We hadn't sailed on RCCL in a while, choosing Celebrity or Azamara instead. But since they honor each other's tiers, we decided on a Bermuda cruise from Cape Liberty on RCCL so that it would be more convenient for my brother and his girlfriend who would be cruising with us. Their first cruise ever, and they were so excited. We spent the entire cruise apologizing and telling them how "it used to be".
It all began to go downhill at the lifeboat drill. Several people were late, while the rest of us stood not so patiently out on the deck. We haven't had a lifeboat drill outside in years! Lately it's been in smaller groups in a lounge or dining room and we are shown a video. Much better for older people, and All of us!
The dining room food was mediocre or just bad almost every night. Service was very slow, and they kept bringing out extra plates of appetizers for us to try. I suppose that was one way to fill the long wait for our entrees, but all it became was a distraction and overloaded our table with extra plates. Some evenings nothing looked good, and their was a charge for the "better" steaks in the main dining room. Really?!
We did eat at Portofino's one night and that was excellent!
The Diamond Lounge was a shock. On Celebrity our Elite status there provides a selection of mixed drinks as well as wine and beer for their Michael's Club Happy Hour, and on Azamara ALL drinks are now included. On Royal, it was only beer, wine and soda at the Diamond Lounge, although mixed drinks were discounted 20%.
The little things are gone too. No more lotions, chocolates on the pillow, no travel bag or other " momento" that was a thank you for choosing RCCL. Instead we had a basket in our cabin with little cookies, trail mix, a bottle of Pellegrino and a can of diet coke. I could have done without the cookies and Pellegrino.
Some things were just aggravating, and we had to have Guest Relations correct it for us.
We did enjoy Bermuda, but are really looking forward to our Azamara cruise over Thanksgiving!