I won't write a long review, but I have cruised on Royal Caribbean numerous times. (Also see my review of Serenade of the Seas from July 2008). The Port of Miami is always easy to navigate and embarkation was fast and staff is efficient.
This was a weekend get-a-way with some friends. We were looking for value so we booked inside cabins as this is a short cruise and we knew we were not going to be spending alot of time in the cabin. Once onboard we were all surprised how aggressive sale of drinks has become on this line. Everywhere we looked there were crew pushing drinks at us. The group I was traveling with are big drinkers and immediately most of us were handing over our cards to crew members so we could purchase drinks. We know that the cost of alcoholic drinks is not included in the cruise fare, but it seems that Royal Caribbean has gone overboard with drink prices. A beer costs $4.95, mixed drinks like Pina Colada's, Bahama Mamas and Tequila Sunrises that the women like to drink cost 8.95, a martini was $9.95. The most surprising thing is that the large souvenir glasses previously used for the mixed drinks are no longer in use, so the amount of mixed drink you are getting is actually less than before but you are paying the same price. One night we ordered some wine and the wine steward brought over a bottle of Beringer wine. This wine costs $4.99 in our local grocery store and the cruise line charged $30.00 for the same bottle. This mark-up is just to high. My cousin bought 2 bottles of Glenlivit Scotch in the gift shop for $29.00 each, but a shot glass of the same Scotch at the bar costs $11.00. Needless to say all of us had large bar bills by the end of the cruise.
The food in the dining room was fair and portions were small. Nobody in our group is a big eater but I think we were all disappointed in the dining room menu selections. Dining room selections and the quality of food on previous cruises (including other cruise lines) was better. On the other hand, the Windjammer is very good on this ship with an adequate selection of food items. Johnny Rockets is fantastic and by far was the best tasting hamburger I had in along time.
Some items that previously were standard have been eliminated including chocolates on your pillow at night. This little gesture was missing from this cruise. Additionally, one little bar of soap was provided for our bathroom and we had to ask the room steward for a second bar.
Entertainment is adequate. The best part of the cruise was renting jet skis on the private island, Nassau was disappointing as we docked on a Sunday and all of the good reputable stores were closed.
Overall a good weekend cruise, but I think most people in my group said they would not cruise again as they are used to going to vacation spots where all is included, especially the drinks.