We chose Royal Caribbean because we felt it offered something for everyone. The occasion for this cruise was a family reunion so this was important. For the most part the Explorer of the Seas delivered. For the kids, they had a lovely child jail ("Adventure Ocean") which was available most hours of the day. This is great if your kids are willing to go (I spent quite a bit of time babysitting, which lessened the overall experience to say the least). Everywhere on the ship the staff was friendly and efficient. The Coke Card system is excellent (pay $5 to get unlimited soft drinks for the duration of the cruise). The staterooms were small but efficiently laid out. My room had a balcony which was very nice. However there were a few problems. Most prominent was the nightlife, which tended to cater towards the 'Waiting to Die' set. If you are a member of the 18-30 crowd (like me), your options are limited. The casino is nice, but for those who don't like to gamble there is little besides The Chamber (a small nightclub oriented towards 20-somethings). If you're looking for a questionable hook-up, this is your spot. Even if you don't smoke, check out the cigar lounge, which is an enjoyable spot to relax after dinner. While the food was not bad, it became monotonous, as the buffet was usually identical and dining room options only change for dinner. The formal dining room was nice, however our head waitress was very critical of our culinary tastes, and often heckled us into ordering her personal preferences. This was a glaring low point in the service on ship. While I did not dine at the specialty Italian restaurant Portofino's, I heard good things from other passengers. Johnny Rockets is good although the $4 cover is not. Don't try and select a song, the machines don't work. Not much to say about the ports of call. They are all generic tourist islands. Bermuda was the nicest and most enjoyable. San Juan, Puerto Rico was fun although our stop there was very short. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were kind of seedy. Not much to do there except buy duty free liquor, cigars, jewelry, etc. Overall rating of cruise: 3.5 out of 5.