The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of ... Read More
The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of being completed, with work men being everywhere. The Aqua Theatre not being ready was a big disappointment.
The main dining room was a major let down due to the calibre of the food and the service. We ended up having to use the supplementary restaurants in order to get a decent level of food, spending another £200 in the process. On the first morning we had a sit-down a la carte breakfast in the main dining room. After waiting an hour for our order, random dishes arrived for our table in place of what was ordered and they were lukewarm. We left shortly after, hungry. The quality of food at dinner was mediocre at best, with service being very patchy.
There were very few places to sit when it rained, due to the amount of outside public space. This drove people in to the limited seating in the Royal Promenade, even into areas that they had no intent of using, such as Sorrento's. This then made use of those places harder. I appreciate the ship is intended for more warmer climes, but rain is still likely in the Caribbean. An enclosed lounge area looking out to see was sorely missed - even the Solarium is unusual in that it is open to the elements. It seems you can sit inside or outside, but not inside looking out. You end up being forced to your balcony in order to get adequate seating and have some peace and quiet.
The food in Windjammer was poor in areas of choice and quality. I don't see why the buffet cannot be the same calibre as that on Celebrity. The Coke lifestyle machine in the Windjammer had no ice leading to the drinks it dispensed being warm and unpalatable.
There were very few hand-gel dispensers and people enforcing their use. The supplementary restaurants didn't seem to have them, and the main dining room was certainly not enforcing their use. They were notably absent from the frozen yoghurt area on the Lido deck. Given the high profile of Noro virus on cruise ships and how it can spread, this is a problem waiting to happen.
We were woken at 1 am on the last evening by the people collecting the suitcases laughing, joking and being very loud. Given the time of the morning, this should be done as quietly as possible.
The emergency drill was quite chaotic with people not quite knowing what they should be doing and people just standing around. There could be more structure to this.
Johnny Rockets had a number of issues. There were 8 tables in the building, but the lack of covered outside seating meant there was a large queue. It was not easily apparent how people should queue for take away food over sitting in. The staff would suddenly break into a dance whilst food sat gradually going cold on the counter, which just exacerbated the length of queue growing outside. For some reason on a port day Johnny Rockets doesn't open for lunch, choosing instead to open at 2pm. There were also bolts emanating from the floor where the stools were clearly meant to be.
The aircon in the stateroom started at a reasonable temperature, but after some maintenance one day the aircon only provided cool temperatures even after being turned up to maximum.
The ladies toilets had large round bins in the cubicle instead of proper sanitary bins.
My Crown and Anchor status did not appear on my card for some reason.
Getting off the ship was an unusual experience with having to get off a deck that was below the pier line. This necessitated a steep metal ramp up and then down, with lots of people assisting with the needlessly difficult traversal. My wife and I are quite able bodied and could manage it, but I feel sorry for more elderly passengers. Given both the dimensions of the ship and tidal patterns in Southampton are known, I'm not sure how this came to be. It was clearly not the correct deck to have to disembark from.
When we sailed on Anthem of the Seas last year on its second public sailing, we were impressed at both the finished state of the ship and quality of service offered. It does seem that it was pushed out to paying customers too soon. My overall feeling is a lack of consideration to paying passengers.
We had been looking forward to the cruise due to it being advertised as a Maiden voyage as well as it being rare quality time for us to have as a couple. To not meet our reasonable expectations after the expenditure of time and money was a huge disappointment. The ship has been massively promoted in the media, but who cares about big slides and a robotic bar if the the basics such as food and seating are just not adequate? The promise of a new revolutionary ship was not delivered. Read Less