Have sailed before in the European waterways (Scenic - 200 guests) and the Mediterrean (Oceania- 600 guests). Decided to do Royal Caribbean at the last minute as wanted to experience a large ship (2300 guests approx) in comparisson to smaller ships. Would always take the smaller ships and did not like the South Pacific compared to where have been before. I understand that having so many guests to feed that meal times have to be allotted, we found this to be of an inconvenience as lots of entertainment that we wished to attend was actually on at the time of our dining. Many were not repeated at another time for us to attend. Our past experiences have been that you dine when suits you. Cabin was comfortable and clean, we were on the 3rd floor with a sea view window. Bathrooms very small with a corner shower but with excellent HWS. Staff were very helpful if asked a question, but not over friendly. Meals in Windjammer Cafe were acceptable, but used lots of processed meats which is not acceptable. No nice grilled chicken breasts or sliced cold meats that were not pre processed. Dining room for evening meals was acceptable but so much better on the last 2 nights. The company want you to go away with a good impression, so what you rememeber is what you last ate or did before you disembark. Not what was offered at the beginning. There was a considerable difference between the beginning and the ending. Not good enough.
Also on the South Pacific Cruise you have to remember that you have 2 full days and 3 nights at sea before you leave the ship for the first time and the same on the return journey. Weather off the coast of NSW not all that good, there was lots of sea roll and by the 2nd night, more that half the ship was ill with motion sickness. Not many guests attended the Captains Cocktail, why not hold it on another night, so that all guests can attend. Other thing was the "stabilisers" should have been put out on the first night, guests comforts come first, not the companies profits. On the return journey the "stabilisers" were used this time, so that you would remember a smooth sail into Sydney Harbour. After we reached the Islands, and guests had recovered from motion sickness, then gastro struck the ship. Guests were not advised of precautions to take until the 2nd day, not good enough. Should have been announced as soon as it confirmed that gastro was lurking around the ship. On the first day, staff were trying to clean handrails, tables etc with bleach discreetly, but as soon as they saw someone watching what they were doing, they would stop. Guests should have been told then, not the next day as that may have saved a lot more guests from suffering. Hand wash bottles should have been at the entrances to all lifts all the time, as we did not see the inside buttons of any lift get bleached at any time. Tenders to and from shore were very good if you left and returned early. I believe that some were a bit slow returning mid afternoon. Dis embarkation was a shambles. You had the choice to depart early and take your own luggage. Had to wait too long to disembark and there was no clear line of who was first in line, should have been more controlled as ship staff not required as you took your own bags. Once got to Immigration services it was fine. Just getting there was the problem. Fitness centre was excellent with lots of equipment and provided additional classes, some at cost though. The only problem I found with the fitness centre was that the air conditioning was not sufficient. The room was too warm, regardless if you were in there at 6am or 10am.There were no opening windows either. Should have been much cooler in the fitness centre. Plenty of towels were provided for gym use.