We are nearly Diamond class and are really rethinking our loyalty with RCCL. I guess we don't mind that they want to offer upscale/upcharges to those who want to splurge for a special occasion but we do resent that there is a push to use the extra's to get the usual cruise experience. We find the dining room has fewer selection overall and lesser quality offerings pushing folks to the other venues with a fee for the "good" stuff. Before Chopps came to be that was not the case and it is getting worse. They list "orange juice" on the menus but in reality it is some type of orange drink that is so watered down you can't even taste anything and then offer "fresh squeezed" juice for a price. The soda cards are also producing a watered down drink. Enough already!
It's nice that folks can book a suite for the extra room and extra pampering. They pay for that. But public venues on the ship are blocked off to other passengers so that Suite Users have reserved spaces. What happened to the no saving seats and lounge chair policy. It applies to the rest of the passengers but RCCL rewards suites with this perk. We all paid the same price for the shows etc. so why save seats for the suite passengers? We think that is unfair.
On this cruise, the at sea day, we found the Pool Bar, the Sky Bar and the Solarium Bar with ONE bartender. Fifteen minute wait to get a drink. Folks are on vacation and like the drink of the day, the Miami Vice the Sex on the Beach that all require blending (I order them too!)but one bartender is so lame on an at sea day. Takes more time to blend drinks than pop off a beer cap.
This is the second cruise where a one time offered show was at 7 PM ONLY. Those of us at first seating had to miss the show or dinner. We should not have to make that choice. They can do better.
Speaking of dinner, we asked that our dinner reservation be linked with another; six weeks out RCCL site showed that it was not linked. We called both travel agents and they in turn called RCCL and everyone was sure that the issue was resolved. Not so. Our first thing to do after boarding was to go stand in line to get that corrected. It was corrected the SECOND NITE! We had the same problem the last cruise. What is it with getting the dinner request right? We booked the cruise a year in advance. Seems like enough time to get that done.
We received a welcome letter in our room noting our coupon booklet accompanied this letter. No booklets. We went to Guest Relations and they said it would show up eventually, our asst. room attendant said he had not idea what we were talking about and then later the room steward found us and asked us to SIGN for the booklets! That is the new policy.
All in all it seems like RCCL has changed a number of policies but they haven't informed the guests and they clearly haven't gotten all the staff up to speed. We thought there was a lot of inexperienced staff on this trip.
At dinner I ordered wine which came by way of the waiter; my husband wanted a beer but he had to wait for the bar server. Both were billed out seperately. Since one hand didn't work with the other hand we could not use our coupons for buy one get one free in the dining room! Go figure! Some work to be done in that area.
The ship is still as lovely as the last two times we sailed her. This is our favorite ship and our favorite class of ship. She has had good caretakers. We liked the guest performers and wish they would do more of that instead of all the Broadway hype. We prefer the comedians, impressionists etc. to the attempts at broadway shows which seem to drain a lot of resources.
Pool towels are large and soft. They are generous about letting you have as many as you need. No kids in the Solarium was strictly enforced which we like.
We booked for next year and will give it one more go. WE know RCCL can do better than they did this time.