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Sail Date: September 2014
We were fortunate enough to sail on Oasis of the Seas' first transatlantic cruise. The weather and seas could not have been better. Many have already commented that the ship is so large one can always find a quite spot in spite of ... Read More
We were fortunate enough to sail on Oasis of the Seas' first transatlantic cruise. The weather and seas could not have been better. Many have already commented that the ship is so large one can always find a quite spot in spite of 5000 passengers and 2000 crew sailing along with you. Our spot was after if the ship on either decks 11, 12 or 14. We found that the various food venues affered a variety of foods and dining experiences. We generally preferred the dining room when we just wanted a leisurely meal; although we ate at several of the other venues. The Park Avenue Cafe was usually crowded and had the feel of a cafeteria. The Wipe out cafe and the a solarium Bistro had the advantage of sitting outdoors in one's bathing suit. Personally I found the food selection in the dining room to be less appealing on the Oasis compared to our cruise in March '14 on the Freedom of the Seas. The Windjammer also had a very different setup from Freedom. There were plenty of choices, but it took a while to figure out where the foods were that we preferred. It was not our favorite place to eat. Because we were traveling east, we had to account for 6 hours of lost time before we reached Barcelona. The hours were subtracted for 6 consecutive days at noon. Everyone was relieved to get that extra hour back before the end of the voyage. We went to just about all the evening entertainment and found it to be top notch. Only one night would be considered typical cruise entertainment. I assume because this was Oasis' first transatlantic there was a great deal of confusion with scheduling reservations for shows. Hopefully they have their system worked out for the return trip in Oct. We had signed up through roll call to sit with a group of 15 people for our evening dining.. After about 6 days we decided we wanted a quieter venue and was able to change our table to the main floor next to the piano. This was a good move for us since we finished out a table for 6 which allowed for easier conversation. We only docked at one port on our journey. That was Malaga. We chose to stay in port and ride the hop on hop off bus. It was easy to find since one of its stops was just a block north of the location the dock shuttle stopped. Purchase of tickets was at the stop. Because my husband uses a walker we did not get off at any of the stops, but ther seemed to be several that would have been interesting. Our cabin was very adequate. We found the storage space ample, and with the entry door opening out, we were able to leave my husbands walker near the door and out of the way. We had a balcony on the starboard side. We didn't want to sit in the sun, so that worked fine for us. We had shade a good deal of the day because of the overhang above the 14th deck. Embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly. The longest wait we had was waiting for a taxi in Barcelona getting off the ship. My husband simply sat on his walker with the luggage near the taxi stand, and I walked through the queue. All in all, it was a great cruise. The ship is beautiful with lots of activities to keep one occupied for so many days at sea. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
The VOS is one of the older RCCL ships and is scheduled to be refurbished soon. It is quite attractive and its overall appearance is good. We enjoyed its smaller size, making it easier to negotiate than the mega ships. It is maintained ... Read More
The VOS is one of the older RCCL ships and is scheduled to be refurbished soon. It is quite attractive and its overall appearance is good. We enjoyed its smaller size, making it easier to negotiate than the mega ships. It is maintained impeccably clean in every public area and in the cabins, although it is somewhat shabby in places and clearly showing its age. Some of this is to be expected, such as the frayed edges of carpeting, and does not interfere with functionality or with our enjoyment. But other evidences of wear are unnecessary and result in discomfort, such as the lounge chairs on Deck 10. (Deck 10 is where passengers who do not wish to sit near the noise and crowds of the pool sit.) These chairs are old and worn with webbing that is ripped or stretched so that one finds all their weight resting on metal crossbars. It becomes necessary to "try" many, many chairs in order to find one that is comfortable, then move the usable chairs order to position several together. The chairs around the pool (Deck 9) have been replaced and are fine. There are sufficient chairs for all guests, but many of them are unusable. Ventilation throughout the ship was a problem. During the first five days the entire ship, public areas and cabins were excessively warm. I am usually cold, always needing a sweater and even I was too warm. Thereafter, we found most of the ship adequately air conditioned and comfortable, although some people in neighboring cabins still complained of the heat. Toward the end of the cruise, the theater and casino were, again, uncomfortably warm. Air conditioning workers were very active and visible in many cabins. Most of the crew was hard-working, conscientious, and eager to please. Despite their efforts, the quality of service was lacking due to severe understaffing and lack of supervision. When a request was made, "the buck was passed" to someone else. For example, when we received an erroneous charge, I went to Guest Services and was told to contact Housekeeping, who told me to contact Guest Services, who told me to again contact Housekeeping. Eventually the Deck Supervisor became involved and our bill was corrected. There were several such incidents, especially in Dining Services, and almost all problems were resolved, or somewhat resolved, but it did take much of our time and effort. It also required much time and effort on the part of already overworked staff. Being so under-staffed, one can understand why several of them tried to pass things off to someone else. Although we had read poor reviews about the VOS, the price of this particular cruise much lower than the other Transatlantics and sowe thought we'd try it. Early in the cruise, we made the decision not to allow the poor service to detract from our enjoyment, and it did not. We enjoyed the cruise and aren't at all sorry we took it. Overall, the VOS needs much improvement in order to come close to the standards of RCCL. I thought it important to write this review so that those who may be booked on a future VOS voyage have the option of adjusting their expectations so that they will not be disappointed. Following is a department by department description of our impressions. Dining Services This was by far the area most in need of improvement, as the following selected examples demonstrate. Having special dietary needs, we contacted RCCL prior to the cruise, as did our travel agent, and RCCL had assured us that there would be "no problem." As instructed via email by RCCL, immediately after boarding we went to see the dining room matre d' to confirm that these needs were being met. We were sent back and forth between the Head Waiter and a few others in the Dining Room and were continually told that there was nothing they could do for us, regardless of what we had been told by RCCL, a poor way to begin a cruise. Finally, in desperation, went to Guest Services and the matter was satisfactorily resolved in a matter of minutes. We were exceptionately fortunate for dinner. We had My Time dining, sat at the same table every evening, and our waiter and assistant were excellent! However, the kitchen was disorganized and unprepared to serve the number of guests on board, resulting in waiters often needing to wait for food on long lines in the kitchen. This created a domino effect with the assistant waiters needing to fill in by doing the waiters' work and, therefore, not being able to do their own. Everything then gets backed up. One evening we were in the dining room for two hours, waiting over an hour between our appetizer and main. At lunchtime guests have the option of dining in the main dining room or in the Windjammer buffet. We tried the Dining Room once and never saw our waiter; the assistant waiter had taken our order and, after waiting more than 75 minutes without being served, we left and ate in the Windjammer buffet. One evening the kitchen ran out of both the "chef's selection" appetizer and main courses at 6:15 PM, resulting in backups from the needs of many to reorder, several guests becoming angry, and, again, a 2-hour dinner. Extra tables are placed in the Dining Room in order to accommodate more guests for which the dining room was designed. One breakfast I was seated on a ramp and concerned that my chair would tilt backwards! There are tables blocking aisles and at the base of staircases, resulting in difficulty passing and in those seated in such places being jostled by those passing by. There were far fewer waiters and assistant waiters than we have seen on other cruises. Although they worked very hard and literally ran back and forth to the kitchen, their number was insufficient to adequately serve all the guests. Moreover, we never saw any senior officer supervising in any dining room, and those who were supervising missed many problems, mistakes, and omissions in service. On several days, there were additional specialty buffets poolside. These were not announced in the daily Compass, the newsletter listing all on-board activities. One day I overheard talk of one of these buffets and called Guest Services to inquire about it. I was told that, since it was not in the Compass, they were unaware of it. It seems that the only announcement of these "surprise" poolside buffets was the Cruise Director's regular 10 AM announcement. Unfortunately, ship-wide announcements cannot be heard in cabins or on balconies, so guests spending this time in cabins or on their balconies are unaware of these activities. It seems that even Guest Services is unaware of them, as well. One day we went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch at 12:30, the height of lunch time. One entire side was closed and the buffet line on the open side extended into the foyer. I asked one of the Windjammer "leaders" why half the buffet was closed at this busy time when the line was long. He looked surprised when I brought this to his attention and apologized. The full buffet was opened within 10 minutes. Although no staff noticed this, and they should have, they were responsive and quick to rectify the problem. During the last three days several food items were missing from the breakfast buffet in the Dining Room. When we requested one of these items, we were told that it was toward "the end of the cruise" and so they had "run out." When we questioned one of the supervisors about it, we were told that it is normal to run out of many of the food items at the end of the cruise. We never before have been on a cruise where several food items had been exhausted three days before the end. Thank goodness for the My Time dinner staff because their professionalism, hard work, and desire to serve helped to soften our breakfast and lunch experiences. The quality of the food was adequate. Cabins We had a junior suite and were fortunate enough to have an aft cabin on the end with a large balcony that wrapped around the side. Because our room and our balcony were so comfortable and delightful, we found that we spent much more time there. The lounge and deck chairs (4) on the balcony were mesh and extremely comfortable. The room had plenty of storage space and, best of all, a real soaking tub in the bathroom. The cabin attendant was attentive and eager to please; we never had to request anything more than once. However (and this was no fault of his), he had so many cabins assigned to him and he was new to the position, being required to attend many morning "meetings." This combination of newness, meetings and a large number of cabins resulted in our cabin being cleaned between 1 and 2 PM every day. Laundry The first day that we sent laundry, we received back someone else's. The following day we did receive our own. However what was promoted as "Wash and Fold" service was really "Wash and Stuff into Bag" service. Our clothes were creased beyond imagination and unwearable. Our cabin attendant took the clothes back and had them redone for us, returning them the next day (most of the staff really tried their best), more than 3 days after we sent our laundry. The next time we sent a bag of laundry in, it was again returned creased beyond wearability. At that point, we just gave up. But we received our own laundry back! Hooray! Spa and Fitness Center The spa staff always was professional, polite, pleasant, and extremely helpful. I had one "signature"spa treatment which were excellent. The steam-room and sauna were fine. The locker room area was stuffy, hot, and poorly ventilated, making it unconducive to use the steam-room or sauna. My husband observed that the restroom in the men's locker room was always wet and dirty. The fitness center was much too small for the number of passengers. There was a total of 8 treadmills, 7 ellipticals, 3 stationary bikes, approximately 8 machines (no 2 of any kind), 3 benches, positioned directly in front of the weights making it difficult to obtain weights when someone was using a bench, and a tiny area for classes. More often than not, it was necessary to wait to use equipment. The area was so small that the equipment was crowded together and there was a claustrophobic feeling. Because of the overcrowding in such a limited space, the entire area was usually stuffy and smelled of sweat. Moreover, in addition to the 2,000 passengers, several crew members used the fitness center as the crew gym, I was told, was the size of a closet and even more poorly ventilated. Future Cruise Sales The staff was polite and very helpful. We were interested in looking at some future itineraries, but there was no available literature that we could take and browse at our leisure. There were only two hard-cover notebooks with the RCCL itineraries in plastic sleeves and for use only in the department, and one similar notebook for Celebrity, for which we has to ask. This was within a day or two of embarkation and we were told that they "ran out of brochures." Guest Services Overall, the Guest Services staff was amazingly professional and polite, even in the face of angry guests shouting at them. For the most part, I found them to be helpful, if not consistently efficient. During the last day of the cruise, a day when people have multiple questions, at 9 AM there was a line of 14 people and only two Guest Services staff at the counter. They did not send questionnaires requesting preferred disembarkation times and we were arbitrarily assigned a time of approximately 8:55 AM even though we had a 10:45 AM flight out of Miami (we were docking in Ft. Lauderdale)! This information was provided in our on-line check-in. We could have been assigned a disembarkation time of 7 AM. Clearly, departing at 8:55 would result in our missing our flight. At that point, the lines at Guest Services were so long that we opted for Express Departure, enabling us to leave the ship at 6:30 AM, but carrying our own luggage (despite the fact that my husband has a leg in a cast). Other Departments The Casino staff was professional, very friendly, and helpful. This certainly encouraged spending time there, which we enjoyed. We appreciated that the Cruise Director was low key, not trying to convince us that we were having a great time and not intruding by making frequent loud announcements. The music around the ship was fine, but. we would have appreciated the opportunity to listen to classical music, especially before dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed the production shows and several of the other entertainers. A few of the evening shows were quite bland, but others were really excellent and varied. The Photographers were professional, non-intrusive, and produced great results. Unfortunately, a batch of photos was "lost" and ours was among them. In the future, we will shy away from the VOS in favor of other ships. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
This was a bargain opportunity trip, that was booked with no prior preference for doing another TranAtlantic. Saw the deal- booked it. :) This was cruise #72, and 4th TranAtlantic. This itinerery is not my preference, but my husband ... Read More
This was a bargain opportunity trip, that was booked with no prior preference for doing another TranAtlantic. Saw the deal- booked it. :) This was cruise #72, and 4th TranAtlantic. This itinerery is not my preference, but my husband prefers it. We spent 4 days prior in Rome, which is always a wonderful touring city. We took a CC arranged bus transfer, since my husband has some mobility issues which worked out excellent. In the past I have taken the cheap train. Embarkment was with a short wait and very organized. I had a large on board credit- that I was able to use, by getting the "My Time" dining on the ship. IF you want this at booking, you have to prepay the tips. This feature is not as well run as other lines. We were "tracked" into a time, at the same table for the most part. It certainly is not "freestyle. They keep you with the same wait staff, and hence the continued policy of individual tipping. It doesn't work well, in my opinion. But, food was good and survice was excellent, despite the appearance of being short staffed and looking overworked, which is another issue, I was conflicted about. I went to only a few shows, which were all good. We are Diamond, and with this status pretty ordinary- it was always over crowded at the events. In my opinion, it should be only open to those members and not extra "guests" that is sometimes complained about. The booking agent, included a very nice cocktail party and dinner for two, which we used in Chops. The wasted food, due to the too large portions, should be addressed perhaps? The ports were good and I toured independently in each. Livorno, I had a rental car, which I did require dock assistance getting back to the ship. :) The port area is NOT well marked. In Toulon, I went with a CC organized tour, which was excellent. In Barcelona- taking the city bus was superior to the ship bus. It dropped off right at the Christopher Columbus statue for half the price. :) The Hop on Hop off bus gives a great overview, which I've done before. I have never made the Azores due to weather/route cancellations. I have two more TranAtlantics booked next year- maybe. :) The 8 sea days, had me pretty bored, but the cruise overall certainly was very enjoyable anyway. The value of this sailing was excellent, but I would not have considered it, if it had not been. Disembarkment also went very smoothly. I had no problem getting a cab and making my 11:15am flight. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Since I have never experienced a repositioning cruise before, nor ever cruised with Royal Caribbean, I hope I am not unduly unfair to Royal Caribbean in the following comments, as I am not sure if this is the result of it being a ... Read More
Since I have never experienced a repositioning cruise before, nor ever cruised with Royal Caribbean, I hope I am not unduly unfair to Royal Caribbean in the following comments, as I am not sure if this is the result of it being a repositioning cruise or just normal operating procedure for RC. Repositioning cruises are the best deal - and if you are budget conscious or just like to get the best deal for your money, this is the way to go!  Serenade of the Seas was a great ship for Alaska - with so many places to sit and watch the scenery without freezing or being outside. Mother nature was the real hero on this cruise - once we departed Seattle, we had sunshine EVERY day - a more beautiful experience could not be had. Even the captain had to comment on the amazing weather.  Overall my husband and I found the food wait service & food quality of both the main dining restaurant, Reflections, and the self-service restaurant, Windjammer, up to our discriminating standards and what we would expect of a decent cruise line.  We were disappointed with the wine selection, however and five days into the cruise, there was yet to be an offering of an identifiable chocolate dessert at dinner!  I made this complaint to our waiter and he personally took it as his mission to bring me a chocolate dessert each evening from that point on  (and from where it came I have no idea - don't ask don't tell) - no matter if I ordered a different selection - my table mates were jealous! We spent the extra $54.00 pp dining charge to experience Portofino's special Wine course dinner as a celebration of experiencing Hubbard glacier that day, and unfortunately, the wine selection from Italy was once again very disappointing, although the special menu, service, food quality & taste was excellent.  Overall cabin service was excellent - the steward met us on the first day and asked us our preferences for delivery of ice to the room, etc. She was very attentive and surprised us on occasion with towel animals on our bed... I gather this is a RC tradition as they offered a class on creating towel animals on one of the sea days.   Three areas I was really disappointed with in comparison to other cruise lines I have used was the entertainment, port talks, and disembarkation procedures.  Given this was a 14 day cruise and a natural paradise, we had a lot of port days, eight in total not counting the disembarkation in Vancouver.    There was a single port and shopping talk for Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan - and it basically amounted to just a sales pitch - make that a sales push - to buy from the stores like Diamond International and others they had listed in the port guide.  Never a mention of the ports - in fact the gentleman leading the talk told us to look up the port info in the books in our cabin (which by the way only had the Caribbean ports listed - not Alaska or Canada). Everyone I spoke to thought this was a waste of time and many walked out of the lecture. RC even had a naturalist on board, and while the lectures were interesting - the facilities in Safari Club were not conducive to accommodating the people interested and seeing the slide presentation.  The lecture on glaciers was in the Tropical theater and was a much better environment to listen and see the slides.  As far as the entertainment goes, overall I could only give it at best a fair rating. There were only 2 production shows for the 14 days, the shows were good but the quality of the singing was just OK.  All the other evenings were solo performers, including Marty Allen - yes - he's still around at 86 years old.  The entertainment for the first 7 days was all solo performers - I guess that was to give a break to the production singers and dancers or they were new and learning the shows ... not sure which.  Also - the shows would sometimes be late - after the second seating at 10:30 pm or before at 7:00 pm  ... not sure why that was the case.  The cruise director was OK - he seemed to get involved in a lot of details and he never introduced his cruise staff onto the stage until the last day of the cruise.  Regarding general disembarkation procedures, they had a lot of trouble with the first tender operations in Hoonah or Icy Straight Point - it was extraordinarily time consuming - but they did seem to get their act together for the second port we tendered to - Sitka.   The final disembarkation was a mess. We had early flights and should have left the ship at 8:05 am - We did not leave until 9:30.  We waited for the PURPLE tagged luggage call, holed up in the Safari Club. The team there did not know what was going on and while there were departure colors called that were due to leave after us, they kept telling us that we could not leave since our luggage would not be in the customs hall... Well, we got so frustrated after waiting so long, that we left anyway - and lo and behold, ALL the PURPLE tagged luggage was there - the lounge people obviously missed the call to send us out.  Luckily we had decided to take a taxi and got to the airport in time for our flight back to the US.   As you can surmise, we prefer to make our own travel arrangements being seasoned travelers.  It saves us a lot of money. For example - the cost of the taxi to Vancouver's airport from the port was $36 CAD.  RC charges $36 per person USD to get to the airport.  We also found it best to set up our own port excursions if you want to save money, with the exception of Icy Straight Point, there were plenty of tour companies available as soon as you arrived at both Alaskan and Canadian ports.   07-May-2009: Ketchikan This was actually the first Alaska port we sailed into on this repositioning cruise. We docked by 7 AM and departed Ketchikan by 3 PM - enough time if you decide on a self-tour option. Waking up to the picturesque town right there in front of us was pretty neat.  The RC staff really pushed buying your excursion before you left the ship, but honestly, the prices were much cheaper by 25 - 50% if you bought your tour off the ship in the visitor's bureau.  As soon as you reached port there were plenty of tour companies right in the bureau, including many options to get to Misty Fjords - the must do tour from the accounts of people we spoke to who paid up to $300 per person fee for the float plane experience.  We chose to be economical on this Alaska trip - so we took advantage of local transport and our own two feet to tour Ketchikan.   Saxman village - the place where all the historical totem's are and which still houses local native artisans that carve totems - is an easy 2.5 mile walk on a paved walking path along the water.  On the way, we discovered a drive-thru espresso convenience store, which was perfect since we were craving a good cup of coffee - we walked up to it and the folks there made a great latte.    When we got to Saxman Village, there was a $3 charge each for access to the grounds, contrary to info we read about in the 2009 Fodor's Alaska Ports of Call book. We went into the gift shop and the gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to lend us a handout about the historical purpose and meaning for each of the totems.  We took the city bus back into town, leaves every 30 minutes- for a nominal charge and then walked around Creek Street and took the Funicular up to the Cape Fox lodge for some beautiful views of the snowy mountains. We then trekked down to the town following some of the paved paths, including the married man's path along the creek.  Since we were there in early May, no salmon were running - but I can imagine how cool it will be in the summer to see the place brimming with the fish.  We sampled some amazing jam in one of the stores - a fruit I never heard of - Salmon Berry - looks like a yellow-orange raspberry.  We bought the jam - and an Ulu knife - best prices for the Ulu knives were found in Ketchikan - with quite a variety of wood handles to choose from.  For the photography enthusiast - the town was a delight to photograph and the walk to Saxman Village also offered some beautiful sites.   08-May-2009: Juneau -  Our key interest in Juneau was to hike the trails near Mendenhall Glacier and catch the sites in that area, and we did!  WOW!  We took advantage again of the local shuttle bus service for $7 per person one way - so it gave us the time to do what we wanted for as long as we wanted.  Where the bus drops you off is a set of trails, a Creek trail and the Moraine Ecology Trail.  We were the only two people to get off the bus and take the trail right there and to our amazing luck, we encountered a young black bear within 40 feet of the trail head!  It was really exciting and we took a ton of pictures until he moseyed away following the creek under the trail ramp. The ecology trail is a very easy hike - but since we were early in the season, there was a lot of snow on parts of the trail, luckily our hiking boots are water proof. The cool part was seeing the animal tracks and skat evidence that was so visible in the snow and sound of silence, that is until we encountered a robin attacking a Bluejay. We came upon the front of glacier from the lakeside then walked the lake bed to the visitor center and the falls, and we also followed a piece of the East Glacier loop that was not closed.  We took advantage of the visitor center to watch the films and exhibits, speak with the rangers, use the restroom facilities, and see a family of mountain goats through their telescopes. There was a charge to the center - $4 per person.  We were going to take the Mt. Robert's tramway to get a better sense of the scenery from the mountaintop - at a cost of $27 each - but decided not to - as it just seemed to be a very high cost.  Instead we went and had a beer at the Red Dog saloon, a well deserved rest for our weary feet from all the hiking and walking in the town that day. 09-May-2009: Skagway -  - This was one of two ports where we selected an excursion in advance through the ship.  Since we like to be active when we vacation, there was a hike that let us experience the White Pass & Yukon Railroad for a 20 minute train ride to the Denver trailhead.  The hike was supposed to be about 3.5 miles round trip, but given it was a tour off the ship, there were persons unable to trek the terrain very swiftly, rated as moderate, since we had to be back at the trailhead within three hours to catch the train back. In fact, two people wore sneakers which were pretty slippery given the terrain and misty conditions.  The trail was interesting and well groomed - the guide knew his flora and fauna and told some fun stories on the way. The trail took us through the temperate rain forest with some old growth forest. We ended up hiking about 2 miles round trip - a little disappointing to my husband and me. The tour operator, Packer Expeditions associated with a retail store in town - The Mountain Shop, was great and split us in two groups after a while so we could move at a faster pace.  Even so, we did not hike as much as we would have liked, since we have to get back down the mountain to meet the train.  I would definitely try this again, perhaps organizing a private hike with others I know that would "keep up". When we returned to Skagway, we learned of some other hikes in town, so we had a quick snack in town and went on the trails that started off second street by the train tracks.  The visitor center in town had trail maps and the staff were very helpful. We ran into a lot of employees from the ship on the lower lake trail. It was a beautiful day, the sun was full out and the long range pictures of the snow-covered mountains were just spectacular.  The lake was crusted over with an ice layer that was melting with the intense sunlight. As the wind blew, and broke up the ice layer, it sounded like glass chimes tinkling in the wind. Very peaceful!  10-May-2009: Icy Straight Point -  The real name of this town is Hoonah - In reality - this is a created "port" for cruise lines to make money by selling  Zip lining tours - while zip lining is fun - on this cruise so early in the season,  they really were not ready for us - the cruise lines overbooked the time slots - the retrieval system for the lines was not operating. People got really annoyed waiting - we did not book this tour but wanted to try it - and we did watch people come down the lines screaming... it was hilarious to watch. Hoonah is a mile, easy walk from the port - not much to the town BUT we encountered bald eagles en mass near the little Lutheran church on the harbor side of the main street. The eagles were feeding and hanging out in the trees - some spectacular photo opportunities.  One of our table mates that evening told us they chartered a float plane ride from one of the few shops in Hoonah that had tours advertised on their storefront window and that it was an incredible experience.  We were jealous!  At this port you must tender in, and again - the excursions are limited, the only tour worth taking is the ZipLine (unless you can make your own arrangements in advance) - the other tours offered at the cruise facility generally got a thumbs down from the people we spoke with that went thru the cruise line.   There are some lovely walks along the nature trails and the beach trail at the facility. All are paved trails except if you go to the rocky beach area with plenty of benches and places to rest or contemplate.  12-May-2009: Sitka  We tendered into Sitka without any particular plans for the day. As we arrived at the pier, another ship, the Carnival Spirit was visible, and many tour operators were meeting passengers as we disembarked the tenders.  Unfortunately, Sitka was a short day - we had to be back at the tenders by 3 PM, so that limited what you could do as far as tours if you scheduled them yourself.   We ended up having quite the full day.  It started when we decided to join a party of 4 to charter our own private whale watch tour. Captain Rich and his dog Eva were great. We were lucky to see gray whales in the waters off Sitka and lots of cormorants, sea lions, sea otters and a small rock outcropping filled with at least 50 Bald eagles nesting... that was incredible.  The captain poked around the waters to get us the best vantage point possible for the wildlife. It was a three hour tour, cost us $120 per person and it was well worth it as there were only 6 of us on the boat.    After returning to the marina, Captain Rich recommended some places to walk to, the fish hatchery, and the Sitka National historic park. This park is the site of a memorial to the Russians who died fighting during the Tlingit-Russian confiict.  The park was filled with birds singing and was really peaceful. The paths were easy to follow and offered many options to enjoy the park.  There was a visitor center there, and we took advantage of the restroom facilities, but did not enter the center.  My only regret is that we did not have more time there, once we got back to the tender port at about 2:30 PM we had to stand and wait in line a long time to leave.  We were finally on the tender at 3PM. . Some people did see sea otters off a drainage ditch on the way to Hoonah (we did not) but we did see plenty of interesting sea birds (apart from the amazing bald eagles) and sea lions in the water.  15-May-2009: Victoria -  - SAVE all your whale watching excursion $$ for Victoria - AMAZING!  There are resident pods of Orca's (Killer Whales) there and plenty of opportunity to take all kinds of excursions. While I made our excursion plans from the ship's excursion desk, in town there were tens of whale watching companies that were much cheaper (plus you can pay in Canadian $$ and get the advantage right now of the positive exchange rate).  Royal Caribbean charged $118 US per person with the Whale Watch operator picking us up in their busses at the pier - but we found plenty of 3 hour tours with the local operators off the main marina & pier in town for $90 Canadian. That was a short 15-20 minute walk from where we were docked.  The operator we used had two naturalists on board, students completing their degrees or recently completed.  They pointed out a lot of the sites, wildlife, etc and were very knowledgeable about Orca's.  We encountered Orca's almost immediately once out in the open water and we actually exhibited some tail slap behavior and some breaching. Unfortunately, we were a bit too far for any interesting photographs, however the captain did well by us by inching closer and anticipating where the whales would go.  The most spectacular moment was when we encountered the clustering of the entire whale pod, about 25 or so whales in the J-pod, as they began entering their resting state. The naturalist told us that Orca's rest about 10% f the time, and cluster together to protect each other. As they are resting they rise above and fall below the surface of the water together. It was amazing to see and it also happened that the captain guessed right on where to move the boat, allowing the whales came within 20 feet of our boat as they passed down the channel in behind us. This action resulted in some great photos of the whales.  Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked ... Read More
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked shore excursions leaving us with a breif stop in Maui. If you wanted to shop great if not disapointing. It was just a really long boat trip from Hawaii to Vancouvre via Maui. Our time in Victoria was cut short due to the tide. We sat in Vancouvre overnight in port. Dissembarkation was a nightmare. Locating bags was like a really sick idea of a scavenger hunt. Close to 3 hours to get off, find your bag and wait in the longest line ever for a taxi. Of course the taxis were busy bringing people for embarkation so it was a mess. We were told when we complained that everyone received the same compensation. We received refunds for our shore excursions and refunds for 2 nights we spent in port instead of cruising. We received a credit to buy lunch because they couldnt one day. That certainly is not compensation its reimbursment! Royal Caribean do not care. They changed everything about our holiday, we did not get what we paid for or what we expected. If we had wanted to do a long boat ride from Hawaii to Vancouvre then we would have booked one. We didnt but thats what we got. Wouldnt travel with them again. The cruise was a comedy of errors and changes. Appauling customer service. MSC gave us a better cruising experience at a far better price. The activities onboard were sometimes hard to get onto and into. You certainly needed to be everywhere very early and not mind waiting in line at times. The artists were of a high standard. The food was nice in the restaurant but it did get a little boring after 10 Days as several meals were repeated. The buffet had a large range but again the choices got boring as they seemed to be the same each day. We dinned at Wonderland on one occasion and really enjoyed the quirky nature of the food. It was fun and a nice break from the main eating areas. The robot bar is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Unfortunatley there were a large amount of people who had very small children in the bars even as late as midnight. We had the drinks package and found it was a good idea as the prices on board were expensive. There were multiple shopping events. Its such a shame that this cruise was spoilt by poor planning. We complained to our travel agent who passed our concerns onto Royal guest services who said that all passengers were given the same compensation. We were refunded the cost of shore excursions and 2 nights that we sat in port as well as the cost of lunch on a day they could not provide it. That certainly does not qualify as compensation. Perhaps they need a dictionary to understand the difference. At the end of the day they just did not care about our experience it was all about the money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I have sailed on the Explorer of the Seas for multiple cruises and had high expectations for the 4 B2B Odyssey cruise that was offered from Sydney to Southampton, UK from March 29th to May 7th. Those expectations have not been ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on the Explorer of the Seas for multiple cruises and had high expectations for the 4 B2B Odyssey cruise that was offered from Sydney to Southampton, UK from March 29th to May 7th. Those expectations have not been achieved. Due to a high number of older and more experienced cruisers, who are apparently much more tight with the pocketbook, we have had many of the venues we enjoyed stopped or marginalized for Royal Caribbean to cater to their Diamond and Diamond plus cruisers at the expense of anyone lower. Bingo was stopped due to low participation, yet the problem, was very little advertising, playing Australian versus US Bingo, low payouts and constant switching of the venue time and location. The Casino has been lightly attended and part of that was the introduction of new slots with higher minimums. They even increased the minimums on the Blackjack tables. They refused to change out card decks if a player requested it. If you wanted to play craps many times one would have to play alone and only late in the evening. Many of the scheduled poker, blackjack and slot tournaments were canceled due to lack of minimum players. Even when we tried to recruit more players to come, the ship refused to broadcast that we were seeking a few more players to play. Complaints to the CD were dismissed by his saying that the decisions were coming out of Miami. Laundry was refused due to being in the wrong bag. (It was a plastic bag for a special one cost for the bag that our steward had left us earlier and we had not utilized but they only ran on certain days versus the higher cost itemized laundry bag.) This has been a very disappointing cruise, and seems to be getting worse as it goes on. Since this was 4 B2B instead for just one repositioning cruise, the entertainment was stale by the second leg of the trip. Timing was not very well coordinated with other activities like meals. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of the entertainment staff but the Cruise Director and Asst. Cruise Director tended to act like a couple of juveniles with a morning show that was a level of entertainment not much above that of juveniles. Sort of Bennie Hill type of humor. Maybe the geriatric crowd aboard Royal Caribbean on these repositioning cruises love this sort of stupid antics but I found it demeaning at many times. My recommendations are not to take the repositioning cruises on Royal Caribbean unless you are a Diamond or above in their Crown and Anchor Society. it just does not pay to be onboard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the worst cruise we have ever had. Missed two stops, they said it was too rough, CRAP, just too many old people who would have been a pain to get them off. Food was poor, i got sick from Japanese. Italian was frozen pasta. We sent ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we have ever had. Missed two stops, they said it was too rough, CRAP, just too many old people who would have been a pain to get them off. Food was poor, i got sick from Japanese. Italian was frozen pasta. We sent our washing to the laundry, and they lost all our clothes, so when we got off the ship, we had no clothes for three days, in Singapore. We contacted them when we got home, and they insulted us by saying they will only pay us 60% of the cost of our clothes. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Room was clean, but every morning, we would be woken up by loud banging, them fixing pipes in the walls that were leaking. The hand basin leaked into my cosmetics bag, and destroyed lots of items. Once again, they didnt care. I tried to buy a drinks package before we got on the ship, as they said it was cheaper to do before, but they locked me out 2 days before we were to go on the cruise, so we got stung a huge price when we got it on board. We spent over $3500 on board, and this is how we got treated. I wrote to them telling them all the issues we had, and not a response....... Never ever ever again....... Holland America all they way now. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise as it was part of a package through eCruising and it sailed into Sydney from Singapore. From the beginning of the cruise tthings did not go well. The organisation (transfers) to the port were poorly organised. This ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was part of a package through eCruising and it sailed into Sydney from Singapore. From the beginning of the cruise tthings did not go well. The organisation (transfers) to the port were poorly organised. This is not Royal Caribbean’s fault but Ecruising’s . We waited at a very crowded port with no drinks, food and inadequate seating for several hours and were not able to board until nearly 7 pm. This should have been a streamlined process as there were over 80 guests booked through ecruising but apparently had no communication with Royal Caribbean to ensure that the process was efficient. We would have been better to ignore Ecruising’s organisation. By the time we did get aboard we were hungry and thirsty and when we asked a staff member to direct us to refreshments we were told we would not have time as everything would close soon due to safety drill. The ship had arrived late due to medical evacuations so late arrival can be excused but not poor organisation once boarding has started. Closer liason from the ecruising would have been most advantageous. Another medical evacuation caused late arrival in Fremantle- again this cannot be helped. Our biggest complaint and reason for low rating was our cabin. We were aware when booking that our room had restricted ocean views but not that it was directly above smokers area and also funneled diesel fumes into room if the door was open. Lights were on all night in the smoking area so we could not even see out. Enrichment activities included a talk on capital punishment - a great topic for a holiday! But it was well attended! The millions spent on the electronic presentaions to me have been a waste if money. Public areas were too crowded and often had to walk through restaurant etc to get from one area to another. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
As a frequent cruiser, I have maintained that Royal was my favorite line. Not so after this trip.The balcony room that I had, had a thermostat that did not work, toilet that never would flush without manual assistance, and mattress and ... Read More
As a frequent cruiser, I have maintained that Royal was my favorite line. Not so after this trip.The balcony room that I had, had a thermostat that did not work, toilet that never would flush without manual assistance, and mattress and pillows that were so hard that some cruisers purchased "egg crates" is Quebec City to improve the condition . I repeatedly had to request tissues and toilet paper. Also, there was an adjoining room that made it impossible to block out light and conversations and wake up calls were audible. Also, two of the main elevators were inoperable for the entire trip. The entire ship was without limes, raisins, Pino Grigio, Jack Daniels and paper bar napkins for the last eight days of the cruise even though we had harbored in Portland and Boston. Exiting the ship in Saint John and Bar Harbor was very poorly organized and time consuming. On board I expresssed my concerns to front desk personnel and was told that it was as it was and there was nothing to be done. Upon return, I sent a letter defining my concerns to Mr. Bayley, CEO of Royal, and in a response from a member of the Executive staff, again, none of my concerns were discussed.I was offerred a $50.00 OBC on a future cruise within the next year. With such a dismissal, do they really expect I would cruise with Royal again when there are so many options. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have been C&A members for many years and been always pleased with the services and treatment on board of RCI ships. We been grateful to the army of the hardworking members of the RCI team, many ymployees, cabin attendants, ... Read More
We have been C&A members for many years and been always pleased with the services and treatment on board of RCI ships. We been grateful to the army of the hardworking members of the RCI team, many ymployees, cabin attendants, restaurant workers, cooks, etc. for their efforts to make our vacation comfortable and enjoyable. We never complained. This time, however , we encountered something different. The detailed account of our recent misadventure is enclosed to this message. Thank you for reading In October 2018, to celebrate a wedding anniversary, we boarded Explorer of the Seas for a 21-day cruise journey from Seattle to Sydney. In addition to cruise sailing we also planned a detailed itinerary in Australia, including flight from Sydney to Cairns, scuba diving in Great Barrier Reef for six days, and return home to Portland Oregon. For two years prior to travel we were looking forward to once in a life time exotic adventure. My husband and I like to cruise and dance. We enjoyed RCI hospitality and have been diamond members of Crown and Anchor Society for several years. We are both seniors, but continue to work full time, therefore each vacation is very special. To travel to Australia these days, all U.S, citizens must have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) approval. It is an electronic application that is filed on line and approved (or rejected) within seconds. Once approved, it is electronically attached to your passport and subsequently secure the entry to Australia. Prior to boarding the ship, we were provided with the web site address and instructions how to apply for the ETA. Day 1. Departure Our dreams were instantly ruined once we stepped aboard a magnificent cruise liner Explorer of the Seas. My Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) was approved; my husband’s one - rejected. No reasons or explanation provided. But the automatic response suggested that we should apply for a tourist visa. Day 2 In search of advice and assistance we met with the Explorer of the Seas’ manager of guest services. At the Crown and Anchor parties we often attend, the captain and officers always thank and praise the past guests for loyalty, and pledge support and assistance in ANY perilous situation and circumstances. Right? Wrong! Meet Mr. X, the manager of the guest services office of Explorer. On surface, he appeared groomed and polished. In substance, he was cold, unsympathetic, indifferent. He advised, that my husband’s ETA rejection is not the RCI problem, but rather decision of the Australian government; that we should disembark in the next port of call, preferably Honolulu (albeit a huge fine we were responsible for under the Jones Act). He frequently used the word “unfortunately, as the highest degree of sympathy and compassion. In addition to his arrogant demeanor he was amazingly misinformed. In fact, everything he said was either flat wrong or highly inaccurate. For instance, he advised that the ETA rejection was a decision of the Australian government ( wrong; it was not a government decision just yet, but rather a computer program with certain preset data); that we shouldn’t be allowed to board the ship without the visa on the first place ( wrong, the passengers were allowed to board and did apply later); he said he could not say if there were any other guests in the same or similar situation, as it was against the RCI policy (there was no such policy); he said, we could not disembark in New Caledonia because it would require Australian visa( wrong again, it is a French territory and visas for the US citizens are not required). His demeanor was unfriendly, if not arrogant. He did not offer any constructive advice or suggestions. At the contrary, he behaved as if we were common criminals or habitual visa violators. His verdict was simple and clear “get out of the ship”. The fact that we had purchased a twenty-one-day cruise fare and paid for the hotels and air in Australia meant nothing. If before the meeting with manager X we felt upset and worried, after it we were completely devastated. This cruise was becoming the worst nightmare. The same day ( which was second day of the cruise in the middle of the Pacific) we were provided with the rules of disembarkation that was carefully placed on our well-made bed. Perhaps, Mr. X wished my husband to disembark in the open ocean…. Day 3. Once we realized there was not much help or assistance coming from the guest manager’s office of RCI to rely on, we decided to take some actions and get to work. Within the next twelve hours, we learned all we could about the Australian visas and applied electronically for all of them: again, for ETA, but from different intermediary; for the transit visa (in hopes to at least be able to fly back from Sydney and save the costly airfare); and the Australian tourist visa (visa # 600). This one required 20-page application and numerous supporting documents that we too provided electronically. In the meantime, our cruising was business as usual: the RCI praised us, as diamond members, for loyalty. Each day we were invited to various celebrations, lunches, behind the scene tours, dinners, exclusive member shows, etc. Also, we were presented with elegant souvenirs as a token of appreciation for our loyalty. Day 4. We called the manager’s office to say that, first, we applied for Australian tourist visa; and second, in case the tourist visa is not approved, we would like to disembark in New Caledonia. Day 5. Manager's assistant, guest administration officer called back to advise that we would be allowed to disembark in Noumea ONLY if we provided the flight itinerary and hotel accommodation confirmation in New Caledonia. The deadline - tomorrow, in the port of Lahaina, the eighth day of the cruise. We were stunned. This information is required at the time of entry New Caledonia. Why manager X demanded it 12 (twelve) days in advance ? It remained a mystery. Regardless, we did not question or dispute his demands. What else you do, if you are in the middle of the ocean under complete power and control of an incompetent and arrogant RCI official? You just comply. Again, we spent hours on internet putting together a new itinerary, booked a new flight from New Caledonia back to the US, and cancelled all the previously booked (nonrefundable) flights in Australia and cancelled all existing hotel reservations in Sydney and Cairns. As was required by officer X, we provided the info to the guest services desk. Day 11 On the 11 th day of the cruise, and twelve days before Sydney, we discovered my husband’s visa was approved. The guest service manager’s assistant called and asked If perhaps we still wanted to disembark in Sydney….. No, we did not. By that time, we already cancelled all booking in Australia and made a new reservation in New Caledonia. On October 24th, we disembarked in New Caledonia. We wanted to leave the unfriendly ship ASAP. The manager X did not offer a single word of regret, sympathy, or apology. It was business as usual. Yes, we suffered financial losses due to improper conduct of the RCI manager’s indifference, and his insistence on booking a new itinerary ahead of time; and yes, we lost two full days of the cruise vacation. Most importantly, we lost faith in RCI and felt deep disappointment in treatment and attitude we had experienced on board of the Explorer. Mr. X is not good for the RCI guests and he is not good for the RCI reputation. He should be removed, or seriously retrained. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely aimed ... Read More
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely aimed for the Chinese market only,the food was by far the worst food We have ever had on any cruise ship we have been on,the entertainment was an absolute joke,they had a magician on one night and he was that good nearly the whole audience disappeared in the first 2 minutes and never returned,Chinese karaoke was the final straw for evening entertainment,the customer services desk was also by far the worst we have ever experienced mostly Chinese and couldn’t understand a word of English and no help at all,the bar staff were the same they have not a clue how to make drinks cocktails we had to tell them,Hadi in the solarium was excellent really nice guy very pleasant and helpful nothing was to much trouble,we mostly ate in the coastal kitchen ,the waiter Jonnie was also very good,the embarkation and disembarkation was a disgrace they have not got a clue,it took 3 hrs queuing to get on to the ship,they are going to be putting the new spectrum of the seas over there what a waste of a ship,again we don’t think this cruise should be sold to any one outside of China.we spoke with a lot of people on the ship from Australia and the United States and uk ,every one was of the same mindset and most said they would not sail royal Caribbean again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I point out I am usually not one to complain as I understand that sometimes things don't go to plan but we had a couple of main issues whilst onboard. -Drinks Packages & Shortage of Drinks Onboard Prior to setting sail I enquired about drinks packages, 4 of the party wished to purchase the Deluxe Package, myself the soda package and one of the party did not want a package at all. However, this is where the disappointment started. We were informed that due to new regulations it was either all or nothing. We did not want the drinks packages so that we could ‘drink excessively’ but more for the convenience of not having to sign for drinks on each purchase. Having being informed of new rules set by yourselves we ended up purchasing 4 Deluxe packages and 2 Royal Refreshment packages. This totalling £2821.84, £517.69 more than the package arrangement that we initially wanted. Further disappointment followed as on day 10 of the cruise, drinks began to run out. Only select beers, wines and sodas were available at the bars and pub. The pub eventually having no Peroni, San Miguel, Pinot Grigio, Tonic Water or Sprite Zero. Little alternatives were offered and we were left 4 days without our preferred drinks, which we had effectively paid for when we purchased our packages? -Overcrowding Another issue that was particularly apparent was the sheer overcrowding of the Independence during the 5 sea days. Having travelled before I understand that sea days are busier than those where we are in port. However, during this cruise it was noticeably worse than previous. Fellow guests began the reserving of sunbeds at 6:30am!!! This making it an unbeatable challenge to find any sunbeds after around 8:30am. Guests were sunbathing on the paths and sides of the pools and sunbeds were also so close that it was impossible to get onto them safely. I was extremely disappointed as for our party this holiday was about relaxing, which was impossible when we had to awake early to find a sunbed and there were no particularly peaceful areas to sunbathe. After speaking to fellow travellers we were not the only guests who found that the ship appeared overcrowded on this voyage. This overcrowding issue was also noted by guests in our party when trying to order speciality coffees at café promenade, with the wait being up to 25 minutes for a single coffee. A timeframe which I do not deem acceptable. The overcrowding issue also became apparent in the evenings before and after dinner, throughout all bars on the ship there was not one table or chair free for either before or after dinner drinks and the wait for being served was up to 30 minutes. From what we remember and understand about the Royal Caribbean brand this is not up to the usual standard, and it disappointed us, and was embarrassing with the first time cruisers. -The Stateroom Having staterooms located around the ship 7334, 7634 & 8220 we were disheartened to find that the cabins had not received any attention during the renovations earlier in the year. The same rusty bins, stained curtains and barely working TVs remained, issues which could’ve been resolved for little cost. This was slightly disappointing as stateroom 7334 could not use the TV, this was reported to guest services who later informed us that the TV was in working order, which it certainly was not. Our staterooms attendants for cabins 7334 & 7634 were also poor in comparison to previously cruises, leaving bins unemptied and tea making facilities were not replenished for up to 3 days at a time. This is not the usual standard and certainly not acceptable for Royal Caribbean. In summary, I have written to Royal Caribbean about the issues above, of which their response was 'Sorry but we have not broken any policies' and 'We never state when you purchase a drinks package that drinks will actually be available' I'm an emerald member and they can't even say 'Here's a free drink for those ones you missed out on' We paid £17,000+ for this cruise and left feeling extremely disappointed and sorry for those that have already booked to travel on this cruise in the future. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, was designed and set up to cater for Chinese and other Asian guests, NOT US. SIMPLY NOT UP TO STANDARD AND VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. Noise level on board and in the Windjammer totally unacceptable from the 4000 Chinese guests. We only found out about an english menu being available at HongKong airport on the way home from other miserable UK guests who, like us had to wait for 11 hours minimum to get the flight home. This menu was never offered to us in any of the 4 restaurants and consequently we did not know of its existence. I managed to get a ships wheel chair for my partner who has limited mobility but when we got back to HongKong at the end of the first leg we were refused permission to take it off the ship to re-board in Shenzhen. THREFORE WE REFUSED TO GET OFF. So we stayed on whilst the ship was moved along with another couple. We did not need our Chinese visas at all AND ALL THE BRITISH GUESTS WHO HAD THE TRAUMA OF GETTING OFF AND ON COULD ALL HAVE STAYED ON BOARD AND NOT BE DISTURBED. SOME EVEN HAD TO CHANGE CABIN. We all had to attend three safety assemblies conducted in Chinese, get three boarding passes, and register our credit cards three times, ALL TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WITH GOOD ORGANISATION AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED IN THIS WAY. . The trips off the ship were badly over-priced and I really object to paying USD 14.15 for a single glass of red wine. When we got to Okinawa for an overnight stay on-board the shuttle bus from the ship into the city centre was only advised as running on the evening of arrival AND NO MENTION OF THE NEXT DAY. This would have meant getting off the ship close to darkness. I managed to find out that this was not true and that the shuttle was running the next day and changed my tickets. SOME OF YOUR UK CUSTOMERS WERE REFUSED THIS CHANGE WHEN THEY ASKED TO DO SO. The two theatre performances that we attended were so poor that we walked out both times and never came back. Typical example of the poor food is that when a roast joint was made available there was only gravy, mint jelly and mashed potato available to have with it. No roast potatoes yorkshires, and cooked vegetables, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Most days any chips on offer were stone cold in seconds, and of the type offered by Macdonalds, SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but ... Read More
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but it's below any cruise line standards as well. This was beyond low quality, it's border line with a lack of respect for the passengers, I could not even relate the food to a dollar general type of cruise line, because in those cruise lines I recall having better food than here. The venue is big with lots of buffets but don't let it fool you: they are all repeated, almost no variety, they all have mostly the same. The quality was the worst I've ever tried (see the pic I've attached of what it was supposed to be chicken soup). They only offered 2 kinds of totally overcooked pasta during a 12 night cruise with the cheapest and more common sauces ever (cream sauce and tomato sauce. I've never saw a true pesto sauce or any of the hundreds sauces available for pasta). This remind me more of a college cafeteria than being on a cruise. The food was ALWAYS cold. The rice was so overcooked that seemed mashed potatoes, the "steaks"....that was the fun part. It was hard to figure out if it was steak or slices of a cold cut. It was funny when the chef would ask you "how would you like your steak, rare, medium or well done Madam?". There's no way to choose in a 1/8 of an inch slice of beef!. We went to the assigned restaurants, chef's table which is supposed to be of a higher standard and we also went to the specialties restaurants and they were all so but so disappointing!!!!!!!! everybody on the ship commented on this . I've complained during the trip, I got to talk to someone that was supposed to be the restaurant manager around day 5 but nothing happened. On the last day of the trip I complained again, the girl at the front desk called the manager and he was busy but he was supposed to reach out to me at some point during the evening which never happened. In regards to the shore excursions...we have arranged a lot of private tours for our different stops and then we've realized (thanks to other passengers because the information was kind of difficult to find around and if you don't stuck in your room watching the videos forget it), that RCCL had arranged disembarkation/check out times at the ports according to our decks (no reason explained) and by the time we were supposed to be out it was gonna be 12.50 pm plus immigration time, would have taken out around 1.30 or 2.00 pm!!!!!! BUT we were supposed to be back to the ship around 7.00pm and the trip to the center of the city from the port took around 2 hours each way...so tell me how on earth could we make it? we needed to cancel our pre-arranged tours and book with RCCL because if we did that, we would be granted earlier check out on ports....such a scam I have never expected this from RCCL. The worst thing, on top of that, was that the shore excursions they offered were terrible, I believe they chose the worst and cheapest suppliers in every port without even screening them. In one of the cities we stopped at, the "guide" didn't even know that some palaces were closed on Tuesdays (the day we stopped there). We let her know and she said "oh I never heard that, if you want to go let me know and I will check if it's open or not". Last, but not least, I'd like to mention that it's unacceptable that such a huge ship with over 5000 passengers don't have at least band aids, Advil and Pepto Bismol or those basic OTC meds for sale. I don't expect a boutique type of drugstore, but at least the very basic ones considering it's a long trip with terrible food. All cruise lines I've been to sell these. I've been told band aids could be requested from the front desk, but due to the bad experience of all passengers, you'd have waiting lines of at least an hour regardless of the time of the day. Who would want to wait an hour to ask for a band aid??? This is another thing I find totally abnormal, seeing people complaining all the time and standing for hours in the line. We have another cruise booked with RCCL for December but after this experience we're considering to cancel it. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was looking forward to a nice elegant ship and this was the wrong choice. The ship was very dated, carpets and chairs worn out. The food was terrible and there was no entertainment. I have been on a lot of cruises and this is the ... Read More
I was looking forward to a nice elegant ship and this was the wrong choice. The ship was very dated, carpets and chairs worn out. The food was terrible and there was no entertainment. I have been on a lot of cruises and this is the worst food I think I was ever served. The crew was not upbeat or friendly. It felt as if they were wanting it over and didn't want to go out of their way to say hello. The entertainment was good but there was not enough of it. Unless you gamble there was nothing to do from 7pm to 10:30 pm. And at 10:30 pm the disco opened. Much too late after a day of sun. The excursion was fun and that was the best part of the trip. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. It needs to be scrapped and refreshed. Which I was told by staff the ship is getting remodeled in April 2018. That would explain a lot. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Too many unsupervised children and fights on the ship. The cruise line did not take control of the out of control passengers until it was too late. Dining rooms could not keep up with the demand which caused either over cooked or cold ... Read More
Too many unsupervised children and fights on the ship. The cruise line did not take control of the out of control passengers until it was too late. Dining rooms could not keep up with the demand which caused either over cooked or cold food. Forget about trying to get a lounge in the solarium. Public bathrooms were gross and dishes and glasses left in hallways and elevators. The shows and comedian were excellent. The bar room staff was great and the choice and quality of the beverages was very good. Thank you to Blaz Potokar for making our dining experience an absolute pleasure. Your attention to detail was outstanding and greatly appreciated. Would also like to thank Dimitar Stojanovski for his assistance. Our stateroom attendant was excellent - Carlos Tannis. Surprisingly embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly regarding the amount of travelers on board but I would not recommend this large of a ship for any seasoned cruiser. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and ... Read More
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and on this cruise we would like to recognize our Concierge, Amit; the concierge club bartender, Juliana; our dining room server, Dharia; and the fourth floor bartender, Wagner. We also enjoyed seeing Capt Nillsen again, who happened to be the Captain of Monarch of the Seas, which was our first cruise in 1994. Due to his experience and talent as the captain of our ship, we had a smooth uneventful trip. The tours offered at each port helped us to see the desired highlights of each port we visited. The only negative comments we have regarding the cruise were the coffee (rumor has it you once offered Seattle's Best, which is the bets), the slowness and spottiness of the internet reception, and the age of the furnishings on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first experience of Royal Caribbean but sadly, very likely to be our last. Embarkation and disembarkation went quite quickly and smoothly but that is about it for the positives. We did not choose or cabin as it was part of a ... Read More
This was our first experience of Royal Caribbean but sadly, very likely to be our last. Embarkation and disembarkation went quite quickly and smoothly but that is about it for the positives. We did not choose or cabin as it was part of a package deal but found it to be one of the smallest inside cabins we have ever had, very cramped. It was not very clean and obviously had not been hovered in a while as various items found on floor and in draws (hairgrips, buttons etc). The lack of complimentary toiletries was appalling, not even a shower cap ! Our bedding was not changed at all and turndown service was almost non existent. The food overall was poor and lukewarm and service in the main dining room slow. We felt a general lack of enthusiasm and disinterest from most of the staff. We booked two shore excursions on board, The Kennedy Space centre experience was very good from start to finish, but the New York Hop on/Hop off bus trip was terrible with nobody about to ensure safety or transport back to the ship. Might as well have saved money and booked it on line privately. Not much going on in the way of activities for a transatlantic cruise with several days at sea and sadly the entertainment (apart from the Ice show) was very poor. If I did a transatlantic again (this was my second) it would not be with Royal Caribbean on this ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
If you want to eat after 10 in the evening and want more then a roll or a burnt pizza. Entertainment was a joke the cruise director needs replacing. Example colouring by numbers as an afternoon entertainment. The cruise seemed to ... Read More
If you want to eat after 10 in the evening and want more then a roll or a burnt pizza. Entertainment was a joke the cruise director needs replacing. Example colouring by numbers as an afternoon entertainment. The cruise seemed to concentrate on people who were returning customers rather then new. Formal nights were a joke, you got dressed up to walk into the dining room for your evening meal which you had done the night before. no captain, no entertainment, nothing special at all. did not bother after the 1st one. If you Smoke you are normally allowed to smoke in casino. Not on this ship on formal days all day, weather was bad so could not go up on deck and had to use cigar room which had such poor extractors and stunk, In the casino ashtray was a floor standing one which staff emptied out the ashtrays from the slot machines into and never got emptied all day. Everyone i spoke to and me included had charges for services not used added to bills. AFter 8 days at sea managed to get 3 hours in Boston. Management of Immigration was a joke we should have been first a 6.30 with people on excursions ( instead approx 1500 in gue, emigration delayed .with people queuing for 3 or more hours, will not go on but all i will say is i saw people crying with boredom, This cruise turned into a prison sentence. so will i use again never twice crew members maimed to music on the bridge on the promenade and that was about as lively as it got. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
OH MY. We have been on many many cruises with Royal Caribbean before, and this is BY FAR THE WORST ONE. (A bit of context: we have been on the Jewel of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas, for example. So writing this review, it's based ... Read More
OH MY. We have been on many many cruises with Royal Caribbean before, and this is BY FAR THE WORST ONE. (A bit of context: we have been on the Jewel of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas, for example. So writing this review, it's based on our prior experiences.) We sailed from Honolulu to Vancouver, as a repositioning cruise, but I don't understand why the embarkation was 3+ HOURS! (photos showed how long the lineup was!) They didn't even explain (before or after) why it was taking so long, I felt they owed everyone an apology! Especially the elderly who had to wait that long, with no A/C, hot, and someone fainted!!! After that terrible first day, we barely got on the ship to partake on the mandatory life boat safety drill! Dining was a disaster. DO NOT DO "MY TIME". It's not YOUR time, it's the SHIPS' time. Cascades, deck 4 was terrible. The hostess told us the wrong time for our dinner reservations, so when we showed up at the time she told us, our table was given away! We had selected 5:30pm online before we went on board, and they said the "shore didn't communicate with the ship", so we didn't have a spot. Had to wait over 30 minutes in line for the first three nights just to get seated, and this was during the second seating! We just went to the Jewel of the Seas (same class of ship) in November, and we recognized the same menus, but the food was so much better on the Jewel! The food sucked in the dining room (exception: key lime pie), things tasted as if they were just defrosted and then cooked right away (especially the seafood! how disappointing!). This is the first time I think the windjammer food surpassed the dining room's food! On one of the nights, a party had booked a wedding function late in the night, and our room unfortunately was right underneath the quill and compass bar on deck 6. Our room thudded, you could hear exactly what song was being played! And they didn't do anything about it, since it was booked for a function. So we couldn't sleep past 2am, wasting our last day in Maui. The ship is showing it's age. The chairs' upholstery at windjammer was ripping or scratched, showing the cushion underneath. Bars and rails around the ship were rusting (especially Windjammer) and just needs a fresh coat of paint. Our interior cabin's washrooms were dated, but at least clean. The only good things were: -our servers, very friendly -our stateroom assistant - so neat, and best towel animals! -Cruise itinerary, great 7 days in Hawaii, and 5 days for rest. However, it gets cold as soon as you leave Hawaii, so it's too cold to swim outside for the 5 days, leaving the solarium crowded. We made more friends from the terrible experiences that the positive ones. Honestly, it left such a bad taste in our mouth, that we may not ever sail with Royal Caribbean again. We called customer service, and met with the guest relations staff onboard, and nothing was done to keep our business. That's just too bad. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Ship needs much needed repairs and overall service. It needs to be place out of service for repairs ASAP. Beware of loosing your stateroom card and have others attempting to rob you blind. Replacement of room key was poor and staff service ... Read More
Ship needs much needed repairs and overall service. It needs to be place out of service for repairs ASAP. Beware of loosing your stateroom card and have others attempting to rob you blind. Replacement of room key was poor and staff service very disappointed. A picnic in the park near you would have been more enjoyable for this experience not to mention the long travel some of us have to do to get there and go to this poor cruise. Even making a review is an experience for the worse. Its like they want to beg for a better review. Handicapped travelers were inconvenienced as I observed. The crew staff appear to be too bossy for their insubordinate staff. My stateroom attendant was excellent. We loved Coco cay. Table 33 Main dinning server was excellent. He was friendly and passionate about his job. He earn our monetary tip over tip. For some this was not a very good first time cruise.For me, it was a disappointment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
- During the planning processes with royal weddings I had to go through 3 different event planners because I was told that the first two had left the company. I had to constantly call and email to get a reply back as to what was going on. ... Read More
- During the planning processes with royal weddings I had to go through 3 different event planners because I was told that the first two had left the company. I had to constantly call and email to get a reply back as to what was going on. It wasn't until A FEW DAYS before my wedding that we finalized the ceremony/reception for the wedding which was VERY STRESSFUL and FRUSTRATING. - On the wedding day we had to walk a long distance until we finally got to our car to get transported to the ceremony location. They did not warn me of this as it was very difficult walking the distance in my wedding gown and would have worn more comfortable shoes had I known. - We never received a wedding photographer that was part of the package. - Laptop was not provided as listed in our wedding confirmation. - The ipod dock used at the ceremony was old and not compatible with our phones (was told we could bring ANY apple ipod/phone to play music) so we didn't even end up using it even though we paid for it!! - Sound system to play ipod was NOT WORKING (event planner had to bring in small portable speaker to play music and was not loud enough to hear music - Event planner played the WRONG ceremony music!! - Arch was set up in an area really CLOSE TO PUBLIC GARBAGE can and was VERY visually DISPLEASING!!! - Event planner was not aware of when guests were arriving when I had instructed her to let me know when they were about to arrive which resulted in me having to race back into the car but guests had already arrived in the parking lot by then and saw me. - Event planner was not informative as to how the order of the wedding was going to go and everything was rushed and very chaotic!! - Food for the reception was terrible and cold. There wasn't enough food to serve 38 guests which left some guests not being able to have a main. Since we paid additional for the gold buffet package, we would expect there to be enough food and to be better than the main dining/windjammer but it was very very disappointing. - I was unaware and very disappointed to find out the day before that the reception area would not be arranged to have tables and chairs set up and that the lounge arrangement would remain as a lounge layout! When I had a phone call appointment with the event planner, i was told that the table arrangements would be made with the event planner on cruise but nothing was done. If I had known all of this I would have NOT done my once in a lifetime wedding with Royal Caribbean. I would NOT recommend ANYONE to do their wedding or go to this cruise based on my first time experience with them. Since it was my very first cruise experience I would think that because I have nothing to compare to that it would be good but I regret doing my wedding with Royal Caribbean completely. The whole experience was unorganized, disappointing and a huge embarrassment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
We have cruise alot with Royal was our favorite cruise line in till this cruise. Our worst was Carnival Dream in till we did this one Anthem of the Seas. Food, Entertaining crew bad really bad, shore excursions so disorganized. Specialty ... Read More
We have cruise alot with Royal was our favorite cruise line in till this cruise. Our worst was Carnival Dream in till we did this one Anthem of the Seas. Food, Entertaining crew bad really bad, shore excursions so disorganized. Specialty restaurants worst food you can get. Our stateroom was on 8th floor and we can hear music noise from 3rd flor up to 3am everyday, we can hear every neighbor in the bathroom throuhg the vent. our family were 6 cabin dow and we can hear them. This ship was very poor made. The entertaining crew was bad I mean bad. Only positive was a lot of Caribbean bar tenders compare to other cruise lines, Cruise line should only hire Caribbean bar tenders as they now how to sell drinks and get the party going. ( no i'm not from caribbean I'm from Portugal and cruise a lot around the world). Royal should look at NCL specialty restaurants food quality. Guest will pay extra for specialty restaurants but not for the same kind of food that you serve in the Windjammer or Dining room. Read Less
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