Don't get me wrong. It wasn't an absolute horror story cruise. But having tried other destinations with other cruiselines, this trip fell short for the dollar.
My initial impression of RCI is that it's for the 18-30 crowd. There were MANY highschool/college aged kids running around, as well as kids 6-16. Maybe not a family oriented at Carnival, but definitely not catering to the Celebrity cruiser.
I have to say my favorite Cruise line to date has to be Princess. A big part of that has to do with the food and entertainment. With that being said...
-For the most part, staff was very friendly. Our stateroom attendant was exceptional. I also like the towel animals he folds and leaves on our bed.
-Promenade area was BEAUTIFUL.
-Live poker in the casino instead of utilizing those digital poker tables.
-Initial boarding was quick and painless. They have that down to a science.
-Beautiful art collection on display in hallways and stair cases.
-Great gym facilities.
-Only a few swimming pools and hot tubs? Their competitors offer sometimes double the pools/tubs.
-The live entertainment and movie screening room was a joke.
-I was told balcony rooms had flat screen tv's? NOPE.
-Carpets in hallways were super dated and old; reminded me of Vegas in the 80s.
-The food was 1 step above cafeteria grade. Nothing seemed fresh. Being that this was my first cruise with RCI, I thought they observed other cruiseline's practice of picking up fresh/local foods from every port stop. NOT THE CASE. Everything tasted frozen fresh.
-Soft drink package at $54. OUCH. And yes, automatic gratuities added.
-When I'd go to the bars and ask for a soda with my prepaid card, the bartenders always gave me a dirty look because they're not making the additional sale, like he's doing me such a huge favor filling a cup up with ice n Coke.
-Speaking of the sodas, they tasted horrible. I know these boats have purifiers on board, but they need to change the filters or something because the water they serve for teas, coffees, flavored water, etc, just tasted funky. And this water made the sodas out of the fountains taste funky too.
-The cooking station staff in the buffet was hit or miss. One night, they will go out of their way to get you an ingredient you requested on your omelet that they didn't have sitting around. I asked for bananas in my crepe, and it wasn't at their station, though the fruit area was 8ft away, and the guy gave me an attitude that they don't offer it. That's what happens when gratuities are prepaid on these trips.
-No 24 hour buffet? The buffet closes between meals, and relatively early (9pm) at night. So what happens if you have a hankering for desert at 10? SOL. Or go to their BS cafe for a limited selection of dried up cakes n cookies.
-The excursions were a let down. Yes you can travel to the Mayan temples, no you cannot get within 10 feet of the temples. You can't get the coveted pic of you scaling the sides of the temple; probably something they should tell you before you book. I would have stayed in town and enjoyed the beach. Falmouth, OMG; imagine a slum, where a corporate entity (RCI) comes in, takes a beachhead, and drops a gated city block sized tourist trap full of their partner vendors (Diamonds Internationl, etc). Once you go outside that gated retail haven, you get mobbed by the locals. Not a very friendly town. I felt safer walking down the back alleys in Mexico at night than the main streets of Falmouth in broad daylight. I had a biggo angry local woman get in my face after I "no thank you'ed" her, screaming "I'm talking to you!"