We have sailed several times with RCL and are currently Platinum level members. Our most recent 30 day sailing aboard Mariner of the Seas from Los Angeles to Sao Paulo Brazil left us wondering what happened to RCL's high level commitment to quality of service and overall client experience. The ship itself is beautiful and well appointed. The Royal Promenade is awesome and how often do you have a ship crossing the equator with an ice skating rink (deck 3)? The Mariner is a wonderful ship to sail and explore. We even climbed the rock wall successfully! Yet, alas, there were some concerns which I share below. I preface this by saying I'm sure sentiment will indeed vary from passenger to passenger.
Although we booked our trip early, our luggage tags never arrived until the day after we left home.
Not once did RCL mention the Brazilian visa requirement for Canadians & Americans. Apart from the high cost of the visa itself, and unless you were using an on-line discussion board or had a travel agent who was on top of things, you would not be permitted to end your cruise at Santos (Sao Paulo). Several passengers (and even some crew!) had to disembark in Montevideo, Uruguay (the last port of call before Brazil). Those passengers had to find their way home at their own expense.
Our suite (1654)was amazing - great view on the port side with a lovely balcony, a walk in closet (which my wife LOVED), larger shower with a full tub, and a room that was spacious with a king sized bed. The hallway was a little noisy late at night on the second leg of the trip as more families with teen kids came on board (vacation time in Brazil). The location of the room was terrific as well - close to the dining rooms (Windjammer was only one level up, about 2 minutes away), elevators, skating rink and promenade entry on deck 5.