Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by MO Tom: Crew not up to RCI standards
Overall Member Rating
Crew not up to RCI standards
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We had a family and friends cruise, with 16 people. Of our group, this was a first cruise for two couples. They absolutely loved the whole experience. This is my 6th cruise with RCI. I am used to having the crew fawn over the passengers, but not this trip. My room attendant introduced herself on Day 2, and we had a 15 second conversation. She spent the rest of the week ducking out of sight in the hallways. She did her job, and that was it. There was no going "above and beyond" in service. I am sorry I prepaid my gratuities.
Our wait staff was adequate, but not very friendly. The head waiter breezed by our table twice during the week for less than a minute, but on the last night stayed a few minutes trolling for additional tips.
My bar tab this trip was about half of a normal cruise, even though the prices for drinks have increased. There were very few roaming servers. I estimate about 75% of my drinks were me going to the bar itself. The bartenders were not More talkative, even if not busy. RCI lost some drink profits on this ship.
Don't get me wrong, these workers did their jobs and the trip was very enjoyable. I just noticed that there was no "WOW" service that RCI advertises. I guess now RCI automatically charges gratuities, and you have to go the guest relations to have them removed or altered. That may be why the crew aren't trying too hard.
The ship was great, the largest I have been on yet. There is no way we covered the whole ship, and participated in few planned activities. Our room was very large and comfortable, and our party was able to open our balconies to each other. Less
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Our balcony room was great. This was the largest ship we have been on, and the cabin was by far the best we have had. The balconies have slider doors to open to the neighbor. We had five balcony rooms in a row and it was great.
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