We are a retired couple from Australia and have done a number of cruises, but this is the first time with Royal Caribbean. The reason being we were meeting relatives from England who were on this cruise, one of which was mobility disadvantaged, needing to use a walker.
Travel to the Port of Embarkation at Tanggu went without incident, travelling on the airport coach to Tanggu and staying at the Holiday Inn Express for 2 nights. The taxi driver was very efficient and new where to go to get us to the shipping terminal and cheap too.
Embarkation wasn't a problem for us as we arrived early about 11.00 a.m. and there were only maybe 6 people in front of us.
The stateroom was on deck 9 with a balcony and the room was big with a big bed. Liked the shower having doors instead of a curtain, but the amenities could have been better with only soap and shampoo provided, not even a shower hat - good job I had brought my own.
The ship is big with lots of areas to explore. Not a lot of shops even though they had the promenade. A lot of this area was taken up with bars and cafes.
Our dining stewards were very attentive, but the menu left a lot to be desired with few choices and only 3 courses. Some of the items on the menu were unavailable on some nights, necessitating the stewards to apologise for the omissions. We generally used the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch, but found on occasions dirty dishes and cutlery. With their emphasise on hygiene this was rather alarming.
We didn't take part in too many activities, although my husband did use the gym a few times and found it very well equipped.
The staff were generally very pleasant and helpful, although the clerical staff were rushed off their feet as there were many complaints from passengers to be heard.
The entertainment in the theatre was rather amateurish nothing like shows I've encountered on other ships.
At Fukuoka, Japan we hired a taxi to take us to the shopping precinct and spent some time around the shops, then returned by taxi to the ship.
Jeju Island, South Korea we again hired a taxi for 3 hours which took us around part of the island - a pumice stone island and beaches before returning us back to the ship. The taxi driver was very helpful, pointing out things of interest on the way.
Xiamen, China again we hired a taxi to take us to the shopping area. I must point out that our cabin steward had written instructions in Chinese for us to give to a taxi driver to go to the shopping area and return to the ship. This helped enormously.
Hong Kong - we took the ferry across to Hong Kong island and then rode on the 'big red bus' to Aberdeen and return then another bus around the central district.
By the time we got to Ho Chi Minh my husband had been confined to his cabin with a bad case of gastroenteritis. He was confined for 4 days, so Bangkok was not on the agenda either. The doctor told him to get room service for his meals - breakfast was OK but lunch and dinner left little choice but for me to get a meal for him from the Windjammer as the room service menu consisted mainly of burgers or pizzas, not on the doctor's recommended diet list. The reason for this sickness I feel was due to the lack of hygiene and which they took full responsibility for. My husband has been given compensation in the form of a discount against a future cruise within the next 2 years for which we are reluctant to take, making the compensation worthless.
Disembarkation although delayed eventually went smoothly as we hadn't arranged anything in advance, we just took a taxi to our hotel - the Furama Riverside.
To sum up - this is the worst cruise we've taken and has put us off cruising in the future, although we've enjoyed cruising in the past. Many people were complaining, some who had sailed with Royal Caribbean before including my relatives from England.