Being a loyal to Royal cruiser for 4 cruises I was shocked at how their service and standards had changed, and not one aspect was for the better. They are now a money grabbing, disappointment. We have name our vacation an adventure that ending up being a costly mistake, the mistake being taking a cruise versus an all inclusive. We vacation ever year and have used the same travel agent for the past 10 years...so it all started with our flight being delayed at our home airport as Minneapolis was closed...after 2 hours on the runway we were off..being assured our next flight would have been held..but no it was not..but no worries we will reroute..through 4 cities arriving in Miami after midnite..no way i was on the phone for an hour to switch it as we knew no of the other airports involved was closed...finally got it switched but had to run around the airport trying to get boarding passes as the cruise desk could not print them....arrived in Miami at 11 pm..no luggage..it arrived on the, you guessed it, the 12:15 flight...but alas we had all the bags... so off to the Royal Caribbean desk...no one there!! ( We booked all this through them they assured us they'd still be there)...searched the area saw a man just leaving. He helped us and arranged a transfer to the hotel...I had called the hotel earlier to assure them we were still coming but had been delayed ..no problem...but of course it was once we got there as it was now the "next day" so the rooms held for us had been released but they had a room for all 6 of us with 1 king size bed. By this time it had been 23 1/2 hours since we had left home I cried..literally and demanded something...we had receipts, vouchers and I had called, we were billed 400. per booking for the rooms for 1 night...finally after much discussion they gave us the presidential suite, nice but still only one bed, they rounded up a few cots and we made use of the one room and the suite...lol made use it was 3 AM we had 5 hours to rest...InterContinental did throw in breakfast to compensate.
Well then off to the pier..Embarkment was the best..we had registered on line so we basically walked on, our cabins were ready, fun was beginning. The ship is huge, and beautiful and clean. The promenade is beautiful. Sorenntos pizza was delicious and the staff there very very friendly. Johnny Rockets was very very friendly as well, food at Johnny Rockets was delicious but 3.95 plus extra charges to sit outside!!? We were travelling with 4 kids all 14-18 years old, our 18 YO had just turned 18, we arranged before hand that the cruise would allow her to join the 15-17 YO's...but found out when we arrived that policy had changed the week prior and that no she would not be allowed to join them due to a disturbance that had happened. No exceptions! (Only to find out that a crew member instructed other families to sign up their 15 YO and have their 18 YO use their sea pass to get in...so our 18 YO had no planned activities , she could gamble..thats it wow just one more way to get more money..all the hidden extra costs were incredible, she decided to head to the gym maybe meet someone there..but their exercise classes all cost $10 each as well!! The boxing ring never once was used as you guessed it -cost! Virtual golf was extra $$ as well. Mini golf is still included. HOLY..we used to go to the classes to learn something new.
Wave runner was fun, waivers each day seemed a bit over the cautious side but boys all had fun as did adults, line ups were long taking 1/2 an hour average but worth the wait.Kareoke was in a bar that held 1/2 the amount of people that wanted to join and cut off exactly after an hour no matter how many people wanted to sing. You also could only sing once unless they thought you were good or embarrassing. Dining in the main dining room was a disappointment as well, food is just ok. Service has gone way down hill and dress code should not even mentioned. We had purchased new clothes so our kids would be in proper attire, only to find out it no longer matters, shorts jeans flip-flops all acceptable in dining room on any night, including formal. Waiters dropped a basket of buns, picked them up off floor and served them to the next table! If you did not have a coke card you could not have a softdrink with dinner it was an added $1.95, so your options were tea, coffee, water, or extra cost. There seemed to be no service in the windjammer and very few seats often people trying to find a seat. We had one bar service lady that was excellent, friendly and accurate, Corinne was awesome. Other bars you waited for service were crowded. If you only wanted to sit and watch no where to do so. Promenade.too crowded no organization parade at dinner time.could not see. Photographers caused blocked areas,prices went up.The shows were phenomenal..worth seeing. Disembarkment very organized. Flights home Royal allowed 1/2 an hour for us to clear customs and change gates not enough time had to run like crazy but Air Canada did hold the plane. No longer Loyal to Royal.