I am a well seasoned cruiser with more than 25 cruises, the majority with Royal Caribbean. I am, also, a member of the Crown and Anchor Society, having reached Diamond Status. I have cruised as recently as June 2012 on Royal Caribbean and have never been as disappointed on a cruise as I was with this one. I have cruised as recently as June 2012 on Royal Caribbean and have never been as disappointed on a cruise as I was with this one. Almost from the minute we boarded, the problems started.
We arrive at the port and find out we have been upgraded to a cabin with a window. My understanding is that Royal Caribbean is supposed to notify you when you are being upgraded and ask if you want it. There was no phone call or notification. This event set into motion a series of problems. We ask about our luggage since it has on it tags for the old state room and we are assured they will be delivered with no problem. Our Seapass card is printed main seating but no table number. We arrive at the Dining room at 1:00 PM. We are told we are on 8:30 seating. We ask to be moved. The Maitre’d tells that there are 200 people ahead of us for 6:00 and 150 ahead for Any Time dining and our alternative is to eat in the windjammer buffet. I didn’t come on this cruise to eat dinner in the Windjammer every night. I visit Guest Relations report the problem. Joel Sanchez is the only person who is understanding and helpful. He tells us that he will work on the dining problem and assures me that the luggage will be brought to the room. We go to the stateroom and of course no luggage, no shore excursion tickets, no diamond amenity, no information for the diamond lounge, no letter from the Crown and Anchor Society etc. Our cabin steward tells us, he has no information about us and if we don't go and get our own luggage it will be placed in lost and found. So we go up 5 decks, to our original cabin, and bring our bags back to the room. If I wanted to bring my luggage on board I would.
Next we open one of cupboards and there are 2 unopened bottles of wine and one open bottle of wine. Obviously, the cabin steward never opened the cupboard while he was cleaning. We asked for a do not disturb sign, never got it, asked for extra glasses, never got them. I go back to Guest Relations and tell Mr. Sanchez everything that has just transpired. He is very apologetic, reprints our excursion tickets and asks for additional time to deal with the dining problem. At 5:45, we receive a call and tell us to go the dining room and see the Maitre D for a seat assignment. Amazingly, they are able to change us to 6:00 dining. I am sure someone else really enjoyed my welcome gift and our excursion tickets because they were never turned in. Our table mates, who are only platinum, booked the cruise after us, had no problem with dinner assignment.
The next day Guest Relations offers us dining in one of the specialty restaurants, we ask for Spa credit but take the dining while they see if they can get us the credit. I am standing there while they make the reservations. Guest Relations posts the shipboard credit from our travel agent to only one account and it took 2 visits to get that corrected. The first day, I visit the concierge and tell him the issues. After explaining the issues for over 20 minutes, he tells me he's the suites concierge but he will tell the diamond concierge and the loyalty manager and have both call me. I never received calls for either of them. I need to visit guest relations again because we never received our coupon books. I am told that the head of housekeeping would like to meet, so that I can tell him the issues with the cabin steward. He offers more dining in specialty restaurant, we decline, ask for spa or shipboard credit. The Head of Housekeeping sends a half dozen roses, a lovely gesture but not what we wanted. Later that afternoon, a pitiful dessert tray. We go to the specialty restaurant for dinner and they don't have our reservations- no surprise but they do seat us.
As the week goes on, I realize that I never get any invitations to diamond events, or any letters from the Crown and Anchor Society etc. The next to the last day of the cruise, we don't get special luggage tags or information on the on the priority departure lounge. I visit the diamond concierge. He tells me I should have come to him earlier, I tell him I talked to the other concierge and he was supposed to talk to him. Obviously the first concierge doesn't know his job either. He has the audacity to tell me that I shouldn't have told anyone else about the problems. Of course I needed to tell others about the problem since it was the only way things were getting fixed. I am planning an Alaska cruise next year and based on all these issues, I will need to think twice before booking with Royal Caribbean. The concierge offers 20% off our next cruise and a galley tour. Seriously, a galley tour is going to make me happy after everything that has happened! Finally, he offers both of us $30 dollars shipboard credit and a certificate worth 20% off a future cruise.
I have sailed on both the Radiance of the Seas and the Jewel of the Seas and have never experienced the level of problems or poor service that were exhibited during this cruise. I believe that automatically adding the gratuities to the Seapass Account has contributed to this lack of service. Although convenient, its clear that much of the staff think the tips are automatic, so why do anything extra or outstanding. The wait staff were virtually invisible in the Windjammer during the first half of the cruise, tables not cleared, drinks and coffee not offered. Too many activities were offered in the Centrum which had neither the space nor views to allow most passengers to enjoy the activities. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very good, but our Head Waiter was virtually invisible the whole trip. He stopped by once early in the week and of course on the last night.