Health hazards & terrible maintenance on Pool Deck 9.
FLORIDA -- We went on a 4 night western Caribbean cruise in July 2007. We spent majority of our time on Pool Deck 9 in WindJammers (the buffet) outside seating area which was also the designated smoking section. These 20+ table were always packed with smokers & non-smokers alike since it was the closest outside area to the buffet & yet the most neglected. Morning, noon & night you could never find a clean table. Starting with the very 1st buffet lunch, hours before the ship ever left port, these tables were piled high with dirty dishes, drinks & overflowing ashtrays with rotting food thrown in & literally left in that condition for 4 solid days/nights. Dirty breakfast dishes were still there through lunch, lunch dishes were still be there through dinner, one previous nights pool party with mountains of beer bottles, cocktails & rotting food were still their through breakfast. People would just shove the dirty dishes aside, add their own which would again sit there endlessly. Even when the ship was empty for 8+ hours when docked for island excursion. What was rotting out in 90+ degree heat in the a.m.'s were still sitting there in the p.m.'s, including overflowing ashtrays. Was there crew working in this area....YES. The number of times we saw them actually clear a table in those 4+ days, less than 5. How many times did they actually wipe down a table after clearing it....zero. Not once during this entire cruise did we see them wipe a table down with a dry cloth, much less with any type of cleaner. Layers of crumbs, rotting hardened food, spilled liquids & ashes were just left there. We noticed 5 ceiling fans mounted, we assumed because this area had little to no air flow, but also due to being the smoking section. 5 out of 5 fans didn't work. 2 fans were missing all the blades & the other 3 were dead, it was apparent these fans hadn't been working in a long time. So sitting in this area with no air flo in 90+ degrees was like sitting in a sauna which means these tables & chairs were also coated with layers of sweat as well. We initially tried to give them the benefit of doubt, possibly a new crew in training & they were trying to learn their jobs, while watching for 4 days not only crew, but officers turn a blinds eye to the unsanitary & appalling conditions. The 4th night of the cruise we complained to one of the managers inside the WindJammer buffet, describing the conditions we saw & asked who is responsible for cleaning that area. They stated that area has a history of being ignored, the 2 departments responsible, either the overnight cleaning crew or the pool crew, claim its not their area.
There's a history here???? Translation: Royal Caribbean &/or the crew on the Enchantment of the Seas are very aware of the deplorable & unsanitary conditions & instead of monitoring this area closer, if not for the comfort of their guest, then at very least the health hazards, they instead knowingly allow people, who had spent thousands of dollars, to sit in this nasty, filthy, appalling area. After complaining to the manager, the last morning of the cruise, we were happy to see that all the tables were finally cleared of all debris, with the exception of one, yet upon closer inspection, still none of the tables had been wiped down, they were still layered with 4 days of crumbs, dried food, spilled liquids & ashes.
Could not find a table ashtray anywhere. The floor ashtrays had finally been somewhat emptied yet the rotting food was left. Selecting the least grungy table, sat down & immediately stuck to the table & chairs, they were still a stick mess. It was beyond repulsive. We could not wait to exit that ship.
Though other areas on the ship seemed to be well maintained & clean, while other areas were neglected, it just reached a point where you didn't want to touch handrails or casino machines because you just were sure the last time anything had been sanitized.
Three large sliding glass doors connecting the WindJammer Buffet directly to the outside seating area were both broken & couldn't be used. Not convenient while juggling plates & glasses. All exterior windows in the WindJammer dining room & on the pool deck were beyond filthy inside & out, including our cabin's porthole windows. It was not just a little ocean spray, these window hadn't been cleaned in forever. Very disappointing.
The breakfast buffet was excellent. The lunch & dinner buffets were barely mediocre & the selections were limited. There was supposed to be early bird coffee available from 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. again on pool deck 9. One coffee maker was broke 3 of of 4 mornings. The small room right around the corner which was supposed to offer a continental breakfast at 6:00 a.m. had a sign on the door the entire cruise that read: This room closed. Sorry for the inconvenience. So if you wanted coffee before 7:00 a.m. you were out of luck.
Organization & planning seemed to be a major issue with this crew. The maintenance crew, instead of power washing the pool deck overnight or early morning when most people aren't roaming around the ship, they chose 9:30 a.m., when the pool deck is becoming very crowded, to start roping off areas & power wash. Of the 5 maintenance guys standing there, 2 worked while 3 just stood there watching. If they were looking for something to do, we could have easily pointed out some drastically needs ceilings fan & coffee machines that needed service. Instead of attempting to fix the coffee machines, they just hung a sign up saying cleaning in progress.
Many people were not pleased with this cruise. We heard grumblings everywhere. Needless to say, we will never go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. We'll stick with Norwegian. They take pride in their ships & bend over backwards for there guests comfort.
One positive though: The beds were comfortable. Now if only they could find some windex.