I've been on ten cruises in my life. Seven with Royal Caribbean and one with Windstar, Oceania & Celebrity. The three different cruise lines were far superior, but nearly twice as expensive. As far as I'm concerned, with Royal Caribbean you get the best bang for the buck. Royal Caribbean takes you to the far corners of the world at a price the average guy can afford.
I knew I wanted to go to Alaska this Spring and I knew my budget dictated that the cruise would be with Royal Caribbean. I was confident I would get more than my money's worth. I didn't do much research, just found the cruise I wanted and booked it. I was not aware that the ship had just been rehabilitated.
I think if I knew RC had just spent 300 million to rehab this ship, I would have been disappointed. There was still the locker room smell in the hallways. The new flatscreen TVs in the room had blurry pictures and any script writing was difficult to read. The bottom of our desk drawer fell out. The robes in the room were dirty. The minibar in the room was not stocked until the third day. The lock on the cabin door needed to be repaired. What appeared to be a new lavatory sink had such a high rim and such a low faucet, it was nearly impossible to wash your hands.
I'll tell you where RC spent the 300 million...they upgraded the Centrum for aereal acts. These acts were fantastic and we enjoyed every minute. As for the entertainment in the theater.....I'd give it a C-....after being disappointed the first two nights, we chose to skip any further shows until the final evening and that night they had a fantastic juggler. One night we showed up at the time in the daily newsletter and was told the newsletter had been misprinted and the show did not start for another three hours. How is this possible.....isn't this newsletter just boiler plate that is used week after week? I remember the good old days when you could get a abbreviated copy of USA today and keep current on the stock market, headline news and your favorite sports team. Unlike other ships, we were not able to monitor our seapass account on the TV. Remember when you used to get mixed nuts in the bars and not just peanuts, and free soft drinks? One night we were told there were no peanuts in the upstairs bar (sorry, can't remember the name of the bar right now)and we'd have to go to another bar to have peanuts with our beers. RC was nice enough to spend most of the 300 million adding three new Specialty Restaurants that they can charge extra for and a nice area for their Diamond Club members. I never did see anyone in the new high dollar oriental restaurant, but I hear the view was fantastic. The addition of the Park Bistro was a very nice touch. For the entire cruise, one of the elevators was out of order.
The cruise to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchican was fantastic. The scenery was breathtaking. The day we went through the Fjord will be remebered for the rest of my life. The excursions were wonderful. If I look at this cruise as a trip to Alaska on a 15 year old ship, I had a wonderful time and worth every penny. If I look at it as a cruise on a ship that had just had a 300 million dollar renovation, someone got ripped off.