Took a family cruise over New Year's on this ship - this was my 10th cruise, however it was my first time on RCCL. Overall the entire experience on the ship was a huge disappointment.
Leaving from Tampa was relatively painless as we are platinum members via our status on Celebrity Cruise Lines, which allowed us to bypass the usual waiting line. Upon boarding the ship, our first impression was that everything seemed rather boring compared to most of the ships that we have been on. No real "wow" factor anywhere aboard the ship.
Our stateroom attendant Idewa was excellent and attentive throughout our entire cruise. Unfortunately, he was the only person who seemed to truly care about our experience on the ship. Overall the staff was very disinterested and did not try to provide excellent service. The room was average overall, however the floor in the bathroom got soaked after taking a shower. They use curtains instead of doors (?) so water goes all over the place. Idewa gave us extra towels to help with the problem.
Bar service throughout the vessel was painstakingly slow, even when only a few patrons were present. Average time to be served ranged from 10-20 mins for each round. Out of our 10 cruises, the service speed was the SLOWEST by leaps and bounds. During our formal night, a bartender dumped a drink all over me by accident. I had to get visibly upset before he offered to have my suit cleaned for me. I was then told that I had to walk down to guest relations to get a voucher. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Nobody cared enough to have one sent up to the bar, or to my stateroom attendant. Quite frankly, I could not imagine that this would ever happen on a reputable cruise line like RCCL.
The food on the ship could best be described as repetitive and mediocre. The windjammer buffet featured good food, but not much variety. Breakfast was exactly the same every day without any variety. Lunch was generally good and had a bit more variety, but still rather repetitive. No real excitement here.
The main dining room was nothing short of a joke. The first night I was served a "New York strip steak" that clearly had been defrosted and microwaved. When I complained the Maitre'd just said he would get me something else (after our party had finished eating). He did not return to check on us the 2nd night, which was also extremely disappointing.
During the 2nd night in the MDR, we had to request that a bar server come to the table to get wine and a drink for our party. He was in a rush, took the wine order and ran off, not even giving me a chance to order a drink for myself. When he returned and told him I wanted a drink, his response was "why didn't you tell me you wanted something". I ordered a Jack and Coke, and he returned 10 mins later with a rum and coke. I informed the assistant waiter, who said he would take care of me. He came back after about 10 mins with the correct drink and said that "he had to run to the bar because the bottle of Jack was empty, which is why the bar server gave me rum".... ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
After this, I got up and left dinner to go down to guest services to cancel my auto-gratuities for the dining room, as we decided to go to specialty dining to try not have our dinners ruined for the rest of the cruise. The young lady at the desk just said "ok" and did not inquire as to whether or not I had an issue. It's pretty bad when you are forced to pay extra just to have a decent dinner.
Chops Grille was a mixed bag (we ate there 2 nights) - some of the food was good, other dishes had incorrect meat temperatures (not being picky, we're talking extremely rare or scorched here). Great service, but overall fairly average.
The last night we tried Giovanni's table... Finally we had a good meal!!!! This was the only positive experience at dinner that we had during the whole cruise. Service and food were excellent and everyone enjoyed their meal.
Overall the ship seemed a bit cluttered (I might be a bit picky here) - dishes seemed to sit on tables for long times, and the ash trays in the casino never seemed to be cleaned (we took some pictures as it was pretty laughable). The musicians on the ship were very good and very friendly - we were pleased with them as well as the comedy show. There was not enough to do during the day, but we did attend a few trivia sessions that were "ok".
The staff on this ship really need to get their act together - at points I felt like complaining, but I don't go on vacation to get upset. We made the best of the situation and tried to have the best experience that we could. I will definitely not be cruising on this ship again, and my experience gave me serious doubts about RCCL.