We did enjoy our cruise, it is hard not too, and plan to sail with RCCL at least one more time as I believe this can not be the new standard. However the level of service and general atmosphere was just not what we have become accustomed to on Royal Caribbean. We heard similar comments from other passengers as well.
We felt it important to discuss some issues we experienced on our recent cruise, the May 6th departure on the Radiance of the Seas from Honolulu to Vancouver. We have sailed many times with RCCL and are currently Crown and Anchor Diamond members. This is the first cruise we have taken where I felt I should say something.
Things just did not seem to be in sync. There was an overall lack of communication and at times incorrect communication, through out the cruise. There was a lack of direction and assistance on the pier for excursions. Staff were hard to find on the pier in ports, other than security. The transfer process from Vancouver to the airport was very slow and the worst we have ever experienced. The driver could not have driven slower and why he took the city streets rather than the expressway is beyond me. We got to our gate 5 min. before boarding and we heard from others that they got to their gate when the airline was making their final boarding call. I would not be surprised if some passengers missed flights. Air travel, especially on the back end of a long trip, is stressful enough without having to deal with this.
Our waiter, assistant waiter and room attendant were excellent. However, the head waiter moved a couple to our table for 8 a night when we were doing something else, even after a protest from our waiter. When we showed up for dinner the following evening he wanted us to move to a table for 2 next to a pole on the main traffic aisle. We said we wanted to stay with our friends, his reply was which of these people were are friends. It was insulting to us and to our other table mates. I refused and the new couple offered to move as I was not going to. Very unacceptable!!! I feel sorry for the other couple also. He did provide Champagne to our table on a later night but refused to apologize blaming a computer glitch. You rarely saw the officers who rarely smiled or talked to the passengers. It often seemed that staff working in the shops or other venues such as Latitudes were to busy talking to each other to service passengers standing line.
The ship did not appear to be maintained to the level we normally see. Most of the glass on the ship, a strong point on the Radiance Class ships was very dirty and there was little sign of anyone performing the general maintenance duties that we normally see going on around a ship. Our stateroom toilet did not function for the better part of one day and was out of service for several hours in the morning two days later. These items were addressed by housekeeping and maintenance but are rather inconvenient, especially for my wife and in the morning.