For forty-six (46) years, Royal Caribbean has been WOWing its passengers in a wide variety of ways. From its top notch entertainment, to unmatched on board service, to its energetic on board atmosphere, Royal Caribbean has done it all. This November 2014, Royal Caribbean launched its brand new vessel, Quantum of The Seas. The Quantum of The Seas, at 167,00 gross tons and carrying a maximum of 4,900 passengers, boasts the title of being “The World’s First Ever Smart Ship”. The Quantum of The Seas features the North Star, simulated skydiving (a.k.a Ripcord by I-Fly), and the Broadway musical “Mama Mia!”. In addition, Royal Caribbean has introduced a new on board dining concept called Dynamic Dining. This dining concept has been subject to endless flack by Royal Caribbean’s loyal passengers. After just four revenue cruises, Dynamic Dining has been tremendously disliked by passengers. It has Royal Caribbean looking not so “Smart” after all. Here are a handful of reasons why.
3) Cut backs in dining staff: Royal Caribbean has made a number of unnecessary changes in the building of their brand new ship and their on board dining tradition. The worst change Royal Caribbean made was eliminating the main dining room on board the Quantum of The Seas. Gone is My Time dining, which passengers were able to choose when they wished to eat in the main dining room. With Dynamic Dining, the passengers have to make reservations to eat in any of four (4) complimentary restaurants; CHIC, American Icon Grill, Silk (Asian), and The Grande (formal dress code required). Sounds interesting, right? Cruisers ought to think again. The reduction of staff is one of the reasons why this new dining concept is malfunctioning so badly. Aboard other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, each waiter has an assistant and a sommelier. Now, the waiters have barely any help at all. Each waiter is given a runner but more tables to work. Instead of working one (1) table, they are working five (5) tables at the most. At the same time, passengers are being forced to wait longer for their food. It is not just for their entrees, but all three (3) courses. It is absolutely unfair for the passengers to pay good money to wait a long time to be served. The quality of service has without a doubt dropped considerably.
2) Lacking of choices: Of course passengers like to have plenty of choices of what kind of food they wish to enjoy while on a cruise vacation. But, Royal Caribbean has given its loyal passengers little to no choice at all. American Icon Grill features well-known dishes from around the United States. Silk features dishes from around the Asian continent. CHIC features a variety of dishes of an upscale and elegant style from a wide variety of countries. The Grande is the formal restaurant serving up the finest of dishes which avid cruisers enjoy all the time. Those dishes include Filet Mignon, lobster, etc. The problem lies with the cut back in dining staff. Tables are not readied as fast as they used to in the main dining room. Passengers are left with no choice but to wait in a long line outside. The lines get so long they stretch down the hallway and around the corner. Sounds ludicrous, right?
Each and every night, passengers are forced to wait more than an hour to be seated. The wait times get so long that passengers get extremely agitated. They get so agitated in fact that they wind up trying to get a table at a restaurant they have no desire to eat at. As an alternative, passengers choose to go upstairs to the Windjammer Marketplace. The Windjammer Marketplace is Royal Caribbean’s on board buffet. However, it’s looks totally absurd to see passengers eating at a buffet while dressed in a formal suit, tuxedo, or evening gown. In the very worst case, passengers would have to attempt to have dinner at one of the specialty restaurants on board, such as Chops Grille, Jaime’s Italian, or Michael’s Genuine Pub. Each of those restaurants require passengers to pay a cover charge. Royal Caribbean, for sure, is giving the term “dynamic” a totally different definition.
1) Poor schedule synchronization: Along with the dining debacle, comes the passengers’ show reservations. This is where Dynamic Dining makes passengers’ evening plans implode. Aboard ship, there are shows that require reservations. If the passengers have reservations to see the evening showing of “Mama Mia!”, they have no choice but to play Russian Roulette. Being able to make their reserved show time depends on whether they can get into their restaurant of choice on time. As of yet, little has that happened. Many passengers have had to miss their shows, whether it is a headliner show or a guest entertainer. At other times, passengers choose to skip dinner totally. They already know they are going to be standing on a never-ending line and unlikely ever to be seated. In that case, passengers have to wait to have dinner at the Windjammer Marketplace after seeing a show. It is frankly inexcusable for passengers to have to reorganize their evening plans because of a dining concept not living up to its purpose. It is highly obvious that Dynamic Dining is not living up to the hype as Royal Caribbean had predicted.
A Royal Caribbean cruise vacation is supposed to be fun. A Royal Caribbean cruise is supposed to be filled with fond memories and moments to share with friends and family back home. Ultimately, a Royal Caribbean cruise is supposed to feature new experiences for cruisers to ENJOY. In the case of the Quantum of The Seas, Dynamic Dining undermines all the great achievements which Royal Caribbean has made to WOW its loyal cruisers. Truthfully, Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining is an utter disgrace. Eliminating the main dining room all together is the biggest mistake they have ever made in their forty-six (46) year history.
Royal Caribbean should re-engineer or reconsider Dynamic Dining. Royal Caribbean thought they could cut corners in order to make this new dining concept work. Well, they’re one hundred percent (100%) wrong. Cutting back on the dining staff, giving passengers little to no choices, and poorly synchronizing with entertainment makes Dynamic Dining the worst experience Royal Caribbean passengers have ever had to date. Royal Caribbean has plans to install Dynamic Dining aboard the Oasis and Allure of The Seas. Both ships hold six thousand (6000) passengers. Six thousand (6000) passengers don’t deserve to run around like headless chickens wondering where they’re going to be eating at night. Those plans have not been finalized. Avid Royal Caribbean cruisers should say a prayer and hope that this insult of a dining concept stays off their ships. If Royal Caribbean wants to upset its most loyal of cruisers, they should have built a separate ship named the “Mediocrity” of The Seas.