Having previously cruised for the first time with Princess on my honeymoon around the Med I was looking forward to the experience of being on the Worlds biggest (Oasis Launched a couple of days later.) What I found was a strange sensation of Amazement and also anger and disappointment in equal measures
I will explain by firstly focusing on the excellent and amazing. The ship as I was expecting was huge but at the same time intimate. The public areas were amazing and our cabin was light and airy as on the honeymoon we had been in an inside windowless cabin a realisation that balcony cruises are the only way to cruise.
The trips were different from the honeymoon Caribbean compared to European History a different experience and one which I wouldn't compare. Horses for courses. It was in the little things that the anger and disappointment occurred.
First example was in the power supply in the cabin American sockets even European sockets blowing due to the use (by my wife) of GHd and Hairdryer (three days of misery).
The Dining experience we asked for a group and got a single table we asked to move and got put on a Group table with a party of seven who the proceeded not to talk to us. On Princess we still talk to the mixed group we met. Finally moved tables again and didn't trust the Head Waiter to get it right so went for solo dining.The dining experience had been excellent on Princess with exciting and varied food the experience was definitely bland and culminated in the well done steak being sent back three times to get it right. The dining experience was made even worse by the excessive attention of the waiting staff in the end I had to tell one of the waiters the service was fine and just to calm down. The dining experience was further spoilt by the formal evenings. As a couple who like the dressing up bit we found the dining room to not comply with Royal Caribbean's published guidelines. Sports Shorts on both informal and formal evenings and rather loud sports t-shirts were in evidence. When we queried this with the head waiter his response was astonishing. We don't enforce it because it will affect our tips!!
Talking of tipping - on the Med cruise we had subtle reminders on the Caribbean cruise the reminders were so in your face as to be rude. Perhaps because it was a predominantly American clientele they are use to that approach, and as a back to back the first week replicated the second in menu but not passengers
The entertainment and approach was driven by the American passengers
On the Brits get together when we spoke to the Head Chef he observed that for all cruise lines the economies of scale meant that the dining experience we had was likely to be indicative of most cruise lines sailing.
Overall then my experience was mixed the ship, cabin amenities were excellent. The dining experience and over the top service were poor even offensive. Has it put me off cruising - possibly, perhaps my expectations of Freedom were too high. The ship didn't let me down but perhaps the staff and food did.