After a fantastic experience on a 3 day Bahamas itenerary on Monarch of the Seas just two months ago in November, we decided to sail her sister ship, The Majesty, for our anual "post holiday madness" getaway. We were very sadly surprised at the overall negative difference in food quality and service on this ship compared to Monarch. Even without the sisterly comparison, we would have given this cruise only 2 Stars. I hate to say this because I'm an RCL fan, but this voyage very nearly approached a designation of a total waste of money.
Pre-Cruise- Hawk's Cay resort in the Keys. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!
Getting to the Port- We drove up to the Miami Cruise Port from Marathon Fl. The trip up from Marathon to the Cruise Port took about 2.5 hours and was quite hectic and confusing due to tremendous road construction in Miami.
Embarkation- BEWARE! Port of Miami employees do NOT know the size restriction of baggage and will try to tell you after visual assessment that you cannot carry on bags that meet RCL's size parameters. They are WRONG. After waiting in the long line to get upstairs to the scanners, we were forced to go BACK OUT TO THE CURB and check our baggage. This was infuriating as we'd not prepared anything for a carry on. Well, guess what- after we got upstairs to the scanners, nearly 1/3 of the passengers coming through had luggage the same size as ours and were sending it through with absolutely NO PROBLEM. If you've measured your luggage and it's the appropriate size, forge on because the Port Staff will do this to you too. The Embarkation process for RCL was smooth, taking less than 10 minutes, with only one negative item worth mention- The RCL Agent told me I looked familiar and I took this as a compliment of "Welcome back, Friend", until she chastised me and said, "I remember you- You didn't have your cruise documents last time". WHAT???? First off, I've never cruised without docs in hand and secondly, incredibly unprofessional. I was shocked!
Overall Service Experience- Less than average with the exception of the Deck 4 Cabin Stewards and staff and most of the Bar Staff. They were FANTASTIC!!! The other staff on the ship were bothered and preoccupied. So why were we bothering them after all, couldn't we see they were at work??? How selfish of us!
Windjammer Cafe- Did I get on a boat with 2000 people who are starving to death? 2000 people who don't know where their next meal will come from after this ship returns?? If I were to answer these questions based on the behavior of the masses in the Windjammer Cafe the answer would have to be YES. I realize RCL cannot control people's eating behavior or manners, however I believe the total lack of direction provided by the setup of the Windjammaer lent to this chaos EACH and EVERY meal for 3 days. The setup here is terrible. The Food? Beautiful, abundant, and absolutely TASTELESS. I couldn't believe that over and over again I had a lovely plate of cardboard. I've never before experienced such bland food on a cruise ship. It certainly wasn't worth the calories or stress of gettinig it to my plate.
Windjammer Service- Absent. Not one single time in 3 days were we offered service in the Windjammer Cafe during breakfast or lunch. The most we got was someone taking used plates off of our table at breakfast. Soft drinks? Forget it. Find your own... The coffee station set up in Sorrento's for those up before Windjammer opened was not stocked with creamer at all and ran out of regular coffee. Several cruisers asked the Officers and Staff in Windjammer for help and were openly IGNORED. One even tapped his watch! The officers went and stood under the balcony so they couldn't be addressed further. Inexcusable.
Main Dining Room- Servce was fantastic, food was below average. Honestly. Think of Ryan's Steakhouse Buffet.
Stateroom- Deck 4, Inside. Teeny tiny. Are you a person of large stature? Book something different. However- Beautifully maintained in every way by a wonderful Cabin Steward, Wilfred. Our every request was instantly and perfectly addressed. He did a stellar job!! Every staff person we met on this deck was consistently wonderful with a smile, a helping hand, and a warm greeting. Fantastic experience here!!
Ship Cleanliness- Wonderful. Most especially the pool deck. This crew did a fantastic job.
Entertainment- We only participated in deck parties and they were fantastic. High energy friendly and fun staff in charge of these activities.
Debarkation- Seamless!! We did self assist and were off the ship 30 minutes before the advertised time. This was fantastic because we couldn't get out of there fast enough.
Summary- The service behavior of 90% of the areas of this ship needs serious attention. It was night and day from Monarch. We did not expect to be pampered and fully understand the vibe and limitations of a 3 day cruise. However, I honestly get consistently better service from the 17 year old at the drive through window at Chic-Fil-A. We would NOT recommend this cruise to anyone, for any reason unless you got it for free. Spend your money on Monarch.