I would never have thought I would be writing a review on a site like this, but I can't let this go by. I took my wife and our 2 teenagers on a Spring Break, Easter cruise on the Radiance of the Sea. I have been a huge fan of Royal Caribbean and have booked away from other cruise lines. I have always told family and friends just how much I have enjoyed Royal Caribbean on past cruises. Never again!
I don't know where to begin so I will start where all the problems began. When getting back on the ship from a day at the beach in Cozumel, we were "flagged" and instructed to see Guest Services. We were told there was an accident and our rooms were flooded. I say "rooms" because we booked 2 cabins. There was one cabin between the two we booked.
We were escorted to our 9th deck hallway to be overwhelmed by a disgusting odor. Walking towards the aft portion of the ship, where our cabins were, the smell became increasingly worse. Not to mention the carpet was now squishing under foot as if walking on a soaked sponge. The sound of shop vacs and blower fans screamed in the background.
We get to our cabin and thank goodness someone had the foresight to put our belongings up on our beds. We thank our cabin attendant for his diligence. This would be a good place to mention there were a few individuals that were very courteous and went out of their way to apologize for this situation. "Few" being the operative word here.
One of our cabin's was completely uninhabitable. Strong pungent odor and carpeting was drenched. We were told it would be replaced, it never was. We moved all our belongings to the cabin that was the lesser of the two evils. Thinking we may possibly be able to use our other cabin at some point, as they told us we would. The stains on the towels they had put down made us realize that staying in this one cabin would not be possible. Even if you could handle the industrial size blower fans that were placed in the rooms. Evidently, for the NEXT cruise.
There we are, back from a day at the beach, and the water, the shower, and the toilets are not working. Dinner in less than an hour so we were instructed to shower at the spa and use the public bathrooms. It is never my desire to use a public toilet on board a ship that has been at sea a couple of days. That was our only option.
So we got ready for dinner at the spa and get back from dinner to find a note saying how sorry Royal Caribbean is and please accept $175 for the inconvenience. A nice start we thought, considering $175 is a day at the pool for a family of four.
I should also mention here that when our rooms had no water or toilets, we were offered to go to the pool bar for free drinks. We were instructed to use our sea pass and the charges would be deducted. I have had tooth extraction that was easier than getting the $100 taken off our bill prior to leaving the ship.
Information came painfully slow. What are we to do? Is there another room we can move to? The smell is making us all ill. The ship staff was having a meeting to decide what to do with the 20 or so people this affected. We thought, "thank goodness, something will be done."
It never was done. The ship was completely filled with every cabin taken. The next day our eyes were so watery, and throats so sore from the pungent smell of a damp, dank carpet that we were concerned about what was seeping in to the carpet. We were told fresh water. The smell made us think otherwise.
I asked if anyone else was having symptoms of sore throats, itchy, and watery eyes, and it was requested that we visit the ship's Dr. I don't see a Dr. for the sniffles, but now I am concerned about what these fumes and odors are that we have been breathing in for the past 15 hours.
The Dr. prescribed us steroids and benadryl and told us to stay out of the sun for these make one photo sensitive. SO with two more days, we are told not to spend any time in the sun. We were also asked by the Dr why we would stay where the fumes were making us this sick. Again, the ship was full, and our one cabin that was not totally sopping wet was our only option. He offered us a bed in the sick bay. In hindsight, maybe that would have been more comfortable.
The 4 of us camped out thinking that a line with the reputation of Royal Caribbean would certainly make things right. Meaning giving us what we paid for. I regret to say, that has yet to happen. Not only has that yet to happen, it may take legal action to even get something other than what was already offered on board. I should mention we also have been offered 35% off a future cruise if taken within a year.
I'll say here that some in Guest Services were just out right rude and nasty when we protested our treatment. One manager elevated the situation and proclaimed, "I'm done with you!" I have never been treated with such contempt by someone in the service industry.
The cruise industry is thriving. The ship must have been testing its pipes while the majority of passengers were off ship. The pressure caused a major malfunction in our section of the ship, and we are pushed aside with $275 for this "inconvenience." It ruined our vacation. The insult to this injury is to be so loyal to Royal Caribbean only to be treated so rudely.
I am disputing the charge through my credit card, am writing a letter to CEO Adam Goldstein, and will report back on how this situation is handled. For now, they have created a public relations nightmare that would have been very easily fixed on board the ship before we disembarked. As I said, we were 4 of about 20 people this affected. Some worse than others, I am sure.
I would go in to detail about the other friendly personnel on board, but a favorable review of the entire experience is not possible. It would be like asking President Lincoln's wife "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?"
I hope Royal Caribbean learns a valuable lesson here. I know I sure have. I will never cruise on this line again. I'm afraid this is a sign of our times. There is someone else behind me to take my place if I don't book on this line. They know that, and they are treating me like this. They have become just like the other lines that I would have never considered booking with. Just with a higher fee.