My husband an I salied with Royal Caribbean for the first time at the end of Septemeber. I'll start with the CONS:
1. The embarkation process was like being in a herd of disorganized cattle. We arrived at the port at the designated time slot we were given based on the floor our cabin was on. We were given a number and told to have a seat. We sat for over an hour. People who arrived well after us were given lower #'s since they cycle back to the1st set of #'s....so.....when they called all people holding the number 1 - 20 can board now permitted people who had just come in and gotten the #1 before we could board holding the #47. I was miffed...but hey...I'm on vacation.
2. Every where you go on this ship there is someone hawking alcohol...and I mean "in your face". Additionally every day time activity invloved alcohol on some level. I normally look forward to having relaxing, entertaining days at sea, but I was bored out of mind , and couldn't wait to get to port.
3. The food at the buffet was hardly edible...disgusting really.
4. Here's the kicker...I paid for my cruise using a TD Bank card, I registered that same TD Bank card with the cruise line well in advance of departure. On the first day at sea I rec'd a call telling me my card had been denied, and I needed to come down to guest services to arrange an alternative method of payment. As it turns out, my card had not been DENIED, but the cruise line's computer system does not commuincate with TD Bank. WHAT? You wait until we're in the middle of the Atlantic to tell me I have to give you another credit card, or pay with cash. Well, I don't have another credit card, and I certainly don't carry that much cash. Fortunately, I had a check in my wallet and I was "allowed" to cash a check for $250 to pay for ALL of my onboiard incidentals. REALLY??? I guess it's a good thing we're not drinkers because who could get by on $250 for an 8 day cruise. There were several people down at the desk with the same problem. Why do they let you board the ship, waiit until you're out at sea, and then tell you this with hardly an apology? They said they have this problem with every sailing. Well, their problem became mine.
5. The food in the dining room was mediocre at best and the service was just o.k. although the guys we had were very nice.
1. The stateroom attendant was fantastic. His name was Francis, and absolutely the best we've ever had.
2. Our room's air conditioner system was excellent. It kept the room quite comfortable, and I was actually able to sleep.
3. The evening activities and shows were better than what we're used to. The activity director was top notch.
In short, we have sailed on Princess a number of times. We've often wondered what kind of experience we would have on RC since we'd heard good things. From begining to end, it was nothing but a disappointment. It certainly wasn't relaxing since I had to worry about not going over $250...and no, RC won't take Bermudian dollars , so going to an ATM didn't solve that crisis. I also thought the ship had seen better days. Not once did we see the Captain walking his ship as I've seen on every other cruise.
We won't be giving RC any of our money in the future. I'm now a dedicated Princess customer for life!