My family and I have just returned from the July 27th Sailing of Freedom of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean. We were extremely disappointed with this cruise. That said, we didn't let it spoil our vacation, and enjoyed the cruise regardless of the problems. But our experience means we won't be cruising on this fleet of ships again, and will certainly give Oasis a miss.
Although the quality of service and food/beverages were our main gripe, and we do not usually complain about things, there were other problems:
- The ship felt more crowded than the Navigator or Adventure, with 4200 passengers instead of 3200.
- The shows just weren't as good, with the exception of the Ice Show
I sent an email of "constructive criticism" to the Crown and Anchor society, the following of which is an extract. RCL have responded, thanking me for my comments.!
We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean on back-to-back cruises on Adventure of the Seas in the Caribbean, and Navigator of the Seas in Europe. We thoroughly enjoyed our previous cruises with RCL, but this cruise was severely lacking when compared to our previous experiences with RCL and Princess Cruises. We were traveling with another family of friends.
On the positive side, we thought the flow rider was an excellent innovation, and that the beds and bedding were superb. The cabin attendant was great and the lady in charge of My Time Dining was pleasant, attentive and professional even though she was clearly struggling with the workload. The ship was beautiful.
Service - Indifferent at best and rude at worse Time after time we experienced poor or extremely bad service that simply outnumbered the times we could say we received great service. For example:
- When my wife asked the Champagne bar waiter if there were any discount cards available, as we had purchased previously on Adventure of the Seas, the bar waiter lectured our group on intoxication and alcoholism. He went beyond being impolite to being downright rude. Non of us were intoxicated or anything near it. We left. The Champagne bar was noticeably empty throughout the cruise.
- In Chops Grill the staff were rude and the headwaiter made sarcastic comments to me simply because I asked for the correct order to be delivered. We were given the wrong steak, missing side orders and cold sauces. At all times we were polite and patient, despite the surly and irritable attitude of our waitress. I was made to feel as though the staff thought it was their privilege to let us dine in their restaurant, and how dare we complain if we didn't get what we ordered. If this was a restaurant anywhere else I would have walked out
- A member of staff at the Flowrider desk was extremely rude to my friend, and then to me, in front of our children. We were asking for waiver forms to complete, obviously far too difficult for him. We were courteous and stood in line, unlike some others, but were treated as though our simple request was ruining his day.
- The sports deck staff on the climbing wall didn't speak to you, or assist in any way. They would hook you in and then mutter "Climb Brown" or something similar and that was it. My daughter was frightened and I can honestly say the 'assistant' made things worse, not better. The staff clearly wanted to be somewhere else, and we were just a temporary inconvenience stopping them.
- The concierge desk staff would not offer information unless pressed. All but one we dealt with were just plain miserable.
These are the most memorably poor examples, but there were others.
Food and Drinks Quality We subscribed to the My Time dining for the evenings. The food was often just not tasty or well cooked. I was served chicken that was still bloody near the bone, tasteless pasta and warm red wine. On the one morning we visited the main dining room for breakfast I was served raw eggs Benedict (runny whites) with soggy toast - neither of which I ate.