Corporate cuts are obvious in reduced service and quality
We recently sailed for 12 nights on Royal Caribbean (RC) (Serenade of the Seas) and had a nice relaxing trip. The destination of the Western Med and the ports of call were excellent. The RC employees were helpful and pleasant. We also had the opportunity to upgrade to a Grand Suite just prior to sailing and the added benefit of Concierge Service really made a difference in our experience.
Where we were very disappointed was in the lack of available employees to handle some basic requirements on board. Also the selection and quality of the food in the dining room was poor and drove many cruisers to alternate dining options (like the specialty restaurants, which of course adds more money to RC coffers).
Examples of the decline in service include lack of cleaning in the pool areas (dirty chairs, glasses and plates sitting for several hours before being collected and lack of waiters to help you out).
Check in service for "priority line" had one employee only and on the last day, only 3 of the 7 desks were staffed to address any final billing errors.
Overall, we had a relaxing vacation and definately will cruise again - just not sure the Royal Caribbean will be our carrier.