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November 29th was the start of our second 18 night cruise this year on IOTS. Although very large and glitzy one cannot fault the ship, the staff, ALL who are really lovely people, the food which is also excellent and beautifully served. Sometimes the food could have been hotter but given the size of the ship and the logistics of moving food about it is superb. There were some people who complained about the food or said it was 'alright'. I would like to eat in their houses for a while and see what they can offer. Must be wonderful! I am a coeliac and found plenty of choice and nothing was too much trouble for any of the waiters in any of the venues.
The staterooms are immaculate, the attendants are very particular and take honest pride in their jobs.
The Captain has a great sense of humour and commands seriously genuine respect from his staff who obviously have a real affection for him.

My overriding feelings though, on this last cruise in November, was that because of the size of the ship and the necessity to fill it to make it a viable concern, the last minute prices were dropped so low that it was impossible to keep certain standards to an acceptable level. Is it too much to ask for some people to try and make an effort and pack formal wear for only three nights out of eighteen, or that smart casual doesn't mean jeans, t-shirts and trainers?

Cruising is an excellent way for disabled people of all ages to holiday and see the sights. There was certainly an abundance of wheelchair users on this cruise. Unfortunately, not all the users were very well-mannered. One man who ran over another's foot in the lift was told to move it! Some of the wheelchair bound discovered remarkable speed and agility when in the Windjammers buffet restaurant, miraculously being able to abandon their wheelchairs in their quest for much needed sustenance!

Although we have very much enjoyed our two cruises with IOTS this year, we feel that, in view of our latest experience we will try a much smaller ship next time, perhaps with a purely cultural itinerary.
Finally, I might praise the zero tolerance policy of RCI and particularly Captain Tio. I believe a number of passengers were refused passage after certain behaviour. I applaud wholeheartedly this no nonsense approach to totally unacceptable behaviour.

positives of cruise Positives of Cruise
I have already mentioned many of the good points on IOTS. In addition I have to shout the praises of the ice skaters; the ice shows were nothing short of fantastic. Also, the standard of the singers and dancers would not be out of place in any of London's West End Theatres. Their showmanship, skills, choreography, costumes and beautiful, breathtaking sets were quite stunning. I admire anyone who can do anything I can't. The shows were not to my husband's taste but you can't please everyone all of the time and Royal Caribbean do a marvellous job of pleasing so many out of thousands of customers.
We enjoyed the comedy juggler, the wonderfully talented pianist (more concerts would have gone well judging by the number of people who attended), the hypnotist, the Beatles and the tamla motown duo very much. In January also there was a tamla motown group who were really excellent. One or two really good comedians would have completed the itinerary.

The lectures also offered a wide variety of subjects. The destinations lectures in particular were really very well delivered with the addition of a witty, dry sense of humour.
Even though we had already visited the same ports of call in January/February we still had lots to see and have ticked off lots of boxes there.

We found some peaceful, quiet areas of the ship where similarly minded people would seek each other. We have met sincere and genuinely lovely people who will become lifelong friends.
All in all well done RCI. Thank you for a lovely holiday and good memories of people from all over the world who we have had the pleasure to get to know for even just a short time.

negative of cruise Negatives of Cruise
I have mentioned a few things which I perceive to be problematic but apart from those there are one or two changes which I feel would benefit most passengers.

i. I can see the point of a no alcohol on board policy because of a few passengers who would undoubtedly fall foul but why should a few ruin it for most of us who are very responsible in every way and would just enjoy a tipple in their staterooms. After all the prices of drinks on board are quite high it must be said.
ii. At one port free buses were supplied because it was not allowed to walk through the area to town. Why then were passengers charged for transport at another port which had the same restrictions?
iii. Lastly, the question of tipping. My husband and I chose to pay up front for our tips because it took the worry out of the whole business. However, we wanted to give the tips to the people WE felt deserved extra; our cabin steward, and our waiter and assistant waiter only. We felt that the Head Waiter had done nothing special in any way for us so why should we tip him. Also the vouchers are just a waste of paper, envelopes, printing ink and valuable time. The recipients know exactly who has paid their tips especially in My Time Dining for that is the only reason you are there.

I would reccomend this cruise to others.

I think this cruise is suitable for Seniors.

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commentsAbout val kay

Date of Birth: 01/Jan/2011
Country: england
Sail Date: 01/Nov/2011

comments Ratings

Children's Facilities:N/A
Entertainment:starstarstarstarhalf star
On-board Activitiesstarstarstarstarstar
Shore Excursions:N/A
Ports of Call:starstarstarstarstar