We had not sailed on Royal Caribbean before and had high hopes. We traveled with 20 friends from our church and with pre-paid gratuity we all got to sit together in the Tides Restaurant, lower level, 6:00pm sitting. We had 3 tables: one 10-seater, and two 6-seaters. Only two waiters were assigned to us. (one Waiter and one Assist. Waiter) On the first night, the service was terrible. It took so long that some folks in the group missed the 8:00pm show. The waiters' attitude varied from indifferent to downright hostile. It was so bad that several people felt the need to talk to the head waiter. On the second night the service was tremendously better and the attitudes were fine, but 2 waiters just could not serve 22 people in a timely manner and it was still quite slow. (over 40 minutes to get the appetizer) Again a couple of people had a discussion with the head waiter because we felt he could have assigned another waiter. He never did, but the remaining 3 nights were fine, although I judged the quality of the food to be less than top-notch and never particularly hot.
My wife and I foolishly bought the Coke package for about $70.00 (ridiculous!) but almost every time we got a Coke anywhere on the ship it was flat and tasted terrible. I ordered one at a bar and it had some alcohol residue left in it from those multi-product hand-held dispensers so common in bars. I took one sip and gave it back. Every night we complained to the waiters that the Coke was bad and every night they apologized and said they would get it fixed, get it from another dispenser, etc, and every night it was still bad. On the last night I went to Guest Relations (or whatever they call it) and told them my concern. The attitude was basically,"So?" I pressed my point a bit and she asked if I had told anyone. "Every night." After a bit more prodding she finally asked my cabin number and looked me up. I was then told that since I prepaid for the Coke package there was nothing she could do. That may have been true at that point, but the attitude is what really annoyed me. I never heard any words like "We're so sorry you had a problem". Almost every one we had was bad. Everyone else in our group who bought the package had the same problem:$70.00 for bad Coke. I would NEVER buy the Coke package again.
The Windjammer buffet was quite disappointing. The breakfast eggs were reasonably warm most days, but the potatoes were always cold and chewy. I tried a hamburger one afternoon and it was obviously made from a commercial frozen patty and it was served at room temperature, not even slightly warm. One bite and I put it down. The cheese slices were warmer than the burgers. Yuck. After a few days I began to feel like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. I knew it was going to be bad, but I kept trying it again. I guess that makes me the crazy one. Going to the Windjammer was like going to the Golden Corral on Sunday at lunchtime. It was a zoo and the food was bad.
Our cabin steward was excellent and the over-all experience was OK, but the above-mentioned issues clouded the experience.
On a positive note, the ship didn't hit any rocks, no one on our ship got sick, and no one got left in Mexico.