We've previously sailed with Princess and Carnival. This was our first RCCL cruise. There were 7 of us traveling together. My husband and 14 year old daughter and my sister and brother-in-law and their 2 children - a boy 14 and girl 12. We arrived a few days early and stayed at the Marriott Marble Arch. It was a few blocks from one of the main subway lines. We stayed at the hotel based upon comments from the postings on the board. We weren't there very much, but the hotel was clean and they had great fish and chips. On the day of the cruise the staff there was very helpful in getting us a cab and then packing all our luggage into it. (Don't know how it all fit, but it did). We arrived at Liverpool Street Station, got our tickets and then took the cruise train to Harwich. It was all very easy. Embarkation was easy and quick. We were on the boat in about 15 minutes and our stateroom was ready. However, we needed to make our first trip to the customer services desk, because none of our room keys worked. Once that was resolved, we found our cabin to be very nice. We had a D1 on the hump and the balcony was huge. I liked the room setup and there was lots of places to store our stuff once unpacked. Our room steward soon arrived and introduced himself. He was always asking if we were happy and if we needed anything. I liked the room layout and that it had a curtain to separate the seating (and daughter's sleeping area) from our sleeping area. The bathroom made nice use of the space and the shower door was much better than the usual curtain. The ship itself is beautiful and was nicely laid out. There many areas to go to get away from everyone or if you wanted to be around people you could just head to the Centrum and the lounges in that area. We liked the rock wall and the self-leveling pool tables. My husband really liked the gym and I even made it there myself one morning. There was a nice selection of machines and equipment. We had main seating in the dining room. Our servers had all our soft drink preferences ready as soon as we arrived. The food quality and quantity was very good. We usually had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. The food selections were better than on other cruise lines we have taken and they rotated the items so you didn't get too board with the Wind Jammer even after 12 days. We did try the lunch at the Bistro 30 (what they call Tides at lunch) on the last 2 days and I was sorry that I did not get there earlier in the cruise. The food selections were great and they had some very interesting salads and entrees. I would highly recommend that you take a look on one of the sea days. They do try to push you to one of the group tables, but we asked for a table for 2 and they sat us at one. My husband and I had dinner in Portofino's one night and thought that the food and service was great. Our regular dining servers were also great, so I wouldn't go just for the service. Our daughter liked the teen club, but they didn't always have the activities that they said were scheduled. I think it really depends on the current group of teens and whether they get involved or not. She enjoyed the few that they did hold such as the dating game and battle of the sexes. As for the adult activities and entertainment - some of the shows were very good - comedian and trick show. The ship show productions didn't really impress me and the song selections were a little hokey. Our daughter seemed to like them though. As I mentioned previously, the staff and service - from the room steward to the dining room staff and all the support staff were friendly and helpful. They took a personal interest in trying to get to know you and they also shared their own personal stories about their homelands and life. I thought that the service on this ship was far superior than we had on our other ships/cruise lines. I can't really comment on the ships excursions as we did all the ports on our own, except for transfer upon disembarkation which I will talk about below. Most of the ports on this itinerary are very easy to do on your own. We used Alla tours in St. Petersburg and thought they were great. The 2 day complete tour - sure was complete and there was an information and culture overload. The ship personnel were very friendly towards the independent travelers despite earlier postings on the boards. Before we knew it, it was time to pack and leave. Getting off the boat was a breeze, although I did get scolded at by the tour transfer coordinator. We had lavender 5 tags which told us to report to the Coral theater at 7:20. We booked a Royal Windsor and airport transfer. I didn't look at the tickets since the 1st day and the tickets said to report at 7 for 7:15 departure. We arrived at 7:15 and passed by the group as they were leaving the theater but caught up with them at the luggage area and busses. We really enjoyed the tour and it made nice use of our time before our flight. So, to make a long story short, I would definitely recommend this ship, cruise line and itinerary. Although I would say to be prepared for all sorts of weather - as it tended to rain a bit at the beginning of the cruise, and then towards the end of the cruise it was nice and sunny.