This is the single worst vacation experience ever. I booked the excursion by phone prior to our cruise. I wanted to be sure that my family of 4 could ride in pairs as if this was not the case, I would have booked another excursion. I read the entire description thoroughly and also asked the RCI excursion specialist SEVERAL times whether there would be ANY circumstances what-so-ever that would cause me or any member of my family to be asked to ride with someone other than a family member. She assured me multiple times that we could ride in pairs so I booked the excursion for about $84 per person.
After arriving at port, we walked around for several minutes looking for the place where we were to line up for parasailing. My husband ended up asking around and found the lady holding the sign was accidentally holding a sign for Carnival Cruise parasailing (we were on RCI). Once she realized the error, it took another 15 minutes or so for our group to arrive, sign waivers and walk to the pontoon boat which would eventually take us to another boat where we could parasail. Our group of 28 was split into two groups. The first boat took 13 people and our boat had 15 people. WE GOT ON THE WRONG BOAT!!
The driver was curt, rude and abrasive. Upon arrival it was apparent that he was in a huge hurry and obviously irritated. He yelled that we could "throw some kids up at the front of the boat" and they could sit on the floor - which was fine but his tone was terrible. I saw him mouth to his poor (obviously uncomfortable) assistant "Don't let them tell you what to do" (meaning the passengers). The driver then began barking at all of us telling us where to sit. then he proceeded to explain the parasailing procedures. After a short time it became clear that we were going to ride in 3's and he was TELLING us - not asking. The assistant asked me if I minded riding with the two girls sitting in front of me and I let him know that I'd rather ride with my family if possible. My husband spoke up and said "I don't mind riding with the girls so my wife can ride with our children." Others on the boat also tried to speak up so we could quickly work out an arrangement that was expeditious (as it was clear he was in a hurry) and would also work for the paying customers. The driver was visibly irritated so he swatted his hand toward me dismissively and said "Forget about it. I'm not talking about this".
We were suited up and I was asked to sit in between the two girls who wanted to sit together. The boat driver would not even let them sit next to each other.
After everyone got their (maybe) 5 minutes in the air, we were rushed to the Royal Palms beach where the driver pulled directly up to the shore and asked those getting off to hold their belongings over their heads and jump off the boat quickly.
The beach was beautiful, water was gorgeous. We had a nice relaxing break at Royal Palms.
After arriving back on the ship, I went to the excursion desk to tell them about our experience. It took 20 minutes for the woman at the desk to document what happened and told me it would be about 24 hours before they get back with me. After some back and forth with RCI, I was able to recover 100% of the cost of the excursion. RCI didn't make it easy - they first told me they would refund me 30% and I felt that was pretty weak considering all the circumstances.
I've never written a review in my life, but felt compelled to warn other travelers about this excursion - choose one of the other ports to go parasailing or book the excursion directly only after making sure that the company is not the one that RCI uses. Don't book parasailing in GC through RCI. That's all!
Read darkangel76's full Liberty of the Seas cruise review
Royal Caribbean International