We are a 60's couple travelling with our 40's son who have taken 7 cruises on RCCL, 7 on Celebrity and 1 on Disney, 1 Princess, 2 Carnival (where DH worked as musician).
Embarkation was smooth, we headed up to Windjammer cafÃ© for lunch about 12:15pm until cabins were ready supposedly about 1pm. It was crazy crowded, hard to find a seat, but the food was very good and varied. Couldn't find a drink station for iced tea or lemonade but a waiter stopped at our table and asked what we wanted.
About 1:30 we went to our separate cabins, ours was Oceanview. No stewards in the hallway or carts and no one introduced themselves as our steward, We were greeted by a very unpleasant odor like sweat and dirty clothes hamper and there were hairs in the sink. DH laid down on the bed and when I looked down there were stains on the sheet and coverlet. For the first time, I felt the need to look into the pillow cases at the pillows -- one had snot and all the other pillows were brown from stains. DH called Guest Services & asked to speak to Housekeeping supervisor. The steward came by, we showed the disgusting conditions and asked again for the supervisor. We also removed the blankets and found brown stains on the mattress itself. The mattress was so low to the floor that the sheets dragged on the rug when the bed is made. So when you sleep you wrap yourself in sheets that are on the floor. Not clean. We were sickened by the condition of the cabin and asked to be moved. For RCCL to expect any human to stay in a room so unhealthy was beyond my comprehension -- it was indecent. We have never in 18 cruises asked to be moved to another cabin. The housekeeping supervisor said they would not move us to anything but an inside cabin but would change the bedding. I pleaded with the Guest Services people also to move us without downgrading us to a smaller inside cabin (I'm claustrophobic) but they would not. We were exhausted. We spent hours trying to get this resolved and while they cleaned it up we couldn't get into our room. We missed our dinner reservation and the first theater production. The first day of a 4-day cruise was lost totally. The cabin smelled like they emptied a can of air freshener but once you know you are inhabiting a dirty cabin, it is impossible to enjoy it and it colored the rest of our stay. We also mentioned the smell of cigarette smoke which the housekeeping supervisor said there is no smoke. How would she know that? Several times that day we smelled smoke in the hallway -- and passed other passengers who were saying the same thing.
MDR dinners were excellent with lots of choices and well-prepared food., Our waitstaff, Erroll and Sorocco were the best. The 3 of us thoroughly enjoyed the MyTimeDining concept where you can make reservation for a particular time and not wait outside for a table. Even missing our 1st reservation, the MaitreD accommodated us. We had breakfast in the MDR each day -- Nice to be able to choose to dine with your party only rather than share tables.
Entertainment was OK. Can't speak for the 1st show but the 2nd was singing & dancing to pre-recorded music (dated unexciting), the 4th night was Broadway salute with the orchestra and cast lots of good energy -- enjoyed this. The 3rd night was a guest magician husband & wife. They were simply amazing.
Smaller groups around the ship were very good. We attended a contest in the Centrum between the Captain and another officer in cake decorating -- good humored fun. But holding events in the Centrum is not as nice as having them in a lounge or theater since it is mostly standing room only.
The ship was beautiful, nicely laid out and public rooms nicely decorated. Public toilets were always clean.
Except for the first day, the ship didn't seem crowded, no chair hogs. Promenade deck wide and lots of chairs to sit.
CoCo Cay was lovely but the beach towel system is silly. We were on a lower deck, had to go up to the pool deck for a towel, wait on line (there were 19 people ahead of us) and sign it out on your seapass card. Then you carry it onto the tender and island, back to the tender afterwards with a sandy, wet towel onto the elevator and back up to pool deck wait on line & sign it in. By the way, we could not get onto the first 2 tenders. The lines stretched from 1st deck up 2 flights to 2nd deck and down the hallway past the cabins. We didn't get to the island till 1:15 pm. Celebrity leaves the towels in your cabins for the beach, Disney has them on the island. The trip was almost 1-1/2 hours each way with lines -- a waste of 3 hours of what-could-be relaxing beach time.
RCCL is just not the same anymore. There are so many little amenities that don't exist anymore. There is minimal shampoo in shower dispenser, no pen and paper in the drawer, less consideration for the basic needs of passenger. No Guest Relations supervisor would come to look at the conditions in the room -- to make a decision not to move us to another Outside cabin, and to expect us to live in those unsanitary conditions was beyond decency. I have lost faith. It is difficult to sum up this review in stars since some things were 5 and the cabin was below 0. Gave service 3 since Dining was 5 and cabin was 1. Overall gave 1 because we cannot think of living in those conditions for a vacation again.