Myself and 10 friends went on a 4-night Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Cruise in February 2014. The ship was beautiful, the food was very good and the staff in the formal dining area and the cabin stewards were very friendly, but the bar service staff were not. Right off the bat you could tell what changes the drink packages made. There were not many people going around with drinks trays (and when they were, they only had the drinks in the special glasses which were not included in the package price) so you had to go to the bars. Since the bartenders were not getting tipped on every drink (tips were included in the package price), they were not friendly or helpful - they were extremely slow and some were downright rude!
The majority of our our group purchased alcohol drink packages. On the first evening of the cruise, I became ill. For the remainder of the cruise I was unable to keep anything other than water and Ginger Ale down. I asked if my package could be switched to a soda package and was told by Guest Relations, at the Customer Service that I would be refunded the difference once they verified that I did not have any alcohol after the first evening. Now I'm being told by Corporate Guest Relations Advocate that I will not be refunded because "The records showed activity all 4 days of your sailing" - hello McFly, my card was not swipped for any alcoholic beverages after the first evening - only pop and water. Most of my days were spent in our room. Unfortunately for RCCL, due to the service received and the icing on the cake of not following through on the refund our group will not be going back to RCCL next year or any years thereafter.