We Started cruising late in life, 6 years ago, but thanks to RCCL we were sold on cruising 15 in this period.Most have been on Celebrity,which we love but Royal has been more than satisfactory as has Princess. We did have a recent Carnival cruise that fell short of our expectations. We arranged our own flight and hotel arrangements in Fort Lauderdale. The embarkation process was wonderful it took about 40 minutes for us to all meet in the Buffet. The ship is beautiful and beautifully appointed and really added to the enjoyment of a Panama Canal cruise that has to be a must for everybody. I do not agree with one reviewer that a partial passage is just as good as a full crossing. We had an inside handicap cabin that was very roomy and nicely located, however the TV, Toilet and the safe did not work on arrival. After some delay I guess due to the ships impending sailing all was fixed. Unfortunately, The toilet subsequently broke down 5 more times during the cruise,once at 2 AM which led to an hour and a half to get it fixed.
Dining was at best fair in the dining room.The menus each day were fairly uninspired and the food was bland with perhaps those that were curried, which we hate. I was disappointed at the lack of spectacular selections we have seen previously on Royal,eg. beef wellington,veal chop etc. They did have the traditional lobster night and luckily I chose to have a steak that night. My wife was very unhappy with the lobster.Why do they always choose a formal night to eat a messy lobster???
The Buffet was of the island variety and I liked this approach and the food although like the dining room you could modify your selections.
The SERVICE ON THE PART OF ALL THE CREW WAS I THOUGHT OUTSTANDING. Our room steward(Marcia) and our head waiter(Moustafa)were the best we ever had. You could not ask for better service and friendliness than on this ship.
THe entertainment in the theater was marginal. There was only two production shows and that was the only time we saw the singers and dancers. There was no cameo appearances by any of them. their new production show entitled cities was a BOMB. Other the violinist Maria Negli (superb) we saw second rate comedians and jugglers.
DISEMBARKATION in San Diego went very smoothly.
INSUMMARY I was disappointed and will move back to Celebrity and HAL in the future. I can really understand the need for some cutbacks in the food and entertainment but really do they have to make it so obvious.