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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you ... Read More
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you get there. After questioning staff we are told most are cancelled as there is insufficient English speaking passengers on the ship signing up. On ours there were probably no more than 3 or 4 passengers on the ship with English as a primary language. If we knew we had zero chance of an excursion we could have found something else. They call this a "Cultural Cruise" but who knows what that means. Royal needs to be up front that this cruise is not your normal cruise (even staff admit it). The bars are empty. I do mean empty. One bartender could not even make a rum and coke. I had to tell her what bottles were rum. The ship is for a Chinese audience. Even the Irish Bar serves Chinese food. The specialty restaurants were good but expect nothing but Chinese food in the rest of the dinning areas. The food is nowhere near as good as any other Royal cruise we have been on. Staff is nice but the normal Royal International staff is much less prevalent and Chinese staff seem a bit untrained. All staff is polite and mostly helpful so nor problems with the staff and as for the excursion desk, their hands are tied by Royal Corporate. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Royal should not be offering this cruise to an English speaking market. Its not up to their brand expectations and you will be left frustrated. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the tub so narrow I couldn't stand in it without my feet being curved. It actually hurt to take a shower. The final day I had to stand with my feet together to take a shower. Also, the partial glass screen on the tub, is not attached. I almost did a header and fell out of the tub the fist time trying to get comfortable. Be careful . The public restroom was another miss, with a tall , small urinal. Again I am just under 6 feet tall, and I had to stand on my tiptoes to use the urinal. What were they thinking. Lets make a urinal that only 6 foot 6' people or taller can use. There were many puddles on the floor, and that's all I'll say. Then there was the food. Is it me, or is RCL buying cheaper and cheaper food? The food was terrible. I took a chance and tried a specialty restaurant, when the Coastal Kitchen had absolutely nothing on the Menu that night that my wife or I could stand. I paid extra to stay in the Junior Suite so I could eat there, and it was disappointing . I have had nothing but bad luck trying RCL's specialty restaurants. Trust me, there's nothing Special about them. My last cruise was on the Independence of the seas, and my wife and I tried the Specialty restaurant plan. What a waste of money. 2-3 hour waits. Rude service. The couple next to me complained, and was berated by the waiter. Awful food. We tried to cancel after the 3rd try, but was told we couldn't get a refund. We didn't care and lost the rest of our money. On the Symphony I tried Hooked. It was terrible. The service was fast and friendly, but I just couldn't stomach it. They started me off with this cheese biscuit. It was old, hard and had no taste. Then I was brought a crab and clam chowder. I was half way done, when I bit into something that sounded like either a shell or glass. I tried another bite with the same result, but found what I hoped was a shell. I stopped eating it. Then they brought me my shrimp cocktail, and it smelled funny almost like bleach. That was enough. I stopped and called over the waitress and told her I couldn't eat here and wanted a refund. I was then made to repeat everything 2 more times and grilled by the chef, but got the refund. The food is getting worse every year on RCL. So much so, That I am not going on another RCL cruise. Even the trusted pizza at Sorrento's was bad.I am now going on their sister company Celebrity , because the food is supposed to be a lot better , and they have a NON-SMOKING CASINO!!!. You can smell the smoke within 20 feet of the casino entrance. It's really bad, and they have a new drink policy that's horrible. If you earn 2400 points in a year you get free drinks in the casino. Now you can only get 1 drink every 10 minutes. Also the one staff complaint was that this was the only RCL cruise I've been on, where the bartenders were rude. The bar was open a few minutes before the casino and they were serving drinks. I went to the counter and asked for a drink, and they berated me, and told me I had to wait for the casino to open. When the casino opened, I went up to the counter again to ask for a drink, and the Bartender snapped at me that I had to wait until the casino was open. I pointed out to him that it was, He didn't believe me. I then pointed to people , right in front of us playing the slots, and all he said was "Oh'. then got my drink. Also I was ignored a lot by the Bartenders because I was Prime (Free Drinks), and I didn't have to pay for my drinks, and I guess there would rather wait on paying customers. I was ignored several times a day. It was really frustrating . It's like the new policy was invented to prevent you from wanting to get a drink. Well it worked. I usually lose a lot of money in the casino to get the points for the free drinks, and this is there new way of saying thanks? They really should have someone that is/was a guest to check out their designs,new policies and food before implementing them on new ships, that way they could avoid all these mistakes . RCL , Please upgrade the food. It's really bad when Kraft Mac & Cheese is 10X better than yours. On the good note, was the service. As usual the service was excellent. I have no complaints at all, except the Bartenders in the Casino. My room steward did a fantastic job, as so did the wait staff in the restaurants. I thought the Independence of the Seas was my least favorite ship, but Symphony comes very close. Hopefully they will see this, and improve everything, but i doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
We paid for a 7 night cruise on the Allure and due to hurricane Dorian the cruise was shortened to a 4 day cruise. This would not have been an issue if we had been properly compensated for the shortened cruise. Unfortunately not only did ... Read More
We paid for a 7 night cruise on the Allure and due to hurricane Dorian the cruise was shortened to a 4 day cruise. This would not have been an issue if we had been properly compensated for the shortened cruise. Unfortunately not only did Royal Caribbean shorten the cruise but they cheated us by offering on-board credits that did not equal the loss in travel time or loss in ports. Originally the cruise was supposed to include three ports and we paid the port fees and taxes for the 3 ports but because the cruise was shortened we only went to 1 port and we missed out on Jamaica and Haiti. Royal Caribbean credited us only $27 in port fees for the 2 lost ports which was not what we paid. Now I do not understand how they do math but if you divide the expense of the cruise by the length and then subtract out the missing days we should have received a credit for $175 a day times 3 days the cruise was shortened. This was not the case and we were only given a total credit including port fees of $202. We were also told we would receive the unused portion of the on-board credit back as a refund which we are still waiting for and have called their customer service countless times only to be told that it is coming soon. Now with all that out of the way lets review the ship. Due to the shortened cruise the overall experience felt very much like no one cared and every thing was done with minimal effort. I understand the ship was not at full capacity and the crew may have been bored but they definitely showed they had little to no interest in making the cruise enjoyable. Everything on the cruise closed early and no matter what time of day it was we were hard pressed to find something to do. Everything seemed to have an extra cost associated with it and anything that was supposed to be free or unlimited closed before you could enjoy it. The unlimited ice cream closed at 6pm and only the paid ice cream shops were open. The hot dog shop was always closed and after 3 days of attempting to get a hot dog I finally did get one on the last day but i had to do it right before going to dinner. The unlimited pizza was terrible and on more than one occasion they were closed. The shows were always at inconvenient times and we missed several of them due to dinner times or conflicting times with other shows and everything on the entire ship seemed to close by 10pm which left us playing cards most nights just for something to do. This was by far the worst experience I have ever had and I will never sail with Royal Caribbean again. If you want to enjoy your cruise go with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
This was one of the sails that was shorten due to hurricane Dorian. We were bummed but we completely understood it had to be done for everyone's safety. After much discussion my husband and I decided not to cancel our trip and let me ... Read More
This was one of the sails that was shorten due to hurricane Dorian. We were bummed but we completely understood it had to be done for everyone's safety. After much discussion my husband and I decided not to cancel our trip and let me tell you, I am very glad we saw it through. Though we couldn’t go to Haiti or Jamaica, Cozumel, Mexico was still an outstanding experience! We did two excursions: one was a semi-sub where we saw various fish including barracudas and rays and the another was the Jose’ Cuervo Experience where we learned proper tequila tasting techniques and how to make margaritas. We probably spent way too much money there but it was fun and worth it. As far as the ship, there was plenty to do and places to go, like the pools, hot tubs, indoor park, casino, etc. There were also amazing shows like Ocean Aria and Blue Planet! I loved eating at the Windjammer and we even took our food up to our ocean-view balcony one morning. The main dining places were great too with an array of choices and unlimited supply. The waiting staff couldn’t have been better. They all were so personable and remembered our names after only one day. We requested the same seating area the rest of the nights because of it. Same with room cleaning and the bartenders. Outstanding service! This brings me to my one complaint. During dinner for the first three nights they had taken several photos of me and my husband. The photographers worked very quickly so every time we had tried to ask how to get our photos they were already at another table. “Oh well,” we thought. Maybe some photo previews or at least a flyer on how to purchase them will be sent to our room, we had reasoned. On our last night we had planned to ask before they took our photos again, only there were no photographers there that time. Hindsight, we should have gone to guest services but foolishly we assumed at that point that we would get an email about the photos. We’ve now come to find out that there is no way to purchase photos post cruise which is extremely disappointing considering we were celebrating five years married. We accept some fault but it would have been nice and less confusing to have been notified how to purchase our photos by one of the photographers. This is only our second cruise and our first was with Carnival. We didn’t like Carnival nearly as much as RC but at least they had no problem informing us during dinner how to purchase our photos. Overall, this was a great cruise and due to the graciousness of the company, we now have extra money saved from our remaining three days that were canceled as well as some credit towards a future cruise. Allure of the Seas is definitely a ship I would consider again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
We originally booked this cruise with the sole purpose of going to Cuba. Like most other reviews have stated, the laws changed and the itinerary was changed to a 6 day Western Caribbean, which we were fine with. We received 50% of our ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise with the sole purpose of going to Cuba. Like most other reviews have stated, the laws changed and the itinerary was changed to a 6 day Western Caribbean, which we were fine with. We received 50% of our cruise fare back, which was more than generous for still being able to go on the full trip. Flash forward to 2 days before our departure. Hurricane Dorian was on track to hit Florida directly, so Royal Caribbean shortened our trip by 3 days (leaving on the following Wednesday now rather than Sunday.) While we were disappointed, we understood the safety concerns and decided to sail anyway since they stated they would give us a refund for the 3 days we missed, and a future cruise credit. I'll go ahead and get the negatives out of the way (none having to do with the actual ship.) While we were thankful for the refunds, they did not inform the Empress passengers on what that refund would actually look like. On the first day of the trip, the guest services attendant stated we were getting two 50% refunds based on the original cruise fare, basically meaning we got a 100% refund. We were ecstatic. However, on the last night, we learned that Empress passengers got a refund based on the already refunded trip from the Cuba change. So for missing 3 days of our cruise, we received less than $200 back, and our cruise credit was in the same amount. Obviously there isn't any 3 day cruises you can book for under $200. We tried not to be greedy, but we felt that the compensation was misrepresented between different RC staff. We are overall satisfied with the compensation, especially since both circumstances were out of RC's control, but the communication (or lack thereof) made it confusing and frustrating. The ship itself is very well maintained. It is very small, but the layout is different than any other RC I've been on. There is an ocean view in almost every common area, which made it beautiful. The pool is small, and I could see that it would be an issue for a full sailing (we only had 600 on board, so it was perfect for us.) Most of the loungers are in the sun. I wish there were a few in the shade. The pool bar and the attendants walking around were on point. Drinks were much stronger and tasted better than on any other ship. The crew was absolutely phenomenal. I was surprised with how many crew members remembered our names right off the bat, our drink orders, etc. Friendly, talkative, and didn't seem frazzled and overworked like I've seen other crews on other ships. The Chops Grille promoters were pretty pushy, but we ended up booking since we had a cruise credit and finally understood the hype. We had a great experience. The food was amazing, service was very personal, and we didn't have to share a table with strangers. I told my boyfriend that we would have to budget for a night at Chops for every cruise in the future. I'd definitely recommend checking it out. Main dining room and Windjammer were above average compared to other RC ships. The main dining room has a wonderful view with a ton of windows at the back of the ship. If you can, try to go to dinner around sunset. The view is spectacular! We also utilized the spa. There was no sauna or steam room, unfortunately. I booked a massage with seaweed detox, and my boyfriend booked a haircut. My massage was unreal and incredibly relaxing. If you ever find yourself with a large cruise credit, the spa is certainly the place to use it! They do try to sell you some products at the end, which kind of throws off the zen you just spent 100 minutes trying to achieve, but at the end of the day I would absolutely recommend investing in the spa services. They're overpriced, but you're on vacation! :-) Our cabin was decently sized. Small bathroom. Cruise cabins are meant to be tiny, so we weren't bothered. Not a lot of storage space on this ship. Bring an over the door shoe hanger, it saved our sanity on this boat! We booked a forward, ocean view cabin. Since the ship is smaller, we felt MAJOR effects of the hurricane winds. I could feel the waves much more significantly on this boat. If you are prone to sea sickness, it's important to book a mid cabin on this ship since it's so small! Entertainment was fun. They had a solo singer that was great (Lou Gazzarra), a pretty decent comedian, and a great cast for the shows. Trivia was kind of clumsy, but always a good time. The casino was laid out differently than any other ship (split between two decks). What I loved about this ship was that it was a non-smoking casino since it wasn't necessarily contained. We spent a lot more time in there due to that fact alone. Despite its size, I don't feel like we would've been bored if we had the full 6 days (which I was originally worried about) We didn't do any shore excursions since we've been to Nassau more times than we can count. We looked in to it, but they were way overpriced for what you got. We noticed the sewage smell on the lower decks (outside, mostly), but I wouldn't say it was overwhelming. Just normal for a cruise, to us. Overall we had a great experience on the ship and would have loved for it to have been the full 6 days! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up ... Read More
The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up singer for bigger names. The comedian was a has been second rate actor from the 90s. The service was average. We chose "my time" dining but it wasn't. They told us we needed to go to dinner at 8pm every night. And service was slow and they made mistakes. As a result we missed the shows. The smoke from the casino wafted throughout the ship. And you could not go from the dining room to the theater without going through the casino. The ports were short. We had to be back on the ship by 4:30 each day. We couldn't eat dinner at our destinations. They screwed up the billing and we had to go to guest services twice. Boring cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because my husband and I needed a very relaxing vacation. Our winter, spring and summer had been very chaotic due to family illness. With that being said, we were excited to be going out of Cape Liberty, no need to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband and I needed a very relaxing vacation. Our winter, spring and summer had been very chaotic due to family illness. With that being said, we were excited to be going out of Cape Liberty, no need to fly. We've cruised on Royal Caribbean ships quite a few times. Upon boarding, sea pass cards are not given out anymore. You are given a piece of paper with your reservation number, name and cabin number. The seapass cards are left on your cabin door. It was nice to get through check in fast and easy. Onto the ship we went to the buffet on deck 11. It was only 12:00 noon and the line to get into the buffet was long, winding around passed the elevators making it difficult to exit the elevators, with no ship staff directing guests. We quickly left the area and went to the Atrium floor to have cold hot dogs and hamburgers, along with dried out pizza. Next we went to our cabin, where the steward greeted us. However, there were no key cards on our door. We showed the steward our reservation and cabin number. He told us it was not our cabin, another passenger was in the room. We became a little distraught and insisted that there was a mistake. He knocked a few times and an older, disheveled lady came to the door. He asked that she present her seapass card, while she insisted that she was in the correct cabin. Turns out that she had our seapass cards in hand with our credit card number, had already used the bed and ate from a plate of cookies left for us in the cabin. The steward asked her to leave the cabin, which she did. My husband and I asked for a supervisor of housekeeping to speak with and told the steward to reclean the room. He wanted to leave the cookies for us, but we insisted he remove the plate. We cannot understand how this lady who was in a cabin on another floor, took the envelope with our names off the door and made such a cabin error. Royal Caribbean's new practice of leaving seapass cards on cabin doors with vital credit card and ID info is extremely irresponsible and an unsafe practice. Not a good introduction to a vacation on a Royal Caribbean ship. We reported the incident to guest relations and they tried to gloss over our bad experience by offering us a box of chocolate strawberries which we never received. Eventually 3 days after sailing and reminding them about the chocolates did they bring us a bottle of wine. Our waiter and bus boy were terrific each night. We went to the dining room one morning for breakfast. We waited forever for our orders to be taken. We received our food cold at different times. Not sure if waiter staff were new and being trained, but have never experienced such impersonal service on a Royal Caribbean ship before. The entertainment was decent, however, the first late night comedian swore a lot, and we did not find him too funny. The piano player in the bar area each night was the best on board. Everyone who passed by stopped to listen, and all in the bar area sang along to his songs. The casino was cramped and full of smoke from cigarettes. Poorly ventilated and we never used the casino due to the awful smoke-filled air. The port of St. John was okay. Bought a trolley car excursion through the ship to Bay of Fundy, but didn't think there was much reversing of the falls. We were also not told marketplace would close early because it was Labor Day. Our tour guide told us we could get off at the marketplace but would have 5 minutes to shop. Bar Harbor was quite nice. Tendered over and walked through the town. Lots of restaurants and shops. Had a wonderful lobster roll at Testa's on the main street, overlooking the harbor. We enjoyed Halifax. Walked from the ship along boardwalk to the Maritime Museum where they have a huge exhibit of the Titanic and the disaster of the Titanic's sinking. There were exhibits of ships from WWII and Korean War as well. Very interesting museum and no need to take a tour through the ship. Very walkable with chairs/benches along the way. Embarkation was easy and quick at Port Liberty. Collected luggage. Face recognition through Customs. Walked off into parking garage, which was a big plus. We were surprised by the lack of caring presented by the ship's crew. It seemed that most of the crew did little to make us feel the cruising experience was more than okay. If we had not cruised before on Royal Caribbean , we wouldn't have known how unusual this crusing experience was on this sailing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Where do I begin? My wife and I just returned from a six night sailing on Adventure of the Seas. This was her 12th cruise and my 10th. We've sailed NCL, RCI, Carnival and Celebrity. Of all the ships we've been on, Adventure ... Read More
Where do I begin? My wife and I just returned from a six night sailing on Adventure of the Seas. This was her 12th cruise and my 10th. We've sailed NCL, RCI, Carnival and Celebrity. Of all the ships we've been on, Adventure is my favorite without a doubt. We booked this trip when we were on Enchantment last September. I was excited about trying a Vision class ship because it has all the amenities of the Freedom class ships but is slightly smaller. Adventure, as far as I'm concerned, is nearly perfect. It's beautiful and in great condition inside and out. We stayed at the Newark airport Doubletree which was ideal. Uber to the port cost us a total of $16.00 and it simply could not have been easier. We walked out of the Uber, through the terminal and were on the ship within 10 minutes. I thought Port Canaveral was easy but Bayonne is even more so. I figured out a few cruises ago that wearing swim trunks onto the ship means I can jump on the slides and the Flow Rider while everyone else is in the Windjammer. I got to spend nearly an hour by myself flow riding in the back of the ship before lunch! (I'm 50, BTW!) We had My Time Dining with a reservation each night at 5:15. Our MDR servers were Danny and Rudolfo - both terrific - and we enjoyed them more and more as the week went on. Food was very good. RCI's food isn't our favorite but it's very tasty and of course, I left more than full every night! Nicole at the check-in stand was delightful and started the dinner experience off on the right note every night. There was only one formal night on the cruise and although we brought clothes for it, we didn't feel like changing so we opted for dinner that night in the Windjammer. Speaking of the Windjammer, I have to say it was spacious and very well organized. I was a bit surprised that it closed relatively early each night but pizza and other tasty things were available 24/7 on the Promenade (another feature of the ship we loved). Overall, the Windjammer exceeded my expectations and the staff there was very accommodating. They have packed the space tight with tables and it was often crowded. Still, it was well organized. We happened to go upstairs one night only to stumble upon the chocolate fountain and dessert bar. They never advertised it but I guess we just got lucky. I probably consumed 5000 extra calories that night! I did use the fitness center each day and was pleased that it opened on time daily. Unlike other ships, it was never packed and the machines were in good condition. Our stateroom was 9307 and Kevin, our attendant, did an excellent job taking care of us. We seldom ran into him but he knew our names when we did. We have grown accustomed to interior cabins because the cost savings allow us to cruise more often. The room was cool and dark when we needed it to be. There isn't a lot of space but it had everything we needed. The bathroom was tiny but also provided us with everything we needed. Overall, we were very pleased with the room and our towel animals! Entertainment was very good. The singers were better than most and the variety of shows was strong. There were two comedians on the ship - one early and one late in the cruise. We attended the family friendly shows but not the adult versions because for us, that gets old quickly. The one show I did not care for was Impact. They are three dancers/singers who do a high energy show. The audience seemed to love them but that kind of entertainment just isn't my thing. The Adventure of the Seas band was excellent. Our ports of call were St. John, Bar Harbor and Halifax. In St. John we did the pink hop on hop off bus which was great. It was just enough and the drivers/narrators were excellent. Honestly, we weren't taken with the city but the cooler temperatures and length of our 90 minute tour were ideal. Bar Harbor is fantastic - but crowded. It was the only one of the three ports where we were with another ship - the Queen Mary 2. It made for a lot of people in a small space. We took an Olley's Trolley tour to the top of Mount Cadillac and the views were spectacular. The driver/narrator was excellent there as well. Some people raved about the tender boats and others complained because they were too big and it took a long time to board. For us, it wasn't an issue. I don't really mind tendering. It's an adventure in itself. We did schedule a RCI excursion to Peggy's Cove in Halifax. It was a 3.5 hour tour - most of which was spent on the bus. Our tour guide was excellent but with only 55 minutes to spend exploring Peggy's Cove (charming but a place I don't need to visit again) it was a long morning. The weather was nearly perfect with 65 degree temps throughout the entire voyage. The two things that surprised me about Adventure were no outdoor seating in the Windjammer and a greater degree of smoking on the pool deck in addition to the casino. However, overall, Adventure, with it's interior and exterior beauty, spectacular venues and outstanding staff made for one of our best cruises yet. Unlike many other ships on which we've sailed, the CD, Drew, was low key and excellent. So often CD's tend to be spotlight hungry and over the top. Drew was neither. Disembarkation was easier than embarkation! We prefer self assist and left our stateroom (sadly) at 7:16 a.m. We were off the ship in five minutes and at the Newark airport before 8:00 a.m.! Honestly, the ease and simplicity of the on and off process at Bayonne makes me want to find other sailings from the port. And it didn't hurt that we sailed passed the Statue of Liberty and under the Verrazzano bridge! All in all, I highly recommend Adventure of the Seas. I would sail her again tomorrow and will most certainly look for other cruises on Vision class ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Just went on Adventure of the Seas to Maine and Canada. Just loved this cruise! Aside from the excellent ports-of-call, the ship was also great. Though not a new ship, it was very well maintained. Our accessible room was very ... Read More
Just went on Adventure of the Seas to Maine and Canada. Just loved this cruise! Aside from the excellent ports-of-call, the ship was also great. Though not a new ship, it was very well maintained. Our accessible room was very spacious, and our stateroom attendant kept it very clean and accommodated all of our requests. We enjoyed the shows, and especially the ice show. We thought that the food was excellent in the main dining room. The service was also excellent, with the wait staff going out of their way to please us. Our one complaint was that there were no excursions offered for individuals in wheelchairs. There were many onboard using wheelchairs and scooters and in all 3 ports, not one accessible tour was offered. RCI needs to do better here and pay more attention to all of its guests. Overall, and excellent cruise and we loved the ship!! Would go on it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful ... Read More
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful and enormous with many extravagant shows that are worth watching and very entertaining. The room is really nice and spacious as well as the bathrooms. Bar Service: bought the unlimited drinking package and definitely got my moneys worth but service was probably the worst. Quite a few times I've had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. Many bartenders would not even make eye contact with me to ask for a drink. I at times had to try and get their attention (not ideal and quite embarrassing). It wasn't at all bars though. The specific one that had the worst service was at Playmakers sports bar. Justin was the one that served me and many of my family members with mediocre service. Quite rude and intentionally ignored all of us. Pro: There was one server, named Greedep at Playmakers who was amazing! Service exceeded my expectations and food came on time. Very kind and welcoming. Pro tip: Go to Schooners bar and you will def get a good drink with good service as well. Best cosmos there! Main Dining Room: did not exceed my expectations. Felt very crowded and food was just okay. Everything was subpar except for service which was excellent. Overall the cruise was fun, lots of activities to do. For the adults, definitely recommend lounging at the solarium where it is relaxing with huge bath pools/jacuzzis. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work ... Read More
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work (off on Tuesdays and Fridays and this Monday was a holiday). Perfect! Then in the few days preceding this cruise, tropical storm Dorian became Hurricane Dorian. We were to depart Miami Saturday August 31st, spend Sunday September 1st in Nassau, a day at sea, then home. Many ships were having changes made to their schedule as the storm grew stronger. At 10pm Thursday I packed late, checked the RCCL website at 1am and saw my cruise was eliminated since the extended the August 24th cruise until Sept 4th. I cancelled my airline reservations just after that post. With an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, I went to sleep. By morning, to confirm this really happened, I looked at the website and to my surprise, no listing for my cruise. I called the helplines at RCCL. They found nothing. Luckily I screenshot the website and had it to email the representative. For 90 minutes he searched while I was on hold. Finally I got a text message with word the ship we depart early and be extended a day. I knew before the rep did! RCCL did an amazing job. I rebooked a new trip at the last minute (paying way too much) but I made it there. Embarkation: WOW. I handed a staff member my preprinted boarding passes, she scanned the barcode with her iPad and we walked to the ship. The keys are waiting for you at 1pm in your cabin door mail slot. We didn't much more than pause our walk to get scanned and we were on the ship in 10 minutes. NO WAY could this be easier or better. We went to Boleros to buy the WOW band. It was $5 and cool to have. It worked great as cabin door key, it was OK as a way to pay for drinks. Sometimes I just chose to use the card as it was easier to hand over. The readers in the bars worked ok most of the time but of course walking servers do not carry readers. Grabbed a Mojito to kick off the cruise by 11am. We dined for lunch at the Park Cafe - the Kummelweck roast beef sandwiches. Yes, they are as good as everyone says plus a nice custom bowl of salad. Delicious. Our room had good and bad. I am never one to complain. Room 14-577 was top of Central Park in the very front. Glad i tried it but I won't do it again. If you happen to book these neighborhood balconies, be aware that it is not like an ocean view. There is no privacy so your curtains will likely be closed all the time. Be aware that the 15th floor is the pool deck. You will hear foot stomps when kids run across that deck. While not bad at all, we did notice that. Be aware that in this cabin the ship's framing is a roofline just over your balcony so the great part is - always shady. I didn't care for keeping the key card inserted in a slot to keep lights and air on but I understand it's a good idea. Not a lot of normal TV to watch but who really cares to watch TV? The bed was extremely firm and our steward says they no longer offer the egg-crate pads, I also understand. We managed just fine. Plenty of room, plenty of storage, bigger shower than most ships too. But I will never choose 14th floor neighborhood balcony again. Oh it did include a bottle of red wine and two coke packages (refill cups). The shows? WOW. I have often thought NCL Epic had the natural win in this category but when I saw HAIRSPRAY, I loved everything about it. Then we saw FLIGHT and that was entertaining in a usual cruise ship show kind of way but well done with a mix of technology and live action. The ice show was 1977 and though I wonder what that year had to do with anything, there was excellent skating, beautiful costumes, and it all started amazing drones flying over the performance area giving us a light show. Loved it. Finally HIRO - what an amazing show. I would say that the price of the cruise was worth it just to see this show! Swimming, diving, dancing, arial performances, a lot like Cirque on overdrive. I am still blown away. Food. I would say it was good. Some of it was excellent, some just OK. I was shocked that the prime rib was just OK. I love prime rib. But the tenderloin and short ribs were outstanding. Salmon was better than OK but not the best. Lasagna was OK but not too good. I did order a beef stroganoff dish but sent it back because it was unlike any I had ever had...more like a pasta dish with a light brown garlic based gravy. Not a complainer - everything was edible and decent. But for the quantity served, it is still impressive. Early traditional seating is my choice. Always kind, if we wanted to rush to a show, they put us on fast pace. Wine was plentiful and they kept me with a drink at all times. Activity: WOW. Zip line - long wait for a short thrill but very cool to do. Abyss....long line and awesome anticipation for the thrill. Loved it - especially the que to actually get on the slide being all glass way up there. I ran out of time but would have body surfed the flowrider. Lines were not bad at all. PuttPutt was always in use and looks like fun. the court was half basketball half soccer. They all seemed to love it. I rode the carousel. It's been years since I had done that and well, it just makes me smile. Artwork. another WOW. Some cool stuff. A lot of weird things too. Loved the piano stairs. Didn't quite get the sound art and light art but OK. Plenty to see. Interactive art is always cool. The cruise director Ricky was fun. Led many street parties and works his tail off. They had a balloon drop at midnight day one, they had a Caribbean street party, an 80s party and a pirate parade. We sat in a sing along with a guitar player that was fun (crowd was a blast - singer was excellent). Saw a little piano playing in Schooner but I do tire of the same old 70s and 80s pop songs. Oh another cool thing on this ship is the stowaway piano player - he may be in an elevator (that's where we saw him) or anywhere on the ship at any time. Very cool!! Did I mention we were to be in Nassau on September 1st but Hurricane Dorian decided category 5 would just sit over the Bahamas and destroy...so RCCL sent us to Costa Maya Mexico instead. We were out of harms way, mostly in the hot sun. RCCL added a 4th day to our cruise so we had to get new airfare home but they didn't add any extra cost to our beverage package or Voom package. I think they actually gave us $50 On Board Credit too. I didn't care for Costa Maya but that's just me. I was glad to be there! We did not excursion there either. Just to add to controversy, I will tell you that in my opinion, all cruises should be non-smoking. I won't go in to a casino so long as there is smoking - so I didn't even visit it on this trip. Celebrity has no-smoking in their casinos. A different vibe for those of us that don't like the smell. But to each their own and I was just fine without it. I didn't plan to buy a NextCruise certificate but I did because this was my new favorite cruise. Finally getting off the ship - WOW. We chose late as possible because our flight was 12:30pm. We got tags #69 9:00am. Teh drink package still got us premium coffee drinks for free the day of departure. We waited it our in the Cafe Promenade. When we left the ship we walked into the terminal, chose our bag from the 100 or so still left there and walked to customs. No need to even bring out a passport of fill out the declaration papers...we walked up to an iPad that took our picture, waited a few seconds, got a green check mark and we were out to the taxi line. No more than a couple minutes to get in and no more than a couple minutes to get out. Way to go RCCL and US Customs! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured ... Read More
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured our safety so we decided to go ahead keep our reservation and take the cruise. This ship is the nicest ship we have ever had the pleasure of taking, We have taken many cruises on many different lines. We are now have Platinum Status on RC so we are trying to continue growing our reward level on this RCI ships and family. We absolutely LOVED every single part of this ship! The Rooms were the largest and spacious and beautiful. The ship is immaculate, the food was excellent, and the service was awesome! I cannot tell you how pleased I was with my experience! Royal Caribbean knocked it out of the park with this Ship and this Cruise. There really were so many differences to this cruise and this ship than so many others. It was just a way different class of ship than so many others! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult to get the right level of entertainment for him on previous cruises as he’s not a baby but still too little to go into any clubs/groups. There was a fantastic aqua park for him with a baby area which was great. The water was heated too which was a brilliant idea. There wasn’t much else going on for him though, there were a few toys laid out in a nightclub area in the day but very limited. We could pay $6 an hour to put him in a under 3’s club which we didn’t do. The food was comparable to NCL, a good standard and plenty to chose from. However, there were strict times on when food was available. On previous ships there was always food available in the buffet but it closed in the day for 3 hours and at 9:00pm in the evening which seems a bit early considering there is nearly 5k guests on board and there was a wait for a table. The only other option if you missed the buffet or dining room was pizza which is very limited, especially if you have dietary requests. We ate in the main dining room every night which we do on every cruise, A manager came to the table every night to ask how our dinning experience was which was great. We love the formalities of cruising and were disappointed when the waiters started doing the Macarena in the middle of dinner service, it really wasn’t great. Also on formal night, a guy wearing jeans and muddy running trainers was sat next to us in the main dining room while we were wearing a tuxedo and a cocktail dress. It’s disappointing that people can’t make the effort but also respect that people don’t always want to however, I feel on formal nights especially, trousers and shoes should be worn as a minimum to get into the main dining room. We decided to have an inside cabin as we were only sailing for 3 days. When we got to the cabin I was so disappointed. It was very dated, even though the independence had apparently had a refurb recently, the carpet was grubby and the sofa had stains on it. The cabin wasn’t cleaned properly with stains on the mirrors and marks on the walls. The cabin was really knocked about, dents in the wood work, paint chipped and just really dated. We did feel the need to complain about the cleanliness and someone was sent to shampoo the carpet and sofa but I feel for the price of a RC cruise, this shouldn’t be happening and I expected a much better standard. The toilets in the public areas were not cleaned all the time like on other ships. Bins were over flowing in the toilets and no toilet paper. The main promenade was dated too, i don’t understand where on this ship there has been a refurb. There were plenty of lifts which meant the wait time for one wasn’t too long, this is a plus when you have a buggy. For a taster cruise, I thought all the stops would be pulled out to ensure further bookings on RC but I felt it wasn’t, I think it was a true representation of RC. Would I sail with them again? Yes but only on a new ship which I think would be completely out of my price bracket. For the price of RC I think the standard should be a lot higher and couldn’t help but think it was a bit ‘butlins at sea’. I would definitely pick other lines over RC especially for the price of them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the main dining room the first two nights. The food was good, portions could have been bigger but the service was very slow. Izumi was good but it was an hour until we ate. I understand there is a show involved with dining in a hibachi restaurant but it just took too long. The balcony room was in a great location mid ship on Deck 7. I liked the size of the ship. Not too big and not too small. The ship excursion to Brugge was very good. We did the half day guided tour with free time. Overall a very nice ship and we would travel on her again if the opportunity arose. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I just returned from our 5 day cruise to Progreso and Cozumel. It was a nice relaxing time. Boarding was painless . We enjoyed drinks and meeting people right away . Staff were extremely friendly and always will to help . ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from our 5 day cruise to Progreso and Cozumel. It was a nice relaxing time. Boarding was painless . We enjoyed drinks and meeting people right away . Staff were extremely friendly and always will to help . The ship itself is one of the oldest in Royal Caribbean’s fleet and it shows in areas . Each day one of the pools was closed for some type of repair . Bummer ! Entertainment was OK , nothing horrible just OK . The Casino is very small as were most of the bars. Good thing that there were lots of bars ! The cabins were our biggest disappointment ! The bed was two metal fold out cots with a mattress as hard as a rock on them pushed together . That first night was HORRIBLE ! It was like sleeping on a sheet of plywood, I really thought the mattress was a box spring . We went to guest services because there was no way my hips and back could do even one more night let alone 4 . They said someone would bring some mattress pads . 6 mattress pads later and 8 pillows that we put under the sheets made the bed tolerable. That is my biggest complaint and the one reason I will not book again on this ship . The food was your average buffet style food . Even a picky eater like me found things to eat . All and all this trip was about relaxing and doing nothing which is exactly what we did . We didn’t get off in Progreso , we had been told there was really nothing there which other passengers confirmed after we left that port . In Cozumel we did a little shopping , got some get deals then headed back to boat for free drinks and food . Exiting the boat in end was fairly painless too . Get a porter to get your bags in Customs because they know how to get you in and out of there ! Well worth a $10 tip ! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our ... Read More
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our five day cruise, I have to say the the captain was on the P A system sometimes twice a day letting us know that because of the hurricane RCCL would stay out 2 days longer than planned and there would be NO added cost to passengers and Drink packages and internet packages would also be extended at NO extra charge. The only thing I wondered was the room attendants and waitstaff would be shafted on 2 days of gratuities because of our FREE days?? The ship is small and compact with easy access to everything, There are literally No steps so mobility issues are no problem, Food was good and drinks were a bit expensive if you don't have the drink package ($17 for a Mojito at the pool bar) Shows and entertainment were typical for a cruise ship and even the extra days there were production shows and performers. Overall Nice cruise , the only downside was downtime in the cabin the TV was TERRIBLE There were almost NO movies or TV shows , Everything was taped loops and cartoons or sports that most people don't follow. Royal you really need to improve your stateroom entertainment.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise for wanting to celebrate my husband's birthday on a cruise, enjoy the longest water slide (was fun despite long wait on hot deck material with bare feet) and spend the day on CocoCay. Yes, the storm, Dorian, closed ... Read More
Chose this cruise for wanting to celebrate my husband's birthday on a cruise, enjoy the longest water slide (was fun despite long wait on hot deck material with bare feet) and spend the day on CocoCay. Yes, the storm, Dorian, closed CocoCay and we understand since we live in Florida. But, the quality of the staff, enforcement of expected passenger behavior and rules totally lacked on this cruise. The cabin was booked as a GC balcony and although near the service elevator, it was more quiet than expected. The cabin was disappointing as far as the bathroom and balcony. Cracked shower tube, green growth around the faucet and the mirror was disgusting. Inside the cabinets were rusted. The closet was sufficient, desk area fine and the larger TV good. The pillows (only one kind available) were good for us as we like firm. Mattress wasn't the best. The balcony door was extremely hard to open and lock. Noise from neighboring cabin came through the balcony door. But, Janet, our cabin attendant was one of the best ever. Always understood and enjoyed our conversations. Never failed on remembering a request. Kept our ice bucket full, cabin as clean as possible and even placed a Happy Birthday Surprise decal on our cabin door for my husband. Check-in was easy and swift. $22.00 per day to park in new Terminal A, but the ease of dropping luggage at the elevator and the "car to bar" wasn't quite that but close. Cabins opened a half hour later than normal. Had lunch in Windjammer since only venue open. Normal pushing, rude passengers fighting for tables. The Carvery Chef got the "rude award" for embarkation day. I asked him point blank twice if another roast beef was coming out. He ignored my first request and then pointed to the leftover scraps he expected me to take. Most of the staff has this blase' attitude. They'll do their job, but not really looking like they're enjoying it. Even the officers who circulated had a glazed look while walking through the ship. Only encounters with officers in the Diamond Lounge were as expected. Genuine and engaging. DL Concierge a gem, too. While on subject of the Diamond Lounge, once again it amazes us that for being loyal Royal Caribbean passengers, the choices and quality of liquor is less than before. The vodka, New Amsterdam, is disgusting. Wine is not good either. The Spa's Steam Room was down the entire cruise. The Ladie's Room near MDR deck 4 was hidden around a column and sign not lit for entire cruise. Never routinely cleaned. Overflowing towels spilling out of the wall receptacle that the lock was broken and for days just opened and closed with movement of the ship. Last night the missing lock was replaced by a rubber band that attempted to keep it closed. One night the bathroom was closed. And every bathroom I visited was sloppy. Or stalls locked empty obviously since toilets did not function. Or ceiling lights out. Not having a MDR table placed on our cruise card, we visited a MDR Captain in the afternoon who told us we had to come back at 6PM to speak to a manager. We had our DL Concierge handle for us. Even she was surprised we were treated that way by the Captain. The waiter was fine although he repeatedly forgot items we asked form. His assistant was scary as terrible bad breath with teeth to match. The food was just OK. Best were the lamb chops served on hubby's birthday. Had Creme Brulee' one night and top was soggy, custard almost watery. We love to spend time in the Solarium and it appears nice on the Navigator. Would be if the no kids under 16 rule was enforced. One day the main pool was closed since obviously a child vomited and another defecated. The ship decided to let kids use the Solarium pool. Why should the paying adults be penalized for a child's actions? On the last day, the lifeguards made parents leave the pool and take their severely challenged child with them. Guests in pool repeated asked the lifeguard to allow them to stay but no. They were forced to leave. Last afternoon aboard know there were too many people in pool and over limit. Nothing done. A guest had a wireless speaker on edge of step area of pool blasting music he chose from his cell. Nothing was done. Heard from reliable frequent passenger about the Wednesday night Quest show. Seems multiple passengers had no second thoughts about removing clothes to reveal their requested piercings, tattoos or men's underwear. We did enjoy The Edge concert earlier the same evening. Had seen them on another cruise and wanted to see again. It is the opinion of frequent cruisers that the ship's Captain reflects the tone of the officers and staff. This Captain needs to spend a lot more time around the ship and correct attitudes and expectations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: ... Read More
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: pretty easy and not much waiting luckily. Room: had a large balcony which was clean and what we expected since we'd been on her before. There are obvious signs of aging and as my husband said, "she's gettin' old" and needs the refurb booked next year. Our room attendant was Sue (short for Sulfina I think....forgive me because I can't recall) and she was wonderful. Not overbearing and waited patiently while we were late leaving some mornings. Dining room: excellent staff looked after us. Alifton and Iputu were attentive and amazing with our teenager. Alifton remembered our favourites and was really nice and friendly. Food was ok/good although I'm not a foodie and ate pretty much the same things. Hubby loves food and he was very happy. The first evening was less than great though we figured turnaround day is challenging and gave it another chance. Windjammer: not my fav but great coffee and service to clear tables/bring drinks etc. It's busy and sometimes people act like animals by using their hands or eating while perusing the buffet. It's what you'd expect from a typical buffet I suppose. Sorrento's: happily surprised by the new pizza that is a thin crust since we last sailed. It was always hot since it was constantly being made. Specialty food: only ate one at Galianos because we got a gift from our TA to go. The service was outstanding! I feel awful because I can't remember his name. He's a tall, has light colored hair and a Ukrainian accent. We left him a nice trip because he made the evening lovely and paced out our meal as the hubby asked. Intimate and delicious but not sure if many would spend the extra money. Solarium pool: busy but nice to soak and have some drinks. I hesitate because you definitely notice those who drink and never seem to get out for hours. Hmmmm....washroom? Hahaha..only can assume. Drinks: had the package and it is 100% worth it for us. Water bottles included made it easy to stay hydrated. Also new system of not signing printout sheets and feeling awkward about tips is great! Apparently the staff get a percentage or something for each drink they serve so you give your card and that's it. Islands: went to Bonaire, st Martin, Curacao and Aruba. Wonderful weather and easy to get off and on each port. Hubby went scuba diving and loved it. We went to the beach only once and walked around on our own but didn't spend too much time. I personally love the ship and sea days so the ports aren't the draw for me but more for the hubby. Tone of passengers: this is not meant to offend nor am I BY ANY MEANS or any type of person who would be racist. I've grown up in a diverse area and have many different ethnicities in my own family. The tone was very much catered to the crowd in terms of music and dancing. Typically we sailed and found most of the music to have more of a carribean vibe and a good variety. This cruise was 95+% comprised of Latin music in the clubs/pool deck music. It became a lot because of the tempo FOR ME. I love dancing and love that type of music but sometimes I felt I needed a little music that had more of a "relaxed tempo"....Bob Marley and such if that makes sense. Leaving from Puerto Rico obviously meant that the majority of the crowd were Spanish speaking which was interesting since I was able to brush up on my Spanish :) Kids: I love them and for those that feel they can overrun the ship, we didn't find that at all. In fact, it was some of the adults that were obnoxious and SOOOO LOUD sometimes. It's a fun ship and people have fun but walking in the halls at 2 or 3 and shouting isn't really acceptable. Also found that people who hang around the pool can talk at a volume that is unreal. I certainly heard things that I maybe didn't really need to know. But again, maybe that won't bother most. Entertainment: great shows as always. Didn't see the ice show because I feel once you've seen it, you've seen them all. Quest game: always a good time and the video playback was new and made it really fun. Katie: cruise director who was pleasant and really ran the activities well. Not overly excitable but friendly and seemed to be well liked. Leaving: the absolute worst we have ever experienced in our 5 cruises with rccl. We waited over an hour outside in the heat of Puerto Rico and then for about 20 inside for customs. Can't really lay blame because rccl seemed to be trying. We exited when our group was called but the bottleneck of people was brutal! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is ... Read More
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is impossible when you have a 6pm dining time. Bingo was fun and much easier now they have electronic tablets instead of paper sheets. Trivia really depended on who was running it - some staff were hard to understand with heavy accents, or went too fast. Others, like Bern running the 80s music trivia on the last night, were amazing. Best food in the main dining room was the Vidalia onion tart, beef tenderloin and rack of lamb, and molten chocolate cake and apple pie. The Tutti salad bar at lunchtime in the main dining room on sea days is really good and a hidden gem. Each day in Windjammer and the cafe, they have a different flavor of pound cake. The caramel toffee bread pudding in Windjammer on day 5 was amazing. Cruise tips. Bring two swimsuits because the first one will not be dry enough overnight to wear again the next day, and putting on wet swimwear feels gross. A highlighter is very useful for marking items of interest in the Compass. So is a travel mug, to allow you to carry coffee around the ship. My white noise machine was invaluable to block out Promenade and hallway noise. Save your trivia answer sheets all week, as they get you extra boards in Bingo. Only a few negatives: 1) Most of the excursions we had booked before the trip were canceled, and one of those cancelations was not communicated, resulting in an unnecessary early wake-up. They canceled the butterfly garden trip in Aruba, the mangrove EcoBoat in Bonaire, the afternoon Segway in Bonaire, and the Adventure Race in St. Maarten. Although in each case we were offered a discount on an alternative activity and ended up having fun, it was still frustrating to get very few of our first choice activities. 2) The early 8am meeting time for many excursions made you not want to stay out late and party or drink much the night before. 3) My only bad food was the duck a l’orange in the main dining room on day 2 or 3; there was barely any meat and it was very fatty. 4) My teenager disliked that very few of the scheduled teen activities happened as planned. The teen staff did not seem interested in enforcing the schedule and just let the teens do whatever they wanted. All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The weather was glorious, the seas were calm, all 4 ports were very interesting to visit, our tour guides were all exceptional, service on board was overwhelmingly good, food options were delicious and varied, and there was plenty to do for all ages. If you go on this trip, you will have a blast! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
A bit of background: DH and I love to cruise. We are 54 and 57--kids are grown and we are pretty low maintenance. We have taken our last few cruises with our granddaughter who loves to cruise, but she started kindergarten this year so ... Read More
A bit of background: DH and I love to cruise. We are 54 and 57--kids are grown and we are pretty low maintenance. We have taken our last few cruises with our granddaughter who loves to cruise, but she started kindergarten this year so couldn't come along--she wasn't happy we left her! Because of our work schedules, this week worked well for us. We have been on many cruises and have sailed Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Costa and Carnival. We have been fairly loyal to Royal and this was our first cruise as Diamond level. We don't particularly care for leaving out of Galveston; as Fort Lauderdale and Miami are much more organized. I thought the service and staff were excellent on this ship. The only downgrade for the cruise was just the cuts they are making across the board to help control costs and feed their bottom line. I appreciate them keeping cruising affordable, but overall I will say that we have had a better impression with NCL the last few years than Royal. That being said, I will go where I can get the most value for my money and what fits in our schedule. We have been to most of the islands so itinerary is not as important to us in the Caribbean. We decided to take a last minute cruise on a comp from the casino. Booked about 6 weeks out. We were in a balcony cabin 7628. Cabin was fine and no complaints. Plenty of room for 2 people. We were on Liberty last November and vowed that we wouldn't sail out of Galveston again since the disembarkation was horrible the last 2 cruises out of there. But, since we live in Kansas we can drive to Galveston and save on airfare so we booked. We originally had thought of going to the Bahamas for a land vacation...glad we didn't as Dorian would have changed our plans! Reminder to everyone to always have insurance just in case! We went to the Diamond Lounge for the first night and never went back. So crowded and not worth the time since you can get drinks at any bar. We ate breakfast every morning in the Windjammer. Food was good, hot and plentiful. We are early risers and so there was never a problem with crowds. We did try and eat 1 dinner in the Windjammer and it really wasn't good at all so we ate all our other dinners in the main dining room. They have really cut back on the menu items over the years! Still plenty of selection and the food was good...not great, but overall good. We had MTD and never waited more than 5 minutes for our table for 2. Bryann and Ryan were our wait staff and they were outstanding! We don't really enjoy the specialty restaurants; we have tried them a few times, but don't really see the value when there are plenty of other options. We went to a couple of the comedy shows which were good. We had already seen the production show and ice show last fall so we didn't repeat them. There were lots of trivia and games available for those who like those activities. We went to the pool a couple of days, but it was pretty crowded. The solarium was not as relaxing as I would have hoped. We hadn't used it before on our last few cruises as we had our GD with us. There were groups and it was rather noisy. I was not a fan of the cruise director, but I don't really care who the cruise director is on board. They don't make or break a cruise for me. We cruise to relax. I enjoy spending time napping and reading. DH likes to wander around and see some of the activities so cruising works well for us! Our only complaint on this cruise was the air conditioning wasn't working well in the casino and even the promenade and theater tended to be on the warm side. I know the casino even went so far as to set up fans to help keep the air circulating. Not pleasant at all! At least it wasn't a problem in our cabin. One of people we went with on an excursion said their air conditioner wasn't working in their cabin very well either. Not good in the Caribbean with all the humidity! Our stops were Cozumel; which we usually love, but decided just to wander around that day and get back on the ship since we had never spent a day on the ship while everyone was in port before. Grand Cayman, where we got off the tender and took a $5 cab ride to 7 mile beach and went to Royal Beach Club. Get there early if you want a chair! Falmouth Jamaica where we booked the walking food tour on found on Trip Adviser. Highly recommend this tour! The last time we waited for an assigned disembarkation time and didn't get off the ship until almost 11am. It was chaos and one of the main reasons we decided we never wanted to sail out of Galveston again. This time we did self assist and were off by 07:45 and in our car by 8:00. So much better! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We just did the liberty of the seas galveston 7 day cozumel and other islands overall a great trip other reviews said the ship was not clean wrong she was very clean and we could always get a table at the windjammer buffet. the food was ... Read More
We just did the liberty of the seas galveston 7 day cozumel and other islands overall a great trip other reviews said the ship was not clean wrong she was very clean and we could always get a table at the windjammer buffet. the food was good in the MDr no need for expensive restaurants the pools were heated not like Carnival my only complaint was the hard old bed in our balcony 8303 cabin old stained pads under the mattress hard to sleep the blue hole tour was the best with a stop at the lazy river in a inner tube we booked a private tour and worth the slight extra price other tours had 44 people in a big bus and you were always waiting on the other people I have enjoyed 74 cruises and will be back on RCC AND WOULD CONSIDER THE LIBERTYOF THE SEAS AGAIN WE STAYED AT THE HARBOR HOUSE AND HAD DINNER AT SHRIMP AND STUFF A HORRIBLE RESTAURANT DONT DINE THERE Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Allure of the Sea's... Arrived at the port at 10:30 and on board the ship by 11 very easy no issue. We went to the Park Cafe in central park and that is where we realized our itinerary was changed to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Allure of the Sea's... Arrived at the port at 10:30 and on board the ship by 11 very easy no issue. We went to the Park Cafe in central park and that is where we realized our itinerary was changed to different ports. We were never told about the change until much later in the day. After 27 cruises we were fine with the changes and RCI refunded our shore excursion money right to our sea pass accounts no problem with that. Hurricane Dorian had a different agenda in mind for us!! Our 7 day cruise turned into a 10 day cruise. We visited 5 ports of call and RCI gave us the extra 3 days for free. New entertainment was brought on board, I have to say they really kept us safe and well fed!! Our captain kept the guests up-dated , we sailed in calm and beautiful waters. !. Food.. very good in dining room (had my time dining) If you go around 6 or 6:15 no wait after that we came out to see very long lines. Windhjammer ok, we prefer main dining room for breakfast nicer atmosphere a lot less congested, no wait ever. 2. Balcony room deck 9 , Phillip our cabin steward kept the room perfect! He was our favorite and we gave him a nice tip at the end. 3. Entertainment... Great, ice show, diving show, blue planet , headliner, comedian's (hilarious).. Tony Tillman was our headliner, very good!! 4. Costa Maya beautiful port , we took the tram to the beach (4.00 each) and it was terrible!!! Smelled of rotting sea weed or dead fish... gross. We left after an hour . There is NO beach just rocks and piles of seaweed do not go... Lots of little huts selling junk. Save your money stay around the port.Nice pool, shopping.... Nice cruise a little longer than we planned, but Royal Caribbean stepped up and kept us all safe.. You can't control mother nature( even though some guests were complaining ) We looked at it as a little extra vacay time and enjoyed it. can't wait until next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
2nd time on Allure. Amazing ship with lots to do for kids. Chops was great, the food in the main dining room was great too and service was superb. Don’t miss the hotdogs on boardwalk, worth the calories. Rarely felt crowded even though ... Read More
2nd time on Allure. Amazing ship with lots to do for kids. Chops was great, the food in the main dining room was great too and service was superb. Don’t miss the hotdogs on boardwalk, worth the calories. Rarely felt crowded even though over 6000 passengers were sailing. Don’t forget to try ice skating and zip line. Flow rider is great but gets crowded on sea days. All the shows were fun. Because of Dorian, our cruise was extended by 3 days. Captain kept us updated at all times and the fun never stopped. Our beverage package and internet was extended free of charge. My only complaint is that I felt our room was not getting cold enough, we spoke to our steward and his supervisor came down to talk to us and reassured us that it was on maximum cool. It’s moving to Europe after the upcoming refurbishment. We may try it again then. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The Cruise itinerary was - Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sea Day, Santorini, Katakolon, Sea Day, Venice. ) We are a relatively fit middle aged couple in reasonable health. ) No excursions pre-booked but we did buy the deluxe drinks ... Read More
The Cruise itinerary was - Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sea Day, Santorini, Katakolon, Sea Day, Venice. ) We are a relatively fit middle aged couple in reasonable health. ) No excursions pre-booked but we did buy the deluxe drinks package (recommended). ) Port side balcony room booked (mainly for the sail out of Venice at 6:00pm) * Rhapsody of the Seas - getting a little tired but still tidy & clean * Port side balcony cabin - spacious enough for 2 of us with settee, reasonable sized bathroom, no kettle but this is easily got around by ordering FOC "breakfast in cabin" then going for your full breakfast later. Uncontrolable air conditioning making the room too cold. * We went for "My Time dining" in the evenings, which isn't flexible at all. The food was very good on the whole but sometimes could have been hotter. For breakfast we went to the Edelweiss restaurant and more often than not went for the Egg Benedict (Yummy!!). Lunch time we went in the Windjammer which also was very good if sometimes a little busy. Day 1 - Embarkation went quite smoothly, with the usual queues! Once on board (approx12:30pm) we had access to our room with our luggage arriving an hour or two later. We'd prepared for this by packing shorts and sun cream in our hand luggage. Food and drinks were available immediately. The sail through Venice at 6:00pm did not disappoint with magnificent views of the great city. Day 2, Dubrovnik - We did not book an excursion (this will become a theme) and waited for the queues to go down before taking a taxi to the edge of the walled city (cost 15 euro's). Once there, we opted to wander around the city and decided not to walk the walls (minimal cost of approx 6 euro's each, though Euro's not accepted KN's or Credit Card). We have done the walls before and they can get very busy. For some reason the taxi back was 18 euro's??? Day 3, Kotor, Montenegro - we have stayed here before so knew it fairly well. Again we didn't book an excursion and got an early tender ashore with the intention of walking up the walls before the walk was in the sun. The entrances to the walls are through the town and cost 6 euro's each. This is quite a challenging walk up to St John's Fortress and good shoes or trainers recommended, the health and safety police would have a field day here. But it's well worth the 800ft climb for the view. After a wander around the town we went to the shingle beach and spent a couple of hours there. Mid afternoon we were back on a tender (no queues) and aboard the ship. The sail out of the Kotor Fjords was great, and Day 3 was also the formal night which I'm always a little wary of but was instructed to wear my dinner suit with a concession that I didn't have to put on my dickie bow! Still a lot of gents had suits on and most had made an effort. Day 4, Sea Day - We had worked out that we needed to drink 4 cocktails (approx $12 + 18% gratuity) each per day, which wasn't much of a problem on any of the days (Aluminium bottles of Budweiser $7.25, Glass of wine $8 and everything has 18% gratuity added). Day 5, Santorini - Re-visiting Santorini after 31 years! We wanted to hire a motorbike and tour the island independently, but the rental company would only deliver to the ferry port or the top of the cable car port (two separate ports, not linked). We decided to get a relatively early tender (after the queues had died down, most of which were for excursions) jumped straight on a tender and walked up the steps to the town. Most reviews moan about how slippy they are and smelly, but the weren't that bad. As we were early we could have got on the cable car with a short wait but decided on the steps and were surprised by how quiet it was, a few donkeys (more like horses) coming down and none going up. We wandered around Thera Town for a while and sampled the drinks etc. then early afternoon jumped straight into the cable car and onto a tender with no queues. Day 6, Katakolo - This is the port to go to Olympia, we didn't bother as I'm not a great fan of fallen down columns and the such like, so we opted for a walk around Katakolon. However whilst walking around we found that there is a direct train to Olympia for 10 Euro's each return, also when cruise ships dock the modern a/c trains run every hour for the 45min journey. Strangely enough RCb don't seem to mention this as on option to get to Olympia. There's not a great deal in Katakolon but there is a small beach to the left of the port and the dock side bars are very pleasant. Formal Dress Night Day 7, Sea Day - Cocktails, drinks and food....lots of it! Morning 8, Venice - Early arrival, smooth disembarkation (Bags collected the night before) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Our party of eight adults chose Rhapsody mainly for the itinerary. Sailing from Venice was a big attraction also. We spent one night in Venice prior to departure and enjoyed the sights despite the intense heat and the crowds. We stayed in ... Read More
Our party of eight adults chose Rhapsody mainly for the itinerary. Sailing from Venice was a big attraction also. We spent one night in Venice prior to departure and enjoyed the sights despite the intense heat and the crowds. We stayed in Hotel Olimpia which was a lovely hotel in a quiet part of Venice and near some nice restaurants and shops. Plenty of transport options nearby. It was also very handy for the cruise terminal. Embarkation was extremely smooth and quick. We boarded at 11.30am and there were not many people boarding at that time. We went to the Windjammer for an early lunch and our cabins were ready by 1pm. We were delighted to see that the ship, despite being an older ship and contrary to some previous reviews, was in very good shape. The ship was busy with a wide range of age groups. There were quite a lot of families with children. The children didn't bother us at all except that the pool was nearly always busy with them. The solarium pool is adult only but was also usually very busy and it is nicer to be outdoors when the weather is so nice. Sun chairs could be difficult to get around the pool especially on sea days, but there were usually some available on the promenade deck. We chose the late sitting for dinner but there was a mix up with our table and we were not that happy with the one we were given. We only ate in the MDR on 3 nights and tried all three of the speciality restaurants on the other nights. We went to Chops twice and thought the food and service was very good the first night and not quite as good on the second. The food was lukewarm on this occasion but still tasty. Lamb and steaks were very good. Giovanni's was only okay and neither the waiter nor the Matire'd were very friendly. Izumi's was nice but we thought the portions were on the small size. The food in MDR was generally very good. We only went to a couple of shows in the theatre. The singers and dancers were excellent in the piano man show. The magician was vey good also and the juggler was entertaining. Music in the Centrum was very enjoyable but there is not enough seating. We also enjoyed the piano player in Schooner bar. There is a nightclub on deck 11 and on one night there was a dancing under the stars party around the pool which was fun. The bar service in some of the bars could be quite slow and we often found it is quicker to go the bar to be served. In contrast the service in the Windjammer was very good with plenty of staff clearing tables as soon as people vacated them and also were helpful in getting speciality coffees or orange juice etc. We had the drinks package and enjoyed the coffee and fresh juice we could get with this. There was a good selection of food in the Windjammer although it could be very busy, especially on sea days. We had organised private tours for our party of eight in Dubrovnik, Kotor and Santorini. This worked well for us as we could plan what we would like to do which mostly involved some sight seeing, some swimming and somewhere nice for lunch in each destination. We enjoyed each place very much although Santorini is a nightmare when returning to the ship in the afternoon. We had been on the first tender in the morning so getting the cable car up was no problem, however in the afternoon when returning there was a very long line for the cable car so we decided to walk down the steps. This proved extremely difficult as the steps (approx. 600 of them) are slippery and have donkey manure on them. It is also upsetting to see the donkeys/mules hauling mostly overweight people up and down the steps in the hot sun. There was no water in sight for them anywhere. We were exhausted by the time we got to the bottom and then there was a long line for the tenders. Crew did their best distributing water and cold towels which were very welcome. I can't understand how with all the ships that go there (5 on the day we were there) that the cruise companies don't improve the cable car system to carry more people. Also, if a hand rail was put on the walls along the steps it would be helpful as it is dangerous at the moment. If we were to go there again I think we would book a boat tour, but really having seen Santorini, and it is lovely to see it once, I don't think we would want to return. Too many people and too difficult to get up and down the cliff. Katakolon is nice as the ship docks right in the town. So easy to stroll into the town for shopping. There is a small beach very close to the ship for a welcome swim and a nice harbour with restaurants to sit and have a drink. We enjoyed this cruise and would consider sailing on this ship in the future but perhaps during school term would be less busy. Read Less
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