This was my 6th cruise, my 1st with Royal Caribbean and definitely my LAST with them.
The check in process went fairly well until we were told to wait to board in 3 different areas by 3 different people. We never were sure that we were where we needed to be. Once on board, I immediately noticed the cleanliness or lack thereof. It was obvious that attention to detail was missing here.
The cabin was dark and dated, dirty carpeting, torn bed skirts, broken drain stopper in sink which remained that way the duration of the trip.Beds were terrible, like sleeping on bales of hay. Both sides of vanity lighting never came on at the same time. Not an actual mini fridge in cabin, it is a cooler. Overall just shoddy!
My luggage wasn't delivered to my room so once I inquired, I learned that Security had it because I had packed a surge protected power strip. Apparently you aren't allowed to bring them yet there was no mention of them in the list of prohibited items.(Don't listen to any YouTubers that advise you to bring one on this line.) I had to surrender it to them and was given a claim check to pick up when disembarking.
I ordered room service twice during the 5 days to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the balcony only to be disgusted when it arrived. First time it was a combo.....some items I ordered, others I didn't, some items I ordered I didn't get at all!!! The next time, my raw english muffin and coffee arrived on a filthy dirty tray with someone else's trash stuck to it and black grease on the edges of the tray.The cloth napkins were also stained and gross.
The Windjammer buffet had a large selection but horrible service. You nearly had to beg for a straw (paper). They are not available anywhere so you can just help yourself. One night I asked 3 times for one and it never came. I also was turned off that they have trays of lemonade, iced tea and water already poured into glasses just sitting out. No telling for how long.....No one came by to refill drinks or coffee so you always had to navigate the lines and hope they wouldn't clear your plate and you'd lose your table.I saw it happen more than once.
The common area restrooms were absolutely disgusting. Floors were always dirty, trash everywhere, nasty.
The main Promenade appears to offer more than it actually does. Shopping on board was a fail. The gift shop offered 1 style tank top or tee shirt for ladies. I've never seen a shop with such a poor selection. The sale items were actually Christmas ornaments and ugly men's Christmas sweatshirts. Now if you wanted a designer handbag,there was a Michael Kors store,or an expensive cosmetics store. If you wanted jewelry, liquor or watches your selections were larger.
Lots of up charges here too. While visiting the coffee shop, where food items were free but fancy coffees are not, my traveling companion asked the server for a particular pastry that she could see in the case. The server then reached down and took the 3 remaining pastries and put them in another case and told my friend there wasn't anymore!! We were shocked! It was very, very crowded otherwise I can assure you my friend would have demanded an explanation. Instead, she took the employees photograph including her badge and plans to address it with corporate. I plan on doing the same with my issues.
Another night we were reading the nightly news letter that told of a one day special for wifi. When I called guest services to inquire about the pricing, I was told it was a misprint and that there was no special.
On Formal night, we were speaking with a gentleman at Guest Services and he told us that open toed shoes were NOT allowed that evening. So we did not participate even though we had planned to. Only to see later on, lots and lots of ladies in open toed shoes!
My friend and I took 1 photo together when we arrived at Grand Cayman with Royal's photographer yet somehow they never could find the photo..........
We were also told if one person in your party wanted to purchase the drink package, whoever else was in your room had to purchase it as well!
Usually halfway through my cruise, I like to pay cash on my account so I don't have much of a balance at the end. I was told I could not do that. You just have to settle up before 11pm the night before you leave the ship.
Overall, I put Royal Caribbean on the bottom of my list. It doesn't measure up to any of the other lines I have cruised on such as Carnival, Celebrity and Princess being my favorite.The attention to detail is just not there. Cleanliness is lacking in common areas. I can't tell you how often you would see dirty glasses and cups scattered all over the ship. Sometimes the room service trays would be in the hallways all day. I personally wouldn't recommend them and I feel bad since some fellow travelers were experiencing this as their first time cruising. If Independence of the Seas was recently rehabbed, I would hate to have seen it before. I don't like anything about the way this line operates.
I guess the only thing I can recommend is the Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting Tour in Cozumel. That truly was the only thing I enjoyed that Royal Caribbean offered.
RCCL = Don't waste your money or lower your expectations.
Cabin was dark and dated.Carpeting is grungy. Please don't ever walk barefoot in these rooms! Beds were horrible like laying on a bale of hay. Both sides of the vanity lighting never came on at the same time. I was surprised to find out what I thought was a mini fridge was actually just a cooler.The stopper in our sink was broken when we arrived and much to our dismay was still that way when we left.