This was our 5th cruise, 4 with Carnival (absolutely no issues at all), but our first with Royal Caribbean, huge mistake on our part. I deeply regret that we switched lines! The multiple issues experienced & the extremely poor ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, 4 with Carnival (absolutely no issues at all), but our first with Royal Caribbean, huge mistake on our part. I deeply regret that we switched lines! The multiple issues experienced & the extremely poor customer service onboard, as well as the follow up after the sailing, is beyond my comprehension.
We conveyed our issues while onboard as well as a follow up upon our return. Our list is lengthy, but if you are researching cruises to take, I feel it’s fair for you to know what you can expect from them on & off the ship. If you’re an average middle class household like us, vacations are few & far between. And takes planning time financially. I had no intentions of sharing a public an honest & transparent review of our multiple concerns. As this is something I have never done. But after their response of our experiences onboard, I feel it’s necessary. I don’t want what happened to us to happen to anyone else.
*Note: This is in no particular order.
1.) Smell. The odor of our stateroom bathroom was absolutely horrid. To the point that we had to allow the bathroom “air-out” before we could even enter it. EVERY TIME. EVERY SINGLE TIME. The ENTIRE trip. It smelled like backed up sewage stemming directly from the toilet. It was absolutely disgusting.
2.) Cabin Cleanliness. The cleanliness of our cabin was lacking to say the very least. From the moment of our initial walk-in, it looked as though fresh towels & bedding were the only things replaced/attended to prior to us entering the room. The shower? The condition of the shower was disgustingly gross & probably a future health hazard. There was & I’m confident that there still is mold growing in it. Yes. Mold growing in the shower. It just shows the complete lack of effort given to cleaning, prepping & sanitizing before the new passengers board the ship. Another instance, While unpacking our luggage & putting our things up, the shelves in the closet, which we were attempting to put our clothes on had an (extremely obvious) dirty pair of men’s underwear & a single filthy sock...Just sitting on a shelf in the middle, that in no way could have been missed/overlooked. Gross. There was a dried bloody finger streak directly on the closet door opening, proving again that it the room was not properly wiped down, or sanitized thoroughly. A handful of times we had to send plates, silverware & glasses back because of stuck on food & lipstick marks that remained from previous users. That’s just not okay.
3.) Food. The level of quality & lack of options was less than satisfying. The first night in the main dining room my plate had to be sent back because of the extremely visible amount of fat on my meat. The replacement wasn’t much better. So Instead I got to watch my husband & son eat while I watched & got to eat bread. This instance was repeated the third night. But it was my son who experienced it. The options were limited for someone who does not eat seafood. I don’t eat seafood. I get that it’s a cruise. But I highly doubt I’m the only person that does not eat seafood. The food is supposed to be a big part of a vacation! So it was a big disappointment. A few times my husband did ask for two of the same items, he was treated as if the waitstaff are trained to refrain from allowing that. Seemingly frustrated & hesitant for even have asking for such. Because of the lack of food options & the less than stellar quality of food, I was resorted to either pizza or Johnny Rockets. Which the pizza was more times than not completely overcooked/burnt & Johnny Rockets being additional charges. The “sprinkles” ice cream situation was another. There is literally ONE single place to get froyo! It was constantly “out”, closed for “cleaning” or “under maintenance”. And to close it at 9!? There is no one constantly manning the machines. What is the need of closing that early? So they have an outdoor night time movie with late showtimes & you can’t enjoy a desert while you are watching it!? It makes absolutely zero sense.
4.) EVERYTHING closes entirely too early. Both the stores & snack/eateries. We were so shocked to realize that if you don’t access those early, you won’t be getting anything. We wanted chocolate one night around 11ish & couldn’t get any because the only store that carries it, was closed. Late night sweets/snacks are actually a common thing. So not being able to get something so simple while on an actual vacation due to the lack of access was frustrating.
5.) Luggage. My son & husbands luggage made it to the room fairly early the day of embarkation. Which was great. However by 8:30 pm my luggage was still no where to be found. Which was strange since all of our stuff was handed over together. Finally, we asked our steward about it, so he went searching. Came back around nine & told me that he found it & I needed to go to Security on level one because my bag was pulled for a second screening. Again, confusing because my husband & sons made it to the room just fine. So confusingly, we all went to find out why & retrieve it. We got there, asked why, they said it was “pulled for alcohol being detected”. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever. First of all, there wasn’t even a liquid in my bag! NONE. Second of all, we purchased the unlimited drink package weeks prior. What sense would it be for me to smuggle alcohol onboard when I already have access to “unlimited” amounts onboard!? Again, no sense. What really pissed me off was the fact that I reached out to them the week PRIOR from sailing to see if I could bring a few gifts, in my luggage, WRAPPED, for my sons birthday (the whole actual reason for the trip). I was told absolutely. No problem. Wrap away. The gifts were a surprise & this situation completely ruined it for us. Security opened my bag right in front of my son who was with us. The surprise was no longer a surprise & I couldn’t have been more disappointed it was ruined. BTW- the gifts were books, dvd & clothes. NO LIQUID. In the bag. NONE. We were cleared, dropped the luggage at our room & headed for guest services. We were told that standard is “not acceptable“, apologized & were promised it would be looked into as to why the bag was unnecessarily pulled & they would get back to us to with answers. That never happened.
6.) I’m baffled as to why so many of the bars on board were regularly closed. The third day, we literally had to go to 4 separate bars until we found one open. Closed during reasonable “drinking hours”. We had to chase bars down. It became increasingly exhausting as that became the trend. The 5th day we attempted to get a drink at the Schooner bar. Just my husband & I sat. We ordered. We each ordered ONE drink a piece (first drinks of the day for us) & my husband attempted to order a shot with his drink. So one drink each. With one additional shot. Only to be refused because “you can’t order a shot that close to swiping your seapass cards”. Which were ALL ordered TOGETHER. He was shut down immediately upon ordering. He hadn’t even swiped our cards at that time!!! That’s asinine. Guess what!? That wasn’t an isolated event either. NOPE! It was only allowed ONE time. The ENTIRE duration of the cruise. Just one bartender allowed this. After many attempts at multiple bars. What’s the point of having a super expensive “perk”, if you can’t use the thing reasonably. If my account is checked, It will be obvious we weren’t sloppy drunks by any means. It was actually insulting. The coffee wasn’t any better. While I was getting ready for the day, my husband went down to get us our morning coffee. Wanting 2 coffee’s. He had HIS pass & took mine with him to use for our order. Our names match, we share a cabin, we both have the drink package due to the policy, it could easily be verified at the register. Nope. He was refused service. For TWO coffee’s. Not even alcohol! Completely mind-blowing, unreasonable & extremely irritating. Also! I was taken aback when I ordered a Spicy Bloody Mary at the schooner bar. The bar wasn’t very busy, 5-6ish people, with 2 bartenders. While making my drink, the bartender realized that they didn’t have enough of both Tabasco & Worcestershire sauce (important parts of this specific beverage I think). Once realizing they would need more they quickly, half a’sd looked for replacements behind the bar. They didn’t have any back there. So what did they proceed to do about it!? One staffer within ear shot of me turns to the other & literally says “oh well, she won’t notice!” Those EXACT words! Finishes up their version of my spicy Bloody Mary, or lack there of & puts it on a napkin in front of me as if nothing was wrong. What kind of customer service is that!? All they had to do was either tell me the situation (which would’ve been perfectly fine with me), or either call or go yourself to get the replacements. But to treat me like I’m an idiot. And completely unnecessary.
7.) For God knows why, on the 4th, at dinner, in the main dining room, we were approached at the table with my son being serenaded “Happy Birthday”. His birthday was the 8th. So it completely threw us off & embarrased my kid because it wasn’t even his birthday. It was awkward, uncomfortable & easily could have been verified & avoided.
8.) The activities were extremely lacking in substance & quality. The majority of them were “know the answer, write it down, switch with someone” it just wasn’t enjoyable. And highlighters as prizes was a joke (most however were just pats on the back for winning/knowing). My kid turned 13 on this trip. He is extremely well rounded, beyond his years & mature enough to attend things that we deem appropriate for him (he also looks like 17 year old!) When he attempted to play “finish the lyric” in the star lounge, he was again embarrassed because in front of EVERYONE in the room, he was told he could not play due to not being 18. Even though the age limit was never mentioned PRIOR to asking for volunteers. There was ABSOLUTELY no reason to A.) call him out in front of a packed room & B.) not allowing it to be a parents approval/discretion situation. It was a complete elementary game. No reason for such tight restrictions. Not one single cuss word or inappropriate talk/actions in any way was said or done for the duration of it. To also charge for arcade use was disappointing as well. ESPECIALLY, the high costs per game & not getting anything in return. Just an “I won” moment to have with yourself. No tickets won, no point redemptions nothing. That’s just crazy! Oh! And Flow Rider!? That was maddening! It’s not a secret that the lines tend to get lengthy for that. To NOT be made aware that it REQUIRES separate waivers (that you have to go out of your way for) that need to be signed PRIOR to waiting in line only to find out when it’s your turn, you can’t access it without a consent liability waiver signed!? My kid was pissed & defeated. As anyone would be. Not one person said a word to us about that. Not one. That info should be included in the arrival day compass that is made as a focal point that is awaiting on the bed upon the travelers arrival. Ping pong balls should also be monitored & replaced as needed. Having just 2 balls by the end of the trip to chase between two separate tables isn’t easy. Nor enjoyable.
9.) The beds were extremely uncomfortable. We feel like we hardly got any true rest whatsoever. ALL 3 of us woke up every day exhausted & sore. Every day. We still are.
And Finally the biggest & most overall disappointing issue....
10.) Customer Service or lack their of. We hardly saw any (if at all, really) an employee who looked like they truly enjoyed their job. Most didn’t welcome you with a smile, didn’t go out of their way & we were ignored countless times. They advertise dancing by the waitstaff including Johnny Rockets & main dining. Not once did that happen. Twice, just 2 times, in our 7 day cruise did we have a waiter/waitress approach us and Inquire if we wanted/needed a beverage from the bar. Both of those times were on the upper pool deck, floor 11. We never even saw one in the lounges during scheduled activities! Not a single one. We were either forced to do without or interrupt the people around you because you have to go order a drink at the bar yourself. That’s insanity!!! The majority of the ones we did actually see (not interact with, simply by their choice) preferred to hang out along the railings, people watch & twirl their trays like pizza dough. I was truly shocked that so many seemed to simply not give 2 craps that the reason they even have a job there is because of the customers. If it weren’t for the customers, they wouldn’t have one!!! We were also disappointed that literally ONE Evening, just ONE single evening, we went to our cabin after our “turn down” service & had an animal towel. Aren’t those typically supposed to be done at EVERY turn down!? It’s something we always enjoyed & looked forward to on our carnival cruises because each night was a different animal. I thought towel animals are kinda just a universal cruise schtick in general. They do have an activity class on the subject, but it definitely isn’t practiced for customers. It may seem a tad petty, but the little details are important too!
This was our first family vacation for the three of us (husband, son & myself) in a few years after losing a son. We were so very excited & so looking forward to going on one. It was beyond desperately needed. Plus my other son was turning 13! It is a milestone bday. We just wanted to make new memories. Just not of this kind. Not what we anticipated. Not what we expected. It was bad. It was just so very bad. We are now just left feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation. And that’s just incredibly sad.
I truly hope that this ridiculously long feedback is acknowledged, thoroughly looked into & new implementations are created for some extremely necessary changes that really need to be addressed. If not, reviews such as mine will eventually become your new norm. It’s just absolutely impossible for it not to.
This was the generic response from CS:
“Hi, Brittani. Thanks for your patience while I was speaking with the ship. We're very sorry for the disappointment you experience onboard and we had the opportunity to bring all of your concerns to the respective manager's attention. It is never our intention to negatively impact your cruise and I apologize that this was your experience. Thank you for your candid feedback as this shows us where we need to focus our attention.”
We have no desire to cruise on this line again. And won’t hesitate to make others aware of the experiences endured & severe lack of customer service they provide. Read Less