entertainment was weak. On board planned parties were great. The ice show was great. The production shows were a little boring. No comedians and the juggler was kind of lame. Let's face it, this cruise is all about the port of calls and they are amazing and will wear you out. The shows, better to rest up.
Simona's Adult Quest, disco night, and dance parties were a blast.
Beautiful views while sailing through the Greek Islands and past Mt. Stromboli, the volcano.
All of the sports decks were top notch. Very little wear and tear on the miniature golf. This ship was my first cruise that seemed crowded at times. Pool seats were gobbled up early. Lines at miniature golf and health club. However, you can always find quiet space if necessary.
Disembarkation was a breeze. In fact we were off the ship with our luggage 1 hour prior to our drivers arrival time.
I have enjoyed 10 cruises and I would book this one again without a second thought. A few quirky things but nothing to prevent you from having a great time. I do wish Royal Caribbean would put water and drinks out at a few locations instead of just the Cafe Promenade at night, but that is a discussion for another time. Book the cruise and enjoy.