Embarkation - Smooth at checking. We had 2 cabins (5 cruisers) and had a bit of an issue trying to get 2 cruisers moved to alternate rooms. The person checking us in was a little cryptic in her explanation, but once we spoke to the people at the pursers desk, this was straightened out. One helpful point for RCI @ Port Canaveral, the staging of the pictures is a wee bit confusing, but heck, I was on vacation so who really cares. Took 38 mins to go from outside to stepping foot on the ship.
Stateroom and attendant - Staterooms were clean. The beds were not configured properly, but I think this was due to our travel agent. This was corrected within an hour of us being on the ship. Our attendant was the BEST. As with every cruise I take, the Room Attendant is always the person that puts the icing on the cake when it comes to customer service @ RCI. Thank you Marvin.
Children activities - 3 yr old boy and 5 yr old girl. The kids were bonkers over the program. Every morning I got the question of 'When can we go to camp?' The workers there were fantastic. Can't say enough good stuff about it.
Dining with Children - My wife and I thought it best to have the 6 PM dining which would allow for the Adventure Ocean people to pick them up @ 6:45. Well this did not exactly work. We only hit the 6:45 time once. This was mostly due to our wait staff. (more to come). 2 suggestions: 1. RCI should move the pickup time to 7 PM. 2. If traveling with kids, forget the schedule that we tried to use, just go with My time dining. The early dining just kills the day.
Dining overall - We had a great deal of angst over the dining. Our Waiter was just back on the ship from a 6 week hiatus. I am sure this caused some of the issue, but everything was just plain slow. Mistakes were made each evening and she never really got to the point where she understood us. Additionally, the new way of using the assistant waiter as the Wine steward is a HUGE mistake. The one we had did not know pairings beyond the suggestions and the wine duties slowed all of the other deliveries of drinks, bread, etc. We were fortunate enough to have a change in waiters mid cruise which did increase the level of customer service back to where I expect it. But this did take 3 different conversations with the head waiter. Overall, the dining service was the low point of the cruise.
Bartenders - Good, gooder and goodest !!! They earned their additional tips :) BTW, a few additional dollar bills here and there make for a good mixed drink.
Shows - We saw 5 of the 7 shows. All we saw were good. the production shows were great. Granted some of the shows were a bit corny in areas, but heck you can't have Broadway every night.
Photography - Overall, we were happy with the photos and the associated staff. However, something occurred to us on this cruise that had never happened before. We asked a question and the person just flat said NO. Never before has this happened. Normally the answer comes with an explanation or possibly escalation of the issue to a boss. Just strange being told no by a RCI employee. This only came from 2 of the workers. The others were very nice. Just shocked us.
Disembarkation - Smooth and off the ship and in my car in less than 25 minutes.
The beach stop on this trip though, WOW. We commandeered one of the King sized beds on the beach and just chilled for an hour. Wish the beach stop lasted for 5 hours....
Be sure to stop by the Tequila shop in teh main shopping district. These guys know tequila and I walked away with a very good reposado that beats anything you can get in the states.
Shopping was OK. No deals to speak of, but we were not really shopping for any big ticket items on this trips.