2 Beijing Romantic Cruise Reviews

I had to wait for six months before I could write down this review more objectively. Meaning without the disbelief or all the other first negative reactions. So in short - everything the others have already written here is completely ... Read More
I had to wait for six months before I could write down this review more objectively. Meaning without the disbelief or all the other first negative reactions. So in short - everything the others have already written here is completely accurate. However, after telling the stories after half a year, it all feels quite entertaining. Not ever on our nine RCI cruises before have we felt like being in a candid camera. Or in a sitcom, not in the audience but on the stage before cameras. Because why and where else would all those silly things take place. You have the basic setup: A slightly unconfident captain that gets a totally inexperienced crew who probably was supposed to be somewhere else. Like repairing cars, milking cows, studying in high school ... who knows. Then they are given this brand new amazing shiny ship with all the features and gimmicks nobody has heard of and obviously have no idea how to use them. Then, the ones who have ever held a spoon are made chefs, etc. Train the ”crew” for an hour. Bring in the customers. Let the hell break loose. All the rubber cheese jokes, misunderstandings, arguments and mass fights will follow inevitably. No screenwriting needed. I particurally liked the calling for tender tickets scene, by a Jamaican crew member. ”A3!” - ”Was it E3 or I3?” - ”Yes!” Why am I writing this now is that we are thinking to go back on Ovation soon (19 Nights - Honolulu to Sydney). You have to believe in good and give everybody another chance. If things are still failing after one year from this review, they are never going to improve. Dining: We have eaten dinners on nine other RCI ships. I would rate the previous ones quite high, like 4/5 stars or so. However, the experience on Ovation was 2/5 at it's best. The waiters were pretty clueless in general, but the biggest disappointment were the ingredients of the meals. In Asia, particularly in China the dairy products are far from western standards. So the "rubber or cheese" was not really a joke but a real situation. However, after Hong Kong things improved a bit. Eventually we kept going to 270° for breakfast and Windjammer for the rest of the day. Entertainment: Not quite on par with other RCI ships either. The "Pixels" was only okay, you couldn't avoid feeling that that the crew was barely walking through the show but wanted to be somewhere else instead. Onboarding / arriving / departing: Pure chaos, lucky that not more people got hurt. Activities: Not so bad! All the latest gadgets were entertaining and even the queues were not bad. Maybe because there were not so many children on a transfer cruise. As a 30-40 yrs couple we drove more bumper cars than all in our lives before combined. Stateroom: The only safe haven where you felt like "home". The stateroom waiter was luckily of the normal RCI standard, which is awesome. Excursions: Didn't take. Ports of call were really intriguing, but usually all the action happened 1-2 hrs from the port itself. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was to be a special cruise for our 40th anniversary and as such we chose to go somewhere far away we may never visit again. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean (15 in all) and to be honest probably the last. Although other ... Read More
This was to be a special cruise for our 40th anniversary and as such we chose to go somewhere far away we may never visit again. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean (15 in all) and to be honest probably the last. Although other experienced RC passengers did say this was nothing like normal. This was a repositioning cruise moving the ship from Beijing to Singapore for 6 months. Before going into details it must be said that we found the ship very pleasant and most of the staff really good. Embarkation in Tianjin was farcical. Massive queues, no movement, no organisation and people shouting at you in Chinese in a militaristic manner. The absolute worst in our experience. Disembarkation on the other hand in Singapore was fine. We had some issues caused by our cruise agent and we spent around 91/2 hours queuing and trying to get a resolution as Guest services. We didn't manage to book any excursions at the Excursions desk as the queues were huge at all times it was open. The on screen booking in the cabin didn't work, ever Musical entertainment around the ship in the lounges was OK but the main theatre shows in general were the worst we had experienced. I have never seen half full theatres before or such quantities of people getting up and walking out. We had general quizzes led by staff who could not read, write nor pronounce English. Pathetic organisation. In cabin entertainment was equally pathetic with endless loops of children's and a few other films. One friend saw 'Skyfall' 12 times as an example. The films on deck were the same ones in the cabin as were the cinema presentations in Studio B. Only near the end did some new films begin to appear. Who wants to watch a repeat of Shrek, or Cinderella as the movie under the stars at night. BBC world service appeared just before the end of the cruise. Prior to that on standard fare US news programs were available together with a multitude of Chinese / Asian channels. It would appear that nobody bothered to look at the passenger demographics. Announcements were generally unintelligible except for the Captain's The cabin 1603 (inside) was OK but it is difficult for an inside cabin to get much better than that. Size was smallish, facilities were adequate, storage was adequate and the cabin service was good. Service around the ship was always friendly in particular Rosalio in the dining room and Abel in the Wig and Gavel were outstanding. It has to be said that we found most of the crew to be very friendly and helpful. The food in the Main Dining Room was initially very Asian oriented, this only changed for the last few days. The food in the Windjammer appeared to be a reasonable selection but very repetitive. Disembarkation at the ports of call was very badly organised with very long queues. Often caused by the crew having to change the location of the gangway up or down. These are mariners for crying out loud, surely they realise by now that water in the sea is tidal and have the ability to choose the correct disembarkation deck first time? There were continuous shortages of food and beverage caused simply by terrible organisation. They (Royal Caribbean)are an international company and surely have changed ports and clientele before. Prior to this cruise, this ship had been used in the China market with around 97% Chinese guests. This cruise was roughly reversed. I can appreciate that to some of the crew members this was a major cultural change. Drinks on board are ridiculously priced and only by drinking more than usual of the most expensive items did we make a package pay. Even so the packages are roughly double the price of say Costa and even more than that of Fred Olsen. Nice ship, nice staff, appalling entertainment, average food, pathetic organisation, high prices, missed demographics in the planning structure. In all, we visited places we may never again get to which was good, unfortunately it was on this ship. A real let down and we could not recommend RC to anybody based on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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