How do I start with this the first Royal Caribbean’s Cruise we have been on since a great trip from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in the Fall of 2007? Fluctuating? Annoying? Pleasant Service? Discount airline-style “nickel dime-ing” ... Read More
How do I start with this the first Royal Caribbean’s Cruise we have been on since a great trip from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in the Fall of 2007? Fluctuating? Annoying? Pleasant Service? Discount airline-style “nickel dime-ing” one to death? Great Cabin? Decent food? Rude dinning room managers?
All of the above. We decided to take this cruise out of Galveston on a whim. Needing to be in Austin on the 10th for a meeting, the schedule was perfect. Having settle on Holland America and Princess Cruise Lines as our go to ships, we were nervous. But, off we went anyway.
1. Boarding: After so many years in the business, one would expect RCL to know how to handle a crowd. They don’t! The processing, carding and boarding was laborious, time wasting and down right irritating.
2. Cabin: Finding our Cabin, 6376, Starboard-side toward the stern, was relatively easy. We were pleasantly surprised by its layout, spaciousness, and balcony. A little threadbare, it no the less was good. Ample storage, drawers and closet.
3. Casino: We went to the Casino on the first night, a major attraction for my Wife. We discovered shortly after arriving at the Cashier Window that RCL and their casino operator had tacked on a 5% add on fee if you utilized your Cruise Card attached to your Credit Card for payment. So, a $100.00 start up limit was actually $95.00 after the operator and RCL took their 5%. Ridiculous.
4. Crowding: Half of the Windjammer Buffet was closed down at night to facilitate a Specialty Restaurant. Really?
5. Atmosphere: Every thing on this Cruise appeared the normal Cruise-related orientation until you reviewed the stupid little things they do. The air conditioning is poorly managed and the thermostat in the Cabin is unresponsive. You take a comforter out from under the bed for additional warmth and the room steward gets upset because “it is for the use of future cruisers.” Again, Really?
6. Service: In the Windjammer Buffet, the busboys are removing yourself dishes and silverware before you have even finished eating. Crazy!
7. Spa: Want to use the Thermal Pools in the Spa. Nope. Don’t have one.
All in all, we enjoyed being back at sea. We enjoyed the decent food. And we enjoyed the everyday folks who looked after us. But man, Royal Caribbean, you need to get your customer service act together. And soon. Norwegian, Holland America, Princess and Cunard are leaving you in their dust in the customer service area and one day loyalty to a brand will be important again.
Just ask General Electric and General Motors. Read Less