We were on Radiance of the Seas leaving HNL September 20 of this year. Upon checking in we found our assigned room, 8008, was filled with the overpowering stench of harmful sewer gas. Opening the stateroom and balcony doors did not alleviate it. From 3:30 until 8:30 pm maintenance confirmed the problem, pulled at least a bucket of sand out of the shower drain, but could not fix the problem. The room was uninhabitable. Customer Relations said the ship was fully booked, and we were led to believe we had no choice but to leave the ship before it sailed—without our luggage. Customer Relations told us to “just go sit down and wait” and that if we got off the ship we would have to pay for the cruise anyway. After many hours of uncertainty arguing with Customer Relations, Gerardo Duarte told us there are frequently no-shows and likely we’d get a room. He was the one polite person there! After five hours we were assigned to 9072, having lost our entire first day on the ship.
On September 23 I spoke with the Hotel Director, Michael Rasmussen. He strongly insinuated that we were just trying to get a free upgrade because passengers “do that all the time for just a pin on the carpet” (his exact words). I told him I was a thirty-year retired Air Force Colonel, and we didn’t need to maneuver for a free upgrade. Later that day, as we were to meet another couple, he summoned both my wife and I into an office and said “Let’s put this to bed. We gave you a room, didn’t we?” (His exact words.) He didn’t care that we lost the first day of our cruise, and endured such poor treatment from Customer Relations. He granted my wife’s request of 10% off on the next cruise, but offered no apology whatsoever. In my role as an Air Force Colonel, I had over 7,000 personnel in my command, and I never even treated someone I was disciplining with such disrespect!
On September 27, we discovered a 3’ x 3’ puddle on our carpet in front of the sofa, but could not trace its origin.
Then, a subsequent occurrence on September 30 was the worst incident. Our room flooded with toilet water. The toilet valve would not close fully, which allowed the water to slowly rise and flood the bathroom floor. Water also flooded our stateroom hall, and the public passageway hall. The intrusion of maintenance to fix that problem and dry our carpets took two days of lost privacy in our room. Prior to the overflow my wife had not noticed that the toilet was full of water and sat down in it. By the end of the cruise she had a very predictable and painful bladder infection for which the ship’s doctor prescribed antibiotics. Her discomfort for four days prior to diagnosis on October 9 had already ruined many days of our cruise.
We spoke with the occupants of the neighboring stateroom, and they said they had the same problem. So did several other guests on the ship.
In vacating our room October 9 in SYD we found eyeglasses belonging to the previous room occupant—who has recently also written a letter to RCCL. In returning them to her, we learned that the toilet in 9072 overflowed twice during her stay, and she tells me she has mentioned it to RCCL. So maintenance knew of the issue in this room.
Passenger consensus is that Radiance is an old ship badly in need of plumbing and other maintenance (our closet door was hanging by only one of its four hinges), food is mediocre, and Customer Service is beyond rude. Additionally, Stephanie at the Excursions Desk refuses to be bothered answering questions or even trying to be polite. Elena was marvelous, and went beyond what she needed to do. In the dining room, Jefferson, was a real bright spot.
The quality of the dining room food has definitely taken a turn for the worst since our last cruise. We've had better in a school cafeteria. No lobster on any night during a nine-teen night cruise. We told them of special dietary requirements when we booked, and we were halfway through the cruise before they gave us vegetarian meals.
This was my wife’s fifth cruise on RCCL. Now that we have found that Customer Service has an attitude that guests are the enemy when a real problem has to be solved, we no longer feel loyal to RCCL. Since the worst inconvenience and health issues occurred after Rasmussen’s offer of 10% off the next cruise, my wife does not want to go on RCCL again. After what we went through for this much anticipated anniversary cruise, we have absolutely no intention of going back.
Michael Rasmussen is a very poor Hotel Director has no clue how to manage customers without alienating them. Employee opinion of him is equally low.
By far our biggest complaint: The demonstrated fact that it is acceptable to RCCL to jeopardize guest health and comfort for multiple deferred plumbing issues is completely unacceptable and beyond disgusting. We will take our business elsewhere.
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