Wanted trip to Alaska, friends were going. Didn't realize how enormous ship was (meaning huge lines for the inadequate number of elevators, time-consuming just to travel to and from cabin to everything). On other cruises, I knew I was being squeezed for extra money--on this cruise, it felt like I was constantly being held up by my ankles and shaken for every last penny. The extra-cost Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant made Chef Boy-ar-dee look good (although Chops was excellent and worth the up-charge). Royal Caribbean apparently believe that they absolutely MUST pipe in loud and unappealling musis to every corner of the ship at every hour of the day. There was literally not restaurant, hallway, bar, or any other venue that did not have constant music being blared over the loudspeakers. There were only two "Alaskan" ports (Juneau and Skagway). To say they had the feel of Caribbean ports would be an understatement. They looked exactly like ports in the Caribbean because the VERY SAME jewelry stores were right there in your face--the owners summer in Alaska and winter in the caribbean. The Yukon Pass train in Skagway was a wonderful excursion, but for the most part the two ports felt like pure tourist trap. Technically, I can say I have been to Alaska but it certainly doesn't feel like it. The day we were supposed to be touring the glacier was too foggy to visit it, so no glacier (but it sure looked like a lot of other ships were going to it and heading back from it while we bided our time "whale watching"). The food in the dining room was mediocre (which surprised me based on our prior RC experience). More drinking than I expected on an Alaska cruise (it felt more like a caribbean party boat). We put our luggage outside our door the last night, properly tagged, as instructed. In port, all but one of our bags had been off-loaded to the right area. We didn't find our last bag in time to leave for our flight, and we filled out the RC form. My attempts to find out about the bag through the customer "service" line was an exercise in Kafka-esque futility. The on-line process they require has proven meaningless. Nearly two weeks after RC took custody and control of our bag, we have now information about it (it was highly distinctive, impossible to overlook if someone actually looked for it). Trying to get information from RC has proven to be an utter waste of time. I can't imagine ever taking an RC cruise again.
Room was actually a highlight of the trip. It was good sized and had two toilets. Downside was that it was in the middle of the VERY long corridor between the two banks of always-crowded elevators. The porter theoretically assigned to the room was virtually invisible. When we ran out of Kleenex or shampoo and put it in the sink so he wouldn't miss it when doing the room, and presumably replace it, he simply threw it away with no replacement. Seven nights but only three towel animals. A minor point, but consistent with minimalist service. And of course, there was the envelope prominently displayed for "extra" tips in addition to the mandatory tip RC adds to every passenger.