Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Majesty of the Seas
Sailing Date: 2014-02-10
This cruise was a gift for our wedding. My husband and I are both cruisers and have experience on other cruise lines but not much with Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, this trip was nothing to write home about.
Some positives: we enjoyed our stateroom attendant, Rico, as well as some of our wait staff that tended to our table (Luis). We found Chuck the juggling comedian extremely entertaining (probably the best part of our on-board experience). The food surpassed our expectations although I think you should offer more seafood options (almost invisible scallops and sad looking shrimp cocktail doesn't count as seafood). We met some nice couples that were also cruising. And the drink prices were more reasonable than expected which was a pleasant surprise. The ship was clean but that could have been a coincidence since it had a Norovirus outbreak right before our trip and I am sure it was cleaned top to bottom to be able to sail again.
And that's where the positives end and the negatives begin:
A majority of the employees on the ship were less than friendly and seemed "beaten down". Spent much of the time near your bar areas and could count on 1 hand how many times the bartenders smiled and seemed happy to be there. There was a roach in our stateroom crawling on our mirror the night before we arrived back in Miami (thankfully it was the last night or I would have been asked to be moved). We did not get to go to one of our ports (Key West) due to unforeseen weather conditions. This in itself was out of RC's control which we understood; however, there was nothing special offered by RC to make up for the fact that we were missing out on one of our destinations (like drink specials, spa specials or some type of incentive to make up for us missing out on fun in Key West and being stuck on a boat an extra day).
And being stuck is how we felt- the Majesty of the Seas is anything but majestic these days. It seems to be outdated and in my opinion, needs to be retired from your fleet. We did not get the same "wow" feeling when we boarded MOS like we did on other cruise ships. It was a very underwhelming boat. The ship just has a lackluster appearance and needs a facelift. We have never sailed with Carnival Cruise Lines and never want to and the experience we had on MOS was comparable to what we were trying to avoid with Carnival. If we had paid for this cruise, we'd be severely disappointed, not just partially disappointed (we still spent over $800 of our own money throughout the 4 day cruise, mainly on alcohol to make the trip seem not as depressing).
We received a $100 gift certificate from our family to use while on the boat. It took several phone calls and many people and even a visit to guest relations to figure out why the credit had not appeared after 2 days of being on the ship. It finally appeared on the 3rd day which seems inappropriate considering it was redeemed weeks before our actual trip on your RC website. This should have been available the moment we checked in! (Editor's note: Onboard credit is normally not added to a guest account until day 2 or 3.)
Another thumbs down- we booked an excursion in CocoCay for a private, $200 cabana which was advertised to us as "private beach front with a ocean view". We were assigned our cabana, not given a choice. Upon arriving, we realized that this beach front cabana was on a beach overlooking the ocean but with no access to any water unless you walked many feet in the opposite direction. Our cabana overlooked rocks (which we were not allowed on) and was at the end of the row of cabanas that overlooked the channel where the tenders would pass through every 5 minutes, carrying hundreds of people who were videoing and taking pictures of the island as well as us in our "private" cabana. This is not the relaxing day that we expected when shelling out $200 for this excursion. My husband went to speak with a MOS rep but was told that there was not a rep on the island for our ship and that he could do nothing to help us resolve our issue. Prior to the trip, we booked a wine tasting experience which was scheduled for 4:00pm on the day of our cabana excursion in CocoCay. So we had to leave our cabana early to prepare for our wine tasting. Lo and behold, the tasting was canceled as we were the only ones who signed up. So not only did we miss out on cabana time that we paid for, but the whole reason why we had to leave the cabana early turned out to be a failure. My recommendation to RC would be for those types of on-board experiences to be scheduled later in the evening so you know cruisers will be on the boat and not have to miss out on fun at the port.
And last but definitely not least by any means- the lack of organization during the muster station drills as well as the debarking process is just awful. We were blown away during the muster drill by the fact that our cabin number was manually handwritten onto a random piece of paper with a pencil by an RC employee (which was taken incorrect the first time by the person and had my husband not been paying attention, we would not have been accounted for). This is the verification system that is used to ensure our safety?? In this day and age of technology, why don't you utilize some sort of card reader system where your id card gets scanned? I cannot imagine why a company like RC does not use it as a standard on their boats. It has to be more reliable than a human with a pencil.
And the debarking process was the just the "tip of the iceberg" (yes, pun intended)- when they told us to meet on deck 4 for the self service check out process, we dragged all of our bags to deck 4 only to find out that the line was already wrapped around up to deck 6. We had to drag all of our stuff back to a staircase and go up, all the while people were cutting in line, complaining in line, being completely confused by the entire process...and without any guidance or sight of a RC employee to calm everyone down. There should be announcements made during this process to let people know which deck the self serve line is on at that time. And there should be at least 1 RC employee, if not, 2 on every floor to guide people through this process. When we finally got back down to deck 4, there were families that were leaving their rooms and cutting others in line as if to blend in. Those people should have been directed by the RC employee on that floor to join the end of the line which started back on deck 6 or 7 at that point. Very frustrating to see this disorganization and leaves a very bad last impression of your cruise line to us as you can tell by this review.
From what we saw on your RC Travel Channel, you put your best foot forward and offer your best ship to those who want to sail with you for more than 4- 5 days. We cannot get away for 10 days at a time but why should we be penalized with a lesser quality boat and experience?
Bad first impression plus bad last impression= reluctant Royal Caribbean repeat customers