Royal Caribbean Cruises Comparison
Royal Caribbean is a really great mass-market cruise line.
We cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Radiance of the Seas in May 2012 from Vancouver (Canada) to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Straight, and Seward (Alaska).
We also cruised with them on the Vision of the Seas in July 2019 from Barcelona (Spain) to Cannes (France), Rome (Italy), La Spezia (Italy), Athens, Mykonos, Santorini (Greece) and Malta.
We were supposed to cruise on the Freedom of the Seas in April 2020 from Puerto Rico to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and St. Thomas but due to COVID-19 the cruise was canceled. We look forward to checking out the Freedom of the Seas in the future as it was just refurbished.
Our rooms on Royal Caribbean were always clean and the room stewards were always so friendly and kind.
While I didn't enjoy the Royal Caribbean singers/dancers shows, I really loved the outside shows they brought on the ship. During our Mediterranean cruise, we saw an acrobat show, a hypnotist show, comedy shows, and even a Celine Dion impersonation show. I think the shows that Royal Caribbean contracts with and brings on board are top class and are very good. I have not been on larger Royal Caribbean ships that offer broadway shows like Hairspray, Grease, or Mamma Mia, so I would love to still cruise on one of those ships to see how they compare.
Royal Caribbean also offers daily trivia and game shows which are fun to attend. All of their game shows are interactive and are quite fun to watch.
They also offer outdoor movies almost every evening. These movies are newly released to DVD so if you didn't have a chance to watch them in theaters, you can watch them on the ship.
Royal Caribbean has a library with games you can check out or play in the library as well as a great assortment of books. They even have a section where guests can take a book or leave a book. On our 12 day Mediterranean cruise I borrowed two great books from their library and left two books for guests to read that I had brought with me.
We aren't main dining room cruisers as I'm a picky eater, so we eat at the buffet more often than others might. What I liked about Royal Caribbean's buffets is that they were large and had a huge variety to choose from. They really had something there that everyone could eat. Their desserts were also delicious. I think I gained five pounds after our 12-day Mediterranean cruise, due to the buffets (or maybe that was the pasta and gelato in Italy??). The only downside to the buffet was that I noticed they were watering down their drinks. They would take the juice out of the machines, then add water to them and serve them to the guests. This made the apple juice and other juices very diluted and not tasty to drink. These juices were just is you want the free juice at breakfast and don't have the drink package. I also noticed that if you didn't have a drink package, drinks other than water were difficult to find outside of the meal times. Royal Caribbean also had pasta each day in the buffet but it was pre-mixed with a sauce of the day. The only downside to this is if you didn't like the sauce (white, red, seafood, etc) you couldn't get it plain. I also have to mention Royal Caribbean's baked potatoes. I don't know how they made them but they were literally the best-baked potatoes I've ever had. My other favorite food item was their pavlova or meringue. This was their "gluten-free" dessert most days, and I am obsessed with meringues so I got my fix of dessert in each day (as I said, I gained five pounds).
Royal Caribbean has an awesome adults-only pool area and solarium. The solarium has windows with great views on each side as well as a glass/window canopy that can enclose the solarium or keep it open on top. This is great for Alaska sailing when it's cold out as you can still sit by the pool. On the Alaska cruise, the solarium was one of the warmest places to hang out during the day due to the greenhouse effect.
I rate Royal Caribbean an 8/10 for the cruises we've been on. I like them more than any other mass-market cruise due to their entertainment, food and adult-only pool area.
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