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.
The ruins were fantastic and something to see. However, our guide left a lot to be desired. He was so locked into minutia and repeating everything over and over that he lost the interest of the entire group with a couple of minutes at every stop.
The bus ride was long, but that could not be avoided. The boat ride in to the ruins was an hour and 20 minutes. That was excessive, especially as there was no animal, plant, or anything else or interest seen during the trip. The trip out was only 40 minutes and we saw many different interesting critters. The additional 40 minutes we could have had at the ruins if we had taken the shorter route in would have been very welcome.
The food we were served for lunch was acceptable for the most part. I say for the most part because I cannot eat curry and the chicken was curried. the rest of the meal was palatable but nothing to write home about.
We took the Fury Snorkel and Beach Break. My breakdown of the ratings are this: Snorkel 2 and beach break 5.
The snorkel sites were very good. There were a lot of different sea critters to see and the water was extremely clear. The problem with the snorkel was the they tried to group the people and herd them like a bunch of cattle or sheep, It was not enjoyable at all to be hit with arms and/or flippers every few seconds. Further, the snorkel equipment was one size fits all. That worked well for my wife, but mine leaked continuously in spite of being swapped out twice. I am an experience diver and I am very well versed in dive/snorkel equipment.This stuff was garbage.
The beach break was fantastic. It was a private beach and the facilities and amenities (including beverages) were very good.