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Meh
Sail Date: March 2019
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. ... Read More
Went with a big group from my country club development. The pros were that the size of the ship was very manageable and easy to navigate, no lines or waiting for anything. Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to go above and beyond. Had a standard outside stateroom with window that was small but adequate. Best restaurant was Aquilina by a long shot. The spa was decent The cons are a bit plentiful. The ship is very dated looking and in dire need of renovations. Cabin bathroom was ridiculously small. The food was sub par even tho plentiful and certainly nothing special in either taste or presentation ( except in the aforementioned Aquilina) . The entertainment was amateurish and difficult to sit though. The spa did not inform me that I could use the outside sun deck and whirlpool because I purchased a treatment. The destinations itself, key west and Cuba were disappointing. Key west is a place you can walk around for an hour or so, have a great lunch and drink alcoholic beverages in your choice of at least three establishments per block. The stores are typical tourist stores loaded with shell necklaces and tee shirts and crappy sandals. Cuba is a hot mess. It’s depressing it looks like a bomb hit it except in the tourist area where the ships are docked, those buildings are pleasing to the eye. The shopping is limited in scope, most selling the same cigars, Cuban shirts rum and local street art but u can barter price. Tour guides will try and pester you as will shop owners and beggars, it can be daunting. To each his own, this trip was not for me sorry to say Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are retired and have never been to Cuba before. We thought this would be the perfect cruise for us. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Our first impression was great disappointment. The pool was netted and the water was green. The ... Read More
We are retired and have never been to Cuba before. We thought this would be the perfect cruise for us. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Our first impression was great disappointment. The pool was netted and the water was green. The hot tubs were netted and empty. This was to be the theme of our experience as there so many time things were out of order or closed for maintenance. The soft serve machine was down, three of the seven treadmills were inoperable and the gym was insufficient for the number of guests wanting to use it. We resorted to walking on the walking deck, which was also closed for maintenance in some areas. This ship just came out of dry dock and it was evident. The Windjammer and bars were lacking in supplies that had not been restocked in time for the cruise, but we’re eventually restocked by day five. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired as one was canceled just days before we boarded the ship. Actually after experiencing one of RCL tours with this cruise, we were blessed that it was canceled. We booked a tour for a night in Cuba with RCL and it was so bad, the majoryof people walked out. The music was amateurish at best. We paid $109 per person to walk to a local restaurant and get two drinks and an appetizer that consisted of sliced cold cuts, cheese, grated carrots, and lettuce. We walked across the courtyard to another restaurant had two drinks, an appetizer and tipped our server and the cost of that was about $35 total ( not per person). What a huge mark up for profit, especially when you can get a Lobster dinner in town between $12-15 per person. If anything we’ve reminded ourselves of why de shouldn’t book tours with the cruise line and continue booking thru Airbnb. Our tours in Cienfuegos and Havana that we booked thru them were simply amazing and so much more affordable. We had a three hour walking tour with a small group of five and the cost to us was $45. Our guide even bought us gelato and mojitos as we toured. We had breakfast in Chops and they were slow and didn’t listen to what I requested. I asked for an omelet with mushroom, bell peppers and cilantro and I got an oil covered omelet with tomatoes, onions, and spinach. I ended up not eating it. As we waited we observed ceiling that were missing, paint that was peeled or incomplete. The size of the ship was nice, however, as we didn’t feel overwhelmed by the number of passengers on the ship and there were plenty of areas to go for a quiet retreat if we needed it. With all that being said, I would probably sail again on this ship, but would wait a year so that all the issues could be resolved. I certainly WOULD NOT book another shore excursion thru the cruise line. Airbnb experiences had won my loyalty and business for shore excursions. Read Less
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Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise because I wanted to see Cuba (this one had 3 days on the island) and I have sailed Royal 10 times before. Great ports....terrible ship. Do not go on this ship unless you like a lot of grief due to broken equipment. We ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I wanted to see Cuba (this one had 3 days on the island) and I have sailed Royal 10 times before. Great ports....terrible ship. Do not go on this ship unless you like a lot of grief due to broken equipment. We had a junior suite and it was a joke. Balcony was FILTHY! Terrible. Royal should be ashamed of this ship. THe pool was closed the first two days of the cruise. Upper deck was closed. Stairwells and elevators closed. Broken equipment in the work out area. Busted ice cream machine. Flooded rooms on the ship from broken pipes. Severe smell on various floors that would not clear. I cannot understand why Royal would let something of this poor of quality ship out of port. It was a joke. Shame on the for doing that to their guests. I hope they get their act together soon. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Went on this cruise for several reasons, first cruise,never been to Key West and Cuba and travel with friends. For some reason Key West was changed to Grand Cayman, not happy. Once onboard the staff at every step of cruise did all they ... Read More
Went on this cruise for several reasons, first cruise,never been to Key West and Cuba and travel with friends. For some reason Key West was changed to Grand Cayman, not happy. Once onboard the staff at every step of cruise did all they could to make you feel comfortable. They were knowledgeable and helpful. The ship is old and showed it's age. There was constant maintenance being done such as painting,replacing windows and repairing plumbing issues in bathrooms. By the way bathrooms were smelling like urine. The ice cream machines were constantly breaking down and some became inoperable. The pool did not open until the second day and the whirlpool after first day did not open any more. The entertainment was good to great as it was diversified. Something for everyone. The positive side of sailing on a small ship was the opportunity to meet new folks. Will cruise again but definitely not on Empress of The Seas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
There is a REASON there are very few pictures on RC website of this ship- it is because it is old and stinky has few amenities and is basically the WORST ship I have ever been on RC or otherwise (have been on Celebrity RC Gaugan NCL ... Read More
There is a REASON there are very few pictures on RC website of this ship- it is because it is old and stinky has few amenities and is basically the WORST ship I have ever been on RC or otherwise (have been on Celebrity RC Gaugan NCL Carnival) The ship is very smelly with weird hot smelly pockets The ship is LOUD - I was up until 2 last night with the constant noise The Gym SPA and pool area are a JOKE THE FOOD IS ROUGH - They charge now for ROOM SERVICE so heads up on that (10 with the mandatory tip include for a RS order) The boat is a non-stop attempt to sell you CRAP (and when I say crap I mean crap) The info talk given regarding disembarking in Cuba the ship staff made INAPPROPRIATE comments about the Women working the port in Cuba - it was sexist creepy unnecessary and rude Cienfuego is a waste of time of a stop - there is nothing really there - it smells walking into town and you are BOMBARDED with taxis or shore excursions (typical 3rd World) peddlers they are mildly aggressive - Everything has been broken - ice machine ice cream machine drink machines - this ship is like the WORST car at the USED CAR LOT I would NEVER NEVER NEVER recommend this BOAT to anyone and frankly RC is on my poo list too- I will NOT use RC for any cruise ever again - this is ridiculous I am still on board - it is so bad I felt compelled to write this NOW Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I’m a “Diamond Plus" member with RCL. The opportunity came up to visit Cuba, and it has always been on my bucket list. Having recently retired, I added this to the list of future cruises I booked with the cruise line. We were ... Read More
I’m a “Diamond Plus" member with RCL. The opportunity came up to visit Cuba, and it has always been on my bucket list. Having recently retired, I added this to the list of future cruises I booked with the cruise line. We were told we could start embarcation at 11:30, but a representative came out and told us that there were going to be delays letting us onboard as the ship "wasn't ready to receive us yet." I found out later that this was the first day it had been our from drydock. Let me start by saying if this had been my first cruise with RCL, it would have been my last. The ship was in such disrepair. The first issue was the pool. The water was green and they covered it with a net so no one could use it for the first two days, and the hot tubs were empty. When we went to use the gym, three of the seven treadmills were out of order and there wasn’t enough equipment to satisfy the demand, so we opted to use the walking deck. This was partially closed off so there was mixed direction because everyone had to turn around and go in a different direction. This resulted in chaos on the deck as joggers tried to dodge the casual walkers going in both directions. We wanted to enjoy a soft-serve cone, but the machine was tagged (just like the treadmills) with a "Out of Order" sign. We had breakfast in the Specialty restaurant CHOPS. When I ordered my eggs benedict, the egg yolks were solid. I ordered an omelet with mushrooms, bell peppers and cilantro, and I received an oil laden omelet with tomatoes, spinach, and onions. While waited for our meal, we observed the paint peeled from the ceiling and beams, as well as missing ceiling tiles. When we went into the Windjammer to get coffee, there were no coffee mugs or soup bowls. We had to hunt them down. In some areas of the the ship, you could smell chemicals, as it was still undergoing renovations such as painting, and carpet removal/replacement. In the hallway where our cabin was located, the halls were extremely hot because the contractors left the doors to the workrooms open and all the heat from there filled the hallways. Certainly not conditions for anyone to be working in, so I understand why they left the doors open to let some of the heat into the hallways. As for our Cabin, it was very tight! You couldn't walk around the bed as the end of the bed was abutted against a small table that held the TV. The location was not desirable, and I'm not sure how we ended up at the front of the ship, when I specifically stated we don't like the front of the ship, we prefer the middle or back. With that being said, we were located directly beneath the theater, so twice nightly we were entertained with the noise of the performers dancing on the floors over our heads. If that wasn't enough to irritate someone, there was the added feature of the anchors going down which rattled our cabin and filled it with noise. Every time we got underway, our room rattled and roared as well. (This wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't get underway at 1:00 a.m. or if it occurred when we weren't in the room) When we ordered drinks from the bar, we asked for a MasterCard (a red and yellow drink) but the bartender used coconut instead of mango when he made it. We had to stand there and watch him the second time to make sure that it didn't have coconut and sure enough, he almost did it again! We booked two tours, but one was cancelled before we even got on the ship. I suppose you could say it was a blessing because the tour that we did book, was a huge disappointment. We were led by a guide about three blocks from the ship to a local restaurant (we walked there), and we sat in a group table. We were served two drinks each (mojito, and cuba libre), and an appetizer (four slices of coldcuts, and cheeses, and shredded carrots and lettuce). There was a band playing in the restaurant - one that Simon Cowl would very quickly shut down - and a couple of dancers. All of this came at the bargain price of over $200/couple. WHAT???? SERIOUSLY!!! This was so bad, that everyone left within an hour. The tour was supposed to start at 9:00 and end at 12:00, but no one was there when we walked past it at 11:00. When we walked out, we went across the courtyard to another restaurant that had a band playing. We ordered two drinks each and an appetizer and the total (including tip) came to $35.00. What a mark-up. If anything, this was an important lesson in NOT BOOKING with the cruiseline for tours in the future. We went for dinner the next night in the same neighborhood and had a lobster dinner and drinks, and the total came to $34.00. (Lobster was $12/plate and drinks were $2.50 ea. (Again, mojitos and cuba libre). Overall a huge disappointment and completely missed all the marks for the amenities that we use while traveling and not what we’ve come to expect from. RCL Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I don't know what the (2V) means. My wife and I have been on our 10th cruise with RCCL and will continue to do so. I really thought this would not be a good trip since we usually are getting a balcony but I thought what the heck ... Read More
I don't know what the (2V) means. My wife and I have been on our 10th cruise with RCCL and will continue to do so. I really thought this would not be a good trip since we usually are getting a balcony but I thought what the heck we do this one and the next one it's only 9 days we've been to the ports on the first leg of this cruise and our first back to back. The room was small but cozy and my wife and I survived yet in the future we will get a balcony we just need the room. Everything was great. We met a lot of nice people and our steward was awesome. Our shore excursions were only one in Key West (the second part of this cruise) and the rest were by private tours. The only problem I had with this was the back to back procedures which I feel should be reviewed and looked to change. We along with about 8 other passengers stayed on the ship for a back to back. Many reasons why we did that but mainly due to the fact we came from a long distance and need more cruise time than just 5 days. Upon our arrival back at Ft. Lauderdale for the second leg of our first back to back, (key word is "first") we were escorted last off the ship and taken to a waiting area. About 20 minutes later an officer of the ship came up and handed us an envelope with our new sea pass cards. Nothing else was in the envelope just our sea pass cards. And we were told to proceed to the ship. Nothing more was said or directed. So we were under the impression that our credit card was still valid on RCCL and the ship. Since we had a credit card for our onborad expenses and gratuities and didn't formally close out the account and our sea pass cards had our beverage package working, throughout the second leg we didn't think twice about the financial situation. The last night of the cruise we were given two separate invoices both of which were ambiguous and stated pretty much "if" you have a credit card and are fine with the charges everything is good to go. Well we had one and no one asked us to re swipe our cards. So based upon the good faith of how the first disembarkation took place it was more than reasonable to draw the inference that the charges were on the same card. Upon final disembarkation and being the 3rd group of over 17 groups to leave my sea pass card was flagged. I had to get out of line and go to guest services where there was already a 20 minute line waiting. That is when I found out that my card needed to be re swiped. Clearing the bill took about 30 minutes, it was as if she had to input each and every days charges separately. Then I was allowed to leave only to find out that it takes about 10 minutes for the transaction to clear their system so after fighting my way back to the front of the exit line and very frustrated that RCCL didn't have better procedures I was finally allowed to leave. I'm not over an hour delayed and then had to go through 17 other groups to get through customs which took an additional hour. I recommend that RCCL change their procedures a bit to avoid confusion with other first time back to back passengers who might encounter this inconvenience in the future. Instead of escorting the passengers to a waiting area for 20 minutes, take that time to either explain the financial rebording process or just walk them to the reception intake area to reinitialize all of their financial transactions and avoid the confusion in the future. And stop sending out invoices that are ambiguous. I know it's easier to have a canned statement but if someone owes then tell them, "YOU HAVE AN OUTSTANDING AMOUNT DUE OR YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOW TO DISEMBARK". I understand the legal ramification of that statement however the first recommendation to walk back to back guests through the reboarding process though the intake desk would be the best solution and avoid all of the delays like this one in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
A group of 26 ladies from our hometown sailed on the Armonia for 7 days. Port stop of Cuba, price, and recommendation from one of the cruisers brought us to the Armonia. The ship was clean and the service in the restaurants and bar ... Read More
A group of 26 ladies from our hometown sailed on the Armonia for 7 days. Port stop of Cuba, price, and recommendation from one of the cruisers brought us to the Armonia. The ship was clean and the service in the restaurants and bar was excellent. The crew truly seemed happy to be there and wanted us to be happy. In terms of service, I would compare it to Azamara. We were able to go between the suite restaurant (Le Pergola) and the MDR (Marco Polo) due to our large group. The menu was the same so the only difference was in atmosphere. Much quieter and quicker in Pergola but we wanted to eat with our group at night so we ate in Marco Polo most nights. Food was better than I was expecting so I was pleased. Was it as good as Azamara and Celebrity? No, but it was good and I did not go hungry. We had $125 OBC from our travel agent but it was lost. MSC doesn’t split it between the 2 passengers. They put it on my roommate’s card and she did not spend $125. Silly us, we thought the credit card would be credited and then she was going to settle up with me when we got home. As we were exiting, my roommate was pulled over and told that OBC not used is lost. On other cruise lines, OBC from travel agents is credited back if not used. I spent money but because it wasn’t credited to me, I also lost my half. They would not move the OBC to me. Every announcement in 5 languages did get annoying but I was prepared for it. The production shows were excellent and the singers were very talented. Lots of music in several venues at night but it was all very, very loud. So loud, we ended up leaving the bars. Itinerary. Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Cuba. In our documents, it said to check in at 3:00 but we went about 12:30 and walked right on the boat. Sail away was always listed as 7 pm but at check in we were given a new itinerary which had sail away at 6 pm, Costa Maya instead of Cozumel, and arriving in Cuba at 2 pm instead of 1 pm. In Montego Bay, we booked an excursion with the ship for rafting down the Martha Brae River. It was a bit of a drive but the floating down the river on the bamboo rafts was cool however, the excursion made a stop for shopping at the small shop with no other choices around. We wasted an hour and returned at 7 which was the scheduled departure time. Bad way to end a nice trip. Grand Cayman was tendered and we arrived early at 7:30. We had been advised to wait until 9 to get off, letting the shore excursions to clear out. We went off at 9 and were at 7 mile beach at 10. Taxi took us to Calico Jacks and it was packed. Beautiful beach but way too many people. We had to be back on board at 2:30 so we left around 12:30 and back on the ship around 1:15. Would have been nicer to have a later departure. We were able to cancel our private reservation in Cozumel and planned to go to the fishing village in Costa Mayo. We were scheduled for 9:30 arrival but docked late due to high winds. We didn’t get off the boat until 11 so the group decided to just stay in the man made port. I have not been to this port in several years. It has turned into a tourist trip. Cuba, the reason we took the cruise. Guest Services contacted us and advised us that we needed to make a choice between our afternoon excursion and The Tropicana as there wasn’t enough time to do both. Disappointing. We cancelled the afternoon excursion and just walked about the old town. Going through the Visa process and exchanging money was very easy. Excursion to the Tropicana did not disappoint. Next morning, we did the Vintage Car tour and it too was an excellent excursion. Departure was organized and I was off the ship and in my car quickly. Overall, I had a great cruise because I was a part of a fun loving group of ladies. MSC was better than I was expecting and I might cruise with them again but only if The Yacht club is an option. Read Less

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