I am always thrilled to be greeted by Wanita and her big flowery hat at the Miami Port and was happy to see her in Port Everglade. Boarding and disembarkation in Port Everglades was excellent.
What I liked best:
Crew, entertainment, diamond celebration, great shower. The food and service in the Nutcracker was very good. Invitation to back stage tour was a nice touch. I appreciate the 30 minute coupon (a Diamond member benefit) for internet to check up on my dogs back home and print my boarding pass.
Comedian was ill and show was cancelled, cabin steward hung my order for a full breakfast back on the hook in my room unbeknown to me and no breakfast was delivered prior to my 5 hour excursion with no meals. Want to depart from Florida but really getting bored with the itinerary. Would describe my vacation as mediocre at best and am typically thrilled. RCI no longer has a Loyalty Ambassador and Crown & Anchor Sales Managers are overworked with bookings and unable to have the repore C&A members have enjoyed in the past. Chops Grill was a waste of money. For a $60 up charge my husband's NY Strip should have melted in his mouth but it was just ok. My veal chop with cabernet sauce was excellent but I'm sure my husband will never try it again. Overall there was nothing exceptional which made me want to sail with RCI again, whereas in the past I could hardly wait to sign up for another cruise. Passengers who have late dinner seating or returned to the ship late in the day looking for a late lunch had very poor lunch choices.
What I didn't like:
Best of Cayman 5 hour shore excursion was very disorganized and returned 2 1/2 late. Took the morning tender at 8AM and returned at 4:30 PM It did not include a meal which was no concern to me as I thought I would just pick something up along the way. No time allotted for shopping, lunch, or restrooms.
Only excursion to Mystic Mountain left at 7:45 AM. Way too early for us to ride a bobsled.
My husband did not speak up at the time but he said his pillow really stunk. I know it would have been happily exchanged if he would have mentioned it to the cabin steward.
Shopping onboard was the worst selection I have seen in a decade. From logo clothing to costume jewelry it was a skimpy lousy selection. Would have purchased a lot more onboard and as Christmas gifts had it been available.
My Deal Breaker:
I sailed the Navigator of the Seas in 2006 and enjoyed the concierge lounge as a 'Diamond' member. I hated being sent to the Dungeon for wine or champagne which I don't drink. I am done sailing on all class ships without a 'Diamond Lounge'. I can pay for my two drinks a day on any cruise line.
Meet & Mingles for all sailings if there are at least 50 people who sign up.
None of our first choice drinks are served ie. Diet Pepsi, O'Dooles Amber, Mascoto Wine. Would like to see you expand choices.
Would like an RCI crew member on shore excursions.
Provide assistance in the computer area last day of cruise. There is always confusion accross the fleet for passengers attempting to print boarding passes and check email. Every year I have had to wait in the line at Guest Services for onboard online assistance.
Sometimes things go wrong. When that happens seems like passengers get the Royal Run Around instead of the Royal Gold Service. We much prefer honesty and good communications. In those instances, RCI personnel leave you with a feeling they are trying to pacify you and after the run around offer too little too late. It's rather insulting really. I find RCI overall very poor communicators.
Ships would be smart to show a short video on 'decide later' bookings during lag time 30 to 40 minutes prior to shows while people are arriving early to get a good seat and have a drink. Also in the gathering rooms at disembarkation and have a sales manager available to book them right there and then. The onboard advertisement about 'decide later' could be much more effective. I think it's a good way for new cruisers to build loyalty status.
We are postponing future bookings on RCCL and watching Cruise Critic for signs of improvement before sailing again with RCCL. Having spent thousands of dollars with RCCL over the last decade this cruise simply did not meet our expectations. I shouldn't be describing my very short yearly vacation experience as mediocre. I am told that being loyal to RCCL has prevented me from experiencing better cabins with fabulous large and wrap around decks so I shall take some time to explore. Looking to get my WOW back.