Check in, maybe 10 minutes. The ship is gorgeous inside out, you can find your way anywhere with touch electronic boards, menus, where you are etc. Had to get my pic w/every Dreamworks character :) You can tell that Royal is making sure that they exceed your expectations. They are always asking, making sure things are clean, if everything is ok, the most of any ship I've been on. They are constantly working. I do have to say that although our cruise was fully booked, the only time it felt crowded was during the parades in the promenade. We had a large interior room which was fine, we were never in the room except to sleep and get ready. The ship is amazing, having sailed on the Freedom last year, there is a huge difference.
The food, was exceptional. Best roast beef sandwiches and turkey paninis ever had at the Park Cafe. The dining room food was the best I've had on any ship. We did not try any restaurants, but people we spoke to said they were ok, that food in the dining room was just as good. The hot dogs, also very good. There is food everywhere, the Promenade Cafe, best sandwiches and sunflower bars! I didn't find the food in the Windjammer overly spectacular, other venues have better food I think. Made to order pizzas, yummy.
The ship has so many different areas, that people are filtered everywhere so it never seemed crowded. We got a spot by the beach pool everyday, and we usually were out there by noon. My Husband & I are very into fitness, so of course the gym was important to us as we were there every day. Only day it was crowded was the first day, of course. The area for the free weights is too small. The usual panorama you get from being on the treadmills on the Freedom & Voyager class ships are replaced with big round holes, kind of makes the gym feel dark. But the track is great, since it is located on the 5th floor and not in sun on upper deck, cuts down on the heat and wind, and I'm not an outdoor runner and I ran it. Of course we did the rock wall, zip line, flow rider, putt putt, all of which are fun.
Did see a couple of shows, Chicago was great if your into musicals, went to comedian show, very funny and intimate. We didn't make a couple of shows as we were in the casino usually after dinner. Did see an aqua show, just amazing what they can do. Had my time dining, never had to wait.
Ports: We've done this intinerary so many times, that we didn't get off except in Cozumel to get some tequila. We were going to in Labadee, but never made it, it's actually my favorite place and did the zip line there last May. Jamaica, they are still working on that port, so unless you have an excursion, there is no use in getting off. Heard of people getting harassed etc.
Overall, there is so many activities to see/do on this ship, the Compass is huge. There is something to do for everyone with every taste. We had perfect weather every day, not 1 cloud in the sky. We also rescued 9 Cubans in a boat and the Coast Guard picked them up on our last day at sea. We drove to the port so we were off the ship by 6:15 am if you carry your luggage. I can't wait to do the Oasis next year, but first we have the Navigator planned in October.