Royal Caribbean May 2014 (half term week) S’ton to Le Havre, Bilbao & Gijon – 6 days.
Couple in 40’s and two elderly mothers – in 3 balcony cabins
To star with positives…..
+good cabin size & layout & comfy bed
+food very decent in main dining room with number of choices
+ generally good staff service
+ice show very good
+ crazy golf good fun (but overrun with kids unless you did it in rain)
But outweighed by the negatives….
-ship totally overtaken by kids and geared completely to their needs – all pools, shows, activities, sports etc.
-very little adult supervision of kids running wild everywhere either by parents or RCL staff – imagine Butlins at sea
-very little variety or imagination for seminars, activities lectures, etc. Often little to do
-poor quality theatre performances – pretty amateur
-no bathroom toiletries or nice touches eg chocs on bed at turndown
-facilities very gimmicky & poorly planned which benefit very few, eg flowrider only two max at a time & huge pace taken up, 3 table tennis tables all outside & near edge of ship & pool so balls lost or cannot use in foul weather (most of this trip),rock wall only two at once & takes large space,etc
-ice rink great idea but rarely open for skating and only 4 shows (all same) requiring tickets to be queued for at 8:30am which disappeared within 20 minutes!
Summary - never again with RCL – if this had been my first cruise I would have been put off for life. Luckily there are better ships eg Celebrity Eclipse. Also never go in school hols – the ship was 30% children with some appalling behaviour. RCL are aiming more downmarket at lower income families and cutting corners/costs. Relaxed cruising for anyone aged 40 onwards is no longer an option with RCL. Steer clear to be safe…. Oh and did i mention that you have to queue for everything as the ship was so crammed full....