Sailed maybe seven times on Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess and RCL, but this cruise left us questioning the value we receive for our vacation investment. Seems like there are cutbacks everywhere on board. Perhaps it's just the state of the economy and cruising can't provide the service and product it once offered. My son was so disappointed there were no chocolates on our pillows at the end of the day!
The ship is sized nice for the Alaska itinerary. We found our steward and servers as enthusiastic and helpful as ever. They do work hard and their service is much appreciated. The dinner staff, head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter worked hard and provided great service. Our room steward was efficient and friendly.
The food, its quality and assortment, was just ok. Nothing wonderful, like we've seen on other sailings, pretty bland all around. Food from the buffet that was supposed to be hot was cold more often than not. The special chocolate buffet was pitiful; someone should show them how to really do up a special buffet (remember all those great midnight buffets of days past?). Once the buffet closes, all that is available are cold, tiny burgers and lousy pizza from the back of the ship.
We never saw our cruise director anywhere on the ship, except on stage during performances. No mingling with the little people. And, maybe RCL schedules their better entertainers elsewhere, because there was nothing offered that interested us.
We did enjoy the ports and overall had a good, family time. And, we never complained on board. We think the employees worked hard and the perceived 'cheapness' is out of their control. It's just that cruising is not how we remember it to be and we now question if it's at all something we'll continue to do.