Ship Features Wow - Service Staff Disappoints
Sail Date: March 21, 2013
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Inside
Boarding the first day was great. Staff at the port and while we were waiting were fantastic. In fact, they would be the best staff we would see on the entire trip. Get to port early especially if you are leaving the same day as other cruises. The port gets backed up quickly!! Getting off the ship was painfully slow so if you have an early flight I would recommend doing the self check out option and getting in line early to get through customs.
About the ship: Once aboard I was truly in awe of the ship. The Royal Promenade is wonderful! The atmosphere is fun and lots of things happening during the day and at night – just a great vibe. Shops are standard cruise shopping Make sure to look for the bridge that comes from above during entertainment and also make sure to get out during the Capitan’s reception to hear him speak.
The pool areas have three unique atmospheres to chose from (Decks 11 and 12). The kids area was spacious, the main deck was lively and the adults only area was refreshing. Plenty of chairs on the main pool decks and above and I never had a problem finding a place to relax. I also really enjoyed the way Deck 11 is enclosed on the sides yet has the windows that open. You could be out on the deck and enjoying all the action yet still is out of the sun. The flow rider is up on the sports deck and we enjoyed watching but did not participate. We did try out rock climbing which was so much fun.
Another great spot for me was the fitness center which was spacious and well maintained. The spa was beautiful as well. We did attend a few presentations but did not have any treatments on board.
Our room was a Royal Promenade view on Deck 8 (8613). The room layout made great use of the space and it was fun looking over the action below. We were mid ship but towards the aft end of the promenade which was a bit further from the action when it was happening below. This is a great room if you want to be away from the hustle but was a drawback for us as we wanted to see more from the room. I would book that type of room again as it did not feel like an inside room yet gave us the lower price we wanted on this trip.
In terms of food – Windjammer buffet was very good. We found lots of food options available and good rotation of dishes with plenty available at all hours. We actually ate here more often than the dining room which has not always been the case on past cruises. Even the seating felt nicer. Lots of windows and a great view from the back also kept us lingering after a meal. We also spent plenty of time at Sorrento’s on the promenade for pizza, salads and Italian food as it is an included dining option as well. This is a great place for a slice of pizza after a few drinks too! The main dining room was beautiful and I wanted to enjoy dinner but the service kept us away after the second night.
About the service: I have one word – SLOW. Everything about the service staff on this ship was so slow. It was literally a joke to see how long it took to get a drink at every bar on the ship. Believe me, we tried all of them hoping to find a gem where we could get a fast drink. The staff seemed annoyed to be out there and offered little in smiles or hello’s. Even the main dining room staff filed to provide that special feeling we had on other trips. It is amazing how much that service level soured us on this trip overall – enough to make us question cruising RC again.
Random facts: Water stations are throughout the ship and a few on Deck 5 (the promenade) were our favorites. Both in the Starbucks and Sorrento’s they have flavored the water with lemons, oranges or mint along with having plain ice water available. It was a great place to grab a drink to stay hydrated without going all the way to the Windjammer.
The Hoof and Claw bar lets you spoke inside. Great for my husband so he didn’t have to go outside each time. Plus it was a fun bar to get a drink.
The Coinsurer Club – cigar bar – was a hideaway for smokers as well. Very fun place to smoke a cigar you brought on board or can purchase.
Excursions: We did do an excursion in Cozumel to Passion Island. Outside of the minor annoyance of how long it took to get on the boat and moving to the island it was a great trip. The food is good and drinks readily available. We spent most of the time in some hammocks under the shade and napping. It was great! The trip also left us enough time to do some shopping in Cozumel.
Overall this is a great ship. I hope RC can get the service issues up to par as we will be looking hard at reviews about service before we book this line again.
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|Ship Quality||Well maintained and clean. Lots of nice features.|
|Food and Dining||Windjammer food was consistently good. Dining room was ok.|
|Cabin / Stateroom||Great use of space. Comfy bed!!!|
|Service and Staff||Slow, slow, slow!!! Not a very freindly staff.|
|Entertainment||Tons of options. We didn't do 1/3 of what we planned to do.|
|Onboard Activities||Same comment. so many options so little time!|
|Destinations and Excursions||Lots of choices in Cozumel.|