Sail Date: December 01, 2011 Cabin Type: Balcony Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 5 years ago
This was our first time on Royal Caribbean, and might be our last. As a floating hotel, this could have been a decent cruise. Most of the service was fair to good, the room was ok, and the trip mostly went off without a hitch.
Our biggest complaints centered around the dining room: slow/inconsistent service and poor food quality brought down the rest of the experience. Food was obviously microwaved just before being served, most of the food on the buffet was lukewarm, and in both areas the food was dry, stale, overcooked, flavorless or any combination of these.
Most of the other passengers with whom we spoke were regular Royal cruisers, and were telling us how this boat fell far short of Royal's usual standard of quality, but we can only take their words for it at this point. We left more detailed reviews below.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The food in both the buffet and dining room had the taste and consistency of having been reheated (microwaved). Most dishes were dried-out and/or overcooked. The soups and gravy were made from powder mixes. Each passenger was assigned a specific table and seating time for dinner (which we did not mind), but during breakfast and lunch you would always be seated at a large table with other random diners. While we enjoyed most of our conversations with these other people, we would have preferred to have been seated privately at least once in awhile. The Jade Restaurant is not a separate dining room, as advertised, but a six foot section of the regular buffet that just served a few different kinds of fried rice. Regular buffet consisted of only three stations: small salad bar, burger/hot dog station, and carvery. Very little of the food tasted good, though you were allowed to order as much as you wanted. The best meal that we had during the whole trip was at a little snack shop in Jamaic
3 out of 5
Special shows were great, but infrequent; ice dancing, juggler, singers, etc, usually only had one show per day. Most of the regularly scheduled activities on board seemed to consist of just alcohol, gambling and sales pitches. More than half of video arcade games were broken. Sports facilities (basketball court, mini-golf, rock wall, etc) were in decent shape. "Murder mystery" night at the Portofino restaurant was fun, if expensive (it's also four hours long; 7-11pm).
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Stateroom attendants provided excellent, personalized service. Dining room staff were slow and disorganized; often could not get refills on drinks for half or more of the meal service. Customer service and shore excursions staff were friendly and helpful.
3 out of 5
Seemed very large. The ship smelled musty when we first boarded, including our stateroom. The decor was appealing, and the common areas were kept clean. Not all elevators or stairs went to every floor, so going up and down floors could be confusing; go up two flights, then go to the other side of the ship to another set of stairs to continue going up, etc.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Room size and decor met our expectations. Room was cleaned and serviced twice daily, so we always had fresh towels and ice. Bed and couch were decent. Balcony door lock was damaged by a previous passenger, but stayed closed. Transparent dividers between balconies limited privacy.
Pros: Clean room, good shows
Cons: Terrible food, poor waiters, limited entertainment options
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