My 55th cruise on the Royal was much less than expected. Attention paid to the asthetics certainly are impressive, however many design shortcomings detract from the overall experience.
*No stairs in the middle of the ship with insufficient elevators to handle the traffic.
*The traditional promenade deck is gone. It goes by the same name, but lifeboats obstruct the view of the ocean resulting in an absence of a peaceful, outdoor space with a view.
*Service in restaurants did not compare with our January cruise on the Emerald Princess. While dining in the Crown Grill, we waited 25 minutes for our coffee. I was tempted to go into the kitchen and help myself. I thought we were paying for attentive service as well as good food.
*The dance floor is now in the piazza and it's marble. Little kids, all decked out and cute as a button, are permitted to run loose on the floor among couples trying to dance. No fun for the adults.
You've read about the miniature balconies in other reviews - impossible.
We have cruised over 500 days with Princess. Our next cruise will be on another line. If we come back to Princess, we will avoid the Royal as well as it's sister ship the Regal.