Last year we sailed on the RCI's Independence of the Seas for 2 weeks as a family and had a fabulous time. This year was our Silver Wedding Anniversary and my wife and I decided it would be a nice treat to get away and get pampered for a few days so this cruise seemed ideal. We booked through Thomas Cook and they were unable to offer us port transfers. We flew from Belfast to Malaga queued for 45 minutes for our baggage then queued again for a taxi to the port, none of which was RCI's fault.
We arrived at the port at 11.50am, to scenes of utter chaos. There were thousands of Spanish people shouting & pushing. There did not seem to be anyone directing with any sort of cohesion and discipline at broken down complete. There was 1 young woman giving out the stateroom tickets for your baggage, which you then had to abandon and hope they arrived at your stateroom. Inside the port terminal more chaos the barriers which were supposed to control the throngs in an orderly fashion had been collapsed and hundreds of people again Spanish were queue jumping and when challenged just shrugged there shoulders or shouted something in their native tongue. Anyhow to move the story on it took us 3 hours! to board the ship, We later heard that even the staff issuing the sea passes were on their first day of work and were totally overwhelmed. Very poor training RCI!.
On board we went to the windjammer and had to stand to eat. Our dining time was 6.00 but we wanted to change to 8.30. When we went to speak to the head waiter of our dinig room guess what another bloody queue! In the end we didn't change and were later told that the Spanish were given the priority of dining at 8.30, probably because of the siesta they take in the afternoon I can only assume. Anyhow they did us a favour, we met lovely people from Scotland and Dublin at our dining table. The waiters and stateroom attendant were excellent, and this helped to make the cruise a bit more enjoyable. We also enjoyed the shows and other entertainment, although again the spanish were loud arrogant and aggresive throughout. We will sail again with RCI though never from Malaga!! overall I could only give this cruise a rating of 5/10.