We just returned from a one week Med cruise on Splendour of the Seas. Although we had a great time (we did both Venice precruise and a train trip to Florence for five days after) and loved the ports, we were very surprised at how bare bones RCI had become. I had known they had cut out the lobster, but the beautiful parade ceremony with baked Alaska turned into the "parade of the waving napkins" Yes, no baked Alaska either. Even in a mini suite, no amenities such as lotion were provided. The food was okay, not special at all, but passable. I do have to say that the coffee was very good. Is this a typical RCI experience? Have those of you who cruise RCI often experienced this obvious cost cutting on all their ships, or is better on the newer and larger ships?
All of that is news to me, SD. On recent RCCL cruises I have not experienced any of those cost-cutting measures. I know Sonny spoke of the Navigator cutting back on stabilizers but I thought that was the extent of it.
I've never been big on cruise ship lobster so it doesn't bother me, but it is a mistake to stop serving it. People expect to see lobster on a cruise ship menu at least once. To stop serving it is akin to McDonald's saying they were dropping the Big Mac from the menu because of a worldwide sesame seed shortage.
As for the Baked Alaska parade - they did the same thing with the napkins on the Liberty last summer but still had the Baked Alaska as a dessert.
If there is a "worldwide lobster shortage" Princess does not know about it. We had TWO lobster nights on our 16 night Star Princess cruise in Feb. of this year.
Definitely there was no baked Alaska. Also, I have never had a minisuite before, but I was surprised not to even have robes or lotion provided. I get both of those amenities on Princess in any cabin, though you do have to ask for the robe in lower categories.
I also forgot to mention that the entertainment was the poorest quality we have experienced in any of our nine cruises, and everyone in our group of five (three different households) agreed. Again, is this just on this ship, or is RCL cutting back on entertainment?
We have been on three different RCCL ships and were told, on all three, that the baked Alaska prominade was cancelled due to an accident with fire/insurance concerns following this. Also one very "proper" server we enjoyed on the Explorer said that dancing with food was not appropriate and he was thankful this declasse custom was going out of fashion! I guess all in all I did not miss the baked Alaska circuit, but I will miss the Lobster.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
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In January on Jewel of the Seas, we had lobster, but we are not happy with the spiny lobster, only Maine lobster for us transplanted northerners. I am glad they don't do the dancing around either, it was too much for some after that big meal, but the waiters did gather on the stairs and sing to us, which was really nice!