I am going to start this off with a description of us, the cruisers. We are now diamond plus with RCI. We have sailed with them 25 times. We have familiarity with Princess and Norwegian. We WERE die hard RCI cruisers. Now we are most likely former RCI cruisers. OK, why?
This cruise was a 5 day cruise. I can't think of one day that I had a decent meal. The food was so pedestrian and unappealing. There was little to no seasonings used on the food. It was virtually the same menu day after day whether you went to the dining room or buffet. It does not matter where you sail, on RCI you are going to ave the same menu every time. The lack of diversity gets old real quick. The food really reached the bottom on this trip. Norwegian now has better food the RCI, and THAT is saying a lot!
We started sailing with RCI back in the 90's. Every cruise was an experience and every cruise was dining heaven. Starting in 2007, RCI started removing the perks that frequent cruisers received on RCI ships. The food on all the ships started being the same and the quality started dropping. It is interesting to me that all these changes coincide with Adam Goldstein being named to be the CEO for RCI. Mr. Goldstein, congratulations to you for destroying what used to be the ultimate experience.
The crew used to take pride in being aboard. They kept their heads high and greeted everyone warmly at all times. Now the crew members keep their heads down and avert their gazes as if they are ashamed of being aboard. Maybe it is the way of the world, but I doubt it. I think that the leadership of RCI is rubbing off on the crew members. In other words, "All we are interested in is the first time cruisers and get rid of the old timers who remember what real cruising was all about".
The RCI entertainers were very good and enjoyable. The contract entertainment wouldn't and shouldn't be allowed to perform on the street corners in Laughlin NV or New Orleans.