Disclaimer: I'm a 4 diamond hotel director, Hotel operations, F&B operations manager with 10+ years in the industry. I had high expectations of Royal Caribbean as this was our first cruise (ever) and fellow cruisers said Royal was the best. We put our faith and requests in the hands of a travel agent who are highly recommended.
ROOM: Small but cozy. Ocean facing, 3rd floor, room 3124. Enough space for 2, but 3 would be hard. King bed setup. I also must commend Ester (Exec HSKP) and Nickali in Housekeeping. Nickali did a wonderful job as our room attendant. I ran into Ester several times throughout the boat during our vacation, to which each time she remembered our names, and inquired on our trip to date. Impressive.
FOOD: The service by Maxi at Chef's Table, Yuri and Quirino in Chop's, and Ricardo in Giovanni's were exceptional. Maxi may very well be one of the best server's I've met to date. Yuri and Quirino have an excellent way of youthfulness in their serving, while still polished professionally, which makes for a memorable vacation dining experience. Lastly, Veekash and Jerson at Solarium Adult pool were our go-to bartenders. I even asked what they could make me something with ingredients I liked that wasn't on the menu--they mixed away! :) We ate several times in Windjammer and Aquarius, which both were surprising given the quality VS quantity ratio of serving food to so many people. Johnny in Aquarius obliged my request for a 2nd dessert after seeing one from a fellow diner, since it was our last meal there to taste and was pleasant throughout the service.
BOAT: The boat (renovated 2013) and venues were as expected, often exceeding expectations. There certainly are spots where I can see wear & tear on the boat, but hey, it's nearly 15 years old! The 2013 renovation is great and looks wonderful. Color schemes, rock, patterns and overall interior decor looks great and really makes me feel like I'm not on a boat. We loved all the glass, which really brought the great weather indoors.
Overall, we're looking forward to squeezing in another cruise when we have time off. We have officially decided that Royal is our new best friend in the travel industry, certainly the vacation arena. We enjoy the leisure of the boat and weather, and the day trips to other countries, leading us to new adventures at reasonable prices.