Let's start off with saying that we have cruised with RCCL numerous times (10+) over the past seven years and that this is the third time we've sailed on one of these mega ships (twice on Allure and once on Oasis). We've never had any previous issues with RCCL and have been royal to sailing only with RCCL over the past several years. This most recent sailing on the Allure was by far the most disappointing cruise with RCCL ever.
The overall service level was good but not great. The only excellent service we received was from our cabin steward who was exceptional. Everyone else was just only marginal. A number of the wait staff just seemed overworked and couldn't seem to care less. Some wait staff and casino dealers were just downright rude. Also, the photographers was a little too aggressive when trying to get you into a photo. After cruised so many times, you expect that a certain level of service on a cruise ship and it was definitely not there this time around.
The food was excellent in the dining room but we found the food in the Windjammer disappointing. Not only was the selection reduced, the quality of the food at the buffet was also not as good as previous cruises. Also, we dined at Chops which is the specialty steakhouse. The quality of the food was not as good as previously and we’ve dined at Chops on various RCCL ships a number of times. For the entire seven day cruise, the ship’s Wipeout Café which usually serves burgers, hotdogs, chips, and ice cream was turned into a Kosher Buffet as there was a large group from Kosherica traveling on the ship. Although I understand and appreciate the need to accommodate a large group with dietary needs, I don’t agree with the way it was done. The ship should not have taken choices away from the majority of the cruise passengers. They could have found another venue to serve the Kosher Buffet (conference area, other not so busy dining venues) or at least serve the Wipeout Café food at the Windjammer (which they also didn’t do.). This along with some other things gave us the feeling that we weren’t as “important” to RCCL as those from Kosherica.
Overall, we noticed that RCCL has definitely cut back on a lots of perks and has lost a lot of the “warmth” of cruising. Now it feels like RCCL is just running a business. We’re currently Emerald members and only a cruise away from making Diamond. However, RCCL has cut back the status perks so much that we’re not sure if it’s worth it anymore. This most recent cruise experience has really made us question if we want to continue to travel with RCCL. We’ll definitely cruise again but will probably try a different cruise line.