January 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Serenade of the Seas
I had sailed on Freedom of the Seas 18 months ago, the only Royal cruise I've tried. I have sailed on Carnival once. I will start with the CONS- so I can end on a good note- This ship badly needed a reno, especially in the Reflections Dining Room which had brown paneling on the walls. There was an odor from the carpet around some of the elevators. The food was mediocre in the dining room, a real disappointment compared to the food on the Freedom. The entertainment also was not as good as on Freedom, only because the cruise director seemed bored, the Centerum which hosted many continual events often reeked of smoke from the casino on the middle floor, and the comedian was NOT funny. However, the singer/dancers were top notch, the orchestra fantastic, and the ventriloquist they had made us laugh until we cried. (I can't remeber his name)
The PROS- The service, however, was excellent in all areas of the ship. Our waiter was so willing to make everything a great experience for us even doing "tricks" at the end of some of our meals (balancing acts, "magic" tricks). Our stateroom attendant was also super, actually calling each of us by our first name everytime he saw us in the hall (and sometimes we were with 2 other couples)! The rooms were clean and we got an excellent rate for our room that had an oceanview. The bathrooms on the ship were also clean. Some of the entertainment was superb as mentioned, others not so much.
I would not give up on Royal, but I would not sail on this ship again.