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7 Royal Caribbean Falmouth Cruise Reviews

The family suite worked well for my husband and me and our three 15 year old grandsons. Our grandsons loved the surf rider, rock climbing wall, basketball court, ice skating rink and the food. It was a easy trip for all except for the ... Read More
The family suite worked well for my husband and me and our three 15 year old grandsons. Our grandsons loved the surf rider, rock climbing wall, basketball court, ice skating rink and the food. It was a easy trip for all except for the crowds of other passengers. This cruise is best for families. Of the 4 ports visited ( Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico; we like Jamaica the best. Blue Hole close to Ocho Rios was the highlight of our Caribbean cruise. My three 15 year old grandsons and I were met at Falmouth cruise port by Ricardo of Liberty Tours of Jamaica (www.libertytoursjamaica.com ) We drove to Blue Hole...a pleasant, approximately 1 hour ride, stopping along the way for pictures. Ricardo was fantastic!! He planned everything for us, even calling ahead of time to confirm our wishes. We stopped on the return near Blue Hole at a local outdoor place for one of the best meals ever....Jamaican grilled chicken. Blue Hole is located in a remote area that only small vans can access; therefore, smaller crowds. It is in a rain forest and absolutely beautiful. We wore water shoes and bathing suits and took a change of clothes and towels. Once at Blue Hole, the boys and I had our own guide, who was very attentive to our safety and making sure the boys had fun. Some places are slick and steep. There was jumping in the water from different levels, rope swinging into the water, caves under waterfalls.... absolutely paradise for active 15 year olds and good picture taking opportunities for the less active. It is not a place for small children or for non swimmers. The cost of our 4 hour tour included transportation, admission into Blue Hole and lunch. I tipped our Blue Hole guide $30. Blue Hole is a must see for nature lovers. It was our first trip to Jamaica and we would like to return if we can stay off the beaten tourist path and return to Blue Hole. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having sailed with other cruise lines I have a significant amount of underpinning knowledge to give towards this review ... First things first - this is a very american style ship attempting to embed itself into the AU cruising market, ... Read More
Having sailed with other cruise lines I have a significant amount of underpinning knowledge to give towards this review ... First things first - this is a very american style ship attempting to embed itself into the AU cruising market, as has other cruise lines before it, however, it has not done anywhere near the market research of other lines or simply does not include it into their duty of care or goodwill factor of customer service. 'They are here to make money and not friends', was the overall impression of a significant number of the passengers of the cruise we recently undertook. It is a very large ship and booked to capacity, they can afford to lose first time cruisers or those who have never sailed with them before, who are not satisfied with the overall RCL experience once tried, as long as aussies want to keep trying this cruise line and RCL can keep them curious. You cannot rely on having the majority of your passengers recreate on some new toy attractions (flowrider, rockclimbwall, skate rink) to provide evidence of overall high standard of accommodation (cleanliness, laundry of bedding, maximum utilisation of passenger cabin facilities), hospitality (food and beverage, dining facilities, bathroom facilities) and duty of care (safety standards, quality of product, customer service education and information, allowance for age range of passengers) - customers are simply not that stupid. Having sailed on a number of different cruise lines, we can safely say we have never felt so controlled and manipulated, as to how we recreate in our valuable spare time paid for with our hard earned money, as we experienced on this cruise. We were very alarmed by a number of security issues on board, that could have been so easily and significantly managed so much better. Travellers need to be aware that the AU Gov expects them to behave as the legal guardians of their passports and you can be fined, penalised and incur replacement costs for irresponsible care, misuse or theft of your passport. Indeed, the DFAT (Dept Foreign Affairs & Trade) website which is responsible for AU traveller education and warnings, clearly states that you do not hand over your passport unless you are under arrest/detention for some reason. Yet the first thing, this US Cruise Co. does is make you surrender your passport on embarkation, under the proviso that it is needed for visa arrangements for port visits/tours. If you do not hand it over, you do not board the ship and lose your money and time that YOU have paid for. Importantly, no where in the customer education that we were issued prior to check in and board, was this published or disclosed to us. However, we were required to advise RCL of all the details contained within our passport, weeks prior to departure as part of our booking process - so this begs the question - do they really need to confiscate a National Identity document, that you are the legal guardian of, when they already have those details? On any other ship we have been on, we have been respected to manage our own passport entry and evidence stamp at any port visit that required it - so what is the importance for RCL to be in custody of a document that does not belong to them - does the airline confiscate your passport for the duration of the flight? Indeed if RCL is so concerned with security issues, why can anyone who enters a passengers' cabin, simply turn on the cabin TV and access your private financial information in the form of your online cruise account and restaurant reservations for dining options that demand a surcharge (these details are not password protected or require a PIN to open. The return of passports required thousands of passengers to line up at a single point of storage, at a venue that had been double booked, resulting in waiting times of up to 4 hours for some passengers in very long lines with no proviso of duty of care for frail, injured, non ambulant, unwell or elderly customers - the words "shambles, complete debarcle, criminal neglect' were frequently used. Acommodation - Our cabin upon embarkation, had rubbish, bottle tops, coins and other assorted items all over the floor. The sheets has significant staining post laundering, which was alarming in size and colour. The small fridge in cabin, is so small and under performed it did not keep drinks cold, let alone make ice or be foodsafe to keep fresh food in. This forces people to eat and drink outside of the cabins except for room service options, which are extremely limited. For 6 out of the 13 days of the trip, our balcony was completely covered in black soot rain. It started at night which we did not detect and resulted in permanent staining of expensive formal attire, which we had to try and clean as soon as possible the next morning in our cabin bathroom as importantly for families in particular, this ship has no passenger laundry options of any kind other than the ships laundry service which is not cheap to use. A number of days into the trip the badly worn and stained hallway carpets were very damp and smelly and attempts by the ship did not remove the source of the damp or the pungent odour. Hospitality - Never have we heard so much negative feedback in regard to wait times, quality of food and selection of beverages, as we did on this ship. The formal dining room in particular was understaffed, food quality tasted of the cook/chill/ reheat method and was an american menu that had very little reflection on the variety and quality of fresh produce that australians prefer to order and consume. Very little in way of australian range of beers, wines or champagnes - mostly american and expensive. The specialty restaurants which demand a surcharge of between $25 to up to $70 per head, just for food items were very hit and miss and waiter service ranged from arrogant and misleading to complacent and downright dishonest WITH the exception of one venue - Giovanni's table. This small tasteful italian eatery felt like it had landed on the ship from another planet. The decor, staff, food and service was exceptional and RCL should take a good hard look at this team and how they go about business. Food in buffet is very american and often hard to find a seat. Outdoor bar areas close very early for travels into hot, humid tropical waters which does not allow for one of the main things aussie travellers love most - relaxing under the stars on the top decks in the middle of the night, after a session at the show, nightclub or casino, and having a coldie, debriefing on the days activities, friendly arguments about the worlds problems, big laughs about who cheated at mini golf, knowing they do not have to rush, because the bar closes 1030 - 1100 pm, forcing everyone inside to purchase a drink, which could not be purchased more than one at a time or less than 10 minutes apart. Drinks packages were described as 'Sneaky, Greedy' in that many people bought them thinking the price they paid covered the duration of the cruise and was not a daily charge, due to lack of sufficient/correct/current printed education and very poor explanations provided by too few and too language challenged staff, allocated to spruik these packages. Items advertised on the packages were either not available or not honoured by RCL and this was particularly offensive, as it was not due to abuse by the owner of the product/package which can cost up to $80 AU a day and still only includes few wines, beers and cocktails. Some very obvious cocktails were priced 70 cents more than the package allowance, yet purchasers were not allowed to pay the extra 70 cents for these cocktails - you have to wonder what the thinking is there? On some of the busiest decks and entertainment venues, bathrooms contained single male and female toilet cubicles for areas designed to cater to hundreds of people, resulting in frustration and distress for frail or elderly. Many public areas were lit by heat generating bulbs which compounded environmental factors aboard the ship. What many people did not realise was this voyage did not stop at the beautiful asian waterways or harbours of the destination countries, but instead anchored at large major industrial ports (very noisy/smoggy if you chose to stay on board) and no tender boat service were used. Excursions were started with an often very delayed bus trip for hours to get to where tours started only to be rushed through tours in an hour or two, in what should have been a comfortable afternoon, only to be rushed back to a bus and get back to a ship late to have missed their allocated dining time or chance to see a show. Ironically, the day after disembarkation, the ship travelled back to the beautiful area of Na Trang in Vietnam and employed the tender service, rather than herd all the passengers onto late crowded buses from an industrial port hours away - what message does this send to aussie passengers about RCL's care factor to them as a client base? "We've got your money, now shutup and get on the bus".? Customer Duty of Care - This was wildly inconsistent throughout the ship. Badly maintained safety strips on steps were located around the corner from smooth marble steps and unlevel paving that wet feet added further traction issues to. Circular stairs were far to narrow for adult feet to tread confidently. Pool deck events were boycotted and seriously endangered by the fact that the live band/dancing area was allocated to one that was constantly slopped over by the pool right next to it - a safety risk to electrical gear for performers and those few who did attempt to dance, many slipped and fell and were only supported and attended to by their fellow passengers - no management presence was evident to provide supervision of these events. Pools were far too small for size of ship and number of passengers - many people developed illnessess after 3 or 4 days in pools/spas. No drinks in glasses were allowed at pool deck tables yet people hijinked around in the spas with glass stubbies in hand? Pool deck staff were run off their feet and suffered genuinely due to lack of numbers and management support - interestingly RCL used recent refurbishment to increase the number of cabins/passengers by hundreds - where was the matching staff ratio?. The bones of the ship felt very cramped compared to other ships for us who have no mobility issues, so must have presented a challenge to those who did. We spoke to a 74/75 yr old couple who boarded late at the port due to a delayed flight and were advised all the porters had embarked and they would need to carry their own luggage up the gangway onto the ship and they had booked one of the largest suites on the ship. Customer Service education or information was often non existent or misleading or simply not honored. Daily program activity information was constantly repeated on the hardcopy newsletter each day, wasting massive dollars and paper - ironic for a line that promotes themselves as eco friendly (Save the Waves campaign). I repeat, Aussies are easy going and very patient, but they are far from stupid. Entertainment which was organised on sector/deck basis did not allow for allocated dining times - no one thought to cross reference many organisational aspects - resulting in lots of double ups and very poor communication from area managers in terms of entertainment and hospitality, which unfortunately flowed onto passenger inconvenience. Sometimes you are lucky and can travel in a bubble on board a cruise ship immune to the negatives and customer dissatisfaction - but I doubt there will be many on the trip we took who will have achieved this, based on the hundreds of passengers who could not wait to get off Voyager of the Seas. This begs the question - what did RCL do really well on this ship? They got you on the ship quickly and they got you off the ship quickly - and wonderfully fore those who got to experience it, they left Giovanni's to get on with the job of great customer service, even when the ship's stores had run out of menu items, they provided a guenuine apology and lovely alternatives - they are the epiteme of a flagship restaurant on board a cruise ship and really made the cruise for many diners onboard. Hopefully they will jump ship to another line and many more passengers can be treated like australian clientele - understanding, forgiving, easy going but far, far from stupid. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
1. There should be more than one late night food service available. My teenage daughter was not even able to find food at night because the only food was in the adult solarium or room service. 2. They need to let people know where the ... Read More
1. There should be more than one late night food service available. My teenage daughter was not even able to find food at night because the only food was in the adult solarium or room service. 2. They need to let people know where the late night food service is by telling them when they are going through check in. 3. RC needs to make service personnel trained to be familiar with passengers first names and they need to address them by name. 4. Make provisions for storage of baby strollers instead of clogging up corridors and if passengers cannot fit them in their room then they should not be allowed on board. 5. RC needs to enforce the no smoking in rooms policy as deck 7 reeked of stale cigarette smoke. 6. Would like to see dining room entertainment by the staff after dinner when dessert is served. 7. We had an obstructed view of rooms 7550 and 7552 and it was not stated as such on reservation. 8. Would like to see drink waiter come to each table in the dining room. He came to our table once in the beginning and asked if we would like wine and we never saw him after that. We did want drinks but not wine. 9. Better security needed for teenagers that are disruptive to passengers. 10. Would like to see chocolate placed on pillows at bedtime. 11. All of these that I have mentioned are the rule not the exception for Carnival Cruise line. RC charges much more money per person and provides less service as well as entertainment. 12. Loved the centrum entertainment and that was a plus as well as seeing the captain and crew participate in the shows! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We just got back from a RC cruise leaving out of Galveston and going to the Western Caribbean and it was fabulous!!!! We travelled with 3 children under the age of 10. We flew into Houston IAH and were able to get a rental car from Budget ... Read More
We just got back from a RC cruise leaving out of Galveston and going to the Western Caribbean and it was fabulous!!!! We travelled with 3 children under the age of 10. We flew into Houston IAH and were able to get a rental car from Budget online for 80.00 for three days and stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites near the airport (we got into town at 8:00 a.m. and the hotel let us check in right away-we didn't have to pay for the room the night before like most places have you do). The hotel was full from the night before-however-someone had checked out so they cleaned a room immediately while we had their hot breakfast. I cannot say enough about that hotel. When we came back from the cruise I had booked another hotel-country inn and suites by the airport-that was a big mistake-they were very unprofessional-so we cancelled and went back to homewood and they got us into a room with the best price right away (thanks Kim). The day of the cruise my husband dropped the girls and I off at the ship and returned the car to Budget in Texas City before coming back to the cruise ship. In hindsight it would have been easier if we stayed together. You can drop your car off at Budget in Texas City where they will take you to the cruise ship in the car you rented as long as they can fit in it with you for 50.00. I DO NOT recommend this. You can call a cab for 40.00 to pick you up there -your whole family and you do not have to wait for someone at Budget to be able to take you OR wait for them to take other people before they take you. I recommend PINKY's cab service-she has a minivan that you can easily fit into. She picked us up at the cruise ship when our trip was over and took us back to Budget rental in Texas City where we picked up our car for a 2 day rental for 40.00. Google her and you should be able to find her info. Boarding the Navigator was easy. We loved our family ocean view room in the front of the ship. I bought my kids a soda package and I got the royal replenish. You can take 2 bottles of champagne or wine on the ship. I also saw a lady taking a 12 pack of soda. There is a lot of info on rum runners and they work. Research them. In hindsight after adding our drink cost on the ship (probably each of us had 3-4 drinks a day-averaging 550.00) and then addiing the cost of the beverages and soda package for the girls and I- approx 200.00-we would have been better off buying an alcohol package that included soda and juices for my husband and myself and then just getting the drinks and juices for the kids on our card.. Ports were awesome. Despite some of the research rec. no private tours in Jamaica-we found lots of great reviews on Patrice Bailey for private tours and decided to book her-She was awesome and for the same amount of money we had our own air conditioned van that took us wherever we wanted to go and then some places we did not know. I cannot say enough about Patrice Bailey and I am so glad that we booked with her. We visited a school and took them school supplies and ate where the locals do-6 of us for less than 40.00 and shopped away from the pier-buy coffee n Jamaica and you can deal (2 bags for 20.00) however, do not buy liquour there-buy it in the Caymen islands-way cheaper. Next stop-Grand Caymen Islands-I tried to book a tour with Marineland tours due to their awesome reviews but if you come in on RC they will not-they contract privately with them so book them through the ship for the Deluxe Stingray City tour-it iis well worth it-they are the only boat that has a stairway down to the water so if you have older people or small children this can come in very handy getting on and off their boat or just hanging on the steps and looking at the stingrays. THis port the boat is tendered and you take a small boat in to Grand Caymen and the tour people are right there to meet you as soon as you go in the gate.You can buy alcohol and rum cakes the cheapest here. There is a store as you are heading into the gates on the left that had a 11 percent discount on their already great prices before 12:00. They also pack all of your liqour and send it to the ship for free so you don't have to deal with it on your tour. We bought rum, appleton, havana club and 11 bottle altogether with 4-6 rum cakes for 140.00 approx. If you have kids and time eat at Margartiaville across the street-they have great food-it is a little pricey but so worth it-their coconut shrimp and seafood was amazing! The best part is if you have kids there is a water slide into a 3 foot pool right in the restaurant and the kids can swim while you sit. This was one of the highlights for my kids on the whole trip. Last port-Cozumel-we did swimming with the dolphins. I booked through Chankanaab and got a better rate and it included a buffet lunch. We did the swim adventure-all 5 of us-for 400.00 and I got them to throw in the manatee experience. We took a cab at the port for 16.00/20..00 with tip and the park there is amazing! You can see a sea lion show, there is a small kids beach n one side and then a regular on on another side-very close to each other. There is kayaking and all kinds of things to do there. They do not let us take pictures. However, I am thinking you could sit at the tables with a good camera and snap away. They take their own pictures and charge a ridiculous amount for them.-150-200 dollars. I just wanted one of each of my kids with a dolphin and bargained down to 75.00 aftr telling them that if I dont buy anything then theyw ill just throw them away and not make any money at all so wouldn't it be better if we both got something out of it vs. neither of us getting anything. Shoppin at port great-some stores will bargain and others will not. All in all the cruise was amazing and the best time ever. RCCruises does a great job and I am looking forward to travelling wtih them again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
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