I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years ... Read More
I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years past, so I could not take advantage of the cocktail party or room comps that sometimes go along with them. Regardless, I was able to get my travel partners to use my reservation code and link theirs, so we could all sit together at Dinner. I learned about 1 month prior to our departure that Carnival had made this date cruise a theme cruise called 'Country Booze Cruise' which included bands, parties and all. This was a huge group for sure, which explains why the 'group' reservation option was not available to me at the time. Once on board however, all my quips re the Group thing went away. I purchased the 'Faster to the Fun' package so I could get on as soon as possible, and also so we could debark early. It was well worth the price. We were the VERY FIRST people off the ship, and some of the first on board.
I have done many cruises, and enjoy the party aspect of them. This weekend cruise is perfect for that purpose. I have done this one before (weekender to Ensenada), on Carnival Paradise, as well as several RCCL ships, and hands down this was the best to date. This is solely because of all the Country Music and People and Attitudes. I am hoping Carnival does this Country theme again. This really was the reason this experience was so good. Dancing and Music was non-stop. People's attitudes were amazing and everyone was smiling all the time. So much fun was happening everywhere and by everyone.
Food was fine. Drinks were fine. I loved the PYOB (Pour Your Own Beer) stands. I was able to drink Heineken and the Carnival beer for ~$4.75 out the door.
Couple things I noticed different from past cruises...
- I never met my cabin steward. He/She did a great job and I have no complaints, but I wonder if because of pre-paid gratuities this is becoming more of the norm?
- It was hard to get drinks at pool bars. Many people now do the Cheers program (up to #15 drinks/day for around $55/day. I wonder if because of this, and Carnival has your money already, if there is less incentive to push drinks, therefore less desire to hustle and serve customers. Seriously, I waited 30 minutes at a bar for a drink, and it was not that crowded. There was not many waiters walking around taking drink orders near the pool either, so getting drinks near the pool was a challenge. Again, I loved the PYOB stands for this reason as well.
My 15 year olds were not able to meet many other teens on board. I think because of the Theme 'Country Booze Cruise' that may parents chose to not take their kids. Not many younger kids either. Despite this they had a great time. Loved the 24-hour Pizza and Ice Cream. Also, Guy's Burgers are AMAZING!
All in all, a great cruise, and cannot wait to do this again. Read Less
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was no Staff ... Read More
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was no Staff to ensure it was used. You could not use the two spas as Parents would leave their young children in their me then wander off, at one stage I counted fifteen children sitting in and around a spa never again, would I ever use Pacific Jewel or any in this fleet. I have been on five cruises by different lines and ha e me r experienced such poor service and t times rude staff - I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruises which are far superior to what I experienced on the P&O Pacific Jewel I am afraid I could never recommend P & O - most went back to use their own bathrooms because the public bathrooms were beyond words Read Less
2nd Royal Caribbean cruise. My 9th cruise overall. The title review is the pros of this cruise/ship.Very impressed with service staff of this ship. Being in the food industry myself I see the issues on this ship. And the staff is doing too ... Read More
2nd Royal Caribbean cruise. My 9th cruise overall. The title review is the pros of this cruise/ship.Very impressed with service staff of this ship. Being in the food industry myself I see the issues on this ship. And the staff is doing too well in dealing with it. What I see is issues with corporate staff and the decisions that are being made in dealing with guest service issues. For this problem I will unfortunately not be sailing with Royal Caribbean ever again. Part of the problem was a mistake I made in dealing with a travel agent( first time, last time) but the cruise line refused to get involved. And they should have. It was blatant dishonesty. Guest services also on ship would not help. Only thing i was offered was a blanket promo package for next cruise. My girlfriend was a first time cruiser so I did not make a big deal or let it take up my vacation time on ship. For her sake. A 250.00 stateroom credit would have made me happy because it would have demonstrated that customer retention is relevant in this case. So my bad for trusting a travel agent that is ready for the velvet pillow that doesn't care who he rips off. And shame on Royal for letting this happen. You had all the agent's info. You should have stepped in.
Great service staff. Dining room food very good. Windjammer food mediocre. My last cruise in 2006 was much better in food quality. Service budgets and food budgets have been cut down clearly. I see that staff is being pushed harder for a rising standard that corporate refuses to resource properly. And yes i spoke professionally to a couple of your team leaders. They did not complain to me about the problems I saw. Very Very PROFESSIONAL. Clearly they know how to keep their jobs. Brian Alexander at The Mast Bar was one of the best bartenders I've ever had on a cruise ship. He would be working for me for sure if you let him go. Also my Head Waiter Marlon was great; despite all the bad decisions his super was making on staffing issues. Bob my housekeeper at 11-546 was equally exceptional.
I hope this review is helpful for the owners- most likely they will not see it-and is helpful for other cruisers. Read Less
We sailed on the Brilliance of the Seas, the ship was updated in most places and always clean. We stayed in a junior suite and enjoyed the comfort it provided. The staff in the dining room and winjammer made the experience great! Iwan was ... Read More
We sailed on the Brilliance of the Seas, the ship was updated in most places and always clean. We stayed in a junior suite and enjoyed the comfort it provided. The staff in the dining room and winjammer made the experience great! Iwan was such a pleasure to see every night, greeted everyone with one of the biggest smiles, and truly seemed happy to help. The entertainment was hilarious. The cruise director and activities director were such a great asset to this cruise. The service was pretty good overall. Our housekeeper didn't really provide the Royal Caribbean/cruise experience. The room was clean, but he seemed too busy to speak when we saw him and only made one towel animal the entire 5 day cruise. That's nothing really, but is always fun to see when you return to your room at night. Grand Cayman was beautiful, but the Fury Catamaran in Cozumel is a must do. Angel and his staff really showed everyone a great time. They were friendly, fun and knew exactly how to get the party started! Angel, his crew and the excursion was the highlight/center point of fun for our trip. Would definitely go on again. Read Less
I would highly recommend this cruise to others. The entertainment was very good. It was always easy to find something fun to do even when the weather wasn't good. The first few days were stormy so the ship rocked back and forth more ... Read More
I would highly recommend this cruise to others. The entertainment was very good. It was always easy to find something fun to do even when the weather wasn't good. The first few days were stormy so the ship rocked back and forth more than I thought it would being such a big ship. We had a really good time at all the ports participating in royal caribbean excursions. The main dinning room food needs improvement but there are other food options on board for additional charges that were delicious. The bartenders and wait staff were on top of everything. They were also very friendly and started good conversation. The fitness area was too small for the number of people on board. It was always too busy to do anything. Cozumel was a blast. The beach was beautiful. I would highly recommend the playa mia shore excursion in Cozumel. For only 50 dollars you get to swim, snorkel, kayak, and play on a beach water park in beautiful waters. Read Less
We went on this cruise for a wedding. The ship was chosen by the bride and groom for the activities they had on board ie: Flo Rider The ship itself was clean however, the food on this cruise was horrible!! Cabins are nice but the beds are ... Read More
We went on this cruise for a wedding. The ship was chosen by the bride and groom for the activities they had on board ie: Flo Rider The ship itself was clean however, the food on this cruise was horrible!! Cabins are nice but the beds are like sleeping on a slab on cement! Very uncomfortable! I would do a lot of research and read reviews on what cruise(s) to take in the future. I much prefer Carnival to Royal Caribbean any time!!! All the ports of call were very good. This was our first time to Haiti and we like the beach area very much. The food they served for lunch was your basic hamburger, hot dog or BBQ ribs with a variety of sides. There is also a lot of shops there for picking up some nice items to take home for friends and family. The dining room and bar staff were the friendliest. Read Less
My party occupied 4 cabins. 3/4 cabins had bathrooms overflowing and showers over flowing into our stateroom. The hallways smelled. We had to wait 45 minutes to have our water line fixed and this was right before formal dinner. The water ... Read More
My party occupied 4 cabins. 3/4 cabins had bathrooms overflowing and showers over flowing into our stateroom. The hallways smelled. We had to wait 45 minutes to have our water line fixed and this was right before formal dinner. The water was completely shut off in our room while we were stuck on board because we missed Cococay due to weather. There was a HUGE lack of communication (no one reported our water line breaking to the Superiors) and there was no flexibility in trying to "right" this problem. They offered me $60 towards my next cruise. Worst time I've ever had with RC.
Stateroom attendant was AMAZING. Dining service was GREAT. activities were okay. Thankful i had a party of 8 to hang with and enjoy company... If our friends werent there it would have been a very boring and rocky cruise. Drinks were on point, music was great, loved seeing the captain out and about.. These parts were great! Read Less
This was our annual Apparel Decorators Cruise (10th).
It was a great cruise. We (group of 29) had access to a great conference room for our classes each day.
The only problem was the internet. I paid a lot of money for "the ... Read More
This was our annual Apparel Decorators Cruise (10th).
It was a great cruise. We (group of 29) had access to a great conference room for our classes each day.
The only problem was the internet. I paid a lot of money for "the fastest internet on the sea" or some such crap. The service was lousy. It kept logging me off, it was EXTREMELY slow, and it was a lengthy process to log back on each time. I had purchased the package because I intended to continue running our business from the ship.
We didn't get to stop at Labadee due to weather, and I don't think we were properly compensated for missing that.
I did really enjoy the food, both in the dining room, and the buffet area.
We also felt the quality of the entertainment was lacking. It was rather amateurish.
We did enjoy the comedians.
Thank you. Read Less
MSC has major staffing problems, with the few dedicated souls trying to maintain an image of quality. Food arrived in dinning room an hour and a quarter after ordering an often cold and mixed up at the table. Then there was a push toget ... Read More
MSC has major staffing problems, with the few dedicated souls trying to maintain an image of quality. Food arrived in dinning room an hour and a quarter after ordering an often cold and mixed up at the table. Then there was a push toget you out before next sitting. Coffee was never offered. The only decent coffee had to be bought and expensive.Meats were often inedible. Fish always an option.Drink packages prices were different from venue to venue and designed to push to more expensive bands. Reason for travel was the wonderful Jazz at sea program which MSC catered to well. The ship is in dire need of refit , cabins are full of worn stained furniture. Comments on sewage smells are accurate. No religious services were offered. Passenger management systems seemed efficient and polite.
In the main staff were working hard but it was obvious management pushed for maximum profit not integrity of service. Read Less
We went on this cruise with about 80 Buffalo Bills fans from western NY after attending the game vs. the Miami Dolphins. The cruise included an open bar and we did feel that this was a good option which avoided the shocking moment when ... Read More
We went on this cruise with about 80 Buffalo Bills fans from western NY after attending the game vs. the Miami Dolphins. The cruise included an open bar and we did feel that this was a good option which avoided the shocking moment when you are presented with a bar tab and gratuities when leaving. Also, no one stuck a pricey drink in your hand and THEN asked for your room number.
We liked the concept of open dining, however, we were hugely disappointed the ability to handle a large group. We tried to be courteous by reserving a table for 10 since we were told that sometimes it would be hard to accommodate 10 people walking in. In all cases they would offer before 6 or after 8:30pm - in spite of there being many empty tables during those times. The dinner we reserved at 6:00pm took 3 HOURS. We missed several activities that we were interested in. The next night we walked in with 10 and it took over 2 hours. The service was slow and the food was generally unimpressive.
There were too few activities that did not involve an extra charge and they were in out of the way places - not by the pool or in the lobby where you could just join in "spur of the moment". The "show" the first night was a joke - not entertaining at all.
Just say NO to paying extra for the games of chance like raffles, Bingo,or the slot, Blackjack or Poker tournaments. I would not have a problem funding winners out of the take for the game, however the cruise ship takes over 50% of the money collected and then distributes the remaining to the winner(s). Example: Blackjack tournament - advertised as win up to $500 cash. We did not stay for each of the prelim rounds but it appeared that approximately 22 people entered at $20 per person ($420 take). The winner received $140 winner or 1/3 of the total pot. There was no prize for second so it seems that NCL kept the profit (67%). Way better profit margin than any table game and it comes with 0% risk to NCL. If many more people entered the prize is still capped at $500. They made it very difficult to deposit raffle tickets at a different time and place from where you bought them and then you needed to be present to win (the drawing inconveniently being held during the long, slow dinner). Read Less
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