Left our house at 11am for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Galveston and when we got there we parked our car in a lot. Had RC had alerted us via numerous avenues, we would have just driven directly over to the Convention Center for processing. After spending 2 1/2 hours waiting in a line to board with no information regarding a delay in boarding the ship, we were then escorted onto buses for processing 10 minutes away from port at the Convention Center. Found out there was a norovirus scare on the last voyage, but that info came through the rumor mill, and not through any information from RC staff. Shameful!! Good thing were are all able bodied persons (2 teens and us, in our 50's) because it was appalling what RC put the disabled, elderly and massive amount of young children/parents through. We took a taxi (we paid the fare) back to the port to avoid another 3 hour bus/transportation wait. Finally, made it on board 4 hours late and went to supper at our 8:30 seating, when the ship finally departed. No apologies from staff or crew.
I will have to say right off the bat that our room attendant, Rosa, and our evening waitstaff were brilliant and that's the truth. As far as the food was concerned I am not expecting much, as we know that "food for 3000" is a tall order. But honestly, we were beginning to think that the "norovirus" was not to blame for illness. Food temperatures were suspect, especially in the "Windjammer". My husband started playing the "Can u guess what that is" game when it came to the food in the Windjammer, and I have to say on most occasions he was right on. I finally explained to my evening waitstaff that the food was "off" temperature and they should be concerned if there was, in fact, a virus on board. I never again, nor did anyone at my table, recieve any food that was not piping hot.
Here are a few things that I was disappointed with, that are simple fixes, especially because we had a good enough time to start planning to "skip" Christmas again next year:
The ship itself needs a little sprucing up, i.e, carpeting stretched, if not replaced altogether. Painting in common areas, especially the adult pool. The "Holiday" decorations were amateurish and ,unfortunately, disappointing.
Windjammer food was adequate, but we are paying a premium, so be considerate of your paying passengers. Food and service were better in the dining rooms at breakfast and lunch.
Us "American Babyboomers '50-60-70 somethings" could use a lively place for before and after dinner coctails and dancing. The Viking Crown Lounge is a real snoozer. It could be used more efficently. Night after night, I was a little jealous of the latino crowd with their "Bolero" nightclub. However, I would not want to cramp the style of the '20-40 year old' crowd in the DragonSlayer nightclub.
The Onboard production shows (with the exception of the fabulous Ice Show) and the Cruise Director (sorry, Paul Rutter), were flat. Paul seemed to be on "auto pilot" and the cast of the production shows in my humble opinion were less than High School grade; again, no offense. The "guest" entertainment, especially Nick the Magician and the piano player were very enjoyable.
Disembarkation was slow, and blamed on US Customs, which quite frankly, was an unfair insult to them, as I thought once you made it out of the ship and into a line, went quickly.
Hope this was helpful, and not too long winded!