on Royal Caribbean 4 times and started on the Monarch in the Mid 90's I see the difference between my cruises in the 90's and in the early and mid 2000's and now the late 2012.
Of course I can understand the economy and the waste of all the food that is no longer abundant like it was in the mid-90's. I always said who can go to a buffet at midnight 5 or 6 out of seven day cruise. But they were all so beautiful on the Monarch that you did not want to miss any of them. Although no one could eat that much and yes there was a lot of waste. But the ice carvings each night and the beautiful exhibits each nite were breath taking.
Then in the mid 2000,s I noticed they cut down on these buffets which was understandable because of the new economy and the waste of food but the food was still very good and abundant.
Now in 2012 on the Explorer of the seas I am sorry to say they did not meet my expectations in the food category. Although there was a lot of food it did not compare to the quality I was used to on the royal Caribbean line. It was at best OK.
The ships and ship are still some of the most classy and beautiful on the seas and the shows were also very good as was the ice skating show. The crew is attentive and worked hard to please its customers.
The amount of exhibit and ice carvings is nothing like years past and the food like I say was OK. I will give Royal Caribbean another try because I do love they're ships.
But that other cruise line which my wife and I have tried not to cruise do to there past reputation Carnival has left me wondering about wow what happened.
I cruised Carnival Freedom last year for my first Carnival Cruise and found the food and the shows excellent.
Another thing about the explorer is that you cannot get any coffee or lemonade or ice tea unless you take a soda plan or walk all the way from the rear pool to the center dining room to get some. I stayed at the rear pool because no kids were allowed and it was a place you can stay and have a romantic stay with your partner time to time when you did not want the loud music and the crowds. On the freedom there was a coffee station and ice cream station by each pool.
I do have to say that I think the pools on the Royal Caribbean are very beautiful and to me are more superior than other pools I have seen.
Yes there is good points and bad. Would I cruise again on Explorer probably would. Did i see a change in food since my cruises in the mid-90's and mid 2000's yes. Was I excited about the choices and deserts not so much.
All and all I will Be looking to give Royal Caribbean another try on maybe the Freedom & Oasis Class ships. I understand that the economy is not the greatest and not everything remains the same but I feel the food was average at best. And doing away with buffets every night is not the end of the world but the Ice sculptures the beautiful buffets they can have one beautiful buffet with beautiful ice carving exhibits and sculptures. And show the class of the Royal Caribbean I once knew.