We embarked from Barcelona without incident and were on the ship within an hour of arriving at the dock. Unusual to us was that cabins were not ready when we boarded the ship so we were left to wait in the halls for them to open up the cabins. I had never experienced this on any other cruise line. It was 2 pm before cabins were ready. Maybe RCCL needs to investigate how Princess and many other lines get cabins ready by noon on all their ships.
We arrived in our aft Grand Suite to find broken drawers, a broken closet door, stained carpet among many worn and stained places in the suite. The space of the suite was wonderful as well as the balcony. We thoroughly enjoyed transiting through the Suez Canal with this aft view and oversized balcony.
Our bathroom was really beautiful and spacious except for the stained, old worn out towels and lack of a bath rug. We used a small chintz towel when we exited out of the bath tub for the entire cruise.
We found a complimentary bottle of water and fruit basket in our suite and everything else was available for a charge. We received a letter in our suite outlining all the things we were to get because we were in a suite. Most of the things listed were insignificant. We had a DVD player that we reported several times as not working, they would come and look a it and tell us nothing was wrong with it. That was not true as all the DVDs we brought and all the ones we checked out of the ships DVD library continually stopped and would not work.
Room service food was excellent. It always took 30 to 40 minutes even for ice tea and water only. It is too bad the dining room food was not as good as the room service food. We asked about what night we would be having lobster during our 18 night cruise and was told by the head waiter that Europeans did not eat lobster and since we cruised out of Europe we would not be having lobster at all. We have cruised many many times in and out of Europe and every cruise line served lobster at least once during the cruise. I really could not believe what he said about Europeans because our friends that were born and raised in Europe eat lobster so obviously RCCL corporate has told their employees this lie and they are telling it to passengers. Unbelievable!
We looked at the schedule and discovered there would only be three production shows during the 18 night cruise. The first production show was horrible. The next two production shows were better but more like a regular show on Princess or Celebrity. The musical entertainment was usually good during the entire cruise. The music in the atrium was good but they played the same songs many times each night.
The atrium was beautiful and was a great place to sit on any deck and hear the music each night. The elevators were great as they faced the ocean, they were just slow to arrive to the deck and then you had to run to catch one before it left once it arrived.
Being in a suite gave us access to the Concierge Club. We were able to get complimentary drinks from 5 to 8:30 pm each night. Doc who served us drinks each night was wonderful. The club is very small and the entire cruise we sat in the beautiful Yacht Club just outside as a very loud woman was in there every night and talked the entire time about how wonderful she was. We enjoyed having our drinks each night before dinner and some times after dinner there as well.
We found the ship to be in continual cleaning and repairing. This is an older ship but we found the public areas mostly in good repair. It is the cabins that need a complete overhaul. We did not participate in very many ship activities but the ones we did we found the Cruise Director Paul to be wonderful and very upbeat.
The Concierge Edson was nice but we found that asking him for anything to be done was like talking to the wall. Everything we asked of him in regard to problems etc were never addressed and he never got back to us as well as when I ask him to send strawberries to my parents cabin and charge my room. It never happened and that was the only thing I ask him to do the entire cruise. There was a couple in one of the grand suites that were mad about something and became very vocal and we heard physical with the Captain. This resulted in their being held captive in their suite for five days and put off the ship in Oman. From what we heard the Captain did the right thing as they were violent and a possible danger to other passengers.
We really enjoyed the Captain and thought he sense of humor was great as well as his personalty.
We met the Captain at a cocktail party for passengers in the suites. He was very personable and had a great way with the passengers as well as his crew. The crew seemed to love the Captain and respect him.
Overall, we will NOT cruise RCCL cruise line again as we found it to remind us of Carnival cruise line which we cruised in the 1980s when we were in college.