We decided to cruise on this ship for various reasons. Captain Marek on this vessel, runs and excellent team, and the entire crew seem very happy & interact with passengers very well. At this time of year, the weather on this ... Read More
We decided to cruise on this ship for various reasons. Captain Marek on this vessel, runs and excellent team, and the entire crew seem very happy & interact with passengers very well. At this time of year, the weather on this itinerary is normally very good, without being humid. We decided on a b2b cruise to cover a birthday, & enjoy good weather for longer than a week. The change over from one cruise to the next, was well handled by Fernando & staff. The fact we kept the same room was helpful, but the handing out of new cards was simple & the entire event went very smoothly.
We chose a JS, midship, which proved a good choice when on the second week, our sea day, was the only day we experienced a storm, but the location of our room meant we were not affected at all. The fact the stabilisers were in use also helped. Alex was our SRA for the first week,then he went on vacation, so Bernard was his replacement. Both these chaps were lovely & cleaned our room well & promptly, as they knew we were early risers. We had enough space for storage, and seating, both inside the room and on the balcony. The only downside to this room was that it had an overhang which meant we didn't get the sun all the time on the balcony, but to be candid, we were quite happy as it would have been too hot sitting in the blazing sun all the time.
As we are experienced Diamond Plus cruisers (500+ points), we do not dine in the MDR regularly, not because of the quality of food, but we know the menu so well. We decided to eat mostly in the Windjammer for breakfast & dinner. The crew working here were lovely, helpful & friendly. Paula, from Argentinia, was one girl we interacted with regularly & she had a very outgoing personality. She always seemed to find something to clean & tidy, above clearing the tables. It was good to see the Captain & senior officers eating here....and clearing their own plates afterwards ! We saw more senior officers in one day on this ship, than we have during an entire cruise on other ships....well done. The food in the Windjammer was of high standard, both in presentation & taste. Most evenings they had a theme might, but always had other options to select if the Thai, TexMex, Italian, etc didn't appeal. How anyone could not find something to eat is beyond us, but......
Fernando, Loyalty Ambassador was super friendly & efficient, but he is due to go on vacation, so his replacement, Vishal, another lovely person, will take his place until he then goes to the Rhapsody, once Fernando returns.
Guest relations & Shore excursion staff were all lovely people, having to put up with unpleasant people & questions on a regular basis. We can state this without hesitation, because we witnessed such events. Whilst standing in line at Guest Relations, we overheard a very arrogant woman complaining loudly about, what we considered, a minor problem. The staff member handled the situation very well, but not to the satisfaction of the complainer, who we think wanted compensation in some form....It certainly takes all sorts on a cruise !
Our only complaint, which is fleet wide, not the responsibility of the Captain...Smoking in the Casino. Grrr...RCCL....when will they realise that passive smoking is as bad for the health of those having to breathe in someone else's smoke, as it is for the actual smoker. We were in the casino one day, when a man stood right beside me & lit his cigarette, even although I had a tissue over my nose & mouth. We could not move from the slot machine, as we were using a voucher which meant we had to confine ourselves to the one machine. As a result of the smoke in here, I felt unwell for a couple of days, I now understand what it is like to suffer from smoke inhalation...I did. Please ban smoking completely in the casino, not just for health minded passengers, but especially crew, who have to work in here constantly. Rant over....again !
We did not normally sunbathe, but on one occasion, when we decided to lie out after being ashore in Muscat, we found there were no loungers available. It was obvious that most people, as confirmed by the Captain later in his announcement, did not leave the ship at all the second day in port.
We had use of the Concierge lounge, and MJ, Concierge, worked very hard, both dealing with telephone enquiries/demands, and interacting within the the lounge itself. In the evening, he, along with Vin & Wayne, bar servers, worked very hard. They were all very diligent, & ensured the bar & food was ready for opening time. Attentive & friendly, without being overbearing, is an appropriate way to describe them.
Keeping the best to last....Rocking Captain. If you haven't been to the Centrum to hear him & some crew sing at 8pm on second formal night,then you have missed a good experience. We have never been on a cruise when this happens and it shows that the Captain and crew have great respect for each other. Not all the singing is right on key, but it's the fact the event takes place is what is so good !
Everything went to time, muster drill started when stated, as did everything else, another sign of a good leader. The new CD did well, and was as visible as all other senior members.
We enjoyed the Bridge tour, conducted by the Captain, again unusual, as it is normally a junior member who is assigned to carry out this duty.
On disembarking, Captain Marek was present to wish everyone a safe journey home..a very nice touch.
We hope to return soon to this ship, & are looking forward to the warmth of both the weather & personnel ! Read Less