My wife and I just returned from 1 week in the southern Caribbean aboard the Adventure of the Seas (February17 to 24). Overall, we had a good time, but there are a few observations we would like to pass along.
1. The crew, as always, saves the experience. How they manage to be so cheerful and competent week after week is a mystery to me. But they do. Here's a special call-out to our head waiter Shirley.
2. RC needs to solicit feedback on the shore excursions they book through their site. Most of them are great, but not all. We took a snorkeling excursion in Curacao on a boat not designed for that purpose with too many people aboard. The decks were extremely slippery when wet and you had to climb a vertical, 8-foot ladder to reach the second deck. Not too easy with your arms full in heavy seas. (Half the passengers were on the upper deck.) It appears that the only important thing to RC is that they get their cut.
3. RC says it "treasures" its repeat cruisers, but does little to attract them back. How many times can you watch the "Love and Marriage Game" and "The Quest," etc.? It is all getting very tired looking. Put in some thought and effort, RC.
4. RC needs to be a little less anal. Activities start EXACTLY on the scheduled time and end EXACTLY on the scheduled time, regardless of cruiser interest or participation. Several times we saw the activity crew stop line dancing and other activities the moment their time was up, leaving the cruisers standing around looking at each other. When there is no conflict for space, why not be a little more flexible? Does the crew have a bus to catch?
5. RC is way past frugal and well into cheap. Every cruise we take, there are more "cost savings" by RC. I fully expect to see coin slots on the bathroom stalls soon.
6. There was a strike at the airport on the Sunday we disembarked. The roads were at a standstill and many people missed their flights. (Our flight to FL was less than 1/2 full.) We had planned a leisurely few hours in San Juan before our flight but a taxi driver warned us about the strike and we headed for the airport instead. All of the hotels had been warned about disruptions several days before, so RC had to have known. But they chose not to tell the passengers, many of whom had planned excursions in San Juan before their flights. But RC said nothing and did not have to adjust people's departure schedules. Funny how things work out.
RC needs to start making some effort or else we will find a cruise line that does. Hey, I'll call it The Quest!