RCCL went from great to poor

Dec 16th, 2016, 10:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
RCCL went from great to poor

We cruised on the Navigator of the Seas for 7 days from November 27 to December 4, 2016, and this was our 57th cruise. We are rated diamond with RCCL and we cruise with several other cruise lines. We had balcony cabin 7574.

Cabin condition and its size were fine. Ship’s public areas were fine.

The food offerings in the main dining room and on the Deck 11 buffet were way below what we have ever experienced before. No salmon or fish of any kind for breakfast on Deck 11 – first time ever. They had prime rib on the main restaurant dinner menu twice. The first time it was very thin roast beef. The second time they said they were out and substituted pot roast. The appetizers were generally fine but the entrée offerings were very limited and well below what we have experienced before.

The check-in was the worst we ever experienced. The ship was NOT docked at a terminal but docked at a flat pier adjacent to a parking area. We arrived at about 12:00 noon and the line was estimated by me (a Transportation Engineer) to be about 1000 waiting people winding around in a parking lot. No cover or roof was over the long line. If it rained, we would have all been soaked. There were no seats to wait in. There also were no separate priority lines (as they promise in their promotional literature) until you reached the inside of the relatively small tent structure. So we followed 1000 other passengers in the line, most of whom were not rated diamond or better. None of the RCCL staff seemed to care about how people were being treated. I estimate that we boarded the ship at about 1:30 pm, but did not write the exact time down.

At 330 pm, the line was still about 200 long, and there were still several hundred bags in groups around the parking lot to be loaded. I have photos taken from our balcony cabin. We departed about 2 hours late because of the time it took getting the last bags on board.

All the restaurant staff in every venue were 5-star great as in the past, but the food offerings were poor compared to what we experienced in the past!!!

There was only one production show during the 7-day cruise, which was a bummer, but it was 5-star great!

All the other evening entertainment in the theater, and I mean all, was poor and way below average.

The ice-skating show was 5-star great.

The internet package offered for the 7-day cruise was the best ever offered to me. Instead of being limited to and worrying about minutes, we purchased a 7-day 24/7 unlimited package for one device for about $60.00 after our diamond discount. My wife and I could both log on using different devices but at different times.

I was surprised by how many people were loudly complaining, and a few voiced real anger.

Regardless, for the money we paid, we had a great vacation. However, as we choose future cruises, RCCL is no longer one of our favorite cruise lines.

Steve McEvoy
samcevoy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2016, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,974
Unfortunately for longtime cruisers like yourselves, the change in the standards and quality can be jarring. Now that most newer ships are between 100,000 and 200,000 tons and carry thousands of passengers, unfortunately it's all about the bottom line for the cruise lines. RCCL, having the largest ships, is probably not a good fit for you. It caters to younger families, offering ice skating rinks, surfboarding, rock climbing and a host of other action activities that replace quality food, good entertainment and other elegant touches. We prefer Celebrity and Princess among the mass market lines.

Having said that, there isn't a cruise we haven't enjoyed.
Frank is offline  
Dec 17th, 2016, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 34,840
It's called order a second piece of that "thin" beef.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2016, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,543
Sorry to hear of the problems you had. The check in situation would have riled most anyone I think.

Usually the performing cast does several shows so to be limited to one for a 7 day cruise is a big let down. Most of the performing troupes web have seen no matter what line we have cruised with have been pretty good. Why your cruise limited them to one show is strange. Any idea why?

As you must have been cruising for decades then you have seen the decline in food quality over time. Our first cruise was in 2002 so our perspective is different. For us at least so far the food has been fine especially considering meals have too be made for thousands of passengers in mind.

I concur that though there have been a few glitches we too have enjoyed everyone of our 15 cruises.
jacketwatch is online now  
Dec 19th, 2016, 03:04 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
$60 for a 24/7 internet package is great price. It would be a must have for the younger generation and their constant connection tot he social media.
Eschew is offline  
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