Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by gettinold: Service is noticeably slipping
Overall Member Rating
Service is noticeably slipping
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We flew from the UK to Miami on a Fly/cruise package. It took over two hours to get through immigration and customs. Miami must be the slowest airport in the world for this. Use Fort Lauderdale airport if you can. We then checked our names with the Royal Caribbean representatives who asked us to take a seat while they arranged our transfer to the Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale. After about 45 minutes I saw them leaving the airport concourse and so I rushed after them to ask if they had forgotten us. I was met with blank stares from all three. I explained that 6 of us had been waiting for nearly an hour for our bus to Fort Lauderdale. One of the three then took out her cellphone, dialled a number right in front of me and said " We're going to need another bus now " Her colleague then asked me to sit down again as the bus would be coming shortly. I asked her why they were leaving but she didn't answer. I also said that I wasn't stupid or invisible and heard her colleague ordering a bus on More
the cellphone just there. She insisted they hadn't forgotten us and assured me the bus wouldn't be long. 20 minutes later a 50 seater bus turned up for only six passengers so it is clearly obvious that they would have left us in the airport had I not intervened.
The following morning , the six of us waited in the hotel lobby at 12pm for the bus to the port as advised in the flyer we were given. It didn't turn up. After half an hour the hotel desk clerk advised us that we should have gone to the rear of the hotel to meet the bus. Thankfully when we rushed round , the bus was still there. So no marks there RC for your pre-cruise arrangements.
Embarkation was easy and swift. We are Diamond members and as such should have had a welcome gift in our stateroom . It wasn't there. We advised our stateroom attendant who said it wasn't her job to do that. We also asked her if she would please remove the alcohol from the minibar as we are both teetotal. She said that also wasn't her job. There was a very bad stain on the bed linen. I asked her to change the sheet and you've guessed - she didn't do that either. To be fair , she could hardly talk English and probably didn't understand a word I was saying. That also went for Guest Services staff. I used them a few times, mostly to get purchases I hadn't made removed from my account ( why does that happen ? ) However when I was talking to them, all I was getting back was a blank stare. Can I suggest to RC that they should employ more staff who understand english. Then again , if they did that they would probably have to pay more.
We used the main dining room to start with but gave up during the week as service was way too slow and went to the Windjammer instead. This isn't the fault of the waiters - there simply just isn't enough of them.
Entertainment was not that great . There was only two headliners the whole week, a club singer and a ventriloquist. Both instantly forgettable. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were used far too much and it became tedious. I saw many people leaving during their shows. I didn't out of politeness to the cast but I totally understood those who did.
We attended the Crown and Anchor cocktail evening. Just a big sales pitch and again, lots of people got up and left during the blurb. One of the things they crooned about was that they had replaced the loyalty voucher booklet with an electronic version. What they omitted to mention was they had cut the number of items that used to be included - e.g all of the casino table vouchers had mysteriously disappeared.
Announcements were made very loudly during the day. We get a daily Cruise Compass RC so you don't need to read it out for us as well. However it was only those activities that were cash positive for RC that got announced. $75 for a game of Bingo ? - Disgraceful !.
As I said earlier, we are Diamond members. I find it ironic that having reached that stage, we are now seriously considering using another cruise line. I am going on the Freedom of the Seas in May. If the level of service is as bad as this one was was then I am afraid RC has just lost a customer. Less
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