We have been loyal RCL cruisers for many years. We tried other cruise lines and always come back to RCL for the WOW factor. We booked this cruise for the destination and that is just what we got. A boat ride with poor meal selection, horrible entertainment, and employees who are going through the motions on an entry level ship to "pay their dues" so they can upgrade to a better ship contract in their next contract. The staff were all nice and professional, but the undercurrent is present. They could not wait to get off this ship. We felt the same way.
Dining was always an exercise in wishing you went to the Windjammer instead of the Main Dining Room because the choices were horrible. We paid extra for an upgraded meal out of desperation. We finally, gave up and went to the Windjammer for more variety and booked a Specialty Dinner. Being "steered away" from the Main Dining Room by a poor menu selection to force people to pay for upgrades helps the Company bottom line only short term. You have degraded your reputation and turned away future loyalty. This will ultimately hurt your brand no matter how "Big" you build your ships. The consensus of people we questioned was totally in line with our feelings. This cruise was sailed by a greater number of Diamond and Diamond Plus loyalist and they are the people we questioned. We know RCL reads reviews on Cruise Critic and so the comments are written more as an open letter to RCL to rethink their future plans to nurture their brand or lose market share to competition who are now stepping up their game with large ships with the WOW factor. RCL has the same lame songs, marches and kudos on every cruise without any change. It is typical of the Catskills camp formate. Don't put baby in the corner.
Entertainment was dull and filling a time slot rather than entetaining. Pulling people into a theater to sell drinks before a show just to have them get up to leave out of boredom, just reinforces RCL's goal. Bottom line.
We will sail RCL in the future, but only the newest ships with the newest innovations. They seem to be given the quality entertainment. We have noticed on the newest ship RCL will be copying their competition with multiple dining options. Also, we will try the competition again pulling our loyalty away from RCL. It is looking like an all inclusive vacation is in our future.