Jump to content
CD&RW

Beware- Chill Island Cabana Poor Service

Recommended Posts

I rented a Chill Island CabanaIt for 6 of us on a girls trip.  This was a few weeks after the hurricane and seaweed was an issue in front of the cabanas.  The excursion dest did alert us to this and said if we did not want to keep the cabana they would refund.  There were people cleaning up the seaweed all day.  The cabana itself is nice, spacious and plenty of seating.  There is a cooler stocked with water when you arrive.  The service was a huge disappointment and really put a damper on our day.  We all purchased the drink package, one main reason was for Coco Cay.  When we ordered drinks it took the cabana attendant (Henry) at least 20-30 minutes to bring drinks back and he disappeared for long periods of time, 30-45 minutes, leaving us empty drinks.  At one point a couple of us asked for another round after we finally got our second drink hoping he might return by the time we were ready for another.  He never brought  those drinks.  We started to walk over to a nearby bar to get our own drinks.  The first time at the bar, one of the girls in our group asked if we could order drinks  there, explaining we had a cabana and the bartender said "yes, this is the bar that services your cabana person".  Later when Henry checked in on us we ordered 2 vodka drinks and brought whiskey drinks.  We questioned the color and he told us it was vodka peach tea drink (I ordered vodka soda), it was whiskey.  It took another 30 minutes to get the correct drinks, so we had to fetch our own.   On the last round he brought my drink had bleach on the outside of the cup.  When I went to take a drink I smelled it at the same same I felt it on my lips.  We went to the bar again to get a replacement drink and one of the girls commented on the amount of flies and the bartender said the seaweed, brought in by the storm, attracted the flies but they were wiping everything down with bleach.  That is when we said I had bleach on the outside of my glass.  He just looked at us like, yeah and so?  Henry served us drinks 4-5 times in 5.5 hours, so he was not around a lot, but he made sure he was right there as we were packing up at 3:30.  He was very nice but his service was horrible.  Saturday was a day at sea because we could not dock at Grand Bahamas and this cruise was the only one that was not rerouted to Nassau so this was our only land day.  So with that and the cost of renting the cabana we were extremely disappointed.  I stopped by the Shore Excursion desk and explained all this and they told us the cabana attendants have to go way across the island, so that is why it took so long.  That contradicted what the bartender told us.  We are headed back in February and will not rent another cabana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is awful news and I'm so sorry. We have a Chill Cabana booked for a whopping $999 on the Harmony 10/13 cruise and I sure hope that we don't have a similar experience! I guess I'll try to avoid Henry if at all possible 🙄 bccuz mama is going to need more than one frosty drink in an hour! 🥂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was really surprised this was our almost exact cabana attendant experience also. I'm sure it was a one off and not the norm though! We loved Cococay none the less! 

 

Edit to add: the people next to us had really great service (different attendant) so again I think it's a rarity & we were just the unlucky ones 🏝 (I don't usually complain 😬)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry to hear about your experience.  Our experience was the complete opposite.  

As an example, I ordered a drink and made the remark that I am just running to the bathroom.  My thought was this way she knew she could leave it in the cabana.  I went to the bathroom and as soon as I exited, I hear her say Mrs. Pima.  I look around and there she was with the drink on the tray.  I want to say she checked in on us every 20-30 mins.,  usually less because a couple of us would order drinks and by the time she delivered them, someone else ordered, plus the delivery of food (fruit platter, than delivering the menu, delivering the food, cleaning up the food delivery and than bringing the fruit kebabs in the pm).  On top of that if we were all out in the water, she would fold up the towels laying on the chairs.  Check our water bottle stock.   

We all remarked that the noisiest thing there when you were in the water were the attendants screaming by the edge of the water their cabana guests name with their drink in hand.  At one point we even remarked that there were 4 attendants standing at the edge with drinks in hand.

I would contact RCL.

The one thing I did find out through our attendant, is that the attendant contract is not like the cruise contract for their staff.  It is a 4 week contract.  I state this because it might be that due to the hurricane, maybe their more experienced staff did not come back yet if their family home was destroyed.    She told us that every night they actually have boats to ferry staff back home due to how their contracts work. They leave @ 6:30 p.m.  and the ferry will bring the staff back at 6:30 a.m.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're not the call and complain kind of people, I felt bad even complaining here. We imagined all kinds of scenarios that could be happening in this guys world to make him off his a game.

 

Can't wait to try Labadee!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would take this up with RC help desk and get a refund. We had the opposite experience and the service was very prompt. When you pay a significant amount extra for a nice day in a cabana the expectation is stellar service. Get your money back as your experience was not what it should have been and it’s not your problem that after spending $250m re-engineering the island they didn’t have the wherewithal to place a service bar adjacent to the cabanas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is terrible, and for the price they are charging for these cabanas, that is unacceptable.  I can't believe a customer service person told you it's because they have to walk across the island to get drinks.  One, that is not true, who the hell would layout those logistics, and two, even if it was true, that is a Royal problem and not a customer problem.  

We are going to Coco Cay in February, and while we are not renting a cabana (way overpriced), we are probably going to buy beach club passes.  There are two ships at Coco Cay the day we are there (Anthem and Mariner), and we are worried the main pool and other areas may be really crowded with two ships.  Hopefully they cap the ticket sales for the beach club.  I really hope Coco Cay lives up to the hype, but I have seen a fair amount of negative comments here and there.

Labadee is great.  Give me a bungalow on Labadee and that's all I need.  Never had a bad experience there, the attendants are always great.  Hoping for the same experience at Coco Cay.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, JBC said:

We are going to Coco Cay in February, and while we are not renting a cabana (way overpriced), we are probably going to buy beach club passes.  There are two ships at Coco Cay the day we are there (Anthem and Mariner), and we are worried the main pool and other areas may be really crowded with two ships.  Hopefully they cap the ticket sales for the beach club

It’s supposedly going to be capped at 450 guests (that includes the 8 per cabana in the count.)

Please come back and post a review of your experience, since you’ll be amongst the early ones to get to try it (scheduled to fully open by the end of January.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, GrandmaAirplane said:

It’s supposedly going to be capped at 450 guests (that includes the 8 per cabana in the count.)

Curious where you found that figure?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was searching for accessibility info for the Coco Beach Club yesterday on the RCCL website, and came across this number for the total guest capacity. I’ll try to find it again, but that website is not easy to search & navigate.

Whatever RCCL decides to do is guided by the anticipation of maxing out profits, so that number could be quite elastic. However, the above figure is probably related to the physical limitations of the space and the number of meals that they can serve - so that may limit their ability to up that number too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so I looked again and found that this number was sent a few days ago by RCCL as a Press Release to various industry publications.

https://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/royal-caribbean-opens-bookings-for-cococay-s-coco-beach-club

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21672-coco-beach-club-set-to-debut-for-royal-caribbean.html

It’s probably how I came across this piece of info while researching it yesterday...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, GrandmaAirplane said:

OK, so I looked again and found that this number was sent a few days ago by RCCL as a Press Release to various industry publications.

https://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/royal-caribbean-opens-bookings-for-cococay-s-coco-beach-club

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21672-coco-beach-club-set-to-debut-for-royal-caribbean.html

It’s probably how I came across this piece of info while researching it yesterday...

I wonder where the press release is that they got that 450 count from..my Google fu turns up nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JBC said:

I really hope Coco Cay lives up to the hype, but I have seen a fair amount of negative comments here and there.

I have been to Coco Cay multiple times, old with the tenders and Perfect.  I had read the negative comments about how the island lost that unique feel, the amusement park feel, etc.  

We did a cabana, but even if we didn't I will tell you on Chill Island there was no different feel from the old and the Perfect, if anything the Perfect is better in every aspect, and that starts from the bathrooms to the food to the tourist trap straw market location to the sand upkeep.  

  •  People talk about mobility issues, the old Coco Cay was much worse.  Now you have trams, and the beach wheelchairs.  Trying to get on a tender is much harder with mobility issues than walking 5 minutes to the end of the pier and getting a beach wheelchair.
  •  They let us off @ 8:45 a.m.  We walked to the cabana, my SIL has mobility issues, and took the tram.  She got on the tram before us, and we made it there walking at a leisurely pace faster than her.  During that time you saw them with golf cart type equipment with sand rakes, raking out the sand.  
  •  There was absolute noise we could hear on Chill from South Beach, Oasis or Thrill.  Pet peeve for us was that the location of the Kayak station.  it is roped off like an alley between the cabanas and the open area.  The problem with the ropes are they get filled with seaweed and if you are on a floating mat you might find yourself by that rope and touching the seaweed as you paddle yourslf away.
  •  The food selection is not only larger, but sooooo much better.  Old Coco Cay it was like going to the WJ at the end of their service hrs because due to their limitations for keeping food hot it just impo was food to fill my stomach, no 2nds thank you very much.  The Gulls were worse because it was more of a picnic style, less coverage.  
  •  You get off the pier and basically you turn left for the beach, just like you did with the tenders.  We could see Dare Devils, from the ship and the pier, but once you get on the beach, the only thing you MAY see is the Balloon, may because if the wind is not cooperating it will not go up.  We took the tram back to the ship since we were too tired to walk back, and that is when we saw Thrill and the kids water zone.   Gotta love that tram!  OBTW we were tired because we either snorkeled all day or laid on the float mats in the sun. 
  •  When we did the old Coco Cay, we always remarked how the straw market really felt like a tourist trap and because of the location we had to walk through them.  Not with Perfect Day.
  •  Favorite thing about Perfect Day, which is kitchy is when you walk down the pier they have dancers and musicians playing Caribbean dance music to just set you in the mood of how fun this is going to be today.  They are there doing the same thing when you leave.  I have to say everybody as soon as they hear the music starts to dance and smile!

We were the only ship docked in July, 4400 passengers.  I will tell you that we did pop over to the Lagoon.  The bar was crowded, but less crowded than the pool bar on the ship.  There were multiple loungers in the water that were empty.  The pool itself was busy, but unlike the ship, you didn't have to navigate around people.  The cabanas were fully booked on Chill.  Yet, if you walked up and down the beach you could find loungers everywhere, including if you needed them in a group of 6 +.  The swim up bar was not crowded or packed either.  I see the swim up bar like the Bionic Bar on Anthem, you have to do it just to say you did it, but you are not going to spend your entire day on the bar stool like you would at Schooners.

You are going in Feb.  South beach will be open.  The thing is look also at the 2 ships in port.  My guess because Anthem does not have the water slides on the ship,  they will probably have more passengers hitting Thrill, than let's say Mariner.  Additionally, my guess is they will not arrive in port at the same time, nor leave at the same time.  Yes, during peak hrs they will both be there, but my bet is if you are the 2nd to come into port, the 1st will leave an hr or 2 prior and you will get that smaller feel, or vise a verse if you are the 1st to arrive.

Sorry for the novella, but I would not want to go back to the old Coco Cay, no way, no how.  If anyone feels that way I have a suggestion for them, book NCL.  You can see their ship tendering to their island from the RCL ship.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we go to the island May 2020 and I am not interested in paying for extras. Where would one go to enjoy and relax on the island without having to pay for something. A friend of mine who is a loyal RCL cruiser was totally disappointed with the island due to all the extra costs and apparent lack of shade. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Leroyr55 said:

So we go to the island May 2020 and I am not interested in paying for extras. Where would one go to enjoy and relax on the island without having to pay for something. A friend of mine who is a loyal RCL cruiser was totally disappointed with the island due to all the extra costs and apparent lack of shade. 

 

Anywhere you want except the water park. You only have to pay for something if you go to the water park, or rent a cabana/beach bed etc. there are plenty of lounge chairs everywhere that you can grab. I was just there a few weeks ago and there were two ships in port with a passenger load higher than an Oasis class ship, and while wandering I saw plenty of empty chairs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Leroyr55 said:

So we go to the island May 2020 and I am not interested in paying for extras. Where would one go to enjoy and relax on the island without having to pay for something. A friend of mine who is a loyal RCL cruiser was totally disappointed with the island due to all the extra costs and apparent lack of shade. 

 

We enjoyed Chill Island and snorkeled/swam in a cove that didn't have seaweed.  There were plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas.  If you got to the island early, you could even find hammocks under the trees.  The food was great--at least three different types of food stations (taco bar, sandwiches, burgers & BBQ) so lines aren't a problem.  No point to paying for a lot of extras, but there was an inexpensive snorkeling excursion I wish I had tried (a boat ride to a nearby reef).  The beach was hot in both May and September this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...