We found this cruise to be well below standard unfortunately. We were expecting things to be a little different to other cruises due to most guests being from Asia and we were right, it was different. Even the Australian Cruise Director openly said that things were different on this cruise. But, despite the differences, the management team could have organised things much better to help. It felt almost as though the management and staff had given up on it all. There was already a bit of pre cruise tarnish in that the itinerary had been changed and the lack of shore excursions available was really poor. Here’s a list of the problems we experienced on board for any one who is interested. I’m not sure how much of it was entirely Royal Caribbean’s fault but at the end of day it’s them who we paid for a good experience after booking direct with them.
(For demographics - as I know when I look at these reviews it’s helpful to know how old the reviewers are, if they have children etc - I’m 26 and was travelling with my wife who is 23. No children and our first time with Riyal Caribbean. Have cruised twice before, both with NCL, both brilliant experiences.)
1) Embarkation. Too long and incredibly disorganised. After queuing for hours to check in, despite pre checking in online and providing all information including photos and card details, we just had to do it all again. Staff member checking us in couldn’t understand us enough to answer our questions. No one advised whilst booking or checking in that our passports would be retained by staff and that we’d need a copy.
We really liked the cabin. Out of this and the two NCL ships we have been on (NCL Breakaway and NCL Epic) this was the best by far. Very well designed and heaps of space.
Worth noting Beijing itself is actually very far from Tianjin, where the actual port is located. They are separate cities.
Free shuttles were provided to and from port and main shopping street in town. We had our own plans for the whole day, Sunday. We prebooked a taxi for the day, worked out about £130 through a company called Cool Okinawa Travel. Driver didn’t speak English but did have our pre printed itinerary and the company offered a translation service if required if you called them. We used our driver and car to visit Cape Manzamo, Ocean Expo Park and loads of places contained within such as Aquarium and Emerald Beach. Then the main shopping street in Naha.
Amazing place and nice easy to use cruise port. Taxis, buses and free shuttles to nearby MTR stations all right outside. Good helpful English speaking tourism staff around to help as well.