Just got off Indy last Sat (28th July 2012) after our 2nd Indy cruise and our 5th RCI cruise -- we are Me, DH & 15yr old DS.
Firstly we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise & the Ports the best of all of our cruises, mainly because of the wonderful new friends we made onboard...
We loved all the Entertainment & Shows (even though some were the same as last year), the Food was good (although we noticed less & less people were eating in the MDR there were lots of empty tables even on Formal Nights.) We ate Dinner in the Windjammer a couple of nights and this was always busy. Breakfast Buffet in the Deck 3 MDR was lovely, relaxed and very different to the WJ in a morning ! Our Stateroom Attendant Daniel and our Waiter Marvin & Asst Waiter Efrio, were all really lovely and looked after us very well.
However I do have 1 very big complaint..... The Teen Club Leaders on this Indy cruise (according to our 15yr old Son) were just plain lazy !!! Because this was our Son's 5th RCI Cruise, he does have something to compare with. There was No Ice-Breaker on the evening of Day 1 in the Teen Club after Dinner. This meant that there were lots of Teens wandering around on their own or hanging out with their Parents or in areas of the Ship they shouldn't have been hanging out in (on Stairs or in RCI Online or the Library) or staying in their staterooms during the cruise. We spoke to lots of Parents of Teens during the first 2 Sea Days who were very concerned about their Teens not making any friends, and going into the Teen Club at various times and no-one speaking to them. I know it is a 'funny age' and can be difficult for some Teens to get to know others to hang out with. However I do feel that if the Teen Leaders had done their job properly on Day 1 evening and had a proper '411' which is a getting-to-know-everyone session, where each Teen says their Name, Age, Where they are from and how many cruises they have done -- this would always help to 'break the ice'. This is exactly what has happened before on all of our other cruises.
I was so concerned for some of the unhappy first-time Teen cruisers and their Parents that we met and talked to, that on Day 3 I went to find the AO Manager Kevin to talk to him -- couldn't find him anywhere, so I had a long conversation with the Asst AO Manager, Louise Davidson who was very surprised and shocked by what I had told her. She said that absolutely the most important thing to do on Day 1 evening is to have a proper ice-breaker '411' in the Teen Club so as everybody gets to know each other and friendships are started. Louise thanked me for bringing this to her attention, and she promised that she would have words with the Teen Club Leaders and put this right by having a proper ice-breaker session soon ! This never actually happened during the whole of the rest of the cruise. We know there were lots of Teens on this cruise that spent the whole time with their Parents, didn't make any friends and who do not want to ever cruise again -- a loss of Future Cruisers there I think RCI !
Have to say that our Son enjoyed this cruise, made lots of new friends as well as met up with a number of Teens that were also on Indy with us last year, and they did bring some other Teens into their group if they saw them on their own around the Ship. Our Son and his friends said that the Teen Leaders were rubbish, didn't speak to them when they went in the Living Room or Fuel, and were just not interested. I wonder if this was only with the 15 -- 17 yrs Group ???
I would be interested to hear any opinions from Teens (or their Parents) in the 12-14 yrs Group on this sailing ?
This negative experience won't put us off from cruising on Indy again as we are very lucky we have a Teenager that makes friends very easily. However, RCI needs to re-look at the Teen Leaders on Indy. Last year they had an Absolutely Brilliant Teen Leader called Humphrey Chong, who all the Teens in both Groups completely loved, he created a Fantastic atmosphere in the Teen Area and made sure that everyone made friends -- HUMPHREY CHONG SHOULD TRAIN ALL THE TEEN LEADERS -- in our opinion !!!
Nil Pwants for the Teen Club Leaders on this Cruise RCI -- and I did fill in the end of cruise questionnaire and Teen questionnaire and said the same !!!