Worst cruise experience EVER! I understand that cruise ships break, but that is the time to STEP UP one's customer service, not pretend that it isn't happening!
We got in line to board the ship at around 11:30 AM, I had read where you could board by 12, even though the ship didn't set sail until 8PM. It was hot and humid, but there were locals selling water for $1 a bottle. After about an hour with NO line movement, and seeing RCCL people bustling around the outside of the line, we notice that two small busses have pulled away with cruise passengers. A young RCCL lady was making an announcement at the front of the line, we in the back couldn't hear a word, but figured she would come to the back and repeat the speech. She didn't! We all had to yell for her to turn around and tell us what was going on. "It says in the notice that you received that the ship will be delayed leaving port and you can either go to a hotel and RCCL will give you lunch, or Get $40 for your expenses if you take a taxi to Old San Juan and eat there" Ummmm, what notice??? OHHH the pile of notices in the other RCCL girl's hand that she DIDN"T hand out to the back of the line!
We got on a bus, got handed a ticket with a number on it, and went to Large convention type room at a Hilton hotel where there was buffet style food and weak rum punch.
After a few hours, all the time being told it will be just another hour, while strolling by the hotel entrance, we notice two buses leaving with cruise passengers . I guess it was time to go back to the ship b/c we could now board. (no one made an announcement stating this)
We get back, stand in line for another TWO hours, old people were really getting tired and needed chairs, we ALL NEEDED WATER, Frustration was HIGH and none of the RCCL crew on the dock could answer any questions or get anyone some water! After some older people really started complaining saying that they had been in line since 9AM the dock crew started to take action, Apparently we who had been bused to and fro should have been in another line that was actually boarding the ship!
They whisk all of us with numbered tickets in our hands from the bus ride, to the terminal and cutting in front of another long line of passengers, and we FINALLY board at 6:30PM
I've gotten on cruises before and usually there is music and drinks being served and food to be had around the pool. NOTHING! felt like we were on a ghost ship. We decided to explore. We found our room and were able to get in too! No luggage yet.
We had made a "my time" reservation for 6:30! We were late, but it was ok. Also not dressed properly!
ABOUY MY TIME DINING.. HA! You have to make a reservation by like 4pm that day for when you want to eat that night. If you are on a shore excursion at that time, how do they expect you to do that? So I just decided to make it for 6:30 each evening and told them that. They replied with "Could you make it 6:00 instead?" NO, That would be YOUR TIME dining, not mine! It's NOT NCL when it comes to freestyle dining.
To make a long story short, RCCL just DID NOT communicate to the passengers what was going on and how long it would take to fix the propeller pod that was apparently broken.
You could get off the ship but they kept saying it was going to leave at 4pm. then 8pm then the next morning then ...... so you never knew if it was worth it because it was only going to be a few more hours!
By late day two still in San Juan, the captain must have been told to inform the passengers of progress. He would come on every hour and announce that the work on the propeller blades was progressing. WE ALL LAUGHED! It was so vague!
Only TWO of the THREE pools were open while marooned in San Juan, And one day there was only one pool open. That pool was GROSS. You couldn't see the bottom of people in the pool, just their top half's because it was so cloudy!
There wasn't a Bar b queue around the pool on Monday, so I figured RCCL didn't do that. Then on Tuesday, Still in San Juan, they pull out the grill and burgers! Yay. We decide to wait a bit for the crowd to die down and go back in about 45 minutes. The crowd was gone, AND SO WAS THE FOOD! No more burgers, just a huge bowl of rice.
They ran out of limes, and we were still in San Juan! WTF?
The staff around the pool was NOT the nicest. I noticed I was moving out of their way and saying excuse me when there was only room for one person to pass. The adult pool bartender was out right RUDE to me.
We missed Two ports, and at first were offered only $500 PER CABIN. When they finally said our cruise was going to be FREE, my mood shifted a bit. BUT IT WAS ALREADY SO BAD from the treatment we received from the entire experience with RCCL I doubt we will ever go on this cruise line again or maybe not even cruise again. Such a bad taste left.