We booked in April 2010 for our cruise in September and were advised that this was the best price and it would NOT get any lower.We appreciate that last minute deals are often available but we wanted to go on the cruise, so we booked it.Imagine our surprise when other guests told us they booked in June and got large discounts, hardly last minute, Thanks RCCL, for nothing. We left Edinburgh for the cruise from Venice and opted for a cruise lines pre cruise hotel package. The flight times were very unreasonable, having to be at the airport at 04.05hrs. in the morning and not arriving in Venice until 16.45hrs. Twelve hours and 40 minutes from Edinburgh to Venice. !!!!!! These were obviously the cheapest flights that Royal Caribbean could get.We were met by a charming rep. from the local tour company, who took us to our hotel, (The Carlton Grand Canal),given our room key and we discovered that it was looking out onto a back alley. Unlucky !!! Next morning we were awakened before 6 a.m. with the noise of a toilet being flushed and a shower and bath running and noisy and banging pipes. It appears that the bathroom of the adjacent room was directly through the main lengthwise wall of our room.We spoke to the hotel management who basically apologised but shrugged their shoulders, saying those guests were leaving that day, but not, that new guests were arriving later, you guessed it, same again, but a little later next day, thankfully we only had three nights.The charge made by RCCL of £ 496.32 per person was silly money,and we would have expected better treatment from RCCL, obviously not. I asked the hotel about booking direct and their rates were more favourable, and the rooms better.
We have often championed RCCL as being excellent for quality,service and standards but we were now having second thoughts.
We were transferred to the ship early on the day BEFORE sailing and feel that as the ship was staying overnight we could have been allowed longer at the hotel. The transfer again by the local company was fine, but when we arrived at the port, we were VERY surprised to find NO ONE from RCCL to advise us where we should go. Eventually we saw a sign saying, vision of the seas, and a berth number.We followed this until we saw a lonely looking man with a small paddle,which could not be read from more than 4 or 5 metres, with RCCL and an arrow pointing into a terminal, where it took about an hour, waiting in a long line to be attended to. This is why we felt it was pointless having such an early transfer, why not give passengers the opportunity to arrive later, after all the ship was staying overnight, this was the transfer included by RCCL and arranged by RCCL, a little more thought needed perhaps.