To a large degree I like what you like in a cruise and I think there are probably many others who will agree.
We personally enjoy a beautiful ship, great food, nice staterooms, comfortable beds, attentive staff, and nice amenities. I think we found our perfect ship in the Solstice-class of the Celebrity fleet as it meets everything we like in a cruise.
I know there are others who will disagree, but as I always say, "What one person loves, another will hate." And that's the great thing about cruising - there's something out there for everyone because as you said, one size does not fit all.
But you're right, it is funny how different people will have completely the opposite experience on the same sailing.
We once had three couples together on a cruise - we're all travel agents, all cruise specialists, and all about the same age. We probably had about 150 cruises between us, so our experience was quite extensive. After the cruise, all six of us agreed it was one of our least favorite cruises; the ship was in dire need of refurbishment, the food was not that good, and the staff was very lackadaisical. Yet we read a review by someone on the same sailing who said he had been on 75 cruises and up until this cruise the QMII had been his favorite ship of all time. But after this cruise, that ship would have to take second place because this was now his all-time favorite. Needless to say, the 6 of us looked at each other and wondered if he was actually on the same ship we were. We definitely got a good laugh over that one!
But hey, to each their own.
The important thing about a cruise is to go on it with a positive attitude and not let the little things distract from the enjoyment. And there are always little things that can go wrong; the lines were too long, the food wasn't hot enough, the bathroom is too small, etc, etc.
As my other favorite expression goes, "You'll always find what you're looking for, so look for the best in everything." In other words, if you want to find negative things to complain about, you'll always find them. But why try to make yourself miserable?
We've been on 45 cruises on 11 cruise lines and to date we can honestly say that we've never had a bad cruise. Yes, some have been better than others and yes, we've had some problems that could have ruined our cruise if we had let them. We just understand that things happen. So, we deal with them and get on with it.
What's interesting to is the difference in what people want out of cruise. Some are going just for the ship. As they say, the ship is the destination. That can definitely be said about the Oasis-class ships of the RCCL fleet! Others will say they're going for the ports; they love shopping, going to the beach, sightseeing, etc. Some are going to party. Others are going to be active - they want to do everything and stay busy from the time they get up until the time they go to bed. Some are never in their cabins, while others are in their cabins alot. And others simply go on a cruise because they want to be sedate, eat, read a good book, and relax. And what's great is that all of these people can usually do what they want on the same ship at the same time.
Gotta love cruising!