Been on 5 other Royal Caribbean cruises, and many Carnival and NCL, but after this cruise, I will never go on RC again.
Florida is always a fun jumping-off point, and we had fun this time as well, but on to the cruise.
Getting on the boat wasn't bad, and the crowds weren't excessive. I've seen worse.
Our room was a balcony room overlooking central park. It was a fair bit cheaper than balcony rooms over water, but I don't think I would do it again. Unlike ocean facing rooms, its always bright in central park, and its possible for other people to look in from across the ways.
Overall we wanted to try this ship because it was large, and it was. Big and lots to do, but this was only really partially true in our view. RC tries to sway you to go on this ship for all its activities, and it does have them, but here is a little secret, people don't naturally stay perfectly spaced out. Many people want lunch or show as the same time as other people. Unlike EVERY other cruise ship we've been on, you have to make reservations for almost everything. Want to see a show? You better hope you made a reservation before you left because its sold out now. Lunch at noon? good luck with that one. You will never ever find a seat. And good luck getting a deck chair.
We typically went to the Windjammer for all meals but dinner, and the crowds here were insane at times. The first battle was finding a seat, then there was the lines. You'd THINK a big ship like this would have a good variety of food? Nope. Its the same small selection of food that just repeats again and again and again. Maybe this was generally good, because once you waited in one line, there really wasn't reason to wait in another. The food was average at best. Specialty restaurants were good, but the price can add up and almost all of them were book once on the ship.
We saw one show because we made reservations before our cruise, and the water show was pretty good, but most other shows were sold out once on board. I've never had to make show reservations before, and this is reason enough to never take a cruise like again.
Ice skating and Florider and zipline are fun if you are young and willing to wait in line. Most of the kids we went with said they were OK, but once they did them, it was enough.
Overall I go on a cruise to relax, and this was NOT a relaxing cruise, it was survival of the fittest. No thanks, I'll take the smaller ships thank you, but RC turned me off so much with this one that I will not take another RC cruise again.
I've been on many RC cruises through the years, and at one time they were more upscale, although somewhat more expense than the other mainstream companies. Over the years RC has tended to bigger and bigger ships, and service has gone way down. Exactly what the airlines do, squeeze them in, and nickel and dime them for everything. The free options shrunk, and the optional items grow. In the end, bigger is definitely not better, its merely a Royal Caribbean profit maximizing technique.