My wife and I have only ever cruised with Royal Caribbean over the years and have diamond status, so I guess we can be classed as loyal customers. We have been on the AOS before and had a great time but this one was different.
First of all boarding was delayed due to the norovirus being on board. Automatically most people would be concerned and we were no different. However, we understand that these things happen on cruise ships and we were determined that it wouldn't spoil our cruise, although we would have to be very careful throughout. I suppose having this hovering about for the full 14 days does have an impact on you mentally.
As always most staff were pleasant but I found most of the deck attendants to be ignorant and unhelpful.
Now onto the food. In the MDR the staff serving us were great so no complaints whatsoever there. However the food served was generally lukewarm, which I mentioned but was never resolved. With the virus on board you would think that serving lukewarm food should have been a key issue to sort out. It wasn't. The head waiter was never seen nor did he speak to us until the last night. Wonder if that could be something to do with tips?? In respect of the MDR menu I found it to be very poor with not a great choice. They had two Indian dishes every night but no Chinese or other international cuisines, apart from Italian which you'll see below is an issue on this ship.
We went to the Giovanni's restaurant, which has replaced Portofino's. My wife has a garlic intolerance and (as we have done on other ships) asked for the garlic not to be used in her food. We were told this could not happen because the food was pre-prepared off the ship (same answer given in the MDR). So much for producing food freshly made! Not impressed. We never went back.
This sounds like we were miserable throughout but the opposite is the case. When we go on holiday we enjoy ourselves and try not to let anything get us down. We had a great time and met some fantastic people and had a superb laugh. The issues I've raised I thought I'd share with you but a holiday is only as good as you want it to be.... and we had a ball!!
We are booked on AOS next March sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on a Caribbean back to back. Needless to say we will be cancelling this cruise and will be looking elsewhere!!
In regard to the ports, we have been to most of them and went off ship and generally did our own thing. However, on most days the weather was fantastic so we would go off for an hour and then head back and soak up the sun. Our highlight was Lisbon which we found to be a lovely city. We are going to spend a long weekend there next year as there wasn't enough time (or stamina in the legs) to see everything we wanted to see.
The suite was great but starting to show signs of its age