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This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am a solo, female traveler - I am also an Australian expat currently living in South Korea (so this will identify me to my fellow travelers haha) but I have also lived in other Asian countries including a year in China Embarkation. Arrived at the terminal exactly 12 noon and it was busy, not overly crowded, but lots of people moving efficiently with their luggage. Checking the luggage in was a quick, easy and painless process and I was shuffled to the check in queues. There was a distinct differentiation between western travelers and our Chinese counterparts - westerners were given a much quicker run through the check in - but we couldn't see any reason for splitting the groups other than to maybe appease the impatient westerners... So, all in all checkin took less than 45 mins and I was on board and in the dining room for lunch - as a solo traveler, this was the only meal I spent alone. In summary, embarkation was very quick and very painless, there was queuing but it moved rapidly and if you were western it was even quicker. Cabin I was in 7250 a studio balcony cabin. Note: this cabin has a much larger balcony then others due to the way the ship is shaped... so it was wonderful to have so much room. The cabin itself was small but that's what I expected - there were enough cupboards and drawers and a stool instead of a chair - plenty of mirrors and a decent enough bar fridge. The bathroom was the same size as other rooms. As a solo I cannot fault the room, the space was adequate - and importantly I could put empty cases under the bed. I was very happy with this cabin and in the same circumstances would choose it again. Dining I chose to eat mainly in the main dining room, I found the service to be excellent and the quality of food (in most cases) very good. I had no problem with the portion sizes and the temperature was always appropriate. On one day I didn't like the options but that was my palate and my friends on the other hand had no problem with their choices - so I guess it is a personal decision whether you like the food or not. I also ate at Chops Grille and that was a wonderful choice. The meal was excellent and I couldn't fault the service. I also dined in Teppanyaki - there was a hiccup with my reservation that was superbly dealt with by the Maitre D (Leslie) and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome - (this hiccup was the ONLY thing on the cruise that wasn't perfect - but the resolution exceded my expectations). The meal at Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of the cruise. It has to be seen to be believed - a great meal that I will remember for a very long time. I never ate in Windjammers - whenever I was in the vicinity it was always super busy and tables were hard to come by, but on the other hand, the Cafe 270 was almost empty as were the seats and tables - this became a very popular hiding spot to grab a snack or drink away from the crowds (and the food served was very nice too) I had a room service breakfast once and it was adequate - I was given exactly what I asked for... Formal nights are not received by the guests like you may have experienced elsewhere - very few people out of the 5100 dressed up for dinner - these were not published by RCI before the cruise so it is possible that many first time cruisers did not know what to expect. Drinks I was fortunate to get a free deluxe drinks package when I booked so that was a real bonus. I loved the Bionic Bar and would often use it to just grab a juice and soda mixed any time during the day. As I didn't pay for a drink I can't comment on prices and as I didn't really drink that much alcohol, I can't complain about the drinks at all. I also don't drink coffee so didn't sample any of those either. Entertainment and Activities I have to admit when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed - very few traditional cruise activities like trivia (it was there though but no where near what I am used to) and no bingo. I love to read on board so I packed books. However, I didn't even finish one book and I was never bored, I don't exactly know what I was doing but I managed to keep busy and have an amazing time during the cruise days. The shore excursions were also a little light on... In Osaka you could have paid $80 to go to the castle and Dotonbori Street on the tour bus - however we walked to the local metro, bought a day ticket with ease and did exactly the same destinations for $8 (we messed up on the way back and overshot the station so needed to catch a taxi back to the ship - but that was our fault). Kobe offered a shuttle bus to the main shopping area and there were several places that offered Kobe beef - which was a main reason for people wanting to visit . However when docked at Yokahama it was an hour from Tokyo so I had to catch the shore independent tour just to get to the city centre. But worth it at $69. The evening entertainment was also exceptional - I loved the Ukrainian acrobats Gold Art Duo and The SIlk Road was absolutely amazing. The flamenco guitar guy was extremely talented as were the Beatles Tribute band (I can't mention the moving piano and player as he said he smuggled himself on board - but he was awesome too). Service CAN NOT FAULT THE SERVICE From the Financial Controller to the Maitre D to the Head Waiters to the Room Attendants and Waiters - I was made to feel like I was the only one who mattered, nothing was ever too much trouble and they did everything with grace and style. I would come back just for the quality of service I experienced. Overall I loved this trip. It wasn't what I expected but it was better. I made so many friends (and as a solo traveler that is important) and had such a fun time. I would not hesitate to book again - due to my personal circumstances I couldn't book again on board but I am already looking at January dates for a replay. Well done Spectrum of the Seas and well done Royal Caribbean.

Best Cruise Ever

Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Review by tafawke

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Studio Ocean View Balcony
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down...

I am a solo, female traveler - I am also an Australian expat currently living in South Korea (so this will identify me to my fellow travelers haha) but I have also lived in other Asian countries including a year in China

Embarkation.

Arrived at the terminal exactly 12 noon and it was busy, not overly crowded, but lots of people moving efficiently with their luggage. Checking the luggage in was a quick, easy and painless process and I was shuffled to the check in queues. There was a distinct differentiation between western travelers and our Chinese counterparts - westerners were given a much quicker run through the check in - but we couldn't see any reason for splitting the groups other than to maybe appease the impatient westerners... So, all in all checkin took less than 45 mins and I was on board and in the dining room for lunch - as a solo traveler, this was the only meal I spent alone. In summary, embarkation was very quick and very painless, there was queuing but it moved rapidly and if you were western it was even quicker.

Cabin

I was in 7250 a studio balcony cabin. Note: this cabin has a much larger balcony then others due to the way the ship is shaped... so it was wonderful to have so much room. The cabin itself was small but that's what I expected - there were enough cupboards and drawers and a stool instead of a chair - plenty of mirrors and a decent enough bar fridge. The bathroom was the same size as other rooms. As a solo I cannot fault the room, the space was adequate - and importantly I could put empty cases under the bed.

I was very happy with this cabin and in the same circumstances would choose it again.

Dining

I chose to eat mainly in the main dining room, I found the service to be excellent and the quality of food (in most cases) very good. I had no problem with the portion sizes and the temperature was always appropriate. On one day I didn't like the options but that was my palate and my friends on the other hand had no problem with their choices - so I guess it is a personal decision whether you like the food or not. I also ate at Chops Grille and that was a wonderful choice. The meal was excellent and I couldn't fault the service. I also dined in Teppanyaki - there was a hiccup with my reservation that was superbly dealt with by the Maitre D (Leslie) and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome - (this hiccup was the ONLY thing on the cruise that wasn't perfect - but the resolution exceded my expectations). The meal at Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of the cruise. It has to be seen to be believed - a great meal that I will remember for a very long time. I never ate in Windjammers - whenever I was in the vicinity it was always super busy and tables were hard to come by, but on the other hand, the Cafe 270 was almost empty as were the seats and tables - this became a very popular hiding spot to grab a snack or drink away from the crowds (and the food served was very nice too) I had a room service breakfast once and it was adequate - I was given exactly what I asked for... Formal nights are not received by the guests like you may have experienced elsewhere - very few people out of the 5100 dressed up for dinner - these were not published by RCI before the cruise so it is possible that many first time cruisers did not know what to expect.

Drinks

I was fortunate to get a free deluxe drinks package when I booked so that was a real bonus. I loved the Bionic Bar and would often use it to just grab a juice and soda mixed any time during the day. As I didn't pay for a drink I can't comment on prices and as I didn't really drink that much alcohol, I can't complain about the drinks at all. I also don't drink coffee so didn't sample any of those either.

Entertainment and Activities

I have to admit when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed - very few traditional cruise activities like trivia (it was there though but no where near what I am used to) and no bingo. I love to read on board so I packed books. However, I didn't even finish one book and I was never bored, I don't exactly know what I was doing but I managed to keep busy and have an amazing time during the cruise days. The shore excursions were also a little light on... In Osaka you could have paid $80 to go to the castle and Dotonbori Street on the tour bus - however we walked to the local metro, bought a day ticket with ease and did exactly the same destinations for $8 (we messed up on the way back and overshot the station so needed to catch a taxi back to the ship - but that was our fault). Kobe offered a shuttle bus to the main shopping area and there were several places that offered Kobe beef - which was a main reason for people wanting to visit . However when docked at Yokahama it was an hour from Tokyo so I had to catch the shore independent tour just to get to the city centre. But worth it at $69.

The evening entertainment was also exceptional - I loved the Ukrainian acrobats Gold Art Duo and The SIlk Road was absolutely amazing. The flamenco guitar guy was extremely talented as were the Beatles Tribute band (I can't mention the moving piano and player as he said he smuggled himself on board - but he was awesome too).

Service

CAN NOT FAULT THE SERVICE

From the Financial Controller to the Maitre D to the Head Waiters to the Room Attendants and Waiters - I was made to feel like I was the only one who mattered, nothing was ever too much trouble and they did everything with grace and style. I would come back just for the quality of service I experienced.

Overall

I loved this trip. It wasn't what I expected but it was better. I made so many friends (and as a solo traveler that is important) and had such a fun time. I would not hesitate to book again - due to my personal circumstances I couldn't book again on board but I am already looking at January dates for a replay.

Well done Spectrum of the Seas and well done Royal Caribbean.
tafawke’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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