December 2015 - 11 Night South Pacific & Fiji (Brisbane Roundtrip) Cruise on Legend of the Seas
This was our fourth cruise so we did have something to compare to, having previously sailed the Nile, Asia and New Zealand, we had great expectations cruising the Pacific with Royal Caribbean. We were a group of 10 made up of friends and family, ranging from 21 years of age to 82 with all but one of our group who had sailed before. It was very difficult trying to get any information about theme nights & activities before we sailed, we also had difficulty booking our 'any time dining' and so had to call them, however, to no avail we still had to change it once we got on board. The embarkation process seemed drawn out and it did take some time to get on. The cabins were fine with housekeeping staff friendly and efficient. We ate at the 'Windjammers' free for all buffet a couple of times, however, felt the selection was bland & uninspiring. After that, we ate at the Romeo & Juliet restaurant for breakfast, lunch (on seas going days) & dinner, which was ok, however, the cuisine was average, Italian dishes were everything but Italian. To their credit, we complained after the first night about the service and from there on in it did pick up, however, the food was still average. The service at all of the bars was to say the least very poor with long waits for drinks. Bar staff did not work the bar effectively with the last person arriving often being served first & first person arriving being served last. At all times the bar staff were under pressure & seemed under manned most of the time. During dinner we ended up ordering two drinks at one time so we could have it with our meals. Floor service at bars was limited with usually one person trying to cover the whole seating area. Worse during the shows when sometimes two waiters were catering for up to 500 guests. The entertainment was ok, however, the self made productions were self indulgent & quite average. Activities on the ship were not very creative with obviously high attendance, however, insufficient staff to cater for refreshments. The indoor pool was a quiet and pleasant option, but again only one person manning the bar and coffee machine, meaning more queuing and waiting. The ship facilities overall were not as extensive as on previous ships (even smaller ones). We felt that the staff overall were indifferent, however, this could be due to the lack of staffing which placed rostered staff under constant pressure, making it difficult for them to provide cheerful service. The casino on the other hand seemed always over staffed with croupiers often standing at empty tables for long periods of time. I think they didn't do their research on customer demographics, they definitely got that part wrong. When researching the feedback, this ship has the 3rd worst satisfaction score of the whole Royal Caribbean fleet of 22 and on this occasion they were true to form. This was our first voyage on a Royal Caribbean ship, we plan to take 4 cruises in the next two years & we will think long and hard about using them again. I believe that the staff were trying very hard and there were some outstanding individuals, however, staffing, structures and processes prevented them to work and deliver to an acceptable standard. Overall we still had a great time as you make the most of it, however, we did not feel that we received the service and attention we deserved.