28 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Holiday Cruise Reviews

Not the Royal Expectation we expect for spending Christmas and New Year on board Anthem of the Seas. So much has been said about the ship itself. One would expect this particular cruise to be of some differences at least, because this is ... Read More
Not the Royal Expectation we expect for spending Christmas and New Year on board Anthem of the Seas. So much has been said about the ship itself. One would expect this particular cruise to be of some differences at least, because this is Christmas and New Year. We like the deco and design of the ship, very similar to some of the Princess Cruise ship that we have experienced before. The interior of the ship is very well decorated, cabin color is very warm, with lots of room for storage. Unlike Allure of the Seas, Oasis and Freedom of the Seas which have much larger Promenade Space. The common areas at times feel very congested. Breakfast at the Windjammer is usually crowded, choice of food bad, breakfast menu same every day, finding a place for two some time could be a challenge. Personally we like Two70 better, very quiet, limited choice but very healthy diet. We both are not a lunch person (no comments) Dinner at the Grande is one of the worst by far. Imagine having Fish&Chip in fast food restaurants. (fish over cook and dry)Garlic Shrimp Entrees for dinner is not any bigger than shrimp salad cocktail. Numerous starters and entrees having to repeat at least once. Royal Caribbean you are very lucky to have Anoop,Lujan and Maricris as your employees.(Table 313)They all defended the Company well, when we complain that the food was not so great. Trying to make up for the not so good dinner every day, we will serve complimentary cheese to go with our wine each evening (by your wait staff) Lucky draw at Regalia is very unprofessional, we were ask which is the Real Diamond from the three on display in the show case. The correct answer should be all three (not diamond #1, #2 or #3) Ballot with a partial correct answer should not be considered for the draw. This only justified the products you sell are genuine and not otherwise. Personally I have a mixed reaction if someone pick diamond #1.Then #2 and #3 must be fake. (Do RC sell fake diamonds?) The group of us confronted the Manager and his staff about how the draw was conducted and how the rest was unfairly treated with the 100% correct answer. Your Manager from Romania reply (I'm the boss I decide) what an attitude. I told him that we will post our review on line. His reply... RC don't really care. This one is for all of us, we all wanted great deals, fine food, excellent service, and everything that is available for holidays on board the ship. The amount of food that is left behind after we are done having breakfast, lunch or dinner is disgusting (are we really the waste society of the world?) Imagine having to pay for every meals on board..... I'm sure you are not the person you are going to be. Cruise fare could be a lot less if all of us make the first move not to waste on food, and teach our kids take only what he or she can consume. Last and not least The headliner, Spectra, We will rock you show and The Gifts, are not up to mine expectations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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
This was our 8th cruise and the 4th with RCI, the others with Princess and Celebrity. Our embarkation was very smooth and we were soon on the ship with our cases reaching our cabin swiftly, which is more that can be said for our taxi ride ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise and the 4th with RCI, the others with Princess and Celebrity. Our embarkation was very smooth and we were soon on the ship with our cases reaching our cabin swiftly, which is more that can be said for our taxi ride from our hotel from upper east Manhattan, this involved two cabs because the 1st cab wasn't allowed through the tunnel (or as the driver of the 2nd cab put it, he was too lazy to take us) I digress. Our first impression of the ship which is fairly typical whenever we get onboard a large ship is wow, but this ship had a little extra wow. We were quiet surprised to see so much repair work going on after we set sailed, this gave us a feeling that things were all a bit rushed when it came to finishing the ship off maybe it was down to how well Germany did in the world cup. Activities: These were important to us as we had a few days where the weather kept us inside. The Seaplex was a really impressive venue with a good range of interesting activities. Ripcord by ifly we loved this and managed to try it more than once! The North star was good but as you'd expect very popular so queuing was often involved, it also suffered from the sea conditions which at times were too rough for it to be in service, the best time to do it by far was at sea. This is the 1st cruise I tried the flow rider, I soon wondered why I hadn't done it before, I was kicking myself about all the times I'd watched others but not tried it, I got pretty good at the boogie board but struggled at the stand up, maybe if I'd tried on the earlier cruises I'd be surfing like the cool guys. Entertainment: We loved the shows, Mama Mia was great but our favourite was Starwater which took place in the Two 70, we was lucky enough to see it several times, it is a truly unique show that you must see. The other entertainers were good and seemed to go down well with the other cruisers which can be a tough crowd to please. The bionic bar didn't really do it for me, once I'd seen it make one drink that was the time to move on. Because it wasn't really in a bar room as such it was more like something you happened to glanced at on the way to something else, it lacked a bar atmosphere a bit like the robots, cold and lifeless. I saw this feature as a gimmick, I'd be interested how the robots would fare against a real person drinks per minute. The music hall was a good venue for live music where we really enjoyed the Beatlemanic's, however as good as they were, playing four nights in a row with virtually the same set was rather stretching the point too far. Dining: Because we could only book one show and one restaurant on line before we cruised, we were at a considerable disadvantage when it came to booking the restaurants and shows we wanted when we wanted them, we wasted too much time queuing to try and sort this out and then didn't get what we wanted because other cruisers that were allowed to book up to six months in advance had filled all the allocations ! We could only get one reservation for the Grande because of this situation so were restricted to one formal night and yet we talked to other cruisers that had five nights booked ! Not being able to book before we cruised really wasted a lot of our time at the beginning of our cruise, so for us dynamic dining started on the wrong foot. Dynamic dining seemed like an education and a steep learning curve for both for us and the crew, for us if we'd been able to book before, we could judge this new system but as we couldn't it has clouded our judgment, so I'm not going to comment on this further other than saying that we all knew about the new Dynamic dining before we got onboard. On past cruises we have enjoyed the Johnny Rockets experience, but what we now have on the Quantum is very different, if your not going to do Johnny Rockets properly then don't do it at all, it was nothing like the diner experience we'd come to love, very disappointing! Disembarkation: On the day of disembarkation we had booked a trip, so following the instructions on the ticket we went to the excursions lounge well before time only to find nobody there to greet and organise things, we then joined a line after hearing that one for excursions was now leaving the ship, this was hampered by other cruisers also trying to leave at the same exit. Whilst making our way off the ship we were told that we should have been given a number one sticker and that our suit cases should have had been tagged one to four, we had been given forty eight ! We were not the only cruisers that were given the wrong luggage tags. Our excursion tickets stated that we meet at 08:15 and our tour will start at 08:30, we didn't get on the tour bus until 10:00 after a great deal of stress and confusion that could have been avoided if we were informed as to what was going on, the problem was dumped in the lap of the warehouse personnel who were very helpful, but we were still 90 minutes short on our tour. Photos: I really liked what the've done with the photographic department however, I ordered a Digital copy of a photo and got a disc with a licence agreement and a small program but no photo ! ? Out of pocket and no photo ! Shopping: There seemed to be a lot of expensive high end shops on board which were nearly always empty, not really aimed at your average cruiser but pretty to look at. Some shops selling more useful products were missing. The Daily cruise planner was frequently wrong, if I read something on it, go to see it and it's not happening, I walk away disappointed. Overall we really liked the ship and as it is so new it will understandably have teething problems which I'm sure will be ironed out, but every now and then you felt like a Guinea pig. The crew were amazing and as always really worked hard to keep us all happy noticeably in the dining and activities. We would use this ship again but would approach the dining situation differently in a hope that we could get it to work for us. If your due to go on the Quantum don't worry I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself, with the help of the crew you'll have a good time. We hope the Anthem will learn from the Quantum's mistakes.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hello We choose to try out the Quantrum as it Is a Brand new ship and came with a lot of Hype . Our History ,this was our 31st Cruise and our 4th with RCI ,We've cruised with all the popular Cruise Lines NCL, Cunard, Holland America, ... Read More
Hello We choose to try out the Quantrum as it Is a Brand new ship and came with a lot of Hype . Our History ,this was our 31st Cruise and our 4th with RCI ,We've cruised with all the popular Cruise Lines NCL, Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess. We always book at least a balcony cabin ,and have cruised in suites ,and owner suites if the deal was right . Almost all of our previous cruises have been in mid sized ships 1700-2200 passengers , this was our first experience on a "Mega" ship. We booked a balcony cabin on deck 9 mid ship , I was not impressed with the size of our Cabin and the bathroom ,very narrow, no table for in room dining, if chosen , But very adequate storage ,I found a lot of annoying features , you had to insert room card in slot for lighting to work,[Trick you can use any creditcard sized card] TV selection was very pitiful , unless you wanted to pay 12.00 to view a movie, Our room only had 2 110volt outlets on the desk . No 110 outlets in bathroom and very limited counter space. You had to request stuff like shampoo, Ice and ice bucket ,bath ropes, no coffee table to set any room service tray on . Mass confusion is about the only way to describe all the problems with this ship and crew ,Problems with restaurant reservations from day one ,we didn't know you had to book all restaurants separately ,so we were stuck with 8.30 dinners ,but people with 8.45 or 9.00 would show up early and be on line in front of you ,very annoying . ended up finishing dinner sometimes as late as 11.00pm . Food in the "free" restaurants was O.K. nothing spectacular ,The buffet was good for breakfast ,but very crowded, with fairly long waits on the omelet lines ,Coffee was good and always available. The Northstar ,You had to get on line at 9.00 am [or before] to sign up for a morning or afternoon ride . but they had problems with it numerous times ,so many rides were cancelled .Bumper cars were fun ,and the lines moved quickly . Now I,m kind of a low tech person [still have a flip phone] and this is supposedly a high tech ship ,all the waiters have I pads ,although almost everyone I talked to was having problems with email and text. I turned my phone off as soon as I got on the ship ,the way I look at it is I'm on vacation and I don't want or need to be in Constance contact with anybody. The ship is very nice and has a adequate amount of elevators ,Although at times 2 or more were out of order . Here's some of the Pro's love the Bumper cars North Star [when it's operating] Atrium Café [excellent tasty sandwiches] Most employees helpful [put seem to be limited by paperless systems] Very clean modern ship Embarkation was the easiest and fastest of all our 32 cruises Price match on port liquor stores [bring proof] Excellent room attendant Donny Campbell Very good sound proofing cabin Here's some of my Con's Lines longer than I'm used to on smaller ships Pricey Drinks More salt than needed Smaller than average stateroom Definitely geared toward technology[ unless this is what you want] Blackjack uses 8 decks Paperless can be annoying at times Stressful because of the Dynamic Dining and long waits RCI Quantrum Is a Beautiful ship, but not for me I prefer smaller ships with set dining times [early/late] I probably wouldn't cruise on her again .We had a good time but found it stressful at certain times . I'll still sale with RCI in the future ,we already have a future Cruise booked on the Grandeur .Mega ships, and Dynamic dining are not for me.     Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I booked this cruise on opening day of reservations a year and a half ago and could not wait to experience the WOW ship. I am a Diamond cruiser with RC and had such high hopes.  Just got off the Christmas cruise to the Bahamas and I have ... Read More
I booked this cruise on opening day of reservations a year and a half ago and could not wait to experience the WOW ship. I am a Diamond cruiser with RC and had such high hopes.  Just got off the Christmas cruise to the Bahamas and I have never written a review before on any cruise but could not hold back my disgust and disappointment and would like to share my experience so that maybe someone else my not feel the same disappointment. Dynamic Dinning was an absolute bust. I made the dinner reservations online months ago after my final payment was made, and none of my reservations were honored. On day 1 I had reservations for Silk at 645PM and arrived at 630PM to find a long line of guest that all had reservations as well and no seating available. After waiting in line for 1 hour I walked to the front of the line to ask the host if there was a reason that we were all still standing in line. I was informed there was no more availability for that evening and they were very sorry but perhaps my party of eight may enjoy the buffet for that night since all of the restaurants were full and they could not honor the reservation that were made online. RESERVATIONS what a joke. So I thought to get smart and confirm reservation for all of the other 6 nights only to find out that all of the restaurants were now booked for the rest of the cruise. I offered my print out of reservations made online and asked how this could be possible and was informed that "the system could not recognize reservations made on line". I informed them I am a Diamond cruiser and the rest of my party were all Diamond Plus and then was given the option of coming each night at 530 PM to the restaurants that we booked and they would accommodate our part of 8. I took this as an olive branch and we showed up each evening only to find all of the other people they told the same thing as well and waited in line each night for seating. The food was NOTHING like any RC cruise I have ever taken before. Food was tasteless and service was very poor. One night in the Grand we waited 1 hour for appetizers and another hour after the appetizer for the main meal only to have our plates taken right out from under the fork without having finished so "we could start to enjoy our very special dessert". We were never offered a cup of coffee with dessert (any of the 7 nights) because "others were waiting for a table". MAYBE if we did not wait 2 hours for the main dish- tables would move quicker or if they had an assistant waiter things may run smoother. The buffet was no better. The round serving dishes were often empty. Any other RC ship I have been on replaced the empty serving trays as soon as they were empty. One morning for breakfast I walked the entire buffet and could not find a station that was stocked with clean plates and silverware-all were EMPTY. I asked a server in the buffet station if plates were coming and was rudely and sarcastically told "please be patient" so I patiently waited 10 minutes for a bowel and proceeded to the oatmeal (the 1 thing I enjoy each day for breakfast) to find that it was EMPTY and that I would need to be PATIENT or "COME BACK LATER" This was not a WOW.  I will give props to the fresh baked cookies they were very tasty but that was the best food to be found on Quantum. One last comment for the buffet, I asked a staff member for a cup of coffee as she walked past my table and she pointed to the drink area to get it myself and just walked away. All other RC ships always had people walking around to fill water and coffee. This is a true buffet of get it yourself. Don't expect any service here. Forget reservations for the show as well. I booked them all in advance online but once again nobody at the door checking so it was a free for all each night. No section for Diamond seating(if there was any it was over run and nobody checking) but there was always a little extra standing room only-not a WOW. I will give credit to the bartender at the open air pool he was the only staff member I saw with a smile and greeted each guest with that same smile every time I went there. I felt the ship was very under staffed and nobody providing the service I have enjoyed in the past. Why work for a tip when it is now guaranteed. Guest services had rude and ignorant staff when I went to complain. The ship was beautiful and the bionic bar (small and packed) was something to see. The solarium pool was also beautiful but full of young children splashing and yelling in the hot tubs even though this was to be for 18 and up (once again nobody checking). I actually left the solarium and went to the middle covered pool for a little quite time and found the seating there to be comfortable and quiet to read a book. The diamond lounge was also nice but I could not enjoy it or my complementary drinks because I was standing in line for dinner each night and did not get out until after 8PM so no enjoying the 3 complementary drinks at the bar either. RC is planning to change over all of the ships to Dynamic Dinning and I do not see this as a good thing. I like having the same waiter that knows what I like to drink each night with an assistant waiter and a cup of coffee with dessert and not having to stand in line for 1 hour for a table. I like the perks of loyalty like the diamond lounge and reserved seating for diamond members for shows and my coffee refilled at the table in the buffet. If this is the future of RC I may have to "Get out There" and pledge my loyalty else where and I do not think I will be alone. RC has given up on service for the I fly. The only thing I see flying are the loyal frequent cruisers.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just off the 12th December 2014 sailing of Quantum of the Seas and WOW. This is the first time I have sailed RCCL solo previously sailing with a friend on Freedom and Allure. This was my 16th cruise with my favourite company being NCL, I ... Read More
Just off the 12th December 2014 sailing of Quantum of the Seas and WOW. This is the first time I have sailed RCCL solo previously sailing with a friend on Freedom and Allure. This was my 16th cruise with my favourite company being NCL, I have also sailed Celebrity, Carnival, Star and MSC. So lets start with embarkation. Other than the traffic jam getting from the port entrance to drop off everything was fast. Straight out off the car a baggage porter approached me, tagged my bags with tracker labels and gave me my tags to attach to my docs. Easy. Then once in the terminal you could see plenty of staff around with the portable check in tablets but all had a line of about 6 people so I went straight through security and lined at a desk. Within 10 minutes I was checked in and on the ship. WARNING:- if you like the ship photo they take when boarding it is in the check in hall, watch out for it as they don't have one after this point. First stop after glimpsing at the Esplanade was the Windjammer. Very nice set up with different sections like Celebrity and whilst lots of people around it did not feel crowded. Food was plentiful and lots of choice. Next stop the Star bar and bought the Premium drinks package. Wish I had bought it back in the UK online as the exchange rate RCCL was using online would have saved me around £20. Lesson learnt. Now the package stated cocktails and drinks $10 and under but most of the cocktails on any bar menu where $12. These where included. Daily specials and the usual cocktails do not appear on the menus in any bars. Seemed to be new style cocktails to me. None of the usual Mudslides, Blue Hawaiians, Miami Vice, Lava Flows, BBC's etc. They could and did make all these for me apart from the Mudslide as no Ice cream mix on the ship. Boo Hoo. Next stop was The North Star as I noticed it operating whilst still in port. I was in it and up in the air within 2 minutes and loved the view. In port it does not go over the side of the ship but the experience was still the same. Now lets talk about trying to get on the North Star a second time. Reading the daily planner and the Morning show on TV is a must to get the most outta this ship. Every day they will list an area and time where you must line up to get a ticket for a time to go up in the North Star for the day stated. On day 2 it was for that day, later lines where for the following day. Now they would only allow 500 people to sign up per day and the line took ages. Once at the front of the line you cannot pick a time, you are allocated a time. So if you are at the front you get 9am, if at the back you get 5pm. iFLY. Wow. Once onboard the ship head straight here to make a reservation. Warning, the staff are nice but stressed. The area which they have been allocated for check in's, reservations, waivers etc is too small and crowded. If you ask any RCCL staff they will tell you the iFLY is free for as many goes as you like. If you ask the iFLY staff they will only book you in once as they want everyone to have a go and there is only just enough time slots. Not sure why the iFLY operates limited hours but maybe this will change. Room:- I had a Solo Ocean view studio with balcony. Very nice. Room is small but larger than my bedroom at home. The bed was comfy and it was a proper double bed with no split in the middle. Enough storage to hang a suit and about 10 shirts. Plenty of draw space above the bed. Nice USB chargers. Huge bathroom and massive balcony. Esplanade:- Lots of fancy shops which I did not care for. Usual logo shop and duty free shop, nice. Café good. Michaels Bar good but other than that this area is wasted on me. No fun activities take place here other than mad cruisers buying $10 gifts. Did not see any parties or parades. One lonely Christmas Tree to represent the festive period. Now I am not moaning here just pointing out the facts. The area from the rear elevators to Two70 pointless. Other than Jamies and Vintages and the art gallery nothing until you get to the end and you have Two70 and the café. A lot of open space. Maybe that's good, I'm not sure. Two70. Wow. For the first three days on the ship I thought it was nice how the ship didn't feel too big and difficult to get around. Then on day four I remember Two70 and realised I had not been to that part of the ship yet. The area and café is very nice, especially for breakfast and lunch, less crowded. Entertainment:- Now I love cheesy cruise ship entertainment. Mama Mia WOW. A brilliant show and loved that they had a break in the middle to get a new drink and a quick loo visit. Starwater, WOW. Different and no plot to the performance but the show and visuals are all amazing. The six robot screens really do come to life. Sonic, very good. Loved the drum wall and the Earth Harp. Guest Entertainer #1, the comedian, well cannot judge as I was a little drunk and could see two of him and fell asleep. How rude, I know. I only woke when I heard him picking on someone else who had fallen asleep. Second guest entertainer was brilliant. Proper old fashion cheesy cruise tunes like Motown etc. However. Only five nights of entertainment on an eight night cruise. I was not happy, I am not into Latin music so Bellarious was not for me. Schooner bar, well ever time I went by the piano guy was singing Spanish tunes. Micheal's bar had no entertainment. So nothing for me to do. No sailaway parties or evening parties on the deck under the stars. No glow party, no quest. Nothing. Bionic Bar:- Loved it. Easy to use and hardly used by anyone else. Every time I went past at the start of my evening I would get my first drink of the night (had many thru the day) and loved watching the robots in action. They even remember your past orders for ease in ordering again. Solarium:- With sailing outta NYC in December it was cold so this area got some use from me and it was very nice, Large enough to accommodate all that wanted to use. nice pools and hot tubs and bar. Pool:- Nice large pool area. Usual unsupervised children running around and messing about in the hot tubs but for the four hot days it was easy to get a sunbed by the pool if there by 9am. A lot of chair hogging going on. When I'd arrive at 9am, towels already on many beds and you never saw people until hours later. I did witness the towel boys on three occasions scooping up the towels, good lads. Safety:- Maybe I was only noticing this because of recent news reports of accident in pools but it did amaze me how many adults sat in hot tubs or at the bar not paying much attention to their children running around the edges of the pool who could have easily fell in. Free Dining:- Windjammer - see above. Chic - very nice. Silk - yummy. Grande - worth dressing up for. Amazed how many people I spoke to or overheard complaining how formal Grande was. Not going to pass judgement, I'm rising above it. Menu in each venue stays the same for the entire cruise. Paid Dining:- Chops Grill -always my favourite but this time I paid the extra $20 for a dried aged steak. Never again. Sticking with the Filet Migon and saving $20. Ate here twice, first and last night. Wonderland - such a shame. This place was wasted on me as I ate solo. The staff amazing, the set up amazing, the menu, well, I'm greedy and no indication from the strange descriptions of how much food your gonna get. One course came and it was the size of large grape. I cried, nearly. I came away from here disappointed but it was more to do with the $55 price tag. I would recommend to any solo travellers who wish to experience this place to try and buddy up with some new friends and enjoy as a group. Jamies:- wow, Don't ask why because as I am not sure myself but I am very anti Jamie Oliver. But this came very close to beating Chops as the best restaurant on board. I loved all the courses. Devinly Decadence - I booked this in the UK and had low expectations. Wow. Other than your drink from the bar being served in a plastic glass as they get it from the Solarium bar, the food was amazing. Try and pre book your speciality restaurants online as they had a promotion when I did. I ended up booking 5 meals and got 30% back in OBC. Nice touch. Well that's enough from me and sorry for any spelling mistakes. To sum up, I came away from this sailing feeling I had a nice holiday but a little disappointed. As the week has gone on and people ask me about my trip I get very excited telling my stories and now reflect back on a great cruise. I would say any disappointment came from my expectation of all the fun I've had on past RCCL sailing and a little let down on the entertainment side. I now feel though that RCCL have a ship in their fleet which has the feel of a Celebrity Solstice class ship with a few quirky toys, with great dining options and three amazing production shows. Now knowing this I would easily book and recommend a Quantum class ship but would avoid for my solo outings as a friend on board would help fill in the gaps left by the lack of nightly entertainment. If your booked to go, have a brilliant time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I am mid 60's, wife late 50's, this was RCL cruise 14 of 63 past cruises. Started 1984 seen plenty of changes so it wasn't just that cruising is changing. This is simply changes that change the whole previous concept. ... Read More
I am mid 60's, wife late 50's, this was RCL cruise 14 of 63 past cruises. Started 1984 seen plenty of changes so it wasn't just that cruising is changing. This is simply changes that change the whole previous concept. Embarkation: Looked like scene from Walking Dead series. You know all those confused bodies walking aimlessly looking for that one still alive person. In this case designated by someone with a table. Security stations no distinct lines so just kind of push your way up to a conveyor belt. We were there 11:00 our " appointment time " though have no idea why they even have those. Was not relevant to anything that I noted. Finally through detector finally find tablet person. Waited for 10 minutes for her to complete people then had to assert that I was indeed the next in line. My pic came up wives did not, oops never mind system down and off the floor she walks. We were lucky though we got the infamous GREEN STAMP. No stamp not checked in. Numerous people hunting the GREEN STAMP since their tablet person could't complete process. The 10 minute touted check in, 45 minutes from luggage drop to up escalator. Sailed from old terminal on Explorer in October was quicker and easier even with buses. You need desks, you need lines, you need procedures Bayonne! Tablet people walking may work for 2 day 1000 pass trip, 4,800 plus pass sailings, not so much. They did have some podiums but again no designated line and confusing signage. Also would okay with 45 minutes from luggage to onboard EXCEPT they are the ones claiming 10 to 15 minute time frame. CABIN - 13620 - Seapass on door other in cabin with WOW bands. Seapasses worked bands needed to be reprogrammed. This is 13th deck superior ocean view with balcony. Cabin itself very well appointed with storage etc. Any card will work in power slot to turn on electricity in cabin. We used a Princess sea pass left it in no problem. NOTE if you pull card when you leave and kill power OUTLETS still live if charging stuff thankfully. NOTE They are not kidding when they say balcony door must be closed or AC goes off, in fact door must actually also be in locked position. Yes you can place it in locked position from outside. It is not locked from entry just locked from movement. The handle has a chip in it which means door must be fully closed and handle rotated or no AC anymore. Cabins in midship area are covered by an overhang which is three times the width of your deck. That overhang is also the steel plated floor for upper outside decks. It is what males the upper pool decks etc so wide. However plan to never get sun and also plan to get up early. They put out deck chairs around 6 am most mornings. You will know by the first bang which sounds like Thor's hammer hitting the steel deck. That will last about 30 minutes. I can almost sleep through anything and usually enjoy ship sounds, this, not so much. You would have thought someone would have considered a little sound proofing material. The deck arrangements are odd in that from my balcony you have a great view into all the foreword and aft balconies as many actually face you. You would have to take a look some pics of the ship to see what I mean. Our Cabin steward Marcia Brown was a highlight of the accommodations providing anything asked promptly and always there with a pleasant good morning etc. You do have to ask, even ice bucket is by request. They actually have a sign in room, ice by request only. If you don't see it ask for it like shampoo etc. GOOD THINGS: staff though obviously overworked always pleasant. TWO70 area and Cafe a highlight, really liked getting paid coffee and complimentary breakfast items there. The shows Mama Mia and Sound Odyssey great. Ripcord by IFly great! Food itself for most part very good, liked buffet food offerings and design, plenty of seating etc. Sadly not much else struck our fancy. OTHER - Solarium section usually a favorite with us not so much. Thought absolutely a gorgeous area appearance wise it is fully enclosed felt stuffy and had a noise undercurrent that was very odd. The pool falls, low background mood music all made for some kind of ambient low level noise that made it hard to talk or even concentrate to me anyway. The other indoor pool area better and opens to air to some degree. The open pool was great but this for me was because no bands or activities going on. That would certainly be a downside to many I would think. No real problems with tech. Yes the WOW bands both had to be recoded to work, don't like them anyway. Elevators large and running well most times. Some small problems like only one side of buttons worked at times in some, nothing major. Others must have had some levels of problems because Guest Services was very, very busy first couple of days. We went only to get wires WOW band recoded. NOTE if Diamond etc concierge can do it from her terminal. DINING - I won't go way into it certainly being covered. We hate it, no middle ground. From being pretty much forced to eat at some pay restaurants, menus just not large enough in each to make staying solely with complimentary ones. If you do not have reservations made already when come onboard you will have problems if ship is well booked. Non reservation lines LONG! Some wait even with reservations. I found it interesting that in Paid CHOPS if I wanted lobster still even in extra pay it is extra charge $21. If I wanted better aged steak $18. Most of the issues have been well covered. Come on in extra paid restaurant Jamiees Italian ( the best one by the way ) 2.95 for American coffee ( not speciality ) really pay extra each and still you are going to chafe me for the coffee because brewed? In Chops it $8 speciality coffees if not just instant syrup junk coffee? REALLY! Waters over stressed and they will tell you IF no one is around that they hate system. Nobody is happy. We shall see. MAKE reservations online!!! Many evenings no reservations were told come back at 9:30 last seating. We had one day with no reservation wound up eating dinner in the buffet. ENTERTAINMENT: obviously they are doing some great stuff but again I caution you make reservations online. Maybe some of these 2 day early sailings with 1000 people did't have lines. We had 4,800 something on board everything was a line almost. Even with multiple showings the theatre can't hold everyone wanting to see a show. Here's a problem, reservations go in first. SEAT HOLDER BEWARE. So reservation people go in, some people sent one in tell them hold 4 seats. We all now how that works, BUT, new game. 150 people without reservations standing in hallway 45 minutes until opens to all. they enter to claim the 50 unoccupied seats. Seat holder says no those 3 seats are taken they will be right here. Well guess what after waiting 45 minutes in line no one wants to hear you are saving seats. A couple near physical confrontations witnessed personally, a few hot words exchanged. If you have reservations all go at same time or risk a problem. We did not get to see 270 Star whatever show no reservations available though tried early but online didn't allow me to. Since that is a small venue we weren't going to even try to wait on non-reservation line because doubtful would get anywhere near a seat. No matter what a pain make your reservations for food and entrainment online. Most everything spoken for by end of first day I would bet. We will never sail Dynamic Dining ever again. I will go land resorts first!!! Service and uniqueness of main dining waiter relationship etc lost. We like meeting table mates etc. This is just like eating out at home, so why bother getting on something that rocks in bad weather? Bumper cars, cute, after waiting for 45 minutes then getting 9 minute ride would you bother to ever go again? Same with the Star, unique once, after that going to stand on line for an hour to do it again? Robot bar, everyone seemed to agree that was just a wasted space. Roving Bar service near non-existent by the way. Most part plan to bar and get your own. Maybe because many already paid for drink plan why make it easy? ROOM SERVICE: we only do the rolls and coffee so didn't pay for hot items. But complimentary juice, no idea what that was orange fissile water or something nothing like any juice. Even tried carrot juice...still I am not paying $4 for a glass of real juice. 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
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. ... Read More
This is the first time we have sailed RCCL. This was my 12th cruise and over the past 22 years I have sailed on NCL, Princess and Carnival. The ship is elegantly designed, beautiful and amazing! It never felt crowded to us (wife, 17 yr. old daughter and 14 year old son) and we found the entire ship very easy to navigate. Our fellow cruisers were very friendly and well-dressed. We met lots of friendly people and always got a warm welcome throughout the ship. While we did hear stories of displeasure with the ship’s IT, dynamic dining, etc., overall most were really upbeat during this New Year’s holiday sailing. Boarding – we arrived to the port at 10:15 a.m. and I dropped off our luggage curb side, parked the car, checked in and we were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. Our boarding was delayed because they were only allowing “special” Royal Caribbean’s most elite passenger classes to board first (i.e. Diamond, Crown, Gold). It was very apparent that this ship still has some “new ship” kinks that are being addressed, modified and improved on a daily basis. The very first thing we did after boarding was to schedule our 1-minute complimentary RipCord flying experience. However, it took over one hour for the two families ahead of us to successfully book their reservations with the RipCord attendant because none of their tablets were functioning properly. We were soooo glad that we booked RipCord when we did because by the end of Day 2 they were completely booked solid to the end of the cruise. You should definitely try your best to book RipCord in advance of your cruise – this is definitely a fun “bucket list” activity to do and it is very safe. We were pleasantly surprised that our luggage arrived to our staterooms by 1:00 p.m. Cabins – We had two adjoining large interior virtual balcony rooms (11275 & 11277), which provided ample amounts of storage and lighting options. The virtual balcony was working as designed and provided high definition real time exterior images, including beautiful sunsets. The bathroom is even equipped with an automatic night light when the main bathroom light is turned off. We were also impressed with the clear glass curved shower door and the never ending supply of very hot water to ensure a pleasurable shower experience. We slept very well on the comfortable beds and the large flat screen TV in front of the bed was the icing on the cake. After reading other member reviews, we brought extra credit cards to leave behind in the interior slot near the cabin entrance door so that the air conditioning system in the cabin would remain on when we leave. This enabled the room to maintain the desired temperature instead of waiting a while to cool down the room. Dynamic Dining - After reading many negative Cruise Critic member reviews prior to our cruise, we thought we were not going to have a great Dynamic Dining experience. We happened to have been lucky and we enjoyed it. We did not have any issues with any of the reservations we made before boarding or making new ones after boarding. On the morning of Day 2, passengers were given the opportunity to change their dining room reservations. As such, we changed our reservations for three different nights by simply speaking with a restaurant representative at the entrance to any of the complimentary restaurants. Chic was hands down our favorite of the complimentary restaurants and Jamie’s Italian was definitely worth the $25pp fee for dinner and $15pp fee for their “first come – first served” lunch option. We found the overall quality of the food to be just cruise industry average in the complimentary restaurants and a few of our waiters/waitresses stood out as being more superior and attentive compared to the others (Lenuta in The Grande and Vishaw in Chic). The freshly baked cookies in the Windjammer were out of this world, but overall we found the desserts not to be very appetizing. We preferred to eat most of our lunches in the Two70 lounge, where they serve the “got to have” delicious hot roast beef sandwiches as well as an assortment of salads, sandwiches, wraps, panini’s and desserts. We also found the seating choices, atmosphere and views in the Two70 lounge to be more relaxing and pleasing compared to the other lunch venues. Nightlife – We found an abundance of top notch “live” musicians, bands and DJs on a nightly basis. The Daily Planner provides a long list of music and dancing venues to choose from throughout the day and night, with at least five venues to choose from commencing after 10:00 p.m. and ending “late”. Our favorite band was the calypso band, Hot Spices, which we enjoyed their performances throughout the cruise at pool side, Two70 lounge, Boleros and on the island of Coco Cay. We also enjoyed listening to the U2 Tribute Band – L.A. Vation as well as watching the hilarious show - Love and Marriage Game Show. We spent most nights in either the Music Hall or Two270 dancing the night away. The variety and quality of the music was great. We never went to back to our stateroom before 12:30 a.m. on any night, as we immensely enjoyed the nightlife provided. Shows – Mamma Mia!, Starwater and Sonic Odyssey completely exceeded our expectations and all are MUST SEE performances. Additionally, don’t miss the extreme juggling act, The Passing Zone, as it was extremely funny and entertaining. Comedian Jessica Kirson was so hilariously captivating that I can’t recall when the last time I had laughed so uncontrollably long and hard. We saw Mamma Mia! twice on Broadway and found this production to be just as entertaining. You should note that this is the full 2½-hour Broadway show production. It is the unabridged performance utilizing the identical costumes, sets and music score as the original Broadway version. Starwater is a wonderful blend of technology and live performers. However, it lacks an identifiable theme or purpose other than to WOW you with great singers and musicians performing while suspended in mid-air, acrobatic performers emerging from the ceiling and floors and providing high-tech back drops and unique special effects. We were very fortunate to see William Close (creator/producer/performer) perform on his Earth Harp in Sonic Odyssey, as he informed us that he will be leaving the show in two weeks to work on his Super Bowl appearance and he will be replaced with a comparable performer. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were simply incredible! I suggest that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to all show times, as the good seats always fill up very fast and one designated family member always arrives earlier to save/hold seats for their entire party. New Year’s Eve Celebration - this was “the” New Year’s Eve to always remember and it will be very hard to top it when comparing entertainment options, partying atmosphere, fun and excitement. Passengers were provided with a long list of partying options that included a Family Glow party in the Sea Plex, a Times Square Pool Deck Dance Party with CNN’s global countdown broadcasting LIVE from the Quantum of the Seas with Cathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, a Reggae Caribbean band playing in Boleros and the big band sounds from the Quantum of the Seas 10-piece orchestra in the Music Hall. There were balloon drops all of the ship and everyone was in a partying mode throughout the early morning hours. Activities - we enjoyed lots of the other activities such as working out in the Vitality Fitness center every day, driving bumper cars, playing air hockey and foosball, taking a ride in North Star, rock climbing, surfing and boogie boarding on the Flowrider and relaxing in the hot tubs. There was always something to do and many activities to choose from. Service - In general, we had hardly any complaints with the personal service from any cruise staff member that we interacted with. Service was friendly and professional; we never encountered a rude or unhelpful person. All were smiling and accommodating. Our stateroom attendant, Mary Joy, was exceptionally pleasant, friendly and was very visible throughout our cruise. The only issue we experienced had to do with the shore excursion contractor at Cape Canaveral, where hundreds of cruise passengers had to wait over 45 minutes just to take a bus back to the ship. This delay caused tempers to flare as several passengers were about to miss their dining and entertainment reservations. The worst part was the lack of communication from the transportation employees in providing the status of the delays and there wasn’t a “supervisor” or responsible person to voice our concerns with at Cape Canaveral; no one seemed to be IN CHARGE. Disembarkation - we opted to participate in the self-assist program, where you leave your luggage in your room on the last night and then walk off the ship with your luggage in tow the next morning without any crew assistance. We finished breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Windjammer, went back to the room to pick up our luggage, took the elevator to the 5th floor and just walked off the ship around 9:00 a.m. Once off the ship we flew through customs and headed to the parking to get our car. The process was effortless. The positives definitely far exceeded our negatives on this cruise, as the negatives were just minor hiccups that we quickly got over and accepted. We had an awesome cruise on board a very advanced, state-of-the art, high-tech ship. Overall we had an amazing cruise and would have no hesitations to book on the Quantum Class again.   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
Here’s my review of the December 27th sailing. Just letting everyone know in advance that it is a little long, as I am trying to include every detail I can think of to help those of you who are traveling on her in the future however, ... Read More
Here’s my review of the December 27th sailing. Just letting everyone know in advance that it is a little long, as I am trying to include every detail I can think of to help those of you who are traveling on her in the future however, everything I write is just my opinion and may differ from others. Prior to the cruise we completed our online check-in with our photos and everything. We also booked a restaurant for every night, booked the three shows Mamma Mia, Sonic Odyssey, and Starwater, booked the entertainer, booked all of our excursions, drink packages, and iFly and the character breakfast. Our time slot to arrive at the pier in Jersey was 10:45-11:15. We arrived at 11:30 because we had to stop along the way to buy things I forgot to pack (oops). My boyfriend dropped me off at the curb and a nice porter helped us with our luggage. We unfortunately did not print the luggage tags from home because about two months before the cruise we changed our room # and the luggage tags on the website never changed from our old room number to our new one. The luggage porter grabbed some blank tags wrote our current room number on them and off we went! My boyfriend parked the car and took the shuttle bus back and we met each other at the entrance of the terminal. Once inside the terminal there were a couple of employees with ipads swarmed with people and then we saw the security line. We asked a security guard if we were supposed to check in before going through security or after and she said it didn’t matter so we went through security first. That was a breeze. Then we saw more employees with swarms of people around them trying to check in so we decided to just get on a check in line. These lines were not moving at all. I saw a designated area for emerald guests and gold guests to check in but didn’t see platinum (which is me) so I just stood on the gold line. After a few minute I noticed all the employees that were in the middle with swarms of people around them were walking away. We found out that their systems went down and they couldn’t help anyone. At this point we knew this was not going to be curb to ship in 10 min! Finally the employees came back out and a nice woman helped us check in on our ipad. We then went up the escalator and onto the ship The first place we went on the boat was to our rooms, but the hall doors were shut and said they would open at 1230 so we decided to go up to the spa to book a hair appointment for me for new years eve and a shave/facial for my boyfriend on new years eve. Then we went back to the rooms and the door was still shut but we saw some families opening the doors and going to there rooms so we decided to follow. Our room key was waiting right above our room number in a sealed envelope. We put our carry on bags in the room and headed up to the windjammer for lunch. Surprising there wasn’t huge crowds there and there was no problem finding a table! They had fresh mozzarella balls that day and only that day which we loved! (Every day we looked for them but one of the workers said they wouldn’t have them for the rest of the cruise ) The pasta pasta station had a cook prepare your pasta fresh for you with whatever toppings and sauces you wanted. It was delicious!! That day they had two of these stations, but for the rest of the cruise there was only one station and a very long line! After lunch we went back to our room to see if any luggage had arrived (because our RFID tracking wasn’t showing up on the app). We got ready for the muster drill which was in michael’s pub and got there a little early to make sure we had a seat. We had dinner reservations that night at devinly decadence. The restaurant was empty!!! There was maybe three tables of people and that was it. When we walked in the hostess asked for our room number and I gave it to her and she said she couldn’t find any reservations. So I gave her our old room number and the reservations showed up. (It was like this for the rest of the cruise so I’m not sure if the people staying in our old room didn’t have any reservations or just couldn’t see ours). Instead of bread at this restaurant they brought us veggies and dip We also ordered the chicken satay and the flatbread pizza half bbq half buffalo. We liked the chicken satay better than the flatbread. For dinner my boyfriend had the chicken enchiladas and I had the cowboy rubbed beef tenderloin. He liked his entrée and mine was just ok. For dessert the gooey brownie was very rich, but the shot glass pumpkin cake was very good! Since we had the drink package we ordered three drinks between the two of us. I don’t remember their names but the strawberry one we did not like at all, but the blueberry margarita was tasty! Every night in the cruise compass they advertised for this restaurant and I began to wonder if it was because it wasn’t doing so well. Also, when you make reservations online for dinner it blocks out a two hour window, and dinner never took us two hours. We went to Mamma Mia that night in the royal theatre and that show was excellent!! The seats in front of you blow out very little air conditioning but we always found the theater to be very warm. The second day we were at sea all day and we did the selfie scavenger hunt, played bingo, ate, and took a nap lol. Lucky Lizzy the bingo host made bingo enjoyable!! She was always full of energy and had a smile on. There were three different bingo packages to choose from and if you bought the bingo stuffed animal and t-shirt you received extras bingo cards every time you brought them to a game. I one bingo and split it between two other winners! We had dinner reservations at chops grille which was the only restaurant the entire cruise that made us wait an extra 15 minutes, which was no big deal. For appetizers we had onion soup, warm goat cheese salad, crab and shrimp cake, and the black pepper bacon. Let me tell you, for the rest of the cruise all I talked about and wanted was another warm goat cheese salad! It was amazing. The onion soup was very good also and was different than the one they offered in café two70. We both had steak, which was good, and for dessert I had the molten chocolate cake, which was the only chocolate thing on the cruise I had that tasted to me like regular real milk chocolate. This was definitely my favorite restaurant. The third day we were in port Canaveral and we took an excursion to Disney world. We knew that we weren’t getting back to the boat til around 1015 at night so we didn’t make dinner reservations that night. The Disney excursions and the kennedy space excursions all met in the royal theatre and we sat according to excursion group. Getting off the ship took a long long time. But once off the ship, we boarded an air conditioned coach bus and took it to Disney. They dropped us off at Epcot and told us to be back on the bus by 830 that night. We went to Hollywood studios and magic kingdom that day. When we got back to the boat we ate at the wind jammer and then went to sorrentos to make our own personal pan pizzas. The pizza place was very good! The fourth day we were in Nassau Bahamas. Getting off the ship went a lot smoother and quicker. We chose the shallow water dolphin excursion at atlantis. This was an awesome excursion and requires you to wear a wetsuit provided by atlantis. If you choose to do this excursion do not wear any jewelry including earrings because they make you take it off. They provide towels and lockers for you to use there and they do not permit you to take any cameras with you even if they are waterproof. They have professional take pictures of you and you can purchase them at the end if you want. We had dinner reservations at Jamie’s that night and we said outside in the enclosed glass area of the restaurant. We ordered the Italian bread basket, crispy squid, and rice balls. All were excellent! We split a bowl of penne carbonara and I asked the waiter if he could leave out the pancetta but he said its already in the sauce (no big deal). I had the eggplant parm and he had the chicken al mattone. They were very good! That night we saw the jugglers/comedians in the royal theatre who were incredible! They pulled audience members on stage and did tricks with them and they were very funny. The fifth day was in cococay and we went shopping as soon as we got off the tender ship. We booked snorkeling and jet skis for the day and I forgot to pack my underwater camera so I had to buy one there. $20. A t-shirt there is $20. A tank top $20. A starfish $20. $20 seems to be the magic price there lol. We walked to barefoot beach where I heard there wouldn’t be such a crowd and they were right! There was plenty of chairs but we couldn’t snorkel or swim there because no matter how far you walked out the water was never past your knees. So then we walked back and struggled to find one chair. A lady was nice enough to give us one of her chairs that her child wasn’t using and we put on our snorkel stuff and headed to the water. The rocks were unbelievable and killed our feet. So we needless to say we never actually snorkeled. The bbq on the island was very good but the ribs were tough. The jetski tour gave us about 50 minutes on the water which was awesome but you had to stay in line and follow the person in front of you. The jetskis went up to 41 mph. We had dinner reservations at the grande however I didn’t realize we were online for chic. I didn’t think it mattered which podium we went up to since the restaurants are right next to each other. When the guy asked for our room number I gave it to him and he sat us down in chic. I realized it wasn’t the grande when I saw people around us sitting there in shorts and sweatpants with sneakers and hats. I went back up to the podium to explain what happened to the guy and he told me do you how long the line is? It doesn’t matter where you eat because it is the same menu everywhere (because it was new years eve). I was a little annoyed about the way he handled it but I wasn’t going to make a fuss. New years eve was done very nicely on the ship they had balloon drops in the royal esplanade and two70. They handed out party hats noise makers and bead necklaces. After the ball dropped, the employees cleaned up everything very quickly! The sixth day I did ifly and that was my favorite part of the entire cruise! They give you earplugs, goggles, helmets, and a suit. You watch an instructional video for about 10 min and then the instructor comes to gives you tips. They take professional pictures of you as you are flying. We also did the northstar that day which was amazing! You don’t realize how high you are until your up there. The views are breathtaking. We had dinner at silk and we ordered the eggrolls, crab Rangoon, and tacos. Everything was very good! Sonic odyssesy was very cool! The seventh day we went to the character breakfast and the menu was big. They only had shrek, Fiona, and puss in boots come out though, which we were surprised. We thought there would be more characters. We saw starwater which was probably my favorite show because I loved all the dancing. Here’s the extra stuff that didn’t pertain to a specific day: We receive a towel animal every other day in our stateroom, our stateroom attendant was very efficient and friendly. I honestly liked the dynamic dining. The only thing I didn’t like was eating at a different time each night and having to either remember or look up where and when you are eating compared to just showing up to the dining room for the early or late seating. I did miss the relationship you build with the same waiter every night. The best seat in two70 to see starwater is upstairs. Two70 doesn’t have an age restriction at night like music hall does which caused it to be filled with teenagers at the bar ordering sodas. If you are planning to order the photos, order then early in the morning on the last full day (around 830-930am) and the photo place is empty!! In the afternoon and at night it was mobbed with people. Bring pen and paper with you if you are one to write stuff down because there is none in the room. If you plan on doing the bumper cars, arrive a half-hour to twenty minutes early to avoid the line that forms all the way around the court. Bumper cars are fun! The ride time is a long enough ride. They cannot apply visa gift cards to your account. They will tell you to go to the atm and get the cash and bring it to guest services (hopefully that will avoid you standing on line twice at guest services). Take advantage of the sales they offer for booking your next cruise onboard! Everywhere around the ship we always saw employees cleaning which was nice to see! Towards the end of the cruise, the cocacola freestyle machine flavor choices were very very limited and they said they have to wait til they get back to jersey to refill it. The #1 tip I can give everyone is reserve everything you can before you board the ship. I can’t tell you how many people were turned away from the spa or restaurant of their choice because it was booked solid or the stand by line/waitlist was extremely long. 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Sail Date December 2014
I've read a lot of reviews about this ship prior to our departure so I was prepared for some not-so-perfect adventures. Firstly, the ship is beautiful. I mean drop dead awesomely beautiful. I have never been on any ship like it ... Read More
I've read a lot of reviews about this ship prior to our departure so I was prepared for some not-so-perfect adventures. Firstly, the ship is beautiful. I mean drop dead awesomely beautiful. I have never been on any ship like it before. This is cruise 20 for us. State of the art stuff, wonderful finish details (I love walnut) and our state room (balcony) was very nice. The crew was fantastic, the captain, Captain Anderson, was a seasoned pro. With beauty like that, it made many of the bad experiences be forgotten for a while. Despite doing all the online check in stuff, scanning the pictures, etc, etc, etc, we still had to line up because for some reason we didn't have two set sail passes (make sure you print one for each passenger in your party). We ere directed to the "Reprint Set Sail Pass" to "simply print another SSP for me". Simply....ha. When we got to the line, despite a sign that CLEARLY stating "SET SAIL REPRINT", we wondered why on earth was this taking so darn long. Well, turns out that although the ship is mart, people are dumb. There were 5 families in front of us, They were not there to reprint a SSP...they were doing ALL he online check in...you know the process that takes you at home on your own computer about an hour or so? Well they were doing it. The RCL folks doing the check in kept saying that if people need to check in this is not the line for it, but THEY NEVER TURNED ANYONE AWAY!!!!! Instead, they told them that they shouldn't be in that line and proceeded to go through the arduous and pain staking process of doing the complete check in. GAWD! After an hour and a half of that, we finally saw an empty Check-in kiosk and asked if they would do a SSP reprint. They said yes and we were printed and done in 30 seconds. I swear to God some people are so dense. We the were able (after about two hours from arriving to the terminal) to get on the ship. Did I mention it is beautiful? We encountered many issues, especially the waits for reserved dinner. It didn't matter if you had a reservation, you had to wait 30-60 minutes to get a table. There were many, many upset people. RCCL needs to sort this out...it isn't working the way that some engineer said it would. The ship does fine when it is two seatings but this dynamic seating has really thrown a wrench like they have severely underestimated the time that people take to eat. Out of the seven dinners we had, 4 were outstanding and the rest were so-so. Jamie's was really good (cover charge), as was American Icon, Silk and Michael's Genuine Pub. Chops is always Chops...cant go wrong there. The service was impacted by the crappy reservation system. The waiters worked their tails off but were unable to keep up with the pace and kibitz with you during your meal. We really missed the dining room experience with a large table that we shared with the same people night after night. We missed that we couldn't get to know your waiter and assistant waiter like on a 'regular' cruise. I dont think we will ever get over that. There were many "software" issues. Not surprising given the reliance on technology that this ship has. It's nothing that cant be fixed, but in the meantime there will be many steamed heads. We are back on the ship in March so we hope that things will have been somewhat ironed out by then. Bumper cars, iFly, Northstar, Robot Bar...all cool things. The shows were out of this world! Mama Mia was fantastic! You need to also see Star Water and Sonic Odyssey....fantastic. No Quest though, due to safety of guests. These were the things that made us forget the frustrations. All in all, we would do it again, and we are and glad at that. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just got back from the inaugural 8-day cruise on the Quantum of the Seas from Bayonne (a.k.a. Cape Liberty) to Florida and the Bahamas. Quick review: Beautiful ship but still very buggy. Technology and some procedures need lots of ... Read More
Just got back from the inaugural 8-day cruise on the Quantum of the Seas from Bayonne (a.k.a. Cape Liberty) to Florida and the Bahamas. Quick review: Beautiful ship but still very buggy. Technology and some procedures need lots of improvement. Although the "bugs" raised the annoyance level, the ship and the cruise were a lot of fun. I'd go again once the kinks are worked out. Now for the gory details: Cons (be sure to read the Pros, too): We were in a "Superior Stateroom with balcony." Although nicely appointed with a big flat screen TV, it was cramped, especially when the sofa-bed was pulled out. An extra 6 to 12 inches of width would have made a big difference. Royal IQ app barely worked. Could not reliably review schedules or make reservations, which is critical with the "dynamic dinning" on this ship. Was never able to track my luggage. I really didn't care about tracking it, as it showed up when and where expected, but this "smart" feature fell flat on it's face. Royal IQ chat/phone add on feature barely worked. This is a really cool feature that should be a "WoW." You can use an Apple or Android phone to call or chat with anyone else while on the ship's WiFi. But it didn't work. Further, Royal Caribbean plans to charge for this feature! It was free on this cruise due to it not working, but I'm amazed that they'd choose to turn this "WoW' feature into a money grab. We didn't have hot water in our cabin for the 1st day of the cruise. The electronic order system used in the dining rooms crashed often. Wait staff is still learning how to use them. As a result, dinner took at least 1 1/2 hours. Dynamic dining means you never get the same wait staff. The system is supposed to allow wait staff to record preferences from one night to the next, but that never worked for us. The worst part is you don't get to make a human connection with the wait staff. Northstar was shutdown for a repair work a couple of days. Northstar wasn't cleared for operation in Port Canaveral. Northstar "ticketing" system needs work... Ripcord reservations weren't linked into Royal IQ or any other ship systems. Some elevators were frequently out-of-order. This was surprising on a brand new ship. Some water fountains were out-of-order! No open deck area with "dark sky" for star gazing. The bow of the ship is off limits to passengers. Now for the good stuff! Pros: Mama Mia was amazing! It was as good as a touring Broadway show should be! Truly a first to have the full length show on a ship, complete with live orchestra. Two 70 is an amazing space at any time of the day or night. Designed to be the ship's "living room," it met that promise. Starwater and the Robot Shows in Two 70 were really fun. Great singing, dancing and robots in Starwater. It's a must see for all passengers. The rest of the shows were great fun. The food was great. I went to Chop and Azumi, both of where were excellent add-ons. The main dining rooms have good food, however the menus get a bit "tired" after two visits. Windjammer had the typical cruise buffet food. RipCord by iFly was a hoot. The whole family did it. Flow Rider. 'Nuf said. Northstar offered amazing views of the ship while cursing. I only wish it had worked more in port so I could have seen more interesting views. The solarium at the front of the ship is a great place for grown ups to relax. You can rest in a hot tub while enjoying the view over the bow, relax on a lounge chair or curl up in one of the many wicker "pods" scattered throughout. Lots of deck chairs and different places to hang out. I don't know if it was due to the cool weather on this cruise or simply the amount of available space, but there was no fighting over deck chairs. There was always a place to hang. Watching the Macy's parade while lounging in the pool was great fun!   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
A REVIEW FOR 'CELEBRITY SUMMIT' TO NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA: (Read all the way to the end for my 'Highlights and Lowlights'!) This was my 8th cruise, although FIRST with Celebrity. We'd heard so much about it being ... Read More
A REVIEW FOR 'CELEBRITY SUMMIT' TO NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA: (Read all the way to the end for my 'Highlights and Lowlights'!) This was my 8th cruise, although FIRST with Celebrity. We'd heard so much about it being 'all that', but we came away feeling that it was just like all the others. (Namely Holland America and Princess). That's not a bad thing, it just didn't feel like anything 'extra special'. Having said that, other passengers that had previously sailed with Celebrity told us to try the 'S' class of ships which is supposed to be a cut above. (Summit is an 'M' class). PRE-CRUISE: We stayed at the Doubletree in Jersey City. It was cheaper than Manhattan, but it was easy to get to Manhattan via the PATH train. (About $2.50 each way/pp). Jersey City also offers terrific views of the NYC skyline. The cab ride from Newark airport to the hotel was $50, as was the cab from the hotel to Bayonne cruise terminal. (We started to joke that wherever you went, it was $50!) EMBARKATION: They ran out of numbers to give people, so after a while, people just started getting in line and getting on the shuttles. It wasn't too crazy, but could have been a little better. Some previous Celebrity cruisers complained that it was one of the worst they'd experienced, but for us, (on our 8th cruise) it was about average. DEMOGRAPHIC: I would not recommend taking this cruise to New England/Canada unless you're OVER 55. I'm not sure if it was the time of year (Sept/Oct) or the choice of destination, but the demographic was an older-than- usual cruise crowd. We are ages 41 and 42 and people in their mid-sixties asked us several times if we thought the passengers seemed unusually old. (!) (They were referring to the very immobile 70-85 crowd). We were definitely one of the youngest couples on the ship and everything was very geared toward a much older set. (The music and entertainment, for example). Having said that, we are kind of old souls ourselves and enjoyed meeting and chatting with lots of very nice people. :) ITINERARY: Unfortunately, we missed one port (Sydney) due to a technical difficulty with the ship, but they did give us a partial refund due to the issue. Compared to other cruises I've taken, this New England/Canada itinerary is a little boring due to the fact there aren't any water activities or really thrilling things to visit, but we made the best of it and generally enjoyed it. We only took one Celebrity tour, which was excellent. (Peggy's Cove/Titanic grave yard in Halifax, NS) and relied on private tours for the rest or did our own thing. FOOD: For us the food was hit and miss. Some good, some average. According to my husband the lobster wasn't very good. (I don't eat it). The afternoon tea was disappointing in that it was not a formal setting, rather a walk-up self-serve counter next to the pool. I missed the white glove service and string quartet! Dining service was also hit and miss, just OK. We did the 'anytime dining' and often had to wait for half an hour with a buzzer, which we'd never experienced before on other cruise ships. They offer the usual 'higher level' extra fee restaurants which we tried at lunch time, but way overstuffed ourselves because we knew we were paying more. I know...I know... ENTERTAINMENT: I liked the cruise director and the fact they offered 'after-the-show' entertainment at 10:30pm in the Reflections lounge (night club). This would vary from things like comedians to theme night dancing, dance-off competitions and burlesque shows. I found the trivia a little too speedy/not relaxing. The one port lecture talk we went to was awful. The main entertainment shows were of general good quality, although it was often hard to get seated in the show-lounge, which was disappointing. DISEMBARKATION: It went pretty smoothly and we paid for a shuttle through Celebrity to take us to Newark airport, which we're glad we did. HIGHS AND LOWS: Love, love, loved the Thalassotherapy pool and sauna which are both free to use. (As of Fall 2014). The Thalassotherapy (or T-pool) is near the spa and is a warm salty mineral pool that is just delightful to sit in. WARNING: Don't wear silver jewelry in it -- I did and it either broke or tarnished! The sauna is in the locker room and offers a huge round window view of the view outside -- the best sauna I've experienced on a cruise ship! The workout room was also very state-of-the art and spoiled me compared to my gym at home! Loved the boozy bar on the back of the ship and the coffee bar with complimentary cookies/cakes and musical entertainment. (Coffees are an extra fee). There is also a gelato bar for an extra fee. General cleanliness was excellent Everything on-board seemed more expensive than other cruises we've taken. Hence, we didn't participate in many things with a fee. (eg. massages, i-lounge, acupuncture). In general it seemed extremely obvious like everything was about making money -- even the kitchen tour ended in a promo for the fee-based restaurants. It just gets a bit tiring. They take WAAAAYYYY too many photos of you during the cruise. When you disembark in each port they want to take your photo 3 (THREE!) times -- you know, one with a life buoy, one with a dolphin, one with a pirate, etc. etc. TOO MUCH! They also snap them at some dinners. We purchased one photo of a formal night. Overall, we had a nice time and would try Celebrity again, perhaps 'S' class next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This is my first post on Cruise Critic so I really can't be very discriminating, but giving a blow by blow would be counterproductive. This was our third cruise and the longest we have ever taken. To make reading this more interesting ... Read More
This is my first post on Cruise Critic so I really can't be very discriminating, but giving a blow by blow would be counterproductive. This was our third cruise and the longest we have ever taken. To make reading this more interesting I'm posting under what I feel is important to know about the cruise in terms of my own interests; Karaoke: For me this was a huge surprise. After screwing up the courage to do it on the first night, I went up to the mike every other time there was a session. I realized that some of the songs were hopelessly out of my key. I also realized that although I think I have a good voice, some people have amazing voices and really know how to sell a song. I also realized that listening to others sing is a real community builder and such a community formed. I believe I was the first person on the cruise who proposed a duet to another passenger. It was great fun. Others followed suit. All of the people who sang became part of a Karaoke community. We acknowledged one another elsewhere on the boat. Interestingly enough, people I met in other activities, gave me the honour of attending to hear me. The common theme on many of these posts is that those who participated enthusiastically got the most out of any activity. I was particulary struck by this at the Quest scavenger hunt. Some people just sat in chairs waiting for the others to do something. What fun is that? If that's all you're going to do, why are you sitting there? I guess on that principle, I led the Sabbath services the first week. People coalesced around their common activity and another group of 'cruise connections' was formed. Other activities that I did included Trivia. A great group of people got together there. Some people memorize the answers to the questions from one cruise to another, so it's not likely that you'll win, but the intellectual activity is fun. Also, don't be shy about teaming up with others. Frequently our team name was 'Total Strangers' because we were at the beginning. Another piece of advice to bring to this column is that if you intend to skate and are driving to the embarcation, bring your own skates. My wife always brings her own skates and for the first time I brought my own. I'm not a great skater, but there was a real difference when you skate in skates that fit! In general I found the shows by the visiting entertainers more interesting than the in-house staff, which is not to say that I didn't enjoy all the performances. My favorite was the acapella group playing off of Jersey Boys. They were super. Also, I can't believe anyone found the food anything other than superb. We're mainly ovo-lactate vegetarians and we found plenty to eat that was great. Our room concierge was super as well. My fondest memories got to the social staff Gabriel, Helmie and Bas became real friends. I would be super happy to see them on another cruise. Although I don't feel I had a personal relationship with Leigh and Erky, the social director and second-in-command, I certainly felt they were also doing a great job. If the Explorer was staying in Bayonne, I would be sorely tempted to repeat the cruise another year. We'll probably wind up booking Royal Caribbean out of Florida in the future as the Quantum doesn't have an ice-skating rink. Half a week after getting off of the boat in what was truly a grueling procedure, I still have a glow about the trip. If this is retirement, bring it on! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sail out of Bayonne each Thanksgiving and meet up with other cruise friends we met on board. So we choose the cruise based on the dates, not the itinerary. Honestly if we were to choose based on itinerary we would definitely not have ... Read More
We sail out of Bayonne each Thanksgiving and meet up with other cruise friends we met on board. So we choose the cruise based on the dates, not the itinerary. Honestly if we were to choose based on itinerary we would definitely not have chosen this cruise. Labadee & St. Thomas great. San Juan and Dominican Republic - yuck, been there, done that and do not want to do it again. The crew aboard Explorer are amazing. We've been aboard other RCCL ships, most recently Radiance, and they just don't hold a candle to Explorer crew, from a service, sense of urgency and energy perspective. Also the presence and sheer number of officers seen on Explorer is seems so much higher than other ships, and they pick up trash just like the rest of the crew to ensure EX stays beautiful. Yes she's aging, but she's cared for. This cabin was in great shape, one minor issue with the balcony door where the gasket was loose and you could hear the sea noise through the closed door. It was fixed straight away and the room became quiet again. No heating or cooling issues. The drawers all stayed shut and didn't open/close during heavy seas. Great water pressure in the washroom. There was some noises from deck 11 overhead, some running and some chair dragging but only on one night did it wake us. We would definitely book this room again. The shows that the singers/dancers do really need to be refreshed. Also - please RCCL, please update the skating show. Spirits of the Season has been there for what, three years?? The quality of the entertainment dropped this trip, the Beatlemania show was awesome, one guest comic was good, the rest was pretty boring or blah. Really thought the entertainment quality dropped this time around. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A great cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. It was our first time sailing and honestly, I had no idea what to expect.Key things- Amazing staff. From the people who wash the deck to the cruise director, I only encountered people in two ... Read More
A great cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. It was our first time sailing and honestly, I had no idea what to expect.Key things- Amazing staff. From the people who wash the deck to the cruise director, I only encountered people in two areas that were less than fantastic (rock climbing guy had a chip on his shoulder and the people in the photo area are brutal).Food was FANTASTIC in the dining room and for buffet food, it was top notch in the Windjammer.Fantastic, friendly and capable bar service.I would honestly say the only things I did not like about this cruise were the rock climbing people, the photo people and I did notice there were some areas that let you know this ship is no spring chicken. She's showing her years. Water is a sneaky enemy and it finds itself getting in places you don't want it to be. That said, Explorer of the Seas is a fantastic boat. Her staff are top notch (I have been to Disney twice in the past two years and the staff on the Explorer are even more friendly than Disney's).If you are looking for a reasonable price on a great cruise, Explorer of the Seas is a great value that you will be sure to enjoy.Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
So, here are the good things we noticed and experienced on the cruise: 1. The room attendant was friendly and consistently left our cabin spotless. 2. The food at both the dining room and Windjammer were excellent every single ... Read More
So, here are the good things we noticed and experienced on the cruise: 1. The room attendant was friendly and consistently left our cabin spotless. 2. The food at both the dining room and Windjammer were excellent every single time. We didn't have any bad food. The portions, selection, cleanliness of the buffet, and in general the quality of the food were great. We actually tried the Chops filet mignon (there's no Chops restaurant onboard) with a huge filet plus choice of potato and choice of veggies for $14.95 and both of our plates were outstanding. It was well-worth the extra money. The kids' choices are always the same in the dining room, but they were good (as evidenced by our daughter's clean plate) and if she wanted something off the adult menu, it was ok. I should mention that she has a nut and peanut allergy and we were accomodated (waiter telling us about nuts, kitchen making nut-free desserts in advance) in the dining room. At the Windjammer, we were just very careful and simply avoided anything remotely suspicious that might contain nuts. 3. The wait staff at the dining room were excellent. The head waiter and his assistant called us by name, brought us our preferred drinks without reminding them, and the service (pulling out the chair, napkin on lap, cutting meat and seafood shells) were great. At the Windjammer, everyone was friendly, the supervisors kept a good eye on things, and most of the table waiters (for drinks) were on the ball. Again, no complaints. The place was clean, as were the dishes and silverware. 4. We loved being able to book excursions and check our SeaPass balance on the tv. Very user-friendly and pretty fast. The only hitch was that not all the possible excursions were listed on the tv, so we had to stand in that long, interminable line (one clerk, at least 10 people, on any given day) to book the excursion we actually wanted. 5. The RCL-organized tours (we did a total of 6) were interesting and fun, as well as being fairly reasonably priced, except one (read on.) Here are some things that we noticed that were irritating, if not downright unacceptable, and which we brought to the attention of Guest Relations. 1. In general, it was the first larger ship we were on. The plus is that there is ample space at the pool, in the bars, and for the shows; the minus is that you are a number, in terms of customer service, and that you must wait in line for many things. 2. We found the ship to be dirty. The pool deck had black stuff on it and left your feet black. We never saw anyone cleaning it, unlike the smaller ships where there were mates swabbing the deck in the mornings. The railings on the pool deck seemed rusty, as did many places, and where there was carpeting (some bars, the casino area, inside the elevators, the cabin hallways) it was visibly dirty (lint, papers, lots of dirty dishes in the hallways that were never cleared, stains, etc.) The only part of the Windjammer that was gross was the bench seats by the buffet (and I mean all of them, at every table): the cushions were stained all over and looked gross to sit on, but sit we did as they were the most comfortable in that dining area. Finally, every toilet on board, every deck, even in our stateroom, smelled strongly of urine at all times. Very off-putting. 3. We had several billing problems. We did the $25 a bag laundry service and tried to apply the Platinum save $5 coupon, and it took 3 times waiting in line and speaking to Guest Services for it to actually take. Yes, 3 times. That was when my husband threw a fit and added that the ship was dirty and the enrichment was unacceptable (read on), and the only follow up to his complaints was a call, several days later, saying that all would be fixed and thanks for the info. We were not comped, even though we asked to be. 4. Another billing problem: I had to use the doctor for an unexpected bout with bronchitis. Yes, it costs an arm and a leg (total bill for 2 times seeing someone and meds: $368), but they billed us twice for the same meds and got everything generally mixed up, so that they had to redo the bills, so that was more time explaining, waiting, coming back to pick up the new bills, etc. They are open at very limited times, too, which adds to the stress. The medical service was good and welcome, but the billing process sucked. 5. We loved all our excursions but one. In Dominica, there was a river tubing and emerald pool excursion (code R015)organized by RCL, that listed the minimum age as 6. Our daughter is 7, but really slim at 45 pounds. When we arrived at the site, we saw that our idea of gently meandering down a lazy river on a tube would actually be a white-water rafting-type adventure, and we judged on the spot that she would not be able. We voiced our concerns to the tour guide and rafting guys, but they only asked her age and said she'd be ok. I asked if she could sit on either me or my husband, but no. They finally offered to babysit my daughter on the bus while we went down: um, no way I'll leave her with strangers, duh! So I went myself, and my daughter and husband stayed on the bus. Everyone in our party saw what had happened, and let me say that everyone, to a man, told us at the end that there was NO WAY she could have done that tour. When we got back to the ship, we stood in line at GR and told our tale, and the answer was that they will note our complaint and thank you for the info. I would seriously like them to raise the age limit on that particular tour. 6. There was a serious lack of supervision of children (young to teen) and I don't mean parental supervision, I mean ship security-like supervision. The kids were everywhere (there were over 700 out of 3,000 guests) and in general, unmannered and unruly. We have a 7-year-old and certainly don't allow her to be alone and unsupervised, use her card to buy things, run and get underfoot, monopolize and dirty the buffet, and just bug the adults. By the end of 14 days, we wanted to kill every kid we saw. Even the teens were surly, charged the elevators before others could get off, running, laying down in the halls and stairways (and giving attitude and mouthing back when adults asked them to move), running amok in the unsupervised arcade, and running in packs to take over the jacuzzis and pool areas. Let me repeat: no RCL supervision was noticed. Finally, on New Years, we saw what appeared to be 12 year olds scoring glasses of the free champagne being passed by the waiters off of trays. There was a fight in the crowd that night, although I don't know if it was teens. 7. There was a stunning lack of variety in the enrichment. I hope I never see trivia being listed again on the daily schedule. I truthfully submit that there was trivia mornings, afternoons, evenings, and either before or after supper. So, if someone really likes that, great, but that was the bulk of the 'enrichment' offered. If you don't like trivia, or don't want that much, tough. Every afternoon, guess what: line dancing by the pool. Once in awhile, a game of baggo. Period. There were few things to do, in general, and what there was, was repeated ad nauseum. In short: BORING. Even the nightly show was substandard when you see that it was geared to a much-older crowd. If there were 700+ kids, then their parents were there, too. There were many more 30s/40s than 70s passengers, something RCL knows (they have our information, don't they?) and should have taken into account when booking acts. But no, there were at least 3 acts that were 'crooners'; now, I like crooners, but not so many times. In general, the flavor of the entertainment was old, rather than up to date. And none of them was really kid-friendly or interesting or appropriate for kids. Again, a boo boo on RCL's part. When it was brought up at GR, the answer given was that RCL was 'surprised' at the ages of the passengers, and that by the time it was noticed, it was too late to change the acts before they sailed. No, I don't buy it. 8. As far as the port of Bayonne, New Jersey, it was badly unorganized and seemed amateur, compared with Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, which we have also experienced. Problems include a one-lane road in and out, which causes a massive lineup of taxis (hundreds, literally) in and out. There doesn't seem to be anyone in charge, to tell people where to go, to get on the ship, or to get a ride out of the port. We experienced long waits (hours) and much uncertainty and stress both getting on and leaving our cruise. This port needs to get its act together because it leaves much to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Let me begin by saying that getting to and from Cape Liberty was a piece of cake. We arrived the night before and stayed about 20 minutes from the Pier. On the day of departure we arrived, dropped our bags at the terminal, parked the car ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that getting to and from Cape Liberty was a piece of cake. We arrived the night before and stayed about 20 minutes from the Pier. On the day of departure we arrived, dropped our bags at the terminal, parked the car and checked in. Check in took a matter of minutes and we waited for about 30 minutes to be let on board. Our stateroom was wonderful with plenty of room for 4 children and 2 adults. This was our first experience in an oceanview and we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable we were. The Family Oceanview rooms are over-sized with plenty of walking room when the couch is turned into a bed. The small bunk bed room was perfect for our older two children. There was plenty of storage and we had no issue storing 8 suitcases under the beds. Our stateroom attendant, Alex, was wonderful. He went above and beyond on more than on occasion. Beds were comfortable although the pillows weren't the best. I probably should have asked for new ones but I never remembered until we were ready for bed and Alex was gone. Looking out the two port hole windows we saw the helicopter landing pad which by day was an area with benches for passengers to sit. Because it was windy there weren't too many visitors to that area but we had to be mindful when dressing as you could see in. At night the curtains had to remain closed when the lights were on (no big deal as there was only darkness to see). Promenade was neat. Cafe was the closest spot for us to get snacks/drinks. Stores were OK although they didn't have as much variety as I guess I expected. End of cruise sales and market place buffet brought a zillion people on the last day but other than that it was a never overly packed and you could always find a place to sit. The Christmas tree went up by the Cafe a few days before Thanksgiving which was fun for the kids. Kids club were a bust for us. With over 800 kids on board they were way too packed and there wasn't enough structure in the 6-8 year group so the kids were running amuck and it was too much for our two 8 year olds (there had to have been 40-50 kids in their small room). Our pre teen lasted one session in the 9-11 year group because it was "play this or watch". There were so many kids he was overwhelmed and just wanted to sit and play a game but that wasn't an option. Instead of listing activities by morning, afternoon, evening session they would be better served by having structured activities by time slot like Carnival does and then having a 2nd option for those that aren't interested in that activity. The week prior to us they had 50 kids on board and they said there was no difference in how they run the program with 50 or with 800. I think there needs to be a better plan in place when the numbers are that high. Based on that alone I won't cruise RCI over any peak period. Since the kids were steering clear of the kids club we had to find other activities for them to do and there were plenty. Ice Skating, Mini Golf, Rock Climbing, Napkin Folding, Bingo, Swimming etc. filled up their days with no problem (and I didn't mind having them with us all the time it just would have been nice for a break here and there or to not have to drag them to a show they didn't want to go to). Cruise Director did a great job (Chris Northey) although I think this may have been his last cruise as he said he was leaving with us. Shows were good although at least one really wasn't appropriate for kids and the listing in the Compass didn't say anything about adult only (it was a 9pm first seating show). Other shows were very good especially the Ice Show. Ship is definitely starting to show its age. All ships have rust spots and Explorer was no exception but there were two cracked sinks in the public bathrooms that needed replacing, carpet needed fixing in our cabin, drawers showed stains, bathroom fixtures were peeling/rusted etc. The ship was very clean though. Our waiter was Mowyn and his ass't was Rosa. Great service. Food was OK although the menu at times was very heavy with seafood. Overall they weren't as good on this ship with dealing with food allergies as they have been on other ships in the past (Royal Caribbean and Carnival). Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
When we booked our cruise, we didn't realize we'd be gone on Thanksgiving. But RCCL made our very first time away from family during this holiday a wonderful experience. It was our 2nd time on the Explorer (we were on this ship ... Read More
When we booked our cruise, we didn't realize we'd be gone on Thanksgiving. But RCCL made our very first time away from family during this holiday a wonderful experience. It was our 2nd time on the Explorer (we were on this ship in the Spring), so we were able to navigate the ship with ease. Crew, as always, went above and beyond to make our holiday sailing special. The RC singers & dancers were fabulous, as always. In fact, we saw one set of singers/dancers, then there was a turnover during the cruise, and a new group of singers/dancers came aboard. Both groups were outstanding. Ice show was fantastic as always. We participated in a wonderful onboard special which was lunch in the Portofino Dining Room with the Chef, Captain and several officers. We were greeted with champagne or mojitos; had a wonderful luncheon menu that was served with wine; Chef had a question/answer period; received an autographed Savor cookbook; thereafter we had a tour of the galley on Deck 3. It was a marvelous experience I would recommend to any "foodie". The cost was approximately $45 pp. for everything mentioned. Lots of bang for your buck. Although there were more than 800 children onboard, crew was vigilant in making sure "adult only" pool & hot tub was kept for the adults. There were a few pranks by the children, but for the most part they behaved well. The Labadee port has certainly changed dramatically since we were there last. Loved it, and happy to dock there now, rather then tender. All in all a wonderful Thanksgiving cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
My husband and I took our 13 and 15 year olds on a Thanksgiving cruise this year. It was their first cruise and our 3rd (1st with Royal Caribbean, other 2 times were with Carnival). Embarkation was smooth. We got there early and had no ... Read More
My husband and I took our 13 and 15 year olds on a Thanksgiving cruise this year. It was their first cruise and our 3rd (1st with Royal Caribbean, other 2 times were with Carnival). Embarkation was smooth. We got there early and had no lines but had to wait for them to start loading people on the buses. That was probably what I liked least about the process - the buses. Previous cruises we were on left from Miami and we could walk right on the ship without the extra transportation inconvenience. The terminal also could use some serious updating. Lunch was offered at the Windjammer. It was so crowded we couldn't find a place to sit. That was disappointing. We couldn't get in to our rooms until 1:30 pm so we checked out the ship. I was impressed with the tasteful decorating of the public rooms. We met up at Dizzy's for an informal Cruise Critic get together with the goal primarily being to get the teens more comfortable with each other. That went pretty well and we met some nice individuals, although the kids still seemed awkward. Our room (connecting cabins on the Promenade) was very nice and our cabin steward called us by our first names within hours. My family opted for My Time Dining. We had 5:30 pm reservations on the days where we weren't in port and 7 pm reservations on the days when we were in port. That worked out really well. We had nice service the first night and enjoyed the entertainment that evening. The first 2 days at sea we continued to explore and participated in a variety of activities. The last 2 days at sea we mellowed out more and although there were things we ultimately never did (that we said we wanted to), we were ok with that. My 15 year old met teens quickly and hung out with a group of kids almost the entire cruise. We saw him only for dinner but as long as he was having fun, that was good enough for us. My outgoing 13 year old daughter had trouble meeting friends and found herself alone or with my husband and I most of the trip. She tried going to Optix a few times but said nothing was really going on and she had trouble joining in. My son reported that the individual supervising the area was letting 20 year olds in the 'club' at various points in time so I was disappointed to hear that. The inline skating rink wasn't open much and when it was, it was crowded with all different levels of abilities making it challenging. I loved the fitness center but had to wait to use the elliptical at one point - so it could get busy in there. I used the spa services, which was wonderful. Back to dining - the 2nd night we were seated at a different section where a wonderful gentleman, Wendell and his assistant, Savio took care of us. Wendell was amazing and provided top-notch service. My teens loved the assistant waiter from the first night, Aniket as he continued to help with their sodas throughout all the evenings of dining even when we were no longer seated in his section. The service in the dining room was really spectacular. I saw waiters/assistant waiters cutting the steaks of children while the parents didn't have to interrupt their dinner, as well as anything served on/in a shell (i.e. shrimp, lobster) was removed tableside by the wait staff. The service at the Windjammer was spotty at best. We enjoyed the entertainment for the most part. The drinks were extremely watered down to the point where I will never order a mixed drink from that cruise line again. We didn't book any excurions directly with the ship this time, so I can't comment on that experience. The line for guest services was frequently long, which could become frustrating. I am happy to report smoking was hardly an issue and my smoke-free lungs were happy about that. Overall we had an amazing time and are anxious to cruise again with Royal Caribbean. I would never go back to Carnival based on this experience. Although the vacation wasn't 'perfect' it was wonderful and I would highly recommend Explorer of the Seas. My family and I began looking at other future cruise opportunities and found we liked the convenience of driving to Cape Liberty (as opposed to flying to FL), love the 9-day cruise itinerary, and enjoyed Explorer so much, we are considering booking again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Explorer of the Seas Holiday Cruise 12/20/09-1/3/10 Background: We are a family of 3 DH- 53yo, DW-49yo and DS-11yo. We have sailed a few times before; this is our 3rd holiday cruise, last year on ExOS for 12 nights and in 07, BOS for 12 ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas Holiday Cruise 12/20/09-1/3/10 Background: We are a family of 3 DH- 53yo, DW-49yo and DS-11yo. We have sailed a few times before; this is our 3rd holiday cruise, last year on ExOS for 12 nights and in 07, BOS for 12 nights too. Since ExOS leaves from our homeport we love not having to fly to sail. We have not sailed on any other cruise line as RCI seems to fit us in relation to cost and product. Embarkation: Since we live 10 miles away from port liberty we had planned to have a car service pick us up at 11:00am. However, the night before the Northeast had a blizzard...when I called our car service at 9:30am reconfirm our pick-up, I was told no cars were running due to the storm. Needless to say I went ballistic and told them when they were going to call me to let me know and hung up. No more Island Car Service Company for us. I asked our neighbor across the street if he would take us, and he said yes, "what are neighbors for". We are forever grateful. I helped him dig his truck out and we were on our way, about 12:00 noon. No problem except once you enter the terminal...a one lane only approach to the "tent" for check in. This approach took over 45 minutes. RCI has to correct this, it has been going on way to long and leaves a bad taste for the start of a crusie. It was just as bad last year; I was hoping RCI did something about it...but not yet. In fact drivers were ruder this year than last year. Once inside, we went through check in. The Diamond/Diamond +/Suite area was a zoo, about a 45 minute line to get our sea pass. With passes in hand...the new gold ones for Suite passengers (which didn't get us any special service or recognition), we boarded a bus for the 5 minute ride to the ship. RCI can use better crowd control and not jam pack the buses, but only allow enough on so everyone can have a seat. We got on the ship about 3pm and went right to our room to drop off the carry-on. Muster drill went smooth and you no longer need to bring your life jacket with you. We were very glad we made the ship. This is the first time there was no one from Adventure ocean to check in the kids when the first come on board and give them the wrist band. Not sure if this is a policy change. DS did get the band when we checked him in the first time. Our M&M group planned a drink during sail-a-way...but since sail-a-way was delayed it occurred at 6pm'ish and we were having diner so we missed it. Stateroom: We had GS1324 on the hump. This was the same cabin we had last year. Nice view and location. A bit wider balcony on one end since it is on the hump. Two tables, two sitting chairs, one recliner and one sitting chair with a foot rest. On rocky sea days some noise can be heard from deck 11 above. I think is comes from the public women's bath room right above, maybe the stall doors swinging open/closed? But on calm sea days, no noise at all. Ear plugs on those few nights worked fine. The room did show some signs of wear, like wall paper pealing, stains on the couch/bed and chairs, carpet worn in some spots, no flat screen TV and some issue with the dimmer switch not working, some pealing paint on the balcony too and the railing needs to be varnished, but the ship is going into dry dock right after this cruise so these issues should be fixed.... In addition, the hot water and coffee pot were dirty and the coffee insert makes 24 ounces of coffee not just one cup...they didn't have any of the one cup insert coffees...good thing I can go to the concierge lounge anytime....that said, we are hooked on the GS...but still love JS aft's too. Plenty of cabin space. Lots of closet/drawers and full length mirrors. Our room attendant Ito, always remembered us by name and had towel animals every night waiting for us, along with chocolates on our pillow. He and his team did a fantastic job in keeping the room clean, always had extra towels and ice in our bucket. The perks of a GS were fun....lots of chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, fruits, and a large bottle of water. Despite the need for some cabin work, we were fine and did not let it bother us. Ship information: The size of the ship is fine, never seemed crowded, except on the first day in the Wind jammer and new years eve in the promenade. There was a big Christmas tree in the promenade and poinsettias' and wreaths in most areas. Automatic hand-sanitizer dispensers were available at the entrance to all the dining venues and at the gangway and staff was present to ensure it was used. Additional signs of wear were on the elevator buttons that really needed to pressed hard to work or were missing, some carpet spots...but overall in good shape. Staff were seen always cleaning something. Most activities were on the promenade; however it is not large enough to handle the crowds, so we avoided it during ship wide events. In fact, while the promenade is a nice wide area it is not much more than deck of stores....kind of lost any special value for us after the 3rd day. Nice cookies, sandwiches and snacks from the cafe 24 hours a day but not large enough to handle the amount of people on the ship. One issue was all the sandwiches have mayonnaise on them? The servers seemed annoyed when asked for one without. The greeter in the windjammer, when coming back on the ship from an island, dining room and portofino always said hello and good bye. But Staff seen in the hallways, even officers, didn't seem that friendly. I did a small study...walked past them to see their response...nothing, but when I said good day to them first then they responded back. It did seem that passengers were just not as friendly as on other cruises....I'm not sure why. We always say hi, good morning, etc..rarely got a response back....could it be me, not. Some said to me that it might be passenger demographics? I wouldn't say so...just bad manners/rudeness. Just the way it was. I did experience some bad teen/children issues, hanging out/leaving trash on the steps, running in the hall ways almost knocking over some elderly passengers, ringing door bells, pressing all elevator buttons, leaving trash on the floor. I did speak with some of them and tried to correct and explain how their behavior is inappropriate....got various responses, from picking up the trash and saying sorry, to ignoring me. RCI needs better/more security on this issue. A better kids program for those 12-17 year olds would go a long way in stopping the hanging out and disruptive behavior. Parents can also do a better job of providing supervision. We did re-book this cruise on board. Alex was the LA, not Runi as she was on vacation. Alex did not do as nice a job as Runi in terms for friendliness and helpfulness. Food: We ate in the MDR the first night, main seating, food was not bad. It was very empty and only two others showed up at our table. We did eat at Portofino 10 times...each time perfect. Excellent service was given by Simeone and Kerem, our servers each time. Food in the windjammer (WJ) was always luke warm, I like my food hot and I had to ask them to microwave my plate....RCI turn up those warmers. I got tired of this, but servers were always willing to help and always there for getting drinks and coffee.... Most days we had breakfast in the WJ. Since we tried to sit in the same location, the server, Fernando, got to know us by name. He always made a hot chocolate for my DS and always had a smile. We ate at Johnny Rockets once, good hamburgers and root beer soda (only place on the ship to get it)...and the food was always hot. Wish RCI would bring back the free meal in JR instead of the milk shake coupon. However, don't miss a visit to it...it's a fun lunch. Great music from the juke boxes too. Many times I ate breakfast in the concierge lounge....a nice spread and good coffee....I made good use of that coffee machine. On excursion days we had breakfast in the special diamond/plus area of the MDR....the best service, not rushed meal. The servers are all over and cannot do more for you. Great french toast too. Activities: We are not late night hang-outers, usually back to room after the show or some event by 11pm'ish. There is always something to do on this ship. Some British specific events too, I guess due to the large numbers of Brits on board, like a Quiz on British Soap Opera shows and a British trivia events game. The classic rock trivia game was a big hit for me. Wish they had it more than one time on the cruise and only held one round of it...do better next year RCI. The 50's -60's dance was a big hit as was the Motown music nights for us. The mini golf course has been re-done so it's perfect....the ping-pong tables need replacing. The rock wall continues to challenge me, but not my DS. Adventure Ocean continues to be a success for my DS. The AO staff was always friendly. However, we did look at the kids compass for the next age group, 12-14. That did not seem to offer much in the way of planned activities or supervision. This is troubling as we do not let our DS check himself in and out of the program. Even at 12 years old, I not sure I would want him walking around the ship by himself any time he wants..yet that's the way RCI plans the program for this age group. We were told New Years Eve in the promenade was way over crowed...better crowd control is needed...seems RCI has trouble doing this. RCI had the M&M in the chamber; they provided some soft drinks and nibbles, some give-a-ways and was attended by cruise staff, but not the cruise director or any senior staff ...I felt the chamber was too dark, Dizzy's would have been better. It was well attended, not by the 100+ that signed up, but by about 50 or so. A nice showing. We arranged a gift exchange that was a nice touch too. We had a very active thread, and everyone was very friendly and chatty. DW and I are kind of shy/need to be asked types... especially DW..????-meaning we did not hang out/attend activities with anyone from the M&M on the ship in many other venues. We're working on it though-maybe next year. Others stated they did make close connections. But I did make some nice acquaintances; maybe make them more solid if we see them next year, since many of us have "re-uped" for the same cruise next year. Our M&M group also had lunch twice and a farewell drink on the last day. We do have a special group from this sailing and are looking forward to sailing with them again. Everyone from our M&M group is very nice. We are going to continue chatting on the old thread as well as the new one for next year. We did have nice conversations with guests in the Concierge Lounge-the Pit as we have called it, is always fun. Service: Excellent service from everyone...... Carlos the Concierge, Cherry-the concierge-in-training and Cary the bar tender in the lounge were always helpful, with a smile, hello, and hug. Always offers to get you a drink, coffee or something...keep up the good work....hope to see you next year. Entertainment: SCOTT CAVANAUGH JUGGLER-missed it, heard it was fun TONY DARO COMEDIAN-very funny JOHN BRESSLER PIANO SHOWMAN-missed it RONDELL SHERIDAN COMEDIAN-very funny JOEY VAN SINGER/IMPRESSIONIST-missed it LEVENT COMEDY MAGIC-very good JIMMY CARROLL COMEDY MAGIC-missed it UNEXPECTED BOYS JERSEY BOYS TRIBUTE ACT-good IOULIA AYUPOVA ICE ACT - AERIAL HOOP-always good ice shows STEVE GREEN COCKTAIL PIANIST-good ROBERT BRUCE PUB ENTERTAINER-missed it MIRAGE TRIO LATIN TRIO-missed it PRODUCTION SHOWS: VIBE*OLOGY-good WILD COOL & SWINGIN-not so good INVITATION TO DANCE-missed it FAST FORWARD-very good Viewing shows are easy from most vantage points, except some, where columns are present. Ports: All our excursions were booked through RCI and we enjoyed them all. 20-Dec Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey 4:00 PM 21-Dec Cruising 22-Dec Cruising 23-Dec San Juan, Puerto Rico 4:00 PM 11:30 PM Docked 24-Dec Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked 25-Dec Cruising 26-Dec Bridgetown, Barbados 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked 27-Dec Roseau, Dominica 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked 28-Dec St. John's, Antigua 9:00 AM 5:00 PM Docked 29-Dec Philipsburg, St. Maarten 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked 30-Dec Basseterre, St. Kitts 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked 31-Dec Cruising 01-Jan Cruising 02-Jan Cruising 03-Jan Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey 8:00 AM Puerto Rico -great weather, we stayed on the ship, played mini golf, ping-pong. Kind of a wasted port for us...got in too late and sun set at 6pm. We have been here before, but would have gone to the rain forest if we had more time in port. St. Thomas - walked around and had lunch at a local restaurant. Barbados - did the atlantis submarine tour with DS/DW-not bad, saw some nice fish and a very interesting experience-I would recommend it, thought would not do it twice. Walked around, had a nice lunch and a few icy drinks. Dominica -A very lush island, but not much around the pier. We did the whale/dolphin excursion. On this tour were many from our M&M too, so we had a nice group. A short catamaran ride out to sea and the whales were there. A mother and her calf came up the boat to say hi. Saw their heads, tails and body. DS loved it. I would recommend this. DW got sea sick as the boat is very rocky, so be prepared. Antigua - in the morning spent time on the ship with DS in the pool and playing ping pong. Great to be on the ship while most others are in port-presents a very different cruise experience. In the pm, walked around town and had some drinks. St. Maarten - Had a snorkeling excursion planned, but the swells were so bad all sea activities were cancelled. In fact a Celebrity ship was unable to dock and we broke two lines trying to dock as well. I just walked around the town, sat and had a cold drink. St. Kitts-did a 4x4 tour in the rain forest. Learned about the sugar cane industry, saw some old plantations, monkeys and went from the Caribbean side to the Atlantic side. Very interesting and I would highly recommend it. Disembarkation: The saddest part of the trip. We had yellow #11, which had us called 8-8:15. We had some breakfast in the WJ and went down to deck 1.....not a long line .....on the bus and back to the tent.....in the tent it was a bit hectic, but not too bad given the nature of the event. We got our bags and through customs in 2 minutes..no line there. Our car service was waiting and we were in our house by 10:00am. Summary: the weather for the entire trip was excellent. The first and last sea days are a bit rocky, so be prepared. Overall a nice ship and in need of repair, dry dock should help. .......would do it again anytime....and plan to next year ? Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
It was pleasant to find our cabin clean and ready for us to move in. I was allowed, by the staff to decorate the outside and interior of our cabin with holiday decorations, which were far and few between. We had a large group for our ... Read More
It was pleasant to find our cabin clean and ready for us to move in. I was allowed, by the staff to decorate the outside and interior of our cabin with holiday decorations, which were far and few between. We had a large group for our M&M and RCCL put us all in the dark and cramped Chamber. I remember from past RCCL M&M's we were greeted by the CD and staff, there were many raffles and terrific prizes in the past. I have to say there was no one from the entertainment staff and I feel RCCL was very cheap this trip and bar drinks were not included as in the past, as well as the fancier snacks from previous M&M's. Our first excursion in San Juan was cancelled due to mechanical failures and I am glad they were looking out for us but offered nothing but a refund in return. Very little in shore excursions here. When we went to Portofino's to check on our already paid and confirmed wine and dine dinner, we were told there was not going to be one on this cruise due to too many formal nights. Then we were told that it was on but not that night. Then we were told that the dinner had actually been cancelled because of lack of participation. They needed 25 persons for the dinner. OK so we got yet another refund. As for " My time dining ", if we wanted to have any guests with us they had better be from the " My time dining " as well, or they were not allowed. What a way to treat people who have made friends and have been loyal to RCCL. Since the ship was going into dry dock after this cruise, our wine selections were limited as they were emptying out. I'm sorry but I paid the same price as anyone on the cruise before us and the one before them. I think I should be allowed the same choices. The shows were great and done very professionally. I agree with the last reviewer that security needs to be increased especially with the teens. Their curfew was for 1AM !!! Need I say more, as they were running up and down the hallways late evenings, loudly talking on their two-ways, holding up elevators, leaving trash all over the place. Come on RCCL lower the curfew to a more reasonable hour , BEFORE most adults bedtimes. Yes and parents of these children....SHAME ON YOU !!! We ALL want to enjoy our vacations. I , also found upper level staff unfriendly. Eyes looking away almost hoping they would not have to talk with you. I also found the Art Auctioneers to be way to business like and not as outgoing as those on previous cruises. If you want people to buy art, you need to be friendly. Sorry fellows. What was with the Slot tournament?? We used to look forward to that also. It started at 1 pm and the finals were over by 1:05. No mistake there. The whole thing lasted for 5 minutes. In the past, there were 3-4 groups of people waiting to compete, a leader-board and prizes up to $500. This was a one time sign up and the 3 winners got t-shirts and a plastic trophy. The excursions were well worth the money. The guides were knowledgeable and courteous but the Barbados Hike and Cave does not warn you that you will be up to your knees in water so bring your water shoes nor does it mention that when the water is high you should bring a bathing suit or a change of clothing. Our shoes were ruined and the tour guide told us we were lucky they were having a drought so instead of being up to our chests in water, it was only up to our knees. RCCL handed me a complaint form , was unable to find a solution for my good hiking shoes that were ruined and the money we had to spend to buy new, so we are now awaiting an answer from headquarters in Miami. OK enough complaints. The food was excellent, as well as the wait staff. The entertainment was wonderful. The sculptures in fruit were amazing. I especially enjoyed the Christmas morning brunch on the Promenade as well as on New Years Day. We had a wonderful vacation and have signed on for next year already. There will always be problems but why let it ruin your good time away from the snow and cold when you can be in warm sunny climates. RCCL get back to pleasing customers like you used to instead of making so much profit off of us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009

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