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175 Holiday Cruise Reviews

We have sailed on Costa before and promised that we would not do so again, but the dates and the length of the cruise and the ports to be visited made us get excited again, and it was a different ship this time, so we thought, why not? ... Read More
We have sailed on Costa before and promised that we would not do so again, but the dates and the length of the cruise and the ports to be visited made us get excited again, and it was a different ship this time, so we thought, why not? Great views from the balcony, but on the wrong side of the ship, we were always on the water side never got to watch the port from ours. Very small room, don't let the photos on the web pages fool you, just enough room to walk between the wall and the bed. the balcony itself is only 1m x 2m with 2 chairs and a very low table, the door is extremely heavy as you would expect, however, my wife struggled to open it most times. The bathroom is exactly the same size as every other stateroom, so no extra space, and for a person who is 6ft tall and weighs 220 pounds that does not leave a lot of room for anything! let alone getting in the shower. Sadly, the airconditioning unit in the hallway burst a pipe and flooded our cabin and six others around it, we were disappointed with Costa's compensation offer ( a bottle of wine and a bowl of fruit ) to put up with an industrial dryer in our room for the next 3 days of the cruise and one outside the door for 4 days, not to mention the smell of wet carpet for 4 days. Bad, Bad, Bad! The ports that we visited were Semarang, Benoa, Lombok, Singapore, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket (Patong) and back to Singapore. I would pass on Semarang, Lombok and possibly Benoa, but the other stops where terrific. The Costa entertainment crew, they call them the "Animation Team" now, were a bit of a let down compared to the entertainment team on the Costa Romantica that took us to similar ports just 2 years before. Being the Christmas and New Year cruise the staff had made pretty red bows to go on all of the cabin doors and there were a few tinsel pieces around the place, the atrium had a lovely decorated Christmas tree but that was about all. For NYE the crew let go of a net full of balloons on the strike of midnight, but because of the layout of the ship, there was not really many people in the area to enjoy this. I think that the deck layout on the Victoria made for a difficult time for them, there is not just one spot to be entertained in but many small areas, but we made our own fun. the good thing is that Costa has stopped people smoking anywhere on the ship that is inside, you have to go to the outdoor areas. Given that we have now had two cruises through Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, I think maybe the next one will be to the Phillipines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Japan etc. Just next time won't be a Costa cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat ... Read More
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat (mostly pork), and slow service. We tried the Lido on a few occasions, but the same boring buffet everynight, with pork (again) Xmas Eve was quite pleasant, and we enjoyed the carol service, but Xmas Day was a big letdown, nothing at all festive and The Gala Dinner was far from anything special. The entertainment is very childish, as others have said, the same things on deck every day. Silly game shows on a night (Mr &Mrs, etc). The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge are enthusiastic, but that's about all you can say, a very young team who prance around thinking they can sing (most of them look like they should still be in school). We were on The Dream in June2013, a more mature team, but the exact same shows. Some of the chairs in the various lounges were on the verge of collapse, a lot of penny pinching going on. The highlight of the cruise was the many friendly people we met and the wonderful ports of call, we did all the tours and beaches ourselves sharing taxis with others. To sum it up, Thomson need to up their game, a lot of cutbacks and it shows. We love cruising but won't be back on Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We were on the 1-15 March back to back cruise, and I've never been so glad to end a holiday. This was our third cruise, previously we had done the Med on Celebrity Summit, and the Caribbean on the P&O Ventura. There was no ... Read More
We were on the 1-15 March back to back cruise, and I've never been so glad to end a holiday. This was our third cruise, previously we had done the Med on Celebrity Summit, and the Caribbean on the P&O Ventura. There was no comparison. I had read all the reviews prior to the cruise and foolishly thought that those folk giving negative reviews were being a bit picky. No, they weren't! Embarkation. Arriving in Miami, it didn't take us long to board - it was too early to access our cabin so we were told to go up to the buffet on deck 14. Accommodation. Our balcony cabin on Deck 8 aft was lovely, we even had a bath! Curiously we only had one small comfy chair in the room, but in the photos (on the dreadful MSC website) it showed a small sofa or two easy chairs. We didn't bother complaining since we didn't plan on spending a lot of time in the cabin. Food. The food quality in the buffet that first day should have been an early warning - I chose a plate of paella which was so disgusting I took a couple of mouthfuls and couldn't eat the rest. The buffet was so crowded it was difficult to get anything else so I didn't bother - we ended up calling it the "work canteen" which was quite apt. When we booked we were asked if we wanted the first or second sitting at dinner - the first sitting was supposed to be at 5.30 which was a bit too early so we opted for the second sitting at 7.30 and asked to be part of a table of 8. We then discovered that the second sitting was in fact at 8.30 which was far too late and were told that, due to the first sitting being fully booked with the Holistic Holiday vegan crowd, we couldn't change. Oh well, we found our table of 6 (yes, they hadn't even got that right). Our dining companions, however, were great and we had a good laugh. The food, which was repeated the second week, was pretty dire and some of it was so salty I found it difficult to eat (normally I love salty, savoury food but it was too much even for me). Very disappointing - I think I ended up ordering the grilled salmon most nights as it was the most palatable thing on the menu. We got on so well with our dining companions we decided not to change sittings for the second week. At lunchtimes, I tended just to have a couple of slices of pizza from the buffet as that was the only decent choice which wasn't luke-warm or tasteless. Staff. Our wee cabin steward, Mohamad, was very helpful and friendly over the two weeks, as were most of the waiters, bar staff etc even though you could tell they were tired and overworked. The more senior staff (Italian for the most part) could be quite arrogant and unhelpful (especially the fat man who seemed to be in charge of the towel boys, he was just a bully). First week. The first sea day we headed up to the deck 15 Garden Pool area to find it had been taken over by the vegan yoga people, totally preventing anyone from lying out in the sun for the first couple of hours. They proved to be a real nuisance that first week (however, the second week we wished we could have them back instead of the hordes of brats which infested the ship!). The vegans had their own food station at the buffet (good luck to them, it seemed to be a choice of brown slop, grey slop, white slop or broccoli!!). They walked round with their holistic healing bags and yoga mats under their arms - well, you've never seen such a bunch of scrawny, grey, unhealthy, not to mention self-righteous, folk in your life. I wanted to use the library one day but they were having a seminar in there. The library was supposed to be open at 3, I went up at ten past, then again at 4 but they were still there listening to some psycho-babble nonsense. Gullible lot. I did complain at reception that there were some facilities we were unable to use due to the nutjobs taking over. The girl at reception said that a lot of people had complained about them. It was quite difficult that first week getting a sunbed, so we tended to go up about 8.30, get a couple of beds and take it in turns to go for breakfast. Despite notices saying that diapers (nappies to us British folk) were not allowed in any pool at any time, there were loads of parents dunking their tiny tots in the pools - how unhygienic can you get - dirty people? Needless to say, neither of us ventured into the pools - mind you, it was standing room only most of the time. By the time the second week arrived, the ship was invaded by families - there were screaming, badly behaved kids everywhere! This made it even more difficult to find somewhere to lie and sunbathe on a sea day. We discovered Deck 18, which was for over 18s only and paid for a rattan chair on two occasions ($30 a day). Beware if you do this - make sure you turn up early, because each time we were there, they had double booked some of the beds and people were getting justifiably annoyed. It was really nice and peaceful, if you ignored the loud "entertainment" at the main pool, with a small bar and staff bringing round free fruit kebabs and cold towels. The only thing that would have made it better would have been some toilets - if you needed to go to the loo, you had to go down a couple of decks. The fat officer who I mentioned earlier in the review actually man-handled my husband after he tried to come back up to Deck 18, since my husband didn't realise he had to show him the booking card, which he'd left with me. The fat guy actually grabbed his arm and tried to pull him away from the stairs! Excursions. Oh dear, where do I start? I notice that MSC say that they take no responsibility for the excursions, which I thought was contrary to EU contract law. We booked some excursions through their website before we went away. Our first was supposedly a panoramic tour of San Juan - oh great, we saw loads of hotels in San Juan, some picturesque tramps living rough, stopped at a ghastly marble building which was quite boring. I was in tears there when I saw some poor, skinny horses, covered in sores and callouses, pulling heavy tourist carriages through the traffic. How cruel! Our second stop was the fort, which we realised we could have walked to from the ship. Quite an interesting place and great viewpoint. We headed down to the small square in the town and had some drinks before boarding the bus again. The guide told us the bus was going to park up over the road and we could have a look at the square (again), but he didn't seem sure when we should be back at the ship (worrying since it was leaving at 4), so we told him we were just going to walk back to the ship ourselves. We didn't book an excursion in St Maarten since we had been there before and just wanted to spend a day on the beach. The trip in Jamaica was simply a trip round some seedy back streets in Falmouth and then the beach - again we were again made to feel very unsure of the correct return time to the ship. Quite stressful. The ship did not stop at Great Stirrup Cay because the weather was wet and windy - it didn't stop there the second week either because it was slightly breezy. In this day and age you would think that the weather forecast would be available and they could have a Plan B and sail somewhere else. My husband remarked that it was saving them money by sailing very slowly to Miami. I quite believe it. Our excursion in Grand Cayman was truly appalling! It was supposed to be a quick sightseeing tour, ending up at Tiki beach. First of all we were driven past numerous hotels with the driver reading out the names, just after we'd seen and read them for ourselves, yeah, thanks. Then he parked in a lay-by behind some shops and said we were there for 30 minutes! Thankfully, everyone got back on the bus after 15 and we headed to Hell. A red and black shack with some tacky souvenirs - we were told we would be here for an hour - doing what, exactly??!!! The whole bus was in an uproar - we assumed we would spend a short time at each place and get a couple of hours at the beach. We all kicked up such a fuss that the time was cut down to 15 minutes - we did have an MSC excursion rep with us but she was worse than useless. Next was a Rum Cake Factory. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but to me a factory is where they make stuff, not just another shack selling rum cake. Ho hum, off to the Turtle Farm which was quite interesting. I just wish the people who were told NOT to hold the baby turtles in one hand and to hold them over the water, NOT the concrete, had actually taken some notice of the guide. The poor baby turtles were obviously in distress being out of the water for so long and being handed from one person to the next. I was just dreading someone dropping and killing one! Off to the beach finally. We had seen some gorgeous sandy beaches but, unfortunately, this wasn't one of them, just very small, scruffy and crowded. There was a complementary cup of rum punch which had never been near a bottle of rum - it was just watered down tasteless fruit juice. The beach beds were broken, I had to try four before I got one which was fit to lie on without it collapsing. The sand was coarse and full of cigarette ends and other rubbish. The sea was dirty with weed and not very enticing to swim in. Again, we felt stressed about getting back to the ship because it wasn't made clear when we would be picked up. When we got back to the ship, we tried to cancel our next excursion but were told that we could only do this if one of us was ill and we paid to get a medical certificate (mind you, the other person would still have had to take the trip). We showed our confirmation that said we could cancel but would have to pay a cancellation fee, only to be told this didn't apply. So we decided to bite the bullet and go, since our dining companions were going too. Thankfully, the trip on Cozumel was the best of the lot, with a professional guide (not just the driver), a proper coach and an assurance we would be back to the ship on time. Our second week was definitely spoiled by the amount of naughty kids on the ship - bad enough during the day but even at 9 or 10 at night, they were running riot in the bars. Not very pleasant when you're all dressed up, attempting to have an adult conversation while sipping cocktails surrounded by screaming brats. The shows were repeated the second week. We were impressed by the contortionists, acrobats, dancers etc but the shows just seemed to be these acts dressed up and performing against a theme - Wonderland, Witches of Paris, Pirates - with no particular connection, so a bit boring. Thankfully quite short though. The Michael Jackson impersonator was good but why they had the other singer doing Michael's songs in a more operatic style, I just don't know. We didn't bother with the Frank Sinatra night since it was the same singer and I think Sinatra songs need to be done in his own style. The duelling pianos men were diabolical - like the worst karaoke you've ever had the misfortune of hearing. We thought it was a joke at first and they were supposed to be crap! But no, they actually seemed to think they were entertaining. Think again lads! I wouldn't have paid them in Monopoly money. The disembarkation was the last straw - a total shambles. Really MSC couldn't organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery! We had completed the documentation for self assist disembarkation but lo and behold, we received luggage tickets in our cabin for the normal luggage collection. So we went to reception and changed it for the correct option. We were told to vacate the cabin by 7 am and meet in the Piazzo del Doge coffee shop. We sat there with our luggage among loads of other people for about 30 minutes. After a while everybody started to get up and stand in lines at the door (didn't hear any announcement, think someone just got fed up and everyone else followed). We all stood there, complete with large cases, for about an hour. During the time, there were no announcements, no information, just nothing! There were people with yellow tagged luggage pushing past us in the other direction going to who knows where. Finally, we managed to escape from the ship, it only took us a couple of hours! The good things about the cruise. Well, the ship is gorgeous and beautifully clean, the staff are lovely (except for the more senior ones), the Allegrissimo drink package was terrific, I think we made a 100% profit on that (ha ha, we're Scottish, of course we did!). If anyone thinks I am being nitpicky about the cruise, I usually try to find positive things to say, check out my other reviews if you don't believe me. I was so stressed, I ended up getting Shingles when I arrived home and was very ill (hence the late review). Since you can only catch this from someone with chickenpox, I reckon I probably caught it from some child on the ship. My husband says he hasn't felt well since we got back either. I feel even giving this review 2 stars is half a star too many. We will be travelling with P&O in future.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and ... Read More
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and gluten free because I am allergic to dairy and gluten, but I have never had any issue. I usually just alert the staff and they make things I can have. This time I did alert the staff, and spoke with them at length daily, but it was hit or miss and mostly badly miss. Either I got nothing or I was given dishes that I was told were vegan and gluten free and either I realized they were not, or my body told me they were not later. I was sick to my stomach the last two days, from the reaction I have to dairy. To give some examples, the day before thanksgiving I told the staff what I wanted to eat. On Thanksgiving day, the only vegan and gluten free appetizer specially made was given to another guest. When my entrée arrived, I was told they could not make the appetizer I requested (something already on the menu, minus the cream). They should have told me this upfront, as they discussed making it more than 24 hours before. The entrée was fake chicken, which I specifically and repeatedly told them that I could not eat because it contains gluten. I requested the same thing but with tofu and not fake meat. I sent it back. They brought it out again, minus the fake chicken, still no tofu. At this point I decided to quit trying to actually have a thanksgiving dinner, and have dessert instead. But at dessert time, they again said they did not have the dessert I requested, strawberries, although they were present on the menu and other guests’ plates. At no point any day did they ever offer me something else when claiming they didn’t have something. So for thanksgiving dinner I had salad and a banana, and my meal and holiday experience were ruined. For the next day, I again requested tofu and mushrooms. What I got was some cold vegetable sludge with literally two mushrooms and a few tiny cubes of tofu. I asked for more mushrooms and tofu, again they said they had none. For dessert they gave me raw, cold, uncooked, unsweetened canned pumpkin in a dish. Obviously you don’t eat uncooked food from a can, not to mention that it was disgusting. They did give me soup that they said was vegan and gluten free, but I am sure it was not based on how I felt later and that it was indistinguishable from the non vegan version the other guests were eating. The chef did make me things special at times and they were great. I believe the issue was with the wait staff. In order to actually get anything I could eat, I had to wait an hour or more and ask multiple waiters repeatedly. This was embarrassing in front of all of the rest of my party. They would all be done eating and I would still be begging for something. The wait staff also outright lied to me about not having things like cinnamon, strawberries, mushrooms, tofu, etc which magically reappeared later or in other places. I don’t think they bothered to ask for it or speak to the chef half of the time. Other people placed special orders, and they were actually given them, and in a timely manner, so that was not the issue. I don’t think the staff had a clear understanding what vegan or gluten free meant. Part of it is actually that many are not native English speakers, and some come from countries without a large number of vegetarians. I also don’t think they realize that food allergies can make people sick or kill them. They were acting like it’s just an annoyance and not a serious problem. When they tell someone something doesn’t contain dairy and they can eat it, they need to make sure because there are serious problems when it isn’t correct. When I finally complained to guest services, I was told I should have came to them sooner. I went to waiters, head waiters, chefs, etc. Why do I have to spent the time complaining while my party is out dancing? It’s a simple fix, but my feeling was they did not want to do anything. It should have been right from the beginning. The boat was much smaller than the one I went on last year (from NJ), and had a lot less features like no ice skating rink, no minigolf, etc. Our stateroom attendant was great. Guest Services overall was very good. Entertainment was great (music and music theater especially). I was not happy that the ship did not stop in Key West. I was looking forward to Key West the most, as it was the only city I had not been to. Royal Caribbean previously did this, when they canceled stops in Martinique and Guadeloupe on another trip I went on. In that case, at least they replaced the stops with other stops. Here they didn’t and three days on the boat at sea was too much. I live right down the road from the Baltimore terminal but after this experience I wouldn’t want to do it again. At least not with this ship. My advice for people considering purchasing is to go to NY/NJ for a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My family and I have been traveling with Royal Caribbean for several times and this was our first time on the Vision. It is probably also our last time on the Vision. The trip started in Tampa with an extremely long wait with little ... Read More
My family and I have been traveling with Royal Caribbean for several times and this was our first time on the Vision. It is probably also our last time on the Vision. The trip started in Tampa with an extremely long wait with little coordination of information on the part of those directing the incoming cruisers. We were told by the Sheriff personal while getting our luggage out of the cab to go to one door. At that door there was a line of over 50 feet of passengers before you even entered the building itself! After standing in line for quiet some time (at least 25-30 minutes) waiting to enter the building, out comes a man who tells all of us that we will now have to go to another entry that has a line probably over 100 feet long of people. Instead of telling those who were just arriving to go to the new line, he wanted everyone who had been standing in the line to now go to the line that was twice as long. It didn't happen. People let him know that they had been standing there and were not going to go to the back of another line to start all over again. Once inside the entry doors, we then waited at least 30-45 minutes before we were even allowed to go up the escalators to the check in area. Here we found that ALL the Diamond, Platinum, Gold etc. were all routed together into one line. There was no separate designation for those folks who have cruised enough to be treated with a little more customer service than those that were not in any of the above categories. This line took an additional 30-45 minutes. So far, we have been standing in lines well over an hour and have not even boarded the ship! Finally, we boarded the ship. We know that usually the cabins are not ready and that guest go to the dining areas when they first board a ship. The welcome staff as we stepped into the lobby are of the ship told us that the cabins were ready and we could take our carry ones to the rooms. We tried to do so and were met by a ship staff person at the elevator and told that the rooms were not ready. OK, we hadn't expected to go to our cabins anyway, so then we went to the dining area instead. That was the first of the mis-informaion. The Windjammer was about half full upon our arrival and I went to get a burger. There was a large empty bowl with a sign over it that said, sautéed mushrooms. I waited for a while for them to replenish the dish and when a member of the cooking staff came out, I asked if they were going to bring out more of the mushrooms. I was told that "we are all out of the mushrooms" and he removed the sign from over the empty dish. I thought this was very strange that the first serving of a new cruise and you are already out of an item on the buffet! The shortage of items not being replenished and the sight of empty bowls on the buffet in the Windjammer became a commonplace site for the next 7 days! Our family had two rooms. One room was the last before the elevators in one hallway and the other was the last of the rooms in the hall on the opposite side of the elevators. We had been told that the rooms would be opposite each other. Our family consisted of a man and wife in their 40's, a 5 year old boy and a 60 year old grandmother. With this arrangement of rooms being in two entirely different locations from each other, it did present difficulties/obstacles for watching over the little guy down if he wanted to go to one room or another. We could most definitely let him go from one room to another without an adult with him as he would have had to travel through the elevator area alone and out of our line of sight. I shared my room with the 5 year old and we had a very different experience than that of my daughter and her husband. Our Attendant came to meet us the first evening and at that time I asked him to bring some ice. He asked if I wanted it placed in the room daily and I said yes. The ice bucket was filled each day and our room was cleaned almost as soon as we left it. We were well supplied daily with shampoos and other such items one should expect to find in a room. We also had two bathrobes and our glasses were replenished as needed. Our Attendant provided exactly the service we had come to expect from Royal Caribbean. He unobtrusively provided for our cruise experience and made our trip enjoyable. We filled out a WOW card for him because of his good service as a Royal Caribbean Attendant. Unfortunately, my daughter and son in law did not have the same cabin service. They were not provided with robes, shampoo, ice and their room was not cleaned as well or fas promptly as ours. They are both Diamond travelers and have come to expect a certain standard from having traveled Royal Caribbean that was not forthcoming on this cruise. DINING AREAS WINDJAMMER Most days we ate in the Windjammer for breakfast. Since the 5 year old was with me for breakfast, I would go to the buffet for his food. Starting with our first full day on board, our 5 year old was lucky enough to be noticed by one of the servers, Olga Zmuravlyova who made a point of watching over him while I retrieved his cereal and milk. He is a very well behaved child who was just as happy to sit with the IPAD waiting for me, but it made me feel a lot safer knowing that she was keeping watch over him from the corner of her eye. She was in the Windjammer for the day 2-4 of the cruise and we made a point of sitting in her area each of those days. She was very friendly and a true ambassador for Royal Caribbean. We missed her on day 5 and later found out that her grandfather had died and she had needed to take a break for a day to collect herself. We ran into her her on day 6 in the Park Cafe and learned this information. We filled out a WOW card for her because she deserved it! The food in the Windjammer was adequate. It was not outstanding and the better items were frequently waiting to be replenished. Prime example of this was the day they had a Taco bar set up. The taco shells were there, the meat fillings were there, but there was Nothing in the bowls that should have held sufficient quantities of Guacamole, sour cream, chopped lettuce or tomatoes. Tacos without the condiments to put them together is a waste! People waited and waited for these items to arrive. The person who appeared to be the head chef was running around like a chicken with his head cut off and getting nothing out of his staff when it came to their doing their job. There was also very little gracious interaction between the cooking/serving staff and the passengers. The people behind the buffet tables who were restocking barely spoke to the passengers and acted like it was an imposition if you asked for anything not out on the buffet at that time. EXAMPLE: The little man had Fruitloops cereal most mornings, but one day there was none on the buffet area, I asked if they had any and the staff person opened the cabinet under the cereal area, took out a box, handed it to me and never said a word. I thanked him, but thought to myself, what if I had wanted more than one box? Shouldn't he have at least asked? Overall, the Windjammer was a place to go because it was open and you didn't have to wait for the food to be brought to you. Adequate at best. AQUARIUS DINING ROOM We had the early dinner (5:30) and were seated at table 218. Our waitstaff were good but slow. We were consistently one of the last tables to leave the dinning room each night. We had a table of 10 and shared it with a lovely family of 6. The family consisted of a mother and father, their two daughters and the daughters boyfriends. This was the first cruise for the two boyfriends and the second cruise for the rest of the family. It was their first on Royal Caribbean with Carnival having been their only previous cruise experience. Our waitstaff were pleasant, but did not make us feel that our cruise enjoyment was a priority for them. They did all those things that a waitstaff should do, but none of us ever made a real connection with either of them. I thought it was just my family till the last night at dinner and the other family mentioned it too. Our primary waiter made a point over and over of telling us about the survey we would be receiving after the cruise asking about our trip and how important it was to them that we "tell how good our service was." Unfortunately, the service was so middle of the road that I can't even tell you either of their names. I do remember that the server who brought the breadbasket and the drinks was named Carlos. For us not to remember the names of our servers after 7 days with them should let you know how memorable their interaction was with us. The food - was ok, nothing outstanding that I can say was memorable. Standard fare for a cruise ship dining room. In fact, I am a big fan of Escargot and the Escargot served was ok. I wasn't impressed the first night and tried to give it the benefit of a doubt and have it again the second night. Didn't go any further, because it didn't get any better. PARK CAFE Why in the world would you put the Park Cafe, which was the go to eating place when the Windjammer was closed in a location that required anyone eating there to have to walk through the adults only Solarium pool area? Families with small children were walking in and out of the area all the time that the Park Cafe was open. Adults who had gone to this area for peace and quite were inundated with teenagers who had their activity area right outside the Solarium and with small children coming into have a snack. Really? Who did this design? The food at the Park Cafe was very good. The Roast Beef sandwiches and the soups were very nice. The staff was efficient and there were no empty bowls waiting to be restocked. ROOM SERVICE I did get room service one night. It was the best steak sandwich I had! When I called, they told me that there would be about an hour wait, I said I had a 5 year old with me and didn't think it would work for me. They said they would take care of it and they had our food to us within 20 minutes! Fabulous service! The food was hot, the salad was cold and I was very happy with this Royal Caribbean service! I was so impressed with my sandwich, that I mentioned it at dinner the next night and both of the young couples at our table ordered it from room service during their stay and also raved about it! KUDOS! SHOWS & ENTERTAINMENT There wasn't a really big show. We have become used to bigger ships having Cabaret, Hairspray, etc. for shows...nothing like that on this ship. The shows were what I would class as B or C shows. The majority of the entertainment were standard ship board things....bingo (I don't play it), movies, casino (small, little variety and extremely smokey smelling - even thought I am usually at the blackjack tables every night, I only went down one night and couldn't stay.... it was so strongly smelling of smoke), piano bars, and the regular passenger involvement games. The Cruise Director appeared to have been around a long time, his sidekick Marvelous Marv was the primary visual guy. He lead a salsa dance class and did a good job...but never introduced his female partner nor had her interact other than with him. I am still not sure if she was a staff member or some one he had picked up the night before at the club. The entertainment staff did their jobs, but nothing to excite me or to expect to see them moving up into the bigger ship entertainment personnel. SHOPPING AND SOCIAL AREAS The shopping areas and the social areas (piano bars, sport bars, theaters, show venues etc. were all in odd places. The shopping areas on the bigger ships are prominently positioned and you know exactly were they are from the first few moments on board the ship. I stumbled on the shopping area after the third day. The theaters and other entertainment areas are oddly placed and none of them were big enough to really accommodate a large size gathering. EXAMPLE The salsa class was in an area so small that people were shoulder to shoulder. The PORTS OF CALL If you have ever taken a cruise, you have probably been to Cozumel. It is the same and has exactly the same things and vendor interaction as the last time you were there. Belize is another Cozumel. Just different name on the T-shirts. The one really cool thing in Belize was the dolphins right at the cruise site that you can interact with. This was a $20 excursion and anyone can watch it as it is right there in the port area. I really thought this was a good experience for the money. You might also want to wear your bathing suit on shore as there is a really nice swimming area in the middle of the shopping area that you and children will enjoy. You can even swim up to the bar that is attached to the pool and have a drink while being in the pool area. They also have loungers and massage tables in this area. Several folks had booked the trips to the ruins and the beach, but the weather was misting rain and most did not speak favorable of their experience. Our ship was turned away from the Grand Cayman port due to high seas. There were also 5 other ships turned away due to the waves being so high that the port closed for the day. The Captian made a point to communicate with the passengers that it was the port that had turned the ships away. She (YES, one of only 5 female Captains piloting a passenger cruise ship) said that she would steer us away from the waves until noon and then we would have to go back to the course for the trip. When the turn was made, you noticed the difference in the waves! DISEMBARKING We were #3 for departure and were scheduled to disembark at 8:30 AM. It was after 10:00 when our number was called and we were finally starting to disembark. We sat in the dining area inn deck 5 waiting for over an hour and a half while we overlooked the people being served breakfast in the dining area of deck 4. We did not have any waitstaff in our area and therefore no breakfast was served as we waited. I would have thought that if you are going to have people wait in a dining room and you are running well over an hour late in departure time, you would make an effort to have waitstaff feed them! OVERALL The weather could have been better (we had two good warm sunny days and five not very sunny or warm days) the waves kept the ship rocking and there were a few people who did get ill. The Captain announced that some people were having flu like symptoms and they post lots of info on keeping clean so as not to get ill. The food, entertainment and other portions of the cruise were adequate but certainly not up to the standards that anyone who has cruised on the bigger ships of Royal Caribbean has come to expect. Vision of the Sea was probably a big deal 20 years ago but if you have sailed on the the bigger and newer ships you would not be impressed.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We flew into FLL on Friday night, rented a midsize car for $40 with specific drop off location near port of Miami with a free shuttle (location P2F). The next morning about 9am, we did all our shopping at a nearby Target and Sports ... Read More
We flew into FLL on Friday night, rented a midsize car for $40 with specific drop off location near port of Miami with a free shuttle (location P2F). The next morning about 9am, we did all our shopping at a nearby Target and Sports Authority, great outdoor mall about 2 miles away. We had breakfast at Ricky's Bakery which was absolutely wonderful. They also have pastries and coffee to go. We dropped of our car at a Budget/Avis location near the port about 11:00am and took the free shuttle to the port. At about 11;45, we were on the Lido deck enjoying the tacos and burritos. We were in our cabins by 12:30pm without purchasing the "faster to the fun". FOOD/DRINKS: We tried all eating areas. The breakfast burritos were ok, the tacos were great. I was disappointed that there were no dessert souffles all week. The good part is that we brought case of water champagne, red and white wine. We could have brought more, they never checked how many. Quality of food declined, less staff, this was my 13th cruise and it had been about 5 years from the last Carnival Cruise. We also had an issue as another passenger described with the Cheers program and thought it was less, the same reason we chose this cruise over Norwegian Epic for the same week. One thing we noticed that bothered us was that each day we got back on the ship after visiting a port, the only thing open was the burger place. The burgers were good, but very, very greasy. The taco and burrito place seemed to closed each afternoon upon returning from the ports. The best bartenders are Putu and Francisco at the EA Sports Bar. CABINS: The location of cabin 7272 is very loud, but you can close the automatic doors to seal from the elevator and lounge music (every night) from Deck 3. Room service was great. Balcony rooms have the door issue that wont seal, we ended up sealing the doors with tape and it worked, but what a hassle. Internet and cell service was available in St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. We had ocean suite room so we spent most of the time in there to get away from the chaos every where else. Staff was very kind. EXCURSIONS: We did two excursions since we've been to these ports in the past. In St. Thomas, we did the snorkeling in Trunk Bay. This was ok, we seemed rushed. By the time we returned to the ship, there was not much time to shop and we weren't told that they close the shops on the beach at Trunk Bay at 3pm. However, there are some shops near the port and we were lucky to pick up some authentic perfumes and colognes for $10 each at a place called Dynasty Dazzlers. They were selling full-size testers. I've spent 10 days in St. Thomas last year and it's very easy to get around with their shuttles, ferries and taxis. CITY BUS TOUR, we did the City Bus Tour in Miami with a shuttle to the airport. This was convenient, but it was utter chaos, the staff could not control the MOBS OF PEOPLE CUTTING in front of the ones that had been waiting a long time already, lucky that we had a late flight. The designated pick up area changed depending which staff you spoke to and people were dragging their luggage back and forth across the road chasing the bus waiting area. We ended up at the back of both lines because staff weren't sure whether a 2nd shuttle was coming for us. It was disappointing that we were rushed to make the 2 pm shuttle from their central station with our luggage when we could have had more time exploring the city. 2 pm is the latest shuttle available to FLL no matter how late your flight is. The last shuttle from their central station to MIA is 4:45. Next time we're renting a car from the port as we did pre-cruise, because it would have been much less. There was four of us, Carnival charged $50 per person and the rental car would have cost $75 total. We could have seen more or taken a drive to the Keys if we had the rental car. ENTERTAINMENT: The cruise director is great. We saw one comedy show with an older white guy, he was QUITE VULGER and repeated the same material. Many people were just walking out after the first 10 minutes. INTERNET: We purchased the most expensive internet plan and shared it with 4 people. I used my pad in our room and logged out as we're told to do. While I was sleeping, I lost over 100 minutes. I went to customer service and complained. Since they saw that I kept trying to log out, they put the 100 minutes back on. They recommended that we either go on a higher or deck or go to the internet café on deck 4. Each time I took my pad to the internet café, I had no problem logging in or out. GYM: The gym was beautiful and clean, loved the steam room and adult jacuzzi. We also wanted to walk on the enclosed deck like we do on other ships, but Deck 4 is closed off to the public. It was too windy and stormy to walk on the track which is on Deck 11 or 12. This was my 6th Carnival cruise. I'll be taking a short one at the end of December only because it was purchased before I went on this cruise. Otherwise, we won't be doing Carnival again. If you try calling the customer service desk on the ship from any phone, you can't get through, they force you to wait in long lines on deck 3. The overall quality and transparency has declined in comparison to our other recent cruises. I tried to submit a review on ship excursions to Carnival twice and it was declined. I also tried to reply to the email I received, request the reasons why my review was declined and it bounced back with no contact info included. Today, I received two emails from Carnival requesting that I submit a review on the excursions we took. Go figure, why even try.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 11th cruise with RCI. We cruise out of Bayonne every Thanksgiving, this time it happened to be on Quantum. We are Diamond Plus with RCI and travel with two other families in suites. The only benefit from booking a suite this ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise with RCI. We cruise out of Bayonne every Thanksgiving, this time it happened to be on Quantum. We are Diamond Plus with RCI and travel with two other families in suites. The only benefit from booking a suite this trip was the Coastal Kitchen, it was a great restaurant and the staff was amazing. The Concierge Lounge was a nice area, but the placement of the lounge was abysmal. I feel bad for the folks with rooms on deck 12 who had to put up with all the traffic in those hallways! The service in the lounge was awful. It was standing room only most nights, and we'd be there for an hour and a bartender would be by once during that time. What a waste of a benefit. The areas that impressed us most were: - The forward solarium - this area was quite useful for adults, the pools geared to seating and relaxing regardless of the outside weather. It was a beautiful space with the full view in front of the ship. - Use of Coastal Kitchen for suite guests - we very much enjoyed using this space, especially for breakfast. Getting to know a small group of the crew throughout the cruise was an experience we're used to and one we enjoy. - The captain greeting guests in the Coastal Kitchen in the mornings. - We loved the bumper cars and rode them several times throughout the week. There are several areas that I believe require immediate attention and are items that caused a significant negative impact on our vacation. 1. Inability of staff to respond with anything other than "no.” Several times throughout the cruise, we asked if small things could be done (like being able to order a drink at the bionic bar) and the only response was "no". In most cases, we were not willing to accept this answer and had to go through several layers of escalation to get a reasonable resolution. We spoke with Margaret who is taking the HR responsibilities on Quantum. She understood our concerns and believes the “no” responses are the result of the staff not having been trained on what options they have other than to respond with “no.” This training should be done before a Customer revenue generating cruise, as it certainly negatively affected the people in our party across the board. 2. Lack of crowd access control to venues • Prior to the Suite & Pinnacle event in the Music Hall, there was a Bingo event and a dance routine. The hall wasn't cleared prior to the Suite & Pinnacle event and upon entering we weren't asked to show our invitations. As a result many more guests attended that event who were not invited. There was a complete lack of controls in place to validate attendance and control the flow of people in an orderly manner. • Prior to events in 270 where reservations are required, people are in that space and able to freely enter. An inordinate amount of time was spent validating who had reservations. • The line for the North Star was very poorly managed. On some days (when it was working), the line stretched around the front end of the ship on deck 15. This took up a significant part of the jogging track and resulted in joggers having to run across the loungers. There's a high likelihood of someone getting hurt because of this. It also seemed to take an inordinately long time to start passing out the tickets. It was obvious that there were enough people in line that would warrant tickets, so there was no reason to delay handing them out for 30-45 minutes. 3. Validation of systems It became apparent that the customer-facing systems hadn't been properly validated before this cruise. While we did expect that not everything would be working correctly, the widespread failures of these systems was not acceptable. Examples of these failure include: • Keycard access to Concierge Lounge - We were unable to access the CL with either our sea pass cards or our wow bands. What we eventually learned was that, in the system, the CL was only open to D+ and Pinnacle members and, even though we were in a suite, since we were only Diamond at the time, we couldn't access the lounge. • Photo area - While there were many aspects of the new system we enjoyed, as soon as there was any significant demand on the system (last two days of the cruise), it effectively shut down. It took over an hour to find and select our picture because the system was constantly refreshing. Once we had ordered the disc, there were multiple delays in having the disc ready. We finally got it 15 minutes before we departed the ship and that was only because I refused to accept a final "no". The system had been disabled to the point where one person was manually creating all of the discs and there were several people who were told that they would not have their discs before their scheduled departure times. • Bionic Bar - We were never able to use our sea pass cards or wow bands to order drinks at the bar. We were not recognized as guests by the system. It took us until the seventh day of the cruise, eight separate "no" answers, and an escalation from the Concierge to the Hotel Director to figure out a way around the system by using an "administrative" card for access (which is what we had requested at the beginning). 4. Lack of Service in the Restaurants • As a party of eight for dinner, we dined twice in the American Icon and the Grande, once in Chic, once in Jamie’s Italian, once in Chops and once in Coastal Kitchen. In general, the service once seated in each restaurant was quite slow. The exceptions to this were the Coastal Kitchen and Jamie’s Italian. Unlike the dining experiences in a main dining room where tables are serviced with a waiter and assistant waiter, we were primarily serviced by one waiter and often we had no drinks/empty glasses, long waits between ordering and food delivery (timing is a factor when you are diabetic). A telling factor is that if American Icon, Chic, Grande and Chops Grille were on land and not aboard the ship, we would not dine at any of those restaurants. We've dined at Chops Grille every time the ship has one, and the fillets we were served this time were not up to standard. Five in our party agreed that the fillets were not good this time around. 5. At departure, the Concierge should ensure that guest luggage is ready prior to escorting the guest party off the ship. Mario escorted suite guests off the ship and as we entered the building off the ship, the staff announced "tags 1-5, only tags 1-5." So we could not go back onto the ship, and as there was not a waiting area, we stood in the hallway for 43 minutes until our luggage tag number (20) was called. Another family of suite guests affected with us were all over 80 years old and as there was no seating area, this became a huge issue for them. It is likely that the Concierge was not aware of the luggage tag numbers issued to his guests. Whatever the cause, it was not acceptable. \ 6. Inaugural Cruise Mementos/SWAG Prior to boarding Quantum of the Seas, a member of our group had been in contact with the Royal Caribbean Customer Support line to find out if any of the mementos issued during the trans-Atlantic or the shorter test runs would also be issued during the Inaugural. She was told that all of the mementos were a surprise and assured us that we would be Wowed because this was Quantum of the Seas and the crew and staff have been working overtime to impress all of our guests. So what we found out was that everyone essentially was getting different mementos and the communication from the housekeeping staff was non-existent. No one knew what would be issued if anything, and thus some families got items that others did not, and it was awkward. So in thinking about this, did we really want Quantum or Royal Caribbean memorabilia? We were amped up to be on Quantum and at that point were trying to find something to be happy about. Now I wonder why people would want them, why guests would be proud to use their Quantum USB drives, their North Star lanyards or USB chargers, their Quantum hats or backpacks. We didn’t receive any of these items like other our suite guests. Very poor coordination RCCL, this could have been good PR and Wow moments but it actually detracted even more from our experience. I did however buy a Quantum polo shirt. I wore it yesterday and several people stopped me to ask about Quantum and if I’d been on board her already. Can you guess what we talked about?   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was a family vacation with 8 of us so I realize we are not all going to be happy all the time. I have cruised NCL and RCL the others have never cruised. Embarkation was easy, quick and accommodating, I recommend a passport, do not ... Read More
This was a family vacation with 8 of us so I realize we are not all going to be happy all the time. I have cruised NCL and RCL the others have never cruised. Embarkation was easy, quick and accommodating, I recommend a passport, do not bring your birth certificate if you do not have to in the end on debarkation it just caused problems. To anyone who is considering the "Liquor Program" each person in the cabin over 21 MUST pay for the program even if they do not drink. I understand why they do this but it is a bad set up if one of you is not a drinker. I had cruised some time ago and was very disappointed there are no more midnight buffets. Dining room was highly disappointing, meals were better at the buffet and the wait staff even told us on 2 nights to be prepared for bad service because they were short handed. Food was mediocre at best. Thanksgiving was horrible. I know it is an American holiday but when 90% of your cruisers are American, a slice of turkey on a plate is NOT acceptable. The "entertainment" by the wait staff used to be all sorts of action but now they stand and sing to you, ok still pleasant. There is little to do in the evenings for tweens/teens that do not want to participate in the kids clubs. This cruise line needs to try and get staff to know about other areas of the ship. If you asked staff about locations of events or food and drink if it was not there area they were of little to no help. The spa people kept telling us were had to pay to use the Serenity area, finally day 5 we realized they were wrong and we could use this area. Bartenders were in short supply and fairly rude. Seemed the line was just not prepared, understaffed, public restrooms were not clean and some in disrepair. We signed up for snorkeling in Key West, the weather was so bad, people were ill and the people running the excursion cancelled the other ones for that day and the next, we should have gotten a refund. Key West if you have never been is BEAUTIFUL and I would have been good just staying there. The cruise line never docked in Freeport due to weather, that was disappointing, Nassau is almost not worth getting off the boat for unless you go to Atlantis or just want to spend money at the shops. Over all we were together as a family and enjoyed ourselves, would we go on this line again no, this ship, no cruise again, yes, with teens, no. Our cabin was interior and it was plenty of room of the little time we were really in the cabin. The room steward was terrific he was on top of everything and super nice. The movies at night were nice. Track and gym very nice, laundry expensive, my teens insisted on washing their favorite items; irons are at a premium on dress night so use them early.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Booked this cruise 18 months in advance and we were so looking forward to it.  We booked a back to back cruise from the UK.  1st week the weather was not so good and the ship was not steady at all so spent most of the time indoors due to ... Read More
Booked this cruise 18 months in advance and we were so looking forward to it.  We booked a back to back cruise from the UK.  1st week the weather was not so good and the ship was not steady at all so spent most of the time indoors due to the strong winds on top deck and the overcrowded areas around the ship as it was thanksgiving week. We were supposed to stop at Grand Cayman but this got cancelled due to the high seas and winds.  We were informed on the last day of our first week that there was a problem with the ship which would explain the unsteadiness and that the itinerary for the second week had been changed. We were due to go to St Thomas-St Martean and Coco Cays but instead we had to spend the day and overnight in Nassau then to Cozumel( where we visited the previous week) and Coco Cays. We were given some onboard spend compensation but we had done our shopping the fierrst week, We were also offered a voucher for 25% off the cost of our second week cruise for another against another cruise taken within a year which was not worth the paper it was written on as we could get 25% off the total of another holiday to book whenever we wanted if we paid $100 each onboard as a deposit sso they were giving us nothing really and we would not sail with Royal Caribbean again as very dissapointed. The ship is due to go into dry dock in January and it needs it due to the ongoing problems but the ship inside is beautiful and the staff keep it very clean. The entertainment was not great but the Ice show was amazing. The staff were exceptional except for the guest service staff who were quite rude and really looked like they couldn't be bothered to talk to you. We booked to visit 7 islands and ended up visiting 5 in 2 weeks and to be honest found it a bit boring . All in all for me this cruise was not worth the money and we have been on better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Embarkation was to be in 10 minutes from pier to room. No Way rooms not ready until 1pm. Door locked so you could not go to room. Now to the windjammer which was quit nice and food selection great. Homemade cookies baked fresh daily from ... Read More
Embarkation was to be in 10 minutes from pier to room. No Way rooms not ready until 1pm. Door locked so you could not go to room. Now to the windjammer which was quit nice and food selection great. Homemade cookies baked fresh daily from 11 to 9. A great new tradition. At 1 we tried to get to room but were told not until 2PM. We finally got to the room 11252 which is a balcony room which had adequate storage, new bathroom with larger shower. Nicely done. There were wrist band to use instead of the cards. Neither band worked so we relied on the cards for the 11 nights. We were able at 2 wks out to obtain dining and show reservations with help of C&A. The thing with the dining was the even without a reservation you could go up to the dining room entrance and share a table and get seated right away. We ate at the American Icon and the food was very poor as the service at dinner time. We ate at this restaurant for Breakfast and lunch and was great food and service. Do not know what dinner was so bad. Chic was one of our favorite place for dinner. We had 3 meals here, but the trouble the menus remain identical. So same old each night. Silk was good for 2 nights. The food was good, but again it was the same menu for the 2 nights. They really tried to get us to buy drinks. The Grande was for 2 night for which a jacket is required (formal). The menu was nice and had lobster, good meal and service. Coastal Kitchen was a special allowance for us for 2 nights. This was the best meal choices and service on board. It is a restaurant designated for Pinnacle and Suite guests. They service breakfast, lunch and dinner there. We only had dinner at this location due to being only Diamond Plus. Chops was a paid for dining option which we did go on 1 night. We always go to Chops on ships for ding and this restaurant was not a disappointment. We loved the food and service. There were 6 other pay for dining which we did not use. Michael Pub, Devinely Decadence, Wonderland, Izumi Japanese, Jamies Italian, and Chef Table. Cafe 270 was the place we ate most breakfast and lunch. It is like the Park Cafe on other ships. It was always crowded. Windjammer food was same as on most ships but they had an addition of a bakery at the entrance of restaurant and they made fresh breads and homemade cookies. This was a wonderful addition to the cruise menu. Fresh and warm cookies wonderful and busy at most times. The entertainment was OK. RCCL paid for a Bionic Bar which looked large in most ads but in reality was quite small. Only say if used 2 times. The bars had a great selection to choose from and music good at most. The 270 theater had the windows which turn into pictures and the entertainment was about medium. The comedian John David was tremendous. The other entertainers were about average, not special. The daily activities were just normal as other ships, nothing spectacular. Shops on boards were all upscale and i mean upscale. They did the normal sales on watches almost every days and then a t shirt sale. They were all done in a small area in front of the shops and this made walking through a problem due to crowds. Stateroom entertainment was CNN, HLN, TMC and then RCCL channels. The computerized daily planner did not work in the room due to computer issues. We are Diamond Plus with many cruises under our travels, but on this ship there were 1300 plus loyal travelers on board. This made is hard to go to the evening 5 TO 8:30 cocktail hours in Diamond or Concierge lounges. There was only standing room most nights and service was hard to get. We heard on board that RCCL will be taking away our benefit to go to the concierge lounge as a Diamond Plus. They plan to make the concierge for Pinnacle and Suites Guests. How sad that we can go on 50 cruises with them but they want us to be lower than a person who may take 1 cruise book a suite and get that benefit. We spend lots of bucks on RCCL but they do not appreciate it. One good benefit they gave was 3 drinks at any bar during cocktail hours for Diamond Plus which was a nice touch. This should be implemented for other ships. Embarkation was a nightmare it was to be 8:30 and we got off at 10:30, the problem was customs and the baggage handlers, our bags were being delivered as we got there. A mess. We have booked the Anthem for Oct, 15 and cancelled when we came home. Ship beautiful and that is about it.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Excited to take this 12 day trip as a well deserved vacation break. The problems began with the embarkation process, inadequate seating, chaos and mayhem when they roll up the doors to proceed, and the problems continued all the way ... Read More
Excited to take this 12 day trip as a well deserved vacation break. The problems began with the embarkation process, inadequate seating, chaos and mayhem when they roll up the doors to proceed, and the problems continued all the way through, even with the disembarkation process. Keep in mind this is a new ship and yes there should be minor hiccups, but many were major. Problems with our balcony stateroom: Our room air conditioner was not properly working for two days, keep us at a sweltering 74 - 75 degrees in the room. Finally on the second night they resolved that issue. Also on the first 4 nights we had a flat screen TV from the movie "Poltergeist" which glowed like a runaway nuclear reactor lighting the entire room depriving us of sleep every night. Complaints to Guest Services personal were handled by cold and indifferent attitudes for 4 days and nights. On the fourth night I phoned the Miami Office and complained and they sent a message to the ship telling them to rectify the problem. We were moved by a begrudging staff member to another room, probably because we went over their heads when they would not address or resolve the issues. Both rooms also creaked and cracked all night long waking us up at all hours of the night. On top of that at 3:30 in the morning they were moving laundry carts around on the deck below us also creating noises to wake the dead. These problems were not isolated to us, but our neighboring staterooms also had the same problems. The outside balconies were already ridden with a lot of rust. On a positive note, our stateroom attendants were wonderful and very attentive!!!! Problems with Dining: While the different restaurant themes were a change, the main menu items were similar at almost every restaurant. After a few days the selections became dull and mundane at the least. After 8 days of the 12 day cruise some of the restaurants were running out of food listed on the menu. Even the Windjammer Cafe had a smaller variety of foods with most of the same items day after day. The dining rooms were under staffed which resulted in slow service. Waits of up to 20 minutes to have your water glass refilled. Many times the wrong entrees were placed in front of us and were quickly resolved because they actually belonged to someone else at our table. I prefer assigned seating and an assigned staff to the table, this has always provided stellar service because the waiter know he/she will get bonus money for providing great service. With the new "Dynamic Dining" they realize they will only see us one night and the drive to excel has been taken out of their sails because they know there will not be any extra tipping. After day four the Seattle Hot Dog stand was out of Coney Island Dogs and regular American Hot Dogs. Room Service no longer includes eggs, bacon, sausage, hamburgers, or the entree for the day. All of there are now Ala-carte items at additional charges and fees. We abandoned using room service because the service was always running about 20 - 30 minutes late and the coffee was horrible. The Promenade Cafe is no longer open all night, it closes near midnight and re-opens at 6:00 AM Problems with Entertainment: The entertainment venues were only one per night (not two shows like other ships) and the seating of the theater is probably only a third of the total population on the ship. Even though reservations were made months in advance for the shows, arriving 15 to 20 minutes before the show found the theater completely full with over-crowded standing room. It wasn't until the last 2 nights that they actually scanned your card to make sure you had reservations before letting you in. Problems with Equipment: As previously indicated, air conditioning and televisions were failing, sliding doors would jamb and stick when opening or closing. Elevators would constantly freeze up and then reset themselves. If you were going up, the elevators would freeze briefly and then reset and you soon found yourself going down instead of up. Bionic Bar Robots would spill drinks resulting in charges for a drink never received. To add insult to injury, for the same $8.00 drink at a bar, the robot bartender charged you $12.00 plus a heavy gratuity resulting in a final price of around $14.00 for that $8.00 drink. My question is what is the robot going to do with it's gratuity earnings? . Problems with Staff: Guest services were cold and indifferent to complaint about failures and problems, I had to call the Miami office in order to rectify problems with our room that they chose to ignore. Dining staff were understaffed and spread too thinly resulting in very slow and poor service, not necessarily a fault of their own. In the Windjammer dishes would be piled on empty tables for up to 15 minutes before the staff decide to remove them and clean the table so another group could be seated. Our talks with the dining wait staff found that they were unhappy with the new "Dynamic Dining" because they knew it would result in a severe drop in there income from lost tips. But to be totally fair there were a few shining stars who worked hard to provide outstanding service even for one night. We did tip them for their excellence in service provided. Other: The Promenade Cafe was severely shrunk in size with less selections of food that were present the past cruises. The coffee at the Promenade was terrible tasting!!! When creamer was added the coffee was actually gray in color (like dish water) and was totally unappetizing. Maybe the bad coffee is actually a way to cut coffee expenses on-board the ship. Because the Promenade was so small there were no parades or events there, because they have installed plenty of high end stores with over priced items. The ship has no access to the bow area for the opportunity of photography. You can no longer go forward on the 15th floor and get a forward vantage point for photography. The 5th floor walkways are between the staterooms and the lifeboats which makes it impossible to photograph directly into the water to capture images of flying fish or other wildlife. Even from your balconies you are unable to look directly into the water because you are 20 feet from the edge of the ship with your view blocked by the lifeboats. The outside walkways are completely exposed to the elements so in inclement weather you are directly exposed to the bad weather. The walkways are not sheltered like on the other classes of ships. We arrived in the port of Bridgetown Barbados on Sunday when all the stores were closed and almost nothing to do and no place to go except the terminal port itself. A little forethought would have possibly switched the Port of Bridgetown with Martinique so we could have been able to shop at both ports on the respective days. Even to the point of disembarkation, there were failure. We were delayed by almost 2 hours after our appointed time before we were allowed to exit the ship, making us late for our scheduled pick-up. My only advice is to run in the other direction with any discussion about the Quantum of the Seas. The Anthem of the Seas is the sister ship of the Quantum, so I would expect epic failures there as well. If you have reservations consider switching them to another class of ship like the Oasis or the Liberty. While there were many new things like the bumper cars, the larger solarium with more pools/hot tubs, the Flowrider, the I-fly, and the Northstar, but these also commanded long waiting lists and although the experience enjoyable, it was far from being worth the wait and inconveniences. If this is the future of Royal Caribbean, I will be seeking other options for cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I booked this cruise to start a family tradition. My grand daughter (17 months old) had never been on a cruise. I thought departing from New York City would be a good option instead of flying to a port for embarkation. If your looking for ... Read More
I booked this cruise to start a family tradition. My grand daughter (17 months old) had never been on a cruise. I thought departing from New York City would be a good option instead of flying to a port for embarkation. If your looking for a generic experience or have not cruise prior, this is the cruise for you. The embarkation was fairly quick and efficient. The Cabin Steward was friendly and attentive. The cabins are narrow as well as the hallways. Navigating these halls can be challenging especially with a stroller or wheelchair when the linen carts take up the hallways. Free style dining is a nice concept but don't expect the food to be warm or fresh. Food hoarding seem to be a past time of many travelers. The days at sea were too cold to enjoy the outside areas or pool. Some Excursions were over price and not worth the time. Great Stirrup Cay is nicely laid out with little shade. One has to pay for a Cabana, covered chaise or sit at a picnic table under the pavilion. There are water activities and a giant inflated slide for an additional cost. The Spa is a quiet respite with lounge chairs, saunas, whirlpool and hot tile chaise. There are a variety Spa services but be prepared to be pressured to purchase additional services or items. Splash Academy has programs for children age three or older. The Guppy Program (3 yrs. and younger) exists in name only. Their is a separate room with a few toys. Gift shops had the range of over priced jewelry or low end cruise nick knacks. The there is a variety of restaurants with table side service but the portions are small and the food may be over cooked. In general the ship is large with a variety of activities with audience participation. The price of the cruise is basic with many add-ons such as for sodas, wines and liquors packages or enrichment activities. Be prepared for a time-share experience of being asked to purchase items. If you see Spa staff outside of the Spa area, run!! You will be approached to purchase even more services. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just got off Cunards Queen Elizabeth with 5 Family members I have traveled with 5 different Cruise companies This was my first cruise with Cunard that I thought would be a bit highbrow for my taste . How wrong was I. The service was very ... Read More
Just got off Cunards Queen Elizabeth with 5 Family members I have traveled with 5 different Cruise companies This was my first cruise with Cunard that I thought would be a bit highbrow for my taste . How wrong was I. The service was very slow the quickest I got a drink order to our table was 20 mins the slowest just under hour and I am not making this up the food in the Brittania restaurant was good but no way near as good as other ships I have been on The entertainment was alright but no where near enough different varieties of music you will like it if you like listening to one man piano players they had several bars with piano players no Jazz or nightclub venues. I found most of the serving staff to be OK but no were near the standards of say Celebrity. Our trip was to go to Amsterdam and dock for 2 days we were told on first day at sea that we could not dock at Amsterdam because of high winds, no alternative port could be found so we sailed up & down The English Channel Because of some EU ruling we were told that vat would be added to all ship shops purchases and there would be no duty free sales I sailed with P& O last January to Amsterdam where there was no vat added and you could buy duty free on board? But worst of all this short cruise to the Amsterdam Christmas markets to do some last minute Christmas Shopping and buy our duty free drinks for Christmas did not happen Maybe I will try Cunard again when I reach 80 years of age but of the five cruise companies I have used Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, NCL, P&O and Cunard. Cunard would not get in my top 5 cruises and this nothing to do with our cruise not reaching its destination. Just on Poor service not enough to do generally not a well run ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and ... Read More
We were on the Dec 22-27th cruise to Cozumel and Princess Cay. We are experienced cruisers and have travelled on Ruby Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. We go on cruises with the mindset that we are going to be flexible and have a fun time! I have to admit I was disappointed though within the first 15 minutes of exploring the ship but tried to focus on the positives throughout the trip. We had 2 mini-suites on the 9th floor: D305 and D419. Our group consisted of 2 adults (ages 42 and 43) and 3 teens (13, 16, 17). Pros: Boarding process was a breeze. Very organized. Rooms were clean and the attendants were friendly. Balconies were spacious. Uncovered but worked well for sun-bathing. Nice variety of pools on the ship. Movies Under the Stars was a hit with my family. We especially enjoyed the pizza served on the pool deck, International Cafe, and the Casino. Nice movie selection in the cabin. Princess Cay was clean and offered something for everyone. A fun beach day! Cons: Pool towels were not available on Day 1. Must use beach towels from your cabin. Note: pool towels were older and need a refresh. Some of the furniture in the buffet dining rooms are showing their age and need to be replaced. The food selection at the buffet was odd and not appealing. There was a long line to get food at the buffet on Day 1. Something I have not experience on other ships. Passengers were grumbling. Noted a few young passengers with poor buffet etiquette so we did not return. (Ex: sneezing without covering mouth) The most alarming to us was the brown water (color of cola!) coming out of faucets and shower head intermittently in both cabins starting on Day 2. We were told this was happening on the starboard side of the 9th floor and a plumber would need to work on it. This continued through the end of Day 4. We brushed our teeth with bottle water (provided by us) and went to the pools and hot tubs vs taking a shower with contaminated water. This is an older ship that has doors in some common areas (busy pool/elevator areas) that you need to use your hands to pull/push vs being automatic. I was surprised Princess did not upgrade these doors to touch free to reduce germ transfer among passengers. We tried to ignore the flaws to the best of our ability and have a fun Holiday vacation. Would I cruise on this ship again? No. We much prefer the Celebrity Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me start by saying that we have about 15 previous Celebrity cruises under our belt - and 30+ in all. We started with X back in the early days of Chandris, sailing on the Meridian, Horizon, Zenith, up to the largest ships. We prefer ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we have about 15 previous Celebrity cruises under our belt - and 30+ in all. We started with X back in the early days of Chandris, sailing on the Meridian, Horizon, Zenith, up to the largest ships. We prefer smaller ships but have enjoyed the Aqua Class/Blu experience so much that it offsets the size issues. We have done holiday cruises many times on Celebrity and other lines, including RSSC, Oceania, and Seabourn. This year we liked the prospect of leaving from San Juan so we booked Summit 12 months out. Our cabin on Deck 11 was absolutely fine with terrific stateroom service. Only negative here was that our balcony overlooked the Sunset Bar and we had to contend with music every evening until 10.30 or 11.00 pm. We loved the aft location. Two concerns pretty much tainted our interest in any future trips with Celebrity. There has been a significant decline in the quality of food and food service, even within the past 12 months. Even in Blu, which we think is an inspired concept, I had ahi tuna one evening that was inedible because of the fishy taste. The Ocean View Cafe has been reduced to a glorified strip mall cafeteria. Nowhere do they post the menu being offered - the only way to find out is to wind your way through every serving line in the restaurant. Signage is incorrect or missing for many items. One of the best was "Barbarian" Sausage (Bavarian maybe?). Red Jello/Vanilla was actually Yellow Jello/Vanilla. Servers don't know what they are serving. One dish looked to me like orzo or rice, I couldn't tell which. I asked the server and she pointed to the sign which said "Mixed Vegetables." Veal Piccata had no lemons or capers but a thick gooey brown gravy and mushrooms. Previously, servers would remove plates etc from the tables almost before you could put your fork down. We saw tables with empty dishes on them for 15+ minutes. The ship's interiors look really well in most every aspect. But the exterior spaces are run down, rusty, and embarrassing. The teak floor in the Solarium is flaking apart and looks like there is sand on the floor. The ceiling a/c vents are dripping with rust. The chair cushions are stained with white paint. Ice dispensers "out of order" for the entire cruise at the Pool Grill and servers told me they had not been working "for some time." The piece de resistance was the afternoon canapes we received in Aqua Class. Every day the same uninspired, unidentifiable things appeared and twice we were served chocolate chip cookies. Could not believe it. We overheard several European guests on the ship who were complaining about having been duped into believing they were getting a 5-star experience. I am sorry that a once great cruise line has dropped to this level. There are plenty of hard-working staff everywhere. And I expect there are very bright minds at work in the RCCL and X offices in Miami. But something strange is missing in between. We have enjoyed many wonderful cruises with Celebrity but we will most likely not be back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or ... Read More
Our family has not been on a cruise in 28 years - that one was arranged by a family member. Positives - staterooms were more spacious than I expected, we had 2 inside staterooms on the 8th floor. Staff very friendly, always said hello or acknowledged you on the ship. Negatives - FOOD was the biggest disappointment. Lack of variety overall - seemed like lunch items were re-hash of whatever was left over from the day before - just in a different sauce or form. Every single dessert served was inedible except the German chocolate cake which was only served the afternoon of departure. Desserts looked and tasted like styrofoam, airy, tasteless. Prime rib at Garden Cafe first and last night was reasonably good. A few of the salads were nice.Just huge lack of variety - never saw a shrimp, crab or lobster anything. Most of the on deck meals were cancelled due to wind - which was really not a strong wind. the two they did have were some of the better food served. Only saw grapefruit one day, otherwise cantaloupe, pineapple and honeydew cut fruit ever. yogurt in large dish looked so gloppy I did not even want to try it at breakfast. Excursions we booked on our own and saved about 75% over NCL prices and from what we saw and heard we had much better excursions than those who booked through the ship. Two best were BZ Cave tubing - loved Melvin our guide, great day, lunch was enjoyable, but bring a snack because you only eat at the very end of the day. Other great day was at YaYa Beach Club - club was OK, but it was Carolyn from Undertoe SUP (stand up paddle boards) and Simmone from the Yoga studio who was helping Carolyn who made our day. These two women were amazing they made our day in Mahahual - Costa Maya port the best day of the cruise! Everything you would want - smart, funny, kind, gracious, helpful, friendly. We (especially my sons 24, 22 and 19) had a blast with their lesson and just hanging out with them during the day. No they are not young 20 somethings but have this appeal that crosses generations. Simonne did an impromptu yoga session with me that was a real WOW experience, not just poses, very emotional, healing and something I never experienced before. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The enticing itinerary of Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya, was the reason we chose this cruise departing from Tampa. The port stops were lovely and we had some great excursions including cave tubing, zip lining from 9 platforms, horseback ... Read More
The enticing itinerary of Roatan, Cozumel and Costa Maya, was the reason we chose this cruise departing from Tampa. The port stops were lovely and we had some great excursions including cave tubing, zip lining from 9 platforms, horseback riding, fishing and shopping.The tour guides were very helpful and friendly. One caveat the 6 hour fishing excursion in Roatan is advertised as leaving from the dock as you disembark the ship. It did leave from a dock---- following a 1 hour bus ride to the opposite side of the island. This was clearly false advertisement. The ship on the other hand was a disappointment in several regards. The food in the breakfast and lunch buffet was uninspired, lacked variety and was mediocre. We ate breakfast in the main dining room hoping for better fare. We ordered eggs benedict and were served hard boiled eggs on luncheon ham with no Hollandaise sauce. The main dining room fare was better; excellent French onion soup, great rolls, decent entrees and a delicious turkey with dressing for Christmas day. The servers were very good. We dined in Chops where they had a delicious Forest Mushroom soup and excellent strip steak. The evening we dined in the Izumi specialty restaurant was disappointing and unacceptable. A couple had brought 2 children, one appeared to be around 18 months and the other age 3. The youngest screeched through dinner and the older attempted to climb the room divider as if he were on a playground, all the while the parents were oblivious to the disturbance they were making. Apparently RCL does not have any age standards in place for this specialty restaurant. The Solarium is designated as an adults only pool but there was no dedicated staff member to monitor this and children were in abundance. In general the ship public areas were clean and attractive, but the ship is aged and needs a redo. Also the public restrooms would benefit from more frequent cleaning. In summary, after having sailed on Celebrity and Holland America we expected more. We will not again sail on RCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I recently went on a cruise on Voyager of the Seas to New Zealand, leaving the 9th December from Sydney and returning on the 20th of December. This is our second cruise with Caribbean, the first being on Rhapsody of the Seas, ... Read More
My family and I recently went on a cruise on Voyager of the Seas to New Zealand, leaving the 9th December from Sydney and returning on the 20th of December. This is our second cruise with Caribbean, the first being on Rhapsody of the Seas, which we absolutely loved. Firstly, we all thought that the ship itself was pretty amazing. The facilities and the overall look of the ship were fine. It was very clean and our room attendant was really lovely and nothing was too hard for him. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end. This cruise was SO incredibly crowded. We had to line up for up to half and hour just to get a cup of sub-standard coffee. The Windjammer was completely over crowded for every meal. It was impossible to hold a table and leave it to go and get seconds, as upon our return it was ALWAYS snapped up by other passengers. The food in the Windjammer was very average at best. The food in the restaurant, however, was marginally better. There was no actual little cafes available for during the days when meals weren’t available to us in the buffet or restaurant. The only place we could get snacks was along the Promenade and that food was rubbish. On Rhapsody they had lovely little beef rolls and salads to snack on during the day. The service was completely different to our first cruise. On Rhapsody, we had wait staff constantly asking us if we needed anything. We didn’t have to walk through the crowds to find a drink. With the Voyager, it was the opposite. We could barely ever find available (not-run off their feet) staff to ask for things or direct us to places. Waiting for lifts became a nightmare and in the end, I used the stairs - this is the first cruise i've ever been on where I was forced to lose weight, not just from using the stairs everywhere, but also the lack of good decent food. (so i guess that had it's positives) I enjoyed the spa days that i had on board. I had four or five various treatments done and even though they were all lovely and relaxing, the hard sell at the end was VERY annoying. One lady even sat silently staring at me after her sales pitch, until I’d made a commitment to purchase the products (which in the end i refused to do). The service was so stretched to its limits, that I even had the gratuities reversed, something I have never done before. I then made sure the people who deserved our tips, received them.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The cruise was ok, but three main critics of the ship and our experience: 1) Not enough space - It is a huge ship, but the proportion of people to features such as pools, slides, hot tubs, sun deck space, etc... is not good. Way too ... Read More
The cruise was ok, but three main critics of the ship and our experience: 1) Not enough space - It is a huge ship, but the proportion of people to features such as pools, slides, hot tubs, sun deck space, etc... is not good. Way too crowded. The number of people in the pools and hut tubs was just gross. The only way to get a chair on the sun deck on at sea days was to get out there and put your stuff on one before 8am. Lines for the slides (which are great) was way too long. 2) Food was blah - Huge selection at the buffet which was great, but overall the food tasted very blah. We found very few tasty things. We also paid for a dinner at Cagney's which is suppose to be their best specialty on the ship. Nice restaurant, but very long wait, and food was just ok. We expected a much better experience. The best restaurant we went to was a complimentary restaurant called "The Taste". 3) Unexpected charges - We were not aware of the $12 per passenger per day charges. For my family of 6, for 7 days, that was an extra $504. I tip well and expected to pay tips, but not this much. Don't like surprises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Very disappointed in this ship. It was smelly - former smoking areas have not been cleaned of smoke smell - several areas smelled musty. The cruise director acted very unprofessional; he was loud, obnoxious, spoke unclearly, and there was ... Read More
Very disappointed in this ship. It was smelly - former smoking areas have not been cleaned of smoke smell - several areas smelled musty. The cruise director acted very unprofessional; he was loud, obnoxious, spoke unclearly, and there was huge gaps in entertainment times. The Christmas show was put on very, very late (10:00) which included young children in the show, and the so-called Christmas story read by the entertainment director was terrible and not something that the children seemed to enjoy. Entertainment on this ship was not very good and we were somewhat bored. The ports were wonderful, as were the staff in the Platinum (lower) dining room (Ioan and Vlad - two thumps up). Our cabin steward was very friendly and accommodating. Overall, we did not find the staff very friendly. I will definitely never cruise on this ship again and am not overly thrilled with Carnival. One of the pieces of our luggage arrived with a broken wheel to which the staff sent us a letter saying that if we have it fixed within 30 days they will CONSIDER repayment. Also, getting off the ship in Costa Maya was horrendous - elevators letting people off into a crowd where the hallway and staircases emptied into one stairway was disastrous with pushing, shoving, yelling and stepping on toes! Also, I was upset over 4 things that I wanted to do that were listed in the Fun Times daily and were actually held on different days (one was for a Scotch tasting.) Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P ... Read More
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P & O / Carnival cruise than a RCCL cruise so yes they have gone down a notch. Now not that I drink alot but the thing I found disappointing on the Carnival Spirit was the way they had Nip pourers and they even had measuring jugs for Wine - whereas, the RCCL line did not. To my surprise they have introduced this now (apparently within the las 3 mths) as a cost saving messure as told to me by the Bar Staff. Also one of the highlights use to be the singing of the Reastaurant staff near the end of the cruise - this has also been cut out. On RCCL they have a Fundraiser called "Save our Seas" T-Shirts and they sell them for $10 and you do a 1km walk with the Captain and his cruise. Well this was the first RCCL cruise that this did not happen as I supposed we were not good enough to walk with Captain Gustav.....The last time I was on The Rhapsody was April 2013 and this time the so called "Broadway" showa were exactly the same and the other supporting shows were mediocre as best - Very Disappointing indeed. The saving grace as always id the Main Restaurant and Dinner each night was enjoyable. I am hoping that RCCL will pick up their standards otherwise, I will have to find a new Cruise Line to travel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group ... Read More
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group of others literally ran off the ship and all stated never again in a month of frosty fridays in hell would we sail on Voyager again,if at all RCCL. Embarkation was 100%. A steady slide downhill from then on. Our junior suite was on level nine,in a good location,but thats it. We weren't looking for fault as on Radiance there had been little to complain about,just kick back and enjoy. Oh,no,not on this sorry ship...the first thing noticed was the unvarnished handrails on our balony,complete with sticky patches of plastic protective coating that lazy workers had failed to peel off(it came off easily i might add). Filthy glass doors,and deck(i cleaned those doors myself,after the cabin steward had a go and gave up). Black mould in the shower,which after 5 days was removed and re siliconed. Patches of rolled on flat paint(aprox 20 of these)on the living area ceiling covering tiny scratches!all these patches were around 20 x25cms each! But more to the point,the ceiling was satin finish,so you can imagine what they looked like,way worse at night...positively shameful standard of work. Not all our drawers had been re-lined(a swanky part of this refurbishment, i believe),so maintenance arrived with a box cutter and roll of sticky to do this. The reason id said something was because there was hair and such still in the drawer from the previous holiday makers. The first time we met our cabin steward,he informed us of his income,really do i need to go into any more detail regarding that?apart from unrequired information and an unacceptable thing to do. After day 5 we politely(as always)asked if we could please have clean sheets and our room vaccuumed,as it had not been done since we boarded.. this was met with a statement that it had been done...were not stupid,so could clearly see it had not been. This sort of malarkey carried on until customer relations were spoken to yet again and the situation sorted. We received a bottle of cheap red wine "for our discomfort". I mean,lets face it,our cabin is always immaculate,because that's how we choose to live,so are not hard to look after! Anyway we were assigned a new steward who was just lovely and did a great job...but no monkey towels and treats for us because i guess they were not pleased we has to complain so often,to get a mediocre result really. As for mealtimes,well i think that if you're reading this then you will know that all other comments written by my fellow reviewers are 150%true. Theres nothing i can add except,over populated ship,understaffed and lack of dining areas...actually a god awful experience. We found a lot of English language issues. We were told very firmly by the Australian customer relations assistant that"UM..they actually have to pass a test,so of course they speak good English",so ok,use it then! May i say that the gals in the high end shops were not only helpful,but cheerful and so obliging...consequently,i spent a heap of money on luxury items that i cannot buy where i live..YAAAY!! Bar staff could not have cared less,and depending on where you went,depended on the price and size of wine glass served,but,tell you what..being female ensured that any men standing at the bar did not get served before females! Very little to do really on this cruise,unless you were into noisy kids,shrieking unsupervised teenagers,or in pools that were most undesirable places to be. Most definitely lacking in anything to do for peaceful adults who wish to spend time reading,or just relaxing. So we found ourselves often driven back to our cabin,and hey,lets face it,that wasn't the best place,was it?? We knew there would be a ton of kids on board,but i question the parents who allowed their unruly kids to run riot,all over the ship continually,to the point that we are surprised there wasnt an emergency overboard...do not think that when on board,your horrid kids will be out of your hair and supervised...make no mistake,they will not, Instead they will be annoying other passengers who have paid a lot of good money to put up with them. I asked my Husband who is a construction company site manager,what makes a building/structure such as Voyager feel so sad and just not work? He said that a building has to have a soul,has to be put together by people who care..or it just wont work. Sadly Voyager is one of these such structures..a huge tank of people all sailing round in what sounds and feels like a 40 gallon drum.. I think Mr.Goldstein needs to take a good hard look at attention to detail,how his staff work and feel and make a lot of changes. And sometimes that can only come from the top and work its way down...and we all know what that means. We would have to be really keen to do RCCL ever again Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I took cruise on the “Quantum of the Seas” from Bayonne, NJ. (Dec 22- Dec 27, 2014). Being a Loyal customer to Royal Caribbean I wanted to love this new Quantum of the Seas Ship that just came out as it was promoted as being hi-tech ... Read More
I took cruise on the “Quantum of the Seas” from Bayonne, NJ. (Dec 22- Dec 27, 2014). Being a Loyal customer to Royal Caribbean I wanted to love this new Quantum of the Seas Ship that just came out as it was promoted as being hi-tech and all (this is my 10th cruise with RCCL and being an Emerald member), and I expected a lot of the Personal Quality Service that I had received as on the previous RCCL ships before. I always choose RCCL because of their exceptional personal quality of service, food/dining and shows. To my dismay, this ship really let my entire family down with regards to the dining and service and onboard activities. It is quite disappointing, as we paid a lot for a Holiday cruise and was looking forward to a stress-free enjoyable cruise. This ship really turned us off, that we are considering other cruise lines for the near future and will not recommend anyone for dynamic dining settings on RCCL. It seems to be a lot of Marketing Hype with regards to hi-tech on Quantum, but RCCL needs to remember that their brand name/equity is built on Quality of Service (Customers) which this shipped failed drastically from my point of view. Plus it did not even get close to meeting RCCL’s vision listed which says: “Anchored in Excellence” (We always provide service with a friendly greeting and a smile. We anticipate the needs of our customers. We make all effort to exceed our customers' expectations….) these were my expectations when cruising with RCCL. Below are my comments on this cruise: 1. Online Reservations (Dining/Shows) from home: • As this is required. This was the most stress-full as it took me 2 months to be able to arrange and getting the required dining time and shows. Reservations may show that the time-slot is available but when proceeding thru the screens it was not. This really ought to be corrected. I do understand trying to give flexibility but it really should be a stress-free vacation from the start. I work in a hi-tech industry and quality test engineer professional and see holes in the systems. 2. Port Check-in: • Online check-in is supposed to enhance quick-check-in at the port. There was no communications or signs from up-front with regards to seeking someone in a light blue sweater for check-in. • Several counters are set-up for different issues, but we found that the credit card counter was servicing like check-ins with picture taking etc. We stood in-line for the credit card counter to get the credit card change due to an issue we encounter before the trip and there were only 2 families before us. We were in-line for 40 min. before we were able to get the credit card changed as the first family ahead of us was doing check-ins and more instead of just credit card. 3. Restaurant Reservation/Service: • The dynamic dining on Quantum is one of our worst experiences we have ever had. We have been on previous 9 cruises with RCCL. It failed drastically to meet Quality of personalized service that RCCL is known for. • Dirty dishes were left on table for 20 min or more and not cleared up immediately due to lack of staff • Waitstaff did not show personalized service during the first 4 nights which is basically more than 1/2 of the cruise time due to lack of staffing. • Waitstaff (Lucilo at American Icon Grill during our first time dining there) told us to serve our wine ourselves and when I ordered surf & turf because of a screw up was given a Turkey dinner. Needless to say this is not the service we expect from RCCL. • Day 2: Silk reservation had a delay but staff did not inform line that there has been a delay by how much time. They ran out of certain beers and food on the menu. • Menu offered in these specialty restaurant are really a lower quality food types vs the traditional dining on RCCL ships with the exception of “The Grande” and “Chic”. • Using tablets for ordering takes away personal service interactions with customers. Comment: It was only by the 4th dining night that we started to see improvement in service, but by then it was past half-way in our entire cruise already. 4. Windjammer buffet: • Food selection was more Indian spice geared and quality is lower than other windjammer of other RCCL. • Tables were not cleared as there was lack of staff • Washing of hands prior to entering dining area was not re-enforced. 5. Stateroom: • Being an Emerald Member I expected robes in our room instead of asking for it at arrival • Expected the stateroom to have tissue box instead of asking for it. • Pillows did not smelled like fresh and clean • Stateroom attendant did not even introduce themselves and welcome us on-board. • No announcement inside stateroom • Stateroom much smaller with sofa bed pulled out no room to walk - no living room space. 6. On-board Activities: • iFly (Ripcord) activity - it was said that reservation was to be done the first day or online. This was not really communicated via e-mail or thru the compass Day 1 as I looked. Plus when I did the online check-in early this was not available for making reservation. By day 2 they said that all the reservation slots are booked for the entire cruise already. • There were not enough pool areas. • Whirlpool temperature is only luke-warm 7. OTHER: • Network connection onboard was not great. It was intermittent and there was not always able to tell you how many minutes you have left. • Did not feel like Christmas on board at all this being a Holiday cruise • RFID wristband only used for certain things. • Santa line up for kids receiving a gift at Two70 was a mess. Not well organized. • Elevators took too long, Many out of service and some of the panels didn't work on one side. • A Day at Disney Excursions requires more time. at min 9 hrs. Only 6 hrs. was allotted. • Very morbid attitude no smiles or welcoming feeling. • Balcony has no lights. • Royal IQ Apps is ok 8. SHOWS: • The only piece that I believe RCCL kept up with their brand. EXCELLENT SHOWS! .   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As a Diamond Plus member I am very loyal to the brand and obviously love the experience on Royal over others. I have also been on the last 3 newest ships within their first 3 or 4 months. I recall a few food issues on Allure and a bag that ... Read More
As a Diamond Plus member I am very loyal to the brand and obviously love the experience on Royal over others. I have also been on the last 3 newest ships within their first 3 or 4 months. I recall a few food issues on Allure and a bag that arrived after late dinner - but that was the extent of the problems. This cruise was a whole new level of disappointment. Here is my tale of the New Years cruise... We flew in to Newark and were a bit early (9:30am) instead of waiting for a Royal Bus to the port at 11 (27.50 each) - we jumped into a cab for $55. Dropping off bags wasn't terrible; but the guys taking bags were bitching about what a pain to put on the new tags - needed I guess to "track the bags". FAIL #1 - The luggage tracking system never worked for us. (Don't hype up something that does't work). Our "Arrival time" was 10:45 to 11:15. They were a tad behind; but started boarding about 11:05am and as a D+ member went right on. Took seconds to board. SUCCESS #1 We got a "Hello" and a free glass of champaign which was nice and welcoming. We were told rooms would be ready at 11:30; only to find out that our deck was 1pm - which is the norm so no biggie. We explored the ship and LOVED it. It is classy and beautiful. Ate a delicious lunch ay Izumi - although they were out of a couple of things (not a way to start day 1 - but no biggie). SUCCESS #2 FAIL #2 - No Room keys Just after 1 we went to out deck to get our room (and keys/band) only to find out we had no keys/band in the room. (Not a fan of this new way of not having a card before boarding - but it's all part of the new experience right?). We asked the stateroom attendant and he informed us that our room was showing as "vacant" for our cruise and the door was locked and he could not open it. Even though the paper in my hand clearly says this is our room. It is even stamped and checked by the lady who checked us in on the pier. "Go to Guest Services" I'm told. When I asked; can I drop my bags in the room while I get keys - I get "Go to Guest Services". Luckily (for him) an officer passed by and after a quick call - let us in the room and apologized for the problem. Funny thing is we had our spa appointment confirmation and champaign delivered waiting for us. Seems someone knew this was our room! So off to guest services we go. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. Huge lines and TONS of issues with rooms. Well at least it just wasn't us. After 30 minutes - we were all set. Off for a cocktail! So we sit down for a drink and are told "you don't have a drink package". UGH. Really? Back to Guest Services. 30 minutes later - All set. FAIL #3 There were 2 more trips to guest services on Day 1; one to check on luggage - app not working and next to ask about out drink package cups and D+ Robes. 4 trips in 1 day is more than the last 6+ cruises put together. FAIL #4 & #5 As the week progressed we dealt with some huge issues with dining. Now I have defended the Dynamic Dining concept to so many that I was starting to sound like a PR guy. However the execution is horrible. SUCCESS #3 Our first night in Wonderland was AMAZING. Perfect service and perfect food. So when we went to the Schooner Bar after dinning and heard passenger after passenger telling of their 45-60 min wait - past their RES time - I was feeling damn lucky. Then Day 2 hit and we had the CHOPS from hell. Had to wait about 30 mins past res time. Worst service ever in Chops. Wrong steak temps; wrong dessert; I had to go get my own glass of wine. The waiter wasn't a bad guy - just completely overwhelmed with too many tables. It was a joke. FAIL #6 Again listened to more complaints about dining and from very loyal cruisers. Not just your average bitchy guest. We liked Chic and had good service (although they lost our res - we still got in quick) and we also really liked Silk. Both very good food with great service. However what I found so funny; is that you can't find 2 people with the same experiences in restaurants. Whatever you like and dislike - the problem is complete lack of CONSISTANCY. I cruise Royal because I have come to knew what to expect (not perfection but darn good food and service) - what everyone seems to be getting is lack of consistency. Not sure every good dining should be considered a success... Jamie's Italian was basically PERFECT. We were seated 2 minutes before our reservation. Were served quickly and every bite was fantastic. Our server was quick, attentive and personable. They also serve Jamie's apps in Vintages; which look good - but we never ate in Vintages. SUCCESS #4 - Perfect Dining The only Formal restaurant is The Grand. We were seated within 20-25 minutes of our res. The waiter was nothing more than an order taker. He said hello and what would you like and that was about it. The apps were just normal fare. I had the Lobster Thermidor - which was a joke. The 1st time on a cruise the waiter did't remove the lobster from the shell. Not that I can't do my own silly lobster - just not what I am used to. Then it was overcooked. Yuk. And the portion - small. My better half had a seafood dish and everything was overcooked. We got a half-hearted apology; but at that point we were just ready for dessert and maybe some pizza later. FAIL #7 The Windjammer is better than most - if not all. But let's face it - it's still a buffet. I LOVED the warm cookies they bake all afternoon though YUMMO! Cafe 270 is the place to be. Like Park Cafe - great for breakfast and better for lunch. However by day 3 - everyone knew about it and the lines got LONG....and longer... FAIL #8 LONG LINES... especially in the bars. If you didn't have a bar stool - forgot it. People were getting ticked off. Lack of bar servers in bars and lounges as well as on deck. It was bad pretty much every day and night after day 2; except during dinner say 6-8 because everyone was in line waiting for the reservations! On day 2 - my better half went to get us coffee at the Starbucks like cafe. The guy at the counter scanned his card and said "Um; you are not on board". Back to Guest Services - luckily they confirmed that indeed my dearest did not fall off the ship and was very much on board. Fail #9 Entertainment - Well in a nutshell - BEST IN THE FLEET - Celebrity / Royal - no ship can match this period. Mamma Mia was Broadway Quality all the way. The shows in 270 - amazing. The music show in the main theatre - amazing. It was simply brilliant. BIG SUCCESS #5 Oh wait - you didn't make a res for Mamma Mia or Starwater before day 1? Sorry - no reservations left for anyway or time. FAIL #10 Upper Deck Fun BEST Solarium in the fleet as far as I am concerned it is really beautiful. Next they have an indoor pool; where some of the roof can open up if it's warm enough. This was usually kid central; but gave them a great place to swim that wasn't the Solarium on the colder days. The main outdoor pool area is very nice; but on nice days overly crowded. Chair hogs seem to multiple as the cruise progressed and the pool attendants were doing what they could - but like everywhere else on the ship - there wasn't enough of them. 4 different bars on the pool decks all with lines; but friendly bartenders, In fact all the bartenders were friendly - just way over worked and tired. Activities Bumper Cars and Sky Diving and Flow Riding and going up in the North Star- and the Circus School - all FREE - but all with big lines. Liked it was free and liked it was so cool - but agin if you did't make a res for IFly - you were out of luck. Johnny Rockets on Pool Deck Ala Cart - but no table service; no cool music and no dancing? On but don't worry - LONG LINES. FAIL #11 Our Cabin - Balcony on the Hump. GREAT! Loads of storage. Sleek and modern. Lots of cool features. Large balcony - plugs for USB connections. Brilliant. SUCCESS #6 THE "APP" - I don't need it - but if you Hype it up and it does't work... FAIL #12 New Years Party was amazing. Very crowded - luckily we got our bottle of champaign and hugged it on the pool deck for the countdown with 3 thousand of our new friends. They 20 people jumped into the pool fully clothed. It was a really fun time. Debarkation - FAST! Super quick. I am sure some of the readers will call me a complainer because of all my "FAIL#"'s. But trust me - we had a great cruise and did our best not to let the issues ruin the day. But I tell you - I was actually starting to dread dinner because I never knew if it would be a good time or a bad time. We had more good than bad; but when it was bad - it was really bad. Then when you wanted to unwind - getting a drink was a hassle. This is not the way to spend a cruise. Did I relax; for the most part. Drink and eat too much - definitely. Escape cold weather? YEP. So a successful vacation at least. This was a holiday cruise with crappy ports - I mean come on - Cape Canaveral? and Co-co Cay and Nassau? I never left the ship. The ship is BEAUTIFUL! Also as a new ship and on a holiday - we paid TOP dollar. Yet all in all received subpar service. The failure of Royal is very obvious here. This is not just "New Ship Issues" this is a direct lack of management planning and execution. The much hyped technology is a joke. The APP doesn't work and baggage tracking does't work the dining res does't work. I don't need these things for a great vacation - but I'm also not the multi-billion dollar company who promised these things and failed to deliver. Dynamic Dining - Open to the idea - but perhaps they should have tried on a smaller ship that isn't trying to learn everything new first. Also - the short-staffing in the ship; especially the bars - on a new ship? On a holiday? Who thought THAT was a good idea? FAIL FAIL FAIL I am sure they will fix these things. I heard the CEO is on board this week. Hopefully he sees the real issues and addresses them. Time will tell. In the meantime... cruise on... Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned ... Read More
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned expert travel agent. She knows cruises and she knows us, which is why we are still shaking our heads over the whole experience. To say it was a misfit is an understatement. But i have to say that we were in the slimmest minority of passengers who left unsatisfied. Most of the other passengers were delighted with the program, the staff and the ship. Here are the PROS as we saw them: The Sea of Cortes is truly a breath-taking landscape. It is such a remote and desertic place it is best visited on a ship. There were lots of other families on board so plenty of socializing opportunities for our children. We got to swim with shark whales and sea lions (pretty incredible). Staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the region. There is no internet onboard offering us a heavenly tech-free week. We really got to interact with our kids! Loreto, a small traditional Mexican town, we visited was a real 'find', tranquil, beautiful, authentic. They had a wonderful bar-tender onboard (Heather), the only staff member who rivaled our staff experiences on other ships. The CONS, sadly, well outweighed the PROS for our group: FIrst of all, the cabin and ship are very poorly maintained (from a cleanliness perspective). Our cabin, a Commodore Suite (their highest grade) never felt truly cleaned. This is partly because the cabins are maintained by the crew which also waits tables in the dining room. When we arrived in the cabin I mentioned to my mother that our duvet cover (a horrid navy blue thing that belonged in a college dorm) looked slept in. She was incredulous but, on our last day as we were packing up, the cleaning crew asked if they could come in to strip the beds while we ate breakfast. When we got back to our cabin to retrieve our carry-on luggage we saw that the beds were stripped but the duvet covers were indeed left on! DISGUSTING! The coverlet on the hide-a-bed was visibly filthy with brown dirt. Dirty towels were frequently left forgotten on the bathroom floor after the morning cleaning. Our shower curtain was similarly dirty from past use. The floor was vacuumed precisely once during our whole stay (sand and candy wrappers were left as evidence on the floor). Again, no one else onboard seemed put off by this so I think our housekeeping expectations may have something to do with our past cruising experiences on SeaDream, Seabourn, and Paul Gauguin where spotlessness is the norm. The staff is more reminiscent of a summer camp than a cruise ship or a resort: they are gung-ho but not really trained for ship service. They remind me of kids taking a break from college to do a bit of travel. Several of them are precisely that, few if any are career ship staff from what I saw. They are nice enough (although not really service minded at all) but wildly uneven and unsophisticated (they would forget the simplest requests like a glass of water, ice, a wine refill, an extra dollop of mayonnaise). The ship lacks polish in every respect, from the staff to the ghastly common areas to cabins and all the details are way more Best Western than luxury ship (and the prices are definitely in the luxury ship zone). Pillows, sheets, TP, toiletries were all strictly budget motel grade. There was never, until the very end with one or two (Ashley and Jeryd in the dining room stand out) the sense that the staff was concerned with getting to know our likes and dislikes, or what they could do to make our trip better. We hooted with laughter at Jeremy's proud proclamation that Uncruise prided itself on having "a plan from which to deviate" ethos. The only plan this ship deviates from is when weather makes whatever was on the books untenable. Otherwise, and here is where we were really fish out of water, Uncruise has the most rigid guest policy I have ever been held to. They must be scared to death of litigation: we were give ZERO allowance to do as we pleased on shore except when we were in one of the two towns we went to. One is not allowed to deviate in any way from the planned activities. Should you want to walk at a faster pace on the hikes, paddle a bit further in the kayak, go for an impromptu swim, eat at any time other that the hour set for each meal, well, pall, that is plan from which Uncruise will strictly NOT be deviating. The staff are infuriatingly unconcerned with your preferences. It's all about keeping to a schedule and maintaining everyone in a manageable group. It is adventure for the timid, the leery of autonomy, the utterly malleable. The very fact that in this spectacular landscape they have no place or inclination to serve drinks or even a snack in the open air (everything is served in the grim dining room- everyone at once) is a travesty. On a sunny day there is no comfortable place to sunbathe, not an outdoor cushion in sight, no staff to offer you so much as a glass of water. We were there on New Year's Eve. There was no attempt to decorate the ship or serve a festive meal. It was all so ho-hum. These are people who have no sense of occasion (and nor apparently did the guests- hardly any one did so much as change into a nicer shirt for the dinner- so sad!). In fact, this is how they manage the food service - breakfast is at 7:30 sharp (on holiday!) no and ifs or buts, and then at breakfast you are told what the lunch and dinner choices are and you are to give your preferences then for those meals!! Who doesn't love planning what they're going to eat for lunch and dinner at breakfast, on holiday no less! My son and I who are avid hikers and climbers had to stage an escape one day to scale a hill that caught our interest. I hated having to be duplicitous and sneak around the guides but they left us no choice. After that we felt a distinct chill from Jeremy the cruise director. He's a nice enough guy but he clearly likes his guests sheep-like and undeviant. Ah well, Uncruise is not for us. We like our freedom too much (and cleanliness and sophisticated service). But if you like everything planned to the un-th second, and an all-American crew, and super safety conscious adventure dolled out in thirty minute increments (as the majority of our fellow passengers did) - then this is for you. On a last note, the food was fine (not one memorable bite but not dreadful) but we all had upset stomachs the last few days until the day or so after we got back... The coffee is cafeteria bad. The butter is not real butter. The cocktail hour snacks were truly awful. There is no maitr'd to greet you at the entrance to the dining room and help seat the groups so it's a sort of undignified game of musical chairs at every meal. If you go, don't bother packing binoculars (they have plenty, sun lotion (again they provide reed-safe sunscreen), any sort of nice clothing (this is a strictly beige/sage-toned, Tevo sandal crowd). Do bring reading material and DVDs you're likely to have a lot of time on your hands between activities. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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