My wife and I are seasoned cruise travelers. We have taken well over 40 cruises with several different cruise lines and with many varied itineraries. For our 50th Wedding Anniversary our children decided to surprise us with a short cruise (3 nights) on RCI's Majesty of the Seas leaving out of Miami, Florida. Also invited were several of our friends and relatives who came from out-of- state and far-away locations. All together 9 cabins were reserved for our party of 20 people.
Being Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Diamond members we assumed this cruise would be similar to other RCI cruises we have taken in the past. We are dedicated Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Line passengers as we seem to have found our niche in traveling with these companies. Sadly, this was not to be the case in taking this 3-night cruise aboard Majesty of the Seas. In no way was the standard of excellence for Royal Caribbean upheld for this cruise......far from it.
Our first disappointment came at Pier Check-in where the agent was lacking in basic computer experience for check in and which took an inordinate amount of time (almost one half hour) just to get our boarding passes. We later came to realize that the Sea Pass Boarding Card provided for our 3Â½ year old granddaughter had her assigned to dining room seating at a totally different table than our family or the rest of our party.
Proceeding to our cabin, we found upon opening the door, there was a terrible odor in the room emanating from the carpeting.... the smell of vomit. We immediately brought this to the attention of the room steward who said he would take care of the problem. Unfortunately, this problem was never cleared up. The room steward tried cleaning, shampooing, deodorizing and placing a deodorizing blower in the cabin over the three day cruise period all to no avail. I brought this problem to "Guest Relations" attention at least twice. At one point I asked "Guest Relations" to have the Hospitality/Hotel Manager visit our room to note and address the problem. Although I received assurances that the problem would be taken care of, it was never corrected. A telephone message to my cabin from "Housekeeping" assured me they knew of my concern and were addressing the issue. Having never been resolved we were forced to spend as little time as possible in our cabin. There was never any suggestion or offer from "Guest Relations" to change our cabin.
Seating in the Dining Room for our party of twenty was disappointing chaos. We were assigned two tables near each other, accommodating 8 people at each table. One of my sons and his family were assigned a table of 4 at the other end of the dining room. Complaining to the Head Waiter and Maitre D' had little effect. Mentioning my Crown and Anchor Diamond membership, and pointing out this was our 50th Anniversary Celebration cruise, had little or no weight or priority in resolving this issue. There was a vacant 4-seat table near our table. A table which could have been used to seat my son and his family for this first evening's meal. We brought this table's availability to the attention of the Head Waiter and Maitre D' but it made no difference and no table re-arrangement was done. My son and his family had to remain at the other end of the dining room for the first evening's meal. The second and third nights in the dining room we were accommodated by having large boards placed on our tables to increase the seating from 8 per table to 10 per table. This did work out to our satisfaction and to the satisfaction of our guests.
Service by our waiter and his assistant in the main dining room for our evening meals was quite good. The food was good and plentiful although not exceptional. In general though, not up to RCL's usual standard of Dining Room excellence.
Despite two reminders and requests to the Head Waiter and Maitre D' that it was our 50th Anniversary on the second night of our cruise, a candle-lit Anniversary cake was not brought to the table until the third night of the cruise, one day too late and obviously an afterthought.
Open Seating Breakfast in the Main Dining Room for our group of 10 was a total disaster. Meal orders were mixed up, some orders were completely missing, some were served incomplete and cold and all the orders took far too long to be served -- over a half hour. Rather than risk a re-occurrence we had further Breakfasts and Lunches in the Windjammer where we were quite satisfied with the selections, quality and service.
An altercation between one of my sons and the Photography Department's Manager over a request to have our Anniversary Party photographed on Formal Night did nothing to alleviate our disappointment with the overall lack of customer service which should be exhibited by "Supervision" on any cruise.
In summation, it became abundantly clear that although the working staff did their best to provide good service, very little management initiative, oversight, training or effort was exhibited in assuring that our party was accommodated and treated properly or in any way up to RCI's usual standard of excellence. We got plenty of apologies and lip service but very little results in assuring things "would be taken care of".
We'll leave the 3-night cruises to the "Party Set" who may not seek fine dining, good service, and attention to detail that we're accustomed to. We're not very demanding cruise passengers. In general, we take every cruise at face value. We try not to "compare" cruises and are never overly critical. However, this is the first time we have to say; "shame on Royal Caribbean for not living up to their reputation and their usual standard of excellence on the Majesty of the Seas".