Once onboard, we went directly to the Windjammer where we were offered a very disappointing lunch. Clearly, this was the worst food we had ever had on any Royal Caribbean cruise that we have ever taken. The selections were odd, to say ... Read More
Once onboard, we went directly to the Windjammer where we were offered a very disappointing lunch. Clearly, this was the worst food we had ever had on any Royal Caribbean cruise that we have ever taken. The selections were odd, to say the least, and poor at that. Service, however, was excellent. As far as the breakfast is concerned, after one try at the Windjammer, we decided to stay in the Dining Room, as this was never disappointing.
Lunches were so bad, that I find it difficult to even describe. It didn't matter where you ate: it was a repetition every day in both the main Dining Room and in the Windjammer. A couple of meals were so bad, that I pushed my plate away and didn't even bother reordering. We quickly found that it was better to order Room Service at lunchtime. Those meals were much better than anything else offered.
Dinners fluctuated from inedible to incredible. We ate one night at Izumi, but were not terribly impressed. Other passengers didn't seem to be entirely pleased over the other restaurants, so we didn't even bother. In fact, I think that business was so slow there, that that is the reason why they were offering 20% off at Izumi and a "Buy Chops and get Giovanni's Table for free". I do want to take this moment, however, to mention that the Dining Room service was impeccable and the best we ever had. Ernesto and Saturnino were on the ball and everyone was pleased for the entire two weeks. The maître d was visible every night, making sure to stop at our table and make sure everything was running smoothly.
Entertainment was fairly poor. After late dining, there was barely anything to do or see, except for the little standard things (games, for example) going on about the ship. The shows were highly mediocre. The Centrum had several things going on, but it is very, very small and the passengers were packed three and four deep around four decks trying to see it. We gave up. Short of sleeping around the Centrum, it simply wasn't worth our time.
Shore excursions were iffy. We did the Haunted House tour in Key West and all is can say, save your money and your time.
Funchal was fun. We went up the mountain by cable and came down by wicker sled. My only complaint is that there was a tremendous amount of walking and there were times I wasn't sure if my husband was going to make it in one piece. We selected this tour as a "moderate" excursion and did not expect it to be a walking tour, which it clearly was, in large part. In addition, it was uphill, cobblestone climbing.
Next was Gibralter. This turned out to be a surprise. We had a great tour guide and the place turned out to be much more interesting than we would have thought. We went up to the Rock by cable and partially walked down and partially rode down by bus, which was all o.k., considering it was downhill. We saw the monkeys, which were extremely amusing and visited the caves. It is fascinating. Don't miss it. Sadly, we couldn't view Morocco from there because the day was so cloudy, but I am sure it is still there and you might get luckier than we did!
Malaga was a nightmare. We were supposed to have a moderate city tour, by bus. Hah! What we got was a bus ride up to the top of a big hill. Some passengers got out to take pictures and then returned to the bus, where we were brought back down the big hill. By this time, everyone was bellyaching for a rest room, which the guide kept promising. When we go down the hill, we all left the bus and raced to keep up with the guide. I was just telling my husband that I couldn't keep up with him, when suddenly an argument broke out between a passenger and the tour guide. The man was very angry that his wife, who couldn't keep up with this Speed Demon, had fallen behind and gotten lost. He had finally found her and was at it with the guide, who clearly had a "too bad" attitude about it. People began yelling for a bathroom. He told everyone to "meet him at this spot in 45 minutes. In the meantime, find a bar and use the bathroom".
We were left in an upscale shopping district in Malaga with nothing to do. Everyone drifted off. In 45 minutes, we went back to the spot and the guide sauntered over and announced that anyone who wanted could go to the Cathedral now, otherwise come back to this spot in an hour. What Cathedral? Who cared??!? We couldn't walk anymore. We found a café and sat with a cold drink until it was time to meet again. When we did, we were bussed back to the bus. Money down the drain. I was going to take the issue up with Guest Services, but honestly, we were too tired to even bother. Everyone on the bus was angry.
I think that in the future we just might start using other resources instead of going with the cruise line for excursions. It seems that the longer we travel, the worse these excursions are becoming.
My husband's birthday card arrived days before his actual birthday. No balloons on the door, no singing of Happy Birthday in the Dining Room, nor did I notice anyone else getting special treatment. I guess that that is another ship that has sailed!
We did go to the Future Cruise desk only to find that in order to get any stateroom credit, you had to book right on the spot for a cruise within a 12 month period. We were informed that once we booked, there was no way to switch for a better deal that might be offered at a later time. However, we could use the shipboard credit on this cruise if we liked. I asked the agent what the benefit was and he said "none", at which point we got up and thanked him for his time and left, unbooked and fed up. I noticed that the Future Cruise office almost always seemed empty during the entire cruise, which I have never seen before. I do believe that Royal Caribbean has shot themselves in the foot this time.
Would I travel with them again? Only if the price and itinerary were superior to anything else. It just may be time to shop around with the other cruise lines. Read Less