This should be one of your considered reviews before purchasing a Royal Caribbean Cruise: First off you're my cruise was in February and the average age of a passenger was about 60 years old or so. No biggy I wasn't there for anyone else but my wife and I. However, this did impact the nightlife and overall vibe; a very boring atmosphere. However, I never had a problem getting a table after 7:30 PM. The staff is about as fake as it can get. There is a thing called prepaid gratuities. This is the only means of payment for everyone in food, drink, and housekeeping. If you don't tip; they DON'T get paid. This is one of the ways why RC's prices are so low. A legal version of slave labor.
My favorite is when I got food poisoning for the first time. All I wanted was some medication the next day and the onboard medical facility wanted to charge me $400 to see the doctor and $220 for any prescriptions. I was like well I got poisoned off your food. Their response "prove it". Guest relations told me to stick it and the restaurant manager said that "I don't believe you" well sir I got it from a bad oyster "no you didn't because you're the only one I've heard of on the ship with this poisoning". I simply tried to tell him that it was a bad oyster and just to be more careful next time. What a bad and embarrassing experience considering that their classless remarks were in front of several passengers.
Now we get to the actual cruising. Ya know the first couple day's weren't that bad. I didn't mind the tea cup size pool with never a vacant chair in sight or a bar with The Four Seasons drink prices. However, this was a 10 day cruise and really the absence of interesting activities really starts to creep up on ya by day 3. Honestly, if you like bingo (30 minute game twice a day for $40), towel folding, horrific 1 hour nightly shows, singing lessons or how to cook the ship's food class (the food is somewhere between TGI Fridays and Denny's). However, the miniature golf course was so so and casino wasn't bad either. Just no vibe in the casino. And really I was on a 10 day cruise and this was the offerings of fun.
Now just imagine the beautiful ports and they were the shining beacon on this abysmal cruise. What a blast we had at these ports and DON'T buy an excursion from the cruise. I wasted 2 hours in Acapulco waiting for the tour guides to get their crap together and another 2 hours in transit. I paid $80 per person for 4 hours at a mediocre resort. DON'T GO WITH THE SHIPS EXCURSIONS. They are way overpriced and every tour guide / cab driver at the ports speak good English. Now just imagine you're sitting at the beach getting served like a king amazing food, the drinks, wow the sun the water the view, Your melting in relaxation and fun. How would you like to be on a timer during this? There was nothing worse than having to leave these places to be locked up on a ship with by day 4 NOTHING to do. Average port arrival 7 AM average departure 4 PM. So if you were lucky you could squeeze 6 hours of fun out of these stops. So on a 10 day 5 stop cruise I got 30 hours of real vacation.
Now my favorite part; I get back on the ship go to the hot tub and spark my Cuban cigar. Some jerk from the 3 Caribbean song playing horrific band motions to a waiter and here comes the waiter to tell me to put the cigar out. No smoking in an outdoor hot tub! Ok sir, I go to grab my beer, No drinks allowed either at the hot tub! So as I walk up to one of the café's located by the pool area to grab a salad and wings for my wife and I, immediately I get stopped at the entrance. I wasn't wearing a shirt so I couldn't enter an outdoor café located right next to the pool. Had to redress and go all the way back.
Listen to make a long story short. I paid $2000 for this 10 day cruise and that was without my $1500 liquor/food bill. Not to mention the at least $1000 spent at the ports. Add this up and tell me that you wouldn't rather go to an all inclusive for a week at "enter destination here". My idea of a vacation is a break from the world where I could do anything I want. The rules and constant threat of dismemberment really adds even more insult to the constant boredom we suffered through from day 3 on. Also, during dinner you have to dress up 50% of the time or you can't eat. I love putting on a suit on and told what to do on vacation don't you?