This was our first experience of free time dining and will be our last. I have read some positive reviews about it but I just don't understand it. First, it is not "Free Time" , the time most people eat is governed by the two theater show times. We prefer later dining so we saw the show first only to join the mad dash to the dining room afterwards. Joined a long queue just to get a pager then by the time we had settled in for a drink somewhere the pager goes off and we then queue again to be seated. We soon found that we had to leave the show about 15 minutes before the end to get to the front of the pager queue. It reminded us of a holiday camp when we were teenagers..The supposed up side is that you don't get stuck at a table with people that annoy you but I've never had this problem and in any case you can ask to be moved. The dress code was very relaxed and even then those that ignored it were not told.
The service was so slow that we complained in writing and on one occasion when we paid extra in one of the upgrade restaurants the service was even worse. When we complained that the restaurant was half empty and still we were waiting we were told that there was a table of 8 round the corner that we could not see,!! With set dining times and the same waiter every day you get much better service. Maybe I'm getting old but the whole feeling was, for me, one of dumbing down the cruise experience. I hope RCCL keep up the standards.
I really don't like this emotional blackmail when you buy a drink. First you get charged 15% service then you are asked for an additional tip and this on top of the 12 dollars a day.service charge. In view of the constant poor dining service we declined to pay the 12 dollars.
Generally the ship was O.K. but the larger ships do spoil you and this ship seemed small and boring with few shops and the same old trash on the stalls every day. The smaller entertainment areas were too small and had too few seats which was a shame because the entertainers were quite good. The ship was far too small for a NEW YEAR CRUISE when everyone is in the Atrium for the count down. Again the larger ships have so much room in the center these days they set a higher standard..
The cabin was O.K. but when we booked it said "Ocean View picture window " but after we paid it said "Porthole" The price was not bad for a late booking so I guess you get what you pay for..
We did n't book any shore excursions, preferring to hire a taxi which was excellent value in Casablanca. We normally do this and negotiate two prices, a basic minimum and a higher one if the service is good, it usually works.