We just arrived home from a seven night Western Mediterranean (literally hours ago)and I just could not wait to submit this review before somebody books another cruise with RCI (or at least on Liberty of the Seas).
Let me first say that we are not "high maintenance" people and by no means are members of high society. We have sailed on three previous cruises with RCI, all of which were good with the most recent in April 2010. We sailed on Princess earlier this year(please forgive me if I sound like a sale's rep from Princess but I assure you I have no affiliation with any cruise line, I'm just an ordinary working class guy).
Where to begin... If part of your decision to take a cruise is based on all the hype about the food, this is NOT the cruise I would take. The food was poor to average with one good meal enjoyed the entire week. You won't starve but when you pay good money with expectations of fantastic food (as experienced by us on previous cruises) you expect the cruise line to deliver. I mean come on, fried minute steak, watered down apple/orange juice (oh and than they try to sell you real orange juice at breakfast as you enter the dining room). The dishes were often greasy (yes dirty). Back to the food...same thing day in day out, I would compare it to your typical pig trough buffet you would find in the continental US or here in Canada. The deserts looked nice but were nothing more than cheap cakes, and custard type dishes etc. Yes there was the odd decent thing thrown in to keep the customers remotely happy.
If you think for a minute that I am one of those people that can never be pleased well maybe you will believe that crew. I approached a couple on this topic, one being one of the Windjammer managers (presumably as he was overseeing things and was in a slick uniform). He acknowledged the shortcomings and said there was a menu change and that RCI is working on it. (how about you work on it before we spend several thousand dollars on a vacation).
Another crew member(a former Princess employee) acknowledged the same. This brings me to Princess. Perhaps we were just lucky on the one and only Princess cruise we took but the food was many many times better than on RCI. There were different themes in the buffet each night with a quality and selection far better than RCI.
Entertainment: Ice show, excellent. Up In the Air, excellent. Magic show on last night, we were embarassed for the guy. PLEASE TRY ANOTHER LINE!
If I could add just one last thing. It was very apparent that the moral was lacking in this crew. It was very apparent that they did not want to be there and that they were worn out. I can't say I blame them as their jobs are very difficult if not slave labour and I'm sure RCI pays them very little as they depend of the passengers to give them what equates to a reasonable salary.