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30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor entertainment and option cruise and we didn't have to fly around the world for this experience. My family planned this trip all year and flew from the US to China for this cruise. I always cruise Norwegian and Disney and heard amazing things about Royal Caribbean. I have never left a bad review in my life, but this was a horrible shame and an experience that I can't get back for my family. The worst part was that my family spent over $400 on an excursion "Kyoto On Your Own." We were dropped off at the Kyoto Station (insanely huge) and we couldn't find the bus returning from our day. We were supposed to be back at 2:30pm. At 2:09pm, went to the police station at Kyoto Station when we couldn't locate the bus. We found three other English-speaking families that couldn't find their buses! We all stuck together and called Royal Caribbean. We were told that our tour would be contacted and would come to get us. We were told that we wouldn't be left behind. We called three or four more times checking in over the next two hours! The bus never was contacted or came to get us. Other families on the bus were worried about us and told us that the tour was told to LEAVE WITHOUT US!!!!! We didn't even have our passports as Royal Caribbean took them from us when we first boarded and held them until the last day. This has never been our experience on an international cruise. We were in a country with our two kids and no passports! Shame on them for lying to us and telling us they would get us. After two hours of waiting, someone holding a Royal Caribbean sign came to meet our family and the other two families and didn't bring transportation!!!! They told us we had to take the public train about two hour to our ship and pay ourselves (over $100 more!) Also, we had 15 minutes to catch the last train to the ship!!! This was unprofessional and cruel. Shame on them. A bunch of families met and talked to the excursion department on the cruise ship. Even families who found the buses had struggles and frustration as there was POOR INFORMATION given for us to find the buses and NO PHONE NUMBER given to us for emergencies. We were told by the cruise staff that they would contact us and leave a message at our stateroom. No surprises that they still haven't contacted us. This was a horrible and scary situation and handled so poorly by this company. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I now know what a herd of cattle must feel like being bullied and herded I n the journey to their slaughter. What was planned as a “special birthday” celebration on one of the largest and prestigious cruise ships from Royal ... Read More
I now know what a herd of cattle must feel like being bullied and herded I n the journey to their slaughter. What was planned as a “special birthday” celebration on one of the largest and prestigious cruise ships from Royal Caribbean (RC) according to their advertisements, visiting wonderful countries plus an exciting itenary, including one of the ancient wonders of the world, sadly became a bit of a damp squib. Amateurish - LIMITED PRESENCE of - RC organisational staff and Chinese security staff, at Tianjin Xi’an Gang Port, to advise, guide or direct proceedings resulted in “information” being transmitted by word of mouth between passengers as they continued to join an unprecedented number of queues, which were gathering to provide duplicate passport photocopies, plus additional security information to be completed on security forms, this was despite many passengers having registered the required security details pre-cruise at home, TO (quote) “AVOID UNECESSARY QUEUES”. In addition “crucial signage” to advise passengers where to queue, I.e. by their “deck level” or “priority boarding” categories, only became apparent at the security check in point, after approximately - a very frustrating - hour or so of waiting, which resulted in customers becoming even more impatient and experiencing further resentment, anger and frustration at people jumping queues etc. These details could so easily have been made more visible at entry point to the building. The “QUEUING” theme did not end here unfortunately, as the scene, having already been established, sadly continued with the RC trips ashore (which were diabolical and over priced) to say the least, guides with very little spoken “English” or at best difficult to understand, could not always find their “coach” after the various stops. Invariably there are lots of taxis with English speaking drivers available at a fraction of the ships price. A pre-cruise trip to the Terracota Warriors resulted in Scary health and safety concerns as we became part of 100,000 visitors. We were later informed the first week in October is called the “Golden Week” when almost the whole of the Chinese community join their families for a holiday break, so beware of visiting this part of the world at this time. We chose “My Time Dining” but we still encountered the dreaded queues here and sadly the service of the waiting staff was not always the most efficient resulting in us as missing the start of several shows. In hind site this might have been a blessing as there has been a dramatic fall in the standard of the entertainment in our experience from previous cruises. Large numbers of passengers actually walked out during several shows we attended, due to the poor quality of the acts, I don’t know if this because of the Asian itenary but there was a strong (Z list Australian contingency performing) and I personally did’nt quite get their humour, it was either crude jokes or blowing balloons, even the singing was well off key. I must comment also on the lack of comfortable lounges and comfortable seating availability aboard this ship, I feel this is an area of severe decline compared to other RC ships we have sailed on Disembarking from the ship can only be described as diabolically horrendous, with a repeat of NO organisational skills and NO presence of RC staff. Due to unfortunate circumstances admittedly, the ship arrived in Singapore 5 hours later than planned, resulting in two large cruise ships with over 8000 people wanting to disembark and find taxis, coaches, hotels, airports etc etc. I must say though that the staff looking after our cabin (which was kept spotlessly clean) were the salt of the earth and earned there gratuity, a “mention” and “big shout out” also to the staff at customer service who were extremely helpful and freindly with all our enquiries including sorting out a luggage issue we experienced. The staff where the watches are for sale were remarkable helping me in my our of need with a manual for my citizens watch. All of these mentioned were the stars during our stay. The Ovation of the seas claims to accommodate 4905 occupancy? but I wonder if they have put profit ahead of “quality” customer experience. Estimated income (not audited or verified) for a two week Asian cruise of this order,excluding shore excursions would bring in a guesstimated £13 or so million. According to “Statistica 2018” their figures shows the revenue of RC Cruises worldwide generated approximately 8.78 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 from 0.52 billion U.S. dollars in 1988 We also know that Royal Caribbean Cruises is a U.S.-based cruise operator owning and operating five cruise operations Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Pullmantur Cruises, Azamara Club Cruise Croisières de France. Royal Caribbean also own a 50% stake in TUI Cruises. According to “cruisemarketwatch.com” 2018 Worldwide Cruise Line Passenger Capacity Total at the end of 2018 will be 537,000 passengers and 314 ships. Annualized total passengers carried worldwide will be 26.0 million (a 3.3% increase over 2017) So the capacities and profits increase but the standard of service delivered in RC case anyway appears to be heading in the opposite direction. Apparently “according to some passengers” who have travelled on this capacity of ship before “The “Ovation of the Seas” they have never experienced a trauma like this before. Interestingly it was claimed an additional 100 staff had been recruited for the cruise after ours. Signed; a 12 times cruise passenger never to use ROYAL CARIBBEAN ever again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise as i wanted to tour the Philippines but after paying the initial deposit the cruise changed its itinerary to Vietnam instead and I couldn’t opt out. Having been on an earlier RCL cruise, the Legend of the Seas, I ... Read More
I chose this cruise as i wanted to tour the Philippines but after paying the initial deposit the cruise changed its itinerary to Vietnam instead and I couldn’t opt out. Having been on an earlier RCL cruise, the Legend of the Seas, I was really looking forward to RCL’s excellent level of service and care that I had come to expect – but sadly, it was a complete let down literally like chalk and cheese. EMBARKATION – winding lines and a totally inefficient process RESTAURANTS - Dining experience - the biggest disappointment! Dining rooms were understaffed, tables not set, limited food choices no menu change and poor quality and not worthy of fine dining as advertised The Windjammer you couldn’t get a seat be it breakfast, lunch or dinner and the food always the same. The Sea plex hotdog never opened for the entire duration of the cruise – it could have been a great alternative to having the dry sandwiches at Sorrento. CUSTOMER SERVICE – minus zero Service from room attendant was excellent though the same could not be said of the entertainment trip excursion enquiries, or general customer service staff an utter disaster. CUSTOMER SERVICE SEEMED UNINTERESTED. ENTERTAINMENT – you advertise outstanding Broadway shows TOTAL CRAP Staff (Asha Putu) conducting quizzes/ games had no command of the English language could not pronounce answers nor have knowledge of the game she was conducting DISEMBARKATION – Total disaster can’t even begin to describe the nightmare. But, the final straw was when we finally disembarked and complained to one of the crew members (see pic attached) saying what a disorganised chaotic process - instead of apologising for the inconvenience, he nonchalantly quips yeah yeah yeah …I heard it all before. ALL IN ALL AN ATTITUDE OF COULDN’T CARE LESS RCL is just out to take more money and make you spend more – soft drinks package, drinks package, bingo package, and some good speciality restaurants! So obvious that the Standards of RCL has fallen greatly. I was thoroughly disappointed at the carelessness and lack of customer service and felt somehow duped. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We went for this ship because of the advertising and the promises for the sail of a lifetime, Instead we experienced the worst cruise ever, 3 hours in Beijing lined up to board ship,booked a Junior Suite and unlike other ships it ... Read More
We went for this ship because of the advertising and the promises for the sail of a lifetime, Instead we experienced the worst cruise ever, 3 hours in Beijing lined up to board ship,booked a Junior Suite and unlike other ships it counted for no privileges at all even though it was advertised that suites would have there own speciality dining room when we asked why we couldn't make a reservation we were told that the restaurant was fully booked even though we paid the extra money for the privilege. The main dining area has a limited selection and is almost the same menu every day and the food is always cold and sloppy, speciality pay for restaurants are crap eg: Jamies Italian, Chops etc: overpriced and even home cooking would make it look like rubbish. Entertainment was poor and act mostly provided buy the crew were lame. Ports and Shore excursions should have been named shore extortion's, eg: $75.00 US per person for a bus to the centre of the city on a make your own way excursion and the price in a Taxi $18.00 for 2 to the same place. 2 hours lined up to just get off the ship in Singapore was the end of our cruise from hell NEVER AGAIN Royal Caribbean.....4500 People on board with no direction and poor facilities Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because sailed few years ago on independence which was fabulous from start to finish this royal carribean intinery was a disaster my partner is disabled and required special assistance at port which was pre booked ... Read More
I chose this cruise because sailed few years ago on independence which was fabulous from start to finish this royal carribean intinery was a disaster my partner is disabled and required special assistance at port which was pre booked absolutely nothing at port just q people its was 3 hours till got on boat not even drink offered bye staff and no special assistance on board was never away from large q at tiny customer service desks were i couldnt be understood as asian reps.got verbally attacked bye aggravated passenger in q, i had car hire arranged one terminal car not issued as boat keeps passport day wasted unorganised chaos chinese man fell of shuttle bus split head no staff to help just passengers trip was geared for chinese travellers food and entertainment oat had to turn back as 2 people died and 4 hours late to singapore i missed my bali connection had to pay $650 new flight but the worst is next they told people night before hold on to cases if you want off ship early guess what i reckon at least 3000 of 5000 wanted that people fighting each other in lifts no movement with weelchair in stifling heat and everybody getting very annoyed and frustrated the exact same in singapore port too many people and no help whatsoever from royal carribean a disgrace and terrible birthday memory. My partner had to actually teach the entertainment crew to play games they were trying and hadnt a clue ??? some staff great our room attendant and marrilo and info desk manager were fabulous my kind regards to them thanks Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as we really wanted a taster of Japan. Having been on a couple of RC cruises prior to this one, we were looking forward to the same level of service and care that we had come to expect - boy, we we disappointed! We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we really wanted a taster of Japan. Having been on a couple of RC cruises prior to this one, we were looking forward to the same level of service and care that we had come to expect - boy, we we disappointed! We were to board the ship at Tianjin, a couple of hours from Beijing. Upon arrival at the port, we discovered that there was also a Costa cruise leaving at the same time and the result was absolute chaos. There was nobody directing passengers and our group were left by the bus driver on the quayside with absolutely no idea of where to go. Eventually, we tagged on to the end of a group of people following someone holding up a RC paddle. It turned out, however, that the person was leading an actual tour group of which we were not part and so we ended up inside the terminal along with our cases which, apparently, we should have left at some mysterious "baggage drop" which was not indicated or evident outside, at least not in English. Having finally managed to get into the terminal, we then discovered that the email we had received 2 days before leaving, stating that "Guests are responsible for providing TWO copies of their passport photo. Each copy must be on either an 8 ½ x 11 or A4 paper, with one copy of the document required for each page, per guest" didn't actually mean that they wanted 2 copies of our passport photos at all. What, in fact, they did want, was 2 copies of the passport page containing our photo. We then had to wait in a very long queue at a photocopier, that the operator had no idea how to operate, to get said photocopies. This was exceptionally annoying since I knew exactly how to sort the photocopier (as a primary school teacher with extensive knowledge of the inner workings of photocopiers) but the member of staff was having none of it. When we finally found someone to take our luggage, got our photocopies sorted and managed to board the ship, we expected a welcome drink, a flannel to wipe our, by now, fevered (or ever so slightly humid) brows and a welcome on board by the staff, as with any other RC cruise. Sadly, none of that happened. After almost 2 hours stuck in queues, we were told to go the the Windjammer to get a drink if we wanted one. Our cabin was lovely. It was clean, modern and contained all the mod cons that one could expect from a modern ship. The bed was relatively comfortable and it was kept very clean by Joel, who always had a smile on his face. We had signed up for the drinks and dining packages whilst still in the UK, as the website stated that savings would be made by pre-booking. The deluxe drinks package covered premium drinks, the minibar in our cabin and all drinks up to the value of $12 at the bars. The mini-bar, we discovered, was completely empty. When we asked Joel about having it stocked, we were told that we would have to request that from Customer Services and only soft drinks would be stocked in it. We also discovered that, unlike ANY other cruise we have been on with ANY other cruise line, bottled water was not replenished daily in the cabins. We were even more disgruntled to discover that the drinks and dining packages were considerably cheaper on the boat. When I complained to customer services, they reimbursed our account with what we had already paid and then rebooked the packages. This gave a saving of over $100 on the drinks packages alone! The cruise was 90% Chinese, with only 10% being westerners, mostly Australians. As such, the cruise was very different to anything we have experienced before. The Chinese adults use the ship as a shopping and gambling experience whilst their children run amok unchecked and overindulged by their parents. The onboard shops include such names as Cartier and Omega and the centre of the boat was an onboard marketplace for rather expensive handbags, jewellery and other assorted tat that the Chinese just couldn't get enough of - it was still heaving at 10 o'clock at night. We decided to try out the 1970's Disco Inferno which was scheduled for 10pm. Upon arriving, we were offered popcorn and candy floss - not exactly what we were expecting. However, on going further into the room, we could see a dance floor swarming with children - from toddlers to teenagers, all off their faces on sugar and e-numbers. I've done a fair few schools discos in my time, but this was something else. We promptly left and headed to the Vintages bar which was at least a bit more peaceful. There were 3 scheduled stops on the itinerary; Fukuoka, Sakaiminato and Kyoto. We had booked excursions for all three via RC, two half day and a full day excursion. As far as excursions go, they were hardly enriching. We basically got to see 2 parks, a town, based on a famous character that none of the International guests had ever heard of, and a fish market. Our full day tour in Kyoto was cancelled the evening before we were due to go, by which time, all other trips were fully booked. In terms of food, the speciality restaurants were very good although we paid a premium for them. Wonderland was pretty awesome and the staff were great. I have never seen queues in the Windjammer restaurant before but, on this cruise, you couldn't get near it, as the queue to get in was huge. Lunch was best had in one of the small bars. The Seaplex hotdog cart, on the top deck, which was supposed to be open until 5pm, didn't open once for the entire duration of the cruise. This was very much a cruise geared for the Asian market. Had we known, before we booked it, we would never have chosen this cruise. It's all those little touches that make a cruise special that were, quite frankly, missing - the photographers approached us to take photos only once, when in Wonderland, there was no formal night or sense of occasion to get dressed up for, no drinks to welcome us back from excursions, no alternatives offered when they cancelled our excursion and an attitude of couldn't care less when we complained. We have returned to the UK feeling ripped off and, for the first time ever, with no sense of the country we were supposed to have visited. This will be the last time we ever cruise with Royal Caribbean. Caveat emptor - buyer beware. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
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
25 Helpful Votes
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
13 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
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 2015
We were really looking forward to this cruise but from day one what a disappointment and poor value for money The food from day one was up impressive lacked flavouring and seasoning focus was on a taste of Asia we wouldn't have ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise but from day one what a disappointment and poor value for money The food from day one was up impressive lacked flavouring and seasoning focus was on a taste of Asia we wouldn't have minded but the poor quality on two occasions there was hair In the food and in a desert a large ribbon like piece of plastic On 2 sea days they served a BBQ up by the pool cold salads were put out well over an hour Before the hot food was cooked I watched with interest even took a video Of their idea of BBQ as pre cooked sausages and ribs were chucked on to the grill and hardly hit the heat before being shovels into another serving The prices of soft drinks wines and beers were excessive 3 dollars for a can of coke and the cheapest wine over 30 dollars which they then added a service charge to The entertainment what can I say was very poor most night the theatres were empty or Passengers walking out after five minutes The only saving grace to this holiday was the places we visited (my advise though don't book the trips from the boat be brave take a look on trip advisor and seek out private tours much Better value and you get a true picture of places This cruise in my opinion should be sold to the local market Down below is a ratings nil points around Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Just returned from a 14 night cruise on Mariner of the Seas. I should have realised what we were in for at the embarkation fiasco at Bejing, to say this was horrendous is putting it mildly. However worse was to come. The ship has ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 night cruise on Mariner of the Seas. I should have realised what we were in for at the embarkation fiasco at Bejing, to say this was horrendous is putting it mildly. However worse was to come. The ship has been given over to the Asian passenger market to the detriment of all other nationalities. Many crew members did not speak fluent enough English to be understood, even to the point of quizes being run by poorly speaking hosts so we could not understand the questions. Entertainment on the ship was more akin to Hidy Hi than high seas. People often walked out of shows in the main theatre, and events were cancelled due to lack of participation. Remove the sales promotions and profit making events from the daily programme sheet and it did not leave much else to do. The food! Oh the food. In the main restaurant at dinner, fine dining it aint. The food was dreadful, poor quality ingredients, badly cooked, and sorrowfully presented. I never spoke to another sole who said anything different. The Windjammer buffet was passable although repetative and heavily leant towards Asian food over spiced and over seasoned. All in all this ship was a disgrace to RC. Would I reccommend or travel RC again, NO, NO, NO Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We were really looking forward to this cruise having cruised with RCI in the past and had a wonderful holiday. Stayed in Novotel in Beijing for 3 days prior to cruise which was very good. Ship was spotlessly clean and crew members, as ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise having cruised with RCI in the past and had a wonderful holiday. Stayed in Novotel in Beijing for 3 days prior to cruise which was very good. Ship was spotlessly clean and crew members, as always, were very friendly and efficient, especially our cabin steward who was lovely and worked tirelessly. Usual daytime activities, quizzes, poolside games etc. Service in most areas was good, especially so in Jonnie Rockets and Chops Grille. Shore excursions were fine, although disembarkation was total disorganisation and chaos, we were 1 hour late for 1 excursion because of this. Cabin was very nice, spotlessly clean and ample storage space. The food was absolutely terrible and aimed solely at the Asian market, although the Asians were in the minority. Even a Chinese lady was complaining the food was so bad. There was no international food in any venue whatsoever, even the tea bags in the cabin were Green tea with no alternative, we were getting tea bags from the cafe. By day 3 there was no butter on board, on day 4 they ran out of Foster lager and Bacardi. In Chops Grille, they were running out of supplies. And so it went on gradually running out of supplies. The entertainment was nowhere near RCI standards. We had 1 full show and 1 ice show, both of which were excellent. The rest of the entertainment was dreadful, a comedy juggler who would have been thrown out of a child's party. The Japanese juggler was excellent. Disembarkation was quite smooth. RCI made a huge mistake with this cruise with many many people complaining. Also, it was never advertised that this was a repositioning cruise. RCI TAKE NOTE, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. We have done 10 cruises in 4 years and this was by far the worst. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We booked a cruise in the UK to visit China, South Korea and Japan on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, sailing 6th September. The itinerary was changed just a couple of weeks before we set off and South Korea was taken out and ... Read More
We booked a cruise in the UK to visit China, South Korea and Japan on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, sailing 6th September. The itinerary was changed just a couple of weeks before we set off and South Korea was taken out and an additional stop in Japan added (Fukuoka). No explanation was given initially as to the reason for the change in the itinerary however when queried directly with Royal Caribbean in the UK they couldn't tell me which I thought was unacceptable, this was explained by RC as being as a result of a MIRS virus in the country. A second change was made to our itinerary shortly before setting off on the cruise that of a change to our preferred dining arrangements. We chose My Time Dining for the cruise as we prefer to dine at night as and when we chose and not to be subjectd to s fixed time with seating at the same table each night. We like to mix with other guests on the cruise, this to us is very much part of the cruise, getting to meet other people from different countries and experiences. We were told that My Time Dining was no longer available on this cruise by Royal Caribbean again no reason given, and that we would be given the option of a 6.00 pm or an 8.00 pm sitting. As a prerequisite to chosing the My Time Dining option it was conditional that gratuities had to be paid in advance prior to the cruise date which we did in full. The cruise included a three night stay in the Swissotel in Beijing prior to the sail date and also included a free day tour of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. We were booked into a standard room but upgraded to an executive room which gave us a complimentary continental breakfast and access to the executive lounge for snacks, soft drinks, house wine, beers etc. which we thought was a good choice. On the day of the tour the weather was a really wet with thousands of tourists visiting the Forbidden City. We had to walk a considerable distance through the streets, in street flooded conditions from the bus drop off point to the entrance to the Forbidden City at Tiananmen Square where we were left standing in pouring rain for half an hour while the tour guide went and bought our entry tickets to the Forbidden City. After treading through the various areas of the Fobidden City, we decided that we had enough and took a taxi back to the hotel rather than go on the rest of the tour to the Great Wall. The transfer the next day by taxi from the Swissotel in Beijing to the Tianjin Cruise Port took two hours. We arrived at 11.00 am on the morning of the first day at the Cruise Port to check in to be told that the cruise ship had not yet docked and was delayed. We were told that boarding would not take place until 4.30 pm that day. We were also told at this point by a Royal Caribbean official that the guests on the ship would consist of 2200 Chinese and 800 'Foreigners'. We did not know that this was the case prior to booking the cruise and was later found to be an indication of what was still to come. No offer of refreshments of any kind were offered at the cruise port and we were told that if we wanted something to eat, to visit the staff canteen on the third level at the cruise port where we could get and purchase some Chinese dish. Chop sticks were provided, no such thing as a fork and knife was in evidence to eat the food and nothing to drink. After a considerable wait in the lounge at the Cruise Port where we were subjected to pushing and shuving in queues to board the ship with no public announcements in English to tell us where to stand etc we eventfully boarded the ship at 5.50 pm. Dinner that evening on the ship was a 'free for all' affair. The menu for this and subsequent evening meals was not like the traditional menu offered by Royal Caribbean on previous cruises where a set menu on one side and a varied menu on the other side would be offered. This was nothing short of a 'fast food' type menu, designed to suit the Asian clientele. Dining on a cruise is one of the highlights of any cruise in our book and this fell well short of our expectations. The food when presented was short in quantity and poor in quality. Some waiter staff lacked the knowledge and training and this was obvious however improved throughout the cruise. Our set waiter staff at the evening times were excellent in particular Lial and Erick. Entertainment 'variety' on the cruise was of poor quality in evening at the theatre and elsewhere on the ship. The acts at the evening performances were repeatedly performed by the same crew members unlike previous cruises where star acts would be brought onto the ship at various ports to perform. Wi-Fi on board was an extortionate $20 a day and Internet connection poor. The excursions ashore were typical of Royal Caribbean, expensive, however free shuttle buses were offered in some instances to nearby towns. We didn't think it necessary to see the doctor since my wife had medication with her on board. Communication on board as well as ship decor was geared to suit the Chinese community. No shocks there as we later found out that Royal Caribbean had leased the ship to the Chinese for, as we later heard for a period of 6 months although this was denied by staff at the guest information desk. If we had known this prior to booking the cruise, I very much doubt that we would have went on the cruise. Cruises of this itinerary may suit the Chinese community but certainly not our chosing. The one good thing, and this was through luck more than anything else was that we were grouped with some lovely people at the evening 'set dining time' of 8.00 p.m. Thanks to Chris, Glenda, Alex and Wendy for their very good company on the cruise. I think Royal Caribbean kept guests who chose this cruise very much uninformed and should have made them aware that this was not the normal Royal Caribbean standard to be expected and as a result has seriously damaged its reputation amongst Foreign guests on the cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past and are members of their Crown and Anchor Society and found past experiences to be excellent however this experience has certainly destroyed that view and we very much doubt that we would be cruising again with the Royal Caribbean cruise company or recommending them to friends or family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you ... Read More
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you get there. After questioning staff we are told most are cancelled as there is insufficient English speaking passengers on the ship signing up. On ours there were probably no more than 3 or 4 passengers on the ship with English as a primary language. If we knew we had zero chance of an excursion we could have found something else. They call this a "Cultural Cruise" but who knows what that means. Royal needs to be up front that this cruise is not your normal cruise (even staff admit it). The bars are empty. I do mean empty. One bartender could not even make a rum and coke. I had to tell her what bottles were rum. The ship is for a Chinese audience. Even the Irish Bar serves Chinese food. The specialty restaurants were good but expect nothing but Chinese food in the rest of the dinning areas. The food is nowhere near as good as any other Royal cruise we have been on. Staff is nice but the normal Royal International staff is much less prevalent and Chinese staff seem a bit untrained. All staff is polite and mostly helpful so nor problems with the staff and as for the excursion desk, their hands are tied by Royal Corporate. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Royal should not be offering this cruise to an English speaking market. Its not up to their brand expectations and you will be left frustrated. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a ... Read More
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a brand we knew well. Boy were we wrong! These ships should be branded for the Chinese market and western cruisers should be notified that certain things are unavailable on these cruises. We had absolutely zero problem with the cultural nuances, this is partly why we chose this cruise, but when things like the Solarium are unavailable to adults and only reserved for suite guests I have a problem... there was absolutely no escaping little kids anywhere on the ship. Of course an inquiry to officers on the ship basically amounted to a “too bad it was buried somewhere in the fine print.” Also normal food and beverage was unavailable. Things like an Aperol, a very basic beverage was nowhere to be found and met a “sorry the market doesn’t support it” even though many others were requesting the same... the ports were all great even though there were basically zero excursions offered by RCCL. Total joke. What saved the cruise from being a complete disaster was the service from the line level staff; it was the best we’ve ever received on a RCCL cruise. Overall condition and cleanliness of the ship - No issue here whatsoever. The ship actually felt cleaner and better maintained than the newer Anthem of the Seas despite being an older ship! I can't comment on the Solarium because we weren't allowed in as previously stated. Stateroom - perfect!!! Service - Absolutely spectacular from the line-level staff. We were greeted by absolutely everyone! We have never received friendlier service from any ship on any line. The officer staff was absolutely not present anywhere on the ship. The one leader who was wonderful was Bing in the main dining rooms. She deserves a huge shout-out! Bartenders, servers and our stateroom attendant were absolutely fantastic and salvaged this cruise for us. Food Quality - poor. There were very, very few western selections on the main dining room menus and were prepared with zero imagination. Onion soup was watery, steaks were overcooked and cold, etc. One day we were four minutes late for lunch in the main dining room and the maitre d' would't let us in. Elevators were slow and packed and the clocks on the ship were wrong but that didn't seem to matter. At this point the only option was the Windjammer (not an option - see other reviews of this ship and you'll know why) or options with a surcharge. Poor, poor, poor... Bars - hard to find one that was open at times and liquor selections were completely unacceptable. They basically cleared the shelves because "the Chinese market doesn't drink." The robot bar was an option but I wonder how the robots spend the automatically assessed gratuity? Ports and Shore Excursions - We did our own thing because there were basically no shore excursions offered. I think just one in each port. We did do the disembarkation excursion to the Great Wall and it was awesome! Great tour guide who made the long bus ride enjoyable. As I mentioned previously we had absolutely no issue with all the cultural nuances associated with this cruise. We expected it and actually learned a bit of Mandarin along the way. We engaged with the other passengers whenever possible and truly enjoyed learning more about this wonderful culture. Our issue is with RCCL and their dismissive attitude about the lack of Solarium access and the bars and restaurants. Basically told us "too bad it was in the fine print." Will never again sail with RCCL and just cancelled a Celebrity Summit cruise we were booked on in February, 2020. It was that bad... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise as part of a tour to China Warriors and Walls experience. Embarkation at Tianjin was utter chaos, queues to check-in were chaotic, unorganised, and very very long. The immigration process was equally bad taking hours ... Read More
I chose this cruise as part of a tour to China Warriors and Walls experience. Embarkation at Tianjin was utter chaos, queues to check-in were chaotic, unorganised, and very very long. The immigration process was equally bad taking hours queuing. Our luggage was taken at 11.15am but was not delivered to the cabin until 8.20pm. The food in the main restaurants was poor. Mashed potato, undercooked carrot and broccoli served with every main meal. Service disorganised and waiters very defensive when complaints made about food being cold. We abandoned the main restaurants and went to the self service where at least the food was hot even though finding a table was a struggle. Drinks were very expensive with 18% tax and gratuity added approximately $22 for 2 drinks. The specialty restaurants were excelkent. Wonderlad was a fabulous experience and Chops Grill superb. Entertainment was poor. Insufficient shore excursions for the number of passengers on board. There are very classy shops in the Royal Promenade, but the sales items sold each night on stalls down the centre are complete rubbish, cheap tat that would not be sold in any if the shops on board. Debarkation at Singapore was horrendous. The ship was 5 hours delayed into port due to a medical incident which meant transfer times to airports etc were disrupted greatly. Passengers were told to join the express exit carrying their own luggage which resulted in hundreds of people queuing for over 2 hours to debark. Unfortunately the Ovation of the Seas is not on my favourites list and I cannot recommend it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The cruise could also be called 'the queue that never moved' cruise. The ship felt very enclosed at times as the main routes around the ship were internal and often led to dead ends - perhaps they wanted to funnel us all through ... Read More
The cruise could also be called 'the queue that never moved' cruise. The ship felt very enclosed at times as the main routes around the ship were internal and often led to dead ends - perhaps they wanted to funnel us all through the shopping area regularly. To get from the Deck 3 main dining room to the theatre you had to walk through the cabin corridor. The embarkation was dreadful with no information and even when we asked the few staff visible they didn't know what all the queues were for. We had upgraded to a suite as a big retirement treat but only got a small advantage to boarding once we asked someone whether we were queuing in the right place (we weren't). The luggage arrived at our room at 7.30pm - too late to change for evening meal. We feel our cabin was very good (bearing in kind we had paid a lot extra) but we didn't get the service we would normally expect, having to ask for shampoo, etc. to be replenished, no ice in the room. The Concierge lounge was good but again we got very little extra service. The Coastal Kitchen suite-only dining room was excellent and made the main dining room seem even poorer in comparison. We wanted to eat our evening meal in the main dining room to be with friends we had made on the trip. The second night in the main Chic dining room was appalling for service and meal quality - the only lamb shank I've ever had that wouldn't fall off the bone for 3 people over an hour after sitting down. We all complained and saw the chef and dining room manager. It did improve the next night and onwards, but no real explanation for that bad night. We decided it was either understaffing or illness on board that was never fully (openly) acknowledged. The Windjammer was always full and finding a table was very difficult. This is the first cruise we have been on where you needed to keep the daily planner on us to find out where and when you could eat (only one small café was 24 hours). Trip organisation was very poor with yet more interminable queuing, first to get into the Theatre, then for stickers and then usually an hour wait to disembark. Most of the trips were over-priced and poor itineraries. Okinawa should NOT be used as a port stop. Entertainment was poor other than the main cast shows and some resident musicians. In general there were less than usual activities. Some positives are included in the fur coat reference, the robot bar, the North star viewing sphere, the bumper cars (if you were prepared to queue) and individuals like Virgil and his cocktail classes. There did seem to be a lot more extra payment dining rooms. It felt as if there were too few staff for too many clients. There was also a problem with sickness on board that was not admitted. We are aware of 1 cabin needing to be put ashore, another with 7 days of sickness and 2 medical emergencies on the last sea day meaning the ship turned round to the last port and we arrived 5 hours late. There were several cabins with Do Not Disturb signs for many hours and deep cleans being done. The captain's daily reminders to wash our hands might also have been a clue. Overall we would not want to use this ship again, and feel the extra glitz did not equate to glamour and certainly not luxury. After our cruise the ship was repositioning to Australia but we felt they had started to change over during our cruise and we had not had the advantage of lower repositioning prices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal ... Read More
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal Caribbean I am quite loyal to them but not sure after this cruise The organisation was bad from start to finish from boarding to disembarking The food was the worst I have ever had ranging from cold to inedible I have to say the staff were all amazing and did their best The entertainment was the worst I have seen I have never seen so many walk out of performances It seemed all the entertainers were from Australia and the standard was not the usual Royal Caribbean produced I don’t know what has happened to Royal Caribbean I spent the whole cruise trying to convince other passengers that this was not the normal way a cruise holiday should be and to convince them to give R C another chance but I fear they have already made up their minds If this is the way R C is going to continue I fear I may even jump ship Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose the cruise as part of a package sold by Planet Cruise. Royal Caribbean website made the cruise experience sound fantastic for 'tasting' a little of several countries in the luxury of a modern ship with up to date ... Read More
Chose the cruise as part of a package sold by Planet Cruise. Royal Caribbean website made the cruise experience sound fantastic for 'tasting' a little of several countries in the luxury of a modern ship with up to date facilities. Planet Cruise package also added 3 days in Beijing prior to sailing and followed by 5 days in Bali. Sounded wonderful. Very poor information beforehand from Planet Cruise or Roya Caribbean about immigration rules, particularly for China. Problems in Manchester airport as Cathay Pacific airline staff knew nothing about the Chinese 144 day visa free pass. It took 30 minutes before we were allowed to fly as staff trawlled their data bases and phoned for advice before letting us board. Beuracracy of the 144 day pass form filling in China meant an hour or so before we finally picked up our cases. Despite the problems we were aware of others who had paid over £250 each for visas which were not needed. We found out about the pass ourselves. No advice from Royal Catibbean or Planet Cruise. Embarkation - shambles. Arrived at the cruise terminal at midday to the sight of thousands of people queing. We were pleased that we had checked in online as advised by Royal Caribbean - wrong! It was 4.30pm before we finally boarded the ship not having had anything to eat or drink since leaving Beijing at 9.30am. We were handed a piece of paper with boarding instructions as we dropped off our cases. Very poor signage as we entered the terminal, very few staff, and those staff available had poor English. We queued like cattle with others all not knowing if this was the correct queue and didnt know what we were queueing for. After finally compketing additional forms we neared the front of the check-in desk only to find we needed 2 A4 copies of our passports. Some people knew this, the majority didnt. I have checked our information from Royal Caribbean and cannot find any reference to this. Conveniently (!!!!) Royal Caribbean had two photocopiers in the terminal for this purpose and a small coffee shop had seen a market in using their photocopier for 1 yuan for this purpose. Slight problem - the photocopier queues were horrendous and added another 45 minutes to our wait to get on the ship. Finally, after jumping through these hoops we felt we could relax as we got on an escalator with our boarding passes only to find we then had Chinese immigration to go through again. The 144 hour pass bureaucracy added another hour to our boarding experience. There is a lot I could write about the lovely, modern ship, with a wonderful balcony cabin, fantastic underpaid cabin staff, lovely restaurants with excellent food. However, our experience was spoiled by the terrible customer service experience from boarding, onboard, and disembarkation. Onboard the Guest Services desk and Excursion desks were poorly staffed. Guest services queues were an average of 30 minutes for minor issues. Eg cabin key did not work after boarding. Usually, only about 5 staff available at Guest Services for 4500 passengers. Likewise, Excursion desk and 2 or 3 staff and very poor knowledge about the excursions. Disembarkation - due to an unfortunate medical emergency the ship was 5 hours late arriving in Singapore. So many people needed information and help with changing their ongoing travel plans that Guest Services could not cope. After queuing for 30 minutes I was told that I could use the cabin phone to contact my taxi company and the cost would be reimbursed. However, the phone line didn't work. I was then told there were too many people dialling at the same time. We kept listening out for updates on arrival times, tips for ongoing travel, etc. Very, vety few announcements were made which would have been helpful as many people queued at Guest Services with the same questions. General announcements would have helped us and staff. Annoyingly, there were regular announcements about Bingo and other activities despite the common topic of conversation amongst passengers were their ongoing travel concerns. Further queuing at Guest Services gave the advice that we would disembark quicker if we took our own cases off the ship. The next morning we went to the disembarkation point only to find thousands of others had obvioysly been given the same advice! Staff were nowhere to be seen and as passengers eventually started to disembark arguments broke out as passengers tried to jump the queue or push forward. It was bedlam at the cruise terminal with evetyone ring to catch rearranged taxis. After didembarking at 11.30am oyr taxi took us to the airport at 2.45 and we checked in for our flight to Bali with 8 minutes to spare before check in closed. Royal Caribbean put profits before people. We were treated as commodities and not people. Several services on the ship involved additional charges. Cabin staff and restaurant staff were plentiful and helpful. Guest services staff were far to few for the numbers of passengers. Entertainment was ofva poor standard. More like Butlins. Audiences often walked out of shows. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
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