After ten cruises with various lines I decided to try Royal Caribbean. I wanted an 18 night cruise from Fremantle and tried to get a cabin at the last minute. I asked Royal Caribbean to put me on their wait list as they said the ship was full. I was annoyed to find after I had bought 'the last cabin' at a huge price through Vacations to Go that Royal Caribbean in fact had cabins available much cheaper, but they hadn't bothered to contact me. I found myself each night in the dining room sitting next to someone who had bought exactly the same sort of cabin through the same company (Vacations to Go) in the same month, but at half the price I paid. So no wonder I was a little grumpy.
Embarkation was disappointing. We got on board to find they had cancelled Esperance as a port of call, the only port on the trip I hadn't been to. And they were sailing a day late because of the Qantas strike. Unlike other companies, they did not offer any rebate or future discount.
Starving after hours of trying to get on board I headed for the burger section and was given the most disgusting hot dog I have even eaten.
The ship apparently has been modernised recently, though my curtains were dirty and there was chewing gum on the sofa. The cabin was nice, though the basin tap only let out a tiny trickle of water. The TV generally worked well except that for 18 days we had the same programs over and over again. Astonishing that they can get away with that. Many of the TV channels and the hype on board is about telling the passengers how fantastic the company is.
I wanted to relax and get a regular massage but the prices were a rip off @ $224 US for a 75 minute massage. Huge prices. It took them 12 days before any sort of 'special' was offered. After 12 days they offered a 20-20-20 massage. When I went to school 20+ 20+ 20 equalled 60, so I was expecting a 60 minute massage. After 50 minutes, the woman doing the massage finished and left the room. Another rip off.
The ports of call were good, the ship handled the oceans well, and the dining room food was very well served, albeit with a waitress constantly grovelling for a big tip by asking if the service was good.
I wrote three letters to the cruise director and front desk but still, weeks after the voyage, have not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement.
Like most cruise lines, the tours offered are very expensive. Plan ahead and book them direct with locals at half the price. On board the ship Royal Caribbean offer a tour of the ship @ $200 per person. Another rip off. Extraordinary that they have the cheek to charge those sort of prices for something that should be provided free of charge.
Unlike many other ships, this one had no laundry for passengers to use, so it was fun in the wash basin night after night.
If you got your cruise at a cheap price then Royal Caribbean may be OK, but the way they spend so much time telling you how good they are while ignoring letters and complaints means I will head back to the arms of other cruise lines.