If RC steps up its suite game, it will be in good shape.
Who am I: I am a 32 year old married male, father of a 1 year old. On this cruise my wife and I took 14 of her relatives. I have been on 15 higher end cruises and am typically a suite guest who tends to stay in 5 star hotels.
Let me get right to it. Royal Caribbean is an amazing company and overall they do an amazing job. I love the concept of cruising and if they made it a little bit better for suite guests, they would have a huge market. 90% of the employees we can in contact with were wonderful and you could tell that they had received excellent training. My biggest beef is with the suite program. If RC really wants to go after a higher end market they need to step up their game. I am not talking about more perks, what 5 star guests want is less friction. I had to send over 50 emails to set up my cabana in Labadee and my specialty restaurants. My travel agent was told since this was a holiday cruise RC would not help me schedule my group of 16 people. They did not do a good job at all with making our groups trip easy. If you are a suite guest, you should have a specific land based contact who you can contact who will personally set up things exactly the way you want it.
Arrival: easy, except they forgot to give my 1 year old a boarding card so that turned into a nightmare after half my group already boarded and her documents on board. That in turn, left us to loose the 4 great grandparents in the group who had to go up a separate way in wheel chairs and we did not find them until after lunch, 2 hours later. ADVICE: spend the extra money and eat lunch before you get on the ship or go straight to a specialty restaurant. The normal restaurants are a nightmare when you get on the boat.
Room: Skyloft 1720: Lofts at sea to me, are a game changer. I have cruised on private yachts before, but I had never been in a two story room on a boat. One of my biggest complaints about typical cruise rooms are the low ceilings. I had a chance to see the crown loft rooms and without a doubt, the extra money is worth every penny to upgrade to a skyloft. Our balcony was insane and the room was a pleasure. My only complaint was that the door separating the lofts from the rest of the ship never worked and was really annoying. I don't understand why cruise ships have not done away with keys. Everyone should have an RFID bracelet on and that is it.
1. 150 was out of this world, chops was great, Giovannis and Izumi were pretty good, Samba needs work on the quality of the meat, I only eat in the md for the character breakfast, but the food tasted like room service, not very good. Like any non retired overweight super tourist, I never set foot in the windjammer once.
Shows: blue planet may have been the gayest show of all time. Guys avoid it like the plague, girls enjoy. The monopoly show was pretty good. The comedy show was mixed. The first guy was really old and his jokes were dated and needs to go. The second guy was really funny.
Bingo is kind of a rip, I think RC has become too greedy and takes too much of the pot, for the price it is not worth the reward.
Casino: really busy at night, would have loved to see a Pai Gow table.
Labedee: cabana made the day, buffet food could have been much better and restrooms should be exclusive for suite guests.
Jamaica: bought some really cheap Cuban cigars at the gift shop, port is nice, but outside of the port it is really poor. We did the zip line and tube tour. Zip lining was great, but the tubing was boring and we could not drink beer.
Cozumel: The line to get back on the boat almost ruined the entire trip. It took over an hour to get back on the boat with a line that had thousands of people in it from the 4 other ships. This has got to get fixed. We went to Nocci Commo, typical mexico. Food was crap, had to pay for our towels, no ATM and all they took was cash. RCC needs to buy their own beach there.
Disembark: we did the luggage valet service and our bags got lost and never made our flight. After calling both the airline and RC repeatedly I have finally been told that we will get them back on Friday. Total nightmare, another example of why suite guests needs a primary contact
1. $120 a person for the 4 class boot camp is a joke. It is way over priced and the program is way to advanced and intense for the majority of the people in it and someone will likely die or become seriously injured from it. If you are not doing proper form then you not going to get benefits from the work out. Its good to push yourself, but the trainers where out of touch with reality.
2. Also, getting our photos was total chaos, it has got to be improved and put online.
3. Also they have got to come up with a better plan for internet use.
4. I understand that RC is a business, but they have gone to far with how much product they push when you get a treatment at the spa. It is borderline scary and needs to be majorly toned down.
5. The cruise director was the funniest person I have ever met. Genius
Improvements for Project Sunshine:
1. Add 8 more elevators, you are losing revenue while guests are waiting for jam packed elevators.
2. Put the arcade on the boardwalk.
3. Improve suite guest perks and charge us more to get on, but stop nickle and dining us, all drinks, specialty restaurants, tips like Crystal cruises should be included.
4. an outdoor Jacuzzi in the sky suites
5. separate guest services for suite guests, like a vip room at casino hotel check ins
6. Be able to rent a character for an hour for a private event.
7. Separate area for boarding.
Overall, we had a great trip and we got great value for our money, but I spent over 40k on the trip and should have been treated better than I was.