Qualifications: this is our 9th cruise with RCCL since 2002. We've been on every class ship from Oasis to Empress. We did not use the main dining hall for dinner, we'd bought the specialty restaurant package so we cannot comment on the Main Dining. One irritation we found booking this cruise was that pretty much anyone could buy most of the perks of point status (we're Diamond) like wifi, show seating, etc. easily for a relatively small fee for the Key Program. Thanks Royal, for watering down the loyalty status earned by frequent cruisers. Really does a big disservice to loyal cruisers, especially seeing as nothing is offered in return to up the benefits of earned status other than a some free drinks and some discounts. Not happy about that at all. Not trying to keep others from getting perks, but that nothing is offered in exchange by Royal.
Boarding was quick and painless out of Tampa. Got on board and headed to stake out a spot by the pool while we waited for the dust to settle of boarding and get our bags to our rooms. Grabbed a quick snack at the Windjammer, got things like onboard wifi set up, and just hung out waiting for departure. Windjammer was pretty good this year on this ship. Food was pretty decent, fresh, with a good variety. Some of the other cruises we'd been on the food was left out under heat lamps, soggy, smashed, and not all that great. Nice surprise to see the Windjammer in good shape. Bags were left in the main forward and aft stairwells for passengers to pick up...thought that was unusual as every other cruise the bags arrived at your room at some point. Maybe they were left there to offer passengers the opportunity to grab their own bags? No idea... at any rate, everything went normally and easily for boarding. One thing we've noted is the steady decline in the thoroughness of the Emergency Briefing you get regarding life boats and jackets. First several years we had to show up at muster with life jackets on. Then it was show up in one of the theaters and watch a video briefing. Then watch it on the TV in your room. Now it was a crewmember just telling us where our station was and what the warning horn sounded like. Took less than a minute. Wow.
So we get underway and all the usual activities start. Band playing by the pool, cruise director announcements about shopping, shows, etc. Off to another fun cruise. We hung out by the pool area so the kids could have some fun until it was time to get ready for dinner. I'm not going to go into the dinners. We had a package for all specialty restaurants on this ship (Chops, Giovanni's, and Izumi), and all were excellent, the service was excellent, and we enjoyed it with few exceptions - the menus haven't changed much at all in years, if you've cruised with them you'll know, no big deal...but one of the items is a red velvet cake for dessert. We ordered that and it came out tasting like it'd been left in the walk-in cooler for a couple days. Hard, tasted off, dried out...ugh. Didn't eat it. Also, one of the shrimp cocktails had a similar problem. Had the smell of the walk-in cooler, slightly dried out. Gross. Other than that, everything was fine at the specialty restaurants.
If you see the pics of these cabins, WYSIWYG, of course noting the wide-angle lens making it look bigger than it is. No big deal, we've been here before and were fine with it. We weren't there to hang out in the room anyway. That said, we had 4 people and the room has a pull-out couch setup. The room steward didn't make the beds during the day, so we ended up making our own beds to not have a mess all day until he came in in the afternoon to make them. The couch was left extended by the staff the entire cruise so we had virtually no room at all, just the gap between wall, vanity, and beds. Only one service for the room per day, I think it used to be at least two. That kinda sucked. Also, for some reason the steward didn't want to fill the included shower soap/shampoo container. We ended up buying shampoo on shore, I had to ask for a refill twice before he finally did it, the first time he told me he did (I had removed the container from the wall, it slips right off for filling purposes, and laid it on its side, empty) fill it when quite obviously he hadn't. I still don't know how one places an empty container on the wall and states it's full, but oh well. Just seems to be par for the direction Royal is headed.
Our third trip to Nassau. First excursion was snorkeling. That's good fun. Second was a historic walking tour. Our guide was nice, but not very engaging. We didn't learn anything other than the most basic information to be found on a wikipedia page. This trip was Atlantis. Fun water park, nice rides, neat to see the tanks with the sharks and fish (some of those fish are way too big for the tanks, though. Pretty sad.), and you don't really need to spend any more time there than allotted by the excursion.