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This was a spring break cruise for us, a return to the Oasis class we enjoyed so much 5 years earlier. The ships are still beautiful and spacious, but we noted a marked decline in the quality of onboard food (tedious, repetitive, bland); entertainment (sub-par talent, technical issues with several shows); and service (distracted and at times indifferent crews, egregious service charges and tipping policy). The RCCL fleet is still the nicest in the mainstream cruise segment, and their ships (including ours) are beautifully designed. But it was very obvious to us that the cruise line has skimped on service levels in order to squeeze every last dollar of revenue from its customers. Food in the dining rooms and buffets was uninspired and generally quite repetitive, a strategy likely designed to nudge pax toward the a la carte restaurants. Entertainment was much less varied and the talent not nearly as good as 5 years ago. Our Broadway show was plagued with technical problems (sound system), and we left after 15 minutes. The international crew does their best to put on a smile and interact courteously with passengers, but I’m guessing they are poorly compensated, and RCCL asks its guests to make up the difference with gratuities. I’m not a fan of this scheme, and most will agree with me. This cruise (our third as a family) pretty much convinced us that the quality of all cruise lines has declined so markedly in the past 5 years that they no longer offer a good value for the high fares they charge. It’ll be a long time before we take another cruise on any line, not just Royal Caribbean. Really sad to say this, because we used to love going on cruises, back before they started skimping on service, offering mediocre food and entertainment, and charging extra for everything in order to juice their quarterly profits.

Beautiful ship but declining food/service

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by 5wnriders

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
This was a spring break cruise for us, a return to the Oasis class we enjoyed so much 5 years earlier. The ships are still beautiful and spacious, but we noted a marked decline in the quality of onboard food (tedious, repetitive, bland); entertainment (sub-par talent, technical issues with several shows); and service (distracted and at times indifferent crews, egregious service charges and tipping policy).

The RCCL fleet is still the nicest in the mainstream cruise segment, and their ships (including ours) are beautifully designed. But it was very obvious to us that the cruise line has skimped on service levels in order to squeeze every last dollar of revenue from its customers. Food in the dining rooms and buffets was uninspired and generally quite repetitive, a strategy likely designed to nudge pax toward the a la carte restaurants. Entertainment was much less varied and the talent not nearly as good as 5 years ago. Our Broadway show was plagued with technical problems (sound system), and we left after 15 minutes.

The international crew does their best to put on a smile and interact courteously with passengers, but I’m guessing they are poorly compensated, and RCCL asks its guests to make up the difference with gratuities. I’m not a fan of this scheme, and most will agree with me.

This cruise (our third as a family) pretty much convinced us that the quality of all cruise lines has declined so markedly in the past 5 years that they no longer offer a good value for the high fares they charge. It’ll be a long time before we take another cruise on any line, not just Royal Caribbean. Really sad to say this, because we used to love going on cruises, back before they started skimping on service, offering mediocre food and entertainment, and charging extra for everything in order to juice their quarterly profits.
5wnriders’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 5D 10552
Cabins were fine, though wall outlets were limited. Liked the bathrooms...very smartly designed
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins