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26 Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruise Reviews

Wanted trip to Alaska, friends were going. Didn't realize how enormous ship was (meaning huge lines for the inadequate number of elevators, time-consuming just to travel to and from cabin to everything). On other cruises, I knew I was ... Read More
Wanted trip to Alaska, friends were going. Didn't realize how enormous ship was (meaning huge lines for the inadequate number of elevators, time-consuming just to travel to and from cabin to everything). On other cruises, I knew I was being squeezed for extra money--on this cruise, it felt like I was constantly being held up by my ankles and shaken for every last penny. The extra-cost Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant made Chef Boy-ar-dee look good (although Chops was excellent and worth the up-charge). Royal Caribbean apparently believe that they absolutely MUST pipe in loud and unappealling musis to every corner of the ship at every hour of the day. There was literally not restaurant, hallway, bar, or any other venue that did not have constant music being blared over the loudspeakers. There were only two "Alaskan" ports (Juneau and Skagway). To say they had the feel of Caribbean ports would be an understatement. They looked exactly like ports in the Caribbean because the VERY SAME jewelry stores were right there in your face--the owners summer in Alaska and winter in the caribbean. The Yukon Pass train in Skagway was a wonderful excursion, but for the most part the two ports felt like pure tourist trap. Technically, I can say I have been to Alaska but it certainly doesn't feel like it. The day we were supposed to be touring the glacier was too foggy to visit it, so no glacier (but it sure looked like a lot of other ships were going to it and heading back from it while we bided our time "whale watching"). The food in the dining room was mediocre (which surprised me based on our prior RC experience). More drinking than I expected on an Alaska cruise (it felt more like a caribbean party boat). We put our luggage outside our door the last night, properly tagged, as instructed. In port, all but one of our bags had been off-loaded to the right area. We didn't find our last bag in time to leave for our flight, and we filled out the RC form. My attempts to find out about the bag through the customer "service" line was an exercise in Kafka-esque futility. The on-line process they require has proven meaningless. Nearly two weeks after RC took custody and control of our bag, we have now information about it (it was highly distinctive, impossible to overlook if someone actually looked for it). Trying to get information from RC has proven to be an utter waste of time. I can't imagine ever taking an RC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 ... Read More
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 trying to go down to deck 5 to get off the boat Due to priority service needed, I was kicked off the elevator I was on (originally going down), on deck 10. Almost 2 hours later and I'm finally able to get off the boat due to full elevators, other passengers not moving or respectful of lines. Furthermore, I ran into the assistant front desk manager who was unable to assist in anyway and kept saying they did not have the manpower to assist as they have now put me further away from the exit. His inability to assist with the problem the boat/company had created makes me wonder about the quality of their customer service. While the rest of the cruise was enjoyable to include the cabin being well kept (thanks to our great stateroom attendant), entertainment as expected on a cruise ship and dining on par, should the first place runner of a race trip before the finish line they would not win. As such, the experience at the end of this trip was absolutely terrible that as of now, I strongly recommend against Royal Caribbean and do not expect to sail with them again (even if given the free cruise offered by their survey where my sentiments were also noted). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We went with our daughter and her family on this Alaska cruise. Alaska was wonderful, Royal Caribbean was terrible. We have traveled on many cruises, but this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise (and Last). Royal Caribbean does their ... Read More
We went with our daughter and her family on this Alaska cruise. Alaska was wonderful, Royal Caribbean was terrible. We have traveled on many cruises, but this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise (and Last). Royal Caribbean does their remodeling during their active cruise trips. Shocking! The carpet in our hall was torn out and replaced with new carpet. The carpet and the glue smell was so toxic our family got very sick. I had a head ache, sore throat and my eyes were burning, for the last two days of our trip. Our daughter was on this trip, in a separate room, she is a type 1 diabetic. Her immune system is already challenged, adding the toxic chemicals made her very sick. She couldn't even get out of bed. Our little grand daughter ended up in the emergency room after we got off the boat. The staff were non attentive. After the trip, numerous calls to Royal Caribbean were not answered. Put on hold and then disconnected after 30 minutes holding, this happened 3 times. I finally got thru, and was supposed to get a call back, big surprise, no call back. We were in a suite and the attention was terrible. No bottled drinking water was available even at our $1,000 per night price. I am surprised this cruise gets any positive feedback, I'm assuming the people that received free trips are the ones reviewing. Save your money and go on a different cruise line.The dining room was ok, food was edible. Not much to do as far as activities.We had 2 days at sea and would have enjoyed something to do with our grandchildren. I heard the entertainment and thought is was karaoke, but it was main singer. Shore excursions were expensive. I tried to purchase online, but Royal Caribbean site showed excursions sold out. I had to call Royal Caribbean site to book shore excursions and paid 30% high to get the same excursion. I have never submitted a negative review. This cruise line was so bad others need to be warned. I wish we had known before we spent so much hard earned money on this disaster cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with ... Read More
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with small to no sitting. The 24 hour cafe is no bigger than a small stateroom. Selection is poor. Food quality is so-so. Breakfast foods like donuts, pastries, muffins are hard as rocks as ate the biscuits and rolls. If you are luckily and get a fresh baked item from the fresh baked station, that item is great. But the lines and people pushing to get the hottest foods is terrible. I’m in day 5 of a 11 day cruise and so disappointed. I won’t sail RC again. Food quality is so so. Some staff is friendly and fun. Spa person was nice but pushy and bad when I didn’t buy additional product. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My Alaskan Cruise with RC has been terrible. Food is awful. No flavor. Room smells terrible. I have to keep my bathroom door shut to keep from throwing up. Nickeled and dimed left and right. Pay, pay, pay. I thought I already paid to come ... Read More
My Alaskan Cruise with RC has been terrible. Food is awful. No flavor. Room smells terrible. I have to keep my bathroom door shut to keep from throwing up. Nickeled and dimed left and right. Pay, pay, pay. I thought I already paid to come on a cruise? Really, run away from RC. Their Surf and Stream Internet is not even capable of a Google Search, how could it possibly stream a video? I will never choose Royal Caribbean again. I’ve never been so disappointed with a business in this way. They talk up a service, get you to pay, and then simply don’t provide the service. Go somewhere classier. Go to a business with more integrity. I don’t mind paying for a service that is actually provided, but to bait and switch over and over is unacceptable. RC should be ashamed of themselves. If you say you can provide a service then follow through. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
1) Only decent stop was Juneau, where you can see Mendenhall Glacier. 2) Skagway - is hole - nothing to do there and around 3) RCL failed to enter Tracy Arm - and that was the whole point to book this cruise in the first place. If ... Read More
1) Only decent stop was Juneau, where you can see Mendenhall Glacier. 2) Skagway - is hole - nothing to do there and around 3) RCL failed to enter Tracy Arm - and that was the whole point to book this cruise in the first place. If not glaciers - you can enjoy same scenery around lake Tahoe, Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver - just almost for free. Crew blamed fog, oh yeah - you are going to get fog at 6am, ship left at 9 am - and fog was disappearing. So Tracy Arm advertizement in itinerary - is SCAM. To further confirm that this is scam - I tracked next cruise on same ship, guess what? It did same trick. It did not go into Tracy Arm - although there was Princess and other ships. It headed back to Seattle. 4) Overall scenery is very bland and unexciting. You would better fly to Juneau from Seattle, and take small boat Glacier Bay tour. You will see more, and pay twice less. 5) Oh - food. Food on board is mediocre art best, sometimes disgusting. Main Dining Room experience is joke, my family even refused to go their after third day - service there is slow and sloppy. Only edible thing on menu was same Broiled Salmon. But even that one became unedible on day three. One lunch we were unable to find anything edible on menu and left for buffet in search of food. Stay way from RCL, will think twice next time, and definitely will not use RCL and Celebrity - since they are sister companies :( Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We arrived in Seattle a couple of days early and had a very good time exploring the city. Embarkation day was hectic as most are, but we were able to get on to the ship within about thirty minutes after arrival. Once onboard, we were ... Read More
We arrived in Seattle a couple of days early and had a very good time exploring the city. Embarkation day was hectic as most are, but we were able to get on to the ship within about thirty minutes after arrival. Once onboard, we were told that the only place to eat lunch was at the buffet (we normally avoid the buffet on embarkation day because they are packed and chaotic, not the best way to start a cruise in our mind). We made our way to the buffet as this was our only option. It was very chaotic and packed as expected. The presentation was absolutely awful (old beat up pots were used to serve most of the food, seriously!) and the food was just really bad, really, really bad low quality cafeteria at best. The ships condition was the biggest disappointment though. We understand that the ship is older, but that is no excuse for rust everywhere, dirty carpet, broken signage and gym equipment, broken toilets in almost every public bathroom I used during the week, etc. Our cabin was actually very nice. We had a panoramic view cabin, and it was great (new, roomy, and well kept by our steward) one of the few positives on this cruise. These rooms were added a couple of years ago during a refurbishment of the ship. The dining was hit and miss. We do the sit down breakfast in the main dining room whenever possible to enjoy a relaxing start to our day. They offered a sit down breakfast in the main dining room every day, but the menu never, ever changes. It is exactly the same every day of this cruise and its essentially bacon , eggs, or an omelet, no specials at all. It is also worth noting that they place a buffet in the middle of the sit down dining room and encourage you to use it. If I wanted a buffet, I would have gone to the BUFFET. It is obvious that they don't really want to serve you and it shows. The service at breakfast was absolutely terrible (so bad that for the first time ever in 14 cruises, we considered adjusting our gratuities down, we didn't, but it was very, very bad service) Dinner was much better than breakfast and lunch, but only because we had a good server. The food was very low quality in comparison to the other cruises we have been on. The entertainment was average for a cruise. It was not the best, but we have had worse on Carnival The service was hit and miss also. Our cabin steward was great. Our server at dinner was great. Our servers at breakfast and lunch were pretty bad. It seemed like the staff who knew they were getting a tip directly from you tried, but the rest did not. The ports were nice. We had a great time at all of the stops (Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria), but don't expect anything except a line when you get back to the ship. Let me explain: We have also cruised with Disney, NCL, Princess, and Carnival. Every one of these lines offered at minimum, water and a "welcome back" when you return. Norwegian would even have cold towels and flavored water on a hot day, nice touch. Royal Caribbean: nothing except a line and rude, unwelcoming security officers. We literally felt like we were returning to our Naval service vessel for work or something. How hard is it to offer a cup of water and a smile to your passengers who spent thousands of dollars for this experience. We have one important last thing: We always get a paper copy of our final bill on our last day before getting off of the ship. We do this so that if there is any discrepancy on our bill, we can get it settled before we depart. We got our bill and everything looked fine. We left and went on home thinking we probably won't do RCL again and we definitely will never do the Explorer again. About a week later, I noticed on my credit card statement that RCL had charged us an additional $200. I called RCL and was told that we were charged for 8 towels that had not been turned in at the pool. The problem was, we only checked out 4 towels on one day early during our cruise and we turned them in. They would not remove the charge until they contacted the ship to find out what happened. This took over a week and numerous phone calls (a lot of aggravation and wasted time). How many people are charged after they get off of the ship and don't check their credit card statement (I'll bet lots are). We got our refund after a lot of time and aggravation, but keep in mind that they did not add this wrongful charge until a week after we got off of the ship. I am sure that they do this so that you face a major hassle trying to get it cleared up from home and many people miss it. It is an extremely shameful business practice that should be illegal. How do I "prove" that I turned in pool towels. They don't give you any type of receipt at the time. You are trusting that they check them in properly and if they don't, you get ripped off! With all of the cruise choices these days, you should avoid the explorer of the seas at all costs! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Let me start by saying we loved RC and cruising. We have cruised several times over the last 4 years and each and every time with RC. We are a young couple/family and love the experience. We don't mind the lines, the hiccups, the ... Read More
Let me start by saying we loved RC and cruising. We have cruised several times over the last 4 years and each and every time with RC. We are a young couple/family and love the experience. We don't mind the lines, the hiccups, the delays and the chaos that comes along with cramming thousands of people on and off a ship for 5-7 days. We plan everything and prepay for any and all our fun things. We do excursions, we go to the pay extra restaurants, we buy merchandise on the ship, we pay for drink packages, etc. We're incredibly easy going. Our enjoyment of these vacations is simple, we're not at work/school, we're not cleaning, cooking, running errands, or any other of our mundane day to day chores. We are not the people who are cranky because they have to wait in line or because of some other petty nonsense. However, this will likely be our last RC cruise. We reserved a couple spa treatment weeks prior to our departure. On the day of departure, we get a call saying that the service we'd reserved doesn't even exist for Explorer of the Seas and would we be willing to have separate treatments. We agreed that was acceptable. We would later recieve another call letting us know that we'd need to reschedule again because there would be a crew drill during our reserved time. We agreed and that was fine. Frustrating but fine. I ended up incredibly sick the morning of our services and I contacted the spa to let them know I'd not be having my services and what could I do. Long story short, my husband kept his services after I was told that I didn't have to reschedule since he was keeping his and the kind lady I spoke with said she would just take care of my portion. Upon packing, I found his receipt for services and not only was my portion of the service still charged but I was also charged a automatic gratuity for my masseuse.....who never worked on me. We went to Customer Services and was told that I'd have to come back the next morning, the day of departure, after 0730 to get it taken care of. I informed the customer service rep that I had a car service which was picking us up at 0700 and that wasn't going to work. It ended up coming down to either I paid the spa fees as they are or I paid a penalty to my car service/risked being left at the pier. I told the desk clerk I'd have to take care of it after the fact then and left. I have filled out my post cruise review, I have contacted RC twice and have still yet to hear back. Sadly, the spa situation was only one of many.... -Booked prior to departure the sushi class for noon, since that was the only time listed and it was lunch. When our passes were in our room, we then find out it's a 9:45am class. Which was after the all the spa rescheduling. The sushi class was a blast and so well done. It was, without a doubt, the best thing out of those 4 days and even at that, RC couldn't back correctly what they'd advertised. -Clothes from previous guests in the closet of our Junior Suite. -Bugs in our in room coffee pot -Fridge in room was warm -Empty bottles/garbage left in our room after morning/night services. -No drink service until 3rd night in main dining room -No bread service 2nd night and only once every other night....did RC recently change to a one roll/dinner rule? -Food was bad. And I'll eat anything that I didn't have to shop for, cook, prep or make but the Marsala had one slice of mushroom and a crab bisque had one bit of crab in it. It was lukewarm at best and overcooked regularly. -Room service missing food on order, but managed to charge for things we've never been charged for before. -Asked to leave hot tub with other guests during movie times so they can "service" aka: close, down the hot tubs. -Told I can't turn in my towels to the attendants folding towels and I needed to take all of the towels to our room and then contact Guest Services to make sure I wasn't charged the $25 towel fee -Tried to make reservations for Giovanni's prior to their opening at Guest Services since we were getting off the ship early that day. Told they couldn't do that and I'd have to contact the restaurant at 9 or 9:30 (she didn't know when they opened). We went to the restaurant after 0930 and they were still closed. We came back at 1:30 and they were still closed. -At 3 different bars on 2 separate days, bartenders didn't know what/how to make the drink of the day for other guests. - We buy the Ultimate drink packages. Every single cruise and have the same experiences every time. Except this cruise...One late night, 11:30-ish, we were enjoying the hot tub with some new friends and I went to get a drink. All the bars on the pool decks were closed. My option was to either go up to the dance club wrapped in towels and shoes to order a drink or I could go down to the bar we went to regularly. I was mortified when I was told I couldn't be served "like that" by the bar staff in front of a full bar. I had stood off to the side, not dripping water and completely covered.....I'm a late 30's mother, I don't go wandering around with my bits hanging out. I apologized to the staff and said that was fine, but could they please point me to a place that can as all the pool area bars were closed. I was then told again, loudly and rudely that I couldn't be served "like that". I reinterated that I understood that and please just point me to where I could go. After the 3 bar tenders had a little conversation, about me in front of all the guests, I was grossly over served a full glass of straight vodka. I asked for a Grey Goose on the rocks, but that should have been a single shot, not the 6-8oz that I was served. I was mortified. The list goes on. It wasn't just one thing that really put us over but the accumulation of all the problems and the lack of 'give-a-care' by Royal Caribbean that has likely made this our last cruise with them. I have reached out to RC twice, in addition to the lengthy feedback I provided on our post cruise review questionaire, now to have this all corrected. I was told I'd be contacted days ago and still haven't heard anything. We've had so many good experiences with RC and we talk these trips up to all our friends, co-workers and family. All we wanted was to have a few days of easy going and carefree vacation. Instead, it became almost tragically comedic to see what was going to happen next. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had cruised RCI as a family about 12 years ago (on the Explorer of the Seas) and had high hopes of a great extended family vacation. We were sorely disappointed. Aside from a great captain -- who navigated very close to the glacier ... Read More
We had cruised RCI as a family about 12 years ago (on the Explorer of the Seas) and had high hopes of a great extended family vacation. We were sorely disappointed. Aside from a great captain -- who navigated very close to the glacier and excellent service from our dining and room attendants, RCI was a HUGE disappointment. The food was terrible. It was a challenge to find the item on the menu that was edible. If you are brave enough to try this cruise, avoid the beef --even at the specialty restaurants. Stick to the basics like salad and pasta -- its not good, but its edible. Don't buy the internet package -- just plan on being disconnected for a week and save yourself the frustration of buying a package that does not work; arguing with the guest services about how it does not work and begging for a refund -- not to mention wasting your time trying over and over to connect and stay connected long enough to accomplish something. And don't expect staff on the ship to be accommodating -- we experienced a "thats just the way it goes" sort of response from them through out the cruise The "Explorer of the Seas" shows to have been refurbished recently, but it is still very dated and a more than a bit worn. This was such a bad experience that if RCI offered a free cruise on its newest ship, I would decline. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took a Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise about 16 years ago, departing from Vancouver. It was wonderful and especially memorable was the Hubbard Glacier. The ship spent the day there, up close and amazing, and it rotated 1/4 turns every ... Read More
We took a Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise about 16 years ago, departing from Vancouver. It was wonderful and especially memorable was the Hubbard Glacier. The ship spent the day there, up close and amazing, and it rotated 1/4 turns every few hours so everyone got spectacular views. This glacier is miles long and absolutely breathtakinging beautiful. You get to see the calving of the ice, there are icebergs floating all around the ship, many with seals and sea lions lolling about! It also sailed through the inside passage, which to my knowledge was the only way to go. Wrong! On this trip we took our adult children. Our son was reluctant as he gets seasick. We explained that the inside passage is just that...no open ocean, so smooth ride. Being as we've seen Vancouver, we all decided to depart from Seattle, which was a big mistake. It actually leaves the inner passage and travels through rough ocean for 2 days. Also there is no view of any scenery in the ocean, and to make matters worse, the 'glacier' viewing of the cruise was a cruel joke. The itinerary stated gorgeous glaciers, but neglected to say that the ship went through that area at 5 a.m. It was dark and foggy...hardly a reason to get up. No glaciers, no icebergs. At 9 a.m. and thereafter that day, there was nothing of interest to look at...just empty shoreline. Wasted days ar sea (ocean) inside of visiting towns. Being Emerald members, we've traveled RC often enough to be very disappointed in the itinerary, the lack of shows, which RC is known for. The entertainment was horrible and we left every show except for the Ice Skating Spectacular which was amazing. The food and the wait staff were great. Our room steward was invisible and we had many problems, still ongoing, with their Photography Department. We were scheduled to sail on the new Harmony ship in December, but all of our cruising friends are switching to Princess. I can't think of a reason not to now. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't ... Read More
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't work in the cabin. When the captain spoke we had to open the cabin door to hear him.The meals in the dinning room were disappointing for the portion of food was small but were very elaborate looking and very good tasting. The food in the food and services in the Windjammer Cafe was excellent.The service of the personal on the cruise were very friendly and their services were excellent.The ports and excursions were very good. The photographer in the dinning room did an awful job.I didn't buy many photos for they were poorly done. I bought the Cruise Review DVD and it was also poorly done. Some of the DVD didn't have sound and I was on the Cruise 7 days but there was only 5 days coverage. The DVD was not worth 29.99. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We've cruised RCI 4 times to Alaska. 2 on the Rhadsody of the Seas and 1 on the Jewel of the Seas. The Explorer was the worst ship we've cruised on. The food in the Windjammer was atrocious at every meal! Everything that was ... Read More
We've cruised RCI 4 times to Alaska. 2 on the Rhadsody of the Seas and 1 on the Jewel of the Seas. The Explorer was the worst ship we've cruised on. The food in the Windjammer was atrocious at every meal! Everything that was supposed to be hot was cold. The desserts looked like they would be delicious but actually had no taste. I really can't stress enough how BAD the food was. The service was mediocre and lazy at the worst. The Solarium, which is where we send most of our time whale watching (after all it is a cruise to Alaska) had NO roof and was empty. On our other 3 Alaska cruises on RCI, the solarium was packed. The place was full of whale watchers. The activities were geared to the the warm climates, such as the Flowrider, Rock Climbing, mini golf. The windows were filthy. They didn't stress using the hand sanitizer like on the other cruises. No wonder they have the norovirus. To me it looks like they don't care, just take our money and provide as little as possible. Where is their quality control because I haven't seen anything that even resembles a accountable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My husband and I looked forward to this third Alaskan cruise and the First time on Royal Caribbean. We heard great things about Royal Caribbean, but we were SO disappointed in the Explorer of the Seas! We have cruised many times mostly on ... Read More
My husband and I looked forward to this third Alaskan cruise and the First time on Royal Caribbean. We heard great things about Royal Caribbean, but we were SO disappointed in the Explorer of the Seas! We have cruised many times mostly on Carnival and thought we wanted a change until we tried this ship. From the embarking lines that lasted 2-1/2 to 3 hours long, then when we went to do the initial check in some of the things that we purchased online; i.e. Beverage package did not show up on the account and another long line on the ship customer service desk to fix the problems. The food was not even par. The activities were minimal. The speciality restaurants were running out of veg sides even before the end of the cruise. The main dining room food was terrible. The meat was a poor quality and beef very tough. All of the staff and crew were exceptional which helped a lot on this disappointing cruise. The RC excuse was this was the first cruise for this ship in Alaska which was why it was so disorganized, but this was not the first cruise of this ship in other places. I hope IF we try Royal Caribbean again it is not as disappointing as the Explorer of the Seas 7 night Alaskan cruise on May 20, 2016. The cruise was not worth the amount of money we paid to take it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Explorer of the Seas is a gorgeous ship. Loved the interior, public areas especially the 14th floor view Lounge. Our extended balcony was really nice. Room was good, lots of storage, good closet. Room steward did a great job. That's ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas is a gorgeous ship. Loved the interior, public areas especially the 14th floor view Lounge. Our extended balcony was really nice. Room was good, lots of storage, good closet. Room steward did a great job. That's where it all ends......bed, bedding cheap and uncomfortable. Windjammer staff and food was terrible. Dinner service was good food again bad! My husband is a beef eater and after two nights could not order beef again. Rolls n butter were the best, we ate those. Food was bland, meat tough, not right temperature, just all around bad. Breakfast was really bad too. Scrambled eggs sitting in water, waffles wet, no cream cheese for bagels. When we asked for it we were told "gone for today" at 9:30 .... First day 1/2 n 1/2 for coffee next 6 days we were told "just milk" !!!!! I'm kidding right? Nope. No mid afternoon eating available for ppl returning from excursions. Just a place for coffe, tea and a half sandwich with no meat. Yup a bun with one thin piece of meat that didn't cover the half bun. Pathetic! No deli, pizza place, Burgers, etc during the day like on other cruise lines. Yes there's Johnny Rockets which you are charged a fee for but it was always closed.... The elevator wait was 5-7 min every time. I could do stairs but not hubby.....wait wait wait. Getting on the ship in Seattle was horrible. Took 3 hours with non moving lines. Getting off was quick and easy. This was our 30th cruise and we can say we have never been so glad to get off any cruise ship. We tried to give Royal Caribbean a second chance. Sailed in Caribbean eight years ago and were not impressed then. Carnival you rock. You know what you're doing and you do it right. Food, service, overall treatment of your passengers is a 10. RC sorry you get a 1. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Embarkation was a nightmare - took us 3 hours to get onboard - ridiculous. We even followed their new staggered policy to checkin - guess it wasn't a success. And the food in the windjammer was disgusting - everyday! Curry and rice ... Read More
Embarkation was a nightmare - took us 3 hours to get onboard - ridiculous. We even followed their new staggered policy to checkin - guess it wasn't a success. And the food in the windjammer was disgusting - everyday! Curry and rice everyday! Breakfast was powdered eggs and pork and beans. We ate I the dining room out of necessity and it became repetitive. Supper was better - the wait staff was great. But overall the food was horrible and even though I don't eat a lot, who doesn't cruise today. I have never been on a cruise where the food was not edible? This was our 7th cruise to Alaska and I will never cruise Royal again. This was our third RCI cruise and we were hesitant because of past experiences, but our friends were cruising for the first time and it was their choice. We picked an inside room that faced the promenade - big mistake - the music was loud every night. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. ... Read More
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. (FYI-our platinum cruise with Carnival is this September, so we know what to expect when cruising.) The following commentary reflects our viewpoint and opinions organized by the “the Good,” “the Bad,” and “the Ugly.” THE GOOD Cost.The cruise was inexpensive comparatively, and it met our date requirements. We selected a balcony room (although we normally select suites), and the cost for three was somewhat less than that of our normal cruise line, Carnival, so we thought we would try RCI. Main Dining Room.Dinner was a pleasant experience in the main dining room. We selected the Carnival equivalent of “Your Time” dining, but the method involved actually coordinating the time either daily or for the entire cruise on the first day. The method was solid, because we did not queue for food. The staff was expecting us and had the table ready every evening. The main dining room wait staff was outstanding, as is typical of most (but not all) ships we have sailed. Compared to the typical Carnival food in the main dining rooms, I would suggest that they are about on par. Some of the food was (in our opinion) better (e.g., some of the meat selections..); some of it was worse (e.g., the deserts…no real equivalent of the warm chocolate melting cake…cold rolls…). Overall, our experience in the main dining room met expectations. Solarium. The Solarium was a nice place (pool, waterfall, etc.), and some of the lounges were (in our opinion), prettier than many of the Carnival equivalents. Pre-Paid Packages. RCI Pre-paid packages up front (Internet, pictures, drinks) are awesome. I appreciate not having to coordinate this on the ship. Pre-paying just makes it a done deal. Pool Table. The gyro-based pool tables were a hoot, even if they didn’t work all that well sometimes. Having a climbing wall is nice, but we did not take advantage of it. Excursion. We only selected one excursion, kayaking at Prince Rupert. Wow. It was one of our favorite excursions in all of our cruising. About three hours on the water with seals, fish, and wildlife…So much fun. Casino. The casino was not crowded. One-arm bandits were always available, and there was always room at the craps table. Drinks. The drink plan was outstanding. It included everything we needed, and there was no “counting,” which is kind of artificial with Carnival. THE BAD Herd Dining. The “buffet” was not what we expected. The breakfast food, in our opinion, was not nearly as good as the Carnival fare. The selection wasn’t totally terrible, but (in our opinion) they did not have the diversity of food types that we have seen on other ships. And coffee is “protected.” You have to queue to ask for a cup (probably due to fear of spreading germs.) We hadn’t seen this technique applied to Carnival. Specialty Dining. We didn’t try the steakhouse, because it was not as appealing to us as the Carnival steakhouse menus. It might have been just as good or even better, but we just didn’t try it. We did try the Samba Grill to do something new, and we were disappointed. The Samba Grill is supposed to be a Brazilian steakhouse. To us, the taste (perhaps quality?) of the meat was not what we have come to expect from our annual excursions to these steakhouses. Perhaps, we went on an “off night.” We don’t gorge ourselves, either, so taste is the most important factor. Pictures. We pre-paid the pictures; however, the quality was hit and miss in our opinion. During the formal night, I had my jacket open on some pictures, and my son has his closed. The prep prior to the pictures just wasn’t quite spot on. We would rather have paid more for better quality. Entertainment. We tried to stomach a show. In our opinion, the opening singer couldn’t sing. (We actually looked at each other and started laughing when he tried a rendition of Piano Man.) They also provided a former “Star Search” winner as an option. Carnival isn’t great, but it is better in our opinion. The demonstrations that we attended were silent (no commentary). For example, the fruit and vegetable carving was interesting, but it was not narrated. Some commentary would have been better in our opinion. Taste-Bar? Free Samples? On Carnival, we have always been able to sample the specialty dining at a taste-bar equivalent / demonstration. We attended demonstrations by the Samba Grill and the Asian specialty dining (name escapes me). Neither provided samples. Had we been able to sample the fare up front, I guarantee we would not have chosen the Samba Grill. THE UGLY On balance, we would have considered Royal Caribbean for another cruise if it were not for “the Ugly.” And here it is. Sewer Smell. The smell of sewer backed through the drains in the state room, an issue that we have never experienced in ~90 days at sea on cruise ships. This seems to be fairly well-documented issue for this class of ships. Here are three reviews I found that reference the issue, and there are more. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1128866 http://www.cruisecritic.com/radiance-of-the-seas-deck-plans/dp/deluxe-ocean-view-stateroom-with-balcony-e1/cc/ http://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/showthread.php?p=48422305&highlight=radiance Attempts to Resolve. The apparent “solution“ of the housekeeping and maintenance staff was to try to hide the smell with cleaner and to use “biogel.” (We were having this done routinely.) The small was sufficiently bad that we asked for a different room. None were available. We asked a maintenance staff, who came to place “biogel” into the drains. He indicated that they receive between 20-25 complaints every cruise. Wow. Customer Service. So we approached Customer Service. One of my family members has an auto-immune disease, and this was made clear to the staff. (Check out the International Medical Guide for Ships, 3d Edition by the World Health Organization for information on the toxic effects of Hydrogen Sulfide. Although I doubt the concentrations were sufficient to be of concern, why would I want to risk continued exposure of my family to elevated levels?). The Customer Service solution (which came quickly, perhaps due to the history of issues with this problem?) was to offer a 20% discount on a future cruise. We would never take a vacation again with a cruise line that has a commonly discussed smell issue and does not inform consumers about that issue in advance. Had this been a hotel, we would have checked out early. CONCLUSION I am quite sure that RCI would like to fix the issue with the sewer gas smells, but in my opinion, they have not been successful at all. Perhaps, some of their other ships do not have the same issues. That said, I would not have purchased our vacation through RCI had I known about the problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This should have been a fun and relaxing vacation. Perhaps if I didn't have accessibility needs, it would have been. When the booking was made, we had told them I was in a wheelchair and confirmed that accessible transportation ... Read More
This should have been a fun and relaxing vacation. Perhaps if I didn't have accessibility needs, it would have been. When the booking was made, we had told them I was in a wheelchair and confirmed that accessible transportation would be provided from the airport to the ship, from the ship to the airport at the end, and accessible transportation from the ship to excursion locations when at the ports. Well problems starting happening on arrival in the stateroom. I had told them I would need a shower commode and even sent them pictures of what I would need and they promised that they could provide me with one. this was not in the stateroom when I arrived, and when I asked about, they provided me with something I could not even use. Had they told me beforehand that they could not provide exactly what I needed, it would have been fine as I could have worked around it brought my own items.. but they said they could, and they did not deliver. This was really bad as it made using the showers EXTREMELY dangerous for me. Again, if i knew ahead of time, I could have brought my own items to make things less dangerous for me. Then, at the first port when the staff had no idea where people in wheelchairs were suppose to go to depart the ship when in port. One staff would say go to this deck, then on that deck, would be told to another deck, this happened countless times and considering the elevators were pretty full during port time, this was a major problem. The corridors are very narrow and when the cleaning crew was making rounds to each stateroom, I would be able to pass by them. Their answer was was to come back later.. or go take an elevator to another deck, go around them, and then come back to my deck. Finally, on the last day, I have to take a bus to the airport from the dock. Again, an accessible was promised and even the day before I spoke to the guest services and after fighting with them for hours, they promised an accessible bus. But there wasn't one and instead they had to someone else pre-booked accessible van to give to me. Now, if we look at the cruise outside of all these accessible issues. The boat is old... some of the elevator buttons did not even work. When I wrote to royalcarribean about this after, after about 3 weeks I finally got a response apologizing for her delay in response and on the many accessibility issues I had with them. Then said she was enclosing some certificates which I can use " We hope you and your family will use the enclosed certificates on a future sailing with us." and well, there was nothing attached... no enclosed certificate... i responded back saying that nothing was attached and got a generic response saying thank you for sending them an email.. blah blah blah... Seriously, if you have accessibility needs, stay clear from these people. They say they care and are accessible but once they get your money, you are NOTHING but an annoyance to them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
After fifteen years of sailing exclusively on DCL, we finally decided to try a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska because of it leaving out of Seattle, and the Wonder leaves out of Vancouver. Basically, we knew it wouldn't be Disney, ... Read More
After fifteen years of sailing exclusively on DCL, we finally decided to try a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska because of it leaving out of Seattle, and the Wonder leaves out of Vancouver. Basically, we knew it wouldn't be Disney, but after the first ten minutes on board we realized just how much it wasn't Disney. From the very vulgar cruise director, to the lack of decent shows, staterooms without two bathrooms, adequate beds and the ship filled with rust and peeling paint it was so obvious that we had made a terrible mistake. On top of the poor condition of the ship, which is slightly smaller than the Magic and Wonder, Royal has probably a fourth or more staterooms, adding more guests than a ship its size should have. They only have one restaurant, and people feed into it like cattle being herded. Soda is an extra $20 a day, per person in your party and the drink packages only go up from there. The ship smelled like stale cigarette smoke that they tried to cover up with cheap air freshener making it all the more nauseating. The outfits of all the workers on the ship made them incredibly hard to find. On Disney, they have all of their workers in distinct outfits that separate them from the guests, and various uniforms so you know who does what instead of just a name tag. The cruise director looked the worst though. Denis Charles, he had his shirt open the entire time, was usually eating in the Windjammer, and if he wasn't doing that he was saying the most disgusting things and planned the most disgusting activities like Quest. We spoke to several people on board who said they had to leave the shows because of the vulgarity, especially when there are kids on board. There was absolutely no youth programing. On Disney, I join in their 18-20+ club, and on those ships it is organized by their cast members who do the entertainment as well. On Royal, there was not one person around to organize or facilitate anything. How can you meet someone if you don't know where to meet because there is no one there to even let you know where to go? You would think that on an Alaskan cruise where the clients are older that they would have at least attempted to try harder to bring the twenty somethings together, but it was the absolute opposite. Without the characters, it just seemed dull. The artwork was nothing but plain pictures, with strange statues. Definitely not Disney. Royal also doesn't give you shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Instead, they have what I would classify as hand soap from a rest stop on a high way in the shower for their guests to use whereas Disney has an exclusive deal with H20 Cosmetics with custom shampoos, lotions, etc for your staterooms at no extra charge. The entertainment was dull. On Disney I find myself craving days at sea because of how great the ships are and how much there is to do. On Royal, I dreaded it. Alaska itself was amazing. But do it on Disney, don't bother with Royal for that or any other trip for that matter. Royal seems to only put all their efforts into releasing their new ships, and drops all support for their older ones. Even the crew who cleans the ships didn't paint in every port like on Disney, instead they used a squeegee on a long rod that was duct taped together to reach up on the ship and didn't bother to wash the soap off. The staterooms were small, so small. We had a veranda, but that didn't mean anything unlike the Disney ships. In fact, under our Veranda was where they kept the life boats, blocking off a significant part of our view. The excursions were so poorly organized I could not believe it. Unlike Disney with the specific areas that you meet your groups before you disembark, Royal has it as a free for all for everyone on board. You leave the ship, with no one telling you where to go. The lines to get off were all backed up because of this, and they only have a few people there to scan people off the ship. Once off the ship, you have to find your way to the place where you meet with the tour group. If you have any questions, there is a small booth set up that has one person working in it, with the longest line imaginable. They charge you for room service after midnight, no introducing of you when you board, no free bottled water when you leave to a new port, no hot towels, no nothing. It's as bare bones as it gets. Then, they have drinking like nothing I've ever seen before, and someone who regularly knocks on your door to check your mini bar and then tries to sell you things. On top of that you can't walk two feet without someone trying to sell you something extra to buy. I will never, and I mean ever, go on another RCCL cruise. Learned my lesson the hard way. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
At the outset of this review I will note that this was our 28th cruise and we do not limit our selves to any one line. It is the destination and/or activity we cruise for, in this case taking out two grand daughters to ride on the WHITE ... Read More
At the outset of this review I will note that this was our 28th cruise and we do not limit our selves to any one line. It is the destination and/or activity we cruise for, in this case taking out two grand daughters to ride on the WHITE PASS & YUKON RAILROAD and the glaciers. Both of those goals were met and outstanding. It had been at least 10 years since we had cruised with RCI and we had had wonderful experiences so after reading the reviews we booked Jewel. Boarding was fine and when we got to our room [ #8064 ] we found the room to be adequate but very tired. In the bath room we found our towels etc. to be thread bare and frayed. There was no shampoo, just soap. In the room we were never provided ice or a pitcher for water. There was no longer chocolates at bed time. Our cabin steward was very nice but on some days it was around noon before the room was made up. When I asked about all this I was told it was due to cost cutting. The service in the main dinning room was great at dinner and very poor at lunch and breakfast. Very poor quality food, hot food came to the table cold, meat was tough, and selection uninspired. Our dinning staff were running to keep up with the 4 tables they were assigned. Also the mints were gone from the podium as we left. Most of the ships staff were gracious and accommodating with two major exception, I went to guest services to get the news paper and the "gentleman" told me that they no longer had them and that he was busy. The other experience was when we sat in the balcony in the show room and we were unaware we were in the seat for the elite and this "lady" came to us and in a very loud European accent told us to move, get out as these were for our betters. She was the rudest staff member of any ship I have been on and she did her best to try and make us feel like "poor white trash" [ Better luck next time!] The shows in the theater were the worst both my wife and I have ever seen on a ship. The cruise director was a joke! As it was a cruise for our grand daughters and there first cruise they had fun and want to go again so for them it was a success. For my wife and I enjoyed seeing the sights [ our second time to Alaska] but will rule out RCI 's smaller ships. Our table mates told us to try their big ships that they were far superior. As this was there 57'th trip on RCI I just may take their advice. All in all I blame myself for the experience for failing to do better research. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that ... Read More
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that we will cruise RC again. The following was first communicated in writing to the RC customer relations folks. However, all we got was the boiler plate, thanks for the comments, we've forwarded them to the appropriate people. Disembarkation. When disembarking at Seward, it was raining. There was an uncovered ramp made of metal that was very slippery. The staff person at the top of that gangway made no effort to warn us or assist us. As she went down that gangway, my wife slipped and fell. Hard. Two RC people saw us and no one came to see how my wife was or offer any assistance. In fact, a woman staffer at the bottom instead went to discuss the ramp with the man at the top. No effort to engage us. Pretty amazing. And when I pointed this out in my subsequent email to customer relations, there was no initial expression of concern or inquiry as to how my wife was doing. Embarkation. Our prior experience with boarding is to be greeted warmly by staff as we come on board. Welcome aboard. We are glad you are here. This time, we had to run a literal gauntlet of staff hocking various things - drink packages, dinner packages, etc. At least 4 different groups of RC staff trying to sell us something, all at extra cost. Welcome aboard indeed. IT Failures. I tried to print a fishing license from the business center. First time the printer was out of order meaning that the online charge was for nothing. Second time it printed on the 5th floor. I was on the 7th floor. But I didn't know that until I went down to the Customer Relations desk and insisted that someone come with me so they could see my problem. We went to the 5th floor business center and presto, fishing license. Another incident: when we set our alarm to get up in Ketchikan for an excursion, the alarm through the phone had not been set to Alaska time. So we got a call 1 hour early. This was a ship wide experience as all of our dinner party related the same experience. Aggressive photo team. The young woman who tried to corral you for pictures throughout the cruise was pushy and if you did not want one, she was rude and impolite, speaking in a mocking tone. Way too much marketing. We were constantly bombarded with staff trying to sell us one thing or another. Hot tubs. Yes, hot tubs. There are three on the ship. All small. And way not enough. Always packed unless you wanted to be the first one in at 7 AM. Luggage pick up. Also, when we went to pick up our luggage at the Anchorage hotel where it was delivered from Seward, we discovered it outdoors! Covered but outdoors. Dozens and dozens of suitcases. Anyone could have come by and picked it up. Completely unacceptable. As I said at the beginning, we've traveled on RC a number of times before and have been very happy. However, this was not the RC from before. The Alaska cruise is especially expensive and we spent north of $10K on this trip. At that price, it seems reasonable to expect a high quality trip. And we would not say we got that from RC. To the extent that we enjoyed the trip, it was largely in spite of RC, not because of RC. Also concerning is what appears to be a conscious business decision to flood passengers with add on options; that is with many, many sales pitches for additional cost items. We had seen this in the past but this time, it was, frankly, overwhelming and very offputting. If this is where RC is headed, well, we will move up a notch to a cruise line line Celebrity. If we are going to spend a lot of money, at least it will be an all inclusive package.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
It was recommended by my travel agent to book RCCL as we are in our 30's and RCCL supposedly has younger passengers. This was our first cruise. Wow, what a circus it was getting on and off the boat each time. The boat is in bad shape, ... Read More
It was recommended by my travel agent to book RCCL as we are in our 30's and RCCL supposedly has younger passengers. This was our first cruise. Wow, what a circus it was getting on and off the boat each time. The boat is in bad shape, and doesn't appear to have had a makeover since it was built in the 90's. Walls were stained and peeling, water dripping from ceilings, frequently the smell of sewage, artwork held together with scotch tape. Many passengers spoke of getting sick on the boat, and there was a big push to wash your hands, but the boat itself was filthy, sticky, and tons of passengers coughing and hacking at all times. My stateroom, a more expensive balcony room was disgusting. There was hair and dust everywhere; what looked to be a pubic hair on the nightstand. The other passengers were a mixture of people 60+, and foreigners. The foreigners had their own cultural norms they were following and seemed very rude. They were often pass out drunk. I was physically shoved several times by people wanting me out of the way for better views. Coming back to my room one day around noon was a naked Philippine man lying in the hallway. The older people expected the boat to be a floating senior center. It was impossible to sit alone with my husband and enjoy each other, as within minutes an older stranger would sit down and yack my ear off. All the activities and music on the ship was geared towards the elderly. Bingo and outdated trivia being popular. The food in the main dining room was good, but service was slow and a meal would take 2 hours. The food in the windjammer buffet was gross, crowded, and the place smelled bad. Every time I ordered room service they gave me an incorrect order. The worst was the rude staff at guest services. I was double billed for my excursion, and guest services said they couldn't do anything so I had to call my credit card for fraudulent charges. Overall, I felt the ship was horrible, everything felt like a big sales pitch for my money, and being nickel and dimed. I liked alaska but it would have been better to just fly there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I was on the verge of tears after so many easy things went very wrong. My husband had to tuck me away in a corner and seek other vendors to assist us due to the Royal Caribbean's inadequacies with respect to customer service. We like ... Read More
I was on the verge of tears after so many easy things went very wrong. My husband had to tuck me away in a corner and seek other vendors to assist us due to the Royal Caribbean's inadequacies with respect to customer service. We like to plan ahead and make the most of our vacations so we planned excursions, dinner, and spa sessions before even leaving port! The spa and excursions were all planned through the website and my credit card was charged. The first thing that came up was the spa shave for my husand on the first formal evening. We delayed our dinner plans at the main dining room in order to give him time to be freshly shaven and put on his suit. When it got close to his appointment, I walked him up to the nineth deck and waited for everything to be squared away, but it wasn't! They had completely LOST his appointment and blamed computer troubles. When we explained the timing was a factor, they told us that they had no availability at this time but could fit him in another day - how about tomorrow (when we are in port all day and not just at sea)? We double checked my appointment and rescheduled his thinking this is just a fluke and he went down to shave himself in our cabin. His appointment came later in the week and they did not have a professional barbor doing the job at all - it was a woman that was better as messages than a razor so he ended up with razor burn and said he could have done better on his own - we paid almost $100 for an ameteaur shave! We made it through the first formal night and enjoyed our dinner as the service was AMAZING in the main dining room! Of course due to the set backs from the spa, we got in late. We noticed tickets on our bed and thought nothing of them as we had already received our excursion tickets for the next day (we did a later excursion to allow us time to hit a non-excursion location before that closed early). As we climbed into bed, we noticed the red blinking light on our phone indicating a message but no one knew which cabin we were in so we checked it to find out that they had cancelled our excursion and rebooked us into an earlier time. Of course you can't do anything at 10pm at night about it so we went to bed upset and were going to fix it in the morning. I got up and made it through breakfast which is NOT meant for introverts (no matter if you are My Time dining or not - get ready for at least 8 people per table for both breakfast and lunch in the main dining room and telling everyone where you are from and what you do each meal). When I went to the excursion desk, I told them our predicament about wanting to see another building and how it closes early which was why we opted for the later excursion. Amber's answer was, "sorry, it's going to remain cancelled at this time." She was COMPLETELY unhelpful! She did not try to help us find another excursion until after we asked and did not try to offer suggestions at all. Her only offer was to cancel for us. I was livid. My husband finally put me in a corner with a book and called the building we were trying to visit - they actually were trying to help us by offering to have a security guard let us in after hours if possible! Now THAT is customer service! The hits just kept coming and we were so excited when we finally landed back in Seattle and away from this disappointing trip. Every morning for breakfast, there was an option of a buffet in the main dining room EXCEPT the last day where you had to order off the menu and it took over 45 minutes to sit down, order and receive our food. If Royal Caribbean wants to expedite the process, then offer the buffet! We talked to others on the boat that were amazingly disappointed as well. Trainers didn't show up for stretch classes and food was overcooked. I will NEVER sail with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I must start out by saying that we are Diamond members and have cruised with RCL for years to all different destinations from the Caribbean to Europe and our most recent cruise last week to Alaska. We have noticed over the last few cruises ... Read More
I must start out by saying that we are Diamond members and have cruised with RCL for years to all different destinations from the Caribbean to Europe and our most recent cruise last week to Alaska. We have noticed over the last few cruises more penny pinching and the food going downhill, but after a two year break we decided to give it one last go. Alaska was breathtaking and one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The cruising however was the Low point of our vacation. We paid a Royal fortune to stay in the Royal Suite on board the Radiance of the Seas for our Alaskan family vacation. After so many cruises we decided to save and splurge on this suite as two of our children are heading to college and our family vacation days may be coming to an end. BIG MISTAKE. From Check-in to disembarkation on the last day, there were so many snafus, too many to mention. Where we didn't expect to be treated like royalty, we did expect to have exceptional service. We did not. Even though we booked this cruise almost a year in advance, our dining table was hidden way back in the middle of the dining room--no where near a window, not even close enough to see "out" a window. We complained. The Dining Room Manager said he would see what he could do and ended up doing nothing. We called our "concierge" who did work out another table as long as we agreed to "anytime dining" and not the first seating. All this took so long we ended up eating in the sub par Windjammer Cafe the first night. Our Suite was "dated" and definitely needed an overhaul. There were so many things NOT working it was crazy. Jacuzzi broken, Sound system for the TV's broken, light bulbs missing, plugs not working etc... Each day of our cruise brought a new worker/repair person to our cabin for something else. It was very frustrating. Bottom line- we DID not expect "Special" treatment, but we did PAY for Special Treatment and did not get it. The food was not great (our waiters the couple of nights we actually got to eat in the dining room were nice, however and the Maitre D was very sweet) and the overall quality of everything from the Casino, bar drinks, entertainment (always less then great but even more so this cruise), have all gone downhill. Simple pleasures like the towel animals they leave in the room (we have a 12-yr old) are few and far between and we had to ASK. The room steward seemed annoyed. That's right, The Royal Suite Room Steward couldn't be bothered with making more than a couple of towel animals. We usually stay in just a family suite so if you are even thinking of wasting the inflated amount of money that the royal suite costs, DON'T DO IT. The ports were great, all beautiful with lots to do. We never booked excursions thru the ship learning early on that their "cut" built in inflates the price and booking on your own is better. With sites like this and trip advisor, we have always found reliable tour companies to book, many times the same ones RCL uses just less expensive without their cut. Rum Runners Charters and Captain Chris in Juneau for fishing and whale watching was FABULOUS. We did the helicopter to the Glacier in Skagway, excellent, float plane in Ketchikan-loved it, and ziplining in Icy Straits. Our only disappointment was the ship. Never saw the Captain, saw the Cruise director once, and left messages for the hotel director Mark Rook who couldn't be bothered to return our call. Cruise to Alaska, just don't do it on RCL. There are too many competing cruise companies to remain loyal to cruise line that doesn't appreciate its repeat passengers. Just saying............ Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Experienced problems with embarkation. SeaPass cards were not ready/available. We boarded ship with a paper boarding pass. Total time to get on ship and have a SeaPass card was in excess of 1.5 hours. Crew did not know what to do with a ... Read More
Experienced problems with embarkation. SeaPass cards were not ready/available. We boarded ship with a paper boarding pass. Total time to get on ship and have a SeaPass card was in excess of 1.5 hours. Crew did not know what to do with a paper boarding pass. Had to wait on 3 different lines. Stateroom (#1578) was well equipped and all of our luggage was there when we arrived. The view from the balcony showed chipped paint, exposed metal, and rust galore. For a vessel coming out of dry dock, one would not expect to see that type of external conditions. Dining experience was the worst I have experienced on RCCL ships. Food came cold or appetizers / soups never appeared. Head Waiter was more interested in going thru his script than dealing with the poor service. When told about the cold food, his comment was "We will get in right tomorrow.". In our party, there were suppose to be two anniversary celebrations. Neither one of them were acknowledged by the dining room staff (waiter or head waiter). Space in the Windjammer Cafe is now at a premium. With over 1/2 of the original area taken away for the new restaurants, people were racing around to find tables. The Windjammer food is OK and it seems to be consistent from ship to ship as for taste and quality. On the other hand, the dining room food was very poor quality and taste. The best meal I had was the 14.95 Chops Fillet. All of the other main dishes were below Royal Caribbean standards. Salmon on a Cedar Plank had such a strong lemon/citrus taste that the Head Waiter claimed that it was due to the Cedar Plank. (huh???). Escargot was cold and rubbery. Now for the good side: Entertainment was excellent. The shows and comedians captivated the audience. The Cabin Steward was attentive and thorough. The room was clean and ready for us every evening. The excursions were excellent. And Alaska is hard to mess up. The Captains approach to the Hubbard Glacier was challenging and he and the crew were up to the task. They maneuvered around so many ice obstacles, it was amazing that we got as close to the face of the glacier as we did. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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