First off I like to cruise. I like RCI. But they could do better on this ship.
Embarkation at Malaga was smooth, efficient and friendly and welcoming.
On Board the ship is in need of a refurbishment and looked very faded in several areas. having said that the dining rooms and theatre are holding up well.
My cabin was well worn and while clean was becoming very tatty. The balcony was very weathered and it was not a pleasant place to be. The chairs and tables looked like they had not been cleaned in months as did the balcony. Why pay for a balcony? I aked myself. After some wind on one particular day the balcony acquired some dog ends. They remained there as we disembarked.
Itinerary was good, particularly Corsica which is a good stop. Everyone has their own take on Napoleon Bonaparte, but this little Island produced a life force that held sway in most of Europe for decades. It was a wonderful opportunity to see his birthplace and home.
Rome is as ever excellent. The ships excursion to Florence was worthwhile, even if there is too little time there, as there is so much to take in.
Dining in the MDR was a good experience with wait staff eager to please. The menu choice and experience were OK and the dessert choices were good. I have no complaints about the MDR and the menu choices were up to RCI standard.
I would say that the entertainment was pretty good in parts particularly the Motown group, the Dion tribute act was goodish. The multi faceted juggler /magician was talented but dated. The Goucho act was OK. The cruise director was energetic and her staff were also very professional and competent.
The standards at RCI in terms of service is always good.
My personal experience on this cruise was spoilt for three reasons
1. RCI should adopt the higher standard in their smoking policy. It was a daily nonsense that smoking was allowed in half of all lounges. Effectively non smokers were penalised. The smoking policy was not supervised effectively. Had I known this prior I would not have booked this cruise. I was on Voyager last year and enjoyed that holiday. Is there a different policy on the Adventure?
I should add I am tolerant of smoking, most enlightened companies have safe and necessary smoking segregation to allow all holiday makers enjoy their experience. RCI should too.
2. I believe that a number of cruisers including several from Spain were appalled by some of the behaviours of (Possibly late booking discount) local travellers.
Entering all ready full lifts/Lack of courtesy to let people out of lifts/Blocking stairways/large group queue jumping/smoking anywhere you like.
The group storming of the buffet in the Windjammer was a spectacle in itself.
At least after a few day some of them realised that buffet food is replenished fairly regularly and that it not necessary to make off with giant bunches of grapes/kilos of Pineapples etc.
I had to develop a sharper pair of elbows to compete with queue jumpers.
3. This ship is very tired in places. Of course this happens and is to be expected. However coupled with the above two observations my enjoyments was spoilt quite a bit.
I will now think twice about RCI and will do more research prior to booking. This is the first real issue I have had with RCI, and previously regarded them as a good value provider.