My wife and I have cruised with RC four times, including once on Majesty on the same itinerary, four years ago. We liked the ship then, and we like it even better now as it appears to have gotten a nice face lift. The ship is unpretentious and low key, which is fine for a three day weekend cruise. The atmosphere on the ship was very nice, the passengers included quite a few students who appeared to be on the spring break. They behaved well and did not cause much trouble as we have feared. In general we've enjoyed the cruise, and would go again. Below are some observations that I want to share.
1 boarding and disembarkation was as seamless as it could be. No lines to wait in, no hassle with waiting in a lounge before going off the ship. A great improvement from last time and most other ships was that we did not have to carry and put on floatation vests during the mandatory drill.
2 the crew was unusually young, with a 30 year old captain and a cruise director who was about the same age. The captain night reception was fun, a lot of jokes and humor, really a performance rather than a dull introductions that you often get on other ships.
3 the food was good. The buffet had everything you get for breakfast at a 4 star hotel, lunch was also quite decent, nothing extravagant but fine. For a longer cruise one might get bored with the selection of food, but for three days OK. Dining room food and service were great. Very friendly wait staff, bar tenders, really pleasurable experience.
4 entertainment was good. One night there was a comedian who was funny, next night there was a quite decent Motown concert, followed by the same comedian in adult show. Great performers in bars, an old hippy playing guitar and singing 1970s oldies in the 14 deck lounge, and the pianist / guitar player in the Schooner bar were terrific. The latter one commanded a huge crowd of dancers till after midnight, a lot of fun, we loved it and I don' remember when I had so much fun dancing and watching others to be so relaxed and enjoying themselves.
5 few things were quite annoying. First this ridiculous rule that you have to "rent" towels and get fined $25 if you don't bring it back. Worse still was that after coming back from shore you had to go to deck 11 to check in the towels, while it would be so easy to do it on the gangway, or even leave it on shore at the Coco Cay private island. This is real bad, a total disrespect to the guests. A cruise line that calls itself Royal Caribbean this is a completely unroyal treatment. There is no need to punish passengers because of very a few guests who may abuse towels. The whole thing is cheap and demeans the reputation of otherwise a very good cruise line.
6 there is no sauna in the gym, which may be OK since this is an old ship. There is a steam room but it is very small, 3 persons max, and is intermittently cool to lukewarm. There is no way to control either the temperature or the time cycle that it goes through at it own will.
7 shore excursions were disorganized and the list showed wrong times of departure. We've booked a 12 pm snorkeling tour in Nassau, only to find out that it has left at 8:30 am and there is no other one.
8 another negative experience was the tip policy. In the past on most ships the custom was to hand tips in envelopes to cabin attendant, waiters, head waiters, and staff, which was rally awkward and ruined the experience of dealing with these nice people. It was a great relief when most cruise lines including RC started charging standard tips on the onboard account. This was what we have expected this time, but last day before going for the last dinner we have found envelopes and a form that we were supposed to fill out the day before and bring to the front desk and get vouchers that we were supposed to put in envelopes and give to the staff. This completely defeats the purpose of doing it through the onboard account. As a result we have got no vouchers, and had to tell the waiters that we have put them on the form, but have no vouchers. A totally unnecessary thing. I wish RC revises their procedure as it is quite unpleasant for both parties involved.
Overall, we liked the cruise, and would recommend it to friends.