Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by dicmihi: Horrible experience with Royal Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Horrible experience with Royal Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
My wife and I flew in from Omaha, NE to cruise from Tampa FL to Cozumel and Costa Maya for our honeymoon. Long story short, our room flooded and it took them the entire trip to clean up the mess. The compensation they offer is not at all satisfying. We don't want to cruise again any time soon (we also don't have the time in the next few years either...we're both in grad school). We've written back and forth a few times and they're sticking to their 20% off offer. Here's an outline of what happened day by day. I don't recommend this cruiseline to anyone.
Monday: We boarded the ship. There was nothing too exciting and/or wrong at this point.
Tuesday: The first cruising day we were out at the pool just hanging out and enjoying ourselves. Then we went back to the room to take a nap. When we woke up the hallway of our room was flooded, and I heard what sounded like a running toilet. The carpet was so wet that stepping on it caused water to squish out from under our More feet. The displacement of water with each step was both visible and audible. I thought perhaps it was the toilet, but it was not coming from the bathroom. We opened the cabin door to find water in the corridor. I immediately went to the guest relations desk and alerted them of the situation. The response was very slow. It took them over a half an hour to respond. By the time the crew got to our cabin the water had spread into the main area of the cabin past the couch and right up to the bed. We had to take all of our belongings off the floor to avoid any damage to them. It took an additional 40 minutes for someone to take a look at the pipes and stop the leak. Apparently, it was in the pipes in the wall just outside our room. They moved the couch right up next to the bed so they could put a floor fan on the carpet where the couch once sat. We had no room to move inside the cabin, and had to literally hop over the couch to get from one end to the other. At this point we began to inquire about some form of compensation or at least another room for the remainder of the trip. I had to go down to guest services FOUR times before I could talk to someone who was not a trainee and had any authority to do something for us. I am a reasonably calm and patient man, but this pushed me to my limits. We requested a meeting with a manager, but never got the opportunity. Instead I talked to the assistant manager, who really didn't have authority for compensation. We were offered a romantic dinner for two (worth ~$50). I told them that we had that meal covered by a coupon and expressed interest in an alternate such as a couples massage. The assistant manager told us he would look into that the next day and leave us a voicemail. We were put in a different room for the night, and were told that they would have the carpets changed (i.e. removed and replaced) while we were in port out at our shore excursion the next day. That sounded reasonable, and indeed if it had happened that way I would not be writing to you. The room that we were moved to was an interior room. Obviously, we were deprived of our balcony for which we paid extra. In addition the interior room had two single beds. This was the second night of our honeymoon and we spent it on separate beds. By this point my wife was furious and I was quickly approaching that mark.
Wednesday: We went out in Costa Maya on our shore excursion, and we had a lot of fun. Our joy was quickly overshadowed, however. When we got back to our room we found no message about the spa, the carpets were not changed as promised, and the couch was still in the middle of the floor. In addition there was now a large fan blowing on the carpet beneath where the couch once sat (not into the main area where the water was much worse). The room smelled like a wet dog, and when we brought this to the crew's attention all that was done was an attempt to mask the stench with Febreeze. Now the room was not only musty and smelled like a wet dog, it also had the overpowering stench of Febreeze. The combination was so unbearable that we had to leave the room with the balcony door open. It was horrible. We began to inquire again about the couples massage, because no message was left for us. They told us they couldn't do that, and that a discount was the best they could offer. Had we been notified sooner we would have taken that, but since we had already booked two separate spa treatments (one for each of us) were told that they would be paid for. By the end of the trip the compensation that was promised (both of our spa treatments being covered) was deemed by those in charge as too much compensation for our inconvenience. Our experience was only worthy of half of the treatments being covered. We again inquired about changing the carpets, and were told that it would be done. When we went back to the room a small patch of carpet was changed so they could move the couch back, but again the worst part of the room was ignored and fans were left on the floor. The room was still filled with the over powering stench of Febreeze and musty wet dog. We went to sleep that night with the balcony door open. In order to actually get to sleep I had to turn off the fan, and turn it back on in the morning. We both stubbed our toes numerous times on the fan and couch in the middle of the room. Sarah and I had very little room to get ready for formal night (not to mention all the other nights). I had to stand on my sandals to keep my pants and socks dry while I changed, and she was forced to change in the bathroom.
Thursday: We were still somewhat optimistic about our trip at this point, and were trying not to let our honeymoon be an experience that we only wished we could forget. We were very excited for our big eight hour shore excursion to the XPLOR adventure park. I had the challenge of waking my wife and getting her moving at 6:00 AM so we could get breakfast and meet in the auditorium by 7:00 AM. We got to the auditorium and checked in. We sat in the auditorium nearly 20 minutes before we were told that our trip had been cancelled, and that we should have received notification two days prior. There wasn't enough interest, and they didn't have the minimum number of people so the tour was canceled. We understand that things like that happen and that Royal Caribbean has nothing to do with the shore excursions, but we were very angry that we had not actually received the information that the excursion was canceled. According to the woman at guest relations we were suppose to have gotten a voicemail in our room, and a notice at our door two days earlier. There was never a voice message and we talked to our state room attendant about it as well. He was never given any notification to pass along to us. At this point we were still trying to make the best of this very special "once in a lifetime" vacation (our honeymoon), and we began looking into other excursions in Cozumel. Less than half of the choices were available, because they were either canceled or full. Had we received notification in a timely manner we could have chosen something that we wanted to do. We narrowed down our choices to a couple of different ones (none of which looked exceedingly thrilling), but both were highly recommended by the woman working at the excursions desk. We hated the excursion that we ended up on. Again, I know that RCCL cannot guarantee that an excursion will be fun, and I think it's unreasonable to hold RCCL responsible for the enjoyment of the excursion, but timely notification of the cancelation of our original plans could have helped avert this horrible experience. We were told again that our carpets would be changed while we were on shore, and again they were the same soggy smelly carpets with the same noisy fans blowing in our room when we returned. I had to turn the fan off again to get some sleep that night.
Friday: This was the final cruising day. We hung out at the pool most of the day, due to the inaccessibility and uncomfortable status of our room (a common theme this voyage). When we got back to the room that evening the fans were finally removed, and the smell almost bearable. The last night of our cruise was the first night that was reasonable for sleeping accommodations (with the exception of Monday). We found a generic letter on our bed saying "sorry for the inconvenience" with an offer for 20% off of our next cruise. After our experiences and the way that they were handled, this was simply an insult. We felt like we were being written off. By the end of the trip we had decided that perhaps cruising wasn't for us, and that at the very least cruising with RCCL was not something we would consider any time soon. Less
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