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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our 2nd time on Island Princess. Overall it was a wonderful cruise. Cruise Director, Calli Smit and his team were outstanding especially Sandi and Heather and Mattie. The only downer were minor and had to do with food. The ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on Island Princess. Overall it was a wonderful cruise. Cruise Director, Calli Smit and his team were outstanding especially Sandi and Heather and Mattie. The only downer were minor and had to do with food. The gravy and other sauces were watery. The noon-time pizza in Sabatinis left much to be desired. The matre d in Sabinitins need a class on being a congenial host. However the Crab Shack evening was very nice and the food was exceptional. Congratulations to the captain and crew who got us through a terrible storm safely. The other area for improvement would be to train the port crew on what the Bon Voyage package is. We had purchased this package for our daughter and every crew member we mentioned it to at the port looked at us like we had two heads. We embarked at Fort Lauderdale. Disembarkation was extremely well organized and ran like clockwork. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable ... Read More
We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable about the places we visited. All were cheerful, helpful, and fun. Highly recommend the company, this ship, and the itinerary. We were invited along on this trip to celebrate a friend's birthday. Ten of us were part of the party. Two other couples booked independently, but we were all friends - like family - soon after we left Seattle. The crew made all of us feel welcome, and encouraged us to mix. Food was exceptional - quality, variety, presentation all memorable. Cook always provided a vegetarian option. We especially enjoyed the fish options for dinner, although pork and beef entrees were excellent too. A special shout out to the bartender and service staff - always mixing up new drinks. Wine selections impressive. A great time. Barbara and Chuck from Minnesota Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Hello, this morning we disembarked from the Ruby Princess after a one-day re-positioning from Seattle to Vancouver. Our cabin was C409, we paid about $140 each for a balcony, but we had started out booking an inside room. About a month ... Read More
Hello, this morning we disembarked from the Ruby Princess after a one-day re-positioning from Seattle to Vancouver. Our cabin was C409, we paid about $140 each for a balcony, but we had started out booking an inside room. About a month and a half before the cruise, the prices dropped hard and I was able to kick us up to a balcony for the same price we had originally booked the inside for. Just before we left, the prices for an inside were around $70 CDN. I am happy with the costs of the cruise as I believe we got our money's worth for the trip. We live in Vancouver and had debated going down to Seattle the day before the cruise and stay in a Hotel, but with every decent Hotel costing in the market of $300-$400 for the night (Saturday), we decided to slum in it on a Greyhound during the early morning before the cruise. We hopped on a Greyhound in Vancouver at about 0530hrs and it had us in Downtown Seattle at around 1000hrs (we had gotten hung up at the border for an hour or so). We didn't realize until we saw almost everyone from the bus later on the ship that we were all coming down for the same thing. From the Greyhound station in Seattle, we walked through the baseball and football stadiums and caught a cab at the King Street Station (10-15 minute walk). We had caught an Amtrak train back to Vancouver on our last re-positioning one-day cruise in April so we were familiar with the area). Taxi from King's Street Station to Pier 91 was about $15 USD. We spoke with some others whom had arranged a transfer. They arrived at the Pier at around the same time as us and had spent $12.50 for the transfer. Worth it to spend $15 for the pair of us, and be able to work at our own schedule to get there. Anyways, we arrived at port around 1045hrs. Took a few pictures of the Ruby sitting there. We shared the port with Holland America's 'Amsterdam' that day. The Amsterdam looked to be an older vessel, one that we haven't seen much of in Vancouver in the last few years, though we do see the 'Nieuw Amsterdam' quite a bit and it is a beautiful ship. The Ruby looked very beautiful as we had seen it from a distance in the taxi and it looked very clean as we arrived at the port. We entered, traveled through Security and registration with the quickness and sat down in a large staging area. I am only a Gold status member and my fiance a Ruby, but we did not see a priority area for Platinums or Elites, not sure if they had one for this trip. I could see a special area for Holland America passengers (with uniformed waiters) but couldn't spot anything on the Princess side. After about 15-20 minutes of waiting, boarding began. We were in staging group 11, but the wait from group 1 to 11 was only about 5 minutes. We boarded the ship around 1130hrs, I would estimate. My fiance loves the embarkation photos and she was very concerned when they didn't have anything set up before we boarded. We found that they had a quick screen set up just on board for the photos. The area for embarkation photos was a bit rushed, as we would have like to prepare and pose for a good one, but I guess we were just glad to get one done. We had received a notice on check-in within the terminal that our rooms would not be ready until 1300hrs. Nuts to that, we went straight to the room at 1130hrs to drop off our bags at least. We found that the room was ready and no sign of a steward, so we dropped the bags and settled in. We were in C409, 'Caribe' Deck 10. The room was basic, I suspect the bottom rung of the balcony categories, but had a very large balcony. I did notice, however, that once I was out there that I could look right down on the balcony a level down and I suspect the people above us could look down and see us on the balcony. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to keep my pants on. We hit up the Horizon Court for Lunch. Since we boarded so quickly, we were able to beat most of the crowd to the buffet. On food, we did not try any of the specialty restaurants this time, just the buffet, Trident Grill and Pizza stand. Nothing was bad, but nothing really stood out as being that great either. I've rated dining as average but again, we did not visit any of the true dining venues. After napping from 1300-1500hrs, we took part in the Muster Drill. We were station D and attended a lounge on Deck 7. We showed up before the alarm so we could secure some seats. The drill was about 20 minutes and was painless. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the top decks. Hung around the sailaway party for a bit, played some basketball and hung out until the rain started. Was a beautiful day until, right on schedule at 1700hrs, the rain began and sent us back into the depths of the ship. At around 1730hrs, we bought a embarkation photo for $20. They worked at trying to get us to buy 2 for $40 but it was basically the same picture, the 2nd one merely being a smaller picture but with a display on sailing Seattle-Vancouver along the border, no deal. We listened in to Comedian Joe Yannetty for a few minutes. His act didn't strike us as that funny so we retreated to the Library to play board games for a bit. We broke off that at 1945hrs to snag a seat in Princess Theatre for the first seating of their stage show "Colour of the World". Really enjoyed it. Between myself and my fiance, we recognized all of the songs and the show appeared to be very polished. After that, we spent the rest of the night taking part in the Majority Rules gameshow (fun), the Yes/No game show (kinda bland) and the karoke in Club Fusion. Enjoyed Cruise Director Kelvin Joy's narration through the end of the stage show and the game shows afterward. While not particularly good-natured in his ribbing, he was very witty and fun throughout and definitely added to our enjoyment of the evening. Retired at around 2330hrs and caught a few movies on the television. The on-screen setup is one that I am disappointed with. On this, and our last cruise on the Crown Princess in the spring, the visual set up is pretty basic. My first cruise was on the Royal Princess last year and their On-Demand setup was quite good and one that the other ships have not caught up with. Slept like a baby on our mattress and woke up home in Vancouver. We were out of our cabin just before 0800hrs and headed up to Horizon Court for breakfast. So had everyone else. So we filled our plates and had to go back out onto the open deck to find a table to eat at. But the servers were out there as well and hit us right away for drinks, etc. Disembarkation occurred off of the promenade deck and after handing over our customs forms, were back into the city without any delays. A few issues that I had during the cruise: 1) I had booked the Soda and More package for both of us on my cruise personalizer months prior to boarding. We did not receive anything to state this on boarding. When I visited Guest Services, they said that did not see anything on my profile to confirm this and would not sell it now that I was on the ship. This was fine, but a recurring theme on this and our previous cruise on the Crown was that the Guest Services desk would never seem to put much effort into fixing problems or offering solutions. 2) While we were waiting for the stage show to start in Princess Theatre, we had ordered drinks on my cruise card. The waiter came back and said that the charge did not go through and he wasn't sure why. We used my fiance's cruise card and the charge when through fine. What is weird, is that both cruise cards were tied to my credit card. I didn't think anything more of it, just resigned to use her card for any further purchases. 3) As we tried to disembark the next day, we were stopped and told that we had to return to the Guest Services desk to resolve an issue. We did and found that it was the same credit issue as above. Once again, Guest Services couldn't do much of a job explaining it but it was found that a $15 charge (I assume the auto-grat) had bounced back. Did a manual payment and noticed that there were quite a few of this manual payments on her clipboard and at the other stations of the desk. Perhaps this was an ongoing issue. On the whole, we enjoyed the cruise. The only drawbacks are a mixed-bag of crew members who would sometimes go to the moon to get you what you needed and some that felt like you were bothering them to ask something. We had no interaction with our Room Steward, but had no issue with the cleanliness of the room or service times. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Eviactive put together a ballroom dance program on Crystal Serenity. Her pros were outstanding and we took lessons every morning before touring. In the evening we danced the night away to the superb band provided by Crystal on their dance ... Read More
Eviactive put together a ballroom dance program on Crystal Serenity. Her pros were outstanding and we took lessons every morning before touring. In the evening we danced the night away to the superb band provided by Crystal on their dance floor. The pros from Eviactive partied and danced with us each night until 11 p.m. On the last night we dance until midnight and then some of the younger ones in our group headed for the pulse lounge for more dancing. What an amazing week we had. The ship provided a band for nightly dancing. I must say, the band was exceptional. Eviactive provided dance lessons every day with award-winning professionals. They were available for private lessons in the afternoon which turned out to be a treat, given how good they were. We took lessons every day and danced every night. Food was gourmet. Rooms were lovely. Nothing could have been better except skipping the port stop in Astoria. Can't wait to go to Buenos Aires with Eviactive and her dance pros. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our 4th cruise from this port with this destination but the first on Royal Caribbean from this port, second on Royal Caribbean total. The embarkation was standard, but as we boarded we went to a bar to buy a couple of beers to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise from this port with this destination but the first on Royal Caribbean from this port, second on Royal Caribbean total. The embarkation was standard, but as we boarded we went to a bar to buy a couple of beers to send us off, and we were told it was a "Specialty Bar". no beer. Interesting. We had a cabin on the 11th deck with balcony and we highly recommend it, the balcony dividers opened up to other s if you had a friend or family next door which we did which was very cool. We bought the drink pass for $184 @ person and definitely had it pay for itself. Right on our deck was the pool area and 3-4 bars. Since we had smokers with us we hung out at the upper level pool bar and played cards, drank, and watched all that was going on. This part was awesome. The food was less than average. The buffet(Windjammer) was average at best. We never went the the Main Dining rooms so I cant comment, the Cafe(only other free eats) was always busy for snack food because it was the only other eats. Johnny Rockets($6.95 per person) once was good, second time we walked out as the service wasnt even able to meet anyones needs, just downright awful, they screwed up everything and couldnt make it right, awful. So lack of food was an issue, and room service, if you could get them to answer the phone was no better, small portions and sometimes they would just leave an item out because they were to busy, so they said. The activities were good, we played mini-golf, shuffleboard,some trivia games, basketball, all good. The theater shows were great. Overall we enjoyed ourselves very much and because of convinence we will look at going again, but I would look at other cruise lines first. A fellow passenger commented to us that they had been on numerous Royal Caribbean cruises and this was by far the most unorganized one ever. That seemed to sum it up. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I agree with some of the other reviewers regarding this particular cruise. I felt like we were the "leftover" cruisers. This ship had come from the South Pacific/Australia, and was gearing up for the Alaska cruise season. RCI ... Read More
I agree with some of the other reviewers regarding this particular cruise. I felt like we were the "leftover" cruisers. This ship had come from the South Pacific/Australia, and was gearing up for the Alaska cruise season. RCI was trying to fill a five-day gap and so they created this special cruise. First the good stuff: dining in the dining room was great. We were fortunate enough to get a set dining time (late seating), so we didn't have to wait in the long lines that the other guests did who were unable to get assigned dining times. Our waiters were terrific - very friendly, personable, and got us everything we asked for. The odd thing was that there were five of us, but we were seated at a table for ten. We never learned whether there were five other guests assigned to that table, or if they just needed to use the larger table. The shows were good too. Good, clean entertainment - nothing we had to be concerned that our teenage kids were hearing. And the ice show was truly outstanding. On the negative side - as others have said, the Windjammer Cafe was way too crowded and the food selections were quite sparse. No fresh fish except once, and that was just a few pieces of cod. No matter what time of day we went, they were out of the good stuff. Lots of jello and not much for nice desserts. And there were way too many passengers for the size of the cafe. We always had to wait for a table. And we often had to get our own drinks because the attendants were overwhelmed trying to get the tables cleared for the guests who were waiting to sit down. Our cabins were nice and our cabin attendants were great. Very efficient and we never had to ask for anything. We had a balcony room, but we were on a lower deck where the balconies were sort of closed in. We didn't really like that too much. The beds weren't as comfortable as we would have liked - mattresses were wearing down and the pillow were flat. I think we were in a part of the ship that hadn't yet been renovated. As far as the itinerary goes - Victoria was nice and we enjoyed Butchart Gardens. Nanaimo did not have much to offer, but we hope they are able to build up their cruise guest amenities. They were very welcoming to the passengers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a girlfriend's cruise. We all live in or near Seattle and we're celebrating our friend's 70th birthday. What I liked about the cruise/cruise ship: *The public ship areas were pretty and well-maintained. *We liked ... Read More
This was a girlfriend's cruise. We all live in or near Seattle and we're celebrating our friend's 70th birthday. What I liked about the cruise/cruise ship: *The public ship areas were pretty and well-maintained. *We liked the disco dance party on the first night and watching Karaoke on the 2nd night. On the 3rd night we saw the magician--he was funny and entertaining. On the last day, we saw the ice show (well done!) and the headliner comedian/impressionist who was awesome! *My shower was awesome. Great water pressure. *I really liked the interactive ship screens that told you a) what was going on right then, and b) how to get where you were going. *Our main dining room waiter and helper were awesome. Shout out to Desmond & Ashook! *We also had a great bartender in the Viking Lounge. Sadly I didn't catch his name. *Archee the photographer was very engaging. He made us feel special and he really captured us having a fun time! Destinations were okay; we picked this cruise because it left out of SEATTLE and was only for four days. We did not pick it for the destinations or the excursions. That being said, the Canadians were lovely. Very warm and welcoming! What I didn't like about the cruise/cruise ship: **Our stateroom was at the end of a hallway (no problem there) but our room smelled like dirty linens. They were skimpy on the quantity of towels and the towel quality was reminiscent of a low end motel. The towels looked like like carwash towels; they were beat up. The drawers were dirty and needed to be wiped down or cleaned up. **The food quality was poor. I really don't know how so much food could be so bland and tasteless. The free cookies, pastries, sandwiches, and wraps (available mid ship) were horrible. The free lemonade was so watered down it was un-drinkable. **Main dining room food: bland, tasteless and so lacking in imagination. I felt like I was eating at an old folks home. We had better food and service on shore in town. **We had "anytime dining". It's a misnomer. You can only dine "anytime" if there is room available. **The crew, overall, was not very friendly. From the first waiter that took our drink order, to others we encountered, they seemed to be disinterested. We learned that they had just come from Australia on a 20+ day cruise. I think they were burnt out or something. There was no energy on the ship. A lot of the staff seemed robotic. Over all our cruise time, we only had 4 memorable crew members. That's pretty sad. Having just sailed (March 2016) on another cruise line, I was expecting equal treatment from RCL and was sadly disappointed. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My DD was turning 21 and she loves to cruise, so I decided to book a cruise to celebrate. I had only been on Royal once in 2000. I did not care for Royal then, but I kept hearing good things about Royal and I liked the Explorer’s ... Read More
My DD was turning 21 and she loves to cruise, so I decided to book a cruise to celebrate. I had only been on Royal once in 2000. I did not care for Royal then, but I kept hearing good things about Royal and I liked the Explorer’s itinerary, so I decided to book. We have only stayed in a suite once on NCL and we were spoiled. I decided to book a suite with Royal even though I knew the perks were nothing like NCL. We arrived at the Seattle port around 11 am and quickly went through security. We then found ourselves in a line for suite guest to check in. The line was not nearly as long as the other lines, but it was still long. Once it was our turn to check in and get our sea pass cards, there was a note attached to my sea pass card that stated we were invited to a “lite lunch” at Dizzy lounge to wait for our suite to become available. As soon as we got on the ship, we immediately went to Dizzy’s lounge for our “lite lunch” all to find an empty lounge. There was a staff member standing there and I asked her about it and she had no idea what I was talking about. I showed her the note and she tells me that it does not start until 1:30. We were hungry and decided to head to the Windjammer since nothing else was open. What we saw next, I never imagined would happen. The elevator arrived to deck 11 and the door open, to our surprise that is where the line ended to get into the Windjammer. We decided to go eat at the Café Promenade, but when we got there, it was closed. We went back to the Windjammer and waited in line. After waiting about 20 minutes, I sent my daughter back down to the Café to see if it were open and it was not. We waited an hour to get into the Windjammer. As if waiting an hour was not bad enough, once we finally got to the food, the only food they were serving were hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries. There wasn’t even cheese. Dessert was JELLO! My daughter looked at me and asked if it was too late to get off the ship! It was very clear that they had run out of food. After our wonderful lunch….NOT, we went back to Dizzy lounge and inside the Diamond lounge and there still was no “lite lunch”. We then went to check out our suite. We ran into our cabin attendant Ravi and he introduced himself to us. We saw there was no fruit basket and we asked Ravi about it and he told us that yes, they had run out of food and were in the process of restocking and that our fruit should arrive later. The suite was nice and what I had expected. Lots of storage which was great. We had the 5:30 traditional dining and we enjoyed having the same wait staff nightly. We had Rosemarie and Charlston and they were wonderful. The food in the MDR was good and we felt was better than NCL. We did not try any specialty restaurants mainly because we wanted to see if we would enjoy the MDR food and for the most part we did. Being in a suite we were able to have breakfast in Chops and the food was typical cruise breakfast food. The biggest disappointment is that the only non paid food options for lunch is the buffet or Café Promenade. The buffet was not very appealing. The food choices were always the same and nothing looked good. They had pasta sitting out but it looked over cooked and soggy. Never tried it, so I don’t know if it was any good. The only day we ate lunch at Windjammer is on the first day. We always went to see if the choices got better, but never did. We ate lunch everyday at Café Promenade and the sandwiches were okay. We have cruised on NCL numerous times and have always enjoyed their shows. Every night we went to a show on Royal and only lasted 15 minutes before we would leave. I feel like the shows were for the older crowd and not our style. Other’s seemed to have enjoyed the shows, so I guess it just depends on what you like. I prepurchased voom for 1 device and it was not worth the price I paid. It rarely worked and we would lose connectivity more often than it worked. The staff on the Explorer were WONDERFUL and we never had to wait for drinks at the bar. We really wanted to love Royal, but we didn’t. I know I would never spend the money on a suite with Royal again. I may cruise on Royal again if it was a great deal, but I really doubt it. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Absolutely fantastic!! We love HAL. Everything was exceptional - organized embarkation was very fast, ports of call were great, service was exceptional, all activities and meals were all fantastic, and we can't say enough great things ... Read More
Absolutely fantastic!! We love HAL. Everything was exceptional - organized embarkation was very fast, ports of call were great, service was exceptional, all activities and meals were all fantastic, and we can't say enough great things about the exceptional staff. Can't think of enough stellar words to describe all the great things about HAL. Just booked our next cruise on HAL!! The staff on any HAL ship makes your cruise experience absolutely wonderful. No request is too small, no issue is too big to be handled immediately, The staff are always smiling and sometimes singing! The whole vibe of being on a HAL ship makes one feel relaxed and happy in one's soul. And THAT is what cruising is all about. Highly recommend anyone thinking about cruising to book on HAL. You'll be hooked! Have taken other cruises and all HAL cruises are comparable to the one Cunard voyage I took years ago. Truly can't think of another cruise line that offers the fantastic experience that HAL does. Read Less

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