37 Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Reviews

The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a ... Read More
The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a cruise to Vietnam and there is no Vietnamese food . Even fast food items like hamburgers and grilled Panini are Poorly made . We also tried the paid teppanyaki restaurant which is another mistake ! Quality of food is not up to standard . Gym and Pool- it is a big ship but the pool and gym are both small and congested . logistics - even with reservations the waiting time can be 20 minutes ; and tables were assigned after the staff checked us in Which takes extra time . We are also concerned about security , Sea passes were left outside the room instead of giving to us in person during check in. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We cruised on the Spectrum on three consecutive itineraries: January 2, 9 and 14, 2020. Boarding in Hong Kong was well organized. Each subsequent voyage was well orchestrated for back to back passengers. We would leave and return to ... Read More
We cruised on the Spectrum on three consecutive itineraries: January 2, 9 and 14, 2020. Boarding in Hong Kong was well organized. Each subsequent voyage was well orchestrated for back to back passengers. We would leave and return to the ship through the crew line so we didn’t have to line up with the boarding passengers. Each voyage was different due to the numbers of non-mainland Chinese onboard. On January 2, they described the passengers as international. There were over 700 Australians, next came Russians and then Canadians/Americans/other but the majority were Chinese from HK and mainland China. The January 9 cruise had a lot fewer Australians, few Russians and few others. The January 14 4-day cruise from HK to its home port of Shanghai had over 5,000 mainland Chinese onboard and few others. This cruise was dramatically different from the first two cruises. There were long lines to get into the Windjammer. There were lines for the entertainment. People would talk during the entertainment or be on their cell phones checking emails, etc. People would cut in line and carry on conversations during the entertainment and let their children run down the aisle upstairs in the theater and stand at the balcony at the end of the stairs to watch the performance. It tried one’s patience. But, the staff were excellent and service was great. If we were ever to return to this ship, it would be because of the staff—however, we realize that staff move from ship to ship. We thought the Chinese food was very good, whether served in the Windjammer or the main dining room. I enjoyed the noodle bar where I had a choice of noodles and vegetables, etc. to have the cook heat up. This was a very popular destination in the Windjammer. We booked a variety of cabins on our three cruises. We started out with a balcony cabin on deck 13. Then, we moved to a Grand Suite on deck 13. On our third cruise, we were in a Golden Junior Suite on deck 15. Because we are Diamond Plus, we were able to have happy hour and dine in the Silver Lounge/Dining Room while in a balcony cabin. When we were in a (Golden) Grand Suite and a Golden Junior Suite, we were able to have happy hour and dine in the Silver Lounge/Dining Room or the Golden Lounge/Dining Room. The Gold dining room was very nice because the tables were far apart and the service was top notch. The concierge was situated in the dining room during happy hour and meal times. We also got an included North Star experience. There was a cost for everyone else. The entertainment was very, very good. The guest entertainers were wonderful. The gym was small. Maybe 6 treadmills with one out of service during our three cruises. A few bikes. But, if you were determined to get a workout in, you’d be able to do it. All in all, we enjoyed our cruises. We enjoyed the ports and the ship’s excursions. The staff were excellent. The cabins were very nice. The food was good, especially the Chinese offerings. The only negative—maybe—was the behavior of the mainland Chinese customers. They are not used to cruising and traveling with westerners. And, we are not accustomed to traveling with people who don’t understand or abide by lines, who talk loudly and even during performances. But, we were all there to enjoy ourselves—and I think that was accomplished by most. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Spent 2 days in Hong Kong at the Park hotel. Used the Big Bus to get around great value if you have not been to the area before. Getting onboard was easy no issues, very straight forward. Few things different seapass cards were are you ... Read More
Spent 2 days in Hong Kong at the Park hotel. Used the Big Bus to get around great value if you have not been to the area before. Getting onboard was easy no issues, very straight forward. Few things different seapass cards were are you room waiting for you. Seemed a little strange. Spectrum of the Seas not sure what I expected but did not seem as flash or exciting as other ships I have been on. Definitely has an Asian twist in the interior design. Lots of seating every where and no one trying to sell you packages as you board. I did not see a dining special on specialty restaurants which was a shame, I probably would have taken up that offer. The centrum was the smallest I have ever seen and the shops were spaced out all over the ship. We had a balcony room with large balcony it was better designed than most I have stayed in with 2 wardrobes and fridge and tea and coffee available in room. USB ports to charge phones and devices was a great addition. Was a little disappointed with main dining room options I would have expected the Asian food to be of better quality I was not a fan. But normal menu items were as good as always. Crew were fantastic we were travelling with family and young children and there were well taken care of. Kids club was a hit with the 6 years old and baby nursery was also great value though the ship did not have nappies for children under 2. Activities were good a good variety with the cruise director Fang also around and ready to stop for a chat. Trivia with a twist as presenter was Chinese and had problems pronouncing some English words which made these sessions more fun. Casino was a smoking venue this was not pleasant experience. Bionic bar, bumper cars. Archery and rock climbing were fun but I did miss putt putt. Okinawa was probably the worst place to get off with customs taking hours to get through the whole group. Causing tours to be rushed. Stop in Ilocos was not great as it was rendered so it took ages to get off and first in first served to get transport from the port. It was so hot and very poor where we stopped and really nothing to do. Subic bay on their other hand had plenty of cabs about 3200 pesos for 4 hours was good value driver would take you anywhere you wanted to go. Getting off at Hong kong was a breeze. No Line ups. Then we headed off to Singapore for a couple of rest days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The ship is new and beautiful. It holds 5 thousand passengers , so long lines everywhere, dinning, games embarkation and disembarkation. We were travelling during X'mas holiday so the ship was entirely sold out with 12 hundred kids on ... Read More
The ship is new and beautiful. It holds 5 thousand passengers , so long lines everywhere, dinning, games embarkation and disembarkation. We were travelling during X'mas holiday so the ship was entirely sold out with 12 hundred kids on board. It was impossible to find a quiet place. The ship is catered to the Asian market and there are lots of Chinese dishes in the buffet and the main dinning room. We had one lunch in Jamie's kitchen. It is quite expensive and I don't think it is much better than the main dinning room. This was our second time on RCL and really enjoyed their nightly entertainments.It was a step above HAL. Okinawa is a nice place to shop and walk around. The 2 ports in Philipines Vigan and Subic Bay is totally waste of time. The ship is catered to younger passengers with lots of activities like rock climbing, surfing bumper car. If you want to have a relaxing cruise, then this ship is not for you Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had cabin 7238, Silver Junior Suite. It was beautiful, the ship is only six months old so our cabin was rather immaculate. Bathroom with full size bath, sink plus separate walk in shower. Opposite was a separate toilet and full size ... Read More
We had cabin 7238, Silver Junior Suite. It was beautiful, the ship is only six months old so our cabin was rather immaculate. Bathroom with full size bath, sink plus separate walk in shower. Opposite was a separate toilet and full size sink. One large double wardrobe plus another stand alone wardrobe with hanging space plus drawers. Lots of storage space. We had unused hangers and empty drawers, there was so much space. Comfortable bed, great lighting, fabulous large flat screen TV, and large desk. Balcony was large, and had the most comfortable balcony furniture I have ever had (this was my 46th cruise). Our room steward Cheng was very helpful and super friendly. We are not very demanding people but he was keen to help in any way he could. We bought a water pack of 12 bottles, which cost AUD$63, and they were in the room when we arrived. Dining - we ate lunch in the MDR on day one, it was fine, good service. We also ate one dinner in the MDR and the food quality was good. But the MDR was very busy, we had anytime dining but they took us downstairs to the traditional dining section as there was no space. As we had a Silver Junior Suite we were entitled to eat in the Silver Dining Room on deck 14. This was a great space, mainly buffet but you can also order from a small fixed menu which they bring to you. We ate here breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. Service was excellent, no wait for a table. Others told us of the huge queues for the MDR and even the buffet. The problem was we had a lot of large family groups on board who were eating together and not wanting to move on, hence no table turnover. Our friends had a booking for My Time dining and when they arrived for their table they were advised to join the long queue. They said 'we have a booking' and were advised that everyone on that huge queue had a booking as well. No tables were available. We had Diamond drinks in the Silver Lounge every evening, you go to the bar yourself, there was no table service. The bar staff were good though, it was fairly quiet most evenings, and they had a large choice of drinks. The Silver Concierge Sylvia was lovely, very friendly and helpful. We had a great time there most evenings. Shows - we saw The Silk Road in TWO70 lounge, don't miss it, it was spectacular. Really fabulous show. We also saw the production show Showgirls in the theatre, also really good. We missed a couple of special acts that we had seen on an earlier cruise. The theatre is large but get there early for a good seat. We are Diamond, embarkation around 12 noon was easy, and disembarkation at 8am was an easy walk off. We hopped into a taxi to the airport (around HKD320) and there was a huge line up of cabs waiting to take the passengers. We did a ship tour Okinawa which went to Okinawa World (a cave system, and traditional buildings/shops), the ruins of Shuri Castle and a shopping street. It was great! We had a great tour leader. In Subic Bay we did the Subic Bay Naval Base and Oceanworld tour. This was USD119 and did not deliver what was described. I complained the next day back on the ship and the shore excursion people were very apologetic and offered a 20% refund which I agreed to. It was the first time the ship had been to this port and lots of tours didn't go to plan. We did a private tour for Illocos, which took us to Vigan. Service was really good everywhere, with friendly staff. The Cruise Director Fang was fantastic! Such a great guy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have taken quite a few cruises - Princess for the Scandinavian cruise, Carnival for the Alaskan cruise, etc and this is by far the worst cruise we have taken. And it was a pity because Spectrum is probably the best equipped ship we ... Read More
We have taken quite a few cruises - Princess for the Scandinavian cruise, Carnival for the Alaskan cruise, etc and this is by far the worst cruise we have taken. And it was a pity because Spectrum is probably the best equipped ship we have sailed with (hardware is very very good - lots of facilities, large rooms, etc.) BUT the software is horrible to say the least. 1) the wait for first dinner was totally unacceptable - it appeared someone miscalculated the crowd? How could that happen for a professional organization when you have the number of confirmed passengers on the cruise days ahead??? 2) The Best of Okinawa excursion was a mis-selling. You did not know the main building of Shuri Castle was burned down a few months ago? Yet, your people sold it as a visit to the old palace??? And the tour guide you hire rushed us through the itinerary so we could have lunch at about 3PM? This is the way a professional is supposed to plan a trip??? 3) The 6-hour Vigan City Highlight took around 1.5 hours to get to the town and back leaving us around 4.5 hours. And of the 4.5 hours, the tour guide left us shopping at a cobblestone street for 1.5 hours with all the shop pretty much selling the same merchandise and if you add 1 hour lunch time (where a disappointing lunch was provided), we really did not do much for the USD119/pax we paid!!! 4) The Subic Bay & Ocean Adventure Combo Tour was probably the worst mis-selling I have ever seen so far in my life. For a 5-hour excursion, we arrived at 10:29am and we only managed to get through the gate at 11:10 (wasting 40/300 = 13% of our time standing in line to try and get in) to watch the 11:30 Dolphin show followed by the 12:30 Sea Lion Show followed by 1:10pm "Runner up to Philippines have talent" Acrobat Show. We paid USD119/pax for something costing USD16/pax with no lunch time planned - we had to grab a hot dog ourselves during the Acrobat Show). We left for the "just as US Navy Seals and Special Forces Units, you'll learn how to mountaineer, identify wildlife, find portable water sources and build a fire using only dried bamboo" to watch the building fire bit only!!!!! The organizer may blamed it on the rain that day but the reality was, there was no time allocated for anything else except to watch the building fire bit! Again, we paid USD119/pax essentially for a Dolphin show, a Sea Lion show, an so-so Acrobat show and to witness how to start a fire using dry bamboo!!! 5) And the attitude of the employees on board the Spectrum was just incredible - with the exception of some of the employees during dinner on main dinning room on Deck 4, the rest of the employees seemed to have forgotten they were in the service industry??? Their attitude towards their passengers leave much room for improvement!!! This is the first time we have taken a cruise onboard a Royal Caribbean and I find it very strange that a brand name like Royal Caribbean allowed such poor standard to exist amongst your fleet. Totally disappointed!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This review is only our opinion and in no way reflects the crew on the Spectrum of The Seas who were all fantastic and definitely had their work cut out. If you have ever been on a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Oasis-class ship, I ... Read More
This review is only our opinion and in no way reflects the crew on the Spectrum of The Seas who were all fantastic and definitely had their work cut out. If you have ever been on a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Oasis-class ship, I think you will be very disappointed with Spectrum of the Seas. We have been on many cruises and this was our third cruise with RCI so we thought we knew what to expect. We knew the cruise would have a lot of Asian passengers and we were actually looking forward to this new experience, what we didn’t expect was the cruise to be totally focused at the Asian and ‘Upper’ class market (my bad for not doing my research). Embarkation on RCI has always been busy but I found this occasion to be just organised chaos at its best to the point I was getting stressed out before even getting on the ship (first time I have ever felt like this). Once on the ship, we were informed our cabin wouldn’t be ready for another hour, unfortunately, we weren’t able to enjoy our drinks package until we received our key cards and we couldn’t get them until the room was ready. As we wandered around the ship, we soon realised that parts of the ship were only accessible to the ‘upper class’ passengers. This included the solarium which is usually an adult only area and where we would normally spend our time. This was also the case when we went to watch a show in the Two70 lounge, all the front lower seating areas were cordoned off and reserved for the ‘Upper class’ passengers. It reminded us of the Titanic which somebody else on these comments has also referred to. Mealtimes in the Windjammer restaurant was like feeding time at the zoo. If you were lucky enough to find a table you had to guard it with your life. The food choices were mainly Asian food with a very small poor selection of western food and regardless if you thought that you are at the front of the queue, you weren’t. We decided to use the Dining Room for the majority of our evening meals and booked tables for set times, unfortunately, these times often slipped resulting in queuing for around 30 minutes. Although this was very frustrating, we understood that these issues were caused by other passengers and was not down to the dining room staff. We were also shocked by the number of things that were not included within the cruise package such as activities and snacks. If we fancied a mid-afternoon cookie or piece of cake we had to pay for it or we could have had a free ice cream if we were able to find an open ice-cream machine. Unfortunately, we could not use the North Star when we planned to due to weather conditions and I was unable to have a go at the I Fly due to previously dislocating my shoulder. The bumper cars were only on set times resulting in large queues and we never even saw the laser quest which you also had to book for. Our biggest problem on this cruise was boredom and the obvious cruise ‘class’ discrimination, we know that there are ‘Upper class’ areas and advantages on the Oasis Class ships but they are not (or never used to be) shoved in your face. Another point is, beware that everything on board is charged in US Dollars. I clocked on to this quite early and stopped my AUS credit card as the exchange rates were ‘quite’ poor, luckily, I managed to use my TransferWise card instead. Disembarking the ship was another story. We managed to get straight off the ship but then ended up in a queue for about 1 ½ hours waiting to get out of the terminal. We thought this was due to Customs & Immigration but it appeared to be just a taxi/bus queue (we think). This was definitely the worst cruise we have been on which has resulted in us reconsidering our Caribbean cruise plans for next year. It was such a disappointment as we knew this was a new cruise ship and looked forward to the cruise so much. We could not fault the crew on the Spectrum Of The Seas who bent over backward to help and please the passengers. This is one area that we have never faulted RCI for. The ship is brand new and looks it, but sometimes it just felt like a cross channel ferry. Unfortunately, I think that once you have been on an RCI, Oasis-Class ship nothing will ever compare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
i must admit that the Spectrum is a marvelous ship. Well designed and beautiful. However, the management is disappointing. I have tried to contact the Guest Relations team via the official website and email. Not a ripple of response ... Read More
i must admit that the Spectrum is a marvelous ship. Well designed and beautiful. However, the management is disappointing. I have tried to contact the Guest Relations team via the official website and email. Not a ripple of response in 2 months. Here is my email which will tell my frustrations with the Cruise Line. "I am astounded to notice that you charge my credit card in Hong Kong Dollar while I had explicitly chosen the opposite during my online check in procedures. The exchange rate of you is unfavorable and my bank charge me a handling fee for billing from overseas in HK dollar! Although the amount is not too big, but it appears to me that your cruise company pay not much attention in caring your customers preferences. In addition, I do like to complain a few issues. We enquired repeatedly about the dining time and we are told 2nd dining is 7:30 pm. After boarding, we find that it is 8 pm instead. Again, no big deal, but irritates your customers. Before we board, I find no way to inform the ship that it is my Wedding Anniversary, Birthday of my sister in law etc. I want to purchase flowers for the ladies, but I think the service is not provided. After boarding, we have tried to inform the ship about the important dates, but we found no hospitality, no cards, no decorations and just nothing. It is not that in other cruise lines, including your sister line, the Celebrity. For the theater show every evening, they are scheduled 7:30pm and 9:30pm. First dining is at 5:30pm and guests have 2 hours to finish their meal. But, for 2nd dining at 8pm, we have only 90min. to rush our dinner if we want to go for the show. So, no matter how we rush with our food and how hard our waiters are rushing, we never arrive the theater on time. For the shows, many, if not the majority, guests are reserving seats for their family. It is so ridiculous for 2 to 3 kids to reserve a whole row of more than 12 seats. One evening, I went for the 7:30pm show before our specialty restaurant booking at 8:30. I and my wife attempted 4 to 5 places and just to be scolded by other guests because they RESERVED those seats. Of course, it ended in quarrels and spoiling the mood of the vacation. I really like to know the policy of your cruise line or the ship. Most important, are you enforcing your policy in any way? About the 'Silk Road', we try to book before we board. But only the paid 'VIP' version can be booked. OK! we do it on board. But, every show is FULL. Fine, other guests do their booking before us. What upsets me is my enquiry at the guest relations, after queuing up for a long while. They said that only the paid version has seats. The show is for the guests. Everyone guest should have a chance to view it. Either you add more sessions to fulfill the demand, or you make every guest to pay for the show. At least, you should arrange a waiting list that unsold seats will be released for some other guests. There are lot of other issues that are unsatisfactory, but I don't want to spend my time on them. As a customer, I don't like your cruising company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I’ve been to many cruises and finally chose this cruise as it’s new and the itinerary attracts me. However, this cruise is really a huge mess! First the boarding at Shanghai, wow, i thought they had organised us in regions to wait to ... Read More
I’ve been to many cruises and finally chose this cruise as it’s new and the itinerary attracts me. However, this cruise is really a huge mess! First the boarding at Shanghai, wow, i thought they had organised us in regions to wait to board, However, when we were led by a staff to board the cruise first, there was suddenly a large crowd who were waiting at the gate before us, thus we are not first as sectioned out at the waiting area. Next entering the immigration clearance part, omg, it’s so messy, they didn’t tell us where foreigners should go to, after we all gathered, they decided to block foreigners till many Chinese nationals had cleared. Then on the cruise, one of our luggage went missing! Went to their lost and found which only opened after the cruise had moved and could not find it. Then our cabin attendant said she found it outside another cabin on the same level. But the issue was, all our luggage we had tagged them with the cabin strip with our cabin number provided by Royal carribean. Next, the cabin card, we tried to find our seating arrangement on the card for the main dining, however it wasn’t there. To our horror after checking out with the cabin attendant, we found out that in China for this cruise they don’t provide a fixed seatings for each cabin like the other cruises! We gave up on that so called fine dining for the entire trip as the queues outside the main dining rooms were like some refuge centre and the food menu is not fine dining at all as they provided Chinese food only and those usual items for fine dining like steak, etc were chargeable! Omg never seen a cruise like this! Then come the mandatory emergency drill, it was so disorganised and it was so different everyone was gathering in enclosed areas! We were told to gather at the 270 degree lounge, the woman who was holding the microphone was literally shouting in the microphone and commanding everyone of us there as if we were her staff or she’s the teacher or manager Or she’s the army officer in a fierce and authoritative manner. So rude! Never been on a cruise that would demand the customers to be silent in such a rude manner! Rubbish! Next, this cruise is really into hard selling their dining products, First two days, the restaurant staff everyone were holding a promotion plan to hard sell to everyone they saw! And the activities on board were mostly chargeable which included rock climbing which wasn’t on other cruises under RC! And next I wonder why a cruise can’t provide proper coffee (though I purchased the coffee card) this is quite applicable in many cruises that I’ve been on. The so called coffee including this one is just some black water! Please don’t treat us as some fools who just drink some black water and said that’s coffee. The alighting part on the last day of cruise was also another part which annoyed me. They purposely section on foreigners and made us wait for the Chinese nationals to clear first before we move on. They blocked us out in different parts before the immigration thus resulting us to have such Long waits (1.5h) before we cleared the immigration.Next, the gym and sauna, it seemed more like a place where their staff got to utilised more. The sauna was so small and seemed to be occupied by their staff as we can’t use it and the lockers we requested for keys and could tell us they did not have the keys???? All in all this cruise is really such a messy one. Very disorganised, no system, poor service attitude especially from the customer service counter. If you want to try out the horrible experience I had gone through, go ahead and book this cruise from China as they really treated their customers who paid money to be ordered by them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have cruised several times before and thought this would be a good introduction to Japan. We booked this without knowing we'd need a visa for China and truthfully, it might have put us off if we had known. The visa application was very long and expensive - but I'd definitely go through it again. We flew from London to Shanghai and had one night in Shanghai before the cruise started. We arrived Saturday morning, and after a short food break in the hotel, we walked around for a few hours. The next day we took a taxi from our hotel to the port in Baoshan. As westerners, we seemed to be ushered into a different line than the Chinese passengers and it was extremely quick (it felt discriminatory if I'm honest). We arrived at the port at 1:30 pm and were on the ship within an hour. We had booked a junior Silver Suite and it was lovely. We had a bathtub, sink/mirror and separate shower in one room, and a toilet and sink/mirror in another which was ideal. The cabin itself was spacious, tastefully decorated and felt more like a hotel room than any other cabin we'd had before. On the second day I asked our cabin attendant for a feather pillow and was very happy to find one on the bed later that day. The ship is beautiful, but we were slightly disappointed that the main dining room seemed to lack the "wow factor" of other ships we'd been on; no grand staircase and the decor was a bit plain. That was probably the only part we were disappointed with as there was comfortable, stylish seating all over the ship and finding a quiet spot wasn't difficult. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the private solarium which was beautiful, comfortable and very quiet. We were disappointed that we were not assigned a table in the Main Dining Room for the duration of the cruise as that had been a highlight of past cruises; getting to know our waiters and fellow dining companions. On the first night we sat on our own, although there were 5 couples in all sitting in a row, seated at the same time and served at the same time. It was almost like sitting at a large table, but not quite. We ate twice in the Main Dining Room and twice in the Windjammer and both were OK, but we felt the food was slightly below par compared to other ships we'd been on. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the Silver Dining Room (something we didn't really know much about before the cruise started) and the quality here was superior to both Main Dining Room and Windjammer with a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an a la carte menu in the evening. The a la carte menu was the same each night, but it was good quality food. We also had a few snacks in Cafe Two70, Sorrento's and Splashaway Cafe as well as special coffees in both Leaf & Bean and La Patisserie and were happy with the quality of all. Overall we were happy with the quality of the food, but this is mostly due to the Silver Dining Room (seafood lunch buffet on day 7 was a definite highlight) and we both feel the Main Dining Room and Windjammer should have been a bit better. As a note: the Bionic bartender was super busy on the first night, but really quiet throughout the rest of the cruise, so if you want to try it out (even just for the sake of getting a video) wait until at least the second day. Although there were several available dinner packages for the restaurants with supplements, we did not try any of them. As for the entertainment, we watched Showgirls, The Silk Road and The Effectors and all were very good, but The Silk Road we especially good - beautiful visuals and lots to look at. We also enjoyed the virtual fireworks and the piano player in the lift was fun, too. The only on-board activity that we tried was the climbing wall - my husband is a climber, so he had a few goes on several of the days. He found the sea days tended to be much busier than port days. One of the things I had wanted to hear about in other reviews is what to expect re: Chinese passengers. I have to say that my experience might not have been the norm, but I did not find the Chinese passengers to be rude; I witnessed only one spitting incident (into a bin by the lifts) and two incidents where we had to push past Chinese guests to get off the lift as they had rushed on before we could get off. It might have been that I was bracing myself for the worst, but I think that I was needlessly worried. I will leave my comments about the ports at the end, I'm not always interested in what people do/think of the port stops, so I'll put them at the end in case you want to finish reading here (presuming you've read this far Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were part of a group tour from Australia traveling from Shanghai China to Japan for one week, then back to Shanghai. The cruise was marketed as a Western Cruise. Approx 800 Aussies were on board with others from UK, USA etc but still ... Read More
We were part of a group tour from Australia traveling from Shanghai China to Japan for one week, then back to Shanghai. The cruise was marketed as a Western Cruise. Approx 800 Aussies were on board with others from UK, USA etc but still mostly Chinese passengers. Having mostly sailed with RCI and having spent 30 nights previously on the Ovation of the Seas I was expecting the ship and cruise to be similar to what we have experienced previously. The ship is mostly the same but has a few different layouts. I can't say that these differences are for the better. The Solarium: I love this part of the ship. Unfortunately on the Spectrum this entire area is now only for "upper class" passengers. Only those few that have suites are allowed entry. Reminds me of the Titanic with areas below deck for the lower classes. Windjammer: What a nightmare! Only visited twice due to the noise levels, the crowds, the food choices, the pushing and shoving by other passengers. Sorentos Pizza: This now adjoins the Windjammer. Only has 2 tables inside. There is an area outside that is meant for Sorentos but impossible to find a seat as the Windjammer customers take them all including the two tables inside. The Patisserie: Used to be a favorite but with only four cakes (all the sames except for the colour) available, a bit pointless. The Dining Room: Meal times were 5pm and 7pm. We were booked as a group of 30 for 7pm. First night we were shown our tables off to the side. Second night we tried to go to our tables but were told that we all need to be present to be shown to tables that could be anywhere in the restaurant. Not what we were expecting. We had to plead with the staff to be all seated together in the same area. The meal service was very slow. Took two hours usually to get our three courses. We were never offered tea or coffee. Very difficult to get a drink. Food was usually only warm. The food was Ok but not as good as previous cruises. The shows: We booked for Silk Road. Had to queue at one of the bars at a certain time to book. The RCI App was useless, couldn't use it to book anything. Despite being the first passengers to arrive the first couple of shows were booked out. Show times didn't fit with the Dining Room time slots. Shows were at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The show went for 45 minutes but you have to arrive 15 minutes early to get a seat. So we missed desert despite asking for quick service of our meal due to attending the show. We enjoyed the show except for the inconsiderate people who just don't understand the instruction "NO FLASHES". RCI should have staff available to kick the inconsiderate people out. Not only is it so off putting for the performers to stare into a bright light but due to the shape of The 270, other audiences members also have the lights shining in their eyes. You also have the passengers who feel the need to text and play with their phones throughout the performance. North Star & I Fly: We didn't use these as RCI have a fee on most activities on their cruises in the Asian market. Have previously enjoyed both on the Ovation for free. Why is the volume of the music turned up to head ache inducing levels every time an activity is on or a staff "performance" is on? The music band by the pool is also played at a really loud level. It's very hard to find a quiet spot on the ship to actually relax. There are no quiet areas indoors to relax and talk. Once again we were charged our onboard account in $A despite completing the onboard check-in details with a $US request. The difference in the RCI exchange rate to what our bank offers is huge. Every cruise we have taken they have disregarded our request. Definitely the worst cruise I have been on. I would never take another cruise in the Asian region despite enjoying the Ports we visited. The ship part of our holiday didn't come close to previous experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the ... Read More
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the best decorated rooms we have ever had on RCI, particularly the loft suite. The bathrooms were all lovely. As a new ship it was pretty much immaculate. The only thing I didn't like was the open bedroom in the loft where you could hear someone watching the TV below. Gold dining was pretty similar to Coastal Kitchen, service was fantastic. In general the food on the ship, however was mediocre. It was often under seasoned and lacking flavour. Chops was disappointing. Teppanyaki was excellent however. Sichuan Red was good but very spicy, although you could change this. It was too authentic Chinese for my liking. The Windjammer was constantly very busy and unpleasant. We only went in to look. The Silver Dining area buffet available to suite and Diamond guests was much more pleasant. Pizza at Sorrento's was the best I have had on a RCI ship. Entertainment was surprisingly good despite often being in Chinese. My wife and I took part in The Love and Marriage Show and they did it in English also for our benefit. We were told the policy was to add in English if needed. Bars were empty and the 7pm shows very busy. It was quite quiet after 9pm which I found pleasant. Some people may find it too quiet. We didn't find people too pushy, it seems that the policy in China is to get into the lift at the same time people get out. But really it wasn't an issue, just part of being on a busy ship. Embarkation was very slow due to Chinese paperwork which is much more extensive than elsewhere. You cannot disembark until 1 hour after the ship arrives in port. Most people on board were locals so they all started to get off as soon as possible ignoring stated times. The gym was small, but was not busy and seemed fine to me. Public areas were generally quieter than on other ships. Everyone seemed to be at The Windjammer. Pools were also quiet. We enjoyed the stops in Japan, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. We took a tour in Nagasaki and had a lovely guide for English speaking people. I found it haunting and sad. We walked around in Kagoshima and took the local tram. This was easy and way better value than the ship's tours. People were lovely. It was the shortest cruise I have been on and I personally found 5 days a little short. Overall we really enjoyed it and would happily go back, my only real gripe was the food. It seems to me that these Chinese cruises are also cheaper than elsewhere for similar cabins so I thought it was good value. For Europeans flights are probably cheaper to China than the US. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but ... Read More
Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but we had limited time there and explored it independently. Easy to get around on the metro if you have a map. Embarkation: very large queues were skipped, very rushed feel with large crowds milling about, but you do need to flag to embarkation staff if you have priority Disembarkation: we elected to leave late, but despite lack of priority, was swift Ship: Large, modern and spacious - feels similar to Ovation, with similar crowd concentration - elevators can be crowded at times, with pushing/shoving at peak times (eg subway in China/Japan at peak hour) - back of the ship (270 area) tends to be much quieter unless there is a show happening there - no overcrowding in the Silver/Gold areas, Solarium seems particularly empty except for a number of children and their supervising parents/grandparents Cabin - very new, modern, no damage/rust yet - very little thoroughfare, quiet, as in the Suite section, which is mostly cordoned off from the rest of the ship - close to the lounge, immediate access to the Solarium, far from other parts of the ship Dining: overall, Western-styled food is not as good as it is on other ships (we did not try Chops, though), but the Asian food is much better - room service menu fairly standard for an RCI cruise, with the addition a few Asian-styled dishes - set dining menu in all restaurants, with more options than you would find on a standard RCI cruise - Silver Dining: buffet with some Asian flavours. Had a great pork/ample combination in breakfast - Gold Dining: standard RCI breakfast menu, slightly more Asian flavours for lunch and dinner, but definitely Western options available - Sichuan Red: good Asian flavours, known for spicy food as per the cuisine (you can request milder, or no spice, although you would probably miss out on the experience) - Hotpot: worth going for the experience if you've never done it before, they provide separate pots if you prefer not to engage in communal dining, though it is better with more people, selection of cakes for desserts (didn't try), lots of Asian fruits, mangoes - Wonderland by DaDong: same environment (down to painting the menu) as other ships, food is OK (less "showy" than the usual Wonderland, peking duck is good - Teppanyaki: reasonable to watch the chef cook/theatrics, especially if you have not seen it before, meat is well cooked to your liking Entertainment: caters from Western/Eastern audiences, usually by minimising any actual dialogue. However, the cruise director speaks about 90% in Mandarin and 10% in English, usually limited to the communicating the essentials. - Silk Road: good theatrics/props/theme, lots of dance numbers with recognisable modern tunes, story is a bit disjointed, but a fun watch nonetheless, kids will love it - The Effectors show: about superheroes of special effects (choreography, sound, light, pixels), mostly decent execution representing each part, decent villain, not complex story (due to no voiced dialogue, only singing), kids will also love it - Showgirls: past, present, future - more classic RCI entertainment as the start is reminiscent of the shows in the smaller ships, but builds up to something that you might see in equivalent ships, no real story - Funny Bones comedic duo: starts slow, like a standard magic show, but the gags get much more involved with fun props, there is no dialogue and any spoken parts are purposefully unintelligible so you can interpret from the tone, body language - very clever - Shops: wide selection of shops that you might see on other similar class ships (the Royal shop, jewellry, handbags); there is also JClinic, which seems to be Japanese alternative medicine store catering only to Chinese passengers as there is no translation to English, there is also a pharmacy which sells all manner of medicines, some that I have never heard of (the packaging is mostly in Japanese). Some of the activities on Quantum Class ships that are normally free now require payment (eg iFly, trampoline, laser tag) Not many dancing activities, trivia, and no bingo If the crowd is predominantly Chinese, as ours was, you should expect a low buzz of chatter at every stage of a show. There is often a rush for seats/viewing space in the non-reserved seating and after the reserved seating is opened to the floor. Service: Friendly, attentive service in the suite lounges and specialty restaurants. Most staff will understand English. Not everyone will understand Mandarin, presumably as it is an English-speaking cruise line.. Bar service is excellent as there are absolutely no queues. It is particularly good in the Suite Lounge during Happy Hour, as most of the other guests are Chinese and don't seem to drink very much. I can't speak for service in the MDR or WJ as we did not go there. However, WJ looked very crowded whenever we went past and did not seem very appealing for that reason. Ports: Fukuoka we travelled independently in the ports - there were limited offerings for Western excursions, with most Chinese guests travelling in tour groups - the cruise terminal was a short taxi ride to Tenjin/Hakata, but you can also purchase a bus+train pass (day pass, 800 yen) from the nearby tourist centre, which allows you to take the bus to these places and around the central city area Would happily go through the same experience again, perhaps on a longer cruise as 4 days is hardly enough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi there because the drivers don’t know English. Also make sure they use the taxi meter so your not over charged. We got a balcony cabin and the room was super spacious and larger than other regular balcony rooms in other ships. We had cabin 9160 and it was awesome. The entertainment and announcements were all done in both English and Chinese and they did an awesome job. The ports were all amazing and it was the first time this ship had gone to Vladivostok and Kyoto so we had an awesome send off from the locals on the pier. All the staff onboard were awesome and super friendly. Everyone speaks English on board as well as most can also speak Chinese. The food was so yummy and the menu was huge every night! I would defiantly cruise again on this ship! The shows were well rehearsed and better than the ships in the Caribbean. The only thing was the shopping wasn’t the greatest on board. It was all super high end shops. The pools and hot tubs were never ever busy and super easy to find a chair. They do not have walking waiters by the pool or shows for drinks so be aware. There is no bingo on board either if that’s your thing. This ship is so different from the ships in the Caribbean but everything was great! There is always lots of activities to do presented in both English and Chinese. The ship never felt crowded even in the windjammer! They have a great variety of both western food and Chinese food which is awesome to give new things a try. Kyoto Japan was our favourite port of call so if you go make sure you get the motor coach into the city with royal! Vladivostok was really pretty and the locals were all very nice. You cannot go ashore without a visa or booking a tour directly with the ship so we booked a tour. Fukuoka japan was great too but the prices of merchandise was higher here. We also did explore dazaifu and you get free time to shop! Great tour! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Spectrum of the Seas Since this is a rather unique itinerary and a new ship, I thought I should give a quick review from the perspective of a regular RCCL/Norwegian/Oceania U.S. cruiser. This cruise was seven days to Tokyo with three ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas Since this is a rather unique itinerary and a new ship, I thought I should give a quick review from the perspective of a regular RCCL/Norwegian/Oceania U.S. cruiser. This cruise was seven days to Tokyo with three ports: Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo. We made our way to the Port of Shanghai around 11:00am. Quick drop-off of the bags (and quick delivery to our cabin) and we were into a very nice port facility. I suggest you keep your eyes on the signs as there are opportunities to fast-track through some lines. Waits were not bad and signage did inform you of what stage you were at (about five in the process due). We were on the ship before noon and explored some of the top floors and hit the pool/spa before the crowds. Cabins were ready at about 3:00 and the muster drill around 4:30 (the new video – no need to bring lifejackets or go out to the boats). We did bring a dozen water bottles (suggested) on board in our packed bags and a bottle of Chinese fortified wine in our carry-on without issue. Cabin. We selected a balcony cabin on the 7th deck. We were quite pleased with the layout, spaciousness, and design. The ship was only on its second month, so everything was nice and well-appointed. As you look at the profile of the ship, there are hundreds of balcony cabins – it is quite the site. We found we appreciated having a nice cabin as we spent more time here than usual on sea days because we needed space to veg away from many of the very loud, stressful guests. The Ship. Common areas, elevators, etc. all were very nice. Unfortunately, some of the really nice spaces on sister ships are now gone in order to make more room for casino spaces. Yes, the workout room is tiny and treadmills were never available so I spent my workout time on the walking/running track. Food. Well, that’s been a highlight in the past for cruises we like to take and I’d have to say, for someone from the U.S. this will be quite a disappointment. We had been in China for a few days prior so we felt like some “American” food so we hit the Windjammer only to find a small segment of sandwiches and hamburgers. Ok, so I grabbed a bun, tossed on a burger and pickles, found some cheese at another line and gave it a shot. I also waited for some hot french fries (ketchup packets available at another location). The burger was a solid C- grade with the fries making up at a B+. My wife got a sandwich with some unique looking deli meats for a C grade. On the way out, I did grab a slice of pizza which was pleasantly well cooked (color on the bottom!) and tasty! Moving on, we went to dinner in the MDR that night. The menu is a bit different as now there are pictures for the 3,000 or so Chinese guests on the ship. There are about 10 starters and 10 entrees to choose from. Yes, we’ve got funky stuff here (which is worth a try) but you should be able to find one or two items on each list that would be of interest (so not really much of a selection). And, there’s always the “generic” menu of Caesar salad, Onion Soup, Steak, Chicken, Salmon as an option. On one evening our waiter let us know that they’ve been informed that their guests want dinner to only take 45 minutes, so cocktails, app’s, dessert, coffee are not emphasized or really offered. That doesn’t really work for the way we like to start our evening (let alone, for a ship this size, there’s hardly a bar to be found to have a cocktail). Breakfast in the MDR is a very similar experience – very limited “normal” selection so I suggest going to the Windjammer or the Café@TWO70. The whole food emphasis is to try and upsell to the specialty restaurants. They say this cruise is under-priced due to Chinese policies/restrictions and RCCL makes up for that by charging for anything they can think of. There was a three-dinner package for $99 + 18% and a four-dinner for $125 + 18%. So, if you want to pay $40 for a meal, that’s available. We had been to all of the restaurants on a previous cruise so we only chose to do Chop’s this time. Ports. Immigration in Osaka was quite easy – yes, lines took a while but in less than an hour we were on our way (there are 4,000 people or so on the ship). We took the ship’s tour to the castle and Dotinbori street in Osaka as taxis are rather overpriced and Didi is only in Simplified Chinese (no English) in this location. That worked out well and the $65 fee was fine with us – as well as some education and history along the bus ride. We found private guides for Kona and Tokyo prior to sailing. Entertainment. This is for sure a highlight. The first night was Showgirls – Past, Present, Future in the Royal Theatre. There were so many people in this production! – at least 18 girls dancing, a dozen guys, and four singers on stage at the same time. I wouldn’t miss this one. The acrobatic team, Gold Art Duo, is also another that should not be missed. The Magician, Duck Cameron, was entertaining but nothing much new – he did make quite a few of the guests uncomfortable as he dragged them up on stage. The Aura Cover Band was quite good in the Music Hall. Unfortunately, the piano melodies with Filmore Flores was disappointing (a Canadian who got the job because he plays, sings (kinda), and speaks a bit of Mandarin. And, we really missed an acoustical guitar in a pub as that location is a Tea and Coffee shop (not many going there – this will change) on this ship. As you can guess, we passed on paying for the iFly and Northstar as we had done them on another cruise for free. The Spa. We have traveled with this cruise line over the years and greatly enjoy our time in the spa. So, believing that the experience would be similar to all our others we booked a couples’ massage for the first and last day at sea. Granted we booked a couples’ massage and thought we would be in the same room, but this room was having “situations” so we were separated, on both days. Vicky was my attendant for the first booking and she was fabulous! She provided what was expected in a deep tissue massage. Unfortunately, my husband did not have the same experience, I was not sure if his expectations were too high, but unfortunately they were not. The last day on ship we went for our other appointment, we had the same attendants, so we switched and I took Fanglu the attendant my husband had. If we had been in the same room, the attendance would have preformed the same service and it would not of varied in quality. I was extremely disappointed that the massages were so different, I was expecting this to be similar to my first. On-Board Shopping. This was pretty much a feeding frenzy when the sales were on. I would have guessed there were no stores in China the way people grabbed and hoarded as many items as possible. And, I imagine most of them were “made in China.” Crown & Anchor. Well, we’re only Platinum, but NONE of the following benefits were on board this cruise!... • Onboard Offers are preloaded to your SeaPass card. Refer to your onboard Welcome Letter for details. • Priority Check-in • Private departure lounge with Continental Breakfast • Exclusive Top Tier Event • Signature Lapel Pin …just so you know! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am ... Read More
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am a solo, female traveler - I am also an Australian expat currently living in South Korea (so this will identify me to my fellow travelers haha) but I have also lived in other Asian countries including a year in China Embarkation. Arrived at the terminal exactly 12 noon and it was busy, not overly crowded, but lots of people moving efficiently with their luggage. Checking the luggage in was a quick, easy and painless process and I was shuffled to the check in queues. There was a distinct differentiation between western travelers and our Chinese counterparts - westerners were given a much quicker run through the check in - but we couldn't see any reason for splitting the groups other than to maybe appease the impatient westerners... So, all in all checkin took less than 45 mins and I was on board and in the dining room for lunch - as a solo traveler, this was the only meal I spent alone. In summary, embarkation was very quick and very painless, there was queuing but it moved rapidly and if you were western it was even quicker. Cabin I was in 7250 a studio balcony cabin. Note: this cabin has a much larger balcony then others due to the way the ship is shaped... so it was wonderful to have so much room. The cabin itself was small but that's what I expected - there were enough cupboards and drawers and a stool instead of a chair - plenty of mirrors and a decent enough bar fridge. The bathroom was the same size as other rooms. As a solo I cannot fault the room, the space was adequate - and importantly I could put empty cases under the bed. I was very happy with this cabin and in the same circumstances would choose it again. Dining I chose to eat mainly in the main dining room, I found the service to be excellent and the quality of food (in most cases) very good. I had no problem with the portion sizes and the temperature was always appropriate. On one day I didn't like the options but that was my palate and my friends on the other hand had no problem with their choices - so I guess it is a personal decision whether you like the food or not. I also ate at Chops Grille and that was a wonderful choice. The meal was excellent and I couldn't fault the service. I also dined in Teppanyaki - there was a hiccup with my reservation that was superbly dealt with by the Maitre D (Leslie) and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome - (this hiccup was the ONLY thing on the cruise that wasn't perfect - but the resolution exceded my expectations). The meal at Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of the cruise. It has to be seen to be believed - a great meal that I will remember for a very long time. I never ate in Windjammers - whenever I was in the vicinity it was always super busy and tables were hard to come by, but on the other hand, the Cafe 270 was almost empty as were the seats and tables - this became a very popular hiding spot to grab a snack or drink away from the crowds (and the food served was very nice too) I had a room service breakfast once and it was adequate - I was given exactly what I asked for... Formal nights are not received by the guests like you may have experienced elsewhere - very few people out of the 5100 dressed up for dinner - these were not published by RCI before the cruise so it is possible that many first time cruisers did not know what to expect. Drinks I was fortunate to get a free deluxe drinks package when I booked so that was a real bonus. I loved the Bionic Bar and would often use it to just grab a juice and soda mixed any time during the day. As I didn't pay for a drink I can't comment on prices and as I didn't really drink that much alcohol, I can't complain about the drinks at all. I also don't drink coffee so didn't sample any of those either. Entertainment and Activities I have to admit when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed - very few traditional cruise activities like trivia (it was there though but no where near what I am used to) and no bingo. I love to read on board so I packed books. However, I didn't even finish one book and I was never bored, I don't exactly know what I was doing but I managed to keep busy and have an amazing time during the cruise days. The shore excursions were also a little light on... In Osaka you could have paid $80 to go to the castle and Dotonbori Street on the tour bus - however we walked to the local metro, bought a day ticket with ease and did exactly the same destinations for $8 (we messed up on the way back and overshot the station so needed to catch a taxi back to the ship - but that was our fault). Kobe offered a shuttle bus to the main shopping area and there were several places that offered Kobe beef - which was a main reason for people wanting to visit . However when docked at Yokahama it was an hour from Tokyo so I had to catch the shore independent tour just to get to the city centre. But worth it at $69. The evening entertainment was also exceptional - I loved the Ukrainian acrobats Gold Art Duo and The SIlk Road was absolutely amazing. The flamenco guitar guy was extremely talented as were the Beatles Tribute band (I can't mention the moving piano and player as he said he smuggled himself on board - but he was awesome too). Service CAN NOT FAULT THE SERVICE From the Financial Controller to the Maitre D to the Head Waiters to the Room Attendants and Waiters - I was made to feel like I was the only one who mattered, nothing was ever too much trouble and they did everything with grace and style. I would come back just for the quality of service I experienced. Overall I loved this trip. It wasn't what I expected but it was better. I made so many friends (and as a solo traveler that is important) and had such a fun time. I would not hesitate to book again - due to my personal circumstances I couldn't book again on board but I am already looking at January dates for a replay. Well done Spectrum of the Seas and well done Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride ... Read More
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride were chargeable n why should we pay so much n get charged for all these rides . Guest services : poor , advised that we don’t need arrival card upon arrival to shanghai ( she claimed she checked with immigration . Very crowded n rowdy especially eating area ,sailing in this region . Unhygienic practices by passenger . Spitting n hand handling of fruits RCL must have also cut budget on fruits selection . Apple and grapes were the lowest quality selected , resulting in lot of wastage . Only plus point of this ship : NEW I will still cruise but not in this region anymore . Guess is an eye opener for me Note : wonder why the gym was given such a mini area Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
If Royal Caribbean cared about their passengers, they would've made it clear that this cruise if for Mandarin speaking guests ONLY. AND with children 5 and younger. This was the least relaxing and enjoyable vacation that ... Read More
If Royal Caribbean cared about their passengers, they would've made it clear that this cruise if for Mandarin speaking guests ONLY. AND with children 5 and younger. This was the least relaxing and enjoyable vacation that I've ever had. All activities (aside from shows) were in Mandarin. All announcements would preface "This announcement is for Mandarin speaking guests only" - can you imagine how does it feel to all other passengers??? My daughter could not participate in any activity as everything costs arm-and-a-leg (I would've expected for some free activities, considering how much we paid for the cruise), nor that she could participate in teen-club, as they were all in Mandarin. This was a cruise that I managed to use pool once! it was completely filled with kids in their life jackets. There was no place to stand. Food in a dining hall was not good. We ended up either just ordering only appetizers or going to the Buffet instead,. I do have to say that English-speaking crew tried to go out of their way to make us a bit more comfortable, and I am very grateful for that!!! But in overall - I do NOT recommend this trip to anyone who does not speak Mandarin, as you would feel incredibly uncomfortable (kids literally would point fingers at us!) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After sailing for a long time on ships of this “amazing” company, this cruise was like a nightmare full of unpredictables with uneducated staff who even dare to be so arrogant and lie to your face about what is what on a cruise, that ... Read More
After sailing for a long time on ships of this “amazing” company, this cruise was like a nightmare full of unpredictables with uneducated staff who even dare to be so arrogant and lie to your face about what is what on a cruise, that they even can walk away and refuse in assisting you with your questions! security service: the staff from which my family has goosebumps. Totally, uneducated personnel of the ship, without any proper knowledge of everything related to the ship and cruises ! The reason they take passports, as one of their staff members explained, is to check Chinese visas. only one reason? absurd. We just passed Chinese security officers. Everything is alright there! If so, then check it all right now! If not, then please be honest with guests and don’t spread the misinformation among passangers. We sail on cruises longer than you work there. Then something changes in their mood and they answer that we cannot visit Japan according to the misinformation in our passports where they did not find “Chinese visas”. Excuse me, what??!!! They took our passports and ordered us to leave until they contact my family later! What's going on? thousands of dollars spent on excursions beforehand, the cabin of the ship is at the price of a helicopter, and some kind of uneducated madam decided to make our mood? On the next day.. a call in a cabin Free drinks? No! Discounts from the SPA! Of course, NOT! They say, they apologize, but they have received a call from Japanese emigration which says that all the passengers without a Japanese visa, cannot go outside the ship What to do then? I’m asking Go shopping! She is answering... We have never ever needed visas to Japan. I’m saying Rules have changed. She is answering... Is it from today? I’m asking. She says, yes! Then she began questioning me, how long and what we did in China, as if it depends on whether they will give us passports back or not. What kind of business we do etc. She even asked why we traveled to another Chinese city when the seaport was in Shanghai. Then what shocked me the most: “I’m looking at your visas right now. Where did you get such Chinese visas?” I have a question: are you stupid ?? Let’s make it clear. People who do business in China, they hold residence permits. Even if you don’t have an idea what is that, it doesn’t give you a right to be so rude and ask such questions, spread disinformation, especially when you’re not a Chinese or a Japanese emigration Officer What happened in the seaport: Our bags were searched by American officers where they used special items that were put into our bags without any explanation or even a dialogue with us. The items were taken out. After that they rudely requested us to leave. The end! After this incident, we wrote a huge article in Chinese social media about our experience on the ship. We hope, future tourist will be aware of what’s going on with that company Gift shops: You’re lucky if you speak Chinese because no one speaks English there! They literally tell you; “sorry, we don’t speak English”, or ignore you and walk away until you speak Chinese Gym: The place is occupied by local staff Amazing! Japanese restaurant on the ship: food is not fresh. after telling their waiter about it, they changed some sushi for us. Exceptional service! Dining hall: not as tasty as on other ships of their company Italian cuisine is a complete disaster! Rissotto is one of our daily dishes we like to eat back at home. What happened on a cruise? From waiter’s talking, rice which was used in risotto is typical fake rice bought in Shanghai. We know Chinese rice. It’s tasty, though it is not the best option for risotto but fake one? Thank you, needn’t Photographers: Luck of basic knowledge is a reason of that mess they’re doing. Who will buy those pictures? It’s very frustrating... Cabin: it’s disgusting!! Bedsheets, towels are dirty. It has something to do with their laundry machines or they simply don’t have them. Again, once we came to our cabin, we discovered a strange item on a floor. As their cleaner explained: “everything Is cracking, the ship is old, they even fix elevators almost every week”. Excuse me, isn’t it a new ship? Shore excursion: Tickets are flying out from a weird table-machine. You have to throw all the cocktails away to catch those tickets like a baseball player then run to the reception because shore excursion stuff don’t know much about places you’re going to visit. Reception: Exchange rate is just ridiculous. We asked to print out a map, they firstly refused then they called other staff members to help them with a printer. Let’s be honest. Just say, that you’re new here and still haven’t figured out about printing or whatever, needn’t saying, “NO”. There is 1 mile line to your front desk Reception number 2: SPA discounts - No! Discounts for the next cruise? - No any! Never heard of It’s even when it was announced through the loud speakers Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they ... Read More
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they have crew who dont want to be there. Evening meal at the main restaurant was very poor (food and service ) when there where formal night's passengers where let in with shorts. Dress code zero. There are no laundry rooms , irons will be confiscated. . The cabin we had was beautiful and quite large , entertainment very good , if you want internet which we didn't expect to pay roughly 22 dollars a day . We paid a lot of money for this cruise and expected that little more . Me personally and spoke to others will give royal Caribbean shipsca miss Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, you need to be aware that the ship has several design and interior differences than the normal Royal Caribbean ship. First, this ship has an all-suite complex, which includes private swimming pool, restaurants, elevators, and a balcony. The area houses the “Golden Suites”. The ship has signage in Mandarin, as well as English. There are new restaurants such as Hot Pot, and Szechuan Red. The casino, is redesigned, and has some exclusive rooms dedicated for the High Rollers. Retail space on the ship, is dedicated to the market it is serving, with high-end designer products, and a Japanese Pharmacy for products that are not easily obtained in China. The Golden Suite complex has the cluster of suites at the front of the ship, in which you need a key card to enter the area. Within this area, you have the Golden Dining room and lounge, the silver dining and lounge (which the lounge area replaces the diamond lounge for those that are at that level). The Solarium is no longer a part of the general ship, but only for the Golden area. A special balcony area is on top of the solarium, and a private shopping/consulting area is in the complex. Overall, the area was designed for the high revenue staterooms and so the design of these areas, as well as the size was made to be exclusive. Although I thought the area was nice, I would not want to pay the premium price they are asking for it. Sichuan Red was a Chinese themed restaurant and had a very good menu. It is a la carte. Note this is a very spicy menu, and if you do not like spice, than I would not recommend it. You can ask them to cut down on the spice, but it takes away from the flavor of the style restaurant this is. Personally, I loved it. Teppanyaki is a Japanese restaurant (separate from Izumi) that was fun and entertaining. I think the upcharge price is too much considering the prices of local restaurants. If you use it in a package, than the cost would be lower, and worth it. Hot Pot is unique that you basically make your own food in a hot pot of soup broth. It was good, and had a huge selection of meat and seafood, plus a full salad bar, and veggies to cook with it. Overall, it was fun. The coffee and Tea shop, is in the space normally reserved for a pub. I preferred the pub, but considering the market this ship is in, I think this was a good choice. However, I think the selection of Teas should be increased. For entertainment, I was on the final leg of the trip to China. The new production shows were extremely high tech and entertaining. The headliners will be different now once it begins the regular sailings in China. The same goes for the lounge singers and bands. They should be geared to the Chinese market so I cannot really say what it will be like. Shopping is not my thing, and I really do not care the kind of stores they have. My only complaint was that the logo store lacked the variety of products. Sports included the normal activities with Ifly, bumper cars, flow rider, North Star, arcade, and rock climbing. They also had some archery, and fencing activities. I visited the gym, that gets so many complaints, and I never really saw it crowded. It is not a revenue producing area, and as far as I can tell, it is about the right size. I was satisfied with it. Overall, the ship was great. The seven specialty restaurants were all good, and the other free eating areas were good, with my favorite breakfast nook being the 270 café. Before selecting this ship, make sure you understand that the ship is different, and will have food, and entertainment that you are not accustomed to, if you are a regular Royal Caribbean Cruiser. That is what makes this ship so great. It is different, and will be sailing to exciting ports that most people would never even think of going to. I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, ... Read More
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, and to enjoy the convenience of taking a cruise out of the city I live in for the first time ever (growing up in the north-eastern US, I always had to fly somewhere in order to board a ship). Although it was challenging to research the cruise ahead of time given it was a brand new ship, I had come across this wording on multiple websites: “Please note that this cruise is focusing on the Asian market and the service, on-board activities as well as the entertainment on-board will be adapted accordingly.” It made me a bit nervous, but figured it was worth a shot, and worst case scenario, my girlfriend and I spend our sea days relaxing by the pool and enjoying the time away from work. On embarkation day, we jumped in a taxi from our condo and were at the port in 20 minutes. It was a unique experience for me, but such a relief to not have to worry about flights, possible delays, pre-cruise hotels, Ubers, etc. We had printed our luggage tags in advance and immediately handed our suitcases over curb side. The security line was short, and once through, we were immediately at a check-in desk with a very friendly young man helping us sort everything out. After that was probably the lengthiest part of the check-in process: immigration. But even immigration took only 15 minutes from start to finish. Soon after, we handed over our passports (which felt wrong, but we knew in advance this was the system. We received it all back on day 4 with no issues whatsoever) and were walking towards the ship. We were on-board by about 1:30pm, and immediately headed for our balcony stateroom on deck 8 to drop off our bags (see below for cabin review). For me, one of the most important parts of any cruise is the food. The Main Dining Room was mostly full every night, but we had no trouble getting a table immediately under the “My Time” dining plan. We were unsure what to expect in terms of cuisine, but the menu was almost entirely western food each night—exactly as I am used to seeing on Caribbean cruises. However, it is very important to point out that we did the “All Access Tour” later on in the trip, and the chef explained that once the ship relocates to Shanghai, the Main Dining Room menu will change over to primarily Asian food. He showed us the wok in the kitchen, stating it is the only RC ship with a wok in the main galley. The service we received each night was good, but nothing exceptional. One evening my girlfriend found a very large piece of plastic in her mashed potatoes. The chef came out to apologize, explaining that they use plastic to cover the mashed potatoes. He took down our stateroom number, but nothing further ever came of it. Possibly our worst experience on the entire ship was in the Windjammer. I had read online that the Windjammer was purposely made larger on Spectrum…but it needed to be made much, much larger. On day 1, my girlfriend and I had lunch at the Windjammer. After throwing elbows with our fellow cruisers and getting cut off at every turn, we had our plates full of food. We walked around and around for nearly 10 minutes looking for a table before finally giving up and eating standing up on a counter-top in the Hot Pot area. Eventually a member of the staff saw us and led us to a large table he had just cleared off. I chalked this up to hopefully be a “day 1-only issue”, since no other venues were open. Unfortunately, it was not a day 1-only issue—it was an everyday issue. No matter the time we went to the Windjammer, it was always crowded, and tables were hard to come by. I had heard in advance that cruise ship buffets on Asia-based cruises can be a nightmare, but I figured attending during off-peak times might make this point irrelevant. Sadly, I was wrong, and by day 3 and 4, we did everything we could to avoid the Windjammer. For those who are curious: Sorrento’s Pizzeria and the poolside snack bar are great alternatives when you need a quick bite. We did not attend any of the specialty up-charge restaurants, which were all Asian, except for Jamie’s Italian (which did not seem well attended throughout our cruise, by the way. I wonder if this was the right move by RC for an Asia-based ship). Perhaps the biggest difference I observed on this cruise as compared to every other cruise I have been on was the drinking culture (or lack thereof). RC specifically designed Spectrum to have fewer bars, knowing that Asians do not drink as heavily as their American clientele. Well, they were certainly right, and if anything could have removed a few more bars. Any time I wanted a drink, I could walk straight up to a waiting bartender and place my order. It was a nice luxury, but makes me wonder how RC will compensate for the lost alcohol revenue they typically rely on to turn a profit. On this particular sailing though, they were lucky that the passengers were not heavy drinkers. All the bars were out of most ingredients, and they were even out of Tiger beer from day 1…on a sailing FROM Singapore! A bartender explained to us that a beverage shipment the ship had ordered did not arrive in time. This was incredibly frustrating as most frozen drinks, cocktails, and mocktails were not available. RC had heavily discounted drinks packages before the cruise, and we were very close to pulling trigger on it. Thankfully we decided against it in the end. We would have been very frustrated having paid for an “unlimited drinks” package that actually entitled you to about half of what the ship normally has to offer. The Bionic Bar is a must attend, however. We had drinks from here twice, and not only is a neat experience to watch a robot make your drink, but the drinks are fantastic. On the entertainment side of things, RC did very well overall, although there is insufficient seating in the Royal Theatre for a ship this size. The first night was a Beatle’s tribute band, and while they were OK, I felt bad (for the performers) about the number of people who stood up and walked out in the middle of the performance. The main show however, “Showgirls”, was standing room only and no one moved until it was over. Really well done by the performers, though I do wonder how the show will be received by the Chinese market as it was entirely western songs from different decades. In the 270 venue, we were very fortunate to grab one of the last spots for the day 4 performance of Silk Road. Again this performance was very well done, both by the performers and everyone involved behind the scenes to make the technical aspects work flawlessly. As far as activities on the ship, we were largely disappointed and very frustrated. We went to guest services at around 6pm on the first day—just hours after boarding—and were told that North Star and iFly were fully booked for the entire cruise. This seemed implausible to me, but apparently some people were able to book these activities in advance of the cruise. I tried to make reservations in advance but could not. I later found out that due to technical issues, some cruisers could not make reservations in advance. In my view, this is completely unacceptable for RC, and robbed me of 2 experiences that had attracted me to this ship in the first place. For the non-reservation activities, such as the Flow Rider, Sky Pad, and Bumper Cars, the queues were consistently very long. We only had the patience to wait for Sky Pad, which took about an hour, but was very much worth it (recommend taking the Virtual Reality option for a unique experience. The only downside is they do not permit you to do flips when you opt for VR). Oddly, the rock-climbing wall was often empty, and my girlfriend was able to climb it twice without any wait. The casino was a massive disappointment. It is the largest casino I have ever seen on a cruise ship (again, specially designed for the Asian market), but smoking was permitted. Given the low ceilings, the smell of cigarette smoke was worse than you could ever imagine. This was the first cruise I have ever been on (except for my first ever cruise, when I was 13!) that I did not gamble once. On day 4, we had signed up for the All Access Tour. We had received a notice the day before that the Engine Control Room would not be accessible, but we would receive $20 per person in on-board credit as a refund. I will not go into every last detail of the tour, but if you are a cruise ship nerd at all (like me), it is absolutely worth the time and money! On the final day, we were assigned 9:30am as our departure time, and told to meet in the Main Dining Room. We showed up on schedule to the MDR—and there was no one around. Everyone was lined up outside 270, and interestingly most people kept all of their suitcases with them, completely ignoring the usual system. The process looked chaotic, but it only took us about 10 minutes to debark. Overall, I cannot fault anything about the ship itself. It is brand new and in my opinion, very impressive. There are some key design differences as compared to ships based in other parts of the world, but it still mostly has the look and feel of a Royal Caribbean cruise. It will be interesting to how Spectrum does in the Chinese market, but I would not recommend this ship for Westerners--I think you will be frustrated by your fellow passengers! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Departure : Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre Port(s) of call : Port Klang Type of Cruise : 4D3N Port Klang Getaway Departure Departure went smoothly for us, the x-ray process was fast, thanks to the help of Marina Bay Cruise ... Read More
Departure : Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre Port(s) of call : Port Klang Type of Cruise : 4D3N Port Klang Getaway Departure Departure went smoothly for us, the x-ray process was fast, thanks to the help of Marina Bay Cruise Centre Staff apart from RCL staff. The check-in process was also rather fast and immigration was smooth. Cruise Overall : A very modern and new ship, most guests were Singaporeans and all staff were English speaking. All activities were conducted in English and my family got to enjoy most of them. iFly, North Star and Sky Pad were free, this was reasonable for the price we needed to pay. Gym was rather small, always crowded, that is one bad point. Pools were crowded most of the time; can hardly swim. Indoor pool was surprisingly warm. Service was good, I would like to commend our Stateroom Attendant on Deck 10 for caring for us, like we are the only guests on the ship. I am very thankful for him and gave him tips. Staff was friendly overall and assisted us in anything we needed. There are limited bingo activities, there are lots of karaoke and dancing activities, there is also a morning trivia on all mornings except the last day. Shows were awesome. First night was "The Aussie Boys" , starring 3 Aussie boys dancing and performing. Was perfect and entertaining. Second night was Showgirl. Past. Present. Future. Overall enjoyed Showgirl as well as lots of talented singers and dancers come together to perform a spectacular performance. Last night we watched the Silk Road. Storyline a little messy but love the visual effects and robotic screens. Food: Food was nice with a good selection of Asian and Western cuisine, all food was served at warm temperatures, soup was hot enough. dined mainly in the MDR for dinner, Windjammer for Breakfast and Lunch, Cafe270 or Sorrento's for supper. Two70 is a good and quiet place to relax and rejuvenate if you feel tired. Cabin: Stayed in a Interior with Virtual Balcony on Deck 10. Was pretty cosy and pretty ok, offering RCL new Virtual Balcony design, gives real time sea views and saves money. Not recommended if you do not like small spaces and like to have more freedom. Did not go for shore excursions and did not go out at the only port Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have ... Read More
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have boarded later, the crowd was horrible and jammed as staterooms only open at 1pm. The only places to wait was at Windjammer or the Main Dining Room, where lunch was available at the moment. At 1pm sharp, the doors to the staterooms opened. My stateroom was on Deck 10, an Interior stateroom with Royal Caribbean's new "Virtual Balcony". Quite a nice invention by them, to allow even interior room guests to pay budget and get a view. Room size is okay, with a sofa bed, just nice for a family. We stayed in the room for a while, before we went for the bumper cars at SeaPlex. Good choice! The next two days, bumper cars attraction had long snaking queues! SeaPlex overall is a wonderful place, with a multi-purpose court, table tennis, table soccer etc. Afterwards we had our Guest Assembly Drill. Better than Voyager 2 years ago. We had an air-conditioned muster station. Dinner in Main Dining Room was perfect. Steak well-cooked. Those who had fish choices said it was inedible though. Service was fast, waiter Leonard was a kind guy and attended to us regularly. Awesome! Right after dinner, we went for laser-tag, also held at SeaPlex. Also great choice. The next few laser-tag sessions had long, snaking queues. During night show, cruise director said whole cruise was fully booked! I did not see the cruise director much, except during shows. Fitness Room/Gym was terrible and small but I suspect since the ship will homeport in China and Chinese do not exercise much, it is fine. Port Klang was not a good port, long drive into Kuala Lumpur and the port had barely anything. the new debut of Sky Pad on Quantum Class ships was great, I had loads of fun on it. But as usual those long, snaking queues take up to 1-2 hours at peak hours. Rock Climbing Wall closed most of the time though, which is sad. I enjoyed the Flowrider very much as well. The solarium was a nice place, but I did not stay in suites so didnt get to try Silver/Gold Dining. The sea day was fine, but just really crowded on Decks 5, 14 and SeaPlex (Deck 15 only). Overall to finish, had a great trip and definitely coming back to RCCL, especially Quantum Class! Thanks Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or ... Read More
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or flavoured teas or green tea at the buffet area.I wish they had included Chinese tea for a change. My opinion of the food is similar to other reviewers who were also onboard the Spectrum in May. But the crew who served us food at the dining rooms were fabulous.Many thanks for being attentive to my folks. Individual travellers might feel left out.The afternoon quizzes at the bar were boring with no prizes. There were no super enthusiastic inhouse photographers to take our photos.I appreciate that but that puts the photo viewing gallery the most underutilised place. There were lots of indoor spaces like tiny family sitting rooms with litter of couches spread all over the public area. The Singaporeans demonstrated that they are for afternoon naps and indoor picnic, I am not so sure about how the Chinese would utilise those spaces. What are forgone on the Spectrum are big open spaces in the swimming pools, big outdoor cinema screenings, wide outdoor decks in public area balcony. There are more indoor activities such as fencing lessons, bumper car rides, karaoke lounge which appeal to Chinese of all ages and who are also less keen on sun-tanning. My cabin attendants were from Indonesia.I was thankful.Besides Bahasa, they spoke English well. I had the 'luck' of ending up in the ship's clinic.I don't think anyone speaks Mandarin in there. Fingers crossed, i hope they are bored to tears in their entire stay in China. The seasoned cruise tourists will appreciate the fuss free muster drill that took place without the need to pull out our safety vests, line up in rows and put on our vests.But for many Asians onboard, it is their maiden cruise. This is my umpteenth cruise and I had experienced a real situation which required reporting to the muster station. I much prefer the hassle and inconvenience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Spectrum of the Seas Ratings
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