No more cruising for a while.

#41
Oakland Park, Fl
14,188 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by vacationers
They have a new policy now at the dining room that you order all at once and have to leave right away.
Did someone actually say this to you?
#42
Michigan
7,522 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by vacationers
Diamond Plus member have no benefits .
Really? You didn't get your 250.00 balcony discount or free cocktails?
#43
Rhode Island, U.S.A.
24,535 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by vacationers
Dont feel bad. You are not alone. Just got off the FReedom and experience the same thing.
Freedom seems to be taking a bit of a beating on these boards lately.
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#44
Haymarket, Virginia
641 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
You might want to up the price you are paying. If you cruise on Celebrity, go in Aqua Class. There is a special dining room for breakfast and dinner that is one of the perks of upgrading. The dining room seats less than 100 and the wine and bar service was excellent. There were special menus and the opportunity to order exactly what was served in the MDR> Sailing in Aqua Class made the entire cruise experience much more pleasant. We also had a similar experience sailing on Princess in their upgraded mini-suite which includes dining in a designated area of the dining room. We dined whenever we wished and had the same waiters each time. The experience was just as wonderful as it was 20 years ago. We are sailing on the Allure with our family next June. I am aware that we will not be receiving the same type of service we received when we upgraded on Celebrity & Princess. If you want to try RCC, you might consider upgrading to a Grand Suite. We are booked in that suite for our June sailing. It does include a special dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner which I hear is really nice. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to have everyone stay in that suite, so we won't get to try the special dining room as it is just for suite passengers.
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Nashna
#45
West Des Moines, IA
1,262 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
For all those saying to go to a much higher priced line, not sure that would do it. You could sail in either a star class, and get much better service (and access to coastal kitchen on ships with it), or do a lesser room and do the UDP for much less than most of the higher priced lines. With either of these, you would get much closer to what you are looking for, at least for the food and service. If dress code is the main thing, then yes, you will probably have to go to much smaller, much more expensive ship as that is just not what the majority seem to want these days.
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#46
Basingstoke
1,277 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
I miss the more sophisticated dinning experience which I believe came with more experienced waiters and higher standards.

I did use to think that the dinning experience on RCI was superior to other lines. No longer the case and I have adapted. Something I can live with, not a deal breaker.

If I really want an enhanced experience, I splash out on a suite. Costs a lot more but then you get what you pay for.

I might miss somethings but I am still happy with what they offer.
#47
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by Don Pedro
I doubt another cruise line is the solution. We as a society have changed and the cruise lines merely adapt. A significant number of people don't want to dress up for dinner, not even at a fancy restaurant. For a primer on how cruising used to be take a trip on the Empress and even after an extensive dry dock see how small the rooms are. I sure remember the days of the thin well-worn mattresses and don't honestly remember the food as being so great.
In many ways you are right that as a society we have changed and therefore our travel logs have changed as well. I can accept change, it happens all the time in corporations and what they offer. But overall the cruising experience for US, is still a great way to vacation. What disappoints me personally is how crude and rude too many cruisers have become, and unfortunately this is also reflective in how our society has changed. It isn't just the poor etiquette at elevators or the chair hogs at the pool or the lack of manners at dinner, it is in so many other areas. Pushing and shoving to arguing with a crew/staff member about something that the crew/staff member has no oversight ability on. I watched a cruiser argue with a member of the gym staff over a class schedule and the cruiser would not back off. The cruise line keeps the same schedule of classes on 'at sea' days....but the cruiser would not accept the fact that perhaps she had picked up the wrong clipboard when signing up for the class. The cruiser literally was pointing her finger right at the staff members nose.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

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#48
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by rukkian
For all those saying to go to a much higher priced line, not sure that would do it. You could sail in either a star class, and get much better service (and access to coastal kitchen on ships with it), or do a lesser room and do the UDP for much less than most of the higher priced lines. With either of these, you would get much closer to what you are looking for, at least for the food and service. If dress code is the main thing, then yes, you will probably have to go to much smaller, much more expensive ship as that is just not what the majority seem to want these days.
What is UDP? I don't understand the acronym.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

Upcoming is Mariner of the Seas in 11-18 (B2B) and Symphony in 2-19.





#49
DE
609 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
There is a Huge difference between the Harmony and any cruise ship that was around 20 years ago. By size it probably 3 times bigger than any ship that was around back then. Today's large ships are about a lot of entertainment for a lot of passengers.
If you want a more personal experience like in the past I think you are going to have to stay away from Royal, Norwegian and Carnival and stick with the smaller operators.
#50
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by yuvraj
I miss the more sophisticated dinning experience which I believe came with more experienced waiters and higher standards.

I did use to think that the dinning experience on RCI was superior to other lines. No longer the case and I have adapted. Something I can live with, not a deal breaker.

If I really want an enhanced experience, I splash out on a suite. Costs a lot more but then you get what you pay for.

I might miss somethings but I am still happy with what they offer.
Do I miss the French Service, in the dining room, of my first few cruises? Yes a little bit. But I have had very experienced waiters along with newbies that have provided excellent service many times....sometimes not so....I have also taken the time, during those first few days to explain to my wait staff what I wanted and expected....and viola usually got it. We have only twice splurged on a suite and both times for the larger cabin -- on neither sailing would it have given us a different dining experience (not available on either ship).

Although the cabin attendant staff has shrunk and cabin attendants have more rooms to attend to than in our early years of cruising, the schedule they have to handle their assignments has made for a better experience for us. I do like when I have a business card from my cabin attendant and if I need something, I call them and leave a message. It works much better than having to find them or leave a note in the cabin.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

Upcoming is Mariner of the Seas in 11-18 (B2B) and Symphony in 2-19.





#51
West Des Moines, IA
1,262 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Paulette3028
What is UDP? I don't understand the acronym.
Ultimate Dining Package. Lets you dine in specialty all week for one price. For ours it is $168. Much cheaper than the difference to switch to a suite or an expensive line. We don't do it because we are fine with the included options, but if better service and better food is the main gripe (not sure it is), then that might be a great way to get at least closer to what you were missing.
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#52
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by fred30
There is a Huge difference between the Harmony and any cruise ship that was around 20 years ago. By size it probably 3 times bigger than any ship that was around back then. Today's large ships are about a lot of entertainment for a lot of passengers.
If you want a more personal experience like in the past I think you are going to have to stay away from Royal, Norwegian and Carnival and stick with the smaller operators.
A dear friend of ours just went on a two week Viking Ocean cruise to experience what they had to offer....much smaller ship, 900 or so passengers. It did a very nice Southern Caribbean itinerary going into the Panama Canal (not all the way through). The food she did admit was marvelous. No menu was repeated over the two week timespan. They managed to cater to her food desires, which is for NOT very spicey or exotic food, yet not just hamburgers or chicken cutlets either. So she was happy. Soft evening entertainment is how she described it (but she did say, that me and my DH would probably have been bored in the evenings), interesting lectures during the at sea days and lots of leisure time.

After chatting with her.....I can say, it will be a few years until we venture on that kind of cruise. We are in our mid 60's, but we want and like the 'high energy nighttime' of Royal.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

Upcoming is Mariner of the Seas in 11-18 (B2B) and Symphony in 2-19.





#53
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by rukkian
Ultimate Dining Package. Lets you dine in specialty all week for one price. For ours it is $168. Much cheaper than the difference to switch to a suite or an expensive line. We don't do it because we are fine with the included options, but if better service and better food is the main gripe (not sure it is), then that might be a great way to get at least closer to what you were missing.
Thanks for the explanation.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

Upcoming is Mariner of the Seas in 11-18 (B2B) and Symphony in 2-19.





#54
Cocoa Beach, FL
24,439 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
Freedom seems to be taking a bit of a beating on these boards lately.
Not as much as Oasis

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#55
A2, MI
3,316 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by Paulette3028
Our cruising life began 14 years ago, in 2004. By 2010, the dining experiences had changed greatly on Royal. Gone was the French Service. Gone was the attention to detail by many of the wait staff -- remembering what drink each cruiser would order and have it at their setting when you arrived or how you liked your coffee or tea, night after night. Gone were the chocolate mints on your pillow each night.

Things have changed....but so have things for the better (IMO) with more things to do and greater choices of entertainment across the cruise line. Some ships offer a Broadway show that you can enjoy, or waterslides. It is about choices....so for for us, with all the changes that can be looked at as 'I wish these things hadn't changed' to those other changes 'that make it more interesting for us to cruise with Royal' we stay loyal to Royal.

What I can say has also changed and not necessarily for the better......cruisers have changed. More rude and nasty cruisers who almost pick arguments with staff over things that the staff member has no control over --- but those people do the same thing at restaurants or other places when they are at home. SAD to say.
We started cruising in 2001. And I have no idea what you mean about "French Service".

The biggest change to me over dining is the fact that there is less waste- the servers are far, far, far less to give you what you didn't ask for just for the sake of doing it. I hate that.

But I don't recall our dining on the Monarch all that spectacular. It was ok, but not great. Since that was my measuring stick, it's been better since the pretty much all the time. IMHO, the biggest complaint about the dining can be traced to people just not liking the options they are giving you. Otherwise, the food has been good- heck, even the beef has gotten to the point that it's been chewable in the past few cruises.

Also, food wise- the midnight waste, I mean buffet was always a classic. But it is so very, very wasteful. I'd far rather then spend money on a licence for a Broadway show than to keep putting food out that nobody eats.

I agree that cruising has changed, but we still fit. And we still have a great time on Royal- good enough to not really consider changing lines. We'll make it to Pinnacle, and we don't live anywhere near a port. And I see that we are not paying that much more for a cabin as we did 10-15 years ago, let alone when we started in 2001. And that price is way better than it was in the 80's.

For those of you who hate it- that's fine with me. The sooner you move on the better. If enough people leave, prices will drop, and we will have a better chance to be top cruiser on a ship.
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"quite a few" Cruises so far, all on Royal Caribbean. Yea, we are loyal to Royal...

Our first was on the Monarch, and we were on her last RCCL...

More to come. Being cruise nerds is fun.
#56
183 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I'm right there with you. I'll still dress that way regardless - haven't gotten too lazy to do it. I work for a fortune 500 company (we are also on pretty much every fortune list there is) and I wear slacks and a nice shirt. I'd say that puts me in the top 25% as far as how I dress. That's unfortunate.

I haven't been on Royal in 11 years, and my family that I'm going with on the Symphony haven't been on RC in 16 years, so this is not what I'm wanting to hear. The after dinner drinks were awesome. I hope the cruise experience at its core is still there.

Originally posted by CruisingNole
I like to consider myself young, I'm 35, and one of the things we LIKE about RC are the formal nights. That's right, born in the 1980's, and we LIKE to dress up! You are absolutely correct that society has gotten lazy. We think it's nice to have an excuse to dress up now and then and be around others who are as well. Not to mention, it makes for great photo opportunities.

We're both business professionals and things have gotten so lax in the corporate world that I've seen people wear clothes to the office that I would deem unacceptable for the RC dining room (if I could enforce a dress code).
#57
Margate, Florida
6,921 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by alfaeric
We started cruising in 2001. And I have no idea what you mean about "French Service".

The biggest change to me over dining is the fact that there is less waste- the servers are far, far, far less to give you what you didn't ask for just for the sake of doing it. I hate that.

But I don't recall our dining on the Monarch all that spectacular. It was ok, but not great. Since that was my measuring stick, it's been better since the pretty much all the time. IMHO, the biggest complaint about the dining can be traced to people just not liking the options they are giving you. Otherwise, the food has been good- heck, even the beef has gotten to the point that it's been chewable in the past few cruises.

Also, food wise- the midnight waste, I mean buffet was always a classic. But it is so very, very wasteful. I'd far rather then spend money on a licence for a Broadway show than to keep putting food out that nobody eats.

I agree that cruising has changed, but we still fit. And we still have a great time on Royal- good enough to not really consider changing lines. We'll make it to Pinnacle, and we don't live anywhere near a port. And I see that we are not paying that much more for a cabin as we did 10-15 years ago, let alone when we started in 2001. And that price is way better than it was in the 80's.

For those of you who hate it- that's fine with me. The sooner you move on the better. If enough people leave, prices will drop, and we will have a better chance to be top cruiser on a ship.
When I mentioned French Service, that is a style of waiter service, when they are wearing white gloves and keep refolding your napkin every time you get up from your chair (if you leave to go to the restroom, for example), constantly changing plates when they bring the next course, taking out the lobster meat from the tail for you or removing the shrimp from the shell for you. It is a very 'labor intensive' type of service, and when they did away with it, were able to reduce the number of wait staff.

I absolutely share your feelings about the wastefulness of the midnight buffet. As a stockholder, I share your feeling that putting that money into the entertainment cost of licensing or developing their own shows, as the example of "Columbus the Musical' which is shown on Harmony are a better spend.

Royal has managed to continue to give us a great vacation and we see no reason to change. It is highly unlikely that we will ever make it to Pinnacle, but we are only a few cruises away from D+....and have enjoyed all the cruising it has taken to get us there.
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Just completed our 24th sailing......12 on Her Majesty, 3 on Navigator, 2 on Allure, also sailed on Liberty, Indy and Freedom, Enchantment, Jewel, Empress, and Harmony.

Upcoming is Mariner of the Seas in 11-18 (B2B) and Symphony in 2-19.





#58
Maple Ridge, BC
4,421 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by rukkian
For all those saying to go to a much higher priced line, not sure that would do it.
I'll let you know.... I'm on Oceania for the first time in 2 weeks in a penthouse suite. The per diem for this exclusive 12 day Tahiti-French Polynesia cruise with all the luxuries of yesteryear, free alcohol, free grats, free specialty, free room service, etc etc. is less than the per diem on Harmony in a GS.
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#59
West Des Moines, IA
1,262 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Hoopster95
I'll let you know.... I'm on Oceania for the first time in 2 weeks in a penthouse suite. The per diem for this exclusive 12 day Tahiti-French Polynesia cruise with all the luxuries of yesteryear, free alcohol, free grats, free specialty, free room service, etc etc. is less than the per diem on Harmony in a GS.
Not sure what you mean by per diem, isn't that what you are reimbursed by a company?

My point was that the op wanted the service of many years ago without paying for specialty restaurants. While that may be true on Oceania, you will pay way more than a regular room on a main stream line, even if you go to specialty every single night.



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#60
Toronto
119 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Two quick suggestions. If you’d like to be on a cruise where people dress up more, then cruise in Europe or Middle East. Truth is most North Americans are very casual and Europeans dress better. Also, try to book specialty restaurants, you’ll get better food and service.
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