First Royal Caribbean cruise
Having seen lots of Royal Caribbean adverts over the years and been wowed by the facilities and things to do onboard, I couldn’t wait for this holiday! I know there are a lot of very loyal cruisers to Royal Caribbean and Indy if you’re British and I wanted to love it, I really did, but I came home very underwhelmed. As a company I think they’re brilliant. The service is the best we’ve had on a cruise, the staff really are fantastic. The embarkation and disembarkation are Southampton was brilliant, completely flawless. Paying for the drinks package is also a winner for me. No hassle, get a drink anywhere you like, not worrying about costs etc. I would definitely recommend doing that. A lot of money has been spent upgrading facilities on the ship but this wasn’t extended to the cabins and they really do need a makeover. Very tired and dated but equally very clean and comfy bed. Meals were a bit of a let down. Some nights there would be only one thing on the menu that I fancied eating, that’s never happened to me before! Most of the time the food was nice but there was one night I didn’t like it much at all. I was with a large group and quite a few people said that about the food at different times. I quite enjoyed the variety in the buffet and that was normally really nice. Entertainment was where I really expected to be wowed. And I wasn’t. Grease was fabulous, highly rate that, but some of the other shows were dire. I didn’t bother going to quite a few of them! I thought there would be more of a presence certainly during the day of an entertainment team but you rarely saw anyone except the guy in charge would float about and filmed things for the in cabin TVs. I think this was the biggest shock for me was the entertainment side for sure. There were times when my husband and I and our teenage boys couldn’t find anything we fancied doing and we sat in the sports bar and played cards that we had brought! Unfortunately we had quite a few days of bad weather which meant no one was outside so as a result 3000 odd people are trying to find indoor things to do. The promenade would get very very crowded. There would be no seats at the pub quiz if you didn’t go 45 minutes early. We didn’t get to see the ice show at all as both times it was on the queue to get in was right through the art gallery an hour before the start time. I heard it was excellent though! All in all I have mixed feelings about this holiday. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. Would I cruise Royal Caribbean again? Probably. But unlikely the independence.
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