We chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit Rome and Florence and had never been to Malaga, Valencia or Corsica. We had completed a similar cruise last year out of Barcelona on NCL's Epic. The two experiences were very similar until the last 3 days.
We had read some other re viewer's concerns about the Spaniards and their smoking habitats. Apparently the ones on our sailing were not as bad as others have described however the concept of waiting in a line must be foreign to them.
Everything about the ship, the food and the crew service was just as I expected with 2 seemingly small exceptions. While in Rome we were informed that the excursion we had pre-booked and paid for through RCI for Corsica was being cancelled due to lack of interest. Unfortunately their suggested alternative would not have been enjoyed by my party as someone having a fear of heights should not be going on the gorges trip. So we just spent the day bumming around the ship and decided to take the spa up on its $119 Happy Hour Treatment. While the hour might be happy the next 10 minutes was most assuredly not.
We are used to being hit up after spa services for additional products sales and 99% of the time politely turn them down. However this time the spa personnel must have been needing to make a quota because no, nine and nyet were not words in their vocabulary. My $119 hour had $25 added to it for "services" and then the 15% gratuity on top of that. When I questioned the "services" I was told it was because they needed to use extra products during my included mini-facial. No mention of this was made during the service nor was there any fine print indicating that the $119 would have additional charges added if decided it was needed by the spa staff member. They would not remove the charge. As if this wasn't bad enough not only did my husband who had the same treatment done get the same "services" charge but in addition was handed a "gift"....A $45 additional charged gift that he had turned down, that I had turned down, and when we asked to speak with the manager were told that they weren't available and we were stuck paying the entire bill. BTW Guest Services would not help as the spa is a separate entity.
Now we return to our cabin to see a message on our phone. Due to lack of interest our tour/transfer at Malaga was being cancelled and we needed to go to Guest Services to make other arrangements. The original cost of the tour/transfer was around $50/person and we would arrive at the Malaga airport around 2 pm. This was great as our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 pm. Now what do we do? Their only suggestion was to pay the extra fee to remain on board for late departure and take their last shuttle. Result getting to the airport at about the same time but paying $10/person more. And having to deal with luggage as we couldn't leave it in our room and there was no other secure place to put it so that you still would have access to swimsuits etc... If they would have at least met the original tour/transfer pricing it would have gone a long way to making us feel like the valued Crown & Anchor Members they claim we are.
Is this experience bad enough that we will never cruise Royal again???? We will definitely be weighing it every time we look at taking a cruise and considering our options. But we will never be going to a spa on board again.