This was my first cruise. My husband and I spoke about taking one for a while. We actually booked the cruise a bare week before the date of departure to celebrate his 30th birthday. We booked a balcony room.
Our overall experience was better than I expected. On Cruise Line Critic I got the impression that the food and customer service were sub par. Our first meal on the cruise did not leave me very hopeful. The lunch served in the Windjammer Cafe shortly before departure reminded me of school lunch. There were cold limp french fries and stale hot dog buns. I was much more impressed with the sit-down dining room. The food in the dining room was mid-level French style food. I did not realize that they completely change the menu every night. To do 10 different entrees and appetizers every night without a noticeable lack if quality was very impressive. Out waiter, Johannson, was a pleasure to have.
We did have trouble with customer service. On our second day our tickets for our pre-booked excursions never showed up. We went to the front desk to inquire about it and they said they had no record of our excursions. Our credit card had been charged for them. They told us to rebook our excursions and if they ever found the reservations they would reimburse us for the ones we rebooked on board. There was no talk of reimbursement for excursions we missed because we could not rebook them. There was no apology. They also miraculously found our reservations late on the last night of the cruise when it was too late to do anything about it.
I wish that they had had a pool large enough to swim laps in. Most of the hot tubs were very crowded. We did find a hot tub that was nearly deserted and we were happy to use that.
I was annoyed that any time we wanted ice in the room, we had to bother someone to get it. Any time we tried to get ice over the phone we never got it. We only got it when we asked for it along with other room service orders. The last few days they started keeping ice in our room so that we wouldn't have to bother anyone.
We didn't really partake in any of the on board entertainment, so I don't have an opinion about that.
I wanted to take the cruise so that I could lay around on deck reading a book drinking a cocktail. The cruise was very good for that, especially on the last excursion day we had because we stayed on board and the boat was pretty deserted. I was disappointed that they did not have an alcohol package for drinks that were not wine.
Our last port of call was very disappointing. It was Labadee, Haiti. We did not realize when we booked the trip that Labadee was a private peninsula owned by Royal Caribbean. It reminded us of Disney Land. Nothing there was "real". It was like an amusement park. Another couple on the cruise with us said that they walked to the far end of the peninsula and that there was a ten-foot high fence covered with barbed wire to keep the starving children on the other side of the fence. It was very sad.
I enjoyed cruising enough to go again, but my husband and I don't want to use Royal Caribbean again. Next time we are supposed to have something, we are bringing documentation with us.