Written on: 28/05/2006 by Katherina T (1 review written)
Service. Dining room, room attendant and room service.
Monarch of the Seas
San Diego, Catalina, Ensenada
I have just returned from a last minute getaway cruise (stateroom 2000) that was perfect, save for one negative experience.
My husband purchased this 4 day BIRTHDAY getaway for just me and our 2 kids. His new job has no vacation time in 2006.
I did similar cruises on the Serenade, and also Ecstasy a couple years back. This exceeds both by far.
Let me start by saying that my waiter and his assistant from the Philippines were the gem of the cruise. They were so pleasant, and solicitous of me and the kids. The presentation of the food in Vincent's dining room was the best I have seen to date. The menu included things like watermelon and pear gazpacho, lamb, duck, escargot, fillet, tiger prawns, and incredible deserts. Multiple entrees were cheerfully brought to us. Every night our waiter told us what was going on the ship that evening, and then what we could expect the following day. A perfect experience. These two GENTLEMEN are a credit to Royal Caribbean.
I have to admit that I was a little nervous about traveling without my husband, and I feared I might be lonely. I'm not really the party type, but I had two very nice conversations with ship members; one a Hindu from India, and another was a coffee room server (surfer) from South Africa that I spoke to while drinking coffee trying to stay awake for the chocolate midnight buffet(worth staying up for).
My room attendant was always in the room, and always had ice in the ice bucket, fresh towels and towel animals for the kids.
I must mention the first night I got separated from my kids, and I panicked after not finding them for over 15 minutes. I went to Guest relations and security was notified, and my kids were brought to the front desk within 2 minutes. The young lady who assisted me at guest relations was very poised and professional.
Wednesday (to my son's delight) in the Sound of Music room they had a teenage gymnastic dance troupe from Calgary. These young ladies were charming, and this should have been advertised more on the loudspeaker.
Now for the only blemish on my cruise. Thursday, the final day of the cruise; I was going to stay on-board as I did not want to take the kids into Mexico by myself. I thought it would perfect to do a spa treatment(cut prices in port), pack, let the kids rock climb, and read. I took the kids over to the rock wall and encountered a very curt, disinterested and unhelpful attendant. She advised that it was too late to climb. I noted that people were still climbing, and it was still 10 minutes before they closed. I asked if they ever had any cancellations so we could wait, and she said "no", that I would have to return at 4 to sign up later. I sat down with the kids who were quite upset and promised we would return. She and the crew then closed up the station as we watched and left. I thought about her manner and attitude for some time, and I believed that Royal Caribbean would never like this kind of attitude shown to their customers. I went to the guest relations desk and told the empathetic desk clerk what had just occurred. He was very surprised, and immediately got the supervisor on the phone. He said he would call me in the afternoon. At 4:00 I returned to the rock climbing wall and attempted to sign my daughter up again. As my daughter was wearing shorts and no socks, I was again denied service by the same woman. Unfortunately, I had already packed and no longer had access to any socks. It would have been nice if she initially said socks were needed that morning, then I could have had a chance to do something about it. Now I was angry. I left and informed the same clerk of the second refusal. The supervisor called a couple of hours later and apologized. MY KIDS NEVER DID GET TO CLIMB. I was still angry and I ordered room service, and I didn't go to the final dinner and made my apologies to my waiter and his assistant, who could tell I was upset, but professionally they did not pry. I believe this unpleasant woman does not represent Royal Caribbean ideals or their commitment to excellence. I believe she has no concept of what the meaning of good customer service is, and that it is a large part of her job description. Further she failed miserably in providing access to a service that sets Royal Caribbean apart from Princess.
Will I cruise again with Royal Caribbean next year to Alaska? Or Princess? Good Question. It sure would not be decided on access to a Rock wall. Rules and schedules should be posted so passengers are not sent away dismayed, and I recommend they put it on their closed circuit TV to educate their customers.
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