I just returned from a cruise on Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean and I have to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Yes, the ship was beautiful but overall service has gone down. First, the ship was way too crowded. No matter what you tried to do, the lines were so long that we ended up not doing the things we chose this cruise for in the first place. Ice-skating, flow rider, kids water park/swimming ... forget it -- they were too packed. Every time we tried to swim in the family areas, you couldn't even get in the pool. The Windjammer was the same way. Huge lines to get food and extremely difficult to find an empty table. Yes, Freedom is the largest ship but they have greatly increased their capacity to hold passengers. The other accommodations have only increased slightly.
My disappointment even went to our room attendant. I never even saw him until I had to speak to another room attendant about his lack of caring for our room. No towel animals for the kids, no daily planner for the next day, no chocolates, no turning down the covers, neglecting the room overall. When I spoke to the other attendant things did change but I have NEVER had to ask for these things before. This to me is a slip in service. His excuse was we needed to leave the little ticket in the door to "makeup" the room. We did do this every morning but I never had to do it for the evening. They would automatically do this for us while we were at the dinner and shows.
I am not a complaining person. I have sailed many times with Royal Caribbean and have thoroughly enjoyed my time but I have to admit, they are going down. Their ships are beautiful and the shows are wonderful but the crowds and service are disappointing. I choose to cruise for the extra attention to detail and pampering. If this is not going to be the case then I might as well fly to the destinations I wish to see and stay in hotels. I can only hope that Royal Caribbean does not end up being like Carnival. It seems they are heading in that direction.
I am curious how anyone else feels about Royal Caribbean these days. Have you noticed their decline or is it just my experience on Freedom? Do you still sail with RCC or do you recommend another cruise line? Thanks!