We started this cruise with a degree of trepidation. Having booked the cruise with ROL because of the ports visited we then read the reviews. We tried to keep an open mind but this was by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. Embarkation was smoothly managed and most of our luggage arrived at our cabin quickly although one bag did not arrive until several hours after the rest. The balcony cabin was quite spacious and clean although looking a bit tired and very dated - we understand that the ship is due a refit in January 2013. The TV was terrible - mostly news channels and films with asian dubbing so there was very limited choice.
The Windhjammer restaurant was almost always crammed with people and it took quite some time to get a table and this situation continued throughout the cruise - there was just insufficient seating for the number of guests. The selection of food was limited and clearly aimed at the Asian market. They also have plastic plates which I personally think is appalling and have never known on a cruise ship.
The food in the main Romeo and Juliet restaurant was variable to say the least, with some rather strange mixtures, king prawns with mashed potato!! The starters were particularly poor and the deserts were on occasion tasteless. On the first night it took 90 mins for our starter to arrive although the service improved after that. Our waiter was very nice and tried to steer us to things he thought we would like and offered replacements when it was not to our taste. We had booked a wine package and some of the wines were not available although replacements were offered. Generally they seemed to have problems with the supply of wines. We went to the champagne bar and ordered a bottle of sparkling wine - we were told they did not have this wine on board and we had to order one considerably more expensive. Later in the cruise we, after much negotiation and a visit to the restaurant, managed to get a bottle of sparkling wine delivered to our cabin at which point we discovered that they did have this particular wine on board. Next visit to the champagne bar we asked again for this wine and were again told they did not have it on board, when we explained that actually they did have this wine in the restaurant, the waiter rushed across to the restaurant to get us a bottle.
A stop at Koh Samui was quite enjoyable - although the information provided on the ports was limited - no port or street map provided. We booked an excursion to Bangkok which was very poorly organised and I am amazed that everyone arrived back in one piece. The entertainment in the main theatre was also of a poor standard compared to other cruises we have been on. The music in the main atrium was clearly aimed at the large group of asian line dancers. The casino was extremely smoky and machines were crammed in - again clearly aimed at the asian market. The shops had a very limited selection of goods and was very expensive.
Disembarkation was appalling - we left the ship at 8.30am and our bags were dumped on the port at around 9.30, we then had to wait in a queue in the cruise entre for our coach which did not arrive until 11am.
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and to be honest I expected better of them.