The good news is that they are back to doing shortened versions of what is supposed to be the final show, so the two-week delay of the main show, Oasis of Dreams" because of missing spare parts is no longer a problem - the parts of the show that would have been affected have been taken out of the show.
The bad news is that the "fun" AquaTheater show called "Splish-Splash" has now been postponed until some time in March for technical reasons. So, instead of two full shows all they have is one partial show.
This really is a debacle for RCI and the Oasis. The AquaTheater was heavily promoted and when you go to their website the default video is of a diver at this venue. Now the whole thing essentially lays in ruins for various reasons, and for several months.
There just are no excuses for all the things that are going wrong right now.
I had a wonderful time on the Oasis and it is an amazing ship. However in my opinion it was not ready, and I think they needed another month to get the ship finished before letting anyone board it. Even on our cruise there were workers still installing things at bars and sheet metal in the hallways, plus stacks of things here and there awaiting installation or removal as construction debris.
But they apparently figured the public relations impact of rescheduling the first cruises (plus the lost revenue) far outweighed the impacts of debuting a ship that still needed finishing.
I have to disagree. I have three small complaint, two of which are very temporary and I am sure they will work them out.
I think the AquaTheater was a major miscalculation in terms of how much time would be needed to put those shows up - but really, they had little choice - they couldn't build a test theater or use the current one in Finland. They just needed to be more honest about how long it take to get the shows ready.
Then my visit to 150 Central Park was not quite up to snuff and we were told they had run out of certain ingredients.
3rd - the Internet access was very spotty - the satellite went up & down (I would like to know how that has been lately). They need to explain to people that they can log in on their televisions to set up a wireless account and not have to seek out the 14 total workstations on the entire ship.
Beyond that, I think the ship is great, truly impressive. Everything else worked fine including the restaurants and all the service people. The food was better than most RCL ships I had been on, Hairspray and the Ice Show were very good. I love the inside balcony cabins and in general I just think it is a very fun ship. It will be a success and a rough start is not unusual.
RCL hinted they didnt want a real strong first month - and now we know why. But word is that this current cruise has 5000 passengers and I have noticed that the RCL price stock keeps rising. Can't be all bad.
I do understand about glitches etc on a new ship. But I also feel they owed something to the paying passengers because they weren't able to provide what they advertised during that time. Long with the construction "stuff" that was about the ship it wasn't as it should have been.
They charge quite a bit more for this ship. Now, because of some of these issues there are some not so good review out there. There is nothing to counter those reviews about RCL acknowledging them and giving a bottle of wine or something to those inconvenienced.
Paul, you did not get what you paid for yet you paid the full amount for Park 150?
I guess I find that wrong - and yes, I would have fussed about it and yes, I would have insisted on a discount at the least.
That's one of the problems today in general, we accept less that expected and make excuses for those who disappoint us even paying for our disappointment!!
The only reason I don't make a fuss is because I was there as a professional reporter and i don't like to act like I deserve special attention, even though I did pay full price. I prefer to see what the line is willing to offer me on their own account, because that to me is the true measure of a great cruise line. In this case, they didnt offer any compensation for our 150 Central park Experinece and as I result I have to report that I had less than satisfactory experience.
I also agree with you that they should have been upfront about the shows. They should have tried charging less for the first few cruises to make it "fair" when some things weren't ready, but they did not know the shows would not be ready when they set the prices six months out. They are a business and they need to make money. They tried to price the cruise for how well it would sell at the time.
"They decide, we report" to turn around a somewhat well-known phrase.
I understand where you didn't want special consideration however it should have been automatic without you having to say anything. Bad play on their part.
I realize the prices were set way before they knew there was going to be a problem with the shows. However as soon as they knew something should have kicked in - again it didn't. Bad play on their part again.
I know their debt load is huge and the economy tanked after all was signed on the dotted line. At the same time they need to accept that people are beginning to not accept shoddy treatment and really, that's what this is all about - shoddy treatment of the paying customers.
Let's not forget that the first few cruises were still full of RC's, TA's, and diehard RCL fans.
I believe time will tell more after the holiday season and hopefully they will have learned from their mistakes.
I just look at what is being reported from the Nav. 100% towards another cruise for those who left after being fogged in for 2 days. Why couldn't they have used the same common sense when things weren't ready on the Oasis?
What a shame that people are paying more and receiving less! I was fine with the rehearsal water show for the non-revenue, "cruise to nowhere" that I was on but would not be happy to have paying customers onboard right now. Just my 2 cents, Robbie
Yeah, unfortunately, from what I hear, RCL bit off a little more than they could chew with the AquaTheater, not being able to foresee that it would require a lot of careful technology coordination and rehearsal time. As one of the cast who is communicating with me has pointed out, people could die if something went wrong with a high dive like the ones in that show. Or if they get trapped underwater they could drown.
At the end of the show we saw the scuba divers come out during the bows. You would never even know they use scuba as part of the show unless they came out. Thats why the side cameras are supposed to work, so you can see the very cool technology behind the show.
They do it for "La Reve" at the Wynn is Vegas, they have VIP seats with video monitors where you see cast members jump in the pool and "disappear. In some cases they are sharing breathing apparatus with the scuba stagehands stationed below the water. It is a very complicated thing to make a water show "magical." Right now it is still impressive, but nothing like what it will eventually become.
I have to agree 100% with Snoozeman; I always recommend that people NEVER sail on ANY new cruise ship right out of dry dock until 2-3 months of being in service. There is no way that the line can account for first-hand real-time knowledge of how people traffic-flows, what the passengers are willing to do/pay for, what technical issues will fall, etc. Yes, much of the planning they do in advance can mitigate these factors; which I'm sure did in many other areas of the ship (that we're just unaware of). Sorry to those sailing on her for the first 2 months; just a trick of the trade to wait until all the bugs are worked out.
As for the "La Reve" show, I don't think it's entrely fair to compare the two against one another. "La Reve" had a theater to practice that show in for months in advance of opening night; the cruise line did not have that option. Now, should they have been more transparent on the issues they were facing - probably; but if you were them, you'd want to minimize any bad exposure by "making something work" in order to get over the hump.
I agree it isn't fair to compare the AquaTheater show to La Reve, except in the context that it is one of the examples, along with "O" (eau) by Cirque D' Soliel of exactly what a water show is.
La Reve is at the Poshest Hotel in Las Vegas and shows in a purpose built $100,000,000 theater. They did have eight months of rehearsals before they even opened the show to the public IN the very venue where it is being shown.
I guess it is just a coincidence that I have already seen both "O" and "La Reve." At La Reve I had the Video Screens, and when we saw "O" we just happened to be in the balcony seats right next to the proscenium so we could look down and see everything that happened underwater. O doesnt have the same video option La Reve has (and the Wynn charges $150/seat for that option).
Royal Caribbean's production division, RCP, did hire plenty of the people who helped to create and stage La Reve to work on the AquaTheater productions (lighting, etc), so I am not implying RCL is trying to fool anyone. I think it will be a very high quality production once it is ready, but I do believe they should have been a bit more honest about how long that might take before the ship came out.
It isn't a big deal in the big scheme of things. It is still a truly amazing ship. It will just be that much more amazing when the show is ready.