Having wanted to try out a Royal Caribbean ship, we chose a Holy land cruise,but asked if I would go with them again I would say possibly.
1. Embarkation was very good at Civittavechia, although the queue looked long it moved briskly and we were soon on board. Had a brief look around this awesome ship(It is indeed one of the most fantastic ships around)
before deciding after a very long day, to eat. Bearing in mind that there was only one small promenade cafe open and not the huge Windjammer, we were extremely disappointed, it took nearly an hour to get something.
2. Cabin was bigger than other ships and although slightly dated was clean and immaculately presented, with a reasonable balcony. Beds were comfy and a pleasing amount of storage space.
3. Dining. Having specifically requested a 2 seat table on a 9pm, we found we were on a 12 seat! However after further requests we were able to dine at 9.30 on a table for two. It really annoys me how these cruise ships promise a 2 seat and then come up with the goods. The food (3course not the 7/8 course extravaganza that is provided with MSC and Discovery) was fairly good although minute portions, Not a problem as our waiter was always apologising and bringing extra taster courses that he would recommend. The large buffet style Windjammer restaurant (used for daytime eating and snacks) was brilliant; with a fantastic choice of food all extremely tasty. We could have eaten here at night but preferred the waiter service and portion limitation( think waistline)
4. Entertainment. The Ice Show titled under the Big Top was superb a true gathering of very very talented people and the costumes stunning. The bar entertainment varied from the very good to the really dreadful. The main shows were extremely disappointing, a ship this size should really know better.
5. Bars. Now where do I start? The wine package offered could only be consumed in the restaurant and presumably your room, so this made for a very expensive time. We gravitated to cocktails, deciding that a fair wine was over $50 a bottle (they had run out of the $35 cheap one after 2 hours). The bars were varied and pleasant and of course what makes them more appealing is the unsurpassed level of service. We opted for soda package($89 unlimited fills) and got a good deal as we tend to drink a lot of soft drinks
6 Shops were a joke. Most of them charging extortionate amounts for not very exciting merchandise.
7.Exploration/ Excursions. WOW how do they reach those figures. We were very upset to realise that it was going to be a small fortune to get anywhere. We decided to just visit ports if we could and get local excursions of our own...This worked out very well.Some of them were nearly $1000 dollars each.
8 Fitness suite was very good, lots of equipment and pleasant surroundings
9. On board entertainment was varied and you could fill the whole day.
10. Service. Always a treat to see staff smiling all the time, nothing too much trouble and going beyond their remit each and every time. R C have the most committed people I have ever met and indeed this is what made a mediocre experience very much better.
Would I go again, having reflected and hoping that Royal Caribbean can do an inclusive package for excursions and drinks at a reasonable price I would say YES.