First the good stuff.
The ship is super, clean, nice decor, smooth sailing, loved the solarium, etc.
Staff- wonderful!!! Can't think of any negatives.
Drinks - good
Islands - WOW!
Check in - smooth
I really like the no-smoking policy in the casino on formal nights. Great idea - now lets make it a few more nights!!
Now the bad stuff.
I don't want to come across as nit-picky BUT it seems the cost cutting has gone a little overboard. First let me say that RCI and Princess are the top 2 cruise lines on our list. However this was our first sailing in 4 years and it appears that a lot of small changes have been made. The breakfast buffet has definitely gone down hill in my opinion. From very hard bread products to watered down gravies, etc. Grapefruit is no longer available in the buffet, only in the dinning room. Had to ask for smoked salmon and certain other items that were in sight and plentiful on previous cruises in the buffet area. Dining room breakfast was good. Ran out of items on a daily basis in both areas - one day english muffins, another pineapple, another bananas, etc. For most of the cruise the 6 soft ice cream dispensers on the pool deck only had one flavor - strawberry!!! We loved to be able to go to our cabins in the afternoon, relax with a drink an a shrimp cocktail or two. Not anymore. Shrimp cocktails are no longer available for room service orders! What is this all about???
The dinners were so-so with a lot of repeats. We were told by staff not to eat the steak because the cuts were bad - and they were chewy, chewy, chewy. We had to find out for ourselves!!! We were told that RCI corporate mandates what food is purchased and how much - take it from there!!
Entertainment was not bad but not that good either. Two of the best shows were done in the Centrum that seats about 100 people so naturally the late seating diners had no place to sit and sometimes limited standing room to watch the shows. Whose idea was this? Bad idea!!! Put those shows back into the theater where everyone can sit and enjoy them.
Yes we enjoyed the cruise and maybe the things mentioned above have been going on for a few years but this is the first time we noticed them.
Maybe what we experienced was an anomaly because we know a couple that came back from a5-day RCI cruise out of Miami 2 weeks before our cruise and they said they didn't have any of the issues we had. Was it just this ship? - time will tell.
Will we cruise again?? You betcha!! Not so sure with who but we will!