After reading a number of reviews on the Royal we were more than a little apprehensive about what we would experience. Rather than rehash all that, let me tell about our experience.
The cabin, an OV Balcony, mid-ship deck 11, baja was large enough for two. The storage was adequate for a week, the Decor was clean and bright. The bath was as large enough and nicely appointed. The balcony, although not as large as other ships I have sailed on, was comfortable to sit and read or view the sights.
The elevators on this ship are not large, and they do not hold "18" people; none do. You may have to wait for an elevator that has space for you, sometimes. The midship elevator does not have an accompanying stairwell that goes beyond the 4,5,6,7 atrium levels. All this being said we did not find any issues with getting up, down and around the ship.
The shows were fantastic and the seating was always available if you arrived before the show. An experienced cruiser knows to show up early if you want choice seating. The variety of the entertainment should please most crowds.
The dining was the only area where we found room for improvement needed. We had anytime dinning and ate at 7:30 pm most nights. Although there were few people waiting when we arrived to be seat, the two head waiters responsible for seating diners paced in and out and around the Symphony dining room 5 to 8 times looking at seating charts and empty tables every time they sat a party waiting to dine. This frustrated the guests and the hostess at the door. The 6th evening we were promised a specific window table, number 96, only to be brought to another table across the room. When I mentioned this to the person seating us he stood silent and then walked away. The Maître de Hotel corrected this issue with a dinner at Sabatini's the following evening. This was the only negative thing I could find on this cruise. The food, service and dining in the Horizon Court was excellent. The variety and quality of food is the best I have ever found, and we have been on 100 cruises around the world.
The Sanctuary was a pleasant interlude with quiet time to relax and revive..
We have visited St Maarten many times. Each is an expensive adventure, only because the shops there are so phenomenal. There are a variety of jewelers and electronic stores, as well as, clothing and the usual liquor and souvenir shops to suit any need. The best part are the prices. They are the cheapest we have found in the Caribbean.
The sightseeing on the Dutch and French side is abundant and will meet almost anyone's need for beach, sights and culture. As a bonus, you have the fact that this one island is shared by two cultures, French and Dutch.