On 1/16/11 my husband and I boarded the Royal Caribbean ship named the Mariner of the seas for a 17 day tour from Los Angeles to Chile,
First I would like to say we scheduled all our plans through Royal Caribbean including flights to make certain all our arrangements would be proper. We arrived at the airport on time and were told our flights were rescheduled just a short time sooner which meant we had to pay for a new flight and wait at the airport an additional hour. This cost us time and money which Royal Caribbean refused to reimburse us for.
Once on board we noticed there were obvious cut backs to what we are accustomed to with Royal, I will mention as few as possible as to not bore all interested. On our sixth day we determined that Royal had no intentions of heating any of the three pools. We contacted the front desk and spoke to two managers that said it was sea water to the pools which meant only 23 degrees which is the equivalent to the San Francisco Bay where we lived. Even the few children on the ship would not stay in without visibly shivering in a short while.
We disputed this sea to pool logic and finally said we would get 100 signatures if necessary asking to heat the pools, which would have a taken less than an hour as 3,000 seniors were also very unhappy with this cost cutting at our inconvenience. We even asked if they would consider heating just the one pool on the adult side with the same answer of (no)!
Ironically the very last day of the cruise, day 16, they decided to heat the pools! 3,000 of us suffered for 16 days and were not happy about this better late than never technique.
Also the food was appalling on this ship. The beef could not be chewed effectively for swallowing, thereby causing my husband to continually pull it out of his mouth and placing it on its plate. On the forth day of this we decided to go to the main restaurant and try their beef and found it to be just as tough. We spoke to several waiters and informed them of this fact. We were told we could purchase for an additional cost of $14.99 a better choice that we would be able to swallow. The hamburger was worse as it did not appear to be a meat product. This is the tip of the iceberg as far as gross cost cutting was performed systematically on this ship. The majority of conversation we had with at least 100 guests was of how bad the cost cutting was. Takes the fun out of socializing!
At least 20 seniors said never again to Royal and explained how much better Holland America was. These are only the majority of folks we talked too imagine the amount of folks who simply say nothing?
I am a platinum member and used to think how nice it would be when we became Diamond members, now I am forced to look at alternatives as to other cruise lines and or visiting hotels as to Royal's depressing adventures. Perhaps this misery was a blessing in disguise?
To top off our holiday we disembarked the ship in Chile and were bused to the airport and were informed we had a 14 hour wait for our return flight home. Other cruise lines would have had an excursion and drop off at the airport within two hours of flight but not Royal Caribbean.
I was raised in proper English fashion where you don't complain but get on with life instead, but I do feel a certain duty to inform the public what to expect from the Royal Cruise lines.