Oh dear. Royal Caribbean seem to have a 'squeeze every last dollar out of the customer' attitude and it spoiled our experience. This was our first cruise, and we would not sail with Royal Caribbean again, having spoken with many ... Read More
Oh dear. Royal Caribbean seem to have a 'squeeze every last dollar out of the customer' attitude and it spoiled our experience. This was our first cruise, and we would not sail with Royal Caribbean again, having spoken with many experienced cruisers whilst on board. It's not just about money, the daytime activities were pitiful, such as 'try on a watch event' in the watch store, 'guess the price of jewellery' in the jewellery store... the same things, day in, day out. Of the films shown, on deck throughout the 14 day cruise, were Psycho (1960) and ET (1982) and the rest were fillers, i.e. not exactly box office. Apart from 4 or 5 quizzes EVERY day, by often disinterested crew members there wasn't really any other free daytime activity on offer. There was ice skating, and crazy golf, and a rock wall, but not many over 65's want to do that. You could pay USD 80 for a tour of the ship though? Again, that's expensive per person. I must mention that some quiz hosts/entertainment staff, were fantastic, such as Dominic, engaging with and entertaining the cruisers, but for the most part the hosts were bored and showed it. Everyday, everywhere, even whilst dining in the buffet restaurant, you had crew members plugging the speciality dining experiences, the spa, the behind the scenes tours of the ship, the photography package. I must mention the price of packages too, Bingo packages were USD28 to USD58 for 4 games, photography package starts at USD80 for 5 poses(you can't just buy one photo), wifi package USD13 per day. The alcohol package was USD65 per person, per day, and applies to every day of your cruise, you can't dip in and out, so on a 14 day cruise, you must buy 14 days package or start it from day 3 and then have it for the whole cruise. Suffice to say we did buy drinks but these were USD9 for a bottle of bud or USD11 for a glass of wine so again, captive market that they thought they had, they tried to exploit...
Many people go on cruises for food which we thought was just average and very hit and miss. We did alternate nights between the buffet and Sapphire dining room and although service was very good, the food in the main dining room was trying to be fine dining and was pub grub at best. While mentioning the restaurants, we saw a maximum of 8 people in any speciality restaurant so to us, these are wasted space onboard and as we and others could hardly get into the bars around the ship, they would be better converted to public areas for everyone to enjoy and ditch the ridiculously priced boutique shops on the Royal Promenade as well !
Overall the ship was beautiful, clean and comfortable, but the lack of activities or talks, or activities such star gazing, films, crafts etc, made the time drag when you were on board. I think RC should review what they call entertainment, and stop with the hard sell all the time., make the onboard costs of photos, tours a bit more realistic, then people might actually buy them.
The evening theatre shows, were average at best, and certainly not 'West end' standard. They were dated, and some were circa 1970's.
In future, cruising could well be something we enjoy but we would choose a Line which gives more bang for your buck and with someone who seems to care more about you and the overall experience than money. Read Less