Wow, what a great cruise. The best of times start at Decks 11 and 12 around the pool. The cabanas were a joy to sit in--like box seats at a ball game. The 3 level Lime and Coconut bar is the perfect place to hang out, people watch and party. Soft serve ice cream on 11 now has an attendant. He kept the lines moving and eliminated the usual mess and germ sharing. El Loco Fresh (also on 11) is a free Mexican style buffet walk-up. Food was good, but the cheese was way thin and you had to open up the pre-wraped burritos to add some of the available hot sauces and assorted other condiments. That really backed things up. The new water slides are amazing. Tried em both and loved em both. If you want entertainment, hang around and watch people try to get out of the 2 seat blaster after their first trip. Best times could also be found at the Bamboo Room and Playmakers, both on 5. They are bars with good bar food; but at an extra cost. More on that in a minute. Deck 4 has $2 Mimosa's at the casino on the sea days. Best drink deal I've found since the 2 for 1 margaritas at the On Air bar on Freedom! Deck 3 has the entertainment. The shows at Royal Theater were varied and entertaining. Something for everyone. Studio B has a new ice skating show that is even better than the old one. It also has free skating and lazer tag. Good stuff.
Now for the ok...the music was loud. I'm going deaf because of the way I played my music in the 60's and 70's. But most of the music onboard was way loud. Royal spent many millions renovating the pool area, so why on 4 different nights did we have late night parties on deck 5? They did have one on deck 11 one night, but the shrill electronic music that was playing drove us downstairs. Main dining dinner is at 5:30 or 8:00. It takes close to 90 minutes to finish. So why were some 60 minute shows scheduled at 5:00 or 7:00? Last, but not least, the Windjammer closes for the evening at 9:00. Which means that the only free food to be found after then is at the Cafe Promenade on deck 5. At busy times the wait would be 10-15 minutes for something to nosh on. Good business for the Bamboo Room and Playmakers though. And they do have good food.
But those are just nits, the ship is great.