We travelled on this cruise with 2 of our kids in a last minute decision because it was so cheap and we've always wanted to visit St Petersburg. As such I had no great aspirations having not heard great things about Royal Caribbean. How wrong we were.
The standout difference between this cruise and our last (on Celebrity Infinity around the Panama and Sth America)was the food. An Australian head chef called Craig -I think - and his team did a masterful job of serving up first class food (a superb fillet steak and a goat cheese tart stick in my mind). The crew seemed uniformly happy and helpful and the whole operation was run smoothly by a female Captain of Danish/Japanese descent who did an excellent job of making the officers and crew visible and accessible. My daughter now wants to be captain of a ship too, although it might be a pirate ship in her case.
The ship itself is at least 10 years old but has been kept in good nick and is ageing well. As with every other ship I've been on, it reminded me a bit of of a Los Vegas hotel. Her public areas do not flow as well in terms of being able to walk end to end as Celebrity's Infinity and there were a few issues with sewerage smell in our bathroom which came and went on one or two occasions, but other than that, the ship was good.
Of the ports, more surprises, Stockholm was the standout, particularly the spectacular 4 hour cruise in and out past all the islands with their summerhouses and small villages.