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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was acceptable (but by no means notable), but having it served up in pretty much the same way every single day was monotonous in the extreme. We could not wait to get off and have a decent meal. Cabin was smaller than expected, but acceptable. Activities were pretty much zero. There were quite a few quizzes, and luckily both I and my travelling companion love quizzes! Before we boarded we had joked about napkin folding, but it proved to be the most interesting activity on board (not that we went - but it was fun to joke about). Unless you gamble, which is what I guess RC want you to do. Entertainment was not up to much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Voyager is looking very tired and I was really disappointed that such a large ship is so poorly laid out. Maintenance and general cleaning in common areas needs a major upgrade. Dust prevalent, tired furniture, mouldy loose fittings, ... Read More
The Voyager is looking very tired and I was really disappointed that such a large ship is so poorly laid out. Maintenance and general cleaning in common areas needs a major upgrade. Dust prevalent, tired furniture, mouldy loose fittings, counted 16 globes out in Dining chandelier. There is so much wasted space. Had a lot of difficulty in finding a quiet place to just sit and relax in peace. The library is always full with seating for about 10-16 at most. All the bars are tiny, the star lounge and lounge on 14 always have something on which is annoying. This ship needs a big lounge, maybe over the L12 rooms forward that is just a lounge. It would have been full. A lot of travelers I spoke to said the same. Aurora/Solstice have big quiet lounges up top with somewhere to sit quietly and have a cocktail or read/cards etc and are smaller than Voyager. I realise they need to cater for everyone but found the food rather bland. There was a good variety but all tasted the same .Rant over. The one good thing were the lunch time soups, in most cases really nice. Drinks package was good and staff were helpful although not the same drink available at all or some of the bars. When I found a nice wine I had to get from only one bar on board and take with me where ever I went, even to dinner. Why is that?. Our room attendant and staff in general were fantastic, no complaints at all. Room was a real find. 5 massive windows with a wonderful view and I imagine bigger than most suites(it was an accessible room and chance we may have been asked to move) if your looking for an amazing ship this is probably not the one. If like me it was for the itinerary then it serves a purpose. Wouldn't necessarily travel with RCL again if I didn't have to. They could take a leaf from the siblings Celebrity, my personal favourite line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The start of the cruise was delayed by about 12 hours due to really bad weather in the area we were suppose to travel through at the beginning of this cruise. Again, Captain Sindre was watching out for the safety of the passengers and ... Read More
The start of the cruise was delayed by about 12 hours due to really bad weather in the area we were suppose to travel through at the beginning of this cruise. Again, Captain Sindre was watching out for the safety of the passengers and crew. Basically the same crew as the first leg of this repositioning cruise and very little change in the attitude or the work ethic of the activities crew. A couple of activity crew members were added, but the same time issues continue e.g. very few of their activities start on time and are poorly organized. We can’t figure out if this is a “training run” for some of the people. The elevators may or may not work and we can be sure that at least one elevator of the 3 or 4 in a hall will not be working each day. We have cruised on other RCCL ships and various other cruise lines signing up for the “My Time Dining” and having good experiences with our evening dining plans. Why the dining staff of the Voyager can not figure out the My Time Dining program is a mystery to everyone on the ship. To the dining staff on the Voyager My Time Dining means you either eat at 6:00 or 7:30 pm and there are no other options. Over and over we have heard from other passengers “that is not my time dining”, but when you have Ms. Alexandrea V. ruling the entry to the dining room with an iron fist you do what you are told to do on the Voyager. If you question her, you will get the table next to the door of the kitchen and right next to the plate collection area which makes for a real “romantic” dinner on the Voyager. Also, the dining room menu has been shortened for some reason. On recent cruises there has always been 5 “Classics” along with the special meals of the night. Now there are 3 “Classics” each night listed and the dessert menu has been limited as well. PORTS Fremantle (Perth) - Both Fremantle and Perth are very nice cities and it is easy to get between the two using the train. For about 12.00 AUD you can buy a family pass very close to the port in Fremantle that will allow you to ride the train to and from Perth for the day. The train runs about every half hour so it is a convenient mode of travel between the two cities. Perth and Fremantle were both nice places to visit and we would go back if we had the opportunity. Adelaide - The port is about 40 minutes by bus from the city center. The people at the port were exceptionally nice and helpful getting the busses organized for everyone to get to the city. They charged 10 AUD for a round trip ticket on the bus to the city. The city of Adelaide was easy to get around both walking and by a circuit bus they provide for free to anyone in the downtown area. There is a walking mall area that most people utilize for shopping, bars and restaurants. Wireless internet is provided city wide for free by the city. The city is surrounded by large green parks which is very different from most cities. The parks surrounding the city are very nice break from the city sounds and crowds. Melbourne - A big city which you can access via a tram from the port area for a few dollars. The port area is very nice and there is a large walkable area where you can find plenty of shopping, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and many other businesses. Dunedin, NZ - The ship actually docks in Port Chalmers which is about 30 minutes by bus from Dunedin. There are bus transfer tickets available on the ship or at the port for about $20 USD. There is free wifi at the port and if you walk across the street you can use the free wifi in the city library. Around the corner from the library, on the main street of town, you can catch a city bus from Port Chalmers to Dunedin for $6 NZD each way if you want to save some money. There is some great walking paths in Port Chalmers if you want to stay in port for the day. Akaroa, NZ - This is a tender port with a small city in the port area. If the weather is questionable there will be a delay until the waves calm down and the tenders can operate safely. Christchurch is about 1 1/2 hours away by bus but if the weather is testy it will be difficult to make it there and back if you are delayed getting to the port. Staying in Akaroa for the afternoon is an enjoyable experience and is a lovely tourist town that you can find plenty of things to see and do while you are there. The library is a short walk from the pier and in NZ all libraries are required to provide free internet access so you can check your social media to find out what is happening at home. Picton, NZ - This is an industrial port with a great deal of logs being shipped out. They use a shuttle bus system to get you out of the port and to the downtown area which is very nice. In Picton, there is a downtown and a waterfront area that you can visit. Both areas are very close to each other and nice with more yachts and other boats in the waterfront and mostly shops, restaurants and bars on the downtown area. The area is much like the other places we stopped on the south island and is mountainous, very green with a small residential population. Wellington, NZ - This time we rode a shuttle bus provided by the city from the port to the downtown area. It looks like they are making improvements to the port area and they don’t want people walking through the port. The downtown area is very walkable and an easy walk to from the cable car to the sea port and museum. The museum is well worth the visit and the immediate area is very special with the beautiful bridge and park area. The cable car is $7.50 NZD one way (15 for up and back) and it is worth walking through the beautiful gardens at the top and then walking back down to the city. The downtown area has a free wifi service and there are plenty of places to get food and drinks all through the area. In summary, the stops on this itinerary were all good places to visit and easy to get around. Walking through any of the towns was easy and the people generally very pleasant. However, the Voyager of the Seas is an old broken down ship with elevators and doors that don’t work throughout the ship. The attitude of the crew gave most passengers the feeling that they were moving the ship to a new port and we, the passengers, were welcome to pay to ride along. There was a real lack of customer service from many of the crew members. I mentioned that the activities crew were late most of the time, missed or cancelled activities and turned half hour trivia activities into hour long marathons mainly due to being late and not being prepared with the trivia questions. The majority of the sports activity crew had such an attitude of arrogance that there were only a few people who actually climbed the rock wall or participated in any of the listed activities. Who wants to feel belittled when they are trying an activity for the first or second time? All said, it would be hard to recommend the Voyager of the Seas, but the itinerary is very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose back to back cruises starting in Perth on to Adelaide, Melbourne and NZ finishing in Sydney and then 8 days to Brisbane and the Barrier Reef again finishing in Sydney. We chose the cruise solely based on the itinerary and were ... Read More
We chose back to back cruises starting in Perth on to Adelaide, Melbourne and NZ finishing in Sydney and then 8 days to Brisbane and the Barrier Reef again finishing in Sydney. We chose the cruise solely based on the itinerary and were not disappointed although the weather could have been better in the early stages. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 midship (8316) - excellent location and overall no complaints although smaller than the balcony cabins on board the newer P&O ships. We had no complaints re the internal decoration of public areas and the ship internally was as we would expect. However, externally the ship was looking very tired with rust very evident particularly on balconies. This was surprising as we have been on older ships that were kept in pristine condition. We only saw painters working on one occasion throughout our 24 day cruise. Makes us wonder if RCI have plans to sell Voyager in the near future. The cruise staff all worked extremely hard and the Cruise Director was certainly one of the best we have ever seen. The stage production shows ( only 2 on each cruise ) were very poor and compared to the lavish entertainment on board P&O's Britannia were very dated. However the Ice Shows were excellent and we took the opportunity to see both productions more then once. We ate in the main restaurant and this was generally good although on the 2nd cruise the menus changed considerably and there was a poorer choice. There were over 700 children on board on the 8 day cruise from Sydney to Airlee Beach and the passengers were mainly Australians from the Sydney area taking a short break. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
From the beginning, air transportation to Perth Australia was long and needed 2 transfers. Check-in was one of the longest time periods (30 minutes) once at the counter we have ever spent of the 7 cruises we have taken with RCCL Our ... Read More
From the beginning, air transportation to Perth Australia was long and needed 2 transfers. Check-in was one of the longest time periods (30 minutes) once at the counter we have ever spent of the 7 cruises we have taken with RCCL Our cabin (9672) as well as approximately 150 others had problems with the stool in the bath room not flushing or flushing when it wanted to and it took 5 days for problem to be solved. I needed a frig or cool for my insulin but ours didn't work, replacement mini cooler malfunctioned and froze as well as the transformer almost burned up. Second mini cooler wasn't much better as it froze up also. Finally got a frig that worked 7 days into the 16 night cruise. The aft elevators, over looking the center of the ship, on the port side of the ship had problems. The forward elevator didn't work for over have the cruise and the aft elevator had door closer issues and would cycle constantly because the inner door would NOT close completely. Letting guest services know, several different time, didn't seem to get any action. Was able to show someone with supposedly some authority what was happening and got it to malfunction over half way threw the 16 night cruise finally got some action, but not enough to fix the on going problem. The shops left a lot to be desired. There wasn't the normal wide verity or amount of goods and those that were on the shelves were very high prices. I an say, the cabin steward was fantastic and our table captain her helper were outstanding and made our dinner time a real pleasure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime as we had never travelled to the other side of the world before and we had previously had very good cruises with the company in europe see main issues on cabin review .However the ... Read More
The cruise was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime as we had never travelled to the other side of the world before and we had previously had very good cruises with the company in europe see main issues on cabin review .However the long term saving and planning was ruined by our experience. The entertainment was not very good with only two dancing and singing shows compared to the offerings in europe .The only bright note was the ice shows which were both excellent and very professional.The menu offerings were very bland with not much variety although the waiters were excellent. .Johny Rockets was freezing cold and we felt sorry for the staff who had to work in these conditions.Even the new tea and coffee in cabins was not good as stocks had not been loaded in Singapore or Perth.All in all it was a very poor offering but the company seem to think that a lot what we are saying is our personal opinion and lots of people are very happy with the ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
for a relaxing holiday . our experience of Radiance of the seas is very disappointed and upset . food was not good at all in either cascades main dining room or the buffet windjammer. the choice of food was awful putting mostly ... Read More
for a relaxing holiday . our experience of Radiance of the seas is very disappointed and upset . food was not good at all in either cascades main dining room or the buffet windjammer. the choice of food was awful putting mostly the same variety of food on all the time on alternate days . food was cold unappetising and not cooked like a professional chief would cook . their was a terrible smell on the carpets on some of the decks like fusty mildew smell my husband complained 5 times and it was still there when we disembarked . the shows were very unprofessional and very loud , drink prices seemed to fluctuate during the cruise the same bar charging a dollar more one night than the previous night up and down the whole cruise . we boarded ship in Fremantle and were told by other passengers that the ship prices of drinks went up once docked in Fremantle . and for the rest of the cruise {some passengers boarded in Sydney before Fremantle } the showers were so small one would not want to try and pick up a bar of soap if dropped . and by the way NO Toiletries given or bath robes no water in cabins we had to buy it . even had to buy fresh orange if you wanted it for breakfast in the buffet windjammer . included if you went to the cascades restaurant . which took about 45 mins to bring your breakfast once ordered it took 4 attempts over two days for me to have the hairdryer replaced in my cabin as it was broken .the sanitation of hands in restaurants were very poor . crew talking instead of insisting hands were sanitised . lots of passengers ill and taken off the ship at different ports . i really must credit the cabin attendant who did do a good Job {Thank you . we will never cruise on Royal Caribbean again . very very disappointed for a cruise that we saved for about 10 months Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise almost exclusively because of the itinerary. This was our 18th cruise, but only our second on RCL. Our first RCL cruise was in 2005. We hadn't been back to RCL since then because of a disappointing dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise almost exclusively because of the itinerary. This was our 18th cruise, but only our second on RCL. Our first RCL cruise was in 2005. We hadn't been back to RCL since then because of a disappointing dining experience. Our 2005 evaluation was confirmed on this cruise. We had great service in the Cascades dining room, in the Schooner bar, and from our state room attendant. The service in the Windjammer was good, but not exceptional. In general, I found the quality of the entrées in the Cascades dining room to be poor. Meat entrées included "strip loin" (which I found to be very poor quality cut), a very inferior New York strip, a very disappointing pork loin, and a breaded Chicken Marsala - with no sauce. If you wanted a good quality New York strip or lobster tail in the Cascades dining room there was a significant up-charge. On at least one occasion I found myself ordering a vegetarian entrée, because there were no meat entrées that I trusted. Food in the Windjammer, was better (great hamburgers and hotdogs) but generally unremarkable, and repetitive. We experienced significant shore excursion disembarkation delays on two consecutive days. We found the ship to be in generally good shape considering it's 16 year old age - but a little tired in places. Most of the other guests with whom we struck up conversations were, like us, Celebrity and/or Princess fans who had chosen this cruise, only because of the itinerary. Disembarkation was probably the smoothest we have ever experienced. We had a great time, but the disappointing dining experience was a significant detracting factor. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We've now traveled on 5 different cruise lines and thought Royal would be our home line, but they've disappointed us both our last 2 cruises. Start with the good. -Our room steward was great, they always work so hard. ... Read More
We've now traveled on 5 different cruise lines and thought Royal would be our home line, but they've disappointed us both our last 2 cruises. Start with the good. -Our room steward was great, they always work so hard. -Our waitstaff were very good. -Absolutely loved the ports in New Zealand! Every port in New Zealand had volunteers in port and around town helping to make sure you got where you wanted to go. Free shuttles into the towns, were great, way to make folks feel welcome New Zealand. I'd love to go back there! -Dunedin train trip was fantastic with beautiful scenery, great volunteers that go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your day. The lunch and wine were very nice!!! -In every port there were nice places to shop minus the multitude of junk shops and ship sponsored jewelry shops. And, really nice places for lunch or dessert! And talk about great fresh seafood, yum! - Best cruise directer ever! Bad, All are policy issue that I'm sure are management directed. 1.) Please stop pestering us at every single meal to buy water, buy the wine deal, the champagne meal, the drink deal, the specialty dinning, the chef deal, tour deal, sparking water, lunch deals, pictures, pictures, again with a lower priced meal deal, everyday it was something more. Very, very annoying!!! In every nook and cranny they came pestering you about more. 2.) Extremely harassing picture folks in your way through the halls, blocking the stairs, blocking the entrance to the dinning room to the point that I felt rude just trying to get from one place to another. They went so that they would take hold of your arm to stop you even after you said no thank you. Calling after you if you walk by, I mean yelling down the hall "hey you". 3.) More and more venues outside the dining room pestering you to buy their services to the point that I was uncomfortable walking by. 4.) The ship needed a good cleaning, it was very dusty in the public areas. The beautiful wall of windows outside the champagne bar were never wash through out the trip to the point that you could barely see out them. 5.) Our bathroom in our cabin was in need of minor repair, but it gave the feel of a 2 star motel, this could not be handled by the steward. 6.) This was the least entertaining of entertainment on any cruise. Several were very good, but centrium entertainment very very repetitive and extremely loud even on the upper levels you couldn't get away from it. I used to love Royal, but we'll go elsewhere even after diamond. Very sad. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been on our bucket list and this cruise seemed perfect. We have been on Radiance two other times so we knew the ship quite well so it was like coming back to an old friend. Needless to say, ... Read More
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been on our bucket list and this cruise seemed perfect. We have been on Radiance two other times so we knew the ship quite well so it was like coming back to an old friend. Needless to say, getting to Perth takes some effort. 14 plus hours to Sydney from Los Angeles and then 5 more hours from Sydney to Perth. I was surprised how inexpensive the flight was on Virgin Australia to fly over 5 hours to Perth. Definitely less expensive than flying across the United States. We stayed at the Parmelia Hilton, which was well located to see Elizabeth Quay and the shopping district. We had two nights and a full day to see Perth and the surrounding area (Freemantle). We did the Hop on Hop off around Perth then took the train down to Freemantle, had lunch and then toured the prison, well worth the effort. Embarkation was quite easy and we were on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. It was hot, so nice to get on board and have a nice lunch in air conditioning! Cabin: We booked this cruise over a year ago while in the Baltic on the sister ship Brilliance. We booked a Junior suite on Deck 10, because of the good price and the length of the cruise. (Always nice to have a little extra room on a long cruise.) Our room was well located, was clean and neat, and obviously had been refurbished when the ship had its overhaul a few years ago. It was easy to walk up one flight to the windjammer or catch an elevator to the lower floors. We absolutely had no complaints about our accommodations. Now, for those not familiar with the Junior Suite category, the storage is amazing. It is really the only category with an actual "walk in" closet! Food: I have read some reviews that have already been filed and I have to disagree with some of the conclusions vis a vie the food reviews. We have been on about 20 cruises, mostly with RCI but we have done two Princess and two Disney cruises as well. We found the food in the Windjammer to be good for both breakfast and lunch (never had dinner in the Windjammer but friends we met did and they were complimentary of both the variety and quality of food for dinner). The breakfast omelets were quite good, with little wait time. I did miss my regular pork breakfast sausages we get in the Caribbean and other locations, but I understand we were in a different part of the world, but they did do both American and English bacon. The choices seemed to me to be good and equivalent to other RCI cruises we have experienced. I found the quality good, considering that they are cooking for over 2,000 people! As an example, the hamburger patties at lunch seemed to be thicker than I remember and the cooks were doing them in batches so that they were constantly adding newly cooked, hot hamburgers to the bar. I found the hot dogs much better than I remembered, both in taste and they were kept warm on a rotating grill. Either I am easily pleased or those who didn't like the food are not experienced cruisers or have unrealistic expectations. I guess if you want to experience Crystal, Silverseas etc. you might get "different" selections or better presentations, but you will pay over twice as much for the experience. In general, the breakfasts and the dinners in the main dining room were good. For us, the company at dinner is one of the reasons we cruise. Meeting new people and sharing experiences of the day are one of the highlights. We were very lucky to have 4 British couples at our table who were all nice and provided great conversation and humor during dinner. Generally dinner was good and up to what we have experienced in the past, with two exceptions. No lobster night, AND more importantly, no steak as one of the every night options. For some reason, when RCI cruises in this area of the world, steak in not part of their every night menu, unlike when in North America or Europe. I missed that option when the nightly offerings didn't tickle my fancy. One of the issues for me, and this is a personal issue, is I do not eat a lot of fish and there seemed to be many fish options on both the appetizer and main selections each night. But that said, the quality was generally fine and when it wasn't, our waiter brought us a new or different entre. Someone was "complaining" in another review I read about the hand sanitizers in the Windjammer and I was amazed when I read the comment. I found the folks who have the thankless job of trying to make people clean their hands as they enter the restaurant both enthusiastic and diligent in doing this task. By the way, if people were better at doing it themselves, they would only need the machines and not have to make staff stand there and force it on the cruisers! It's an "us" problem not a "them" problem! Service: I found the service really good from almost everyone I encountered on this cruise. Staff seemed to be making a little extra effort to be both friendly and helpful. The cruise director and the activities manager were front and center every day and were both enthusiastic and good at their jobs. I found other higher ranking cruise staff to be both more visible around the ship and engaging with the cruisers. Our cabin attendant was great and so were our waiter and his assistant. No one I encountered seemed to want to "dump" an issue on others rather than helping out themselves. this hasn't always been the case on other cruises. Entertainment: Ok, this is one area where RCI gets a "mixed" review from me. I generally like to have dinner and then see a show in the theater. Unfortunately, there were a number of times where the show for the late seating was actually before dinner and I was forced to choose between going to the lounge to have a drink with friends or go to the show. The drink won out! Also, the RCI "singers and dances" may have been the least talented I have encountered on an RCI ship. Other than their lack of singing ability, the staging was very odd at times with the costumes and the music not matching the scenery etc and the choice of music quite odd at times. Many of the other efforts, headline performers, the band in the Colony Club (one of the best I have ever experienced on a cruise, man could they do Santana!), the 70's party and the British v. Aussie music battle were very good and a lot of fun. The tango performance was really entertaining as the lead couple were quite good. I did not participate in any "enrichment" because there simply wasn't any!! I found the whole ship to certainly be up to my standards. I realize that this is one of the older ships in the fleet, but I really do like this class of ship and I did not find it "old" or run down as some have said in other reviews. The centrum was well appointed as were the Colony Club, the Schooner Bar and the crown. Again, I'm not sure what people expect, and I sometimes think I was on a different cruise when I read other reviews. I am both an experienced cruiser and I expect good value for my cruising dollar and this cruise did not disappoint me in any way. The destinations were fantastic (Melbourne, sailing the fiords, Dunedin, Akoroa, Wellington etc were great!) , we had good weather most of the way and got to see a lot. When on a long cruise like this, you have to understand that there are only so many breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings and at some point, things will repeat. and, just like at our homes, some things will break down, need attention or repairs. The real questions is how the staff responds to these issues. These ships spend almost all their time sailing, not in a ship's garage getting repaired so stuff happens. I would sail this ship again, with this crew again and most certainly with RCI again. Thanks for a great cruise and taking me to a lot of places I would not have otherwise gone! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. Wonderful outdoor weather helped of course. We r two Australians in our mid 60s. One comedian onboard said he was 55 and the eldest of 7 children on the ship. Correct!. Most of the Australians had done the first part of the cruise in extreme heat over the top of Aus. We got on where they got off in Perth and headed down round the bottom of Aus to NZ where weather and seas are open to the extreme changes from the Antartic. We did have that cold breeze out at sea most of the time which kept people away from the pool and top deck but in ports we were very lucky. Note Feb. 2500 passengers on board mostly Americans and Europeans seeing the world and generally happy little vegemites considering they were very lucky able to do so. Always always in life there are those that just find fault in all but we find love in experiences. We enjoyed the variance and hearing about their homelands for a change. Someone told me they only write reviews if they are unhappy about something. Relate that this is a few reviewers opinion and we are all very different. Yes the ship is not new and yes in places is showing wear but she is kept spotless by incredibly hard working crew. There are discreet cleaners carrying little blue bags waving their disinfectant and polish everywhere. If people get sick it's because generally a passenger not wanting to miss out on his planned cruise has alighted with a bug and like planes they spread it no fault of the ship. There were people coughing and men particularly without using covering cloths. We managed to get off without a bug. As per most older ships yep showers are smaller with only curtains and no they don't supply condiments only liquid shower soap. I prefer my own. Our last cruise on this lovely size ship not too big not too small she had tea and kettles in room. I miss that soo much. I am one who just hates asking room service to walk a mile for a cuppa and also hate making myself look decent to find one. Every morning we chose to have breakfast room service such a luxury for me. We ordered tea and coffee same time which stayed nice and hot in their warmers. I am not sure what people expect food wise when I hear complaints. Truly. Blows me away. Service and food in Cascades was very good and varied. I was even asked if I was unwell the following night after they noted I didn't have sweets or was there something else they could get me. They as usual kept my bottle of wine nightly until finished for me. It was placed on table after I arrived. Love this service. We had lunches in Windjammer and a couple of dinners. Yes they do try to keep similar foods for those who prefer that. Lovely salads as condiments. The hoards at the daily burger pizza and chips bar. There is premade or make your own sandwiches with all types of bread. Always two soups and varied pasta or pie type foods. Wonderful varied steamed veg. For me I have a love for curries. Every day different and so tasty. Nightly they provided the cheese platter we always went inacquired at five and grabbed some on a plate to have with our wine on the deck. The grilled steak lamb salmon was incredible at night in there. Top quality and tender and done to your request. We found seafood prawns and mussels and most nights they seemed to have something as a theme. They had make your own pasta one night we were there and waffles to die for. Yes we also did the three specialty diners. For US75 each. Giovanies and Chops provided us a two table next to window lower lighting and rolling seas so ambiance yes. Izzumi no ambiance but Japanese food was a nice change. If you are on a budget in my opinion unless you want either of above don't bother. Spend the money on drinks. Drinks yes again in my experience always expensive on cruise lines unless you pay more for the all inclusive cruises. They do allow two bottles of wine only at your boarding port. All bags checked each other port just like getting on a plane so it will be confiscated until departure if you try it. I must admit. RCL this trip related how little people were using their bars and for some less enjoyment. Long cruise for as lot. About 8 days into our 17 day cruise they offered 10 drinks for US75 card. We purchased 2. Meaning for me I could enjoy a couple of usually 14US ea coctails daily for half price. My husband a beer drinker just used his normal seapass card for the cheaper option. Lager some bars only US5. I'm pretty sure people wary of the sell thing on these ships missed out because they weren't prepared to look or listen. I would suggest these excellent offers put there for our benefit be advertised in daily news letter. We found the nightly entertainment wonderful. From someone who has a husband who renegs at home on taking me for coffee! I Thankyou for the wonderful cruise happy entertaining staff and the ability to get taken out for Coctails dinner a show and oee the world. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose it for the itinerary. We have done over 30 cruises but only two with Royal Caribbean in 1999 and 2001 which were excellent. Unfortunately this ship was very disappointing. We had just stepped on board in Fremantle and were ... Read More
We chose it for the itinerary. We have done over 30 cruises but only two with Royal Caribbean in 1999 and 2001 which were excellent. Unfortunately this ship was very disappointing. We had just stepped on board in Fremantle and were bombarded by people trying to sell the different restaurants drink packages etc - they were really overpowering. We had anytime dining And really enjoyed the food and the company of different people every night . All the staff n the ship were excellent especially in the restaurant. Our cabin steward (Michael) was fantastic. We were told by a lot of people who had been on the ship in Sydney that the drink prices all increased when they got to Freemantle! We enjoyed all the trips which were well organised but really overpriced and going through Millford sounds was fantastic. The entertainment was the worst we have ever encountered on a ship apart from line excellent lady singer and an Irish comic. Some shows were more suitable for children. Entertainment during the day on sea days was pathetic. The lectures were on memory loss etc. It was like being in an old peoples home! Apart from all this we had a lovely holiday - but won't be going with Royal Caribbean again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
When one contracts for a cruise we expect, at a minimum, two important things. First we expect a reasonable level of safety be provided throughout the cruise, and second we expect professionally run tours to enhance the experience of ... Read More
When one contracts for a cruise we expect, at a minimum, two important things. First we expect a reasonable level of safety be provided throughout the cruise, and second we expect professionally run tours to enhance the experience of visiting new places. My wife and I recently returned from two back to back cruises on Royal Caribbean, around Australia and New Zealand and we experienced neither. My entire professional life was spent in the area of public safety, 45 years in the fire service, fifteen of these with the New York State Fire Marshall’s Office of the Fire Protection and the final 7 years as Director of Building Codes and Enforcement for the State of New York. I believe my experience quantifies me to comment on the lack of safety of the tenders, small boats, contracted for passenger shuttle in Bali, Indonesia. Our ship, Radiance of the Seas, did not dock in Bali, these tenders were used to ferry us to the dock and back to the ship, on what should have been a thirty minute trip. These enclosed boats held 90 passengers, had one exit, were powered by up to eight 300 Hp. Gasoline powered out board engines, they reeked of gasoline fumes. Some of us spent an hour circling waiting to get back on the ship, one spark and we would have been incinerated. Indonesia has one of the worst records in the third world countries. I considered this to be one of the most dangerous environments have ever been in. When I complained about the lack of safety of these tenders to Philip Ashcroft, the Hotel Director of the Radiance, he said both he and the Captain Severre Ryan did not like the tenders also and were going to make their feelings known to management. Even though I left my business card I never heard another thing about it. On over half of our tour busses the PA systems did not work so we could not hear the tour guides comments. On our overnight tour from Milford Sound to Queenstown, New Zealand we spent over twenty hours on the bus in two days and were only allowed 6 hours sleep in the hotel in Queenstown. Another example of poor planning, we could have rejoined the ship in Akaroa instead of Dunedin and had a pleasant 3 day trip instead of the two day ordeal we experienced. The food in the dinning room was good and above average. Our servers were attentive and personable. We enjoyed our meals because of the servers who were always watching to see if we needed anything and we even got extra servings without asking or sometimes we got samples to taste. Our cabin person was average although when I was quarantined he was always there to see to my needs. We think that the center atrium of the ship where on the bottom they had entertainment every day/evening made it difficult to rest/veg out in the library, sitting area, card playing, etc... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Thought it would be good to experience a short duration cruise on a new mega-ship after previous cruises on older and smaller ships. Cruise Director Joff Eaton was superb and the technology used throughout the ship was amazing. We had ... Read More
Thought it would be good to experience a short duration cruise on a new mega-ship after previous cruises on older and smaller ships. Cruise Director Joff Eaton was superb and the technology used throughout the ship was amazing. We had an excellent inside cabin and room steward and the virtual balcony TV screen was excellent. We were not travelling with children but the children we saw on ship were well catered for with some really excellent activities. Most of the entertainment was good, some not so. The remainder of the staff were trying but not achieving, English as a second language was the worst problem. Meals were rarely delivered correctly and most meals were well below expected standard. The on-board computer system had all sorts of issues and a lot of passengers were frustrated by not being able to book activities, while room account information on cabin TV screens was sometimes inaccurate. Some of the staff actively encouraged unfair queue jumping for obviously able bodied people for events and activities, which we found very annoying. No on board laundry facilities for passengers unless you pay for the service provided. No shop on board for simple items such as toothpaste or bottled water. Embarkation at Fremantle was fairly disorganised, Disembarkation at Adelaide was slightly better. Did not do any shore excursions as this was a straight transit from port to port. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We decided to do a week getaway before Xmas on the Ovation Of The Seas which offered sector cruising between Singapore & Sydney - too good to pass up. My husband and 17yr old son flew to Perth on Sunday 4th and had 2 days staying ... Read More
We decided to do a week getaway before Xmas on the Ovation Of The Seas which offered sector cruising between Singapore & Sydney - too good to pass up. My husband and 17yr old son flew to Perth on Sunday 4th and had 2 days staying at the Crown Metripol which was lovely beautiful room with pool view and nice big bath :). We embarked the Ovation on Tuesday 6th our allocated time was 12:00 - 12:30, unfortunately the process didn't follow anything that they planned our allocated boarding time was irrelevant as we were given a number which we had to wait to be called - numbers were being handed out randomly as you walked in, we were given an 8 people behind us got a 6 and boarded 45 mins before us. After waiting 1 1/2 hrs we questioned the process as they were still hadn't called for 7. Lady apologised and told us to go straight through. Once embarkation was complete we had to go to the Music Hall as we had pre purchased our drinks package on line pre cruise, which gave us a 20% discount considering the ship was in US$ that helped when that was sorted we started to have a look around. We have never sailed with RCCL only NCL so I was interested to see how different the experience was going to be. We started by checking out the SeaPlex - as the cruise had initiated in Singapore things were well underway indoor soccer, indoor basketball, dodgeball, dodgem cars X-Box games - plenty for teenagers to do - over the week we hardly saw our son - he was gone after breakfast, met us if we had a scheduled activity eg: Escape Room, I-Fly, or NorthStar met up to get ready for dinner - we had the first 2 nights as my time dining once on Tuesday night in Silk Wednesday night in American Icon - as they had the same menu it was just the decor that changed. I had pre-purchased Jamie's & Chops pre-cruise on line as it was discounted but after 2 nights in the main dining rooms preferred to change to the 3 specialty dining package which they happily did. we were very lucky to have Wonderland in the package as it was booked out between Perth & Adelaide. We weren't sure what to expect but were very happy with the whole Wonderland experience and all 3 were very full. I wont get into detail as it would spoil it if you haven't done it before. :) The boys loved Chops although we all purchased the more expensive meals boys had steak and I had the lobster which I could only eat half, much to my sons happiness. Dessert each night was a must although I only had a bit each time and son polished of the rest. The main dining rooms for breakfast were very slow so we only went once as others were saying the same, plenty of places for breakfast and lunch, restaurants at the Solarium and Two 70 also out the back of the Windjammer overlooking the back of the ship just have to find your favourite place. We all had a turn on the I-Fly and although it was only a minute complimentary it felt like longer, looking back on the video it was a lot of fun to experience and we even lucked in free t-shirts. The North Star was good - gave a great view of the ship and as it was a nice day it all looked beautiful although even though we had an 11:30 booking, it was nearly 1:00pm before we got on as the day before was cancelled due to rough weather they were trying to catch up the people who missed out. The Solarium was definitely my favourite place on the ship it was adult only although over 16's were allowed - multiple pools and spas and a bar right at the front off the ship which enabled plenty of relaxing - if you could get a seat/lounge. The ship had plenty of undercover pool areas which would suit different weather - we had a few cool windy days so that helped a lot. We only went to 1 show which was Pixels in the Two Seventy - all 3 of us went and enjoyed it amazing area that you can sit in and relax looking out to seathrough the floor to ceiling windows during the day and at night it transforms into a beautiful stage area with live performances. One place we frequent a lot was the Bionic Bar - once we got the hang of it we created our own drinks tweaked just the way we liked them. When the weren't being used both robots would dance in time to the music together. Mitsy our cabin attendant was great always kept things tidy and stocked. As we were only on for 5 days with no ports for us it was all about the ship we had a lovely time short but sweet then disembarking at home in Adelaide which made it really easy. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We wanted to try a big ship and were delighted to get a last-minute discounted booking sailing from Perth to Adelaide. Embarkation was a nightmare. The online cruise planner offered departure times by deck and the option to select ... Read More
We wanted to try a big ship and were delighted to get a last-minute discounted booking sailing from Perth to Adelaide. Embarkation was a nightmare. The online cruise planner offered departure times by deck and the option to select another time. We arrived just before our booked time of 2 pm to find about 1,000 people waiting. Sat for about 90 minutes than queued for another hour, finally arriving at our stateroom at 5 pm. Many locals blamed Fremantle Port rather than RCI. My feeling is that it was a combination of both. Freo terminal is a dump, one sad “café” which was just about out of food by 3 pm. That said, RCI offered no information about the length of the wait or reasons for delay. Elite cruisers and people with disabilities were able to skip the big queue but still waited about an hour. Fortunately, our superior balcony stateroom (11670) was wonderful - the best we’ve ever had. Though it looked narrow it had two cupboards and many drawers plus room for suitcases under the bed. The table also served as a desk and the couch was big enough to stretch out & snooze. Bed was just right. The balcony had two chairs, footstools & a small table. The bathroom had extra shelves for toiletries, a glass shower enclosure, handheld shower and a nightlight. Venues/entertainment: Two70 is incredible. During the day it’s a large comfortable lounging space at the stern, with glass walls several stories high and at night it morphs into a high-tech entertainment venue offering live shows, virtual concerts and a night club. The glass walls become a gigantic digital screen and there are 6 digital panels that act independently. The Pixels show is an energetic mix of music, dance, acrobatics and robotics. Bookings essential. Be warned the show is very loud. Tip: on show nights there’s a sound check & rehearsal about 3:30 pm. Two70 is a public space so you can watch the performers warm up as the tech crew checks the stage mechanics, etc. Royal theatre: large traditional theatre space for production shows. I felt the shows were a bit lacking in narrative but there was glitz and glamour on a Las Vegas scale. Bookings advised. Music hall: smaller venue which featured excellent cover band Rock the Boat making it baby boomer heaven. There were other events as well but I didn't attend any. Activities: Bumper cars. Great fun, highly recommended. North Star - really enjoyed this but it can be a long wait for the 10-minute ride. More below in comments. Bookings essential. iFly – was unable to get a booking. Flowrider – looked like fun but not for me. I felt the daily schedule was a bit light on other activities though there were about 6 different trivia sessions. CD Joff Eaton was very low profile –a shame because I think he’d be very good. Maybe because this was a repositioning cruise? Not sure. Tip: there are almost no board or card games available – bring your own. The only pool I used was the Solarium: right at the bow, this adults-only space also has floor to ceiling windows. Filled with comfortable lounges grouped around a waterfall of shallow pools, there are also 4 spa pools and a café offering healthy snacks. Can get very crowded. Now for the bad news! My Time dining was an epic fail. Due to the last-minute fare I was unable to book more than one night online. OK, but on the night there were huge queues for Silk and American Icon. Where’s my booking? “Oh just pick the shorter queue, the menu is the same.” People w/o bookings had their own queue and were being seated BEFORE booked guests. Wait staff were trying hard but were clearly inexperienced. We only ate there one night so it’s hard to rate the food – better than P&O, not as good as Sea Princess. There are two other dining rooms with the same menu but not available on My Time. Why?? Windjammer had a hand washing room before entry. Great idea and much better than sanitiser (which was also available). The buffet is set up with different stations which can be confusing at first. Food varied from ok to pretty good. Though it got crowded we never had a problem getting seats. Debarkation was delayed an hour with no explanation. There was another 30 minute queue to collect luggage. Overall: the ship is brilliant, high-tech, clean, comfortable with lots of different spaces and few queues considering the number of passengers. However many crew members are inexperienced. There also seems to be a lack of standard procedures – for example the North Star can’t operate on rough or windy days so all bookings are cancelled. Fair enough, but some people are rebooked automatically and notified, others are given priority tickets and still others (us!) ignored. There were lots of angry passengers –I felt sorry for the crew members operating the North Star. The dining mess was a major disappointment as dinner in the MDR is usually a highlight of the day. Would we sail on her again? Yes, but only if the price and itinerary was right. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had a buy one get one free with a bulk-booking company in Perth and have sailed with RCL 3 times before but this made us wonder why they even bothered. We heard from other passengers there was a problem with 150 employees from the very ... Read More
We had a buy one get one free with a bulk-booking company in Perth and have sailed with RCL 3 times before but this made us wonder why they even bothered. We heard from other passengers there was a problem with 150 employees from the very beginning who were unsuited when it came to employing them, so it was always going to be short staffed but people sailing from Singapore got the brunt of it. The staff worked very hard in difficult circumstances and you have to applaud that, however some were also still learning on the job. This was not up to RCL's usual standard and any first-timers will not be sailing with them again - unless you have kids perhaps. We had a good time but would agree with the following: 1. Check in was appalling - they ran out of seapass cards. 2. Cabin door to balcony creaked all the time ship was moving, woke you up. 3. Eating at your requested time was an impossibility. 4. Most activities were geared towards children/selling RCL products (such as at the spa). Very little was free and the public areas were set up so that you couldn't even move through the thoroughfares easily at peak times to encourage purchases. Everywhere you went adults were just sitting around because there was little for them to do - unless you were athletic. No cinema and only children's movies being shown anyway. 5. Shows were a very high standard - if you could get a seat. Why have pillars in the theatre that actually block the view from 2 seats - who designed that? Only those who pre-booked ahead could get a seat. 6. Menu choices at main restaurants were limited. Passengers were told where and at what time they could eat; we formed a group of 6, were told we would have to eat at 6.30 to keep the reservation only to find there was never a reservation anyway! I am sorry for all the hard-working staff who now have to read these disparaging reviews and put up with abuse from frustrated passengers - some of whom would have disembarked early if the ship had put into port more frequently! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose this cruise as it was a 5 nighter from Fremantle (home port) to Adelaide and a good opportunity for my husband to experience 1st time cruising. Also coincided with Birthday and anniversary so dates fitted. NOT happy about the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was a 5 nighter from Fremantle (home port) to Adelaide and a good opportunity for my husband to experience 1st time cruising. Also coincided with Birthday and anniversary so dates fitted. NOT happy about the last minute 'deals' offered by Cruiseco to fill empty cabins - a request for an upgrade in lei of cabin credit was ignored. I will NOT be doing another Charter cruise for a number of reasons - this being one of them. But good on anyone who could make a last minute decision (1 week beforehand) to cruise and got an exceptional deal! I have previously cruised with Explorer (repositioning) as a suite guest and the difference between suite and 'pleb' class was evident. Took 2 hours to board in Fremantle which all seemed a little chaotic (compared to Singapore). However once on board we were able to head straight to our cabin which was a bonus. Balcony cabin was beautiful - back of ship which turned out to be something of a bonus as 'forced' walking exercise. Especially loved the shower cubicle (no shower screen). Bathroom small but very functional and plenty of room to unpack 2 x toilet bags with room to spare. Did not get the opportunity to meet our cabin attendant however our cabin was spic and span and loved the nightly 'animals' left on our bed. Lots of comments about long waiting lines and terrible bland food. This was not our experience, other than a 90 minute wait one day for quest services (RCI need to do something about that). I pre booked all our dinner reservations (MTD) and the shows and North Star etc. No problems with getting into our restaurants for dinner - though will say they did seem to rush us through our courses. Staff were friendly and attentive - we did get wrong orders a couple of times but this was soon rectified with apologies. Food - variety and presentation and quality was not on a par with Explorer last year - not sure if that was due to this being a Charter??? However we enjoyed our meals (only 1 complaint one evening when my Sticky toffee pudding appeared to be mostly raw!) Hope the food experience was a once off as we are cruising on Voyager in March and I am expecting a return to my 'food' experience of Explorer. Plenty of pool lounges about the ship - shame so many people 'hogged' those in Solarium taking prize positions (almost all lounges actually) with towels books etc for 2 hours or longer before they arrived to use them. The shows were amazing - we did not see the comedian though. Would be happy to see them all again. All in all a good relaxing holiday before Xmas chaos hits. Would do Ovation again - but not via a Charter. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We started with a virtual balcony stateroom, the technology for this live stream "balcony" is amazing but the room felt claustrophobic and it doesnt replace the fresh air and personal space we value in a real balcony so we ... Read More
We started with a virtual balcony stateroom, the technology for this live stream "balcony" is amazing but the room felt claustrophobic and it doesnt replace the fresh air and personal space we value in a real balcony so we upgraded the next morning. The staterooms and ensuites are well designed and seemed more spacious than on some other cruise ships. We thought the ship was well designed in that we found it easier to find restaurants and theatres etc than on some smaller cruise ships we have sailed on. The large number of lifts meant short waiting times and easy access to all floors. The production shows were very modern, the dancers and singers were excellent. The ship is designed for the Chinese market with attractions aimed to appeal to a much younger generation than the usual cruise market. We were extremely disappointed with the poor service, my bag was missing for hours, after dinner I eventually discovered it myself standing in a hallway, it had been delivered to the wrong room. My husbands bag was located on deck 2, it took many questions over many hours for someone to eventually tell him where to collect it. Following is an example of the quality of the service in the restaurants, in fact service anywhere on the ship - Went to the breakfast in one of the restaurants on the first morning at sea, what an experience. A fellow passenger who seems to know everything, said the ship took on new staff in Singapore and he said he saw them being trained on the job. The problems we had with our waiter reminded me of Manuel in Fawlty Towers. He took orders for Oatmeal for and Frosted Flakes for my husband - both on the menu. After 15-20mins, something resembling watery half cooked porridge was placed in front of me - this is after it was first served to the woman at the next table who said she hadnt ordered it. I had also asked for cold soy milk when I ordered the porridge, he forgot the milk and eventually came back with a weird silver vessel larger than a gravy boat. Have never seen anything like this vessel but it happened too quick to get a photo. He quickly poured too much soy milk milk on the watery oats for me. My husband was still waiting for his Frosted Flakes when I finished the oatmeal, eventually this waiter came back to our table and told my husband "I am sorry sir but you have ordered something that is not on the menu" My husband said it is on the menu otherwise I wouldnt have ordered it, then giving up on this, he said I'll have corn flakes instead. Luckily someone else overheard this and quickly grabbed a packet of corn flakes and served Dad within a couple of minutes otherwise he would have undoubtedly waited another 20 minutes. . His milk was also poured from a large silver vessel. My husband then ordered Eggs Benedict with a side of sausage and mushroom, I ordered an omlette with tomato, onion, cheese - everything listed except for the salmon also listed. I also ordered the same sides as my husband.The waiter appeared to write everything down. After 30 minutes wait, my omlette arrived with sides of tomato and hash browns. I asked if it was mine because I ordered sausage and mushrooms sides, the waiter said it was mine and he would get the right sides. The waiter told Dad that he was sorry the eggs benedict were taking too long to cook. Eventually the eggs benedict arrived, they were almost floating on something that looked like melted butter - they also looked like they had been made by someone who had never seen eggs benedict before. The waiter apologised when my husband said the eggs did not look right. Instead of sausages as sides my husband got salmon and and hash browns, at least he got the mushrooms he ordered. This waiter then arrived with another omlette for me, I said I had already started eating the first one and did not want another one. This second plate also had the wrong sides on it. This was the first of many such incidents. Just asking for a glass of water without ice at meals was a problem, I was usually told "you will have to wait for it" and they would eventually bring a different jug with water and no ice - yet other cruise line staff have no problem pouring water from the same iced water jug without getting ice in the glass. Sometimes I never did get the no ice water. Today I asked 3 different waiters for some soy milk, it took over an hour for me to finally get it after saying the next person I asked would be the supervisor. One night I ordered chicken parmigiana and after a 30 minute wait was given roast chicken, when I questioned if this was my order because I had ordered the Parmigiana, the waitress said " yes it is yours, sorry I make mistake" - with an attitude of "whats your problem its chicken anyway" I didnt want to wait another 30 minutes so accepted the roast. There is a story for every meal we had on board, I wont continue telling them because these are enough examples to prove the service is poor. Maybe the attitude of service being "near enough is good enough" is acceptable to the Chinese market but if Royal want to compete with the service provided by cruise lines like Princess in Australia they will need to improve the standard of service very quickly. We heard a lot of complaints about poor service from other passengers. On other disappointments - the same two episodes from a few TV shows such as Big Bang Theory were repeated over and over again every day of the cruise. $US12 is too expensive for most families to pay per movie to watch it in their room. Surely they can cater for adults, especially the ones with health or mobility problems, who like to rest in their rooms occasionally during the day and provide a free movie channel which isn't just for kids and show at least entire series of TV shows rather then just repeat the same two episodes of some shows? Booking for restaurants was a frustrating procedure. The fellow at the Silk booking table caused delays and confusion every night, someone in authority must be able to see he isn't suitable for that position by now. Cruising on the Ovation of the Seas was a mixed experience. We're booking with Princess for our next cruise. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We selected this cruise to experience a new ship more than any other reason. The itinerary was good, many sea days better. Overall the ship was impressive and it was nice that it still had that new ship smell but I am getting ahead of ... Read More
We selected this cruise to experience a new ship more than any other reason. The itinerary was good, many sea days better. Overall the ship was impressive and it was nice that it still had that new ship smell but I am getting ahead of myself. We usually prefer Celebrity and have achieved Elite status, which translates to Platinum with Royal Caribbean. This is relevant as Celebrity seems to look after loyalty members quite well with lots of perks. Also interesting is that they are the same company but the actual processes and systems on board as so different. Embarkation in Fremantle: We were given a boarding time of Noon. We arrived at the terminal at about 12:30 and joined a long queue to take a number. When the girl saw that we were Platinum she said we don't need a number, to just stand over there and wait till they call Platinum. 45 minutes and two lots of numbers later I went to another organiser and explained what we had been told only to find that we could just go straight in to the check-in area. Where we joined another queue, albeit as Platinum we had a shorter one that most. This was the very last time on the whole cruise we saw any benefit of our Platinum status. In summary, the embarkation process in Fremantle was a mess and there where many long waits. It was so late that they had to delay the safety drill by an hour. Amazed that RC could not organise it better. It is unfair to compare with Celebrity as that is a more premium brand for RC but some things you would expect. We had pre-purchased drinks (under an odd arrangement with Cruiseco), Internet, Speciality Dining and booked shows and regular dining all on-line weeks before. When we arrived in our cabin there was no welcome letter, confirmations on our bookings, Internet access codes. Nothing. The internet was particularly annoying as it took 2 days to hunt down someone who could give us the access code but despite acknowledging the problem, could not refund the unusable days. The Ship: Overall, well laid out and despite the 4900 odd guests, it did not seem crowded. There were some queues for meals and shows and disembarking but other than the main dining rooms, not that much worse than we have previously experienced. The ship had many technical and non-technical art features that looked amazing. The lift art by a Chinese artist I particularly was impressed with. The "Royal Esplanade" of shops and cafes seemed quite a bit smaller than we have experienced with a real focus on high end brands. There was a market style store each sea day that you could buy cheap stuff at and that always seemed crowded. It also managed to block access through the Royal Esplanade on Deck 4 and if the Bionic Bar was open it achieved the same on Deck 5 making transiting the ship at those times painful. There is only a very tiny convenience store at the back of the duty-free liquor store but don't rely on it for much at all. Guest Services got way too much business and there was a constant queue for most days, particularly as the cruise went on as I believe there where many accounting errors in the bars. The sportsplex was fun and the Solarium pools and area nice to relax out of the wind and away from children however lounges where at a premium. The two main pools where busy most days and the outdoor pool has a very cool looking water slide park for kids. The bars where very spacious, particularly the Music Hall which had great shows, especially the band called Rock The Boat, which we would have loved to have seen more of. Boleros I think made the best cocktails on board as they did not use premix cartons of drink base. The Two70 lounge at the back of the ship doubles as a relaxing area and high impact entertainment area. With a great view of the wake it would be lovely to quietly sit and read with a drink. But with so many children and random shows it was not possible and as the very small library was incorporated into this space it also offered no quiet time. There was a room called The Workshop that was quite but just tables and chairs. Not sure what it is meant for. A large connecting area called The Via seemed to attract the ships photographers of an evening so could be difficult to Navigate if there was a crowd build up. The Cabin: I will do a Cabin review however of note was the pretty poor housekeeping. There was a small piece of paper in the middle of the carpet when we arrived that we tracked to see if a vacuum went near our cabin. It was still there when we left as well as other bits of fluff and stuff. As well as empty drink glasses that never got cleared. Our cabin attendant was a pleasant guy, but we also had to ask him to refill the body wash dispenser and we just made it through on the roll of toilet paper allocated to us with no back up available (phew). Dining: With 18 restaurants, there was a great variety, but you must plan what you want. We were on "My Time" Dining which in theory meant we could dine in American Icon or Silk at any time. The reality was that without a booking, you had to wait. Depending on the show times, that could be a not insignificant queue. The menu in the 4 main dining restaurants was always the same with 4-5 nightly specialities along with the classics available every night. The food quality in the main dining rooms was OK. Nothing to rave about. The service level depended on the section where you were seated and ranged from quite good to awful. We heard there where many new staff joined the cruise in Singapore, 6 days before we boarded but I would have thought that a company like RC would have processes in place to make crew experience mostly transparent to guests. The wine lists where very limited especially the by the glass selection available to those with an Ultimate Package. Very cheap wine by the glass and only 2-3 option at most. There is a wine bar with a wine dispensing machine that would be wonderful to try. But this is not included in the drinks package (crying face). We tried Jamies. Very good food but not IMHO worth the cover charge placed on it. We participated in the Chefs Table degustation dinner and combined with a great group of other diners had a brilliant night. The food was delicious, the presentation and commentary by the chef fun and the paired wines of great quality and taste. Our waiter helped a lot with the fun and experience we had. Be warned, they say allow 2 hours, we were there till midnight. We could not get into Wonderland and heard mixed reviews. The Hot Dog stand was a novelty but very small hot dogs. Izumi Sushi bar is an al-a carte pay by the dish restaurant that we did not try. Espresso Coffee was awful everywhere. They used UHT milk, which does not help and I had it explained to me the Baristas where trained by Starbucks which also explains a lot. Australians who like coffee will understand this comment. I ended up just having triple shot long blacks and they were drinkable. (Bought coffee bags for the cabin before we left Fremantle). Entertainment and Activities: The headline shows we saw where very impressive and worth the effort to catch at some point during the cruise. The Ovation band and performance troupe are very talented. You must book some of the shows however when we were in our booked performance for The Beautiful Dream and Live Long Legs there were plenty of vacant seats. Pixels was packed out. For the walk up shows, it was standing room only. And what is it with people that leave a single seat between them and the next people. Pet peeve of mine. The entertainers in the bars where first class and the rock band called Rock The Boat was fantastic. Northstar should be booked but has a standby queue. If it is closed due to weather, you lose your booking but get priority standby to take when it suits you. iFly is 60 seconds of fun, try and do it. Dodgem Cars (Bumper Cars) run as long as the battery charge allows. Get in the queue early if you want a go and enjoy. With 18-20 cars running the wait is not too long. So much to do in the Seaplex for young and old. Enjoy. The gymnasium was excellent and the running track also great to run off the previous days margaritas. Service: Overall the service was good. You always get the odd inexperienced waiter (quite a few on this cruise) but other than one person I encountered the crew all seemed to want to please people and where more often than not it seemed, let down by systems. Getting off to visit the two ports we called at was easy. This cruise was a bit different as passengers were also disembarking or joining us so they had two separate gang planks operating to separate the day trippers from those leaving or arriving. Some qeues but again not really any worse that other cruises we have been on. Disembarkation: Listed time was 7:45am. Right on time, off we went. Bags waiting and easy to get to. We were on a train home from Circular Quay station by 8:00am. Too easy. Summary: It would have been easy to find things to complain about but really the ship and service was so nice it was not worth the energy to get upset about some small problems. And let’s face it, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to enjoy a cruise of this standard. We will likely stick with Celebrity in future but if we did not have that comparison to make, then we would not have seen many of the faults in this cruise and would probably do it again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise as it was its first time in Australia they over emphasised the fact because when we got on our interpretation from the advertising was different the services were appauling. When we embarked we waited 3 hrs just to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was its first time in Australia they over emphasised the fact because when we got on our interpretation from the advertising was different the services were appauling. When we embarked we waited 3 hrs just to embark the line was huge and there was no effort to keep the line moving. We eventually got on and on one of the nights the ship movement was bad mostly everyone was sick, a ship like this isn't designed for Australian waters, during the night of a couple of the nights the noise from the ocean was bad as the walls and windows aren't sound resistent. Our stateroom attendant was very helpful all the way through and was very assitive. The food was appauling as they all had similar or same menus , windjammer was just basic and waiting for resturants was dissapointing. The cruise was good for those injured on crutches or in a wheeelchair as they would get priority. Entertainment for kids was good but to line up for activities was rediculous we waited 1 and a half hrs for bumper cars , had to book for Ifly, limited availability for roller skating sessions. Being on deck 3 was terrible as you could here everything. I would never travel on this ship again and it was my children's first time so we were dissapointed and unsure whether we would cruise again with royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
spur of the moment ,very good value,never sailed before.thought to many people,also lots of kids ,although very well catered for.embarkation at fremantle was two and a half hours disembarkation at adelaide one and a half ... Read More
spur of the moment ,very good value,never sailed before.thought to many people,also lots of kids ,although very well catered for.embarkation at fremantle was two and a half hours disembarkation at adelaide one and a half hours.entertainment great ,most of the time booked out .restaurants that are free ie windjammer market place,solarium bistro,silk,the cafe @two 70,food tasted much the same although you could eat as much as you like.this was our first cruise ,next we would prefer a smaller ship ,and a less elderly group.the ovation of the seas is a magnificent ship ,with every activity to suit everbody.joff the activities manager is great also his manager caroline is very good.their channel 14 in the morning is worth watching.you have to book very early to secure a ride on the north star on the 15th deck its very popular.free hotdogs all day at seaplex dog house on the 15th deck .10 am to 6pm. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This would be cruise number 8 each being with a different cruise line. Read the reviews and hoped it would be different for us. The embarkation took a ridiculous two and a half hours, not a good start to any cruise. Went to our balcony ... Read More
This would be cruise number 8 each being with a different cruise line. Read the reviews and hoped it would be different for us. The embarkation took a ridiculous two and a half hours, not a good start to any cruise. Went to our balcony cabin, which being a new ship was fine, nothing special however. Checked out the Windjammer buffet a huge area with poor quality food, when compared with other ships costing half the price. The free restaurants were beautifully appointed but once again food offered was nothing special, given the price paid. Paid $50 each for Wonderland restaurant where the meal was very good, but when you are already paying $500 per night for your stateroom so it should be. Drinks throughout the ship were expensive wine by the glass particularly so, after being converted to Aus Dollars. Also first ship we have sailed on with no happy hour offered anywhere, the only deal being 5 selected beers for the price of 4 in a bucket. Entertainment I thought was poor, apart from the Rock the Boat band who I thought were truly excellent. Excursions were the normal ripoff that they all are, we took a tour of Hobart in a people mover located outside the dock. The cost being around a third of what the ship offered. The ship was new and beautifully appointed as one would expect, but in terms of value compared to previous cruises it didn't stack up. As a consequence I would not use this cruise company again. Read Less
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