Background info: This was our first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. We have cruised previously on carnival. I was traveling with my husband and another couple. Our friends had cruised on royal caribbean,carnival and norwegian cruise line before. We are 29 and 30 years old with no children.
Embarkation: One of the reasons we choose this cruise was because it left out New Jersey, where we live. It was nice not to have to fly. My in-laws drove us to the port so we didn't have to worry about parking, however there was alot of traffic. It took us an hour to get from the light at Rt 440 down to the terminal. Once we got into the terminal, there were no lines and we were abroad the ship within 15 minutes.
Ship Info: I had read a few reviews saying that the ship was starting to show her age, but I didn't notice anything negative....everything was clean and up to date. I thought the ship was beautiful! We loved the adults-only pool, which was a nice, calm place to relax. The promenade was also really nice with shops and Cafe Promenade. We also played mini-golf during one of the at sea days. There is also inline skating, iceskating and a rock climbing wall. We didn't get to try everything but thought that there was a nice variety of activities. We used the gym twice, during the at sea days, it was always busy, but not hard to find a treadmill or elliptical to use.
Stateroom: We had an inside cabin on deck six. It was small but what we expected for an inside room. Deck six turned out to be a good location because it was close to the promenade and to the main dining room.
Entertainment: We didn't attend all the shows but did enjoy the ones we did go to. As others have said, the ice skating show is amazing, not to be missed! We also really liked the Quest Game Show, the Love & Marriage show and the seventies dance party. One disappointment was the scheduling of the shows. We had late dinner seating, which we chose so that we wouldn't have to get ready early in the evenings, however many of the shows were scheduled to start at 7:00, before dinner. We would have preferred to go to dinner first and then to the show. This caused us to miss two of the shows when we wanted a little extra time in Bermuda or at the pool. We were also disappointed that karaoke was only offered once during the cruise. The second time that karaoke was scheduled, we went to the maharaja lounge and found that it was canceled. The singer at the piano bar was very good and that was fun place to spend time at night. Additionally, there were a bunch of events on the Promenade that we enjoyed. There were two parades, a captain's welcome aboard reception and a seventies dance party.
Dining: We ate breakfast and lunch, during the sea days, in the Windjammer. We found the variety and quality of food to be pretty good, for a buffet. I especially liked the omelette station for breakfast and the salad bar for lunch. My husband liked the stir-fry station that they had one day, but was disappointed that they didn't have a grill station to make fresh hamburgers.
We ate dinner every night in the Main Dining Room. We had a table for eight, with two other couples who were also friends. We enjoyed their company but were a little disappointed with the food and service. They had difficulty accommodating our friend who is a vegan and frequently served her bland, unappetizing dishes such as a plate of steamed broccoli or slabs of unseasoned tofu. Personally, I thought my dinners were very good three nights and just ok, the other nights but my husband wasn't very impressed with his meals. We were surprised that we only got 3 courses (appetizer, dinner and dessert) instead of four (salad, appetizer, dinner, dessert). The waiter and waitress were not as friendly as we've encountered on previous cruises, and seemed very forgetful. She often forgot the sauce that went with the meal and had to go back for it. One night she served the desserts with half of the food missing on the plate and another night, my husband asked to try another appetizer and she never brought it. We didn't try Portofinos or Johnny Rockets. We liked Cafe Promenade for a late afternoon snack of pizza or cookies.
Debarkation: We did the option where you carry off your own bags. The process was simple and we didn't encounter any traffic on the way home. We were back at home before 11 am!