Got back yesterday off the Independence of the Seas, weather and ports were beautiful. Service onboard from some wasn’t. I think this cruise is the one that’s made my mind up to cruise with another company next year.
Started off as soon as I stepped in my room, to be find an old sock underneath the chair, a plastic dog toy (don’t ask me why it’s onboard?!?), empty tissue box, and in the draws things ranging from hair clips, leaflets and bathroom side still had smears from what looked like toothpaste. (Photo included) On complaining we were told to leave the room so a thorough clean could take place. Finally rectified later that day, I then found underwear and leaflets from a cruise in March ‘19, stuck behind a drawer. No further problems thereafter though.
Dining room waiters are my main bugbear of the cruise, never have I had a head waiter insisting we return each night, after having a meal in Chops on night 2 we told him we had Izumi and another Chops meal arranged for later that cruise, told him which nights which he was ok with. What was strange was his attitude towards us on night 3, stating if we didn’t return we could lose our table, never heard of that before. The constant asking if everything was ok with our meal was also annoying, I understand they need to ask, but both waiters and head asking individually with each course to me is excessive. Even after saying so, it still persisted. The icing on the cake though was the final evening, with the head waiter phoning and asking if we were to dine that evening in the MDR.
I also found the food on offer rather disappointing, very much the same being served time and time again. Izumi and Chops though were exceptionally good, excellent food and fantastic service. As were Sorrento’s and the bar staff around the ship.
Not personally doing any trips with Royal due to the scandalous prices they charge, I had no experience of the trips, chatting to several people onboard though they didn’t seem to be well received, hearing of coaches with no air-con, rude guides refusing elderly people two minutes to purchase a drink, and generally lack of time allowed at the location when they arrived, and even one bus taking off early. Spoke to a family on the train back from Rome who turned up at the coach drop on/off location to find it gone, so they had to make arrangements of their own to get back.
Final moan was the cruise director and the entertainment, Joff has left to work with P&O and now its someone called Cuddy, and wow he’s awful. So, so loud and seems to try too hard to get laughs, felt very forced and unfunny. As for the entertainment the first week or so, some nights didn’t have a show at all, and when there was it was in general poor comedians. The royal dancers and singers in Grease and Once upon a Time were excellent, as were the ice dancers as always.
I’ve exclusively cruised with Royal and I’ve seen the standards drop year on year, and I feel disappointed with this cruise. We are now looking at P&O for next year, perhaps a new company, ship and expectations is what we need to reignite our love for cruising. Guess only time will tell.