This was our 8th cruise and first time on Royal Caribbean. We've cruised enough not to be up in arms about the little stuff and to recognize small improvements when we see them - if this cruise is any indication, we'll likely cruise only RCL in the future. We're a married couple in our late 50's and this cruise included all of our kids with their friends or mates, for a total of 12 of us. We had a blast! We arranged mostly inexpensive activities for each of the 5 islands and then enjoyed coming together for a family meal each night. I really think a cruise is the perfect vacation for adult families. There is plenty to do together, and lots of opportunity for separate time.
Crew members were unfailingly friendly and helpful, and while I thought the whole hawking of beverage packages was a bit over done, there was nothing else with which I could find fault. We did not spring for any of the specialty restaurants as the food in the main dining room was consistently the best we've had (cruised on Holland American, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian & Princess). I have a fairly new egg allergy (think about it, EVERYTHING has eggs!), and everyone from the chef on down to our waiters (Melroy & Johnny were fantastic in all regards!) collaborated to be sure I didn't inadvertantly order something with egg - and they even created special desserts for me when there was nothing on the menu without eggs.
Additionally, we had 3 balcony cabins (7556,7560,7564) and I have to admit that I freaked out a bit (too late to change rooms) when I realized they are directly above the casino. All my worry was unfounded. We did not hear a single sound from the casino! This was actually the quietest cruise cabin we've ever had. And while I didn't appreciate whatever the (unadvertised) big obstruction is for the deck 7 balcony cabins (picture a sloping roof that runs the length of the ship and extends out about 12 feet (I'm guessing), just below the balcony floor), it only prevents you from seeing down the side of the ship and the water within about 20 feet of the ship. So again, not a big deal.
I specifically chose this ship (only 2500 passengers) and itinerary (5 islands, 1 sea day, no tendered ports) and it was everything I hoped for. There was nothing I would change other than wishing we could have stayed out a bit longer on some of the ports (coming in by 4:30 when you're the only ship in that port and then crawling to your next destination seems like a missed opportunity for the passengers).
Thanks Royal Caribbean, we had a GREAT time!!