We were not very happy with our cruise. We have been on RCCL 8 times, as well as numerous cruises on Sea Dream Yachts, Windstar, Costa, Celebrity, Silverseas, Norwegian, and Princess, and this was the worst one we were on, and will ... Read More
We were not very happy with our cruise. We have been on RCCL 8 times, as well as numerous cruises on Sea Dream Yachts, Windstar, Costa, Celebrity, Silverseas, Norwegian, and Princess, and this was the worst one we were on, and will probably cause us to avoid RCCL in the future. We know things can go wrong, and we have a sense of humor, but this cruise just was too much to take.
We booked a mini-suite, which was very nice, and the cabin steward was superb. We boarded in Vancouver, which went very well. The only problem is that to save RCCL money, RCCL books the distant piers (Balantyne in Vancouver). It costs us more in taxi fares. At every stop, we were the distant ship at the remote pier. Long walks or taxi fares. Other cruise lines were docked right downtown.
At the poolside bar at sail away, we asked for the drink of the day WITHOUT the souvenir glass. Sure enough, we get the glass, and the extra charge for it. I asked for a refund and they said they couldn't do it.
Dinner was a nightmare every night. They just couldn't do anything right. Although the quality of the food was very good, the service was very poor. We had a table for 8. We all arrived on time at the first seating. We didn't even get our main entree when the house lights came up and the staff was doing loud vacuuming around our table. They were pushing us out for the next sitting. The other tables around us, served by the same waiters had the same misfortune. We were not taking our time eating, as we wanted to see the production show. We had to skipped desert and got to the theater too late for seats to the show. When we complained to the head waiter, he kept saying he was sorry, but never did anything to help. The wait staff was pleasant - just incompetent.
The same waiters did the wine. EVERY night the wine order was wrong. They would never bring us what we ordered. I would repeat the order 3 times. I'd say "White, White, White". Yes sir, White White White" the waiter replied. When we got our wine, it was Red, Red, Red. They even screwed up the charges. They couldn't comprehend that we were charged for an extra bottle of wine. I knew that they couldn't get that right, and rather than confuse them even more, we paid for a bottle of wine we didn't order. The cocktail server would take the order from our table of 8. We asked for 1 Absolute Vodka, and 3 house vodkas. They were charged for 4 Absolute Vodkas. No big deal, but it adds up.
At the pier in Skagway there was supposed to be a shuttle to the end of the pier. There was none, and there was no RCCL rep at the bottom of the gangway to direct us. We found her at the end of the pier, staying dry in a shed.
Most people on the cruise thought that we would see glaciers and icebergs on this trip. Every cruise has been to Tracy's Arm, but our cruise did not stop there. They said it wasn't in the itinerary. It sure was in their advertising.
The production shows were excellent. One piano player in the Schooner Lounge was very entertaining. Another one was terrible - he played all songs, even slow ballads, at double to triple time, like he was trying to rush out early. When passengers complained, he was not very nice. Funny - the first player's tip jar was full, the second one was empty. Doesn't anybody on the senior staff monitor these people?
We had fun trivia contests. One, however, had 30 people waiting for the posted starting time. Passengers made 4 phone calls, and were told they were on their way. After waiting for 25 minutes, we left. We later found out that the activities staff was having a meeting. They could have sent somebody there to let us know, or left a sign, so we didn't waste our time, but they didn't.
We were not interested in the bingo and art auctions (Will cruise lines every get rid of art auctions?), but we heard many loud announcements about them. I realize other people like them, but it's not for us.
We wanted to have a cocktail party in our room. Our head waiter (the one who apologized but did nothing) said that he would get with the chef and order appropriate hors dourves. Guess what - he didn't. We asked for a bottle of vodka from room service. They said we had to be charged $5 an ounce. That's $160 for a $10 bottle of vodka. I'll never forget the same head waiter, standing at the front door on the final dinner night, taking tip envelopes, all the time talking to his fellow head waiter, and not even acknowledging those who were stuffing his hands and pockets. Would you want him working for you?
There were several other little things that were annoying, but not worth mentioning. The ironic thing is that all of the things that went wrong could have easily been fixed, and at no cost.
I regret that we did not have as good a time we had hoped. I think RCCL is now going to homogenized cruising, with little or no oversight by senior staff. There are much better cruise lines out there, and I decided that those lines will get our money in the future, not RCCL. Read Less