This was our 10th cruise and probably 6 or 7 with RCCL. Demographics - White collar 49 year old couple and 17 &19 year old daughters. Tough to review because cruising has changed so much over the years and I think it is time for us to move towards a more inclusive cruise experience. The upsell is significantly greater than it used to be and the general dining room food has really gone down. We ate 5 times in the specialty just to have a better experience. Ship was beautiful and the upkeep is really very good. Some crew was a little indifferent but overall the staff was excellent. A case that the average cruise worker really makes it a great experience. Some really special people that are probably trained well but first and foremost care from the heart. RCCL cancelled the water show several times due to a hydraulic problem with the stage/pool. Also cancelled Mama Mia once. Headliner was pretty bad. RCCL did cram in extra showings during the day for the water show but couldn't get in even though I had booked online far in advance (which I recommend). Couldn't help feeling that cramming it in wasn't for the benefit of the passengers but more so to avoid the people asking for refunds. Spa was terrible. Screwed up all the appointment times and then couldn't provide an executable solution. Worst part is they can charge you right away but then the refund is a process. Found a couple different billing discrepancies on my account so make sure to check it. It resulted in $150 of reversals for me. Internet is criminally expensive.
Excursions with the ship were pretty good. Drach caves much better than I expected (seen one, seen them all didn't quite apply). French lavender fields to Luberon and Rousillion (sp?) was really pretty scenery (lavender is now moving out of season though). 13 or less group size in Naples to Positano, Sorrento, & Pompeii was enjoyable but expensive. Great tour guide.
I really wanted to share our experience with a private tour company in Florence and Rome, Joe Banana. Had a private van for the 4 of us and a fraction of the cost. I was hesitant because of the unknown and concern "will be be back in time?" We returned with plenty of time to spare and probably saw 3 times what we would have. Catherine in Florence and Giovanni in Rome both personalized the tour to what we wanted to do. With that said, they brought us to some unique and outstanding locations we would have never found. Catherine is a US expat so it was really nice with a unique perspective. Giovanni had a tough task as we had been in Rome a year before. We saw more with him in one day that we saw in four days on our own during the last visit. Also, my daughter is a college art history major and he knows his stuff, teaching her a thing or two and bringing us to little known works by famous artists in secondary churchs. Please don't hesitate to contact Joe Banana and set up your own tours. It was the best decision we made.
Hot tip - some of the cabins have bed up next to closet and desk area nearer the balcony door. Every other cabin has bed next to the balcony door and desk nearer the closet and room exit. Definitely a better set-up to have the bed by the window. We had a hard time fighting around the bed each time to access the closet. My daughters were in 7306 and theirs was in the more preferable configuration.
Cosmopolitan city that we felt very comfortable in. Would return without hesitation. Try to extend out from your cruise for 3 or 4 days.