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70 Royal Caribbean Beijing Cruise Reviews

I have to agree with other comments regarding mariner of the seas , the scene was set from embarkation to disembarkation queuing what a way to spend a holiday either at customer services or for tours. appalling logistics ,organisation, ... Read More
I have to agree with other comments regarding mariner of the seas , the scene was set from embarkation to disembarkation queuing what a way to spend a holiday either at customer services or for tours. appalling logistics ,organisation, management skills. I have never been on a cruise where after only 3days basic food and beverages had run out ie no butter. entertainment diabolical very poor quality people walking out saving grace ice show was excellent. differing prices advertised throughout ship for drinks packages and gratuities.No drinks package when we boarded which was prepaid after waiting at customer services for apron 1hr told to purchase another then it would be refunded had no record of many guests packages. Food Asian orientated even though majority of guests westerners will never look at rice noodles or stir fry again this was even served western dishes in main dining rooms. windjammer a free for all mainly catering for Asian tastes barely warm tasteless and lacking in variety. Sound system to loud and on deck 11 cruise director talking drivel for hours. This cruise was to celebrate our golden wedding the itinerary and the people we met made the cruise not through any of Royal Caribbean efforts.Would I recommend definitely not Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The cruise started off with a long wait to get on the ship, but we barely had to line up for anything else afterwards, although a lot of older guests seemed to complain about lines to us. We only had to wait at Guest Services for about 10 ... Read More
The cruise started off with a long wait to get on the ship, but we barely had to line up for anything else afterwards, although a lot of older guests seemed to complain about lines to us. We only had to wait at Guest Services for about 10 minutes the entire time of the cruise and even less for our shore excursion. I guess you just have to pick the right time of day to go. This ship has been based in Asia for quite some time but the staff spoke English very well even though it was their second language, we even attempted to learn Mandarin from the Activities Manager and trying to learn a whole other language is quite difficult so I could forgive them if at times I didn't quite understand them. Many of the passengers were quite disrespectful and expected the Asian crew members to speak fluent English with no hint of an accent which was quite unfair. The food was good, probably not the best of the cruises I've been on but still enjoyable, we never went hungry. The service was fantastic in both the dinning room as well as the Windjammer. Being some of the younger guests (in our 20s) we found a lot of older passengers wouldn't let us join them during busy periods in the buffet so we sometimes had to leave and come back a bit later which did spoil some of the dinning experience. Although we did meet some fantastic people from all over the world on the ship. We only did one shore excursion because we found them to be a bit over-priced and we didn't mind catching public transport or taxis around instead. The one shore excursion we did had no wait times and every other time we got off the ship we just waited for the lines to go down so we could walk straight off but still had plenty of time to see what we wanted. We didn't see much of the entertainment but what we did see was enjoyable, especially the ice show which was fantastic. The activities on the ship were also enjoyable, we really enjoyed learning to ice skate, our Mandarin lessons and trivia. Our stateroom was a decent size and it was very well looked after by our stateroom attendant who was easily our favourite person on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Please think very carefully before booking this cruise. This was our first ever cruise and all I can say is so very disappointed. As a part of our cruise we were given a tour before embarking the cruise to the forbidden city,and the Great ... Read More
Please think very carefully before booking this cruise. This was our first ever cruise and all I can say is so very disappointed. As a part of our cruise we were given a tour before embarking the cruise to the forbidden city,and the Great Wall of china. Yes fantastic experience seeing these places but being given the hard sell at a jade factory we were taken to then on route back to the hotel we were told we were being taken to a herbal Doctor. When all the coach refused we were taken against our will and locked on the coach. We were told they would take us back to the hotel if we payed 30 yuan each to the company. Eventually we escaped the coach feeling a little frightened. Embarking the ship was farcical, people pushing and shoving no organization. Cabin was clean but had a funny smell. We reported this and nothing was ever done. Cabin boy very very good !!!! Fine dining !!!! NOT. !!!! Food served cold and poor quality, catering for the Chinese, repetitive menu and service was very poor, waiting 30/40 minutes between courses. Complaint made nothing done. Entertainment was rubbish, butlins not cruise ship. Constantly ping pong over the load speaker at a ridiculous high sound offering bingo it quiz. But to be honest it was very hard to understand them. Most staff tried but very broken English and the cruise entertainment director and Bonnie his double act were a pain. Couldn't sit round the pool some days for the shouting or her over the microphone speaking very poor English. Disaster!!!!!!! Windjammer poor was always a fight to the death for food and catering for the Chinese on board. Only holiday I have had were I have lost weight. !!!! My dress was stolen from around the pool area, I reported this to guest services, they said they would get back to me, hahahaa. No they didn't, what a surprise. Jacuzzis made awful noises going through cleaning process making it very hard to have a conversation with anyone unless they were on your knee. Tours with Royal Caribbean are a rip off and be careful as once you on the coach they try and take you somewhere else to hard sell you more stuff. !!!!! Thanks for reading. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues ... Read More
We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues going in every direction, everybody there at the one time as travel from Beijing was not co-ordinated. A really bad impression much commented on by regular cruise folk. Our disembarkation in Singapore was little better as we had contracted RCI to transport us to Changi Airport. Once in the terminal they left us for dead. Critical question , would we do another cruise, Only if it was to a different destination as we are not cruisers who love sea days, want to encourage skin cancers by becoming walruses by the pool or even refrigerate in the library or 'card room'. We had a D1 cabin 7356 which was quite adequate and serviced twice daily by Fabian with great courtesy and care. Our meals in the L3 Dining Room were pleasantly served by Harold and Tiu Lin, always ready with appropriate drinks and a friendly approach. Food quality was passable but not anything exciting. On one night the steak was not served to the second sitting! Prawns were always watery. Only did one formal night as our table companions deserted us. The alternatives, the Windjammer food hall crowded often and of poor quality (except the fries) or the paid venues were not that swish. We paid $105 US extra for half cooked lobster of good size on our only venture. We had bought the Ultimate Drinks Package as the only means to cover our wants. Converting US to AUD plus the 18.5% loading allowed the flexibility to cover anything we drank, within reason. Ellingtons or the Wig and Gavel were regular haunts. Wifi is a disaster, pricey and only worked on Deck 5, again at the Wig and Gavel. This was only established after more than one approach to Guest Services. Entertainment, liked the Ice Show. Watched one singer who was just a 'belter'. We chose half day tours, and were reasonably satisfied with our Asian sampler. It is in each individual's choice whether private touring is cheaper and more satisfying. To summarise, you make the most of what you get in life; our adventure on the Mariner had many good moments but as many when we felt let down. Overall it was a great experience but not something that would become habitual!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last. From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as ... Read More
This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last. From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as follows: 1. We had paid for "My Time Dining" which entailed paying gratuities in advance, only to be initially told it was unavailable. Then after considerable pressure from many customers it was re.instated. We were then told we were on a waiting list and after saying that, in which case we would like the gratuities returned, they miraculously said we were allocated a place! 2. Extortionate price of shore excursions.Other than Ho Chi Minh, you could do the main attractions yourself at a fraction of the cost and without the very limited time constraint. We did visit the latter and the excursion was over one hour late leaving, due to the chaotic organisation, and the guide made this up by cutting our time down. To highlight this the one feature involved a climb to a statue of Christ, which was over 800 steps high. To do this we were given about 20 minutes in 80+ degrees with 90% plus humidity. Needless to say most decided not to attempt. 3. Food quality and variety. This can only be described as average, with the same menu choices on most days. The quality also varied accordingly. 4. Staff and Service. Although in many case the staff tried hard, it was obvious that many were new to the ship and had not been trained in customer service, and hence stood back waiting for you to either do things yourself or wait to be asked. The latter then became quite an ordeal. The one exception we had was the Cabin Steward, who was excellent in all aspects. 5. Entertainment. The main point for the evening shows was the Savoy Theatre, and the quality of the shows varied from very good (Violinist, Beatles lookalike and Jamaican Singer) to very poor (Juggler and Magician). The Ice Spectacular was excellent, and is highly recommended. 6.Layout and facilities. The ship caters for over 3000 passengers and the design is well laid out with the central atrium being the place around which the bars and shopping areas emanate. A great area to visit before or after your evening Dinner/Show. 7. Guest Relations. Due to the number of customers and the issues arising, this became a very congested area and if you wanted to perform some simple tasks, such as replacing a Key Card that didn't work, frustratingly you had in most cases to join a lengthy queue. To finish, the above issues are "fixable" with some basic organisation, as they are not fundamental design issues, but they seriously detracted, from what was a fabulous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have taken 10 cruises in total and from a dining and entertainment viewpoint this was the worst. Our previous Royal Caribbean cruise was excellent. This was worse even than the cheaper cruises like Costa and Carnival. The dining room ... Read More
We have taken 10 cruises in total and from a dining and entertainment viewpoint this was the worst. Our previous Royal Caribbean cruise was excellent. This was worse even than the cheaper cruises like Costa and Carnival. The dining room food was at times inedible and the service was second rate . We have never seen so many people abandon the dining room after a few days in favour of the Buffet. One of the delights of previous cruises was that in the evening you felt you had been out for a great meal . Not on this ship! The entertainment ranged from 2 excellent shows to others where 60 people walked out of the theatre in the first 10 minutes and there was no shortage of seats in the theatre . It was obvious that the acts had not been vetted at all. Finally the excursions were a fiasco. On one occasion they oversold the coach by at least 10 seats and on another we were delayed by 2 hours getting off the ship.. Appologies.....not likely. The good parts were a nice stateroom but as the cruise cost us £3000 each for a junior suite it was expected to be good. This was our last cruise ever with Royal Carribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The holiday started well with a good stay in Beijing, we were ready to get onto the ship after several hard days touring but unfortunately this cruise wasn't up to RCI's usual standard. The embarkation was slow and ... Read More
The holiday started well with a good stay in Beijing, we were ready to get onto the ship after several hard days touring but unfortunately this cruise wasn't up to RCI's usual standard. The embarkation was slow and disorganised, when we eventually found some one to help we were given incorrect information and queued for a long time eventually realising that we were in the wrong place altogether. The cabin was clean but in need of some refurbishment, our cabin steward was pleasant and efficent and always helpful. Dining on deck 3 was ok, we were the only couple on a table for 10 which was disappointing, and even though we were only 2 the service was slow, but both waiters very pleasant but seemed inexperienced. The shows were in the main well below standard, and we walked out of two of them, the juggler was embarrasing to watch, ice show as usual was excellent. The queues at guest relations and the shore excursion desks were horrendous, there were 9 computers on the guest relation desk and only 2 members of staff. This must be the most disorganised ship that I have ever sailed on, at our first call in Vietnam the queue to go into the theatre for our excursion went all the way back through the casino and there was no one overseeing the situation, it was a shambles. The only saving grace on this cruise was the diamond lounge, which was as excellent as ever Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my first cruise ever, after many years of my sisters trying to convince me they were brill.well not the case on r/c.never again. It started at the Beijing port with very long queues, so you think oh well just a queue, ,,,,, ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever, after many years of my sisters trying to convince me they were brill.well not the case on r/c.never again. It started at the Beijing port with very long queues, so you think oh well just a queue, ,,,,, But those queues continued right throughout the cruise and I'm talking about a couple of hours sometimes, with lot of frustration and arguing between passengers,,,, not good at all, even at reception the people who we're queuing with complaints stood for ages talking about there complaints and recurring problems. The entertainment was shocking',,,, you could see better at butlins, it was so embarrassing watching the theatre empty. There were about 2 good shows, we expected to be entertained not having to walk around the ship looking for seats in other bars which were full up. ( dressed up and no we're to go). But I have to say the ice show was fab. The food!!!!! Well that was shocking in the windjammer, no presention at all, it was presented worse than a car very and just in the same way,food dumped in stainless steel bowls,,,,and plastic plates what's that about, but the food was horrible, not a lot on for British. Also they kept running out of things like English tea bags, jam and cream for coffee also wine and cans of beer. I was looking forward to high tea in the afternoon which my sister said was always yummy on cruises, well not on this one, there was no such thing, oh there was sandwiches on deck 5 all day every day, but they never changed. The fine dinning was ok to me,but I am told that was not as it should have been. But the staff we had were fab. Oh there are loads of things I have not mentioned but I have to tell you about the queue for the free shuttle bus out of busan back to ship, well we stood over an hr and it was red hot no cover and the queue kept getting parted by cars crossing the pavement going into hotels, and the people kept fighting with each other, well when a bus did come a car had parked in its place so it was like a stamped (which would have happened any way cause people were so hot and fed up)people parted from who ever they were with and 2 young girls trying to control the queue.(never). It was just a shambles. This was my most expensive holiday ever, and I think we should all be compensated. A very disappointed passenger Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The food was mainly Asian and considering there were 2600 guests, of whom 600 were Asian, we couldn't understand why the food was mainly Asian. On formal nights there were many people in colourful polo shirts and when we mentioned ... Read More
The food was mainly Asian and considering there were 2600 guests, of whom 600 were Asian, we couldn't understand why the food was mainly Asian. On formal nights there were many people in colourful polo shirts and when we mentioned this to the Restaurant Manager, he replied with "Royal Caribbean change their policy for the Asian market". Pity no one bothered to tell us, we had carried all our formal clothes from England. Also when we went on the trips booked with RC, it was chaos in the theatre, queueing up to get our coach numbers and then we waited for over an hour on the coach for some passengers to get on. The queues at reception on sea days were very long, all day, with people waiting to complain. The evening entertainment was the worst we have ever known and we have cruised about 20 times. After the first few visits to the theatre we gave up and went to bed early. The only good thing was the two waiters were brilliant and couldn't do enough for us. We shan't be rushing to book with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After we booked this cruise there were lots of rumours about how the ship was changing e.g. No Mamma Mia, extended shopping and casino, smaller music hall (now we know why - see below). We contacted RC who denied that anything was ... Read More
After we booked this cruise there were lots of rumours about how the ship was changing e.g. No Mamma Mia, extended shopping and casino, smaller music hall (now we know why - see below). We contacted RC who denied that anything was changing. However, all the rumours turned out to be true. First - embarkation. We had been told the ship arrived in port at 7 am. We booked boarding time of 11:45. Unfortunately, out taxi driver got very lost and we arrived an hour after this, in a bit of a panic that we were late. There were no signs for baggage drop and it was unclear even which door of the terminal to go in. We found the baggage drop where it was only just setting up and the staff were only just being trained! Once inside Katy was helpful in explaining that the ship only arrived at midday and we would start boarding til 2 pm. This eventually slipped by degrees to 3:30 as we watched previous passengers disembarking. Very smiley but totally inexperienced Booking in staff, in matching school uniforms were also being trained and Katy told us this was only the 2nd time RC was using Tianjin. The delay enabled us to meet our fellow western passengers - about a dozen in total. We were confused where the rest of the passengers were. Once on board, we walked through the deserted ship for a welcome and delicious lunch at 270. The 'deserted ship' was to become a feature of our holiday. Checking into our room slightly late, due to the delay we found it clean and comfortable and were helped out during our stay by Eduardo. All the staff, and there were plenty of them, were friendly and attentive, though not informed very well about the overall running of the ship. Over the next few days we were given 4 different explanations for the late departure: weather, sea traffic, longer distance than expected from last port(!) and finally, from the Hotel Manager on the 4th day, that the ships arrival had always been scheduled for midday - so why were we given a boarding time of 11:45? All the other westerners we met had the same problem. We were very concerned about our arrival time back in Tianjin as we had booked flights home the same day and needed to be able to rely on RCs info. Internal communication needs looking at RC please. The restaurants were lovely and we enjoyed the food in American, Chops Grill, Chic though not so much Jamie's, which is same old menu as at home, and just felt slightly below par compared to the other restaurants. I would question whether they really need to source and boast about chicken from the USA. That really is a lot of food miles! It was full most nights though, so others enjoyed it. Service in the restaurants was over the top with half a dozen staff greeting us on entry, and sometimes more than one waiter competing to fill up our drinks. We were confused about the reservations which we had made at home, Only to be told they were not necessary. It transpired that the ship was only 2/3 full with approx 3000 passengers so this may explain why. Bars. We had all the bars to ourselves apart from the other few Europeans. They were totally deserted. It was like a ghost ship! The other passengers, mostly Chinese, just do not do bars. They were to be found shopping or in the casino where they drank endless tea. We felt really sorry for the musicians and performers who were often playing to empty rooms. The bar staff were really happy to chat - I suppose it passed the time a bit for them. They made me some delicious cocktails - I preferred humans to robot bar, though we tried this too and I loved the music. Entertainment. I really enjoyed the ships orchestra jazz night, Starwater was bizarre and unconnected, the Chinese illusionist was incomprehensible - trying to do 'close up magic' on a big stage. Some of the bands C-wind quartet were really good - Chinese band playing western rock music. They could have done with a better audience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My wife and I traveled on the Quantum of the Seas leaving Beijing and arriving at Shanghai during November, 2015. We are both experienced cruisers but first time guests on Royal Caribbean After a wonderful 3 day cultural experience in ... Read More
My wife and I traveled on the Quantum of the Seas leaving Beijing and arriving at Shanghai during November, 2015. We are both experienced cruisers but first time guests on Royal Caribbean After a wonderful 3 day cultural experience in Beijing, we were driven to Tianjin to begin our adventure at sea. Embarkation - 4500 guests made the check in challenging to say the least. The process was less than organized and language barriers only compounded the problem (90% of the guests were from China according to the Hotel Manager). The whole process seemed a bit improved since earlier reports but still not as smooth as other ports. The Ship - The Quantum of the Seas is the most beautiful cruise ship we have sailed on. The decor is elegant, the public areas very well maintained. Some of the artwork is a bit puzzling including the huge "Hope and Pray" sign which doesn't inspire warm thoughts for vacation bound passengers. There are two banks of glass elevators one toward the front and one toward the back - each bank has 12 or so elevators which move passengers around much faster than any other ship I have seen. Pool areas on the 15th floor front to back include an adult solarium, a large covered pool area, and the uncovered main pool midship. Despite the cool weather (it was snowing in Beijing), the covered pool area and toasty solarium were never full (even the 270 lounge, the Quantum’s living room away from home and host to the Starwater show was never full). Toward the back is the Seaplex area which is basically a big two story gymnasium that is used for multiple activities. At the rear is the Flowrider surfing simulator and the iFly skydiving simulator. While the sheer size of the ship makes long walks common (our cabin was at the very back), corridors appear wider than most other ships. Activities - The Quantum has some of the most enjoyable and unusual things to do on the sea. The giant Seaplex converts from sports activity sessions (basketball, volleyball, and soccer), to bumper cars and roller skating at designated times. The Seaplex also has areas for video games, air hockey, table tennis and other fun events. Outside the Seaplex is the iFly skydiving simulator - a lot of fun, but cruisers need to make free reservations well in advance of the sailing as there are more people trying to fly then there are spaces available. Next to the iFly is the Flow Rider surfing simulator. In a November Asia cruise the weather was mostly in the 50s which dissuaded most passengers from trying the Flow Rider. This is a bonus to cruisers like myself that got time on the Flow Rider without having to rotate with many other guests. The fitness center is large and well equipped but very under utilized during my cruise. The Quantum's running track is the best place to run on the seas wide without choke points and 2.91 laps per mile. The daily schedule was unique to Asia - no Bingo, limited activities requiring much talking - most of the trivia contests were in English and had very sparse turn out. The casino was quite busy with the mix of games strongly favoring Asian preferences - lots of Baccarat, little 21. The Northstar observation dome has plenty of availability - reservations can be made for time slots. We jumped on the Northstar during our initial stroll across the ship and did it one more time when we were at sea. Shopping seems to be a very popular activity on the Quantum – in the Royal Promanade, many high end shops showcase luxury goods. Presumably, they are in such demand that your typical “gift shop” selling sundries and Royal Caribbean logo items does not exist. Frequently, the promenade hosts sales which attracted large mobs of shoppers like a Black Friday event. Entertainment - The Quantum Production cast put on two of the best shows I have seen on the seas - Sequins & Feathers and Star Water. Aided by very sophisticated AV and stage effects in the venues, the shows are spectacular and appeal to all languages. The nightclub music performances were less numerous than other cruises I have been on and obviously comedy was non-existent. Despite the huge population of Chinese cruisers, I felt you always knew this was an American cruise ship and the entertainment appealed to Americans. Dining - The big challenge for this cruise ship. First, the specialty restaurants (we ate at Chops twice and Jamie Oliver's once) are great....and empty. Whether it was because of the surcharges or the lack of Chinese selections at specialty restaurants, they were not utilized. You could walk in anytime. The Chops manager went as far as to tell us it is a big challenge for the Quantum - nobody is in the specialty restaurants putting pressure on the "free" dining areas. Second, the buffet is always busy. Windjammer's, Quantum's buffet, is actually very well designed with multiple food stations spread apart and lots of duplication of dishes. Even during busy periods, it wasn't hard to get the food. Finding a place to eat your food was another story - it was pretty incredible to see virtually every seat taken during buffet hours. Maybe 1/3 of the dishes were Asian inspired, but the buffet always had the cruise staples - salad bar, fruit, carving station, dessert bar... Third, the main complementary dining restaurants (Silk, American Icon, Chic and Grande went to a two seating plan - 5:30 pm and 8 pm. You have to be "lined up" (I use the term loosely as lines were more like big mobs) before 6 and 8:30 pm in order to be seated. Here is where you need patience! Each restaurant has their typical menu, and each night there is an additional 6 or so Chinese selections which are available at each restaurant. I had a baby back ribs entree one night at American Icon - the flavor wasn't bad but the meet was very tough. At Chic I had the Prime Rib which was just disappointing. Whether it is the challenge of having the extra Chinese menu, or sourcing food from Asia, dining was not a strong point for this cruise. Crew – despite the challenges of an almost exclusive Manderin speaking sailing, the Quantum’s crew does an excellent job providing great service and a friendly atmosphere. They readily engage English speaking guests in conversation and work very hard to provide great service. The Quantum is an amazing ship and we look forward to future cruises on its sister ships. Like many other reviewers, we would not recommend flying to China for the cruise which gives one quite a cultural experience that we missed during our stay in Beijing. On the other hand, an opportunity to visit some of Beijing’s treasures makes this RCL cruise unique. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This is not our first cruise with RCCL but tis is the worst.customer service was unprofessional did not meet our needs out of 4000 passengers there were only 15 international yet the shore excursions we only for 15 english speaking and ... Read More
This is not our first cruise with RCCL but tis is the worst.customer service was unprofessional did not meet our needs out of 4000 passengers there were only 15 international yet the shore excursions we only for 15 english speaking and was sold out the north star is a waste of time and money we were left stranded at airport because we were the only one who brought transfer cost us over 150 on bus and taxi to get to pier on time customer service did not want to deal with any issues the food was horrible room service charge for eggs pancakes they nickel and dime you to death the shops on board were all over priced compared to use the room was very nice but too many negatives to sleep well they offered less for more money the entertainment was not as good as other cruises i know it was mainly for the local but they could have shown some consideration for the international that travel that far to be disappointedThis was our 48 th anniversary happy anniversary to us Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We stayed the night before departure at The Sheraton Tianjin however it would have been just as easy to catch a bullet train and taxi from Beijing to the Tianjin International Cruise Terminal. Unfortunately the cruise ship was late to ... Read More
We stayed the night before departure at The Sheraton Tianjin however it would have been just as easy to catch a bullet train and taxi from Beijing to the Tianjin International Cruise Terminal. Unfortunately the cruise ship was late to arrive due to morning weather conditions and the masses waiting to board were left in line without any announcement as to the issue. Once on board all troubles melted away. As one of only about 70 non-chinese passengers we were certainly in the minority however the RC staff were extremely sympathetic and it was never an issue. It was expected that a cruise departing and returning from the same chinese port would be heavily populated by the local residents. We did meet some lovely people however language was a major barrier. Onboard the activities were terrific, the North Star took us to amazing heights, the iFly allowed us to pretend we were falling from an airplane, the food in all restaurants was fresh and plentiful, the entertainment was exceptional. Pixels light show was unbelievable. Our room was always clean, comfortable and provided beautiful views from the balcony. I look forward to my next Royal Caribbean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Just wanted a short holiday cruise so chose this one. Ship is magnificent very large!!! Everything was carried out well. Beautiful meals in the 3 restaurants. All the little eateries were great as well. We were on a cruise with about 4000 ... Read More
Just wanted a short holiday cruise so chose this one. Ship is magnificent very large!!! Everything was carried out well. Beautiful meals in the 3 restaurants. All the little eateries were great as well. We were on a cruise with about 4000 chinese which was a little daunting but the staff treated us "internationals" very well indeed.As only 6 day cruise ports were limited Beijing Kumamoto and Hong Kong. We made some great friends who we hope to keep in contact with in the future. Probably would not go on an all asian cruise again. Would rather leave from Australia and return to Australia. I am not keen on flying so probably would stick to just flying to or from Hawaii and cruising the other way. Maybe just around Australia next time. Ovation was absolutely beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone, as I said very large and did not feel much movement from the rough seas we experienced. As I said limited Ports we had adays tour of Beijing going to Forbidden city, Jade factory, great wall and a health clinic. In Kumamoto we caught the bullet train in to see the Castle and had a bite to eat before getting normal train back to meet up with the shuttle to take us back to the ship. Hong Kong was great shopped and went sight seeing. We dined at three restaurants and found the service and the food wonderful So in all a lovely cruise> Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Actually we did 3 B2B cruises. Enjoyed the itinerary. Savio the guest services manager and Chen our cabin steward on deck 7 were the best we have encountered on any cruise and we cruise extensively. Don’t miss meeting Mike the hotel ... Read More
Actually we did 3 B2B cruises. Enjoyed the itinerary. Savio the guest services manager and Chen our cabin steward on deck 7 were the best we have encountered on any cruise and we cruise extensively. Don’t miss meeting Mike the hotel manager he should also be the cruise director. 95% of passengers on first cruise were from mainland China thus the cuisine was appropriate for them but we did find offerings for us “international” passengers as we were termed.. Many of the crew knew we were B2B cruisers and treated us like rock stars.. If you do a cruise leaving from mainland China prepare yourself for the Chinese passenengers whom seem to lack a knowledge of the “social graces” and personal space..The Quantum class ship is spectacular with many great features but the crew and service was the biggest bonus on the ship. Don”t miss the Pixels show in 270theatre and the iFly Ripcord. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Just got back from the worst cruise ever! I’m so disgusted with Royal Caribbean for dropping their usual high standards on the cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong. What a waste of a lovely new ship. Terrible food and terrible service ... Read More
Just got back from the worst cruise ever! I’m so disgusted with Royal Caribbean for dropping their usual high standards on the cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong. What a waste of a lovely new ship. Terrible food and terrible service -and Royal Caribbean management should be ashamed of themselves. I can’t believe they wouldn’t treat all people equal and why the Chinese people do not deserve the same standards that everyone else receive. Did they think we wouldn’t notice! They removed half the bar staff on the ship as the Chinese don’t drink (no thought for the 700 other passengers) which affected the quality of service, changed the chefs and menus so it resembled a takeaway menu and the quality of food was appalling. They also reduced food choices. Entertainment left a lot to be desired and they introduced charges for normally the complimentary North Star and I Fly. Also the North Star was curtailed in its operation so they could make more money! The embarkation and disembarking organisation was abysmal also. I seriously wonder if I will ever go on another Royal Caribbean cruise again! TERRIBLE Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Flew from Australia with 5 others and spent a few days touring around Beijing , seeing Lost City and Great Wall. Fast train down to Tanguu station in 2nd class was easy $18 Aus,then Taxi to cruise port on the day was easy enough as well ... Read More
Flew from Australia with 5 others and spent a few days touring around Beijing , seeing Lost City and Great Wall. Fast train down to Tanguu station in 2nd class was easy $18 Aus,then Taxi to cruise port on the day was easy enough as well $100 Yuan. Get on the Boat through the initial check in wasn't organized that well from the Non-Chinese side anyway, very slow, with little instruction or desk attendants. The Boat itself was in great condition and the Balcony room 11246 was a nice size and enough room for clothing. Mr Jimmy was very helpful we when needed anything during the voyage of 6 days Entertainment was on most nights of a good standard with some only so so but that the luck of the draw No self laundry. Casino just smelled of smoke even though non smoking. No Bar staff service away from Bar area like on other cruises. Four different free restaurants served same menu through whole cruise, seemed to based on Chinese cuisine until a lot of people complained then more variety became available. Breakfast was a mad house, survival of the fittest/ or biggest elbows Very little common courtesy shown by majority of passengers which made cruise a bad experience. I know Aussies can be loud and sometimes rude, like all nations but i would never do a cruise out of Asian/Beijing again and wouldn't recommend it to anyone either. Couldn't fault staff on boat as they tried to satisfy all passengers Dis-Embarkment was a breeze and we took own bags of at Hong Kong Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (16 & 8). We have taken many, many cruises and have sailed on Royal Caribbean in the past, including a two week cruise from Sydney to the South Pacific the previous year on the Voyager. We ... Read More
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (16 & 8). We have taken many, many cruises and have sailed on Royal Caribbean in the past, including a two week cruise from Sydney to the South Pacific the previous year on the Voyager. We selected a Family Junior Suite (Rm #10204) which was the perfect size for us. It was also less expensive then two connecting balcony rooms. A major plus was the extra half bathroom, especially when you are travelling with three females 555 ! The room was very modern, spacious, large ocean-view balcony, lots and lots of closets and storage space, and finally a room with lots of electrical outlets for charging our mobile devices. There was a over sized King bed and a Queen size sofa bed for the children. Even with the sofa bed fully extended the entire trip, the room still had lots of space to move around. Pluses about this cruise; excellent entertainment & Broadway style production shows (2), friendly staff, great service, modern decor, very good children programs - wave rider, rock climbing, zero gravity dome, bumper cars, sky crane, multi-purpose court - all free, nice pools & water park with slides. The internet and WiFi coverage was very good and stable the entire cruise. Before I get into the negatives, I should explain some background information. The Ovation is based 6 months of the year in Australia and 6 months in Asia with Beijing being its home port. There were over 5,000 passengers on this cruise, 4,500 + of which were from the country of the new home port city. The remaining passengers were mostly Western. During the 6 months the ship is based in Asia, the ship is totally revamped to accommodate the majority of its Asian guests. Negatives; Both in the 4 main dining rooms and the international buffet restaurant, there was only one main Western item on the menu each lunch and dinner. The vast majority was always Asian food. The non-Western guests lack manners and knowledge of proper travel etiquette. They were constantly pushing and cutting in lines, over loading the lifts, shouting for normal conversation, letting their children run around the main dining room and theater like it was a playground and basically disregarding most posted regulations (both in English and Mandarin) such as no eating areas, no smoking, no running, etc. Finding seating for 4 people in the buffet was next to impossible unless you went at an odd hour. Then you had to protect your table from chairs being taken away or your food being removed by other guests. Everyone at the table had to eat in shifts. God help you if you were anywhere near the section when fresh whole fruit was put out. It was like a swarm of locust descending on the area. We ate most of our dinner meals in specialty restaurants which were much more pleasant. The casino has mostly Asian card and table games. Smoking was allowed, so the atmosphere was pretty dense. No Bingo offered on the ship, even though there were 4 sea days. The lines to get on and off the ship were extremely long (hours). Luckily we had priority boarding and disembarkation with our room category. If you had cruised before, you would be highly disappointed over the meal situation. I do not think many of the Western guests onboard found the cruise enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Having sailed Quantum out of China before I thought I knew what to expect. Same cruise line, same class of ship, similar passenger base, similar origin/region. Unfortunately Ovation is no Quantum. While Quantum was a model recognising ... Read More
Having sailed Quantum out of China before I thought I knew what to expect. Same cruise line, same class of ship, similar passenger base, similar origin/region. Unfortunately Ovation is no Quantum. While Quantum was a model recognising the differences between customer groups and trying to cater for each, and doing a great job, Ovation did not. Their approach was mostly just to lump everyone together, or not do much. Worse, we had a large number of international passengers compared to normal (and Quantum), around 1000 so it wasn't due to being insignificant. Examples: Embarkation: Quantum has a separate entrance at main entry clearly marked for international guests. Staff speak English here, and boarding process is clear. Ovation does have an international guest entrance. BUT it is about 500m away, around the back and not visible unless you look that side, which many didn't. As a result, some joined the general melee and took 4 hours to board. Yes, boarding was a shambles. Guest services: Quantum operates a separate queue for international and local guests. Staff with each language group manage each queue. Ovation. Single queueing system. And there are many Chinese guests who have to set up payment methods as credit cards as it's not standard there, but a requirement to visit Japan. As a result, massive queues first few days, with no way to avoid for experienced cruiser questions, or other issues at guest services. Food: the worst. Quantum; MDR separate queues for international guests. Ovation, one queue for all. And locals tend to get rowdy and pushy so get amongst it. Buffet: Very limited range of western food. Both ships similar but Quantum makes the MDR or Coastal Kitchen a suitable replacement. Not so on Ovation. As a further example of the treatment onboard, on May 1, it was a celebration day in China so they paraded a massive Chinese flag and danced around the buffet food stands at breakfast time, running loud music and having a party there while breakfast was still running. For 20 minutes it was impossible to get near the food because of the crowd and the sound was deafening. Local staff joined in the parade so tables were ignored and a mess for that time as well. Of course there's nothing wrong with a party, but why not the main atrium? Or one of the lounges? This wasn't announced either (unless it was only to the Chinese audience and not international). And as for MDR, Tried meals there for variety. One night in Silk Sweet and Sour pork was offered, so thought I'd take that. First off, the wrong entrée came out. No big deal. Then the main came out - but it didn't have rice. I asked, "Does it have rice?" Since it always does whenever I've had it before and it just seemed odd to present as it was. Waitress says Sure, runs off, and brings some. I asked how come it didn't come together upfront and she said, "It does for our Chinese guests." I have no idea why the distinction... I then eat it: a) the meat is terribly quality, very gristly. b) It is breaded and tastes more like rissole or schnitzel than how it should. 3) The veggies are sauteed rather than marinated though this may be a limitation of the ship 4) The sauce is very sparse, barely covering anything and certainly not the rice, so it doesn't add much flavour. Simply it tasted terrible, and nothing like it should. To make it worse, the head waiter comes around and asks "How is your meal?" I gave an odd look and expressed that it wasn't as it should be. He just looks at me briefly then walks off without a word! No interest, no care. And this was a Chinese meal, in the Chinese restaurant, on a Chinese cruise. If anything should be done right, it should be that. There were other issues of poor operations, and higher charges, the above is just to give a flavour of the experience. Unfortunately, none of the international guests I spoke to enjoyed the experience at all either. Senior crew also kept a low profile. When some issues were discussed with them they just palmed them off, pretty much saying this is the way things are, and moving on quickly, not interested in the feedback. The cruise director made reference in one speech to difficulties in behaviour and that "things are a bit different this cruise" as though it was unexpected. The thing is they've been operating out of China for 2 years now so none of this is new to them, and indeed on Quantum the standard in the same environment is so much higher. I wouldn't recommend international guests sail with Ovation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We found this cruise to be well below standard unfortunately. We were expecting things to be a little different to other cruises due to most guests being from Asia and we were right, it was different. Even the Australian Cruise Director ... Read More
We found this cruise to be well below standard unfortunately. We were expecting things to be a little different to other cruises due to most guests being from Asia and we were right, it was different. Even the Australian Cruise Director openly said that things were different on this cruise. But, despite the differences, the management team could have organised things much better to help. It felt almost as though the management and staff had given up on it all. There was already a bit of pre cruise tarnish in that the itinerary had been changed and the lack of shore excursions available was really poor. Here’s a list of the problems we experienced on board for any one who is interested. I’m not sure how much of it was entirely Royal Caribbean’s fault but at the end of day it’s them who we paid for a good experience after booking direct with them. (For demographics - as I know when I look at these reviews it’s helpful to know how old the reviewers are, if they have children etc - I’m 26 and was travelling with my wife who is 23. No children and our first time with Riyal Caribbean. Have cruised twice before, both with NCL, both brilliant experiences.) 1) Embarkation. Too long and incredibly disorganised. After queuing for hours to check in, despite pre checking in online and providing all information including photos and card details, we just had to do it all again. Staff member checking us in couldn’t understand us enough to answer our questions. No one advised whilst booking or checking in that our passports would be retained by staff and that we’d need a copy. 2) Obtaing copies of passports whilst on board. After realising we would need a copy we spent a day trying to call guest services as the queues were long. No answer. In the end we queue up around midnight as there was a shorter queue. Halfway through queuing 3 of the 4 staff left so just 1 person serving. Despite on being around 10 people when joining the queue it took over an hour to be served. When served I was told they didn’t know for sure what they could do. The man serving me said he’d put a request in and I should try to come back tomorrow evening for them to be printed. Couldn’t confirm would be done, couldn’t get anyone else for me to speak to, couldn’t have them delivered to cabin. 3) We has the soda package. Accross the ship there were 5 freestyle machines I could find. 1 was constantly our of service and the other 4 constantly empty. Throughout the entire cruise we got half a cup of plain coke from one. That was it. The bars served us coke when we asked but it did mean it was less convinient than it should have been and that we were limited to coke. 4) Shore ex wrote to our cabin on the Saturday, day before day 1 of Okinawa to say your excursion time has changed to 9.30 (was originally 8.30). This was booked for the Monday, day 2 in Okinawa as we had our own plans booked for the Sunday. Got back Sunday night and got the shore ex tickets out to check meeting location only to find they say 9.30 Sunday. So Shorex had changed both time and date. Checked letter again, letter did say the Sunday date next to the time BUT, did not say ‘Sunday’ nor did it say the ‘date’ had changed. Just the time. I’m on holiday Royal Caribbean I don’t know the date! Be clearer! So we missed it and only found out when it was too late to plan something else. So ended up with another hour at guest services and stayed on the ship on Monday. 5) Over inflated prices all over the ship. 6) Very poor selections in free dining. Picture menus poor. 7) Buffet awful to be in and usually we actually really enjoy buffets because of how convinient they are. 8) Sprentos pizza place only place for food outside meal times and felt like eating at a children’s restaurant. Nothing like the online description for the place. 9) Menus on the tv in cabin and online pre cruise completely different to restaurant menus. For example Amber and Oak food. 10) Staff generally didn’t know what was going on. Directed to buffet for food got there to find it closed. So many staff assured me freestyle machines would be topped up, never topped up. Events happening in venues which were not compass, asked staff what they were and they couldn’t say. 11) The pushing in, spitting, rudeness and lack of hand washing generally was unpleasant. However, we found the ship itself to be very nice, our balcony cabin was great. Pixels was good. Enjoyed Jamie’s Italian one night. It was also nice to be able to get a seat when and where you wanted and use the pools / hot tubs with no problem. Wouldn’t sail in Asia again. Would also be reluctant to use Royal Caribbean again. We already have another pre booked for November but this is from Florida and on Oasis so I’m sure it will be a step up. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have had some great cruises on Royal Caribbean but the one I got off last week left me disappointed. I would not recommend taking a cruise from Beijing on Ovation of the seas. The food was lousy and the service not much better. ... Read More
I have had some great cruises on Royal Caribbean but the one I got off last week left me disappointed. I would not recommend taking a cruise from Beijing on Ovation of the seas. The food was lousy and the service not much better. Some of the entertainers were good but the shows could be better. There was a lack of things to do in comparison with other RC cruises. This cruise was catering for the Chinese market and not westerners. I think it absurd that if they were not going to be interested in their western guests then why advertise to the Australian market? We didn't pay a lot for this cruise but felt that RC have a standard that they generally stick to, unfortunately not on this occassion. My advice would be if you are thinking about a cruise on RC out of China don't expect too much, and perhaps think again! , Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose this cruisebas wanted to experience Asian ports. Have experienced different cruise lines all being very good but Royal Caribbean on this cruise completely dropped their standard and did not cater for the Australian passengers at all. ... Read More
Chose this cruisebas wanted to experience Asian ports. Have experienced different cruise lines all being very good but Royal Caribbean on this cruise completely dropped their standard and did not cater for the Australian passengers at all. Boarding of ship was a shambles. Understaffed and with little direction. The food on board was all aimed at the large contingent of Asian passengers . No consideration was given to the Australian and other international travellers. The usual wide variety of international dishes was not provided. Food was repetitive and bland. even in the dining rooms.. I was amazed that Royal Caribbean did not enforce their own rules when they allowed Asian passengers to smoke in non smoking areas. It was difficult to enjoy shows with Asian guests talking and showing very little respect for performers and fellow passengers. People pushing and squashing into lifts was dangerous and not needed. I was aware that many of the Australian passengers went and complained about the sub standard cruise that they were experiencing. I would prefer to travel on smaller ships then Ovation of the Sea. Yes big but was over crowded and definitely could not cater for crowds in the buffet area. Staff were excellent, cabins fine. Beware of booking Royal Caribbean cruises from Asian ports . We found that by being a minority we were not catered for at all. Many of the Australian passengers that we spoke with were very unhappy about this cruise. It was a shocker. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose this cruise to see some of Japan. Booked via travel agent so flights, pre-cruse stay and transfers included. Embarkation smooth, in fact as we carried our own bags we walked on board within 15 mins of arrival at terminal. ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see some of Japan. Booked via travel agent so flights, pre-cruse stay and transfers included. Embarkation smooth, in fact as we carried our own bags we walked on board within 15 mins of arrival at terminal. Service on board excellent throughout staff from room stewards, dining room waiters & bar staff. Shame in my view that the changes made to ship to accommodate the Chinese guests made the on board experience disappointing. (We sailed on the inaugural Ovation cruise and so were able to appreciate all the changes made.) Dinning : the Windjammer was always jammed - announcements made in Cantonese & English asking guests to leave when they had finished eating.... we gave up ordered room service breakfast on port days, and just got specialty coffee from Windjammer. The four main dinning rooms all had the same frankly bizarre menus, featuring that British classic “green apple soup”. We ignoring our assigned dining reservation because when we arrived at 8.30 it was chaos, so we went at 9.00 usually with friends and sat together. Entertainment: the 270 shows were spectacular but seating assignments were ignored by some guests— I observed the staff trying their best to restore order. We didn’t go to the other show venues, as mainly had karaoke and marjon competitions. Ports & Shore excursions: We booked RCI excursions in each port to try and see as much as possible ..... not sure the were all good value, but very interesting. Other changes to the ship: looked like every available space on deck 5 had been filled with retail, and tabletop sales of tacky watches, bags and face packs! The casino space doubled in size, and number of bars reduced. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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