February 2016 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
This will probably be the last time I sail with RCI after five consecutive cruises. We always look forward to disembarking day: we like to get on board around noon, get a lay of the ship and have a cocktail as we do our bon voyage and sail at sunset. This was an especially important cruise to us as it was our engagement cruise. It seems as though RCI decided to lease out this ship to the headbangers of death metal prior to our cruise. We were 3 1/2 hours late sailing and had to wait in the terminal the entire time. Three hours! The cruise ship staff were still attempting get the headbanger passengers off the ship. We literally ran into some of them in the terminal. According to some of the ship staff, most of these people were still up drinking up to 5am the morning they came back to our boarding port in Fort Lauderdale. Apparently, the bars never closed. The event staff responsible for removing the large stage which occupied the entire pool deck were also late. For crying out loud, we were not able to use the entire pool deck until late afternoon on DAY TWO!!! The "official story" from Tyler, the front desk manager, was that it was the port's fault for not providing a crane on time. However, most of the ship staff we talked to told us that most of the previous passengers (metal death cruise) did not get out of bed on time because the were wasted crazy drunk and did not go back to their rooms until 5am! When we finally boarded at 3:45 pm, we went up to the pool deck, excited as we usually are, only to be nearly run over by a bunch of "roadies" moving large carts of stage equipment off the pool deck and into passenger elevators. They damaged the hell out of this ship in the process. I have the photos to prove it. I left two messages in person at the front desk on day 1 and day 2. I was told that Nyana, your assistant front desk manager would be giving me a call. Never heard from her, EVER! On day three, your front desk manager, Tyler called and offered 20% off OUR NEXT CRUISE based on what we paid for this cruise. Presumptive of you to assume I would ever sail with you again based on this experience. You took one day away from my cruise and all you can think of are ways to get me to spend MORE money with you?! Insane!! RCI categorically failed to take any responsibility for the terrible events on day1/day 2. That's what really irritates me. OWN IT!!! The only glimmers of hope on your ship are: Irena, cocktail waitress in the Schooner Bar, Mary and her staff in the dining room, level 3, and Lewis, our room attendant. These people should train everyone on your ship regarding customer service, INCLUDING YOUR CAPTAIN!!! The way the ship is run goes right to the top. If the way this ship is run is any indication of the ways that RCI now runs the fleet, I will tell everyone on meet in person and on social media, to find a new cruise line. I still cannot believe that RCI would lease one of the nicest ships in the fleet to this raunchy bunch of characters. They trashed your ship. It looks like RCI has chosen quick profit over return loyalty customers. I'm done.