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What's going on with royal?


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Just got on the ship (Explorer) Sunday and experienced the following so far....delayed check in at Miami, no greatings from host in concierge room, restaurants closed, wait time for my time dining with reservations was 45 minutes to 1 hour, severally understaffed, portions way smaller and simple condiments unavailable.  No soft serve  ice cream. And it's only Monday. 

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You said it yourself:  Severely understaffed. 
 

In my opinion, it’s a sign of the times. 
 

From recent reading (here and elsewhere), people are still expecting things to be like they were before early 2020….not just on cruise ships, but everywhere.  
 

Unfortunately, the world has changed since then and is still changing….rapidly.   Everyone is trying to catch up, and by everyone, I mean consumers and businesses alike  

 

 

 

 

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There’s a 3 page thread on the topic. In a nutshell: capacity increased, staffing is lagging because of visa backlogs and supply chain issues means there’s shortages everywhere. 
 

This all really just surfaced around April. Our October and March cruises were great. We’re on Harmony now and they are out of a lot of alcohol. Food quality is not as good either. Staff is working their butts off though to give you a good vacation 

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There’s the pre-Covid cruise vacation experience and now the “post” Covid experience. Unfortunately for the customer it’s just a shade of what it was. Given the massive demand for cruise vacations the corporation can settle for less regarding staffing and experience and families will still cruise. Personally, deck 17 on Oasis with my family sounds really great right about now! 

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On 5/30/2022 at 7:59 PM, Willamy said:

Just got on the ship (Explorer) Sunday and experienced the following so far....delayed check in at Miami, no greatings from host in concierge room, restaurants closed, wait time for my time dining with reservations was 45 minutes to 1 hour, severally understaffed, portions way smaller and simple condiments unavailable.  No soft serve  ice cream. And it's only Monday. 

If our cruise in two weeks is like this, I think we'll explore dining options other than the MDR.  Since our My Time reservations are so late (8ish) I am hoping we'll fare better.

My advice is to look at what you can control, and don't get overwhelmed by what you can''t...

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12 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

There’s the pre-Covid cruise vacation experience and now the “post” Covid experience. Unfortunately for the customer it’s just a shade of what it was. Given the massive demand for cruise vacations the corporation can settle for less regarding staffing and experience and families will still cruise. Personally, deck 17 on Oasis with my family sounds really great right about now! 

Unfortunately for the cruise lines, this strategy won't last too, too long.  If they can't get more new crewmembers vetted/approved, then

the service will continue to erode as present crew get worn out.  I'm sure the lines are working super hard to remedy this issue.

 

I wish I could be on any deck on Oasis right now.

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Was on Explorer May 8 for 6 nights.  Experienced delayed boarding....but learned that was actually due to reduced staffing at the port, not the ship's fault.  Having read the reviews, we did not elect MTD, and experienced absolutely no issues with respect to late night seating in the main dining room.  Most crowded night was, of course, lobster night, but that was it.  Also spent a lot of time in the bar/lounge areas (no judgment please) and became friendly with the bar staff (no surprise - - I'm a bartender myself).  Yes, they were out of a lot of liquor, but the dedicated staff would go "borrow" from other bars as they could.  Supply chain problem for sure (just look at the dining menu).  My restaurant suffers from it too.  As far as staffing, well I can't comment on the underlying issue, but I did see virtually every staff member work exceedingly hard and most definitely dedicating themselves to the guests - night & day.  There were several times I just wanted to jump in and help.  Happy to see the guest count up, but if you're living in the real world, the expectation needs to drop a notch or two, or the patience level needs to increase a notch or two.  We'll get there again...just takes time. 

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We found a similar situation on Serenade of the Seas a few weeks ago. MTD line with reservations was very long at least 40-60 min for some people to get a table, lots of shortages and many bars closed because they had half the bar staff on board. The crew did an amazing job but I felt they were overworked and the managers and top officers were pitching in to help reset tables etc. We had an amazing 3 weeks aboard but maybe the solution would be to not load the ships up so much....maybe at 70% capacity.

I hope they are able to get more staff as the ones on board were being worked quite hard.

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Was on Oasis in March and Odyssey in April.  No issues with the food or staffing.  We ate at mostly specialty restaurants  (had UDP) and food was fantastic, service great, and could always get in.   Never very busy. The Solarium Bistro was closed though for entire cruise on both ships.  When we did have lunch or breakfast at MDR it was never a wait.   We were in Jr suite both times and sometimes ate at CK.  Also not crowded and could get in almost always when we wanted.

I know there are issues with supplies and crew.  But they are doing very well in my opinion.   My next cruise is not til Sept. now.   But looking forward to it so much.

Happy cruising everyone

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9 hours ago, Floski said:

Unfortunately for the cruise lines, this strategy won't last too, too long.  If they can't get more new crewmembers vetted/approved, then

the service will continue to erode as present crew get worn out.  I'm sure the lines are working super hard to remedy this issue.

 

I wish I could be on any deck on Oasis right now.

It might last longer then one would think. I would imagine filling the service employee roll is a never ending revolving door in Indonesia and India. The issue will be experience. Families will still happily cruise. 

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6 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

It might last longer then one would think. I would imagine filling the service employee roll is a never ending revolving door in Indonesia and India. The issue will be experience. Families will still happily cruise. 

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.

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1 hour ago, LizzyBee23 said:

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.

If you think this is an RCI specific problem you are going to be sorely dissapointed. NCL and Carnival both have annouced certain specialty restaurants across all ships will be closed till further notice. Carnival has cancelled their loyalty parties on board till further notice. NCL has moved to once per day stateroom cleaning on several ships. Staff and supply chain shortages are a reality across the world and in all industries. 

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I noticed some wait time with the dining at Playmakers due to staff shortage and of course some MTD delays.  And windjammer was a mess...

but no smaller portions at all and we had soft serve ice cream on Oasis.  

Staff turnover and yes more people created more chaos.  Eat at less popular times. Get somewhere early. 

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I criticize Royal a lot.  I don't do it just to read my own words or to be cruel.  I do it because I'm concerned.  I still and actually do believe a bad day on a cruise ship, especially a Royal Caribbean ship is much better than a good day on land or on a Brand X cruise ship.  

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2 hours ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

If you think this is an RCI specific problem you are going to be sorely dissapointed. NCL and Carnival both have annouced certain specialty restaurants across all ships will be closed till further notice. Carnival has cancelled their loyalty parties on board till further notice. NCL has moved to once per day stateroom cleaning on several ships. Staff and supply chain shortages are a reality across the world and in all industries. 

I think the key detail here is NCL, Carnival etc. has announced this publicly. Royal has not been as transparent as maybe they could be. 

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4 hours ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

If you think this is an RCI specific problem you are going to be sorely dissapointed. NCL and Carnival both have annouced certain specialty restaurants across all ships will be closed till further notice. Carnival has cancelled their loyalty parties on board till further notice. NCL has moved to once per day stateroom cleaning on several ships. Staff and supply chain shortages are a reality across the world and in all industries. 

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.

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3 hours ago, 10-42 said:

I criticize Royal a lot.  I don't do it just to read my own words or to be cruel.  I do it because I'm concerned.  I still and actually do believe a bad day on a cruise ship, especially a Royal Caribbean ship is much better than a good day on land or on a Brand X cruise ship.  

Who is this Brand X you keep mentioning, not saying, if you don't mind telling? Just out of curiosity. 

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8 minutes ago, RWDW1204 said:

Who is this Brand X you keep mentioning, not saying, if you don't mind telling?

Well, I said a long long time ago, the actual logo/brand name will never be produced by my mouth or fingers, again.  So, I'll say that they have a brand ambassador named John Heald.  I don't have any issue with him.  

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40 minutes ago, 10-42 said:

Has any of them announced a price reduction commensurate with the reduction in service, options, etc etc?  I'm guessing NONE!

 

True they have not announced price reductions but at a minimum they are using press release to let their passengers know so they can make an informed decision. Of course the situation is fluid but at least some bit of transparency from Royal would be welcomed by most I think. 

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