Recently took our 13th cruise, 11 with RCCL, 1 ea w/ NCL & Celebrity. I never miss an opportunity to give a thumbs down on NCL as our cruise with them was unpleasant in most aspects.
RCCL has never disappointed us. Staff friendly and most greet and smile at the guests. RCCL seems to have kept their fares down by s-l-o-w-y eliminating things we took for for granted during our earlier cruises. Many of the eliminations are minor, so we easily accept the loss easily and appreciate the reasonable fares.
Crown & Anchor members used to have a lunch or two with ship officiers, which was fun. Now, just two brief and rather spartan "receptions", complimentary drinks, but the tapas are gone. Our take on the food: The popular Windjammer buffet disappointed. Fewer selections and qualitity not as experiencied on past cruises. It is convenient for those taking excursions (and to eat there afterward), but we opted to mainly eat in the dining room for all 3 meals. We thought the food there was improved from past cruises, some entrees were excellent as was the service. I enjoy going to the library to select books immediately after coming aboard. This cruise, the shelves were locked upon arrival onboard. I spoke with 3 staff members who said they would have it unlocked immediately. NOT. Finally went to Guest Services who told me , not so politely, that the "The Library will remain LOCKED until we set sail....SIR". That guy needed an attitude adjustment. Minor point.
Entertainment: Mixed. The Singers/Dancers/Band were excellent as were the general productions. The professional entertainers were so-so. The Ice show was excellent. Back to the dining room. Our servers were wonderful, but perhaps overworked with too many tables. L-o-n-g waits for refills and the eventual receipt of main courses. My constant complain on all 13 cruises is the LOUDNEST of the music, in any bar or public room!!! Nearly impossible to hold conversation with table mates. Sometimes the decibel level was probably near that at the 3rd level of Hell. I actually take earplugs to the main theater for evening entertainment and keep as far away from the stage as my old eyes can handle. Worse than a mosh pit.
A rambling review indeed, but despite a few rough spots, RCCL has earned our loyality, so we booked another cruise on board this latest one. Make sure you avoid Norwegian's Pearl ( it isn't one).