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Mediocre food and service independent of the seas


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We just returned from the Independence of the seas March 18-20. Service was mediocre at best. Food in The buffet was not good. The main Dining has always been a joy. This trip service was not good. Food was delivered cold. And service was slow. Lounge servers were very rare so lines were long to get cocktails. Thinking of canceling my April cruise. Is this a staff shortage issue or is rccl cutting  back on quality to shave off costs? 

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Just saw you on CocoCay on Saturday!  The food on Harmony was good, a few great things, a few not.  In general there was always something worth eating & we found the Windjammer food very good.  I agree that staffing is an on going issue, especially in bars.  It was easier to just go up to the bar & order there.

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7 hours ago, Pamela b said:

We just returned from the Independence of the seas March 18-20. Service was mediocre at best. Food in The buffet was not good. The main Dining has always been a joy. This trip service was not good. Food was delivered cold. And service was slow. Lounge servers were very rare so lines were long to get cocktails. Thinking of canceling my April cruise. Is this a staff shortage issue or is rccl cutting  back on quality to shave off costs? 

do you know if there are facilities to make drinks in the cabins?

 

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I enjoyed my Independence of the Seas cruise in November. Was there something specific you didn’t like in the buffet? In my experience, buffet food tends to be more plain to appeal to more people. Exceptions are the Asian cuisine, which I always enjoy. I thought the MDR food was very good and served warm and didn’t order room service. As for MDR service, we enjoy the dining experience and like to give ourselves about 1 hour and 45 minutes to eat so we can chat and slowly enjoy one meal and courses. But we did have a show one night where we needed to be out of there in a hour and they were able to accommodate us. I think there is a staff shortage just due to people who test positive, but overall I really enjoyed my cruise. At the end of the day, we are traveling during a pandemic and I felt like RCI did a good job with the circumstances 

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On 3/22/2022 at 10:23 AM, Pamela b said:

We just returned from the Independence of the seas March 18-20. Service was mediocre at best. Food in The buffet was not good. The main Dining has always been a joy. This trip service was not good. Food was delivered cold. And service was slow. Lounge servers were very rare so lines were long to get cocktails. Thinking of canceling my April cruise. Is this a staff shortage issue or is rccl cutting  back on quality to shave off costs? 

I am sorry that you had a less than perfect cruise 😞 . I was on Independence in February and they were definitely short staffed. This is the first time EVER on an RC cruise that I (over)heard any complaints from staff. However, I could tell that all staff were really hustling and trying to make our experience amazing. The MDR was definitely short staffed to the point that the head waiter was assisting in bringing food and clearing tables. Every staff member that I interacted with was friendly and definitely met  (and even surpassed!) my requests. Everyone has staffing issues now, including my own office! When I am on a cruise, I am just so happy to not have to cook and do dishes myself that I am willing to overlook any potential shortfalls. That is something you will have to decide- if the service and food are exactly the same, would you be happy on your next cruise?

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I was on Independence that same weekend and had a great cruise. Ate most meals in the MDR, a couple in the WJ. 

I had no issues or complaints aside from the key lunch being laughable. But it did just that, made me laugh. Aside from that meal everything was as expected for us.  

I hope your next cruise is better for you!

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 I've been on a lot of cruises, where the food and/or service is terrific, while simultaneously folks at the next table are complaining their food is disappointing. 

Everybody has their own expectations.  I am  not a foodie and I'm easily pleased.    I've very much enjoyed and appreciated my shipboard dining experiences, and I very much count my blessings.

I'm disappointed to hear others do not receive the same food and service that I receive.  And in fairness, I also was not on Independence of the Seas.

 

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We just got off Independence (the sailing right after you) and found the food to be delicious. Hit up the Indian food at the Windjammer every day and it was amazing (admittedly, we don't touch anything fried or "American" like cheeseburgers and hot dogs.) Best breakfast was in the MDR (breakfast power wrap - amazing!) and the Windjammer breakfast was as I expected (not stupendous, but exactly what I'd expect from a buffet.)

My only complaint about the food is that the MDR portions seemed to be drastically smaller than I ever recall from previous sailings - but our waiter offered to get my husband a second plate of his entrée the first night (I thought he must have overheard him murmur to me about the portion being small, but if he did, he certainly didn't let it affect his politeness.) Husband happily accepted, and they made sure to offer each night after.

One thing I did notice was that one night in the MDR, our waiter and assistant waiter were both very stressed and highly concerned about our wait time. They apologized profusely, as if they were anticipating us flipping out on them. It was very sad and made me wonder what they have had to deal with as of late.

I do think there are issues of understaffing, but also just a sudden influx of passengers after nearly two years without sailing.

If you choose to go on your next trip, hopefully it will better fit your expectations!

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We sail on the Indy fairly often (5 times so far this year) and I've never had "bad" service.  Even with reduced capacity, I HAVE noticed that things take a bit longer - We ate in Playmakers one day for lunch last month and it took over an hour for the food to arrive  I chalk it up to crew shortages and figure it's just the price we have to pay trying to travel with everything going on in the world right now.   Food wise, I would say mediocre/average generally describes most MDR food.  That being said, we personally enjoy the MDR and have always found something on the menu we like. 

Personally, we love the Indy and its staff.  Especially on these quick 3-4 day cruises o RCL, it's going to be hard to find the "5 star" experience that you might expect on a luxury line.  Setting your expectations realistically and researching the cruises will usually result in a much better onboard experience.  Some folks are going to complain about anything and everything, others are going to say everything was perfect.  I find it's usually somewhere in the middle, but I've never experience anything on a cruise that I felt deserved an actual complain.  Maybe a "meh" on occaision, but damn, it was still much better than me having to cook and clean for 3 days!  

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I just keep thinking that, "one man's treasure is another man's junk".  So, what someone doesn't like another will like.  That's not to ignore either opinion.  But, it would be nice to know exactly what was good or what was bad about something, not just that it didn't live up to expectations.............

I wouldn't cancel one cruise because of a bad experience with another.  Remember, crews are changed out all the time. There could be a myriad of reasons why the food on one ship wasn't up to par.  I've had cabin stewards that stunk on one cruise and the cabin steward down the hall or on another cruise was great.  You just don't know what the cards will give you.  Same thing with food service/prep.

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I remember one cruise that the lobster night was not to good. It was a little disappointing but didn't ruin my overall vacation. I think the real issue was that it was the first week for a large percentage of the crew on that ship, or that is what we heard at a later time on the vacation.

This was before covid. Right now I really think that as cruisers we have to have a little more patience with staff. Look at what we deal with on land. Don't know of any business, including my own that doesn't have issues with staffing.

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When I did Indy this past Jan, I thought the buffet and MDR were horrible. The service was great but the food, I received a grey ribeye, was just so underwhelming. It was the height of Omicron, and the buffet was vastly scaled down, so options were limited. I got room service and still had a great time. I chalked it up to staff not being used to cooking in such small quantities.

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We did the B2B on the Indy just before you (Mar 11-18). Our MDR service was excellent. Most of the food was good, except the Prime Rib. It didn't look like a prime rib cut and my "medium" was just shy of shoe leather and, also, very thin (like 1/4"). That was really my only complaint quality-wise. The server made up for it, though, by bringing us extras of stuff we didn't order that he knew was better. We definitely didn't go away hungry.

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