I stand by my review of the AOS. I would not discourage anyone from booking with RCCL. I have had great experiences. However--this past cruise we had two large negatives and I will detail how RCCL has chosen to handle them.
1. A shore excursion that was unbearable, and almost caused us to miss our departing plane from San Juan. We did a rainforest post-cruise tour. The driver drove between 19-22 miles per hour, erratically. He talked unintelligably and constantly. We had to organize as a group at the El Yunque visitor center and demand he turn around and take us to the airport. We were all motion sick and disgusted and on edge. (the tour advised airport return at 1:30, we barely made our 4 p.m. flight--and some people on the tour were flying to Canada and had been told to be at the airport by 1 p.m. for a 4 p.m. flight). RCCL refunded half the cost for this disaster. They claim they are merely a booking agent, the tours are not vetted by them and they do not feel responsibility for sending us off with this character. I am somewhat satisfied with this partial refund, and feel better informed about what I am getting for the money when I book a tour through the ship--which I seldom do. The layer of protection I believed was there apparently is not. Caveat Emptor. I was also advised if I had trouble with a shore tour to go to the excursions desk AS SOON as I reboard the ship. The person I dealt with did not seem to understand that this was a POST CRUISE tour that did not involve a return to the ship. Hmm . .
Secondly on the fifth day of the cruise our inside cabin flooded. The maintenance crew was working on a pipe in the hallway ourside door. We called the operator, who transferred my call to ? ? ? and some gentlemen came and vacuumed the water, which promptly returned. We reported it again, and then decided to live with it. It was inconvenient (you didn't want to go without shoes, and nothing could be set on the floor--kind of a big deal when we were packing and considering how small the room was). There is no record that we had a problem. That is RCCLs official stance. I apparently was expected to present personally at guest services and make a scene so an official report would be made, the phone calls and arrival of maintenance people did not generate an appropriate record. A mistake I will not make again, I can make a scene with the best of them. Even after reminding them that plumbing work was done (3500 guests got a paper notification from the ship that the water was off for 3 hours on 2 consecutive days) and my husband the contractor outlining what was done--how many feet PVC replaced, 3 ball valves, and I forget what else, he is avidly curious about any thing mechanical--they don't even have a record of maintenance being done on a water line. After several phone calls they conceded that work was done on the ship, but still no record of anyone reporting a problem with our room. I wonder if maintenance men with water vacs just wander the ship in case they see stray moisture anywhere, and we were just lucky they found our room in time.
Even this didn't really dampen our enthusiasm for RCCL--anyone can have an off time. Until they person I was speaking too pretty much said that there was doubt this happened to us and made me feel like we were running some kind of con to get a discount.
Yes, I have been a brand loyal customer with no complaints until now: I am finally a diamond member so lets try to extract a discount out of the cruiseline. After 10 cruises.
I can't say I will not give them another chance, particularly since we invested so many cruises trying to get to diamond. But my husband says he lives in the Nation of Why Not Princess.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009
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