A bit of background: DH and I love to cruise. We are 54 and 57--kids are grown and we are pretty low maintenance. We have taken our last few cruises with our granddaughter who loves to cruise, but she started kindergarten this year so couldn't come along--she wasn't happy we left her! Because of our work schedules, this week worked well for us. We have been on many cruises and have sailed Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Costa and Carnival. We have been fairly loyal to Royal and this was our first cruise as Diamond level. We don't particularly care for leaving out of Galveston; as Fort Lauderdale and Miami are much more organized. I thought the service and staff were excellent on this ship. The only downgrade for the cruise was just the cuts they are making across the board to help control costs and feed their bottom line. I appreciate them keeping cruising affordable, but overall I will say that we have had a better impression with NCL the last few years than Royal. That being said, I will go where I can get the most value for my money and what fits in our schedule. We have been to most of the islands so itinerary is not as important to us in the Caribbean.
We decided to take a last minute cruise on a comp from the casino. Booked about 6 weeks out. We were in a balcony cabin 7628. Cabin was fine and no complaints. Plenty of room for 2 people. We were on Liberty last November and vowed that we wouldn't sail out of Galveston again since the disembarkation was horrible the last 2 cruises out of there. But, since we live in Kansas we can drive to Galveston and save on airfare so we booked. We originally had thought of going to the Bahamas for a land vacation...glad we didn't as Dorian would have changed our plans! Reminder to everyone to always have insurance just in case!
We went to the Diamond Lounge for the first night and never went back. So crowded and not worth the time since you can get drinks at any bar. We ate breakfast every morning in the Windjammer. Food was good, hot and plentiful. We are early risers and so there was never a problem with crowds. We did try and eat 1 dinner in the Windjammer and it really wasn't good at all so we ate all our other dinners in the main dining room. They have really cut back on the menu items over the years! Still plenty of selection and the food was good...not great, but overall good. We had MTD and never waited more than 5 minutes for our table for 2. Bryann and Ryan were our wait staff and they were outstanding! We don't really enjoy the specialty restaurants; we have tried them a few times, but don't really see the value when there are plenty of other options.