Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by thehotmustards: My last cruise with RC
Overall Member Rating
My last cruise with RC
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
This was my third cruise and second cruise with RC. My previous cruise with RC was ten years ago and that cruise was fantastic with absolutely no complaints. However, this cruise the problems included:
1) The level of the quality of food has dropped, although the food was ok in the main restaurants it was not at all special and miles off the standard that I remember from ten years ago. This is what made the cruise so special ten years ago. Some of the steaks you could not cut and they had to be returned, but apart from keeping away from the steaks the other food was ok.
2) The food was similar throughout the ship (well in the non paying dinning areas)
3) If you miss a dinning time then there was not much choice on what you can get to eat, perhaps a sandwich or a pizza (these did not change much from day to day), it has moved from 24 hour dinning to more like a full board style hotel
4) The Windjammer - you need to give this a miss, although the food More is ok it is like a mad house at food times or feeding time at the zoo. Things are not in any order, for example don't expect to find butter near the toast and when you finally find the butter the toast has really passed it's best. Not only cold but hard. I found the whole experience at the Windjammer horriable, I am on holiday and want to relax and dinning in the windjammer is just not relaxing. This is not completely RC thought as I think that the quality of the guests have dropped in ten years (not being snobbish) and people enter the Winderjammer and simply forget their manners, que jumping, fighting for food etc etc. However, the reason for the frenzy is probably because their is not 24 hour dinning anymore as discussed above so if RC changed from full board back to the way they were 10 years ago then there would be less panic or perhaps simply extend the dinning times.
5) We selected the 8.30pm dinning time and if you come back on the ship from a day out early afternoon there was no food available other than some crap sandwiches or pizza which had little taste.
6) Overall, RC seem to be penny pinching in that they have taken lots of small things away that made the cruise special such as less choice with food, availability of food, chocs on your pillar at night, midnight feast, afternoon tea
7) RC are constantly trying to sell you something and although the food may no longer be 24/7 their selling is. Just when you are relaxing at the pool the PA system announces that they they have an art auction, pampering in the spa, cheap watches, plastic handbags or any other crap that they are trying to sell you. I am on holiday/vacation and I want to relax and don't want to buy RC's over priced cheap crap and especially don't want to be constantly sold to.
8) As a smoker I found the casino a horriable place to be as this is a smoking area and it got very smoky and smelly. My wife as a non smoker hated being anywhere near the casino which was a shame as we both enjoy a small gamble while on a ship. Spoke to some staff and they said that they tried making the casino non smoking but the profits went down so they reverted back to smoking!
9) As a businessman, it looks like to me that RC have changed management/directors in the last ten years and they have become more focused on profit making than providing their guests a great holiday/cruise experience. Well a message to the Board is that you have lost my business for the future so put that in your pipe and smoke that!
10) Paid extra to go in the Italian Restaurant on Board and once seated was immediately attacked by the wine waiter, firstly he asked if we wanted water, that was easy as we both had drinks packages. He responded sorry we dont have that water that is included in the drinks package in this restaurant and the water available costs $8, so we agreed to order this over priced water only to find out later that the table behind us was offered tap water! He then come back with his suggested bottles of wine, I declined as I only wanted a glass of red with my meal, at that point he was almost rude and walked away. I order a glass of red within my drinks package and my wife ordered a glass of white. We waited ages for these glasses of wine, guess because we upset him for not ordering his suggested wine that he no doubt gets commission on. When I looked at the wine menu he was trying to sell us $200-300 bottles of wine.
11) Jonny Rockets - what is all the fuss about. The staff were great and entertaining but the food was crap, frozen food and our burgers were dripping in grease, we did not got back. It would make Macdonalds a five star when JR achieving only a 1-2 star and I am not a big fan of MacDonalds.
12) If they are advertising a formal night with guidance on what you need to wear which we both looked forward to I was very disappointed when I am wearing a DJ and wife is in a cocktail dress and two tables away the chap was wearing shorts, t-shirt and flip flops and this was in the main restaurant and not the Windjammer, we also notices chaps wearing jeans. RC you need to grow a set of balls and decline guests not wearing the right clothing into the main restaurants otherwise what is the point of having a formal night. I could not see any difference between smart casual to casual and this is probably a sign that in a few years the formal nights will be a thing of the past.
My holiday cost over stg£6,000 for two people for two weeks which is not a cheap holiday and really expected a little more from the holiday and a lot less RC hard selling. On the plus notes, the cabin was a good size and clean, staff were helpful and friendly although some of them struggle with English which is odd given that most of the guests are either English or Amercian. Less
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