I will start with the positives, Absolutely no problem with the staff who were as always, in our experience of RCCI, first class and very friendly. The entertainment we found to be very good apart from one act, a female singer doing divas, who we thought was not very good. The ice shows were spectacular, we got an extra showing as we are platinum members of crown and anchor, although at least one of reviews mentioned it is the same show that he had seen before. We sailed on Navigator last year and it was a different show. The ship itself is fantastic and the balcony cabin we had was a decent size with enough room for 3 of us and a good size balcony. Plenty of things to do and see on board on sea days from crazy golf, flow rider and rock climbing wall to a well stocked library and entertainment in all the lounges.
Now for the negatives...We had never sailed out of Britain before but due to circumstances with my wife's health were unable to take a flight abroad to pick up a ship. Unfortunately, although embarkation was very good, we were disappointed with a minority of the passengers on board some of whom behaved like neds on more than one occasion. We also found the food in the Windjammer, although of excellent quality, too geared up for the british market with not the usual variety we come to expect from RCCI.
We like to eat in the Windjammer as it gives us a bit more freedom to select good food rather than doing the main dining which can still be a bit elitist. We ate in the main dining on formal nights and found the meals allright but not to our taste although that is a personal point of view and not meant to detract from anyone who enjoys the fine dining! Overall a very good cruise was enjoyed but I am afraid we will not do one again from southampton as you get the impression it is very similar to going on holiday abroad and being embarrassed about some of the brits behaviour particularly in the parents who seemed to allow their youngsters to get drunk and be a bit annoying to fellow passengers.
One more point, I am a smoker and was disappointed to find that the only places I could have a cigarette were outside as they do not allow smoking in the Casino any more. Now I fully understand that smoking is viewed as a disgusting filthy habit and that there should be separation from people who do not smoke but given the inclement weather your are likely to get when sailing some of the seas surely it is not too much to ask for one of many lounges on board to be designated a smoking area. I know they have a cigar room but if you are a smoker and tried that room you will understand when I say it is not suitable for a cigarette smoker.