10 Barcelona Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony ... Read More
Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony Stateroom #13150, Aurea experience), was kept perfect at all times. Jonathan was kind, courteous and one of the best I’ve ever had. The room needs more storage. Small closet with too few shelves with only 2 drawers is not sufficient. The spa was amazing and “Cherry’ gave me the best message ever. She was excellent Spa was the best I’ve experienced at sea. Very very busy on sea day. Dining room sat 5 of us at table of 4. Woman who does seating in Panorama dining room was downright rude when we requested a different table. My daughter was placed in the aisle with metal bar in front of her making it difficult to actually sit at the table. No napkin or flat wear unless requested. My daughter, a professional woman, was mortified. As I was for her. Food in dining room, Panorama, was ok..not good. Variety was small...do not even think to order Mahi mahi . The staff is hard working. Courteous. The real problem, which absolutely ruined our cruise was the tour “Rome on your own”. We waited a lifetime to see Rome, and did not. 4 of us are 65+ With health, mobility and vision problems. Don’t let the term “easy’ Fool anyone, disgraceful. There was a marathon the day of our arrival to Rome. The entire city was affected and virtually closed down. The tour company was totally unprepared,causing the ride to last twice as long just to try to find parking. When the bus finally parked, we were at first, led in the wrong direction. Walking up hills and many steps. The tour guides finally realized an error in direction ,so we retraced our steps. We never got to see Rome s sights as we could not walk further than the Spanish steps. The reason for our trip was primarily visiting Rome. I cannot tell you the disappointment. We should have been told we could not get buses or taxis into the center of Rome because of the marathon. We should have been given a choice of cancelling. The guides SHOULD HAVE PREPARED. Till we walked back to bus stop, we had hobbled nearly 5 miles. Causing problems for the remaining trip. I will not go back on the MERAVEGLIA again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
High Points: Staff & Service were a great pleasure, everyone went above & beyond.. Dinning & Buffets were very good. Bars & Lounges were a pleasure. Activities available were good with many o;ptions to choose from. ... Read More
High Points: Staff & Service were a great pleasure, everyone went above & beyond.. Dinning & Buffets were very good. Bars & Lounges were a pleasure. Activities available were good with many o;ptions to choose from. Day & Nignt Entertainment was Fair. The Premium seating for Circus delay was far from Premium service or seating. I Never did get 1 slice of Bread or a good view. Shame after paying over $47 US. Ship layout was impressive as was the views. Low Points: Suite Quality Poor! Tours the WORST! Disembarking NCL Service Reps.even WORSE!! How dare NCL leave a Senior & Disabled Couple to fend for themselves SHAME!! No Lougage carts, No NCL Representive & no help to be found! Ice Bar why $25 US to enter Overpriced.. Internet Show & Overpriced EXTREME! Doctor Service CRAZY $199.00 US Plus Prescriptions! Disembarking no such thing as Priority Disembarking via Tenders!. Overall 5/10 overall experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted to visit the Canarys and Funchal without packing and unpacking several times. We are three in the cabin - parents and a college student. I could not be more disappointed. We thought being aboard ship for Christmas and New ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Canarys and Funchal without packing and unpacking several times. We are three in the cabin - parents and a college student. I could not be more disappointed. We thought being aboard ship for Christmas and New Years would be festive and fun and it was nothing like that. I understand you must appeal to the older folks who take this cruise but from food to music and port call timeframes, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Port Calls: This captain wanted to save as much as possible when it comes to time in port - leaving us with little to none to really see the islands. We pulled in early enough - when nothing was open on the island, not even a coffee shop - and we'd leave often at 3:30 p.m.! With no shipboard entertainment to keep you busy, why would you want people on board? Just to buy expensive drinks I guess. All of the islands were nice enough - Maderia being teh best but Casablanca??? Don't even get off the ship. The ship is bad - Casablanca is worse! Entertainment: The band "Souled Out" was not bad. Their chemistry though is not there. Seems the lead guy can't stand the lead gal from where we were sitting. They do one hour sets then leave for an hour. There is NOTHING going on for that hour. A DJ doesn't spin any music to dance. The staff don't come and do something fun. Nothing. So let's say you are enjoying the music - then there's a huge break with nothing to do!! I really was stunned by this. I've cruised before and a lot can be forgiven when you have entertainment you enjoy. This was the most board I've ever been on a ship. The music was appealing to ballroom dancers and they danced. Taking the entire dance floor so none of us non professionals could get a spot. Fun to watch but maybe at 10 p.m. you'd switch to something people under 80 would enjoy as well. PS the older folks enjoyed the popular tunes as much as the old stuff so why not appeal to everyone?? Entertainment 2: The teenagers (under 18) get the nice front of the ship spot for a disco but I think there were maybe 20 of them total on the ship. Prime real estate for kids with nothing for any of the paying passengers between 18 and 75 years old. There is a second "disco" but they let karaoke have that spot until 11 p.m. every night then spin dance tunes after that. You have to pass through the smoke gauntlet from hell to get to this disco (the casino) to get there. On New Years Eve this was the only place that had any entertainment after 12:30 p.m. YES, they closed the Galaxy that seats a few hundred at 12:30 p.m. on NEW YEARS EVE!!! It was unbelievable. Entertainment 3: The shows were fine. The dance crew is great and the lead singers are very good. They had a British lady for a couple nights that was great as well. (Michele) The magician is awful and the music so loud during his performances that I'm sure the old folks just removed their hearing aids. They should let the singers and dancers own that place and get rid of all the rest of the glitz and glam. Everyone likes quality singing - show tunes etc. Entertainment Staff: Jacky and Eliose were great and you can see they are working hard against all odds (and their apparent boss Dave the Cruise Director) to help build an environment where people can have some fun. But they must figure a way to bring the entertainment to the people. This group needs an overhaul. $50 to play Bingo is just not reasonable when you only win $150 and you're nickled and died on every thing else. Ship Excursions: Don't do it!! Waste of money and they don't know what goes on on their own excursions. Whale watching we did with them and we asked if their was swimming off the boat (we'd read that in a review) but it's December so we asked. "NO, it's way too cold they won't do that." We sat for 45 minutes while everyone from the other cruise boats donned their suits and jumped into the waters of the Canary Islands. Not fun. Advice: get off the boat, walk a bit up the pier and get a cab driver who will take you all over the islands for about $100 and get you back on time. Totally worth it!! Food: The sushi was great but you were paying for it. The buffet, yuck except for breakfast. Hard to ruin breakfast I guess. Too salty, too mushy, again, food for 80 years olds I guess. Drinks: I get it, we need to pay for drinks and the inclusive plan was not worth it for us - we don't drink enough - so I pay $16.00 for a drink once you had the gratuity, ok, but at least learn how to make a drink!! Every bartender in that place needs retraining. The amount of sour mix used in every drink will give you indigestion. They can't even get a gin and tonic right. Awful. Rooms: It's an old ship so I was not expecting anything grand, and it was fine. Beds are a bit hard but service staff were a bright light in a ship that seemed like no one else enjoyed their jobs. Our cabin girl, Nina, was so nice and polite. We loved her and appreciated how hard she worked. Leading up to the cabins though, it smells - and bad. Also deck 6 is below the casino where people apparently move furniture all night long. Sleep was impossible on many nights. Smoking: This ship is in Europe where there are many smokers and this ship is all theirs. They own the outdoor areas beside the pools - seems like that would be ok but the glass windows keeps the smoke from dissipating and each day we much walk through the cloud of smoke from hell to get to dinner. The casino doors are left propped open so all the smoke from there pours into the hallways and the elevators where everyone must go to get to the bedroom floors is so smokey that people were fanning the smokey smell away. My allergies were going crazy and by the time we left the ship I swear I second hand smoked a pack a day. There needs to be a limit. They have every right to smoke, but the rest of us should have an area we can breathe fresh air and not on the top of the ship in 30 mile hour winds. You can see from this that the ship totally lacks everything you'd expect from a cruise. It's a very sad situation and we spent $5,000 to have one of the worst vacations we've ever had. My advice - choose a different cruise line because Norwegian has gone down hill and fast. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
What a disappointing trip weather wasn't good but that is not NCL's fault. BUT it was the worst ship we have ever been on for many reasons. Firstly the ship is HUGE so you rarely see the same people twice but our cruise had over ... Read More
What a disappointing trip weather wasn't good but that is not NCL's fault. BUT it was the worst ship we have ever been on for many reasons. Firstly the ship is HUGE so you rarely see the same people twice but our cruise had over 2,000 Vietnamese workers on board who totally took over the ship by pushing shoving their rude way to lifts, meals and all entertainment. I am in a mobility scooter and was pushed, elbowed out of the way and even the disabled only tables in dining area was taken over by them. We mentioned this problem at Reception and they weren't happy with the situation either they said they would recommend to NCL that in future they should charter the whole ship as another 3,000 were due to board the day we left. Poor provision was made for people wanting to do independant tours with severe lack of taxi's or shuttles provided at some ports and where they were, some of the shuttles were unable to take my mobility scooter even though it folds right down. Unsuitability of most of the tours for people with mobility problems was not published at time of booking so we lost out on 4 days of our trip to see the Mediteranean ports. They also used a tender to visit Florence and Pisa which was not accessible (Partly due to rough seas) Our cruise ended up with only 1 trip to Sorrento which we loved and had no problem in a local taxi, unfortunetly we also drove with our private taxi to Pompeii where I was unable to enter due to my scooter but glad that my husband was able to go round. We also had 2 night in Barcellona staying in a hotel for my husband to enjoy Formula 1 race which was organised by Igloo who we booked this holiday with but that was a perfect day for him. We both caught a bug on board so I had to spend my day in Barcellona in bed. Also due to us departing flying from Birmingham we were given flights with Easy Jet which only allowed us 18k luggage so couldn't bring evening wear which restricted our eating plan en-board to the garden cafe and other informal eateries. We found the meat especially Beef very dried and over cooked, its left lying dry during service. Could do with more gravy to keep it moist in these conditions. Due to bad weather the smoking room inside was crowded and awful. We spent a lot of money for this cruise but don't feel we got value for money or experience. Entertainment on board was brilliant but certainly NOT for children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the second cruise with HAL as they promised they would get it right this time as they got it so wrong on our first cruise. My wife is very hard of hearing and when she takes her aids out to go to sleep at night she is totally deaf ... Read More
This was the second cruise with HAL as they promised they would get it right this time as they got it so wrong on our first cruise. My wife is very hard of hearing and when she takes her aids out to go to sleep at night she is totally deaf as she can't wear them in bed as they would whistle all night. So the answer is to fill out an access form send it to HAL and they install equipment in the cabin to overcome this, on the first cruise they didn't install it for 3 days on a 7 day cruise. The ship had lock down due to Norovirus swimming pools and hot tubs emptied and no self service in the lido. So as a good will gesture they offered us a small discount on our next cruise and a 50 dollar beverage card each and promised the device would be fitted in the cabin on day 1 this time. Five days prior to embarkation our cabin was changed so our travel agent confirmed with HAL that the device would be fitted in the new cabin and was told they had contacted the ship. You guessed it no device in the cabin and after numerous attempts during that afternoon to get it fitted at 17:30 was told that electrician was now off duty at 17:00 so it couldn't be fitted that day. My wife gets very anxious without it as she is used to having the same sort of device at home. we have travelled with 4 other cruise lines who have always got it right so why can't they (poor management) so much for getting it right. The cruise in general was poor hygiene was very poor on 2 occasions we found a dirty used cloth left in our sink, the cabin carpet was very soiled and balcony was not cleaned. The lifeboat drill was a farce you had to stand 10 deep on the deck under your lifeboat and watch 1 person put on the life jacket, the people at the back could not see or hear the demonstration. The entertainment was fair except for the resident singers and dancer they were poor and on shore days everything seem to shut except the bars leaving very little to do. The food quality or choice was not what you would expect or what we have come to expect. Embarkation an disembarkation were very good. All HAL seem to want is to extract money at every chance travellers beware especially shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is wheelchair bound. My husband and I have been on many cruises, usually about 2 per year,but it was the first cruise our friends had ever taken so I wanted to make sure it would be a good experience. I made many enquiries before booking the cruise to ensure that it would be suitable. We had enjoyed a cruise on Jade some years ago, the only problem being the queue for dinner so I was pleased that we were able to make table reservations beforehand to avoid this problem. Buffet service is very difficult for us so I asked if a waiter service restaurant (complimentary) would be available every lunch time, and was told YES. Mobility in the mornings is very limited for people with Parkinsons so it was good that complimentary room service was available for breakfast.The all inclusive arrangement sounded an excellent option and it was a great advantage to be allocated accessible state rooms. So we were all looking forward to a relaxing holiday in comfortably adapted cabins, enjoying fine dining and trying various cocktails in one of the many bars. How different was the reality. 1)Firstly the state rooms; they were well adapted and spacious, but no table to eat on and only 1 chair. How were we ( or anyone with mobility issues ) supposed to eat this complimentary breakfast? We asked our room steward but he looked dubious and, knowing the limited powers of room stewards, I rang Tamara in Guest services and indeed an extra chair and suitable table eventually appeared. But that should be standard in an accessible room. 2)The bars; on the first evening we found seats in The Maltings and enjoyed a cocktail before dinner. But we subsequently realised that was because people were still embarking/unpacking. Apart from that evening we were never able to find 4 seats together, especially negotiating a wheelchair and rollator between the packed seating arrangements. So our friends gave up trying to join us in a bar before or after dinner. My husband and I managed a few times to get seats in Atrium and Bliss, but such a long way from our cabin and certainly not the relaxing quality time with friends. 3)Port Days; -waiter service restaurants were NOT open on Port days, contrary to what we had been told. Twice the comparative calm of a buffet in Moderno was available but mostly we had to face the rugby scrum of the Garden Cafe. Yes there were helpful staff who tried to find us a quiet table, and we eventually discovered that there were waiters to fetch drinks for us, but it was far from the elegant lunch experience we had anticipated. -We decided to stay on board at the first port ( Tunisia)to enjoy a less crowded ship.What we failed to realise was that the ship itself closed down. We found comfortable seats in Shakers only to find that it was closed... as were all the other bars! The only place open was the Garden Cafe and Snacks, what a disappointment! We thought about ordering room service for lunch but that would have incurred charges and, more important, our little table was too small for us all to eat together. -We decided to get off at Lanzarote so checked with Excursion desk the arrangements for accessing the town. We were told that wheelchair accessible shuttle buses would be available for $15 per person. So we got ready to go ashore, found the correct elevators and gangway with great difficulty, and waited for the shuttle. But it was NOT wheel chair accessible .... except that the chair could have been put in the luggage hold if our friend could have climbed onto the bus . But he cannot walk. So we had to get back on board the ship and endure the Garden Cafe again. -We were told the same story at Las Palmas, but again no wheelchair access bus. This time I managed to find a Port official who spoke sufficient English to understand our problem. He was kind enough to call a large taxi who was able to convey us all + chair to town centre. 4) On Deck; again difficult to find seats. We liked the back deck and by accident discovered a disabled lift between decks 15/16/17 BUT it wasn't working. We tried it a few days later and it worked but the cafe/bar was closed. My husband and I tried again when it was open BUT GOT STUCK IN THE LIFT. We were there for 15 mins and were so shaken by the experience we didn't feel like staying there or trying it again. 5) Dinner with Officer; we were all very pleased to receive this invitation and looked forward to discussing life on board from an "insider". We arrived promptly but rather surprised that we all had to wait in a line for quite some time. Our "officer" was in fact a cosmetic consultant from the Spa, a charming lady but not quite what we had expected. The other young couple at our table spoke little/no English so conversation was laboured. The bistro type chairs were very small, hard and uncomfortable. If those are normal chairs for Spiegel Tent I'm glad we didn't book dinner there. So another slightly disappointing evening, BUT the food and service was excellent. 6) Illness; the final blow was falling ill. I contracted a respiratory infection for which I saw the Doctor on March 3 and spent the rest of the cruise feeling very unwell. Luckily my husband was not affected but our friends came down with a stomach upset on March 4 so just kept to their cabin and drank boiled water. 7) Accessibility; -The disabled elevator for decks 15/16/17 didn't work. -There are no instructions to operate the doors in Disabled Restrooms. One evening my husband needed to go to the toilet before the Burn the Floor show and we couldn't get out!We couldn't work out the correct sequence of pressing buttons and panic set in. We eventually got out but weren't allowed to go to the show. We booked for another night but that was the night I was ill so we never managed to see this wonderful show. -The aft lifts did not go to Deck 5 so to access Taste or Atrium we had to go to deck 7 walk the length of the ship to forwd lifts go down to deck 5 and walk all the way back to aft. Then repeat the process to return. -There were no clear instructions on which lifts to use to reach the gangway in Port. This is most frustrating when you are pushing wheelchair/ rollator. -There were designated Disabled seats in Garden Cafe but these were always full In conclusion the ship is badly designed AND land based staff do not give the correct information and/or are insufficiently knowledgeable. The public lounge and bar areas are woefully inadequate to cope with the volume of people. We were so disappointed not to be able to listen to the music in the Cavern, or acts in Headliners but we could never get in. We had to avoid Deck 6 as it presented such a problem to get through the whole area. We felt that as disabled passengers, we were discriminated from participating in much that the ship had to offer and from enjoying the package we had paid for. We had been looking forward to experiencing all the bars and eating areas so publicised in the Ship's information but most were either closed or overcrowded. I have only once before been ill on a cruise and that was when we docked at Istanbul and it could have been something I ate ashore. There were a great many people suffering from illness on this cruise and I am convinced it is due to overcrowding, too many people breathing the same air and spreading infection. BUT it was not all bad! I would like to say that the food and service in Manhatton and Taste were excellent. Our room steward Renato was a gem. The shows we did manage to see were first rate. I have sent this full report to NCL in the hope that they can make some improvements to make the cruise experience less fraught for future disabled passengers. I will let you know if we get any reaction Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Shame on Royal Caribbean! This was my 3rd time on Allure, I'd done a back to back 4 years ago during spring break with a sold out ship and it was nowhere near as messed up as this cruise was. A company chartered this cruise ... Read More
Shame on Royal Caribbean! This was my 3rd time on Allure, I'd done a back to back 4 years ago during spring break with a sold out ship and it was nowhere near as messed up as this cruise was. A company chartered this cruise for over 3000 of their sales people. These people totally overwhelmed the ships crew, the ship, the open spaces - in other words EVERYTHING! It began at the port in Barcelona. Apparently there was a table with refreshments - cookies, water, lemonade. I wasn't aware of this because the purple shirts (the huge group wore purple shirts) surrounded the table like a colony of ants. My sister witnessed purple shirted people stacking cookies 5 high then biting into them like a sandwich. They also drank their water/lemonade then simply dropped the cup on the ground, which created a very wet and sticky floor. The Royal Promenade on the ship - forget about it. You couldn't get through it because of the masses. The Windjammer - Hah! Aside from being pushed and shoved while purple shirts scrambled for food, the platters were quickly emptied and the Royal Caribbean staff was very slow to replace. We found this to be the case throughout the cruise. Thirsty? Good luck. As soon as the drinks were set out on trays (if they were) they disappeared. Staff simply did not keep up with demand! I've just spent a lot of time complaining about the overwhelming rudeness of many of the purple shirts but it all falls on Royal Caribbean. The staff should have been replenishing the drinks, bowls and platters before they were emptied in the Windjammer and every other open dining area. The staff should have had more Spanish speakers since the group was South American and most of them apparently didn't speak English. The staff should have never been so frustrated with the group that they neglected to give me the level of service that I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. How often have you walked down the hallway past room stewards who did not look at you and greet you? If you were on this cruise you would have witnessed it often - on the 6th floor at least. Obviously RCCL is only interested in money. They should have had the 3000+ people take over their own ship. If you want a lobster dinner you are welcome to order it in the main dining room for just $29.95. Are you kidding me?! I paid $35 for a fantastic 5 star dining experience at 150 Central Park. Why the heck would I pay $29.95 for a lobster dinner in the main dining room? If you're looking for a pad of paper and a pen to write a note in your stateroom - forget it. They no longer provide these. The same with the little bottles of lotion. None! Shampoo? The shower has a pump filled with shampoo/conditioner. They DO still provide 2 bars of soap - one for the sink, one for the shower. There is still a hairdryer - who knows for how long. I am thoroughly disgusted and disappointed in Royal Caribbean. I would say that I will no longer cruise with them but I'm already booked on the Serenade in February 2016. My fear is that cruise will have been chartered by a group as well, as it's nearly sold out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We hadn't cruised in many years, so the drop in standard was palpable. We hardly ever saw cruise staff. When they were carrying out bingo/quizzes they were personality-less. One comment they made regarding the disappointing turn-out ... Read More
We hadn't cruised in many years, so the drop in standard was palpable. We hardly ever saw cruise staff. When they were carrying out bingo/quizzes they were personality-less. One comment they made regarding the disappointing turn-out for the last bingo session was hardly surprising considering the lacklustre input from staff, never mind the $32 cost of a ticket. There were only 2 production shows in 12 days and they were dated and shabby, despite the cast's efforts to liven things up. The last night had a BMX biker on the stage! What happened to the bing-bong 'join us for a fun cha-cha session'? Events came and went with little in-put from staff. The exception was entertaining the many Spanish passengers, lead by the Spanish speaking Cruise Director who brought things alive but these events occurred only occasionally and whilst 2nd seating passengers ate. We had to make our own entertainment after dinner. There were over 900 Brits on-board, many more than our American compatriots but the entertainment on the pool big screen was mostly baseball. The big screen showed movies but they were dated e.g. Airplane circa 1980 and Eat, Prey, Love (suitable for children?!) and the movies were repeated! The cost of everything was prohibitive. The cheapest bottle of wine $36 for Pinot Plonk. Most passengers moaned about this. On the first night the dining room did not have 3 bottles of wine on the menu. Why are the dining room charging for additions such as lobster? And throughout the cruise we were submitted to sales pitches for the additional restaurants. My 13 year old son was considered a child in every aspect except the tours when he became an adult, having to pay full price fares. Even when we didn't pay the astronomical price for a tour we were charged 12Euros for a shuttle into the town. BTW, if you haven't booked a tour, you usually have to wait (up to 2 hours) before you can disembark. One tour made us stop at a factory (tour guide commission stop not advertised), then took us to a restaurant for the inclusive meal at 11am. We had just eaten an ice-cream, having been given no warning of an early lunch so we sat and stared at the food, unable to eat. When we complained on the ship, excuses were made but the matter was taken no further. Service was generally good although couldn't find a waiter pre-show or in the casino (the croupier had to call one over). Despite Europeans making up most of the passengers in the Med, the cruise lines still insist on us making up most of the staff's wages through the American-style tipping procedure. Our tipping bill (recommended by the ship) was $400.00. Europeans don't have this culture so most of them won't pay. You can see the resignation in the bedroom steward's eyes on the first night when they realise you're English, knowing they are not going to get near their tipping target. The service as a result is minimal.. I could never get hold of my bedroom steward when I needed him, bearing in mind he has only 3 hours off in a shift. The cabin was comfortable although cold, our air con dial did not work well. The flimsy shower curtain did nothing to retain the powerful shower, so the bathroom got soaked on every occasion. Years ago you couldn't get an appointment for the hair salon or beauty treatment, fully booked. Now, the staff sit at reception staring into the void, prices having alienated most would-be clientele. Cheapest massage neck and shoulders $79.00 for 20 mins. The gym was actually great, although always busy, even out of hours - at least I discovered what the dancers did between the 2 shows in 12 days. The food was good, particularly in the cattle market, I mean Windjammer buffet. The dining room food was often cold and tasteless, with lunch offerings being tastier. Our Mother in Law travelled with a stroller and wheelchair which she had to store in her cabin, limiting her movement and making her stateroom time stressful. We completed several forms pre-cruise but no-one appeared to be aware of her condition. Check-in port side was prolonged, she was standing, assuming she couldn't use the wheelchair until through security. The port check-in supervisor was responsive once she became aware of the situation. Our Mother in Law paid for 14 of her family members to enjoy this cruise. There seems to be a lack of communication between sales staff and staff on the ship. We pre-booked most of our tours with a sales agent before boarding, he had no information at all and it took him 50 mins to book our tours, incredibly slow. Overall we had a good time, just a shame that these and many other negative points left a bitter taste in our mouths that will prevent us from returning to RCI. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We tool a cab to the port as we were to tired (after an overnight flight) to go sightseeing. We had requested assistance for embarkation. There were no signs for disabled patrons. The embarkation took several hours and no assistance was ... Read More
We tool a cab to the port as we were to tired (after an overnight flight) to go sightseeing. We had requested assistance for embarkation. There were no signs for disabled patrons. The embarkation took several hours and no assistance was provided. The wheelchairs and the aids are on availability basis which we were not informed about. There was no place to sit and there was no priority boarding though we are gold members. The boarding procedure was pathetic. They did not have trained clerks to check the passengers in and they were lacking supervisors on the floor to keep the lines moving. The disembarkation in Barcelona was no better. We were declined entry in the special lounge for gold members and again no assistance was provided. We picked up our luggage from Baggage Claim and lined up for a cab. It took about 45 minutes to get a cab which took us to our hotel in Barcelona. We had to make our own hotel arrangements. The travel agent who sold us the package told us that we had up to four days prior to departure to book our excursions. Apparently they have different rules for the disabled. Those excursions have to be booked 21 days prior to departure. Nowhere on their website they provide this information. Once we got to our cabin things got better. Our attendant was great. Service was good. The entertainment was good. We could only go to a couple of venues as it clashed with our dinner timing. We spent most of our time on the promenade level where there was some shopping and live music. The dinner choices were good in the main dining room. There was a lot of variety. The only excursions we could take were the city tours in Rome and Naples. In Rome we stopped at the Vatican. The rest of the city tour was a bus ride through town In Naples we stopped at a coffee shop for a break. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
WARNING: Royal Caribbean refused to take my food allergies seriously. I suffered severe to life-threatening symptoms throughout my cruise because of staff providing misinformation about ingredients and the mishandling of my food orders. ... Read More
WARNING: Royal Caribbean refused to take my food allergies seriously. I suffered severe to life-threatening symptoms throughout my cruise because of staff providing misinformation about ingredients and the mishandling of my food orders. Other passengers expressed similar problems to me. RCI has been non-responsive.I sincerely wish the following didn't happen but I hope you can benefit by reading my review.1 out of 5...Guest Relations I cannot speak more poorly of any guest services cruise experience than of that on the Brilliance. Every encounter, every transaction with this department ranged from ineffective to insulting. This included meetings with supervisor Lotfi and Dept. Manager Adrian Fernandez and even Patrick Olin, Hotel Director, who we spoke with on the final day of the cruise for over an hour. Patrick said he understood the significance of the health issues and constant problems we faced and would speak with corporate about it. Nothing was done to encourage us to give Royal Caribbean another opportunity.2 out of 5...Dining I had to use emergency medications to breathe after dining on specially prepared 'allergen-free' dishes which I pre/special ordered at the main dining room. Misinformation from chefs at the buffet caused moderate to severe allergy reactions from foods I was assured were 'safe' for me. No on-board dining was safe no matter what I did to impress the staff about my medical condition.We elected for "My Dining" - open-time dining, so we could eat when we were hungry. By day 5 we were told reservations were required. We found the limited hours at both the dining room and buffet inconvenient.3 out of 5...Dining Staff The dining staff tried to please but often shared excuses as to why service was less than optimal. The Head Waiter tried to correct errors as her sister also had food allergies and so was sympathetic. But the errors were coming from the kitchen and there was little she could do about that. She was congenial and we admired that she worked very hard to coordinate a busy dining room.3 out of 5...Food The food presentation was very good, the quality did not always match. At buffet, friendly signs encouraged asking for a Chef to be called whenever there was a question about ingredients, sometimes the staff resisted. The worst part was receiving inaccurate information causing me to suffer multiple symptoms throughout the cruise as I could not identify the offending food items. On day 10, my gums were bleeding so a dining supervisor insisted the Head Chef come speak with us. That's when we finally learned about the ingredient misinformation. This is Outrageous!1 out of 5...Room Service One night, after discovering the dining room was too full to accept reservations until near closing, we elected to have our dinners brought to our cabin. One dinner arrived an hour and a half later, the second arrived 45 minutes after the first - Neither labeled 'allergy-free' so I couldn't eat either. Although we canceled the second dinner, Room Service still knocked and woke us despite the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on our door. Dishes would clutter hallways for several hours.4 out of 5...Ship dEcor We appreciated the tasteful muted colors with richly colored woods and nautical theme throughout. It was kept very clean. We especially liked the art deco elevators. Most rooms and areas were easy to find and offered comfortable seating.2 out of 5...Ship Design Yelling over the live band 20 feet from Guest Relation's is required every afternoon/evening. We don't know how they do it. Enjoyable live music seemed everywhere in the evenings, however, there were no quiet places as an alternative. Even Guest Relations was unable to suggest a quiet place and our first cabin was too noisy to rest.The beautiful centrum was impressive but so many rooms (library, Internet and more) opened to it that band noise made it hard to read/focus.3 out of 5...Cabin Our first cabin had plumbing issues and the bathroom door trapped me inside for several minutes. It was never fully repaired. 3006 is right under the theater near the orchestra pit so noise was significant. We lost a lot of sleep the first 5 days/nights due to late night performances and daytime rehearsals. We missed out on Florence, Italy due to exhaustion. Everyday, as staff suggested, we renewed our request to be moved to another cabin. 6 days later we were finally moved to an cabin which had been empty the entire time. Our second cabin was much quieter and we were finally able to get the rest we needed. The cabins show obvious signs of wear and tear an short shower curtains caused the bathroom to flood with every 3 out of 5...Cabin Service Our first cabin's steward was the bright star of the staff. Idewa was excellent, friendly and very helpful in virtually every way. Like many staff, he struggled with English but ultimately exceeded at fulfilling our requests. The cabin steward to the second cabin, 3082, was the opposite and even missed cleaning the cabin twice. By the way, ice is not directly available to passengers and must be special requested. 4 out of 5...Ports/Destinations Without a doubt, the very best part of our cruise was off ship! Hint: if you like to travel independently, do your homework first. This cruise line offers overviews but did not offer enough specifics on transportation and other necessities for easy independent excursions. Some ports have helpful tourist information desks, others don't so pre-trip preparation is a necessity.N/A...Tours/Excursions We considered booking tours but after our extremely poor Guest Relation's/staff experiences so we decided not to risk it. We weren't expecting this and it did make things a little harder but we enjoyed the ports on our own. The main problem we had with the cruise, other than the obvious food/health issues, was there were so many minor problems and such poor attitudes among the staff. Finger pointing and blaming others was common. We are from California and have neutral accents, my companion is fluent in Spanish too, yet staff often had trouble understanding us or wouldn't make the effort to. We would ask an easy question like, "What time may we call to make a reservation?" and the staff person would say "Yes" even though we spoke slowly and repeated ourselves. We also couldn't get answers to simple questions such as: What do we do if the ship leaves port without us since you took our passports? (If it wasn't for reading Cruise Critic we wouldn't have even known they were going to take our passports from us. RCI's website has a small side note that says they might take them.) It wasn't until the last day of the cruise, when we met with the hotel director that we finally learned that the passports of any who missed the ship would be left with the port authority for retrieval. Was that really so tough a question for the boarding personnel or guest relations to answer? We discovered Cruise Critic reviews to be spot on. One said the ports were the best part of the cruise - we agree. Another said the food looked great but fell short on taste - we agree. Another warned that staff was not quick to rectify cabin and plumbing issues, correct again. We also agree with other reviewers that the dEcor was warm muted colors with richly colored woods. The public areas were kept clean and the nautical theme tasteful. But we didn't see anyone mention the cavalier attitude toward food allergies and I felt that this was so significant that it needed to be posted on Cruise Critic. A passenger I met said he bribes a chef to personally oversee his food preparations, another said they absolutely insisted on being provided with food ingredient labels even if personnel resisted, that being rude was the only way to get the necessary information. Neither of those options appealed to me but on Royal Caribbean, extreme measures appear necessary - Whether or not you have any food allergies, pass over Royal Caribbean - you'll be glad you did. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011

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