We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 girls aged 16 & 12.
Embarkation was good we were on board 20 minutes after handing over our luggage. We did speak to others on board who took longer due to several coaches turning up at once.
Windjammer food was overall good but breakfast items like bacon, sausages etc were only ever warm and cold after 5/10 minutes on the plate. Several days I opted for a freshly cooked omelette which was always piping hot.
Variety at other mealtimes was very good I found the chicken coconut curry especially nice.
We used the main dining room most nights where the food was fine but lacked much variety perhaps we expected too much. The staff were nice, friendly great with the girls but not as professional as we had encountered on Adventure and Voyager. Cutlery for different courses had to be asked for a couple of times, we weren't always told what the recommended dishes were and they were unable to answer fairly basic questions about the ports despite being on board for a few months. They announced during the cruise that our dining room staff had won the best in company award for 2011 so we may have just been unlucky or spoiled previously.
I opted for the basic beer package which included house wines for $39 per day, it also allows 20% discount on any other drinks purchased so I used it as a way to buy reduced priced drinks for my wife who was in our second cabin. No additional tip is added. Overall it was good value and I will use it again. Our children had soda fountain packages.
Room stewards were very good and worked around our erratic timings. The mini bars were emptied on request and fresh ice was supplied every day.
The entertainment was good not great apart from the ice show which was very good.We tried mystery theatre and that was good fun.
New year Eve was very busy especially on the promenade but was no different from most town centres at this time of year. Countdown had everyone joining in, decked out in the hats, beads and rattles supplied by RCI.
Our children loved the Living Room and made many new friends doing all the activities arranged by the staff. Living room staff do a difficult job dealing with teenagers remarkably well.
We didn't pay much attention to the Lisbon or Vigo preferring to spend time off ship at the Canaries and Madeira. We did get off at La Curuna for a wonder round.
Madeira was our favourite port probably due to tobogganing.
The mix of passengers was overwhelmingly British with a sprinkling of American, European and few South Americans.
Overall an enjoyable cruise were we met lots of friendly folk including a few from our home town!