This is a mixed review of a trip that seemed jinxed from the start. Sad to say that I wasted way too much money for this lackluster vacation. Most of the problems were unavoidable (weather, medical emergencies, etc), but the staff did not communicate any of this well.
Embarkation was pretty good. We were able to drop our luggage with porters and drive right into the parking deck at 10:30 AM. Despite our early arrival, there was still a HUGE line to sign up for onboard activities. We waited for over an hour, but were able to secure reservations for iFly, NorthStar, and all three shows. We could not, however get a reservation for the escape room. We encountered more trouble when we arrived for our scheduled lunch at Chops restaurant. We were told that the restaurant was full and that we should visit Jamie's Italian instead. Sorry- but we signed up for this expecting a steakhouse.
During the first night, the ship had to turn back during the night to evacuate a guest with a medical emergency. This left us behind schedule and steaming full speed across rough sees. Our NorthStar reservation was cancelled because the boat was rocking too much. We arrived in port more than two hours late which resulted in the cancellation of our planned excursion.
After Bermuda, the ship headed to Boston. Why does this ship go to Boston? Nobody wants to visit Boston in April! Having to clear customs in Boston took up a significant amount of time before we were allowed off the ship (of course passengers who booked high-priced excursions through Royal Caribbean got priority departure times.
Our final day at sea was also a disaster. Rough waters led to the cancellation of shows and closure of activities including iFly, rock climbing, and NorthStar. I get that they can't control the weather, but the lack of communication was frustrating. We spent way too much time walking to venues only to find them closed. On Friday afternoon, they made the unusual decision to return to port a day early because of the rough seas, Once in port, they would not anybody leave until the next morning because customs/immigration people were not available to clear the ship. We were stuck onboard with the casino and shopping closed and wonderful views (and smells of) the Bayonne marine terminal.
Service throughout the week was just OK. It was crowded everywhere you went and there were lines for everything (except for the things that cost extra- they had plenty of staff selling drink plans, future cruises, and jewelry with no lines). The food in the Windjammer buffet was just OK (often looked like it had been sitting out too long). The Main Dining room food had entertaining and fun staff, but the food was lackluster. I've never seen ANY restaurant serve such tiny shrimp in a shrimp cocktail. The steak, prime rib, and chicken was a step below what I would find in chain restaurants. I expected more on a cruise ship. We purchased the soda plan that included an insulated cup and unlimited access to Coke Freestyle machines. I just wish these machines were better maintained. The units at Sorrentos restaurant went entire days without ice and frequently ran out of specific beverages.
Can't say enough good things about this organization. Was worth the extra money to pay for the longer experience and get the photo package.
We were the first ship of the spring season and they were obviously not prepared. Ran registration out of an SUV parked on the sidewalk down the road from the terminal. Had to for 20 minutes before a trolley came, but there was no room. Three trolley's later, we got on only to find out that this was a port shuttle that took us to the main trolley area where we had to get out and wait in line again for three more trolleys to fill and depart (they sat waiting for at least 15 minutes so as to space the trolleys better). Once on board, the driver/guide had the most annoying voice and mannerisms that everyone around us was rolling their eyes. After only 4 of the 15 stops we couldn't take it anymore and bailed out. Used Uber the rest of the day. Interesting side note- I think it would have been cheaper for us to use Uber all day to visit the stops we were interested in without waiting or fighting crowds!View All 40 Old Town Trolley Tour Reviews