I left off with table manners of the other passengers. I’m more than happy to say the people seated at my dinner table all had great manners!
Other things I noticed? Over all the politeness/etiquette level of the passengers was down as well. When there are signs everywhere telling you to wash your hands to prevent the spread of disease and illness, do it! Especially after using the restroom. And honestly it’s not that hard to flush the toilets either. You close the lid and hit a button. It’s not that hard. Yet I either went to the restroom after the same guy and he didn’t know how to work it or people are just that lazy. Personally I think they are that lazy. Getting on and off the elevator is a simple task. You press the up/down button once. Hitting it repeatedly as fast as you can will not make it arrive any faster (yes I am talking about an adult). Then you step back and wait for the elevator to open and let the current passenger(s) out BEFORE trying to get in. I don’t know how many times I had people run into me while I was trying to get off the elevator. I finally started just taking the stairs every time I needed to get somewhere (works out better for me and my weight loss program).
There were a couple other simple rules the cruise line has that were thought of as possible guidelines … things like “Saving lounge chairs is not permitted” and “Unattended towels will be collected after 30 minutes”. And they mean it. Royal Caribbean had people on deck watching … and when they saw towels and deck chairs unattended they would clean up the towels and put chair back where they were supposed to be. That was the other thing that was annoying. People moving deck chairs. Once you change the configuration of the chairs, the deck becomes a maze to navigate. They finally had to make an announcement to keep aisle-ways clear.
I think I’m done for today nit-picking on the other passengers … on to measurable differences.
Our cabins were smaller. On Princess our interior stateroom had 185 square feet. On Royal Caribbean we had 135 square feet. On Princess we had a Quad cabin (4 twin beds) so that might account for some of the difference in size, AND Princess gave you a price break on a quad. Royal Caribbean’s quad was 144 square feet and there was not a significant price break on passengers number 3 and 4 like there was on Princess. So we booked 2 cabins. It cost about $100 more for 2, but we got twice the space and it meant wife and I got our own room. 😀 But the kids chickened out and I bunked with Daughter 2 and wife was with Daughter 1 … until the last 3 nights … then they wanted their own room. Go figure. That works for me! 😀
The food was one of the other differences. It’s not measurable, but it is noticeable. Princess had great food. And they had a huge variety of foods. Royal Caribbean had great food as well, but the selection of foods was … well to put it simply, it was ordinary. Example: Princess had fresh cut fruits every morning on the buffet. They included things like kiwi, strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges, pears, pineapple, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and peaches. Royal had fresh cut fruits as well … pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pears and apples. The salad bar on Princess included more “toppings” (sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, carrots, etc) than Royal. And way were there only 4 salad dressing choices each day? I count 7 different dressings but only 4 were out at a time? Princess had the same 6 every day. Breakfast foods on Princess included made to order omelets. You could not get a made to order omelet on Royal. (I don’t like omelets. I don’t really like eggs all that much as a matter of fact, but my wife likes eggs and in particular omelets and she was disappointed.) But they did have 3 or 4 different types of omelets prepared and waiting in a chafing dish. Same thing with waffles, they were made in the kitchen and brought out to the warmers. On Princess you got in line and they were made fresh and put right on your plate. Our dinners on Princess were 5 courses. On Royal they were 3. Don’t get me wrong. The food was great, it was just simpler, more common foods.
Next up … our ports of call.