This was my 3rd RC cruise to similar islands from the same port. The service on this cruise was significantly worse than my previous 2 experiences. We speculate that with all of the high level Crown and anchor club members that my little old gold status may have been part of the reason. Regardless, there are some things I would like to share that I think would have happened to anyone on the ship.
There was a very apparent language barrier with almost every staff member encountered. Drink orders, not complicated, were constantly confused and requested items at dinner such as butter or gravy were forgotten.
In bars, they ran out of the flavored vodkas often and wouldn't offer to get a new bottle from stock or a neighboring bar. They would make you choose another drink... even if you were the only customers in their bar. It was so con suing, why did they want to drive people away? The schooner bar staff made me go to Lattetudes to get my own coffee claiming their machine was broken. I came back with it and they added liquor to it. This type of thing was happening over and over to our party of 8 throughout the whole boat despite our 2 Diamond members.
Our waiters were friendly but not experienced and again we felt that the language barrier seriously affected their ability to understand our requests for items. The food was just ok. It was not up to par with my previous experiences. If I got 1 more dessert molded as 4 circles of jelly I was going to lose it! Ok, it was sort of funny but frustrating at the same time.
My stateroom attendant was fabulous. He would pop out and greet us from a room and when I did have an occasion to call about banging metal at 9:30 am he answered and was on top of it immediately. an hour later they assured us it would stop and explained it was maintenance. Now, I don't think that is an appropriate time to be working near staterooms but I was pleased with their response to our request.
Customer service desk was horrible. I asked for a crown and anchor member application for my husband (his first cruise) She told us to go to another floor (12or 13 I think) so I asked if she at least had the application so we could fill it out first and bring up there. She left and took a phone call at another station. Never even tad us she was leaving! I went over to her after the call and asked her if she was still helping us to which she acted surprised we were still there. She then handed us a crown and anchor trifold leaflet. When we opened it we saw that the application had already been torn out by someone else. I turned to tell her and she was already gone from the desk. Add this to the long list of disappointing service from earlier in the week.
Disembarking was a nightmare. It literally almost ruined the experience for our 3 1st time cruisers. They kept asking why they would end a cruise this way and making everyone frustrated, overheated and stressed? I didn't understand it either. There has got to be a better way. I do remember from previous cruises but this was definitely worse. Maybe all the diamond members disembarking first left us all in the dust?
There was a lot more but I think i've made my point. I was a loyal Royal but next time I am going to take a look at Norwegian or Celebrity. It may be time to see what kind of service another line would give me. I'm no longer "happy enough" with RC. I'm disappointed and genuinely saddened by this cruise experience. I had every intention of wowing my husband and following in my in-laws steps by making my way up to Diamond and enjoying a cruise or 2 each year with the hubby.