Cruise date 3 December 2011 out of New Orleans, LA. This was not a delightful cruise.
Before the cruise Royal Caribbean, after I paid for my cruise, and the best price guarantee expired RCI dropped the price of my cabin. They were cold and did nothing about it. A ship credit would have saved face in this situation. RCI should reward people who book and pay in advance. After all they are using the money before they earn it.
Upon arrival to the port the baggage agents tried to refuse luggage to go on the ship unless you paid a bribe. I talked with a supervisor and solved this problem. At check in desk where you get sea passes, RCI staff did not have the queue situated for people to go in an orderly fashion. There was a long desk with agents and you had to just push and shove to get checked in. I also think some training needs to be done about government forms that must be done for travel. The agent that helped us did not even know that for I-94 was (it is an immigration form). Luckily the Immigration officer upon return took care of the matter since the form was not processed properly by RCI.
On the ship, others have commented that Voyager of the Seas is worn. Royal Caribbean decided to do repairs. While I understand RCI wants to sell cabins, I think they should close the deck for safety and customer satisfaction reasons if they will need to do renovations. There banging and drilling four out of seven days on the cruise. Not way to get rest. I complained to the guest relations on the ship three times and nothing was done to resolve my complaint. I understand emergency repairs but this was scheduled and contractors told me they had planned the maintenance in advance.
Royal Caribbean has a fetish for Cozumel Mexico. People get real US Citizens are advised not to go to Mexico. This is not a safe place and I have attempted two times to see this city but due to threat issues have not. If you like to just remain on board while the ship is docked then no problem for you. However there should have been three ports on the cruise that are safe for travel. Royal Caribbean on board shopper says the taxi should cost $7 per ride. Be sure to ask before you ride. I did and the driver was mad that I refused the service and called the police on me who threatened to throw me out of Mexico (like everyone wants to go there). Shops in Mexico are corrupt and the owners do not like it if you refuse to buy products. RCI needs to stop going there and I have contacted them on both occasions about it only to be ignored.
The ship can get crowded. The Windjammer Cafe is where the overcrowding will occur the most. You should wait for last hour of the meal for tables to be available. I think RCI did not take in to account of adding people to the boat and what it will do in the dining. The Royal Promenade show offers no where to view it unless you are one of the few who booked with a window overlooking it.
While I found the room attendants and servers to be most pleasant RCI as a company does not seem to care about its customers or employees. I think the mandatory tipping should be eliminated and staff paid a fair wage and a part of the ticket price.