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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Japan at a specific time of year.Now regretting choice of cruise line.READ on what to find out what you can expect. PROS. First of all the ship is clean although ageing. The signature suite ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Japan at a specific time of year.Now regretting choice of cruise line.READ on what to find out what you can expect. PROS. First of all the ship is clean although ageing. The signature suite we had was clean and comfortable although its furnishings were dated ,the sofa bed was also past its best. Crew and staff generally ok no problems. CONS (litterally in respect of wine package) Bottled water is available in your room at $5 dollars a bottle and on going ashore. .Reluctantly we purchased a signature drinks package ($1486 plus %15 service charge ).You have to buy 2 if you are in a two person cabin..The drinks package. allows you to get any wines on the wine menue at $9 dollars or under. However most of these are undrinkable and even then you only have two choices of a white wine or three of a red.Within a few days of sailing they even ran out of a cheap white leaving you no choice unless you paid an extra full price for a wine above $9.. One.,evening we were even charged full price for a higher priced glass of wine that we had paid extra for even though they had run out of it.( we were given a cheaper plonk in its place) .'In previous reviews it has been stated that the food in the Lido Market is cold , unapettising and very repetitive.Apparently on this ship it is difficult to keep warm so you need to go early to take advantage of the hot food at the start. OK if you like to eat early.In the evening by 8pm they are closing down.Having said that, after visiting several more times every hot item is almost cold A word of warning for those of you who want a spa bath. The water jets in the bath initially spewed out a torrent of dirty water leaving the bottom of the bath full of scumand slime..Advise you run it several times before use with soap. Internet cost $170 dollars for 14 days and is very slow. A bagfull of laundry cost $30 dollars. but came back clean and pressed within 24 hours..Apparently the self service laundry on this ship was removed several years ago .(presumably so that they can extort more money out of you).. All the above issues have been raised with customer services but the ship is what it is. One other thing that needs mentioning is that at 11pm at night save for a few areas the ship is like the Marie Celeste IT DOES NOT OFFER VALUE FOR MONEY AND WE WILL NOT SALE WITH HOLLAND AMERICA AGAIN Generally entertainment on the ship is ok ,the resident band is very good with no complaints.The service is variable.. depending on what part of the ship you are in.. We have not been on any excursions as we feel they are overpriced Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size was a bit strange. Had to walk through casino to get to some places !! Would have loved to have seen more space for dancing Poor band and disco stuck on the floor near the bar but no room for dancing. Think they should consider moving the second bar near martini bar for dancing. It was rarely used , most were watching the entertainment and itching to dance by the railings. Enjoyed the trivia etc The theatre entertainment was very average. There were 2 standout acts, but on the other nights, it was mediocre at best One of the tours we went on was dreadful. So bad most got partial refunds. But, I got 30% others got between 40 and 100% I don't get why the different refunds!!! Such a shame. Ive never had an issue with any of my celebrity cruises before, I just feel they've dropped the ball on this one Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I bought this cruise for my husbands 60th birthday to do something different as he had never been to KL, Langkawi, Penang and Phuket before. Unfortunately, it didn't leave us with too many great memories. We have done many ... Read More
I bought this cruise for my husbands 60th birthday to do something different as he had never been to KL, Langkawi, Penang and Phuket before. Unfortunately, it didn't leave us with too many great memories. We have done many cruises and maybe we have been a bit spoilt on Princess and Celebrity, but never had we been on NCL and not sure if we will ever sail with them again. Embarkation from Singapore Marina Bay Sands Cruise Centre was easy. A little unorganised but nothing to whine about. On arrival onto the ship we went to the Tsar's, which is one of the main dining areas and very spacious. It was probably the best meal we had on board the whole time. Did a quick tour of the ship and I liked the decor and nothing felt too crowded, it was refurbished in 2018. Afternoon we had to do the normal safety briefing and then we decided to go to one of the bars and have a beer and cider. Holly molly, the cost for these 2 basic drinks was ridiculous. As everything is in US dollars, you also need to add the 20% mandatory gratuity and then for us Aussies, do the 30% difference in exchange rate, the 2 basic drinks cost us $22 AUD for basic leadin beer and cider. If you can purchase a package with drinks included, it is the way to go. Our deal was so cheap without drinks, it wasn't worth to pay the big difference in fare, but it just made it hard to justify spending so much on drink purchases. I did purchase a 4 bottle wine pack for $80 US plus grats and exchange, it was still expensive but saved us a bit on board. FYI for anyone who doesn't know, NCL will not allow you to bring anything (including water etc), onto the ship apart from wine, champagne which will incur the US15 corkage fee. Anyone wanting to purchase a drinks package onboard, US99 per person per day plus 20% gratuity plus then again convert to AUD. The most expensive drink package we have ever seen on any ship, and we have been on quite a few different ones. Dining on board: Went mostly to Tsar's main dining for lunch and dinner when we could. First day was great but from then on it was really hit and miss like the rest of the ship. Tried also the buffet, which was okay and on one night we went to Azura. We waited a long time for our meal here and also, it was very stuffy. I preferred Tsar's. In room dining, we preordered the coffee etc for the morning, otherwise any other in room dining you have to pay for. Desserts - don't know what is going on there but not one great dessert was to be had anywhere on the ship. A few other people made the same comment. Cabin Steward: He was wonderful and tried to do everything to keep us happy. First time I had ever been on a ship when the cabin steward didn't come and introduce themselves on the first day. He did manage to get us use of a coffee machine so we can boil water for the hot water bottle (bad back). That was very useful. Bed was comfortable and bathroom was larger than normal. It was always kept wonderfully clean. Staff on board: Some were fantastic and really wanted to look after you. Others, couldn't care less. Also, it seems that NCL just doesn't let them make any decisions on their own, but they have to check with a Supervisor who then has to check with someone else. Never experienced this before either. Example of the issue for us (and seen other people having issues), with the wine pack I bought, you were given 4 vouchers and a choice of 8 wines. On the vouchers they wrote what wine you may wish to have, but was advised no issue to change to one to the others in the pack if you like one more than the other. OMG. who would ever think changing from one wine to other would be an issue. I know better now. Entertainment: As most days we were off the ship, didn't experience much on board. Went to a few shows which were good. The magician was terrible. Shore excursions: Do yourself and favour and either a) organise your own private tours before you leave home or b) just go with taxis when you arrive and haggle. Shore excursions onboard where minimum double the price of what you could get on your own. Ports: Port Klang for KL. We did overnight here so the first day did a private half day tour of Port Klang area and then had the same wonderful driver to the following full day in KL. Very enjoyable and Robbie our drive was fantastic to deal with. Took us anywhere we wanted to go and was so flexible. Had some wonderful street food also. Langkawi - outside the gate there are heaps of taxi drivers waiting for you, or, you can pay the $15 US return bus ticket to be dropped off at the Aquarium which is just across the road from the main beach, heaps of restaurants and shops. Be aware the shops don't have much these days in the way of bargains or shopping. All the same and it has changed alot in the 4 years since I was there last time. Penang - as you are right in the centre of town, you can just walk around, get a taxi outside the gate and do whatever. We opted for another full day private tour as it was my husbands 60th. Had another fantastic driver that took us to many sights and places while telling alot of funny jokes on the way. It was a wonderful day out. Phuket - our tender was to Patong, and if you get up early and get one of the first few, there was no wait at all. At the jetty in Patong you will have to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers and people trying to sell you stuff. We hired a driver for 5 hours and went driving and saw a few sights. You can also just spend the day on the beach which is right beside the jetty also. Phuket is not my favourite places and would prefer to go back to Penang and go to Batu Ferringhi beach instead. (Also NCL before leaving home, we asked then 2 times where we would be docking and was told both times it was the Deep Sea Port, but onboard the advised with was always Patong. Not sure how they could get this wrong. Deep Sea Port is 45 minute drive away. Disembarkation was quick and easy and as we always try to walk off our own luggage, we could leave at any time. Be aware that the taxis from Marina Bay Sands Cruise centre charge a minimum fee of $55 during peak time. Overall we had a good time but not great. We won't rush back at all to experience NCL again. If they didn't charge so much for everything on board, got a little bit more flexible and tried to improve the food a bit more, it would be a wonderful experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a bit of exploring we went to the buffet for a drink and a snack. Much the same as all other buffets people piling plates like it was to be their last meal and difficult to find a seat. No announcement came so we went looking to find our cabin was ready. The room was clean and tidy but a bit on the small side to other cabins and rather less storage. The balcony was also on the small side and a bit scruffy. My wife's luggage turned up fairly prompt but no sign of mine so off we went exploring and to have a cocktail or two. Time for dinner and still no luggage. I informed our cabin steward who said she would go and find out where it was. We didn't see her again until 3 days later when she said hello and asked how we were. The next time was our last night when she asked us to fill out a card that chose a crew member who excelled. So it was off to dinner in the clothes I had been wearing all day. Dinner was ok but nothing to brag about. Back to the cabin still no luggage so off to customer services. I told them of the problem and rather offhandedly the lady asked me if I had checked the luggage room. when I replied no I though luggage was always delivered to the staterooms. She said I should have checked there. Keep calm I told myself. I had to ask her where it was and made my way there. I located my case in the said room and was told it had been held back because there was a pair of scissors in my case. I had to get the scissors out and show them and was then told they were ok and I could take my case. This was now 9.00pm. My wife asked them why the information had not been sent to our room instead of us having to go round investigating. Norwegians customer experience is slowly going down the pan. Dining was not a great experience. We used Azure once and thought the room was dark and the low ceiling made it feel too compact and the meal was average but service was very good. Chin Chin was bright and cheerful and the meal was excellent as was the service. The other nights we had dinner in the Tsars Palace. This is a very delightful room, bright, spacious and luxurious. Service was ok most nights but there were some excellent waiters. The meals were quite mediocre and didn't live up to the opulence of the room. One night I had a lamb shank that was served with a slice of carrot and half a roast potato. I am not a huge eater but this was a bit ridiculous. Another night we ordered Irish coffees and as soon as they arrived we could see they were not right. The cream had all dissolved into the coffee, we picked them up and they were cold. We told the waiter who took them away and replaced them. The replacements weren't cold but slightly warm. We just left them. We told our waiter the following night and he told us they had run out of the whipped cream and were using powdered cream. He told us he would personally make coffees for us. The ones he made were very good. We found a lot of the meals we had were very average and quite often they were only warm. This was the only cruise where I only had one cooked breakfast due to the first one being lukewarm. The rest of the time it was toast, fruit and cereals. Bar service in general was very good except for when they ran out of mint for the mojitos. There was only one night where the entertainment was excellent. This was the Circus act. Some of the acrobatics were spectacular. The rock night was enjoyable. Two of the nights had solo female singers who I thought we just ok. The other night was not my scene at all with some very weird artists. the strangest being one huge overweight guy dancing in a leotard. It made me wonder why females have to cover their breasts when this guy had bigger breasts than some of the girls and he had them swinging about everywhere. But he was well received but not by me. The resident band were very good and performed a wide variety of songs. I cant comment on the activities on board as we only had one sea day so didn't explore. Cant comment on excursions either as we planned our own. We could not find any information on the ports we visited. This was our first Norwegian cruise and we found nothing that would make us want to cruise with them again Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this cruise on a whim because it had a single rate of around $700 for a week cruise and I thought that included the beverage package. After looking into it I realised that my cabin category didn’t include the drink package so ... Read More
I booked this cruise on a whim because it had a single rate of around $700 for a week cruise and I thought that included the beverage package. After looking into it I realised that my cabin category didn’t include the drink package so upgraded to that. With the new fare, the gratuities, the 20% for the drink package and the taxes, it came to over $1,400. I would have canceled except for Norwegian’s strict cancelation policy. I thought, oh well, I’ll just go. I had not been on Norwegian since the Norway almost 20 years ago and was interested to see how it was now. The extensive dry-dock done in late 2018 made the ship much more to my liking since I have mostly cruised on Celebrity. In fact, my favourite ship of all my 22 cruises was the Millennium so since the Jewel was about the same size I thought I might like it. I arrived at the port about 12:30 pm and it looked pretty crowded. I was pleased at how fast it actually went after I got in line and I was on the ship by 1 pm! My first impression was of the Crystal Atrium. Although attractive, a 2 deck high atrium is not exactly impressive and it was mobbed with people. The cabins were ready by 1:30 and when I checked out my inside cabin, 4579, it was fine, tiny, but fine. I was disappointed that I never actually met my cabin steward though. I don’t really like only having the bed as a place to sit but since I was alone in the cabin I used one as a sofa and one as a bed. As others have pointed out, the toilet is as an awkward angle which made you sit on it sideways. The shower, with a door, was probably the nicest I have ever had though. My impressions of the ship were mostly positive and I liked the decor. I found the Garden Cafe to be extremely chaotic though and I never once ate there. I did find the Great Outdoors at the back of the ship to be delightful and never had a problem getting a table and used the small buffet out there. The public rooms were attractive but I didn’t like the layout of the ship without a circular rotation possible on most decks. I found the food to be good to excellent and enjoyed 4 nights of specialty dining, which was outstanding. I thought the entertainment was of high quality too with excellent singers and dancers. I was a tad concerned that with so many having the drink package that getting a drink might be an issue. I have to say that I never once had a problem getting a drink and found the bar staff to be excellent. I didn’t do this cruise for the ports as I have sailed this same itinerary twice before already and didn’t get off the ship. I usually like to enjoy a bit of less crowded, quieter time while everyone is off on shore excursions but I was surprised at how many people didn’t get off the ship. The muster drill was the best ever and held in Le Bistro for me. No need to wear the life jackets and we could sit down through the whole thing in air-conditioning. My main complaint, which won’t affect many people, is as a smoker, they only designate a small portion of the Pit Stop for smokers. It was always mobbed but since I vape I could sit at the railing overlooking the pool which was much nicer. The only other smoking area besides the casino was on deck 7 port side outside. It was less crowded but with almost no seating. Th cruise was a party atmosphere which was fun and I met many delightful people from all over the world. I would consider cruising with Norwegian again but will probably stick with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We’ve done a few cruises with other liners and they were so much better than the Princess if you are between 70 - 90 yrs old, then this slow paced ship is designed for you it was boring. The same program almost every day. The constant ... Read More
We’ve done a few cruises with other liners and they were so much better than the Princess if you are between 70 - 90 yrs old, then this slow paced ship is designed for you it was boring. The same program almost every day. The constant pushing and harassment to get you to buy on board all the very overpriced things suggesting markdowns, discounts, buy buy buy! The staff are friendly enough, it’s not their fault, it’s the sales pitch their forced to do. Raffles to win was one way to get you in. There were many ‘evemts’ Daily, enticed to get you to buy more! This never happened on the other cruises. The food was also boring. No variety. I’ve been on a few cruises and this one has to be the worst when it comes to selection or choices. If you want lactose free milk, you had to ask for it especially. It was never an option next to the breakfasts where it should be. There were no lactose free cheese, yoghurt or ice cream. Yeti when we booked we were given the option to select food requirements and this was suggested that it was already a part of their every day food choices! I received an email stating that lactose free will be available. For gluten free needs, there was one little section with the same food in it daily! I’m not gluten free but would hate to be as 8 know someone with coeliacs disease and she gets very sick if she eats gluten! So having such very little food options would be a dreadfully long cruise with the boring selections! It reawas very disappointing. I’m never a complainer with anything and will always make do with what we have but this really needed to be mentioned! The movies by the stars, was a huge screen at the end of an open deck pool area. So you can imagine how noisy it was! You couldn’t watch a movie at all during the day as you couldn’t hear it, it was just noise in the background over people talking loudly or kids in the pool. The evening movies were better but you had to fight to get a good spot to see it clearly as most of the deck chairs were on the level of the pool and they had this fountain in the middle (which was never used except for special events!) and you had to battle to see through rails, bars, decorative trees and so on. So it was really poorly designed to see around it. The best seats were near the smokers deck and we had to put up with inhaling their second hand smoke or sit somewhere we couldn’t see the screen well! The theatre where we had most of the main entrainment held, was badly designed. If weren’t lined up an hour early, you were either unlucky to get a seat at all, or got one of the crappy seats on the front several rows to either side which you couldn’t see the show anyway! That’s when the seats were not broken! For a new ship, I really felt there was so much poor design of the layout. Other than all of this, I did find that most of the staff were wonderful! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was ... Read More
This was our 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to see Dubrovnik, the excursion was 49eu pp and was advertised for 4 hrs duration was only 3 hrs and at night only saw the main street in the old town. Excursions were expensive one was 145eupp for 10hrs, and was just walking everywhere. Did have a nice lunch though. On arrival we were welcomed into a huge shed with 4/5000people all arriving at the same time, what a joke, it took 3hrs to load all the passengers. Why did we all arrive at the same time? ever heard of allocating times for arrivals. Also there was no water during this waiting period. The service from wait staff initially was appalling, the Indian and the Chinese were not well cordinated, didnt seem to know their duties, felt sorry for them. The restaurants decore were what you would expect from a brand new ship, very elegant, also the food was good, but always cold! this pattern ran thru all food outlets in the ship. Some of the behavior of a lot of the passengers left a lot to be desired, at the buffet piled their plates with food like it was the last supper. There was a masked gala advertised on their original website which never happened, just a few staff wearing masks. We expected a formal dinner dance like other cruise ships have. The nightly entertainment was not as expected and in some cases was amateur. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
New ship and very very big. Great ship...Ports of call were interesting, should have been longer at Singapore and Vietnam, so much to see and do. Food menu was very disappointing in the Lido bar. Very repetitive and boring. ... Read More
New ship and very very big. Great ship...Ports of call were interesting, should have been longer at Singapore and Vietnam, so much to see and do. Food menu was very disappointing in the Lido bar. Very repetitive and boring. Disappointed with photo deals....no package offered...only digital copies promoted....not good! Ping pong tables were unsuitably positioned, in the wind rain and heat....should have been indoors. Gym was good, did not feel uncomfortable. Overall entertainment in Princess Theatre was good but not great, could have been better. Enjoyed the music and entertainment by the band Opus. Line dancing Flash mob Choir and yukelele was great. Balloon drop and staff entertainment was enjoyable. Loved The Majestic Princess overall. Looking forward to next cruise with Princess, already paid future cruise deposit in anticipation of a great holiday in 2020/2021. Hope my review will contribute to better changes in the future for all passengers concerned. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The itinerary: Singapore, 4 Vietnam ports and Hong Kong was great. Just enough days at sea to relax as well. Boat itself: I find all these boats tacky so I won’t comment on the looks. Now the rooms were fine, pool, exercise facilities ... Read More
The itinerary: Singapore, 4 Vietnam ports and Hong Kong was great. Just enough days at sea to relax as well. Boat itself: I find all these boats tacky so I won’t comment on the looks. Now the rooms were fine, pool, exercise facilities and restaurant were just fine. Linens could be replaced and frankly did not particularly like the stains on the tablecloths. Service: again all ok. Not specially impressed. Some of the rudeness we felt we experienced was more cultural and lack of language skills. The excursion staff definitely needs improvement and I would skip altogether next time. Their overview of the ports of call and excursion was particularly appalling. Young rude personnel. Activities: they tried hard. We enjoyed the fitness center, sauna, steam room, rock climbing, skating and a couple of shows. We were never bored. Pool side activities were fun. Food: ok bit main dining not at par with other cruises. Windjammer cafe had better food. We had some bad dinners so we switched mid cruise and the windjammer was just fine. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've done a fair amount of cruising, all on Holland America. We were intrigued by the idea of our first visit to Vietnam being aboard this Royal Caribbean "Voyager of the Seas". I guess we've been spoiled by HAL. ... Read More
We've done a fair amount of cruising, all on Holland America. We were intrigued by the idea of our first visit to Vietnam being aboard this Royal Caribbean "Voyager of the Seas". I guess we've been spoiled by HAL. RCL falls short in so many ways. Boarding at Singapore was well-organized and moved along well. One of the first indications about our RCL experience - we were asked (no, hassled) about purchasing the "drinks package" no less than eight times while going through the boarding process! We don't understand why anyone would purchase this overpriced addition - we noted that the only ones we found that had purchased it were British passengers. Upon setting food onboard we were greeted not with a hearty "welcome aboard" but ANOTHER pitch to buy the drinks package! Enough already! Cabin areas were blocked off with signs saying they would not be available until 2pm. Firstly, our cabin. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8, forward. RCL was advised weeks ago that we would need to have electric at the bedside for a medical device (CPAP). This information never was passed on to the ship. And not only that, but a small powerstrip that is carried for this device was seized during check-in. We all know how busy the crew is on embarkation day, and since this 21-year-old ship has only one electrical connection in the room, it required an extension cable. RCL didn't provide it until after dinner - along with our luggage, which we didn't get until after our 5:30pm dinner time. The cable proved to be a continual annoyance since the ship had no gaffer's tape and refused to do anything to make the situation safe. When we DID get our luggage, we had to chuck it on the bed - which didn't have the usual leather bedlinen protection we've always had on HAL. Furniture and fittings in the room were old and tired, as were the bed linens and towels. One of the deck chairs was broken, and huge areas of rust could be seen on our balcony and the balcony of other cabins we visited. • Our refrigerator never worked properly. • The sink drain was broken when we embarked, and we asked for it to be fixed. A repairman did visit but didn't have a correct part to make it fully functional again. • The announcement speaker in the cabins is a nice touch, but ours never worked. When there was an important announcement we had to prop open our door to hear it. • The room was never OUR temperature; I don't think the thermostat did anything. With a cruise in mostly 90degree tropical temperatures, we never felt the room was cool enough. • Three days in, we had to make a special request to have our linens changed on the bed. If you don't ask, they won't do it. • No ice service from the room attendants! Really! Couldn't believe this is the case on RCL. The lifeboat drill was a joke. This was the first of many problems that RCL has created by having large numbers of passengers from Mainland China with only Mandarin language skills and NO staff or announcements in this language. There WERE announcements in German. Unlike other ships, the attendance at the lifeboat drill was recorded by hand on clipboards instead of by scanning room cards. It was clear that many passengers did NOT attend this drill. Maybe there are not the same legal requirements for this drill as there would be on cruises leaving a US port. I was disappointed with the cavalier attitude by RCL staff during this important exercise. Many (most?) from Mainland China are very inexperienced travelers and they could have benefitted from some outreach by RCL to them. Instead we had eight days of problems with what looked to be 25-30% of the passengers. DINING Windjammer Cafe (Buffet)? Had to go there while waiting around for our cabins, which were not available until 2pm. It was packed to overflowing. It was the only time we ate there - shipboard buffets are IMHO hideous. We went up to look a couple times and the food looked mostly unappetizing and uninteresting. The dining room, three floors tall, was nicely decorated and not noisy. We enjoyed all our meals in the dining room; breakfast, lunch, and dinners (early seating). The breakfast menu got boring quickly and the cheap ingredients were the same as in the buffet. We really dislike the cheap bacon and sausage used in the dining room, and the frozen hash brown potatoes were hideous. Both breakfast and lunch had a large number of items that had to be personally retrieved from a buffet set up in the middle of the room. We thought this lazy by RCL. If we wanted a buffet we would go to the Windjammer. At dinner the first night I attempted to order a bottle of wine. Should be easy, right? Nope. RCL has NO wine stewards, and the waiter at our table (who barely spoke any English) was no help. I asked if there was a wine steward in the dining room, but apparently not. I ordered a bottle of a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Sorry, don't have. They didn't have my second or third selection, either. At this point I gave up. Really glad I hadn't purchased the drinks package. LOL The first morning I ordered a Bloody Mary. NO CELERY? This was just one of many, many cheap cost-cutting decisions that we've not seen elsewhere on a cruise. Dinners had a wide variety of items, but we found that many were made with cheap ingredients - tough beef, chewy pork, and mostly an indelible duck (that found its way into a duck salad the next night). Even the ice cream was poor quality - but I guess they didn't want to compete with the Ben & Jerry's onboard. Finally, we were absolutely shocked that Royal Caribbean would charge US$10 for ROOM SERVICE. I asked our room attendant about it and he said "almost no one orders room service, the goal". ONBOARD Like the rooms, many areas of the ship looked tired and worn-out. The pools were a case in point. However the big atrium area was striking and always busy - as a respite from the small cabins, especially on the three sea days. We don't understand why anyone would buy anything but essentials at the onboard shops, nor do we understand the so-called "art auctions". ENTERTAINMENT We're not much for onboard entertainment, but we did attend a couple shows at least for a while. A female Mongolian singer was hideous - she couldn't even sing in pitch. The juggler and magician were entertaining. But the idea that "world class" entertainment is on a cruise ship is ludicrous. There was little else to do, especially on the sea days. No cooking classes, no organized exercise or yoga classes. Yes, they have wall climbing and the wave rider. Not interested. PORT CALLS We had two RCL excursions, and two excursions organized via Cruise Critic and other passengers. Vietnam has seen an explosion of tourism the last few years, and this has left their tour industry hustling to catch up. We found all of the tour guides difficult to understand and travelers shouldn't expect the same range of expertise that one would find on other cruises. We knew that going in. HO CHI MINH (SAIGON) This RCL tour was replete with problems, mainly of the guide who told stories that were blatant propaganda and largely anti-American. The war ended in 1975 and the guide wasn't old enough to have experienced it first-hand. And towards the end of the day he kept passengers onboard while he attempted to sell a book that were clearly bootleg copies. We reported all the antics to RCL the next day. NHA TRANG Nha Trang is a tender port, and RCL struggled to move passengers ashore for unknown reasons. Our tour, with a company called Shore Excursions, was well-done and interesting. Nha Trang was the most advanced tourism destination of all our port calls and the town was well equipped to handle the influx. The temple visit was interesting, and a half-day boat ride ended at a riverside restaurant. The food was pedestrian and dumbed-down for the tourists, never a good sign. The tour ended at a traditional weaving shop. Nha Trang would be great for a repeat visit. HUE, HOI AN, & DA NANG This was also an RCL tour day. The problem at this destination is that the port isn't close to anything. We planned to take the tour to the ancient city of Hoi An. This was a two hour bus ride from the port, and then two hours back. Others who visited Hue, or Da Nang, had similar harrowing stories about the long travel times. And quite often many passengers hope to see a destination "on their own" using a local taxi or Uber to get around. The few taxis at the port wanted US$200 PER PERSON to take people to Da Nang! And the walk from the port to even the nearest village was 10km. Hoi An was interesting for about five minutes. The town is a backpacker destination and ill-equipped for the large buses which (to the surprise of all the passengers) saw us dropped off in a dusty parking lot over a mile from the town! The more elderly and disabled were unimpressed that RCL hadn't told them of the bad conditions. We had a great, real Vietnamese meal for a very reasonable price in Hoi An. We also had two experiences of shops trying to rip us off. (Sigh). HA LONG BAY Tour choices at Ha Long Bay were either the Ha Long Bay boat tour, or a longish ride to Hanoi for a tour of the capital. We did Ha Long Bay and were very impressed. Again Shore Excursions organized this tour day. When we booked our cruise with RCL we were told Ha Long Bay was a tender port. And then weeks ago we were told that we would be docking. It was a new cruise terminal built there, and we were one of the first to use it. This made the whole tour day go much smoother, of course. The boat ride through the Ha Long Bay is well organized and a nice relaxing tour. The onboard lunch was adequate, but hardly Vietnamese cuisine. ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS: The internet service on the Voyager of the Seas was far better than what we've had on Holland America, but not able to stream anything despite the hype. We purchased service for two devices but could not get it to work on more than one. Onboard support was non-existent. Windows everywhere on the ship were filthy, all the time. I commented on this to several staff but was greeted with shrugs. There didn't seem to be enough staff on this cruise liner. Room attendants were rarely seen; they had too many rooms assigned to them. We've had "relationships" with room attendants and dining room staff on all our previous cruises. Not so here - they were all too busy. Long lines at the Guest Services counter were a fixture, as were staff who spoke little English. Officers were rarely seen, either. The drinks package wasn't the only thing that was being pushed incessantly. So were the "specialty restaurants". We thought them grossly overpriced and with the pedestrian quality of the meals generally, we had no illusions that these options restaurants would be any better. Conclusion? We never expected that there would be such a wide variation in the quality and experience between cruise lines - we naively assumed they were all pretty close in overall quality. We'll never go on a Royal Caribbean Cruise again. Read Less

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