My family sailed with RCCL for the first time, with expectation the it was a shade better than other cruise lines (Carnival,NCL,etc.), but was quite disappointed with the service, food, onboard activities offered on the ship.
The ship sailed in the midst of hurricane Irene and the sea was very rough, which was kind of expected. For the first 2 days, almost all on-board activities were closed (pools, Ice skating, rock climbing) due to rough weather. However, RCCL did not make any attempt to arrange any indoor activities to keep the guests entertained. The staff was rude (including some senior officers), when guests enquired about any alternate indoor activities that were planned, instead.
The food was very ordinary and quality was mediocre. Some items listed on the menu were not available. We were very concerned about the food cleanliness, after finding human hair in the food - on two separate occassions. We showed the food to the waiter and filed complaint with the chef. An apology note was sent to our stateroom, but no one contacted us personally.
The staterooms were clean, however there were issues with the PA system, awkward design of bunk beds, warm/cold water in the bathrooms, etc.. Some were addressed, though after multiple reminders to housekeeping. Most of the staff at the ship could hardly communicate in English and had trouble understanding/responding to guests' requests. On one occasion, the housekeeping abruptly hung up the phone in the middle of the conversation.
Overall, RCCL did not show address guests' concerns adequately, who practically lost 2 days (out of 5), due to onboard activities shut down due to extreme weather. No attempt was made to make up for it.
Overall, it was an extremely disappointing experience for our family. This was our first cruise with Royal ... and probably the last.