As first time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. The reality exceeded any expectations I may have had! The ship itself was spectacular with something always going on. We brought our two boys, but didn't enroll them in the children's activities because one wasn't quite old enough. There was plenty for them to do anyway from kiddi-pools with waterslides to mini-golf. Their favorite activity was ice skating... on the ocean! I, personally, really liked the Michael Jackson dance class. Such a variety of things to do!
The onshore excursions were very fun as well. Our favorite place was Grand Cayman. We played at the beach early on, then went on a pirate ship (highly recommend, even if you don't have kids)! Even all the staff on the shore was entertaining and accomodating.
The most impressive part of our whole journey was the Royal Caribbean staff on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and remembered us from day to day (which, with so many people every week, would be hard to do). They called the boys by name every night in the dining room and our waiter and assistant wait-staff spoiled them! By the end of the week our oldest son (3) couldn't wait to go see Claudiu! We really enjoyed getting to know the staff and their stories.
My husband and parents went to the captain's talk at the end of the week and were very impressed by how serious he and the other officers were about their jobs. We felt very safe in their hands.
I've read a lot of different things about safety and security on these ships. First of all, they had hand sanitizer everywhere and signs encouraging hand washing. As far as I know, there was no illness outbreak, and if there was, we were not involved. I never saw any partying getting out of hand (although, with kids we weren't partying anyway). Bottom line, I never felt my safety threatened by staff or other passengers. I was at ease the entire time. Also, before we ever even left port, we were all required to participate in a safety drill and all the staff seemed very competent. In fact, more than one of them checked to make sure the kids had their correct bracelets (which let them know where our cabin rally point was), and I was grateful everyone was on the same page.
Thanks for the wonderful trip, Royal Caribbean International! We really appreciate it!