As I tell everyone when writing a review; Don’t let anything you read in this review dissuade you from going. Everyone has individual experiences, likes/dislikes. I can only tell you about mine. One of the things that I pieced together, when reading individual reviews, is that people like myself, who’ve been on several cruises with the same company, tend to be more critical than people who’ve been on one or two. I think the Reason for this is that people who’ve been on a lot of cruises remember the way things were before all the changes the company has made over the years all for cost cutting reasons. No, this doesn’t apply to all, but for myself, I’ve been on a few cruises (you can see how many in my signature) and most of them have been on Royal Caribbean. I am a diamond member and Prime member. Thus, I did spend a fair amount of time in the casino.
I traveled with my family and I stayed in a Grand Suite. I previously lived in New Hampshire and now live in Florida, so getting to Port Canaveral was a simple 2 hour drive as compared to having to fly and come a day early with hotel stay. I thought the check in process was relatively easy. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know that I travel with my dad, who has the same name as I do but we have different middle names. I still can’t understand why Royal Caribbean can’t add a middle initial on your Sea Pass Card. This would be a simple IT fix. But we all know how Royals IT is so maybe that explains it? Thus, the nice ladies checking us in we’re confused as to why 2 people with the same name could be in the same cabin. This would continue on all week when dealing with guest services, Club Royale, Loyalty Ambassador, you get the idea. The one thing that was different from past cruises here was the order of boarding. Now that Royal has added “the key”, the new order of boarding is back to back cruisers, suites/pinnacle, diamond plus, “the key”, diamond, emerald, platinum, and gold. I was a little upset over diamond members being moved down but I boarded with suites so this didn’t affect me but I’ll keep it in the back of my mind for future reference.
We ate lunch in Chops and everyone agreed this was a good option over other venues. By the time lunch was over, the rooms had opened up and we could get in. You may have noticed that I skipped over the quality of food in Chops. I don’t review food because of how subjective that becomes. Only to say, that the food quality has gone down and I find the menu options to be the same fleet wide. When going to the room, this was the first cruise I’ve been on where the TV in the cabin wasn’t turned on to the safety message. I thought that was odd. Our muster station was in Sabor on the promenade. There were no TVs to watch any safety messages, you couldn’t hear the announcements from the captain, and we were in the back, so you couldn’t see the life preserver demonstration. So it was a waste of time. Essentially, everyone was holding private conversations and no one was paying attention. On a positive note, you could hear the 7 short blasts followed by the long blast.
The night that we left was the Super Bowl. Being from New England, I’m a huge Patriots fan. There were a few other Patriots fans on board but the overwhelming majority were haters. Just a few things about this. I found a lot of questions, pre cruise, on these boards about what Royal does for the big game. There was a huge party held in the Aqua Theater with food, drinks provided. They also passed out towels to cover yourself up because it was rather cool that night. I thought that was a nice touch.
So now I’m going to talk a little about our dining experience. Not going to talk about food. So, for me, I like eating in the dining room. Staying in a suite, I have the option of going to Coastal Kitchen and eating there. But I like the dining room experience. And this is one of the areas where when I read people having great experiences with dining, it usually falls between people who’ve been on a few cruises and people who’ve been on a lot. The service was not the best we’ve ever had. I don’t normally complain to anyone but this was one of two times that I had to complain on this cruise. By night 3, I wasn’t happy with the menu options, so I ordered the upcharge filet/lobster. We had early seating (5:30), and literally everyone else in the dining room was done with their meals/ deserts when our food was served to us. Our food came out around 7:20. I spoke with the Head waiter and after that, the service picked up dramatically. Drinks were waiting for us at the table when we arrived and food was served quickly and we were in and out. We did eat dinner at Coastal Kitchen on the second formal night and it was fantastic. I ate lunch at Johnny Rockets and that was great. Also had lunch one day in Windjammer. The service wasn’t good. No one coming around to pick up empty plates.
Our room Stewart was fine. He introduced himself on day one and we really didn’t see him again. The only issue we had was, staying in a suite, we get free pressing for our formal wear. We sent our suites our for pressing with instructions to have them back by 4:30 for our early seating. Well they never came. I made several phone calls to guest services and tried calling our steward to be told that he was on brake and couldn’t be disturbed. The clothes came at around 5:20 so we were late for dinner that night. The reason for wanting the clothes back early was because we like to go to the Suite Lounge for cocktails before dinner. That didn’t happen that night.
Our stops were Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. In Labadee we rented a cabana at Barefoot Beach. The furnishing in the cabana was torn and needed to be replaced. For the amount of money you are charged for a cabana, And how many people use that destination for Royal, I can’t believe the company would allow that. I also thought the food wasn’t as good as when I was their last time. Although that was 7 years ago. Well the cushions looked like they were that old. We also did a jet ski tour excursion and that was fantastic. I wouldn’t hesitate to do that again. In Falmouth, we just got off the ship and went to the local shops. We did stop and have lunch at Margaritaville. There were so many people there using the free wifi that it was a little overwhelming. It didn’t take too long to figure out that most of the people there were crew members from our ship and the Disney ship in port that day. So that was crazy. And in Cozumel, we did a catamaran excursion that was great. I wouldn’t hesitate to do that again as well. We went snorkeling and then went to a private beach with free chairs, water sports and drinks.
A couple of things that went sideways: on this cruise, I achieved my 140 point status but didn’t get my crystal. I had to see the Loyalty Ambassador and had to wait and listen to other complaints. It was really eye opening listening to what other people were complaining about. I got my crystal. The other thing was on the last day, I went to get my free picture for being a diamond member. When I pulled up my pictures, the one I wanted wasn’t there. So they gave me a slip of paper and told me to come back at 9:00pm to get it. Well the picture that was printed out was of my dad which we had already got. So, I had to straighten all of that out and it took over 2 hours to do.
Oasis is definitely showing it’s age and is in need of the upcoming Amp. I still will cruise with Royal. I booked my next cruise on the Allure and got a $700 on board credit.