Hi Peter, welcome to Cruise Chat.
Like you I am from the Uk and I was wondering if your 2 previous cruises were with the British cruise lines Thomson or P&O.
You might consider the prices asked for by Royal Caribbean to be a rip off but at the same time there are many cruisers happy to pay the prices asked for. I like you find the prices to be a bit on the high side but if I don't like the prices then I'm not forced to buy anything.
Excursions always seem to me to be quite expensive but the one thing they do safeguard is that if they get delayed the ship won't sail until the passengers on an official excursion return.
AsI said above, there seem to be lots of people who pay for excursions and several of the excursions get fully booked so if they felt they were getting ripped off then the excusions wouldn't sell.
I agree with you that bar prices are a bit high and I dislike the compulsary 15% service charge on every drink, BUT remember you are on holiday ( vacation to Americans reading this ) so enjoy it.
So far you post has been more on the negative side so how about also telling us about the things you did enjoy.Did you enjoy the food in the main dining room ? How did you like the entertainment. What made the first 2 cruises more special ?