We expected to have a good relaxing time and be fed good to excellent food - no so unfortunately. It is a real pity the Royal Caribbean seem to have little regard for anything other than extracting maximum dollars and have little regard for the tastes and preferences of culturally different tastes - particularly regarding the food - Australia and New Zealand tastes are quite different it seems to what is considered acceptable in the US - or maybe they just don't care.
One fellow passenger told us she felt really embarrassed that she had persuaded her entire extended family to take the cruise based on her previous excellent experiences in sailing from a USA port. Everything on this cruise from food to staff interactions / attitudes and activities showed absolute lack of interest in creating a satisfying experience.
Activities - some but very few activities required no additional cost.
Food - described as below poor RSL standard - some dishes, most memorably the Beef Stroganoff, were unimpressive to the point of being inedible - dog food looked more attractive.
We were tricked into paying $9 each for what we thought was a welcome drink on the first day - as soon as it was in our hands, the staff member revealed the small sign with the price and demanded our room card to charge the "purchase"
There were very few places on board to just sit and read or talk which were no bars, and therefore we were constantly being asked to buy drinks - yes they left us alone if we said no, but the body language was very disappointed.
This is a copy of part of the survey response provided to Royal Caribbean - there were many other issues but I would need a book to include it all!!
Food - generally low average to inedible - some dishes served in the dining room appeared to have no relationship to descriptions - some I wouldn't feed to a dog - beef stroganoff is one example
Smoking - we paid for a balcony - couldn't use it much of the time as the people next door were smokers -- every time thy lit up, our cabin was filled with smoke an rapidly began smelling like an ashtray
Guest Services desk staff - generally unhelpful to downright aggressive if faced with a question they didn't like e.g. when we queried the smoking policy we were angrily -- yes angrily -- told smoking was allowed on balconies -- basically tough if we didn't like it
Promises to return answers -- on 2 occasions restaurant (Main/My-time & Giovanni's) Managers promised to get back to us the day we made the query -- neither did -- and this in on your records as found out by your guest services staff when my husband complained for the 3rd time that the vanity in our cabin had still not been repaired -- "oophs" was the response -- not satisfactory
Maintenance -- on first entering our cabin we found the corner of the vanity's previous repair had failed -- there was an obvious and open crack of about 3 -- 4 centimetres in one corner, with one edge raised. We pointed this and the piece of piping on the sofa that was detached to the rom steward -- he was distressed about the piping but tried to tell us the vanity was not broken. When we insisted it was broken and needed to be fixed, he got on the phone and reported it to maintenance. A few days later the piping was fixed but the vanity was not. I met the maintenance man in the corridor and queried him about this -- he said there was no report of a broken vanity -- so I showed it to him and he agreed that it was broken and also got on the phone to report it. Still some days after and still not fixed, my husband spoke to guest services -- no reports of a broken vanity -- what happens to these reports -- anything too hard seems to disappear into telephone space. After considerable insistence a maintenance person was dispatched and, on examining the vanity, felt it couldn't be fixed until port. More discussion with my husband and suddenly the maintenance crew found they could fix the problem after all -- it took about Â½ hour and a small amount of filler