We have just returned from a weeks cruising with RC on Freedom of the Seas
Overall a pleasant holiday, we booked what we thought was an all inclusive cruise but how wrong we were!
First positive points, ship embarking and disembarking was quick and efficient, at all ports passengers were transferred off the ship speedily which was great.
Ship was enormous and impressive especially the royal promenade, rooms were spacious and clean - housekeeping seemed to be permanently hanging around so rooms were always kept clean!
Ate mainly at the Winjammer buffet which we both enjoyed very much, great selection of food and not too busy. Ate once at the main a la carte dining room but not that impressive I'm afraid
As a childless couple it was lovely to have an adults only section - you need to be quick with getting the sun loungers though!
Some of the entertainment was great, Grahame the cruise director was especially amusing
There did seem to be a lot of facilities which could fill your time well if so inclined!
OK now for the negatives.....
Mainly just money money money. We had been forced into pre paying tips before we left as apparently that's just what you 'do' on a cruise. $10 a day for the housekeeper certainly seemed like a massive amount to us and as we only used the restaurant once we did begrudge tipping people we had never met!! Also they add 15% onto every drink you have so regardless of whether you want to you end up tipping again there!!
We disembarked at CocoCay which is a private island owned by RC, here you have to pay for everything - even sunloungers! Considering we are paying so much for a cruise you would have thought they could throw in a sunlounger for free??!!!
Now the main bugbear which is a serious one that needs to be looked at. The lies told by the 'shopping consultant' in regards to the recommended shops that are linked to the cruise company when you disembark at a port - mainly Diamonds International
The ship will treat you to a massive lecture about how these are recommended shopping outlets that are guaranteed by the ship, they are duty and tax free, and massive massive bargains
This is all lies. They lie to you on the ship, they lie to you in the shop when they sell you their inferior diamonds then when you get them independently appraised back on land you realise you were royally conned and there is sweet fa you can do about it.
RC should be ashamed of themselves for associating themselves with these charlatans but of course they are making too much money out of them to care. Just google Diamonds International and you will be treated to the masses and masses of internet space dedicated to these people.
Too late for us now but please be careful!!!!