February 2015 - Serenade of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas
We have sailed on several different cruise lines but this was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We were excited because we have always been under the impression that Royal Caribbean was a step above the other cruise lines. I will list the things we were disappointed with and then list the things we liked better than the other cruise lines:
1) Embarkation process was very disorganized and cumbersome. Even though we arrived 4 hours early, we stood in line to check in for a long time. When we finally made it through the metal detector, etc. we were directed to another line. We again stood in line for a long time. When we finally made it to the desk we presented all of our documents to the representative. She looked over our documents and gave us a medical form to sign. While we were signing the form (which took less than a minute), she just disappeared. We waited for about 10 minutes and she finally returned. We were then directed onto the ship. When we reached the deck, we had to stand in line AGAIN to get our pictures taken. On other cruise lines, the paperwork and pictures were all done at the desk and the process was much faster and smoother.
2) The food was not the same standard of food as the other cruise lines. Same menu every night with very little variation and steaks were very small and dry. Servers spent more time hinting for tips than actually serving.
3) We had a balcony state room. The bathroom was uncomfortably small. There was a lot of high wind during our cruise and the seal around the sliding glass balcony door was messed up and the wind coming through it howled all night. We talked to our steward about it and he said he contacted maintenance. Maintenance never showed up so we had to stuff paper napkins in the crack to stop the noise. No lounge chairs on the balcony, just regular lawn chairs.
4) This is childish, but we always enjoy the animals made from towels and looked forward to them each day. On this seven day cruise, there were only two animals placed in the room for the entire cruise.
5) If there was any late night food service we could not find it. Very limited room service menu for breakfast and never saw another room service menu for any other meal besides breakfast.
Things we liked:
1) Beautiful decorations.
2) Fast debarkation
Royal Caribbean will not be our preferred cruise line for any future cruises. They are not worth the additional money it costs to cruise with them.