My DD was turning 21 and she loves to cruise, so I decided to book a cruise to celebrate. I had only been on Royal once in 2000. I did not care for Royal then, but I kept hearing good things about Royal and I liked the Explorer’s itinerary, so I decided to book. We have only stayed in a suite once on NCL and we were spoiled. I decided to book a suite with Royal even though I knew the perks were nothing like NCL.
We arrived at the Seattle port around 11 am and quickly went through security. We then found ourselves in a line for suite guest to check in. The line was not nearly as long as the other lines, but it was still long. Once it was our turn to check in and get our sea pass cards, there was a note attached to my sea pass card that stated we were invited to a “lite lunch” at Dizzy lounge to wait for our suite to become available. As soon as we got on the ship, we immediately went to Dizzy’s lounge for our “lite lunch” all to find an empty lounge. There was a staff member standing there and I asked her about it and she had no idea what I was talking about. I showed her the note and she tells me that it does not start until 1:30.
We were hungry and decided to head to the Windjammer since nothing else was open. What we saw next, I never imagined would happen. The elevator arrived to deck 11 and the door open, to our surprise that is where the line ended to get into the Windjammer. We decided to go eat at the Café Promenade, but when we got there, it was closed. We went back to the Windjammer and waited in line. After waiting about 20 minutes, I sent my daughter back down to the Café to see if it were open and it was not. We waited an hour to get into the Windjammer. As if waiting an hour was not bad enough, once we finally got to the food, the only food they were serving were hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries. There wasn’t even cheese. Dessert was JELLO! My daughter looked at me and asked if it was too late to get off the ship! It was very clear that they had run out of food.
After our wonderful lunch….NOT, we went back to Dizzy lounge and inside the Diamond lounge and there still was no “lite lunch”.
We then went to check out our suite. We ran into our cabin attendant Ravi and he introduced himself to us. We saw there was no fruit basket and we asked Ravi about it and he told us that yes, they had run out of food and were in the process of restocking and that our fruit should arrive later. The suite was nice and what I had expected. Lots of storage which was great.
We had the 5:30 traditional dining and we enjoyed having the same wait staff nightly. We had Rosemarie and Charlston and they were wonderful. The food in the MDR was good and we felt was better than NCL. We did not try any specialty restaurants mainly because we wanted to see if we would enjoy the MDR food and for the most part we did.
Being in a suite we were able to have breakfast in Chops and the food was typical cruise breakfast food. The biggest disappointment is that the only non paid food options for lunch is the buffet or Café Promenade. The buffet was not very appealing. The food choices were always the same and nothing looked good. They had pasta sitting out but it looked over cooked and soggy. Never tried it, so I don’t know if it was any good. The only day we ate lunch at Windjammer is on the first day. We always went to see if the choices got better, but never did. We ate lunch everyday at Café Promenade and the sandwiches were okay.
We have cruised on NCL numerous times and have always enjoyed their shows. Every night we went to a show on Royal and only lasted 15 minutes before we would leave. I feel like the shows were for the older crowd and not our style. Other’s seemed to have enjoyed the shows, so I guess it just depends on what you like.
I prepurchased voom for 1 device and it was not worth the price I paid. It rarely worked and we would lose connectivity more often than it worked.
The staff on the Explorer were WONDERFUL and we never had to wait for drinks at the bar. We really wanted to love Royal, but we didn’t. I know I would never spend the money on a suite with Royal again. I may cruise on Royal again if it was a great deal, but I really doubt it.
Suite was nice, but not worth what I paid for.