We heard that cruise lines were limiting capacity in light of COVID and the recent return of the cruise industry. Not wanting to fly and looking for a family vacation for our small family of 3 from Orange County, CA, we decided to book this Mexican Riveria cruise leaving from nearby Long Beach, California. In October, we received an email stating that the stateroom we reserved was not available due to "social distancing requirements" and that we were being assigned a different stateroom in the same category. I have had back experiences in the past with our balcony cabin being in the path of the smoking areas of the ship so I tried multiple times to contact Royal Caribbean to understand why we were being relocated and to make sure we were not anywhere near any smoking areas. I received no response.
Right up to the date of departure we were unsure if the cruise would even depart as we heard that Omicron was becoming a larger and larger problem, reports of cases on ships were increasing and many ports were cancelling. Thankfully, nothing was cancelled and we were excited to start our journey. At the port, it was pretty confusing- we were required to show our passports, vaccination cards and negative COVId results. We were checked off on a tablet. Then we had to go to another line and check in and have our photo taken. It was a fairly extensive line and social distancing requirements were not enforced. Somehow at check-in, the agent changed my husband's name from "Michael" to "Jzew". So when we got up to security at the ship, we got several strange looks and were delayed while the manager had to check us in but at the time we had no idea why. We later realized it on the app and had to figure out how to change it.
Once on the ship it became quite apparent that this was not a limited capacity cruise. The WindJammer was packed and once finding our room it certainly did not seem like they were trying to socially distance the cabins so I have no idea why we were moved from our original cabin- my sense is that a large group wanted rooms nearby and they just booted our small group to accommodate them with no good will gesture whatsover. The room itself was fine, however the carpets were very worn and dirty. The fold out sofa was far too short for my 13 year old 5''10" son. Unless you have very small kids, I can't imagine two could fit in it. Our air conditioning did not seem to be working and the line at guest services was a mile long so we opened the balcony door for some air. We quickly found out how you can hear everything in the neighboring rooms with the door open and, on the second night, it was clear the neighbors were smoking marijuana. Given that we had no air conditioning, leaving the door closed was not an option so we called guest services. They sent up security 20 minutes later to OUR room. We were all in bed almost asleep and two gentlemen came in to smell out on our balcony. Obviously after 20 minutes had passed, there was nothing noticeable. Basically they just told us to call again if we smelled more smoke- we basically felt like we were being punished for our neighbors' smoking. The next day, my husband went down to guest services to follow up and they said there was no record of security ever coming. We asked to be moved as it is not reasonable to ask us to police the behavior of others. After much effort, they agreed to move us to another cabin. Of course, we had to move everything ourselves - we were not offered any assistance.
Cabin was pretty cramped for 3 people. Fold out sofa only good if you have small children