We have cruised with Royal Caribbean since 1989,became Diamond members with `benefits` which have slowly eroded, apparently cutting costs seems to be an on going operation. Should have had priority embarkation at Southampton, instead there was this debacle of silver, gold, emerald, platinum and diamond members all herded together, the only ones who escaped this scrum were the first time cruisers.
Clearly the kitchen staff did not understand the need to cook the vegetables as virtually at every meal time in the dining room, the broccoli and carrots were raw the potatoes were black on one side and still uncooked on the other. There is a new antipasto dish available: raw carrot, raw broccoli, sliced cooked aubergine & butternut squash, half a small slice of salami and small strip of prosciutto, the 21st century addition is a slice of cold boiled egg!
We demanded to see the head chef but a sous chef appeared instead, poor man was clearly out of his comfort zone, as he was unable to answer any of the questions concerning raw vegetables and undercooked/overcooked dishes i.e. prawns, fish etc.
The Windjammer buffet and staff made the dining room offerings look amateurish.
The menus are clearly aimed at the British with such favourites as fish & chips, chicken & leek pie, lamb/chicken curry etc. These dishes we can get in the UK and are not expected on a cruise ship of Royal Caribbean`s standing or as it used to be, there is a distinct lack of imagination, cooking flair and ideas. In the past there were themed food nights depicting American, Spanish, French, Italian etc. Not any more, must be included in the cost cutting exercise
Fellow cruisers who were also diamond members said they felt undervalued. The benefits now no longer apparently available to diamond members are a dedicated breakfast dining area, no returning past cruisers party, no captain`s party for past cruisers, no reunion party for diamond members, diamond plus and pinnacle members, occasional table in the stateroom ( not in our stateroom at any rate), writing paper & pen in the dressing table, shoe shine strips, toiletries (now a small piece of soap) diamond members dedicated lounge, on this ship enough space for 30 at most and a third of the size of Jewel of the Seas which is a smaller vessel.
Stateroom attendant Risman Pasaribu was brilliant, nothing was too much trouble, asked for an ice bucket, received it on the first and on every other day, Stateroom was clean and comfortable, pity about the occasional table which wasn`t there
This was the port of embarkation
It was very wet and we didn`t get off the ship
We have been to Norway before , this time we didn`t take an excursion as we have taken the popular ones in the past