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Noticed Changes in RCL Cruising Overall


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While our VOTS recent cruise was fabulous, noticed some disliked changes overall with our RCL experience:

 

- Popcorn at the movies: Two years ago on Brilliance, it was free! THIS time it was $5.00 for a tiny portion (it was burnt anyway);

- Dining: We think that ONE night of interrupting table conversations with family & friends "CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE" and the waiters parading about is ok....but this tirade went on almost every evening. Let them do their jobs please.....dining shouldn't be a nightly cabaret. It was a bit excessive;

- NO ALCOHOL was being sold on VOTS for some reason in the "duty free" shop; had one sales person there say they NEVER sell alcohol in a duty free shop and even argued against me, claiming we were wrong and that no RCL ships sell liquor in the store;

- PRICES in the shops were through the roof and are HIGHER than ever before. We noticed far better pricing at the duty free shops at Barcelona airport on some items they sold in the ship's store;
- No more free playing cards at the guest services desk (we've NEVER offered that but you can BUY those in the shop) oh yes you have;
- Trivia prizes: All but gone, now it's a "join the raffle" offering;
- ZERO rules effect on keeping children out of the solarium (this isn't new, but seriously, start enforcing it)

We're booked for a Baltic next summer, but we are considering trying Celebrity after this one.....but wondering if the same effect is going on there as well. BUT...overall, we had a good cruise. Anyone else noticing changes like these?

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2 minutes ago, johnjen said:

 ....

- ZERO rules effect on keeping children out of the solarium (this isn't new, but seriously, start enforcing it) ...

 

This one is news to me, they usua;;y do a fairly good job of keeping kids out of the pool and lounger area.

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Hi

 

I cringe when the waiters have to do the parading around the dining room.  It really puts me off going if it's done night after night.  Happened quite a few times on a cruise last year.  I, of course, may be wrong, but I get the feeling that a lot of the waiters don't enjoy it either.

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Didn't really notice any of these changes other than popcorn costing money, which is a petty issue imo.

 

Celebrity is an RCL brand so if you were bothered by this, it will probably bother you there.

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10 minutes ago, mattb31 said:

Didn't really notice any of these changes other than popcorn costing money, which is a petty issue imo.

 

Celebrity is an RCL brand so if you were bothered by this, it will probably bother you there.

Celebrity is a steps above RCL and little if no comparison in my opinion.  Have you sailed Celebrity?  I have sailed Princess, NCL, RCL and Celebrity.  There is no comparison.  Wish I lived close to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami so I could sail Celebrity.  RCL is ok but just not as much class.

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25 minutes ago, johnjen said:

NO ALCOHOL was being sold on VOTS for some reason in the "duty free" shop; had one sales person there say they NEVER sell alcohol in a duty free shop and even argued against me, claiming we were wrong and that no RCL ships sell liquor in the store;

If they weren’t selling alcohol, it’s because EU laws don’t allow it. Perhaps that’s what the sales person meant when saying no RCL ship sells liquor. Ran into the same thing on a Greek Island cruise on Celebrity in May. No alcohol sales the entire cruise.

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29 minutes ago, normannna said:

Hi

 

I cringe when the waiters have to do the parading around the dining room.  It really puts me off going if it's done night after night.  Happened quite a few times on a cruise last year.  I, of course, may be wrong, but I get the feeling that a lot of the waiters don't enjoy it either.

Windjammer is the answer.

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19 minutes ago, Snit13 said:

Celebrity is a steps above RCL and little if no comparison in my opinion.  Have you sailed Celebrity?  I have sailed Princess, NCL, RCL and Celebrity.  There is no comparison.  Wish I lived close to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami so I could sail Celebrity.  RCL is ok but just not as much class.

Like you we cruise then all. However,  Celebrity is getting the same as RCI. RCI owns Celebrity, so they will change and have dinne so. 

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Windjammer is not the only answer - I feel the number of parades on some ships just makes the dining experience somewhat tacky. If it bothered me too much I would switch cruise lines.  I'm entitled to my views.

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46 minutes ago, mattb31 said:

Didn't really notice any of these changes other than popcorn costing money, which is a petty issue imo.

 

Celebrity is an RCL brand so if you were bothered by this, it will probably bother you there.

I thought there was always a charge for popcorn. Not 100% sure as I have never had any.

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I also think the parading is odd, and don't really care for it. I'm okay with them doing it during dinner on the first night and singing songs on the last night. More than that is just crazy overkill.

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4 minutes ago, molsonschooner said:

I thought there was always a charge for popcorn. Not 100% sure as I have never had any.

 

That was our experience too, we've never seen "free" popcorn.  However, this is the kind of thing that can vary ship to ship.

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IMHO Celebrity does have a different vibe to RCL.  And is a step above, certainly food wise.  The food in the MDR on the Grandeur a couple of weeks was the worst we have experienced in 15 cruises.  I was surprised at the announcements for the pay brunch but in all fairness we did not experience any pressure to try speciality dining. 

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52 minutes ago, Snit13 said:

Celebrity is a steps above RCL and little if no comparison in my opinion.  Have you sailed Celebrity?  I have sailed Princess, NCL, RCL and Celebrity.  There is no comparison.  Wish I lived close to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami so I could sail Celebrity.  RCL is ok but just not as much class.

 

I've sailed Celebrity, yes, and most of the things mentioned were the same, it doesn't have anything to do with the ships being more upscale. There was still the dining room "parties" etc, the trivia prizes were no more than like pens or pencils, the shops were super expensive, and there wasn't much enforcement on the deck regarding chairs or kids in the solarium.

 

I actually thought RCL did a way better job of keeping kids out of the solarium than Celebrity did.

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46 minutes ago, blackshirt said:

If they weren’t selling alcohol, it’s because EU laws don’t allow it. Perhaps that’s what the sales person meant when saying no RCL ship sells liquor. Ran into the same thing on a Greek Island cruise on Celebrity in May. No alcohol sales the entire cruise.

Perhaps this happened recently; don't really know, but on Brilliance two years back on the same med cruise they were selling.

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1 hour ago, normannna said:

Hi

 

I cringe when the waiters have to do the parading around the dining room.  It really puts me off going if it's done night after night.  Happened quite a few times on a cruise last year.  I, of course, may be wrong, but I get the feeling that a lot of the waiters don't enjoy it either.

LOL...I did catch a couple of them rolling their eyes as in "here we go again".....even the guests....let's everybody get out of their table conversations so we can all swing our napkins violently around our heads.

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36 minutes ago, normannna said:

Windjammer is not the only answer - I feel the number of parades on some ships just makes the dining experience somewhat tacky. If it bothered me too much I would switch cruise lines.  I'm entitled to my views.

"Tacky" is a precise description, Normananna! 

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We just returned from a Baltic cruise with Royal Caribbean and there was no parading or singing in the dining room.

 

They were enforcing no children in the solarium.  I felt bad for the few kids on board as it was too cold to spend much time in the pools until the last couple of days.

 

It was too cold to watch movies outside so I am not sure if popcorn was available.

 

They had alcohol in the shops but I did not pay attention to the prices.  My luggage is heavy enough.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Host Clarea said:

 

That has been the answer for us too.  Quieter, less hectic, more variety.

 

1 hour ago, mugtech said:

Windjammer is the answer.

 

Was on Anthem for a 9 night last week.  Didn't set foot in the MDR.  But I saw the daily menus.  80%+ of the food served in the MDR was served in the Windjammer.  Just missed out on Lobster and I guess a filet.  I didn't feel like I was missing much, because in the past the MDR has not done a good job preparing those anyway....at least for a fancier dining experience.  Also, drink service was much better since I could do it myself and even the people walking around would take drink orders faster. 

 

There was only one parade and that was done during breakfast.  Nothing at dinner.  

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4 minutes ago, robandana said:

We recently sailed the Explorer out of Southampton and did the Norwegian Fiords (So all EU) they had Duty Free alcohol aboard...got a couple of great deals too. 

Norway is not in the EU.

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