Just got back from my first cruise in a long while (other two were RCL, Granduer and Explorer) and the wait times for almost all services were terrible. I don't think I went from "I want a drink" to having a drink in my hand in less than ten minutes with many times being 15 or more. I'm talking showing up early for trivia and not getting back to my group until question 9. MDR service had one good experience, every other time it was like once they got my order I didn't exist anymore. Wandering servers were few and far between and getting one to actually take a drink order required way more than the usual quick eye contact or arm up gesture. MDR server just ignored my app request and brought me overcooked prime rib (which still wasn't bad).
I had the drink package and maxed it out two out of three days, granted both days I gave a few drinks to my bro in law or sister because I just didn't like the drink or changed my mind after ordering. But The second time I had given away one drink and was told at 330p I had used my last drink. I'd woken up at 9. If I had had that many drinks I'd have been plastered and falling over and with my waiting...I'd also have been in line for more than half of the total time I'd been awake. Annoyingly, there was no way to prove I'd drank my drinks because I'm a normal person and don't keep my receipts but going through the sail app saw one Mich Ultra that I KNOW I didn't drink. I was willing to accept that they just hit the wrong button. But going through the app it almost looked like they were counting sodas and my one coffee drink (poor gf was frozen solid) was counted against me. I thought juices were included but could never find them at the buffet.
My steward was cool. He made a penguin when I asked him to 🙂 gf was super surprised and it made me look awesome haha
Food lines...dear lord. Pizza...didn't even bother half the time. Burgers and Mexican? I had each once because of all the times I walked by there were only the two times that I wouldn't have had to wait with 25 people. And the time I did wait for Mexican when it was my turn the guy behind the glass decided to walk off to restock the entire thing...I worked restaurants in my youth...where's their guy for that? Who just looks the next person in line in the face and walks away? Same happened repeatedly for drinks. Drinks...it's a cruise. People drink A LOT of frozen drinks. Why are there NO frozen drink machines? Why isn't the bartender yelling "anyone else for a Miami Vice?" and then making five at a time? Or the Alchemy bar having two bartenders...each drink is a work of art...staff it appropriately. Mmmm blue cheese stuffed olives 😄 and then the bartender there took five orders and made them all in some weird order where I got my dirty vodka martini last. When I bartended service bar, I took my chits and prioritized appropriately.
OOOOH let'ts not forget the time we joined my bro in law and sister in the MDR for breakfast. They had already had their food when we sat down. After waiting and waiting and having servers walk by me a dozen times I literally stood up and flagged someone down...still didn't help. Someone else walked over, started to take my order then said "hold on" and walked away. Like really?
I thought Pig and Anchor was REALLY good...but I'm easy to please when it comes to smoked meat. I was bummed it was only open for 2.5 hours on sea days only. But I get that, can't really prep it...have to make it then sell what you have. The Blue Iguana and Guy's Burger Joint were both really good! Like really really good. One of those should be open 24 hours a day too!
Was totally unprepared for the culture shock of no straws. Even though we all brought tumblers with straws it was kind of scary how expectant you really get to see a straw. Not complaining about it, it was just weird and kind of made me mad at myself for how reliant on straws I am. The sugar straws for frozen drinks were a nice touch as were the noodles subbed in for olive stabbers. I liked the lack of straws.
I was surprised that with everything going on, Norovirus, flu, covid19, there wasn't anyone enforcing handwashing before common dining areas. Maybe I missed the literature that says it doesn't help?
I know this sounds like the rambling of a man who's impossible to please but I'm really actually very easy to please. Like bordering on simple and easily entertained by a shiny red ball easy to please. So I guess my question boils down to is this pretty standard or did we just get a crap roll on this trip? I know Dream is consistently rated highly but my experience was not one of a consistently good staff. The hilarious anecdote to sum it up on was that our last dinner was the best service and after saying something to my sister she said "that's funny because I could see when we sat down that the server was having an obviously bad day and was pissed at someone about something."