Will keep it brief, but I wanted to write a positive review for this ship and the crew as I think they sometimes get a rough deal.
I went with my husband, we have cruised only a handful of times before. We embarked in Southampton, and to be honest it was a bit of a pantomime. If you're Gold members of the Crown & Anchor Society, or not in the C & A Society at all, then you have to wait until all the people in the 'above' classes have been processed and then you will get your turn. On a transatlantic there are lots of people who are Platinum and above. We had waited in line for around 45 minutes but those people were ushered to the front & got checked in straight away. Not very nice really, we definitely felt like 2nd class citizens. I'm very happy to report though, that this treatment stopped as soon as we got on board, so I think this is mainly down to the staff at Southampton cruise terminal rather than RCI, who never let us feel like we were less welcome than anyone else.
The ship is lovely, no doubt about that. There is always somewhere you can go that's peaceful, so I think the reviews that say it's 'overcrowded' or 'rowdy' are a bit unfair. Not too sure about the giant movie screen though - can't work out what the benefit is, and we heard quite a few people on board say the same thing - it can be a bit intrusive.
Our cabin was great, centre hump so we had a great view. Lovely room attendant, Ronaldo. Never heard any noise from above, or outside in the halls. The sound insulation does it's job very well.
95% of the staff were very friendly & helpful, as always in life there are people you don't quite 'take' to, but on the whole we found everyone to always have a smile a few nice words. The crew seem really happy in their job and seem to have a good camaraderie.
The sailing itself was quite choppy for the first few days, but around day 5 it settled down. We had 8 days at sea and had some concerns about this, we knew we loved cruising but was a bit worried about 'cabin fever'. Shouldn't have worried as it was great! There is plenty to do on board, and lots of people to meet & get chatting to all over the ship.
Disembarkation took a around an hour & a half, so not too bad really.
To sum up - we loved it! Already booked for next year!