For our anniversary and my birthday we selected a grand suite on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. First the suite was NOT grand it was filthy - stains on the sofa and the chair, stains on the coverlet and sheets. The toilet had urine streaks down the front, the bathtub had multiple soap scum runs down the sides. For 3 days we found more issues. The first day we asked for the room to be cleaned - the 2nd day the sheets & coverlet were changed and some of the soap scum cleaned. I CLEANED THE TOILET and other areas we were using. The drawers at the vanity were filled with black hair - looked like a woman had brushed her hair into the drawers - we were unable to place our clothes in them. The coffee service - a perk of a suite - had used/previous guests' coffee grounds still in the pot and the warmer pot was still dirty. The coffee service was not stocked in the first 3 days - we moved the coffee service to full view on the bar as a hint but nothing changed until we got a manager in the room. We were not informed of the "suite perk" of a concierge drink time in a special room before dinner until the 3rd day; unable to get any information prior to the cruise about perks or events/activities.
WARNING: the dine your time is a huge joke - YOU MUST SET A TIME or you will not be seated. The dinners took hours and the food was mediocre at best. The first night it took 20 minutes just to get acknowledged and that was after waiting for an hour and 30 minutes to be seated. Service was very poor in the restaurant, some napkins still had previous guest lipstick and makeup on them - disgusting. We attempted to brave the Windjammer only to discover that nearly all of the food was pasta and not well cooked - our one and only visit was accompanied by a set of utensils wrapped in a napkin covered with bright red lipstick. The tables were filthy and no one made any attempts to clean them. Servers seems to be put off by guests. Each day we had to complain about issues - this created a frustrating experience that detracted seriously from the vacation we had planned.
When booking we requested to be away from the smoking areas yet we were booked right under the main smoking area on the ship. The cig. smoke on the ship was overwhelming - we both became ill, I experienced nose bleeds, wheezing and congestion. The casino dumps stinking smoke all over the public areas - we couldn't tolerate the enormous amount of smoke long enough to look at the pictures or shop on the promenade. The casino seems to have no air handlers and the guest services refused to accept an incident/exposure report.
We did brave one bar, the Kettle pub, my glass of wine was served with a very bright red lipstick ring as if it had never been washed. When I refused the glass due to the lipstick, the bartender attempted to pour the wine into a clean glass and I had to stop him. DO NOT GET SCAMMED into buying their pre-paid bar/drink package. Very little is covered, you might get a list of drinks included after the 3rd or 4th day like we did. We tried to get the info before sailing but was told it was not printed yet - this is the standard statement about everything onboard including activities.
We love Halloween, but we could not get information on the event or if there would be something so we like many others were left out of the fun - only previous guests knew of the Halloween party. As an apology for the dirty room we were sent food - molded strawberries, kiwi that were like rocks and could not be eaten and black bananas. Breakfast in the room was the only breakfast that did not take hours. The hot tubs on the serenity deck were nice on one side but the cig smoke choked you to death on the other side - the door separating the smokers from the serenity area was locked open and no matter what we did or said it was never closed. Food after an excursion was non-existent; we found hair in the buffet, the meat was fatty and the rest was either pasta, bread or rice. The worst food options of any cruise, the only dirty room of any cruise, serious lack of information pre cruise and during the cruise, and the only cruise where food was not available to guests unless they purchased it. Determining what is included with your suite purchase - perks for paying too much money for a filthy room - and what is included with the cruise was impossible. After surfing the Royal Caribbean site multiple times trying to get information we gave up and started calling only to get zero information with that route. Dirty smudged mirrors topped off the room decor as did the dirty balcony glass. The so called Chef needs to be replaced with a cook - he is terrible. The look of the food when served was as if the mechanic fixed it. Cruises are known for food - not this one. The entire cruise was FRUSTRATING, STRESSFUL, MISERABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE. We have made several written complaints with pictures only to get the "sorry you were not satisfied" response. I don't think anyone could be satisfied with what we were forced to tolerate. Hated the daily housekeeping carts in front of our door with dirty dishes and trash - not what we have seen on any of our previous 20+ cruises. We cruised for Christmas with Carnival and never had these issues. Our first introduction to Royal and our last cruise with Royal. Would never recommend them. Unable to enjoy most of the entertainment since our "DINE AT YOUR TIME" required reservations interfered with all of the shows. Also, the first 2 days we couldn't get a schedule in our SUITE - another perk of a suite.
As for the Bayonne port - stay away. It is a makeshift dump of a place, I would hate to be there if it rained because there is no where to go. Bathroom access is terrible, the staff were very rude. There is supposed to be a separate entrance for VIP Suite guests but this was not the case - so again another supposed perk was a joke. My pickup truck was hit while in the cruise port lot which is very over priced. When we reported it we were given a run around and have yet to get the damage remedied nor a response. Access is easy and the surrounding hotels are very nice but the port is not. The port does have the very beautiful memorial "tear drop" from Russia to the 911 victims - whomever decided to put it here should be deported to Iran; that person or group are idiots. We would never go to this port for a cruise again.
DONT DO THIS EXCURSION - a huge waste of money, over priced. We booked it for Halloween - biggest regret of the week. Nothing to see, nothing to do - waste of time, money, and effort. Most of the excursions were very over priced. As for most of the activities-take the bus, setup your own activities. Horseshoe beach is not all its advertised to be, stop at the others before you get there. Get a bus pass or a ferry pass and ask them for help. Hamilton is another overpriced location. WE do not recommend that you plan to eat in Bermuda - order room service the night before or that morning and take sandwiches with you. Some of the bread from the dinner the night before is great to feed the fish while snorkeling. Do not take fruit off the ship. Carefully pack sandwiches in your backpack and eat on the beach. Be sure to pack water with you or snag some colas. When packing for a cruise always pack travel bottles to fill on the cruise and always have a backpack. Take your own snorkel gear - its cheap at the walmart, take a flippy float and enjoy your vacation on your schedule.
Will rent from another vendor when we return. No real issues just low quality and charged more than quoted. Prepaid deposit with quote but was charged $30 more when picking up scooters. DO NOT RENT A SCOOTER IN BERMUDA IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD PLENTY OF PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE. Although there are speed limits and rules of the road NO ONE abides by them including the police. Riders will brush up against you, cut in on you going down the road, cars will cut in on you or cut you short. The roads are narrow and have hills - the scooters are 50 cc and are not very fast nor peppy - a large man will go slow no matter what. Bermuda is absolutely the most beautiful island but overly expensive for no reason. Thanks to obama and the obamanites our dollar is near worthless these days. However, the cost of a bowl of soup will be near $18 USD, beers are close to $10 and are Brit liters - be aware that everyone will charge an auto gratuity so they are pretty free with how much they add and service sucks. The pastry shop near the port is great - a must see. We high recommend renting scooters and using maps to see the good stuff. The excursions are over priced and under quality. Snorkeling is great off any beach-beaches are everywhere. If you don't ride motorcycles don't rent - use the bus or one of the reasonably priced taxis. We visited the highly advertised places but found them crowded and resorted to private, smaller beaches such as Whale beach.