My name is Andrew. My wife (Kristen) and I just finished our honeymoon aboard your Adventure of the Seas ship out of Ft. Lauderdale from October 27th thru November 4th. This special trip that we planned nearly a year in advance left me ... Read More
My name is Andrew. My wife (Kristen) and I just finished our honeymoon aboard your Adventure of the Seas ship out of Ft. Lauderdale from October 27th thru November 4th. This special trip that we planned nearly a year in advance left me sorely disappointed and frustrated for several reasons. After the abysmal experience I would like to share it.
Issues began prior to boarding the Royal Caribbean Adventures of the Seas ship when my wife and I attempted to book excursions through Royal Caribbean's website. The website simply did not work and would not process our requested excursions. This was a problem as we would prefer to avoid additional fees. Booking online in advance privileged us to a discount which we wanted to take advantage of. We attempted to use the website countless times. We tried different web browsers and even our smart phones. The site would not work. As this issue did not resolve after all our efforts over a couple of hours, we called Royal Caribbean customer service for assistance. Their customer service representative logged in with our account and had the same issue. The customer service representative stated there was nothing they could do. They were apathetic and when we inquired if the pricing would be honored on the ship, as the issue was on Royal Caribbean's end, we were told, ‘No’. This obviously led to us having no choice but to pay more than we should have for excursion(s).
We made it to Ft. Lauderdale and were anxious to get on the ship as soon as possible. We did. After we initially boarded the ship, my wife and I meandered for a brief stint. Shortly after, I found myself in the Windjammer Buffet to get some lunch as my wife waited outside on the deck, as Kristen has a severe gluten allergy and wasn't hungry yet. While in the buffet line I was pleased to see signage that encouraged guests with allergies to approach the staff for assistance when getting food. These signs were everywhere. I was pleased had confidence that Kristen would have substantial options, especially as even when we booked the trip her Itinerary even allowed a notation for ‘Gluten Allergy’. As I was in a slow moving line, I politely asked a member Royal Caribbean Windjammer staff where or what was offered for people who had a gluten allergy. The staff member, an Oriental female, smiled and with a look of confusion walked away from me. She never came back.
I returned to my wife and gave her a quick rundown of the encounter and we both agreed we would try to get assistance when she was hungry. Being reasonable people we figured that there would be some workers on the ship who would simply not understand us. I had only asked the Windjammer employee because we have learned to be very proactive, careful, and thorough to ensure meals from sources outside of ourselves are safe for Kristen.
Eventually Kristen was hungry and went to the Windjammer buffet as I stayed on the deck. When she returned she looked concerned and had a plate with lettuce- just lettuce. I was perplexed and asked if she was helped. Kristen then explained how the employees in the buffet either could not understand her or walked away from her. She sought help from several Windjammer employees and some were deemed to be ‘supervisors’. As no employee helped her at all she searched for anything that was 1, clearly gluten free and 2, did not suffer from cross contamination. So she returned to me with the one thing she felt was safe. Lettuce, just lettuce. I was not happy. This cruise was our honeymoon and not even a few hours in, it already had begun to show hints of what eventually became a miserable and problematic nightmare. I realized that I needed to speak to the head chef and get us answers to avoid further issue. I told Kristen I was sorry for how things were going and I'd go back in to the Windjammer and get things straightened out…
I went back in to the Royal Caribbean Windjammer buffet and started an ‘excursion’ sarcasm very much intended. I spoke to any employee I could. This venture occurred for approximately 20 minutes and included Windjammer: wait staff, food suppliers, drink suppliers, and alleged supervisors. Eventually after being led in literal and figurative circles by the Windjammer staff, I was linked to a floor supervisor of sorts who allegedly would get me the chef. I was relieved, finally someone who can help! The male supervisor assured me that he would personally make sure my wife would get food and said he would get the chef immediately. I was elated.
At that point the supervisor stationed me by a meat cutting station just outside of the kitchen entry on the far end of the Windjammer buffet. The supervisor left me and entered the kitchen and I patiently waited for him and/or the chef to come out to help me and my wife. Meanwhile as I patiently waited, I watched as other guests helped themselves to their 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd serving of heaping piles of food. Consider, while I am watching other guests eat endless amounts of whatever they want, my wife can’t even get a basic protein or side item. Hours in to our honeymoon we were spending more time apart than together and wasting precious time while she became hungrier.
Kristen waited for me to pull through with good news. This did not happen. The supervisor who went in to the kitchen never came back, nor did a chef come out. I stood and waited for 5 minutes, 10 minutes… eventually I asked a female food supplier to check on the supervisor and chef for me. I explained how I had been desperately waiting for them. She said she would go get them. I believed her. She went in to the kitchen and never came back, no chef… 15 minutes, 20 minutes (meanwhile I’m getting dirty glares from guests in the buffet line as they don't understand why this guy with no plate-me, is standing in the area of the flow, even though I was careful not to block anything).
So then I asked the young male Windjammer meat cutter who had been near me the entire time, if he could check on the chef for me that I had been patiently waiting. He recognized this as I stood near him for 20 minutes. He did leave his station and go in to the kitchen. Eventually he came back to report that the chef would be on his way, he stated the chef was allegedly wrapping up a phone call. I was baffled that the chef was so apathetic towards me and my wife but appreciated the efforts of the meat cutter and waited for the chef to come out. Also, I realized what I had been dealing with was on the verge or absolute ridiculousness and extraordinarily poor customer service so I took my smart phone and recorded the back end of this experience. I wanted documentation and proof of the unacceptable ordeal. After several more minutes of recording and begging for any sort of help, I gave up and went back to my wife. I missed her and knew she would worry about me. No one was coming, no one would truly help us. I learned that, nothing else. Easily over an hour of our cruise gone, me-upset and concerned, frustrated. Her-hungry and confused as to what was going on.
I filled Kristen in on where I was and what happened and we decided to head to guest services with urgency for help. The ship was leaving the port and I did not want us to be on it if my wife could not get simple sustenance. At guest services we waited in a long line to eventually be connected to a staff member who took us from one floor to another, looking for the proper people so that Kristen could eat. I was so confused, was this the first allergy Royal Caribbean ever encountered? It sure seemed like it. Princess Cruise lines labels the food for allergy purposes. They handle it with knowledge and efficiency and don’t miss a beat. This was our first try at Royal Caribbean and I began to tell the employees that if my wife could not eat a proper diet we would just forgo the cruise. We would have no choice.
At one point hours into our pursuit for assistance an employee back at the Windjammer pointed at an alleged gluten free bread. I told the staff I would not stay on the ship if my wife's diet was to only be comprised of possibly gluten free bread and lettuce. The staff I was with kept saying they were wanting to help us but we still had no solution. About 3 hours in to the nightmare we finally managed to get to two chefs in front of us. I was sorely upset for my wife and the way we were treated. I was appalled by the manner in which the Royal Caribbean employees handled the situation. I explained the trouble we ran in to, the chase I was on, the employees disappearing, and showed video footage of I dealt with. I asked these chefs why they did not come out to help me. They had no answers. There is no answer for what they did or more accurately didn’t do. They did not deny anything which I appreciated. Eventually one of the chefs apologized. I was glad to finally hear the smallest shred of human decency but as I explained, the 3 hours we lost was precious and my wife was still very hungry. She finally was given a couple options from the chef and we moved on praying and hoping getting her food would not be an ordeal as even when we booked our trip, we were able to note that she had gluten allergy. We didn't think it would be a surprise or major issue.
We try to be optimistic people. We thought things would be better and were proactive to ensure there were no more major problems. Per the chefs instructions we ordered Kristen a gluten free breakfast a day in advance, for approximately 10:00. We called in the morning to report that we would be on our way and were told to ask for 'Kenny’. Again, we followed the instructions we were given and I called to be extra thorough. When we got to the Windjammer we asked for Kenny as instructed. No Kenny came, eventually a random chef came to us but had no idea what we were talking about. He was not aware of the advance order that was placed. He said he could make Kristen’s breakfast but if would take at least 10 minutes. We would have preferred it to be done so we could enjoy our ship activities and move on to our island stop but we allowed them a chance to get it done. Over 20 minutes later I went up to check on my wife's breakfast, the staff looked at me confused and said it was ready. So I returned to our table where we waited briefly, they then brought her pancakes and no syrup. So she waited nearly ten more minutes for syrup, not sure why that was so difficult, but it was.
So my wife who had pre-ordered her food a day in advance and checked in on it in the morning was seated watching everyone else eat for nearly 40 minutes just to finally eat cold pancakes and eggs. The scrambled eggs had two hairs in them and as much as we would have addressed it, we were on the verge of missing planned activities. The kitchen was not receptive, our efforts were a lost cause. Also as a side note on day one we inquired with the chef and were given some clarification on gluten free options at Windjammer as far as what is available in the buffet. That information was helpful but meaningless due to the excessive cross contamination from the guests who sloppily make their plates, the buffet was NOT a viable option.
After this dining experience at the Windjammer and upon further investigation for the remainder of the trip my wife and I utilized the small Cafe on the other end of the ship as we learned they offered small but gluten free pizza. The Café personnel were not initially knowledgeable about gluten and cross contamination but with great effort my wife and I were able to muddle through it with them. The pizzas took 10 minutes to make whereas all other food was immediately available, this excludes the wait in line. It was a struggle to pick up the gluten free pizza once it was done due to the way the lines at the café were set up, it usually sat at the kitchen window for a while but we made it work. Kristen ate the mini pizzas every day for lunch as the Windjammer proved to be insufficient no matter how hard we worked with them. Pizza, every day.
We weren't going to even try and eat at the Windjammer anymore but we did go there for drinks three times and even that was too much for them to handle. On day one I was told I could not have orange juice unless I went to the bar where I waited and was ignored for nearly 10 minutes just to finally leave and get orange juice from a secondary drink station, no different than the first I went to.
Then a couple days later, when I wanted to get water, a member of staff mildly scolded me and refused my entry to the Windjammer. She said my shirt was wet. It wasn’t. It was dry, my body was dry. My shorts were nearly completely dried from being in water maybe an hour or more before. I suppose they appeared used or tattered from going down water slides earlier that day? With no decency or reason the Windjammer employee outright berated me that my shorts were wet and declared I would not be allowed in the Windjammer for a cup of water. No Water.
The third experience occurred several days into the cruise. I went to a drink station and was told they only had one flavor of drink, so I politely accepted the singular option I was given. The staff member than opened the machine to discover not only was the drink she offered completely empty but it was lemonade and not the flavor she had stated. She then pointed me in the direction of another station across the room. The second drink station I went to had an employee who had no cups and I had to stand and wait for any sort of beverage.
Also, on a last Windjammer note, on the second to last day since we happened to bump in to the head chef of the Windjammer. Kristen was sick of pizza. We thought it was a stroke of luck and we asked if he could make my wife chicken for lunch. She was tired of pizza! He was polite and it was made and there was hair in it. Pizza, again…
Moving on, my wife and I researched the evening dining dress codes. We ensured we had appropriate attire for every evening. At the dinners, none of the dress code guidelines were enforced. People wore shorts, wife beaters, see through shirts, and tank tops. This occurred on casual and formal nights. Had we been given accurate information, we would have packed far more casual wear in lieu of several suits, dresses, and shoes. However per guidelines of Royal Caribbean, we easily incurred additional luggage costs that could have been avoided. We did so because we follow rules. However, they were not applied or followed by anyone else. I would have saved a small fortunate in luggage costs had Royal Caribbean accurately stated what was allowed at the dinners. Also, insult to injury please recall when I was scorned for the shorts I had on and that led to my refusal of admittance in to the non-luxury, messy buffet. So I was not admitted there, yet others were dressed comparably and worse but were somehow allowed to attend what was considered the fine dining?
Moving on, in regards to the excursion we wanted to book online, as we approached the excursions desk to book it, a guest of the ship and his two kids stopped right at the entrance. The man may have been drunk but I said excuse me to him twice as he and his kids were blocking the corridor we needed. He responded by yelling and cursing at me directly in front of the Guest Services Desk and several employees. They all ignored his belligerent attitude and profane manners. This particular guest became well known around the ship for his abusive attitude. He cursed out and older man at the sky bar and got in to it with another guest at the Windjammer. I can't hold Royal Caribbean accountable for this man's actions but Royal Caribbean is responsible to ensure guests have a safe and enjoyable trip. Had they addressed this man on day one when we encountered him at Guest Services on day 1 he could have been put on notice and maybe would have acted more civil during the trip. If he refused, at the time he could easily have been removed from the ship. Also, we learned there is security and jail on the ship which easily would have housed him and would have been justified enforcement for any of his belligerence and altercations.
When we finally got around the vile man and his kids the woman at the excursions desk was not knowledgeable and could not explain anything about the excursions we we're interested in. She eventually shared with us that it was her first week. Also, we did not get the 15% discount that we should have been able to had Royal Caribbean’s online booking process worked. More money lost.
My wife and I scheduled a couple’s massage and it was supposed to be 75 minutes long. We arrived early and due to a seminar held to sell acupuncture treatments we did not get in until 10 minutes after the time we were scheduled. We verified with the masseurs that our scheduled massage was the special deal offered by the manager ‘Z’, and they left and returned saying it was. After the massage we noticed it was only a 50 minute treatment. There are no clocks around and when we asked what the spa would do to make it right the only thing they offered was for us to come by on an island day (lost time on an island) and we would be given 25 minute back rubs. We spent a fortune at the spa and they could not even give us extended times or throw a complimentary ________ treatment at me or my wife. We lost more time and to be frank we didn’t even want the quick back massages that ended up wasting more of our time. More cost to us financially and of our precious time.
During a Ping Pong tournament there was a no show and I asked Royal Caribbean staff member ‘Jack’ if another individual could play. I did not know the person who wanted to play but they were present. I was very polite and explained that since someone who signed up wasn’t there, the guest who was turned away and was still present could take the open spot. Jack scolded me and glared at me with distain. He said, ‘no!’ I wish I was making this up. He then scorned me and stated that the playoff spots were final. My wife was a witness to his mannerisms towards me. Inexcusable.
I was weighed to use one of the two slides on the ship. The scale showed 219 lbs. which I did not believe was right. I weigh around 210 lbs. I was refused use of the, ‘yellow’ slide and had to wear a wristband that reflected I was to be refused use of the slide. The slide has a weight limit of 220 lbs. which I was still under. Upon returning from the cruise, the following Monday at my Doctor’s office I weighed in at 208 lbs. I guess I lost nearly 12 lbs on a cruise where everyone else gains weight because of all of the endless dining options, makes sense?
Regardless, I was needlessly refused use of a slide while I was under the weight restriction (with a faulty scale). Less and less activities.
Some honorable mentions of other problems. I saw towels on the outside of rooms, so I followed suit. The person who cleans rooms, who was very nice, and stated his supervisor wanted me to be put on notice not to do that. It was innocent and I profusely apologized. I told him I would happily talk to his supervisor because someone who to be so concerned over towels could possibly help us with all these other issues. They never spoke with me though.
The safe provided in the room was very old and we later learned it is known to malfunction. The last night we wasted over an hour and a half waiting for someone to get the safe to work since our passports were in it. Then we were told the wait was to be expected.
Throughout the Cruise, multiple elevators were ‘out of service’ the reoccurred every day.
On one of our particular Dinners, my wife waited nearly 45 minutes after I received my food for hers.
All of the issues were reoccurring and led to several missed activities.
Our honeymoon was a mess, a disaster, it lacked the assurances of fun, relaxation, and essential things like food for my wife. This honeymoon was terrible and there was no need for it.
I even contacted Travel about the issues and heard back this weekend. The response from Royal Caribbean was that they offer skim milk on their ship and my wife and I it should have been able to find gluten-free options... Despicable!!!!! If you have celiacs please be leery! Read Less