Having cruised only with the Disney Cruise Line(DCL), this was uncharted waters for us ( no pun intended) and having flown in from Europe, we looked forward to this change of cruise line. Unfortunately, I spent the first few days doing nothing but compare the two lines.
On the positive side, in RCI favour, their waiting staff( Park Cafe excepted who thought they were a cut above the rest and not really helpful, and let the side down) were exceptionally brilliant and nothing was too much for them, the same being said for the brilliant team in the housekeeping, guest services and associated services. Embarkation/disembarkation - faultless Well done RCI. This was a good cruise.
What really let them down were:-
Staterooms were small and the dreadful frightening noise at 3am each morning was unacceptable. We were subsequently upgraded and given a free meal in 'Chops Grill' to compensate for the inconvenience. Never did find out what the noise was but I think it was associated with nocturnal duties.
Food in the Edelweiss Dining Room - sub standard and not in keeping with a cruise line with such an impeccable pedigree! A steak on the last night was......very very poor, tasteless. Surf & turf an extra $43 where this is normally a special dish sometime in the cruise. To experience fine dining required an additional payment of some $130. Orange juice in the 'Windjammer' morning scrum was an additional $4, items that are normally 'run of the mill' with DCL. Their method of free for all at all Windjammer meals needs to be looked at and some form of queuing introduced to avoid even the most calm individual having their tempers raised through the greed/impatience of their ignorant ill mannered fellow cruisers . The free non alcoholic refreshments were tasteless and soda was a further additional cost. Sorry, but someone has to review the dining experiences aboard the ship.
Evening entertainment was a hit and a miss. Suzie G was superb but the final night comedian was dreadful. Using inexcusable foul language and innuendos in the presence of children was cheap and nasty and portrayed RCI as thoughtless in their attempt to provide humour. To see parents remove their children summed up the entertainment and showed that no consideration was shown to this group of future cruisers. The poolside screen had a fault that remained unfixed throughout the cruise.
Although the itinerary was good, along with the shore excursions, the dining/entertainment experience will ensure that my cruises in the future will not include RCI in the short lists