We have cruised many years on Royal Caribbean and before we took this cruise we had already booked next years with them. To say we were bitterly disappointed is an understatement. Had we not experienced exceptional service in the past we would never cruise again - even though we are Diamond members.
Firstly the ship is looking tired, the crew look even more tired. They did not have any passion for the company in fact we were told by our waiter he was leaving after 12 years this week and could not wait. Other staff called it the prison ship. The main reason was they found the ship too busy. We have cruised on the liberty and the freedom without having the same experience.
A lot of the problems were down to the rude behaviour of other passengers. They constantly pushed in any queue finding it funny. The children were mostly unsupervised blocking staircases, running and jumping in music venues, climbing on other guests chairs, putting there hands straight in the food at Windjammers even though the ships runs a very appropriate hygiene program, this was just ignored. We do have our own children who have travelled with us since they were toddlers and they were shocked by their own observations.
The cruise was more like a chaotic circus than a relaxing break and considering we paid massive money for this experience I would expect the cruise company to take notice of its valued customers and consider inviting factual first hand experiences to be taken seriously and make some changes to this ship to keep the reputation of the Royal caribbean upstanding.
We also found the bar service to be inconsistent. We asked several times for a bar menu with prices and were given a cocktail list with no prices and were then charged on different nights different drink prices for the same glass of wine - when questioned we were told it was a different type - hence more expensive - $10 instead of $7 - outrageous. We did not use this venue again.
On the plus points the stops were great. Our children love the flow rider but waited an hour to have a go for thirty seconds - understandable as so many people waiting. Same for the rock climbing. Ice skating was mostly during dinner time - 5.45 - 7.45 so if your on first sitting you miss out.
The cruise director was was good and the kids loved him. The shows were very good except the last night where they were balancing on a ladder, no real headliners as previously experienced - Elton john tribute act was very good. Ships own shows were very very good but on two nights we missed the show as the theatre filled up very early and as we were travelling with grandparents too they could not stand for long.
We have written to customer services and are awaiting a response - a full refund would be appropriate.
Whether we cancel or not depends on Royal Caribbean's response.