I've been cruising (mostly solo) for 7 years now but this was my first time on RCI. Sadly on reaching our first US port after a week at sea, there was an ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS immigration process which resulted in me and many other non-US passengers only being processed around 3 p.m.! Queues snaked for hours. People missed their tours and lost money. Midway they stopped making announcements and no one knew what was going on. It was utter confusion!!! RCI blamed the US Customs . Customs blamed the ship. And I never got to see Boston! By the time I was processed it was about a hour before sailing so there was no point in getting off the ship. For our inconvenience we got a drink voucher. I'm not quite sure how this was supposed to make up for me missing a whole port stop (through no fault of my own) and though I took this up with the Reception desk no one seemed to care.
I was determined not to let it spoil what, up till then, had been a good cruise. A few days later however I noticed a foul odour along my corridor and seeping into my room. To make an oh-too-long-story short, despite reporting it twice, it took hours of me standing at the reception desk complaining and repeated trips by maintenance and finally reception personnel for them to get someone agree this was a problem! The absolutely galling part of this was that I had to then convince them they needed to find another room for me to sleep in! Even when it was agreed that there was an odour no one was empowered to actually do a darn thing about it! As a passenger paying the 100% single supplement they expected to sleep in a room that smelt like the inside of a sewage treatment plant! Crazy!
The NOTS had great restaurants, good food and attentive wait staff. Despite the many sea days there was no shortage of entertainment and each day the ship organised a lunch for the large group of solo travellers (those who hadn't already met through the Cruise Critic roll call) which was great. But needless to say after such poor treatment I am reluctant to ever give my money to RCI again. From time to time I've had an issue on a cruise but never once did the cruise line delay or fail to address it once brought to their attention. In both instances RCI was almost indifferent to my complaints. I think I'll stick to the other cruise lines who seem to know how to empower their staff to resolve problems and ensure a good overall experience.
The room was quiet despite being right next to the dining room and I was pleasantly surprised by the massive window in this oceanview. It was a great room up to the last two nights of the cruise where the smell of sewage started to permeate the room and made it uninhabitable.
There was no time to be bored on this TA. Everyday was packed with so many good events you couldn't decide which ones to do! Though not all the acts were thrilling the band was top-notch and made each show worth your time. I was also particularly impressed with the manager of the Windjammer who stepped up to address a minor issue. His attentiveness was much appreciated.