We met the ship in Barcelona after flying in from the UK with BA - flights booked with our trip. Next time we may book independently but we were late in booking holiday so thought easier this time. Flight was fully booked and seat allocation was poor. Nearly didn't get to sit together. After going left instead of right and ending up in the wrong terminal we eventually found our baggage reclaim and our bags. The Royal Caribbean Representative was easy to spot and escorted us to our coach. It was a short journey (under 45mins) to the ship and embarkation was a breeze. Straight in, checked in and then straight on board. There was also the opportunity to purchase the Soda drink package before boarding which we did - approx £40 for the 8 days. Once on board we had a nose around and then headed for the Windjammer for lunch. It was huge and as cruise novices didn't realise till breakfast the next day there was another part of it! So we only saw a small selection of the buffet but still managed to get some good food and enjoy the view out the window. We had breakfast and lunch most days in the Windjammer and were impressed with the wide selection of choice they had available. I was compelled to have my cheese salad everyday for lunch and was always finding something new on looking around. Gutted I didn't fine the fresh salmon and cream cheese till our last morning! We did try the Honey Stung Chicken that is so often mentioned on here but sad to say wasn't that impressed with it, sorry. Our room was available at 1pm and we were lucky enough to get our luggage quite quickly, which was good because my partner forgot to pack his trainers in hand luggage and shorts with posh shoes don't really cut it! Room was lovely - bigger than I expected. Clean and tidy. It actually looked like it did in the pictures on the websites. Shower was smallish but ok for us, maybe a squeeze if you like your food! We chose a room with a balcony, it was lovely to have and used it for breakfast on the occasions we had it in our room. I think we've spoiled ourselves as don't think we could ever cruise again without one, unless it was a bargain offer! Our room attendant was lovely and very helpful, extra hangers, towels. We loved the towel animals although our new favourite game is showing the photo's to friends and playing 'Can you guess what it is?' We opted for My Time Dining as didn't like the seating options avail on this cruise - 645pm or 915pm. I would suggest booking with the dining room each night. We usually booked the next night's time when leaving after dinner. We sat on tables for 8, 4, 6, and 2 - you were given the option of what table size you wanted and weren't made to sit with others if you chose not to. We ate at various times during the cruise, usually to fit around what we wanted to do that evening. We will definately choose this option in the future. One night we had a table for 4 and sat with an American couple and thoroughly enjoyed our evening with much wine had. So much so, we opted to sit together again on another night. Didn't know what to expect from the food, there's so many mixed reports on here. Most nights there was a good choice of Starters, Mains and Desserts. One night I even had two starters and the cheese plate! Most of the waiters were friendly and helpful and service was quick but not rushed. The only disappointment was on our last two nights where we were sat in the same section. I was disappointed with the waiter we had for both these nights. After 6 nights of great service he was a real let down, so much so I mentioned to my partner how I felt it nearly spoilt the end of my holiday. We waited ages for everything on these nights, food, bread, drinks. I even had to ask 6 times for my partners diet Coke! We tried Portofino's on our 4th night and enjoyed the meal and the service but I am not sure it rated the extra $20 each cover charge. Maybe we'll try Chops next time. There was no lobster tails at any meals, was expecting it at least once during the 8 night trip. We did try a few of the bars on board, more so for pre dinner drinks. We even entered one of the quizzes one night and won! It was 4 key rings! I tried several of the cocktails throughout the trip, prices ranged from $6-$10 plus service charge. I always had a cocktail in the Theatre while watching the shows. Didn't use the Spa - thought the prices were a little too much for me to 'treat' myself. My Partner used the gym daily and liked the choice of equipment but said some of it could do with a refit. Went into the Casino for a silly play on the slots, won and lost some but not too much. Being a Showaholic we saw every show on board bar the very first one. The Beatles were great, so were the shows put on by the entertainment crew especially the first one. Elton John performer was good, and the Magician was ok. Caught the Ice show and thought it was fantastic, especially considering the size of ice they have to skate on, plus they played Rock me Amadeus by Falco which is a song I loved in my youth! Definitely recommend not missing that. Did drag my partner along to Quest. I loved it, so my thing, we didn't win but we had great fun watching, worth going along just for that! The Promenade parades were fun. Caught both the Sailaway and the last one, but only the start of the 70's night as we were tired that day. Disembarkation was smooth, luggage taken the night before so woke up, ate breakfast packed overnight bag and got off. We had transport to the Airport and this was smooth with no problems. We ended our trip with 2 days in Rome instead of flying home and I was a lovely place, I'll definitely be back there.Only gripes was you had to use the ships shuttle to get off the ship at most ports. Villefranche and Palma being the only exceptions as you could walk off or were tendered off. We also booked a ship trip to Pisa/Florence so didn't need the shuttle then. It was expensive £71 (GBP) each for basically transport to Pisa and Florence. Next time I think I'll plan something else of team up with someone for taxi. It was $6 per person each way so just to get off the ship cost us $24 a time. There was an offer of a package for all days at $38 for all 5 ports but we only needed 3 so was cheaper to buy individually. I thought this was a little expensive as there is no real other way to get to the town so you're stuck with their option. Photos on board were lovely but expensive - $19.95 plus tax - we would have bought many more than we did had they been cheaper. All in all we both thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise and will be doing another one very soon. Already looking at one out of Southampton next year!
Cabin was plenty big enough for two people. Balcony was a good size and clean.Storage was well designed but we filled it up with just the things for 2 people. Had we been on a longer cruise I think we would have been pushed for space With the amount of clothes you have for dressing up, 3 adults would struggle and 4 would be impossible to store everything.Cabin was quiet, no problems with noise from rooms either side or across the hall.Tv took up alot of space, would be better to change to flat screens when/if the budget allows.