We booked a package with Royal Caribbean for flight, transfers,and balcony cabin, the flight with Flybe from Manchester to Southampton was excellent, we boarded the transfer coach (53seater) then had to wait for other flights to come in before we could depart the airport, 10 passengers in total on the coach.Arrived at the docks at 11am. Check in was very well organised and professional, we boarded the ship, then were asked to go to the Windjammer as our staterooms wouldn't be available till after 2.30pm.The Windjammer was very overcrowded, the food was very tasteless and only lukewarm which was the case throughout the holiday, although the waiting staff were very helpful.Our cabin was available at 2.30pm but my luggage did not arrive till 8pm. Our cabin was kept tidy and clean,and everything extra we asked for like ice extra pillows and cruise compasses, was sorted straight away. If you like coffee take some with you has you get teabags sugar and milk but no coffee, that can be ordered at $3.95 a time, also there are no toiletries in the bathroom like there use to be only a shampoo container attached to the shower wall.
Strauss was our restaurant on deck 4 table 485 Felix our waiter was excellent, but that couldn't be said for his asst waitress. The menus we found were not up to the usual standard of Royal Caribbean, the food was tasteless most of the time and lukewarm, and the portions have reduced considerably,mashed potatoes seemed to be every meal,along with carrots broccoli and asparagus. We were all very disappointed with our meals most evenings. The best meal we had on the cruise was at Johnny Rockets one evening where we spent a pleasurable 3hours eating and chatting with the staff, which of whom i cannot praise enough for there friendliness and service to us.
The shuttle buses are on average between $12-15 dollars each, the organised trips with RCCL are very good usually, but are very expensive.