Let me preface this with we may be spoiled..... This was our 8th cruise all with RCC. This was the first one out of NOLA and we also brought along two other couples, one being first time cruisers. We are early 40's and love cruising. We have always chosen RCC because we have had great experiences. I honestly believe we are going to check out other cruise lines just to see what they offer.
We arrived to NOLA by car on Friday, Feb 22nd. We had a stay and cruise package with Holiday Inn West Bank Tower and it was fine. We arrived to the port about noon and made it onto the ship within about 20 minutes. It was cold and drizzly outside. (Boo)
Overall the cruise was fine. Not good, not bad. Let me try to explain...food was good, not great, not bad. Portofino was FANTASTIC and Peter was great. Chops was excellent and Marco was Spectacular. The Mud Pie was Amazing. These two experiences were worth the extra money and made us feel special. Marco and Peter made our sailing memorable.
The shows were ok, not great. The singers and dancers were ehh ok, nothing memorable. Simona the cruise director was very forgettable. I believe she is Italian (not sure) but the game shows were not so funny due to the language barrier and lack of pizazz. The ice show was good, but not sure about the intro or how it ties to any kind of story. Overall the entertainment was disappointing.
That is sort of how the whole cruise was. Nothing special. The entire cruise just lacked energy. I will say the sanitize, sanitize, sanitize guy in the Windjammer seemed happy and tried to entertain....
Every previous cruise had memorable experiences that made us feel like we were a part of something special. This cruise felt worn out and forgettable. The special touches like towel animals every night in your room has gone by the wayside. (We had 2 over the course of the cruise). You now must ask for ice and the one that still has me irked is the new ppd gratuity policy. We don't mind prepaying as we have every cruise, but now you get envelopes but no coupons to put in them. I went to the guest relations desk and asked for the coupons when I was told that coupons are no longer. I asked why the envelopes and was told for additional gratuities for the room attendant, and wait staff. I'm irked because it was so Very uncomfortable. Now you have nothing to hand your wait staff unless you "want" to give more. Not cool at all. So if we give extra we make others at our table feel cheap...if we don't give extra we feel cheap. AWKWARD. I am not against the ppd plan, just
give us the coupons or DON'T give us the envelopes.
Overall the cruise was bland and average. We want something more than that. That is the reason we chose RCC and have never strayed. I no longer feel that others would probably disappoint after returning today. I am left feeling like perhaps we should have tried another cruise line or even a different vacation all together.
I'm just perplexed and disappointed. I feel like a customer, but not really a guest