I have been on this ship many times and have always considered it one of my favorite smaller ships in the line. However things seemed to have changed a bit in the last year or so. This trip consisted of two one week cruises back to back. Midway through the first cruise the female cruise director was replaced by a fellow named Steve. Fairly soon thereafter the atmosphere on the ship seemed to change a bit. Most notably was the fact that the volume levels on almost all venues of the ship seemed to increase to a level that was actually painful. It became necessary for the doors leading to the cabin corridor to be closed when he was using the pa in the centrum and even then it could be heard in the room with the door closed. Even the bands playing in the centrum and pool deck got louder to the point it was uncomfortable. Other people made comments as well but nothing changed. Perhaps this was coincidence but the crowds during events in the centrum got increasingly more rowdy as the cruise progressed.
I have seen the production shows in the theatre many times but on this cruise the dancers were not as polished and singers were the poorest on any RCI ship heard in a long time. The lobster in the dining room was inedible which is not typical on Royal ships. No key lime pie anywhere. Same limited desert choices at lunch and dinner in the buffet every serving. However pancakes and French toast was the best in a long time, but no chocolate breakfast day in the dining room. No full size muffin choice anywhere.
The Concierge Club was closed to Diamond Plus level Crown and Anchor Society members even though this is a benefit. The remaining lounge space was so packed during happy hour that there was never anyplace to sit after attending the appetizers table. It was interesting to go to the little visited port of Trujillo, Honduras even if the tenders were slow and there was not a great deal to see there. Dining room and cabin steward service was great as usual. It was nice to visit New Orleans independently between the two cruises. It is within walking distance of the port and the streetcar stops in front of the terminal. Price is $1.25 and exact change is a good idea. For those who would rather shop there is an outlet mall in the terminal. Much to my surprise there is a branch of the famous New Orleans institution Cafe du Monde right in the mall. Who knew! And while there was a substantial line, it was much shorter than the block long one at the original location in the city center. The beignets were the same and as good as ever. Departing from New Orleans and cruising down the Mississippi to the gulf is fascinating with all of the riverboats and the other ocean going ships.