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Everything posted by LizzyBee23

  1. This menu is different than one I received on request with a filename MENU ENG 2022 (got the file in Nov 2022). Prices on my menu were way higher (drinks $2-4, food in some places doubled).
  2. Little French Key has quite a bit of drama on FB... Just started looking for excursions next summer.
  3. That honestly sounds like they're looking for someone. Don't think it has anything to do with 8 day vs 7 day.
  4. Subtle classism. For most of us, it's certainly not a pittance. The solarium is a huge part of the advertising for RCL... Add another pool closure on top, and then a final sweetener that this is all so that the ship can make a nice debut when it gets to Galveston, and yeah... I'd be pretty upset, too. It's not just an inconvenience. They're actively robbing their customers today for a marketing gimmick they're unwilling to break their schedule for. You all should make a mass complaint to guest services and demand to talk to the captain.
  5. Maybe my experience in late May was an aberration, then! Glad to hear paper is still a thing.
  6. Checking with recent cruisers to see if the main dining room has gotten a bit more flexible with paper menus at dinner. They were really pushing the app on The Ovation, which caused quite a bit of frustration for some in our party who really didn't want to have to keep their phone on them at dinner. Have an upcoming cruise on Radiance, and trying to figure out if we need to warn the other guests in our party.
  7. HAL to Alaska on our honeymoon ~7 years ago was one of my first and only non-RCL cruises. It was partially paid for by Carnival loyalists, who actually went with us on Ovation last year. HAL to Alaska was absolutely amazing. The ship didn't have anywhere near the amenities as Ovation, but the experienced crew, and dedication to the Alaska experience, was just top notch. There were also enough amenities to satisfy our needs, and the fact that we were younger and out and about in the evening meant we could form closer relationships with the crew. Additionally, the family that tried out RCL for the first time with us in AK this year are actually getting on another cruise right now, a Carnival ship in Port Canaveral. While they were gracious about how awful the experience was on Ovation, they all privately said they wouldn't be booking on another RCL cruise. An AK cruise is just such a massive expense for most of us (mitigated a bit if you're a west coaster or Canadian). If I could do it again, I'd stick to HAL even though what drove us to Ovation were some of the things I think may influencing your thought process (we took both of our kids on Ovation). Personally, I'd book for the ship for itineraries in the Caribbean where you'll be able to use the shiny amenities more fully. For AK, I'd book the one that has a better track record of getting you a truly spectacular experience of the ports and the scenery. HAL is a clear winner. Also, if you can swing it, do the one way itinerary, and personally I preferred sailing out of Victoria (versus the RT sailing out of Seattle).
  8. Yeesh, our Ovation disaster was Alaska. Truly do still feel bitter about how bad it was. I wish you better luck... Hopefully next year's Alaska season will be better.
  9. It's been bad since the restart... Not much consolation since you have no comparative points. We booked on NCL last minute and had a much better experience with our cheapy, quickie cruise than our last RCL cruise on Ovation. Still running out reservations on RCL. Have a cheapie next month and then on Wonder early next year. Haven't given up hope, but at least got over the hurdle of trying out another brand.
  10. Absolutely stoked... We were on Harmony and got moved to this sailing. We were sad when we lost Coco Cay and considered switching sailings. Glad we didn't!
  11. @10-42, I think you've found the core of the strategy for RCL: if they advertise a venue is closed or unavailable, then a ship full of people will feel like they're missing out (and personally I think it's the right thing to do). If they don't advertise it and let it come out only once people go looking for it, only a subset of the full ship of people will feel like they're missing out. Maybe RCL is making the decision that it's essentially cheaper to buy off unhappy customers with FCC's or OBC's while hoping the majority of them remain ignorant of the scale of the problem. Foolish, in my mind, but I value honesty and transparency and am not a customer with malleable expectations.
  12. I specifically avoided saying it was an RCL only issue. It may very well be cruising in general, but the "wrong place, wrong time" defense isn't going to convince people to get back onboard when RCL seems to be actively burying their head in the sand over the issue.
  13. Sure, but not with Royal. We're kind of locked in for our next few reservations, but my in laws were brand hoppers before and said they'll essentially be crossing RCL off the list after our experience on Ovation. Who knows if we would have fared better on HAL or NCL, but it is what it is. We plan at least half of our vacations with them, so I suppose after our cheapy cruise in Nov on Radiance we'll just have to see. Thankfully the two after that are on refundable deposits.
  14. Oh, and one more: daughter tested positive for COVID on day 7 (Victoria) (she's fine! Very short lived symptoms). The usual stuff there, and we found our room service requests were very responsive. Buuuut... They put all of the COVID positive parties (probably 20-30 of us) in Chops together. We were there until 10:30 or so before we were let off. Feel bad for any of the embarkation day diners in there. What's the recommendation for airborne particles to get out of the room? Like 4-6 hours?
  15. We just got off of Ovation... Didn't sail Star class, but our observations were generally the same: short of many supplies, extremely inexperienced staff, terrible lines. We had a few extras thrown in, but here are the low lights: 1.) Had an emergency which meant we had to turn back on the way to Juneau on Day 2. Disappointing, but it happens. The real mess was at the end of Day 2 when, despite losing 6-8 hours of progress, everyone on staff insisted we would be in Juneau by noon. Anyone who could do the math and knew the ship pegs at just over 22 knots could call bull on that one. Everyone else had to wait until 10am the next day when the captain clumsily announced we wouldn't make that time and the CD came on immediately after and said "but we will reach port at 6:30p and will leave at 11p". At about 7:30p (and before the ship has dropped anchor), the line to get off the ship is double looped through the promenade and building at the direction of the staff while an announcement plays to "remember to socially distance". Lack of communication aside, this was utterly laughable. As many of you know, most things are shutting down at 8p in Juneau. There was a mass rush to the remaining open venues, and then more chaos trying to board the ship in some cases less than 90 minutes later. 2.) Our trip to Dawes and through the Fjords was cut short because of fog. I woke up to find us already stopped at the closest distance we would get to Dawes at about 8am (supposed to be doing the scenic glacier part of the journey from 6-12). By 10a we were already out. How did I find out the official reason this part of our journey had been cut short? From a FB post after the CD and/or captain again failed to adequately communicate the itinerary changes. 3.) The food was such a laughable disappointment. Every steak we ordered came out raw. Not rare... Raw. And most we ordered were medium or well-done. This included Chops, where our waiter neglected to even ask if we wanted drinks and only realized he hadn't brought out our soups/salads once the mains had arrived. At $60/head these days, an absolute disappointment. The evenings in the main dining room were also a joke, and the service was chaotic (I blame this on staff newness and the push to use the Royal app. We literally started to dread mealtime, which is usually our favorite part of the cruise)... If a meal was supposed to come with a baked/mashed potato, it came with French fries. If it was supposed to come with veggies, it came with French fries. If you wanted the strawberry and kiwi fruit cup, you got melon and maybe a smidge of pineapple. This is all in addition to the noted long lines for meals and embarkation/debarkation. There were good moments on the cruise, but I wish I had followed my instinct and pushed out our sailing. I'm sure they'll have much of these ironed out by the President's cruise in June. Mad at myself for letting us be one of their revenue "test" cruises with something we were so looking forward to.
  16. The cruise has been a mess so far... Not surprised it hasn't been found. Have some time right now thanks to the absolute cluster that has been the Ovation in Juneau.
  17. Posted on a FB group... Seems a pretty direct admission Ovation is understaffed in more ways than one.
  18. It has the same net effect, so perhaps this is a distinction without a difference.
  19. And would you look at that, the short term plan is to cut guest capacity. At some point this becomes a safety issue, in addition to being wildly bad for business. The idea that 1-2 months of reduced capacity may lead to insolvency (while possibly true) doesn't really trump that. "Last week the U.K.-based Cunard Line, a Carnival Cruise ship, drastically cut down on the guest capacity for the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2, and P&O Cruises canceled seven sailings of Arcadia last month. Both cancellations were due to limited crew availability, which would have negatively impacted guest services."
  20. A FB group I'm in has someone discussing COVID among crew. Evidently someone's genie was pretty candid with them regarding the state of the crew onboard (also mentioned many were new... lots of mishaps including a bartender serving alcohol to a minor who ordered a virgin drink, and countless stories about having to deal with room charges/double grats, etc.) Take with a huge grain of salt, but I'll say the sheer quantity of these takes dwarves any other sailing group I've ever participated in on FB or elsewhere.
  21. Keep checking! Sometimes early ones will get released again.
  22. I don't disagree, and I think you and I are in different spots: we can move our vacation around a bit (though it would be annoying, and I got my DBP at a price that would be pure unicorn these days). I want to make an informed choice, and it's hard to do that. I also think we as consumers are within our rights to raise a little muck when things aren't right... Otherwise these temporary annoyances become permanent once all involved become a bit too complacent. And honestly, maybe that's where the market is heading anyway (perhaps temporarily), because of just how relieved some people are to be back onboard. Why would RCL do anything differently if it can fill ships with people who have extremely "flexible" expectations? There are only a few things that will really mar our experience (AO not being open, hours long meal times)... We'd absolutely change sailings or make radical adjustments over those.
  23. @Pattycruise, thank you for acknowledging that not being up front with passengers is bad for marketing when your product is failing to live up to expectations. That's self-evident, and kind of makes my point. As for the poo rolls down hill: another reason it would be best for RCL to accept responsibility for missteps with booking. If you gave someone who was rightly disappointed in the fact that headliner shows we're conspicuously absent from the schedule a token amount of OBC, and they continue on with the cruise merrily, would that not also be good for the workers? As it stands, RCL is essentially giving customers a singular choice that doesn't cost the cruise line anything, but does "roll downhill". I'm not willing to fault someone for making that choice after paying thousands for a vacation that just doesn't deliver on it's promise, even if it's not a choice I would make.
  24. I think that's more than a semantic difference, and I take your point. I think it was easier to extend a bit of grace and be satisfied with the experience when it was evident the measures RCL was trying to take to ensure guests were well taken care of... Even if it meant you didn't get to see a show, or couldn't get reservations at AO (ensuring our kids have fun was/is important to us, so obviously those were a bigger deal to our little family than say, my cruise addicted in-laws). With capacity soaring, those measures have vaporized, it seems especially on a ship like Ovation that just doesn't seem ready for primetime. I would argue that dips into substandard, and not necessarily just "different", if the accounts onboard are true. I am sensitive to the notion that the loudest voices are often overblown, but there are a lot of them and it's hard to argue with pictures.
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