7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Sail Date: March 20, 2011 Cabin Type: Suite Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 6 years ago
This was my 9th cruise on Royal Caribbean and I do not understand what happened. Well, maybe I do- They have crammed too many people on the ship, while removing all forms of their usually famous customer service and special treatment of the guest. We had to fight for a table at lunch and breakfast, fight for reservations, fight for the spa (everything was sold out online prior to sailing, I tried 1 month in advance to book specialty dinners online- it did not improve onboard). Fight for the elevators, fight for the buffet, fight for a pool chair, for a seat at a show. it was agressive and competitive and AWFUL. OVercrowed excursions- 80-100 people at Turtle Cove means NO TURTLES. (previous excusions to same detination was done with 20 poeple). Was planning to book another RC cruise on ship, and totally aborted. No personalized service- everything was done through an interactive TV, We were cattle, numbers to RC. Everything came with an agressive sell package (photos, spa, you name it..) WAS TERRIBLE and I am a seasoned,laid back cruiser!
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The food was awful on this cruise- the usual fare for royal Caribbean, but the fact it was served in sloppy fashions by running waitors who could not slow down to talk to you ruined the atmosphere, and suddenly the food quality was only mediocre. Could not get a glass of wine with dinner- this put the waitstaff out, and they were in such a hurry- wine showed up course 3!
3 out of 5
The shows had potential, but they were no accessible- HAd to make reservations well in advance. No flow to when they were- often overlapped with dining/spa time/pool time. So cramped and crowded and competitive for seating, they were not enjoyable. Chicago was excellent as was the aqua show and the ice skating.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
RUDE! Usually RC is very servie oriented- but not on ALLURE. Our waitor didn't care, never spoke to us. NEver saw the staeroom attendent. Got intoa verbal with the photo staff. COnstantly getting yelled at in lines (buffet, gangway)- Awful!!
1 out of 5
Crowded everywhere. Could not get pool chairs. Had to wait for tables at lunch buffets, Gym was croweded. Gym and restuarants dirty, over run, chaotic.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Thank god we got a balcony and a junior suite as this was the only place of serenity in the entire ship.
I am giving what should be "THE BEST" por only a good- When a cruiseship of 6500 passengers descend on ST Thomas, the sweet little scuba and snorkel sites and beaches are instantly over run by desparate tourists. Excusions very crowed and packed (49 passengers on a sailbaot vs. 20 in the past). Too many tourists trying to do the same thing at once., A lack of excuriosns by RC forced the overcrowding ewven more.
Don't Miss: The beaches, and snorkeling - get away from the throngs and consider setting something up not related to the cruiseline.
We had a high wind day so our sailboat was cancelled. We went to an amazing cofee and pastery shop directly behind the port, an also an Italian clothing store. Fun, nice european feel. The port itself is typical.
Even with the throngs, we were able to sail away, litterally from the chaos of ALLURE to a small uncrowded beach on the French side. It was the best day of the trip. Achieved vacation feeling for exactly 3 hours in ST MAARTEN
Don't Miss: BEaches! Sailing!
Pros: The ports
Cons: The competitive, agressive, overly structured timing, rude passengers, poor service
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