this was our first RCL cruise; and we had met family onboard so we had a nice party of six. When cruising a very large ship; there are advantages and disadvantages to this... first I must say we had a fantastic time, because it was a novelty to meet up with family and be together... However, I am rating the ship itself. First and foremost, there is no question when cruising a ship that holds 4300 people you are getting quantity over quality.... Below is a list of what RCL offers: There is no question that due to the economy that RCL is NOTICEABLY making cut backs and skimping on many amenities this is apparent in the midnight chocolate buffet that I was specifically told by crew that it has been eliminated due to the economy... I feel thats ok because they have to cut back to keep prices where they are unfortunately you can see the cracks in the way these ships use to be and how they are now. PRO'S Staff goes out of their way and is outstanding in really everyway... michelle our dinner waitress was so so good that it actually made our trip so enjoyable.. she and her crew were fantastic and we all felt very close to her...overall the staff is A+++ stateroom we had was promenade with a bow window... I have to say that this was our first inside room over a balcony ever and we were very happy with the size and space... the bathroom was fine and the shower you can actually turn around due to the circle design over the standard square design. This was fine and I would recommend this room. The food overall was average; it was good, we enjoyed certain things and did not care so much for others. The food cannot be compared to celebrity, there is a major difference between these classes of ships. The breakfast was fine in the dining room; but slower of course... Lunch was excellent in the dining room with a really nice salad bar this was our favorite! The menu did not change daily like on princess; you can easily see the recycling of food items daily... the special of the day was always something left over from the dinner the night before. I have to say that the seafood was not so apparent like on other ships and this is basically because of the cut backs you can see this. they served catfish and cod which are the cheapest... no Chilean sea bass or something like grilled tuna basically food served for the masses in the least expensive way. Johnny Rockets was very good and worth the extra charge. Promenade was very good and a great place to walk and hang... although it gets extremely crowded at certain times. Sorrentos pizza was great and we loved it also the cafe was very good for coffee and danishes and the employees were eager to serve you and sometimes they even would hand us cookies even though we did not ask for it service again was just great! shopping stores were decent... that was the good;
NOW FOR THE BAD AND UGLY.. The tendering is horrible.. everyone complained and was annoyed.. we spent actually 1 1/2 hours getting from the ship to the island imagine 4300 people going down a staircase that holds two people wide... this was awful to say the least and it was hot and sweaty and we just stood in this stairway for the line to move an inch.. after that we had to stand in a hallway in the belly of the ship and wait endless amounts of time to get onto the boat... another 20 minutes to load the boat; another 15 minutes to get to the island and another 10 minutes to get off the boat with 350 people.. just BAD; RCL you better fix this because no one was happy.. don't visit ports unless the island builds a dock; tendering is a joke with a ship this size! elevators are impossible; they are crowded and packed and people squish in together like sardines in a can.. its always a nightmare to get an elevator unless its a port day and everyone is off the ship.. peak times like dinner is basically "forget it"! walk the stairs... One thing I have to say to all my friends at cruise critic is this.... so many people say that when you are on a big ship you never see people and you cant believe there are so many people onboard????? where?? This is not true, we always saw thousands of people everywhere and its always packed and crowded... if you are looking for a vacation for peace and quiet you better steer clear of this ship and all like it. windjammer buffet is terrible; crowded, annoying, food is not average; similar to what you would expect at the circus circus buffet in las vegas a bunch of ugly, smelly, items thrown together on station had lined up...mashed potatoes; gravy; catfish; pasta; and an ugly red sauce that no one seemed to go near... basically cheap food items served in a unorganized atmosphere with a thousand people moving in all directions and no formal lines to anything. On sea days just forget about it if you dare to sit in the sun; by mid morning all chairs on all areas of the ship were taken-every chair on every level like cattle; all lined up touching each chair.. this is a nightmare and impossible to relax because you cant even get out of your chair. If you ever wanted to see what 4300 people; come to the pool on a sea day not relaxing at all. The pool water was ice cold to boot. Overall the entertainment was bad. The liberty of the seas singers and dancers headlined almost everynight; it was not good and most people did not like it I'm sure its cheaper to have them perform everynight than to pay for better well known entertainment; ice show was great a must must see... and they had a comedian one night and impressionist was very good. smoking is allowed on this ship and it shows.. people are smoking everywhere; bars; pool; casino; we saw people smoking on the balconies too. In conclusion, Let me say this... we had a wonderful time with the staff and family.. of course its never easy to get six people to coordinate exactly and this sometimes becomes a little frustrating. Big ships are what they are.. big ships! you have more of everything because you have to... you have more people... but if you are looking to totally relax and not have lines everywhere; then this is not for you... sometimes a nice peaceful day relaxing; taking it easy is difficult onboard because of the masses and masses of crowds. RCL is a big ship and thats what you get; we prefer celebrity for numerous reasons.. and even smaller... RCL is apparent in its nickel and diming you for everything... they seem to try to grab extra money from you at all corners and turns.