We've been on 6 previous cruises, and my wife and I are wondering if we are turning into "cruise snobs"! We are Diamond with RCI, and we have enjoyed the Mariner three times when the ship was brand new...once with our grown kids. This trip was our "family" Christmas/reunion trip with our 3 kids, so we splurged and got the Family Suite on the Navigator.
What a beautiful suite it was...big screen TV, walk-in closet, and our personal favorite: Christmas music piped in through the overhead speakers in the room. Now, if RCI would just enforce their own policies regarding cigar smoking! Let's be clear, I enjoy an occasional cigar, but I am very aware where the smoke is going. The fellow occupying the balcony below us didn't care, or didn't hear the coughing from the decks around him. When I addressed the issue with EVERYONE I could on board, there was a general sense I got that the employees go to some kind of class to be able to look you into the eye...say they understand and will look into it, then don't. All except our wonderful Concierge lounge gal...she was the only one who said cigarette smoking was allowed on the balconies, but NOT cigars. Unfortunately, she was only able to give us one day (our last) on our balcony without cigar smoke. You would think the Asst Hotel Director, Floor Manager, Guest Relations would know the rules as well. Oh well. Our "meeting" with the future cruise consultant was a joke. All he wanted to do is be an order taker, not an order maker. Overall, there had been a massive crew change just prior to this sailing, and we were forgiving of the two days it seemed for all of the "parts" to be working.
We seem to be noticing some changes with the food. Aside from our Server being dreadfully slow, the portions are getting smaller, the choices seeming to be getting more limited, the bread becoming colder, and where is the oh-my-gosh TASTE that was on our Mariner cruises 5 years ago?
We went to most of the shows, the Comedian got ill, but our private sessions with fellow poster "What about Bob" made up for any void in the humor dept. That's the fun thing about any adventure, you have to make the most of it, and let the magic happen! The Ice Show was just fantastic.
It was interesting to hear our kids "review" of the differences between their first cruise on the Mariner years ago, and this one. They noticed the food quality issues noted above, plus the following...pool towel deposit garbage, drinks watered down, no service from the Windjammer staff to speak of, etc.
We thought it was just us, and we were turning into cruise snobs. But, maybe RCI is looking under every nook and cranny for a way to save money. Be careful!