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Sail Date: July 2019
We went on this cruise with some friends because we wanted to take a cruise in Asia and it had to be in a very limited 3 week time frame. Cruising out of Hong Kong to Japan was very easy because it required no special visas. ... Read More
We went on this cruise with some friends because we wanted to take a cruise in Asia and it had to be in a very limited 3 week time frame. Cruising out of Hong Kong to Japan was very easy because it required no special visas. First, the cruise itself was very enjoyable. We all enjoyed the ports of call and the cruise staff. However, the Voyager itself is in a sad state. I had seen the reviews beforehand lamenting the state of the ship, and I took them with a grain of salt. Once I got on the ship, I saw for myself that she is in a state of fairly bad disrepair, especially for a Royal Ship. I know that she is going into dry dock very soon to get 'amped' but that is no reason for the company to let the ship fall into this state. On first appearance, the ship has way more rust than any other Royal ship I have seen. When you are returning to the ship from port and look up, it is very evident and looks bad. I am not sure why they havent spent more time cleaning this up The elevators were a very bad problem. 2 of the 3 forward starboard elevators were broke all 9 days. As for the central elevator usually 1 of the 4 was out at all times on both sides. Sometimes 2 elevators would be down. Additionally, even when they were generally working, there were times that they couldnt stop at certain floors because they doors wouldnt open properly. There were also problems at many bars where equipment was malfunctioning or broken, such as with soda dispensing. They also had a lot of AV and IT issues when setting things up for events in the public rooms This was all very disappointing and I expect better from Royal. I am not sure if it is just this ship, or how things run in Asia in general. Overall, the staff was great. The Cruise Director staff was wonderful, Specialty restaurant staff was great, cabin staff was great This was also my first time on a cruise where the majority of passengers did not speak English. Most of the passengers here spoke Mandarin, so many of the events were held in Mandarin. One thing I like was they added a Hot Pot as a specialty restaurant in the Windjammer at night. It was a really good idea and we went twice Overall, I enjoyed being on the Voyager, I just hope that they can fix all her problems in dry dock and they dont let her fall into disrepair again when she is done Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation ... Read More
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation in Hong Kong is not great. Kai Tak Terminal is very busy because this ship and Dream Cruises are both embarking on the same day. The queues are very long. Fortunately because we have two elderly people among us we could join the special elderly queue for check-in. Then the worst thing was the zig-zag bridge that connect the terminal with the ship. I completely fail to understand why this winding zig-zag bridge is necessary when a direct birdge (airport jet bridge) can do the same job! The ship is in good condition. It does not immediately feel like it is in need of dry dock work. (But it is going to dry dock in September.) The staterooms were not yet ready and we were told we could take lunch in the Sapphire Dining Room, so we made our way there. Lunch was buffet style and it was fine. After lunch we went to our rooms. We had a promenade view room and it was rather roomy for a cruise ship with two sofas. Our stateroom attendant was Iwayan, he was very good and he opened the connecting door between our room and my in-laws room for us as soon as we requested. The dining on the ship is okay. It is nothing to write about. Some of the food in the dining room can be found again in the Windjammer at late night snack time. The ship is consisted of a majority Hong Kong and China people and some of them seemed determined to eat back their cruise fare. Well, given the food served I think they had a hard time achieving that goal. For the ports, Chan May is really far away from Da Nang. We hired a driver for a day trip to Hoi An but he could not come into the port because our tour company is not "sponsored" by RCCL. We had to pay another driver to drive us out of the port gates to meet him. But he was not a very good driver as he could not speak much English and he took us back from Hoi An 1.5 hours earlier than agreed. The worst thing was he would not enter the gates of the port as promised. So we did not tip him and made a complaint to his company. Many RCCL "sponsored" tours came back late from their tours and the ship did not sail until 17:40, as opposed to 17:00. We were still approaching Nha Trang when we took our breakfasts. As this is a tender port we had to wait for our tender time. RCCL "sponsored" tours and group tours all went ashore before us. We only got ashore at 11am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. The entertainment on board were only so-so. One night we had an American singer who performed as many Chinese songs as English songs. He was okay but I saw a Caucasian family of four looking rather bored as we boarded the lift outside the theater. The Ice Skating show Ice Odyssey was fantastic. We watched it and then strongly recommended my mother-in-law to go. She went and she was amazed as well. We had a plain sailing back to Hong Kong after Nha Trang. Nothing to report. We also got back before the Dream Cruises ship so we got away okay. Some of the things we really couldn't get our heads around were the lack of technology on the ship. I could not believe they had to write a number on our Sea Pass cards to indicate we had watched Ice Odyssey. Also in the dining room we had a waiter come to us to write down our room number every night. I mean, aren't we in the 21st century? Can you not just scan my Sea Pass card for that? Also, the in-room television had so little choice of channels. When I was on Quantum of the Seas it could receive a TVB J2 channel but here there is only one Chinese channel which recurred the same content all through the cruise. There are loads of Chinese satellite channels in the region and that's the best they can tune their tv sets to? Once again RCCL, we are in the 21st century! I wish I had downloaded a Samsung remote control app to my phone so I can plug in my mobile hard disk to the tv and watch the movies I have in it. The service provided by all the waiters, servers and room attendants were very good. They worked really hard to keep the ship clean and the service going. I applaud them because with 3,000+ guests (many are children and elderly people) on board it was no easy thing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is ... Read More
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is accepted in the dining restaurants therefore no need to pack jacket, ties or evening gowns. Splash pools on deck are used by swimmers determined to do many lengths as possible leaving little room for those who wish to relax. Extremely difficult to find a seat in the windjammer as whole families occupy tables for hours on end, despite announcements by staff. The same applies to the casino. Disembarkation is restricted if you do not book one of the organise excursions. On the plus side the places, beaches & people in Vietnam are amazing. Unable to get into the Ice show having tried at every opportunity Overall very disappointed with this cruise. We are currently Emerald members. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am ... Read More
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am a solo, female traveler - I am also an Australian expat currently living in South Korea (so this will identify me to my fellow travelers haha) but I have also lived in other Asian countries including a year in China Embarkation. Arrived at the terminal exactly 12 noon and it was busy, not overly crowded, but lots of people moving efficiently with their luggage. Checking the luggage in was a quick, easy and painless process and I was shuffled to the check in queues. There was a distinct differentiation between western travelers and our Chinese counterparts - westerners were given a much quicker run through the check in - but we couldn't see any reason for splitting the groups other than to maybe appease the impatient westerners... So, all in all checkin took less than 45 mins and I was on board and in the dining room for lunch - as a solo traveler, this was the only meal I spent alone. In summary, embarkation was very quick and very painless, there was queuing but it moved rapidly and if you were western it was even quicker. Cabin I was in 7250 a studio balcony cabin. Note: this cabin has a much larger balcony then others due to the way the ship is shaped... so it was wonderful to have so much room. The cabin itself was small but that's what I expected - there were enough cupboards and drawers and a stool instead of a chair - plenty of mirrors and a decent enough bar fridge. The bathroom was the same size as other rooms. As a solo I cannot fault the room, the space was adequate - and importantly I could put empty cases under the bed. I was very happy with this cabin and in the same circumstances would choose it again. Dining I chose to eat mainly in the main dining room, I found the service to be excellent and the quality of food (in most cases) very good. I had no problem with the portion sizes and the temperature was always appropriate. On one day I didn't like the options but that was my palate and my friends on the other hand had no problem with their choices - so I guess it is a personal decision whether you like the food or not. I also ate at Chops Grille and that was a wonderful choice. The meal was excellent and I couldn't fault the service. I also dined in Teppanyaki - there was a hiccup with my reservation that was superbly dealt with by the Maitre D (Leslie) and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome - (this hiccup was the ONLY thing on the cruise that wasn't perfect - but the resolution exceded my expectations). The meal at Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of the cruise. It has to be seen to be believed - a great meal that I will remember for a very long time. I never ate in Windjammers - whenever I was in the vicinity it was always super busy and tables were hard to come by, but on the other hand, the Cafe 270 was almost empty as were the seats and tables - this became a very popular hiding spot to grab a snack or drink away from the crowds (and the food served was very nice too) I had a room service breakfast once and it was adequate - I was given exactly what I asked for... Formal nights are not received by the guests like you may have experienced elsewhere - very few people out of the 5100 dressed up for dinner - these were not published by RCI before the cruise so it is possible that many first time cruisers did not know what to expect. Drinks I was fortunate to get a free deluxe drinks package when I booked so that was a real bonus. I loved the Bionic Bar and would often use it to just grab a juice and soda mixed any time during the day. As I didn't pay for a drink I can't comment on prices and as I didn't really drink that much alcohol, I can't complain about the drinks at all. I also don't drink coffee so didn't sample any of those either. Entertainment and Activities I have to admit when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed - very few traditional cruise activities like trivia (it was there though but no where near what I am used to) and no bingo. I love to read on board so I packed books. However, I didn't even finish one book and I was never bored, I don't exactly know what I was doing but I managed to keep busy and have an amazing time during the cruise days. The shore excursions were also a little light on... In Osaka you could have paid $80 to go to the castle and Dotonbori Street on the tour bus - however we walked to the local metro, bought a day ticket with ease and did exactly the same destinations for $8 (we messed up on the way back and overshot the station so needed to catch a taxi back to the ship - but that was our fault). Kobe offered a shuttle bus to the main shopping area and there were several places that offered Kobe beef - which was a main reason for people wanting to visit . However when docked at Yokahama it was an hour from Tokyo so I had to catch the shore independent tour just to get to the city centre. But worth it at $69. The evening entertainment was also exceptional - I loved the Ukrainian acrobats Gold Art Duo and The SIlk Road was absolutely amazing. The flamenco guitar guy was extremely talented as were the Beatles Tribute band (I can't mention the moving piano and player as he said he smuggled himself on board - but he was awesome too). Service CAN NOT FAULT THE SERVICE From the Financial Controller to the Maitre D to the Head Waiters to the Room Attendants and Waiters - I was made to feel like I was the only one who mattered, nothing was ever too much trouble and they did everything with grace and style. I would come back just for the quality of service I experienced. Overall I loved this trip. It wasn't what I expected but it was better. I made so many friends (and as a solo traveler that is important) and had such a fun time. I would not hesitate to book again - due to my personal circumstances I couldn't book again on board but I am already looking at January dates for a replay. Well done Spectrum of the Seas and well done Royal Caribbean. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride ... Read More
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride were chargeable n why should we pay so much n get charged for all these rides . Guest services : poor , advised that we don’t need arrival card upon arrival to shanghai ( she claimed she checked with immigration . Very crowded n rowdy especially eating area ,sailing in this region . Unhygienic practices by passenger . Spitting n hand handling of fruits RCL must have also cut budget on fruits selection . Apple and grapes were the lowest quality selected , resulting in lot of wastage . Only plus point of this ship : NEW I will still cruise but not in this region anymore . Guess is an eye opener for me Note : wonder why the gym was given such a mini area Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
If Royal Caribbean cared about their passengers, they would've made it clear that this cruise if for Mandarin speaking guests ONLY. AND with children 5 and younger. This was the least relaxing and enjoyable vacation that ... Read More
If Royal Caribbean cared about their passengers, they would've made it clear that this cruise if for Mandarin speaking guests ONLY. AND with children 5 and younger. This was the least relaxing and enjoyable vacation that I've ever had. All activities (aside from shows) were in Mandarin. All announcements would preface "This announcement is for Mandarin speaking guests only" - can you imagine how does it feel to all other passengers??? My daughter could not participate in any activity as everything costs arm-and-a-leg (I would've expected for some free activities, considering how much we paid for the cruise), nor that she could participate in teen-club, as they were all in Mandarin. This was a cruise that I managed to use pool once! it was completely filled with kids in their life jackets. There was no place to stand. Food in a dining hall was not good. We ended up either just ordering only appetizers or going to the Buffet instead,. I do have to say that English-speaking crew tried to go out of their way to make us a bit more comfortable, and I am very grateful for that!!! But in overall - I do NOT recommend this trip to anyone who does not speak Mandarin, as you would feel incredibly uncomfortable (kids literally would point fingers at us!) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Booked this cruise , our first , because of the destinations. On boarding yes you can see it is an older ship and needs it’s upgrade due September/ October but in no way is it a rust bucket. Let’s be realistic the price paid ... Read More
Booked this cruise , our first , because of the destinations. On boarding yes you can see it is an older ship and needs it’s upgrade due September/ October but in no way is it a rust bucket. Let’s be realistic the price paid reflects the condition. Pay top $ and you will get all the razzmatazz some people seem to expect. Our Junior suite reminded me of my parents caravan from the 70s , every door you opened provided space for storage. The suite 1634 was spacious and comfortable. We were looked after very well by Suma our cabin attendant. Windjammer - not for me but perfectly adequate. We had a stay onboard day at one port and as the ship was nearly empty we enjoyed a nice relaxed lunch. The coffee shop - if late for breakfast as we often woke late( the only time in years I have slept 8 hrs solid) we came here . It was good. As was lunch, snacks and coffees any time you wanted. Freshly prepared and tasty. Dining room where we sometimes had “posh breakfast” best omelet ever. Nice surroundings , always serviced with a smile and good grace. Diner , we chose my time dining but it works better if you book a time , for us 8.15pm , same table for two every night waited on by Michael who is excellent and always added that personal touch by remembering our names from day one onwards. Food was good, sometimes better than others but beautifully presented . Trips - because of the destinations sometimes the travel was quite long to get to the designated city/ excursion point. Don’t complain do your research first. You can’t stick a port in the middle of land. When there embrace the culture and sights. WiFi- iffy at times but there again be realistic , you can’t just magic up WiFi in remote areas. Vietnam being the worst but would that not be expected as at times more remote. Crew- fantastic. Always smiling , extremely curtious and good at their jobs. Entertainment - great shows. Ice skating was excellent. Hard enough to skate on a still rink never mind one that is rocking on sea. Mr and Mrs a total hoot. Well done to the 3 couples who took part , great entertainment. Fellow Travellers- we met up with the most lovely people. By the end of the nine days we had made good friendships. However not everyone is the same and the moaners of the world will always moan. Rude people who barge in and basically think they come first will always be rude. Look around at some of the conditions in the countries you have visited and appreciate what you have. 3500 passengers will provide all sorts. To sum up - we loved our cruise. Our first but not our last. Looked after and entertained by a great crew who all work very very hard. I hope this has given a more rounded review than some after all it is not RC fault if passengers are smelly etc as in other reviews. Cheaper cruise because older ship but it gave us 9 days of a smashing holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
First let's talk about the ship: It's old and tired and doing a make over in September of 2019. Boy did RCCL wait longer than it should!. It's not only dated (a peachy pink in many areas. Why RCCL uses trendy colors ... Read More
First let's talk about the ship: It's old and tired and doing a make over in September of 2019. Boy did RCCL wait longer than it should!. It's not only dated (a peachy pink in many areas. Why RCCL uses trendy colors instead of neutrals that will not get so tired so fast is beyond me), but certain areas (like the ladies bathroom by Giovanni's) are falling apart. The layout of the ship is done well and the activities are plentiful. Note: US residents do not need to arrange their own Visas. The ship does the Vietnam one for $6 each and the Thailand one is also arranged and provided (not really a Visa, but some kind of travel card). I believe it is the same for the UK, but do check. We stayed in a suite and bought the unlimited dining package, so we never ate at the regular restaurant (except day 1 at the windjammer, which was just OK). Frankly, on other RCCL ships we have been disappointed with the regular restaurants so we avoided that and just did the specialty restaurants instead. For breakfast, Giovanni's is where suite guests eat and for days at sea lunches, specialty restaurants are included in the dining package. My biggest complaint is that the menu stays stagnant in the specialty restaurants. It would be great, especially on cruises over 7 days, if they would have an A and B menu (switching 1/2 way through). I think they would have more action in them that way too. Giovanni's: Great service and good food, family style. The bad: They had no fresh (or even seemingly dry) basil, as it "turned black" days before the sailing ended. As an Italian, I can say this is really bad. They should have at least had dried basil. The tomato sauce would have been far better with traditional basil added and how the chef allowed the sailing without it is beyond me. I had the cannoli once and it was so bad, I did not try again, as the shell was soggy. The lasagna was loaded with a heap of ground beef, so much it overpowered the dish. The caprese salad was bland (lack of basil and low quality tomatoes were to blame). The good: The lamb chops, ceasar and chicken were favorites. Chops: Great service and good food. The Bad: The filet has a weird flavor. I suspected Mexican beef (slightly gamely), but they said no. Giovanni's Filet has the same flavor. The Rib Eye was amazing. Chicken also excellent. Izumi: Great service and good food. The hot stone filet was amazing.The mochi was fantastic, but they ran out of 1/2 of the flavors by the time the cruise was 1/2 over. Poor planing on the chef's part. Johnny Rockets: Great burgers, fries and shakes; however, I wish they had asked how I want it prepared, as it was a bit overcooked for my liking. The service was terribly slow. Room service: Did a good job except for one day, where they screwed up almost everything, but they made it right and sent us chocolate covered strawberries as an I'm sorry that evening. Spa: Good, typical sales game. We had one therapist for a deep tissue that could not go deep at all, even with a lot of direction. Makes me think they do not have top trailed therapists, which is unexcusable based on what they charge. They gave a discount and switched therapists for our other services. We use the spa a lot on cruises, so we get to know them pretty well. I give this one a B. Shows: We saw a few of the shows. They were all pretty good. Ports: On board in Singapore: Truly a highlight. We went in 2 days early and regretted we did not have more time. Having 3-5 days would be perfect. The Malay, Little India, China town, the Civic district (go at both night and day, light show each night) and Gardens by the Bay (also night light show that is free) were all highlights. We hired a private guide (tours by locals) for a 1/2 day tour and that was perfect. We added a drive/air conditioned van, which allowed us to see everything in the 1/2 day and not be as hot. Unbelievable restaurants. Bangkok, Thailand (overnight): Spectacular! This is 2-3 hours from port, so we got a hotel room (Asanti Riverside, which was amazing). Arrival time was 11 am (but you will not get off of the ship until between 11:30-noon, as it was very slow getting cleared and always is), this was a real bummer and I have no idea why RCCL is so short sighted on this. It should also be on a Saturday and at 6am (or Friday if you have 2 days like we did) so you can see the best floating market (the one available during the week is either in Pattaya (not real, more of a tourist trap) or way out of the way and 3 star at best). We hired a guide who provided a driver (tours by locals) for both days and it was worth every penny. So much to see and it is very hot so an air conditioned van really helped. We also saw way more than we could otherwise with a local. We saw the Grand Palace, Golden Buddah, Emerald Buddah, Reclining Buddah, Canal Ride and some other temples/shrines. Ho Chi Min City (Saigon): Amazing day! 1.5 hours from port: We hired Saigon Adventures and did a food tour with city highlights. They picked us up in a van and scooters met us in Saigon. A local driver was assigned each in our group and off we went. It was our best day and a blast. The food was amazing. The sites were good, the main tour guide was wonderful and our drivers made it stress free and fun (I would not want to drive one of those myself in the city, as it is really crazy). They dealt with all of our food issues and we genuinely enjoyed every food stop (Soup, coffee, baguette sandwiches, and BBQ pork). Nha Trang: beach city port, quick to get to. The town itself is touristy and there is a decent beach so you could stay local and just use a taxi to get where you want to go. We hired Nhatrangadventures for a jeep countryside with city highlights tour (5-6 hours). They picked us up outside of the port (a quick 5 minute walk). We got to see the countryside and how they really lived, making rice patties and traditional hats and also saw the city highlights. It was a great time and unique view of the Vietnamese and the lunch provide was amazing.. Hue: a bit more than an hour outside of the port AND you have to take a tender, so allow for an hour to get off of the ship (30 minutes if you are one of the first and all goes perfectly). We hired stopandgocafetours for a tour of the old city and highlights with a private van. My only complaint is that the owner emailed me the day prior to confirm. I had fully paid for the tour and it was a day at sea so we had no service and got a later start since he didn't hear from me until we were at port. The guide did a wonderful job. It was a sweltering hot day, so the van was a godsend between sites. We saw the lost city of Hue. Hue itself was the most pretty of the Vietnamese cites we saw and is a not to miss place. They also took us to a very nice lunch and the food was wonderful. We enjoyed the day less only because of the heat, as that was a real challenge for all of us. Hong Kong: Close to port. We hired a private guide for a 1/2 day tour (toursbylocals). We saw Victoria's Peak, the markets and different areas of Hong Kong. It's a big city and was nice, but not anything amazing. We stayed one night at the Marriott by the airport, which is a wonderful property. They have an 10 minute shuttle to the small city nearby (and and 8 minute shuttle every 30 minutes to the airport). We took it to the cable car and went to the giant buddah. This was a real highlight for us. The cable car ride provided amazing views,the giant buddah was beautiful and there is the very unique city that was part of it with amazing shopping and things to do. Very much recommend!!! Embarkation: not so good. They kept my passport cover and I had to run back to get it and the initial keys did not work and were not the gold suite keys, which you need to use the suite services. The second copy worked, but were also not golden. 3rd time was a charm. Concierge fixed it all for us and arranged dining times and helped with what we needed. Debarkation: smooth and easy. We left at 8:30 so the crowds were gone. Big Tip: Arrange a driver ahead of time or a private tour guide. The taxi line took 2 hours and was insane. There are no signs to let you know you do not have to stand in the line unless you need a taxi, so make a note. Customs was a breeze and done by the ship ahead of time. Never been happier to have a private tour as I was that morning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Well all my worries were for nothing, this was a great cruise. We left from Singapore with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nga Trang, Da Nang/Huey and ending in Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth, everyone went straight to the ... Read More
Well all my worries were for nothing, this was a great cruise. We left from Singapore with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nga Trang, Da Nang/Huey and ending in Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth, everyone went straight to the buffet of course, and then our cabins were available from 1.30. My friend and I had each packed a couple of bottles of wine in our luggage. Her luggage arrived promptly, but mine never showed so I guessed it would be at the “naughty room”, which it was. They had a note on it saying 2 bottles (which you are allowed) and didn’t seem to want me to open the bottles to check it was wine so I’m not sure what the point was, or why my friend’s luggage got through. I just had an internal cabin with a “virtual balcony” so you could see what was happening outside. Nice in theory, it worked most of the time but maybe because of salt build up on the camera plus the Perspex covering the screen, it was a very hazy picture and you couldn’t tell if it was sunny or cloudy outside, it was like an old black & white TV. The cabin was small and the shower was tiny but I expected that as I had booked the cheapest and I spend very little time in the cabin so it was fine. The ship in general was showing its age and on occasion we would get a little drip of water from the ceiling in public areas, but as we know it goes into dry dock in September. It was amusing more than anything, and at least the water was coming from above, rather than a leak from below lol. The atrium area and Sapphire dining room are quite spectacular – really beautiful. One of my concerns was the reports of hordes of pushy, rude Asian customers. In fact the majority of passengers were from the US, also English, Spanish, Australians and a few of us New Zealanders. There were certainly a few Asian passengers but I never saw any rudeness or pushiness from them, they were just as polite as any other group. We were pleasantly surprised at the politeness of the photographers, usually they are very insistent on taking your photos which we hate, but these ones were respectful. Also instead of having to look through rows of photos of other people, the photos were able to be accessed from a computer using your room number. Dining – we mostly ate in the Sapphire dining room for the late seating. Our waiters were great and the food was very good. Just once my meal was a bit lukewarm but otherwise was always hot. The curries were great. I used the Windjammer buffet for breakfast because I have little patience in the morning and it is easier to serve myself when I want it. It was certainly busy but not too bad. We had one lunch in the buffet and it was fine but we much preferred the main dining room if it was open. There were two formal nights. Sadly the baked Alaska parade seems to have disappeared completely but the wait staff did line up on the staircases and sing to us. The midnight buffet with all the carved ice etc also seems to have disappeared (now I’m showing my age). Entertainment – The ice show was amazing, and we went to the other shows almost every night. All the shows were great, even the comedian which I didn’t think I would like. The male dancers in particular were fabulous. We didn’t go to the magician as none of us are keen on magicians. I’ve travelled on MSC, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian & P&O Australia and this cruise was as good as any I have been on, and better than some. Bangkok – this was a 2 hour bus trip from the port. Bear in mind we are two middle aged ladies so my review is from our perspective only. We took the Bangkok on your own excursion. Our guide was Aey and he was very witty and informative and we really enjoyed the bus trip because of him. As for Bangkok, sorry but we hated it. We got dropped at a shopping mall and ventured out once, but the heat and traffic drove us back inside and we spent much of the time (6 long hours) in a bar lol. Also note the bars are not allowed to serve alcohol between 2 and 5pm so it was a long, thirsty wait. This probably only applies to within the mall I am guessing. So it was our own fault that we didn’t give Bangkok more of a fair go, but it was just a bit overwhelming for us. We got back to the ship about 10pm so the buffet was closed but the Café Promenade is open 24 hours so we had lovely pizza there for tea. Saigon – Because we were so useless at seeing Bangkok we changed our excursion from Saigon on your own to the Laquerware factory and market tour. I am not a shopper but my friend had been told the Ben Tahn Market is amazing with cheap (fake) handbags. Again our guide was great and we saw a couple of sights. The lacquerware factory was ok but as I say I’m not a shopper…. At last we get to the market and my friend had encouraged the guide to give us 2 whole hours there. We knew that was a mistake within 10 minutes! I have never been so hassled by vendors in my life (and I have been to Egypt). The place was in a huge warehouse with no air conditioning so it was incredibly hot, the food court area stunk of something dead, and the vendors would physically grab you and try to stop you leaving. It was about the worst place I have been in my life. In the end I had to stand by the door for an hour waiting for the bus so I could breathe. My friend hated it too, but had in her mind that she had to get a handbag. She did buy one but discovered when she got back that the one given to her (pre wrapped) was faulty and was not the one she had examined on display. Otherwise, we thought Saigon was much nicer than Bangkok, it just had more character (and a big problem with litter). Nga Trang – At last a lovely beach! We got a taxi for $US10 from the port to the beach/town area as again the heat was incredible. Unfortunately although this is a tourist area, they did not speak much English at all, so the driver seemed determined he was going to take us to the “centre” even though we kept telling him we were happy to stop here! The “centre” turned out to be a shopping mall. Anyway we were still by the beach and enjoyed a paddle. Then we found a bar on the beach with a nice breeze blowing through. It should have been perfect and we ordered drinks and lunch. Well it was a bit like an episode of Fawlty Towers, I won’t go on but the service was the worst ever and nobody seemed to speak any English at all despite it being a tourist town. There was a very long queue in the heat to get back on the tenders but the staff brought us iced water which was nice. Danang/Huey – Here we took the Hoi An on your own excursion. This was the highlight of the trip. It is an ancient town which has been kept as it was and is a UNESCO sight. The bus had to park a long distance away as they are not allowed close between 11 and 1pm. So the guide informed us we had to walk 1km to the town (again the heat and humidity was incredible). Despite the heat I found the walk interesting as we walked down a lane with houses on either side and you could see how the local people really live, rice paddies in their back yard etc. The town was beautiful, there is a river through the middle and there were ancient houses you can visit. Quite fascinating. I could have spent a lot longer there if it weren’t for the heat. It did stink of septic tanks, I guess the ancient sewer system struggles with all the tourists. Anyway Hoi An is a must do I think. Hong Kong – We disembarked in Hong Kong and took our own bags off the ship as we were flying out at 12.30 so needed to get to the airport quickly. The queue for taxis was nearly 1 hour with the sweat dripping off us. We also had the issue of no HK dollars and hoped to find a taxi that would take credit cards. Long story short, no it seems hardly any taxis take cards but fortunately we had a lovely taxi driver who agreed to take US dollars and we gave him a little extra for his trouble. To sum up, the cruise itself was great, no complaints there except at times the music in public areas was too loud. The staff were, without exception, great. The locals in each port were very kind and polite (except those ghastly women at the market and the hopeless staff at the bar in Nga Trang). The heat was oppressive and made everything more difficult. I would happily cruise on this ship again but have decided Asia is not somewhere I would go again (except Singapore which I like), I know many people love it so don’t let that put you off going. I am glad I went to see for myself. I will put a note in the RCL forum in case anyone has any questions I might be able to answer. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed on RCI many times, but this was our first time on a Voyager-class ship. We took this cruise with trepidation because of the numerous negative reviews here about the ship and its clientele, but it was the only extended SE ... Read More
We have sailed on RCI many times, but this was our first time on a Voyager-class ship. We took this cruise with trepidation because of the numerous negative reviews here about the ship and its clientele, but it was the only extended SE Asia area cruise that we could take this year. Suffice it to say that the ship was in decent, although not perfect condition, we had no issues with anyone on board, and we had a great cruise. 1. Don't take this cruise without spending time in Singapore--it really is unique. 2. Embarkation, debarkation and port stops were all relatively quick and painless, except for the one tender port where there was a very long line in the hot sun to get back on the ship. 3. Lots of power strips and other contraband were confiscated from luggage upon embarkation and kept in the bottom deck Naughty Room during the cruise. 4. We had a full (Grand) suite for the first time on RCI. We liked the extra space, the big bathroom and balcony, and the associated perks (especially the line-skipping at various times, the great Concierges who were always helping us when needed, the reserved ice show and other entertainment seating and the bridge visit). 5. The vast majority onboard appeared to be Brits, Aussies, and US, with a smattering of Spanish and Portuguese speakers, and maybe 20% Chinese and other Asians. The MDR had its usual menus (but see below) and the entertainment was almost entirely presented in English (and was generally quite good). We were told that the immediately prior shorter cruise was totally different by some B2Bers--most of the pax were Asians, and the ship's food and entertainment had been shifted accordingly. 6. Michelle, the Cruise Director, was constantly seen everywhere on the ship and did a nice job along with Kitty, the Activities Manager. 7. We chose the new Unlimited Dining Plan, which we thought was a great deal. It will be very difficult to go back to eating in the main dining room (we saw the latter's menus because we were in a suite and could have ordered off its daily menu for room service, but we never did except once for breakfast). We never ate at the MDR and only once (upon embarkation) at the Windjammer buffet and didn't miss them. 8. The ship needs its upcoming extended drydock. The elevators were not always reliable and there were worn and rust spots on our balcony and around the ship, but everything seemed to be functioning. None of that wear and tear significantly affected our cruise. 9. Three of the four port stops required one to two and a half hour land trips to get to most places you'd want to see. If that's a problem for you, don't take this cruise. One stop that worked out very well for us was taking the Bangkok On Your Own RCI overnight bus trip from the Laem Chabang port to Bangkok. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Don't believe the bad reviews. U read them and was very concerned. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Boat was lovely - yes a little old but very clean and we'll maintained. Lifeguards on all pools. Food was great ... Read More
Don't believe the bad reviews. U read them and was very concerned. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Boat was lovely - yes a little old but very clean and we'll maintained. Lifeguards on all pools. Food was great in the main dining room and in the Windjammer buffet restaurant. Staff were great - our room attendant was fantastic and they are a great source of info for first time cruisers. Things that weren't as great - communication for boarding and final checking off the boat. We were a little confused. On boarding go to the Windjammer, get yourself lunch room check in is 1.30ish. Seating is hard to get at the Windjammer but queues weren't as bad as I had read. Don't take power boards - they hold your suitcase and it adds extra drama. Lifts waiting time is massive so if you don't have a disability take the stairs or you'll waste lots of time. The drinks package thing was interesting. We took the Sosa package which did work out cost effective cause we got great coffees at the promenade cafe and lots of soft drinks by the pool. It also meant a very small bill at the end. Definitely a great cruise! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor entertainment and option cruise and we didn't have to fly around the world for this experience. My family planned this trip all year and flew from the US to China for this cruise. I always cruise Norwegian and Disney and heard amazing things about Royal Caribbean. I have never left a bad review in my life, but this was a horrible shame and an experience that I can't get back for my family. The worst part was that my family spent over $400 on an excursion "Kyoto On Your Own." We were dropped off at the Kyoto Station (insanely huge) and we couldn't find the bus returning from our day. We were supposed to be back at 2:30pm. At 2:09pm, went to the police station at Kyoto Station when we couldn't locate the bus. We found three other English-speaking families that couldn't find their buses! We all stuck together and called Royal Caribbean. We were told that our tour would be contacted and would come to get us. We were told that we wouldn't be left behind. We called three or four more times checking in over the next two hours! The bus never was contacted or came to get us. Other families on the bus were worried about us and told us that the tour was told to LEAVE WITHOUT US!!!!! We didn't even have our passports as Royal Caribbean took them from us when we first boarded and held them until the last day. This has never been our experience on an international cruise. We were in a country with our two kids and no passports! Shame on them for lying to us and telling us they would get us. After two hours of waiting, someone holding a Royal Caribbean sign came to meet our family and the other two families and didn't bring transportation!!!! They told us we had to take the public train about two hour to our ship and pay ourselves (over $100 more!) Also, we had 15 minutes to catch the last train to the ship!!! This was unprofessional and cruel. Shame on them. A bunch of families met and talked to the excursion department on the cruise ship. Even families who found the buses had struggles and frustration as there was POOR INFORMATION given for us to find the buses and NO PHONE NUMBER given to us for emergencies. We were told by the cruise staff that they would contact us and leave a message at our stateroom. No surprises that they still haven't contacted us. This was a horrible and scary situation and handled so poorly by this company. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a ... Read More
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a brand we knew well. Boy were we wrong! These ships should be branded for the Chinese market and western cruisers should be notified that certain things are unavailable on these cruises. We had absolutely zero problem with the cultural nuances, this is partly why we chose this cruise, but when things like the Solarium are unavailable to adults and only reserved for suite guests I have a problem... there was absolutely no escaping little kids anywhere on the ship. Of course an inquiry to officers on the ship basically amounted to a “too bad it was buried somewhere in the fine print.” Also normal food and beverage was unavailable. Things like an Aperol, a very basic beverage was nowhere to be found and met a “sorry the market doesn’t support it” even though many others were requesting the same... the ports were all great even though there were basically zero excursions offered by RCCL. Total joke. What saved the cruise from being a complete disaster was the service from the line level staff; it was the best we’ve ever received on a RCCL cruise. Overall condition and cleanliness of the ship - No issue here whatsoever. The ship actually felt cleaner and better maintained than the newer Anthem of the Seas despite being an older ship! I can't comment on the Solarium because we weren't allowed in as previously stated. Stateroom - perfect!!! Service - Absolutely spectacular from the line-level staff. We were greeted by absolutely everyone! We have never received friendlier service from any ship on any line. The officer staff was absolutely not present anywhere on the ship. The one leader who was wonderful was Bing in the main dining rooms. She deserves a huge shout-out! Bartenders, servers and our stateroom attendant were absolutely fantastic and salvaged this cruise for us. Food Quality - poor. There were very, very few western selections on the main dining room menus and were prepared with zero imagination. Onion soup was watery, steaks were overcooked and cold, etc. One day we were four minutes late for lunch in the main dining room and the maitre d' would't let us in. Elevators were slow and packed and the clocks on the ship were wrong but that didn't seem to matter. At this point the only option was the Windjammer (not an option - see other reviews of this ship and you'll know why) or options with a surcharge. Poor, poor, poor... Bars - hard to find one that was open at times and liquor selections were completely unacceptable. They basically cleared the shelves because "the Chinese market doesn't drink." The robot bar was an option but I wonder how the robots spend the automatically assessed gratuity? Ports and Shore Excursions - We did our own thing because there were basically no shore excursions offered. I think just one in each port. We did do the disembarkation excursion to the Great Wall and it was awesome! Great tour guide who made the long bus ride enjoyable. As I mentioned previously we had absolutely no issue with all the cultural nuances associated with this cruise. We expected it and actually learned a bit of Mandarin along the way. We engaged with the other passengers whenever possible and truly enjoyed learning more about this wonderful culture. Our issue is with RCCL and their dismissive attitude about the lack of Solarium access and the bars and restaurants. Basically told us "too bad it was in the fine print." Will never again sail with RCCL and just cancelled a Celebrity Summit cruise we were booked on in February, 2020. It was that bad... Read Less
40 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to ... Read More
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to WINDJAMMER after checking in. As we had priority boarding, it was very empty then so we got our food and table within 10 minutes. The carpeted floor was littered with dirt and scraps of food from the previous voyage. The food was horrible and the Char Siew(Cantonese toasted meat) was unprofessionally bathed in ketchup, contrary to the food award certificates that were proudly hung in dusty photo frames outside the buffet style restaurant. When we finished our food, windjammer was already full to the brim and there were people pushing and shoving. People were reserving tables with tissue paper packets and loud and disgusting music was being blasted through the PA system. Meanwhile, my father was having a splitting headache and my mother was complaining. We quickly exited Windjammer to go to our staterooms. However, our rooms were not ready till 1.30 p.m. so we had to wait 45 minutes. We then decided to walk around the ship. The pool was small like the regular ones you have in a backyard and full of people and the place was rusty and old, especially signboards. The elevators smelt like rotten eggs and the buttons were worn and polished by years of use. The library was appalling. There were little books, and the remaining books were arranged in a disorderly manner. The computers had unauthentic copies of Windows on them and had no ethernet or wireless connection, hence rendering them unusable. Games were all in a mess and had lost parts. Our rooms were soon ready. Doors to the corridors were opened. We went to our rooms, the junior suites which were very far. Entering it with our Sea pass, the rustic cabin of 1998 greeted me. The ceiling panels were falling out and dents were covered with stickers. Carpet was dirty as well. The toilet had a cheap and lousy shower head. The soap they provided was watery and did little to cleanse my body. There was no toothbrush provided and drainage pipes for the sink were corroded, exposed and leaks patched with rubber seals. The hair dryer was very unsafe as it spewed out the smell of burnt plastic every time I turned it on. The balcony had rust on the ceiling due to leaks. Lack of Universal Serial Bus ports for charging electronic devices and instead we were give two American ports. We did not bring travel adapters and since our charging adapters were UK ones, we were forced to buy overpriced travel adapters found in the store in deck 5. Speaking of the promenade deck, the indoor cabins without sea view had windows along there. The loud and annoying singing and dancing at night would disturb the residents from sleeping, hence the lights to their rooms on and their bloodshot eyes staring out from the glass windows. Crowds of people were dancing to the beat of the music and the promenade cafe full to the brim. The bar and lounge were empty as people who could not stand the music(like my parents) were repelled from the promenade. The lobbies of 8 lifts on each side of the promenade are full 24/7 either because people are going back to the rooms as they cannot find a table to dine or because they are escaping from the horrible 80s music blasted in the promenade. As we squeezed into the lift, a baby started crying and a boy watched cartoons on his phone. The smell of cheap perfume and perspiration fills the air as I struggle to breathe. The lift stops at almost every floor, once in a while someone stepping on my foot or someone wanting to get in but unable to. After an eternity the lift reaches the deck our staterooms are on. That is all I have to complain about. Now, about the pros. Despite the poor leadership in the team, on the bright side, the captain knows how to pilot the cruise properly, which is something we must be thankful for. The staff, especially the room keepers are polite, greeting us every time we see each other. Although we didn’t get to swim, the Phuket shore excursion and ice odyssey skating show were indeed entertaining. Despite internet connection speeds being slow, there was still internet. The beds were comfy and I did not suffer from sleepless nights. The rustic ship, despite its worn and torn look, is nostalgic and definitely brings back memories from the 90’s. Room service was good and fast. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they ... Read More
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they have crew who dont want to be there. Evening meal at the main restaurant was very poor (food and service ) when there where formal night's passengers where let in with shorts. Dress code zero. There are no laundry rooms , irons will be confiscated. . The cabin we had was beautiful and quite large , entertainment very good , if you want internet which we didn't expect to pay roughly 22 dollars a day . We paid a lot of money for this cruise and expected that little more . Me personally and spoke to others will give royal Caribbean shipsca miss Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, you need to be aware that the ship has several design and interior differences than the normal Royal Caribbean ship. First, this ship has an all-suite complex, which includes private swimming pool, restaurants, elevators, and a balcony. The area houses the “Golden Suites”. The ship has signage in Mandarin, as well as English. There are new restaurants such as Hot Pot, and Szechuan Red. The casino, is redesigned, and has some exclusive rooms dedicated for the High Rollers. Retail space on the ship, is dedicated to the market it is serving, with high-end designer products, and a Japanese Pharmacy for products that are not easily obtained in China. The Golden Suite complex has the cluster of suites at the front of the ship, in which you need a key card to enter the area. Within this area, you have the Golden Dining room and lounge, the silver dining and lounge (which the lounge area replaces the diamond lounge for those that are at that level). The Solarium is no longer a part of the general ship, but only for the Golden area. A special balcony area is on top of the solarium, and a private shopping/consulting area is in the complex. Overall, the area was designed for the high revenue staterooms and so the design of these areas, as well as the size was made to be exclusive. Although I thought the area was nice, I would not want to pay the premium price they are asking for it. Sichuan Red was a Chinese themed restaurant and had a very good menu. It is a la carte. Note this is a very spicy menu, and if you do not like spice, than I would not recommend it. You can ask them to cut down on the spice, but it takes away from the flavor of the style restaurant this is. Personally, I loved it. Teppanyaki is a Japanese restaurant (separate from Izumi) that was fun and entertaining. I think the upcharge price is too much considering the prices of local restaurants. If you use it in a package, than the cost would be lower, and worth it. Hot Pot is unique that you basically make your own food in a hot pot of soup broth. It was good, and had a huge selection of meat and seafood, plus a full salad bar, and veggies to cook with it. Overall, it was fun. The coffee and Tea shop, is in the space normally reserved for a pub. I preferred the pub, but considering the market this ship is in, I think this was a good choice. However, I think the selection of Teas should be increased. For entertainment, I was on the final leg of the trip to China. The new production shows were extremely high tech and entertaining. The headliners will be different now once it begins the regular sailings in China. The same goes for the lounge singers and bands. They should be geared to the Chinese market so I cannot really say what it will be like. Shopping is not my thing, and I really do not care the kind of stores they have. My only complaint was that the logo store lacked the variety of products. Sports included the normal activities with Ifly, bumper cars, flow rider, North Star, arcade, and rock climbing. They also had some archery, and fencing activities. I visited the gym, that gets so many complaints, and I never really saw it crowded. It is not a revenue producing area, and as far as I can tell, it is about the right size. I was satisfied with it. Overall, the ship was great. The seven specialty restaurants were all good, and the other free eating areas were good, with my favorite breakfast nook being the 270 café. Before selecting this ship, make sure you understand that the ship is different, and will have food, and entertainment that you are not accustomed to, if you are a regular Royal Caribbean Cruiser. That is what makes this ship so great. It is different, and will be sailing to exciting ports that most people would never even think of going to. I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families travelling with children and teens as there are lots of activities that would appeal, like the rock climbing wall wave pool etc. We did a land package of China before the cruise, so possibly were a bit past finding Chinese foods exciting. The food in the whole was not great, and was seldom hot enough. I chose from the classic menu a couple of times be found that more to my taste, but found it was still not very good, or hot. The Windjammer was always jammed and not always hygienic with that many people, to my way of thinking anyway. We had done one other RCI cruise that was in Explorer and that was a little better. But this will be our last cruise with this company. I think we are better suited to the smaller ships. The majority of Australian/NZ passengers were touting it as their worst cruise on record, so I don’t think it was only us. We have cruised on Celebrity, NCL, and Carnival (which I previously rated the worst) now I am deciding which is the worst! Celebrity and NCL are a lot better in my opinion. Possibly having over 4000 Chinese passengers on one ship was part of the problem, the noise (even in the elevators) was too much, plus the long queues for dining rooms horrendous. The stateroom was good. We had a balcony room and there was heaps of drawer and storage space. Bathroom was small but similar to others in past cruises, The crew and staff were all friendly and helpful, but still will not encourage us to try again with RCI. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, ... Read More
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, and to enjoy the convenience of taking a cruise out of the city I live in for the first time ever (growing up in the north-eastern US, I always had to fly somewhere in order to board a ship). Although it was challenging to research the cruise ahead of time given it was a brand new ship, I had come across this wording on multiple websites: “Please note that this cruise is focusing on the Asian market and the service, on-board activities as well as the entertainment on-board will be adapted accordingly.” It made me a bit nervous, but figured it was worth a shot, and worst case scenario, my girlfriend and I spend our sea days relaxing by the pool and enjoying the time away from work. On embarkation day, we jumped in a taxi from our condo and were at the port in 20 minutes. It was a unique experience for me, but such a relief to not have to worry about flights, possible delays, pre-cruise hotels, Ubers, etc. We had printed our luggage tags in advance and immediately handed our suitcases over curb side. The security line was short, and once through, we were immediately at a check-in desk with a very friendly young man helping us sort everything out. After that was probably the lengthiest part of the check-in process: immigration. But even immigration took only 15 minutes from start to finish. Soon after, we handed over our passports (which felt wrong, but we knew in advance this was the system. We received it all back on day 4 with no issues whatsoever) and were walking towards the ship. We were on-board by about 1:30pm, and immediately headed for our balcony stateroom on deck 8 to drop off our bags (see below for cabin review). For me, one of the most important parts of any cruise is the food. The Main Dining Room was mostly full every night, but we had no trouble getting a table immediately under the “My Time” dining plan. We were unsure what to expect in terms of cuisine, but the menu was almost entirely western food each night—exactly as I am used to seeing on Caribbean cruises. However, it is very important to point out that we did the “All Access Tour” later on in the trip, and the chef explained that once the ship relocates to Shanghai, the Main Dining Room menu will change over to primarily Asian food. He showed us the wok in the kitchen, stating it is the only RC ship with a wok in the main galley. The service we received each night was good, but nothing exceptional. One evening my girlfriend found a very large piece of plastic in her mashed potatoes. The chef came out to apologize, explaining that they use plastic to cover the mashed potatoes. He took down our stateroom number, but nothing further ever came of it. Possibly our worst experience on the entire ship was in the Windjammer. I had read online that the Windjammer was purposely made larger on Spectrum…but it needed to be made much, much larger. On day 1, my girlfriend and I had lunch at the Windjammer. After throwing elbows with our fellow cruisers and getting cut off at every turn, we had our plates full of food. We walked around and around for nearly 10 minutes looking for a table before finally giving up and eating standing up on a counter-top in the Hot Pot area. Eventually a member of the staff saw us and led us to a large table he had just cleared off. I chalked this up to hopefully be a “day 1-only issue”, since no other venues were open. Unfortunately, it was not a day 1-only issue—it was an everyday issue. No matter the time we went to the Windjammer, it was always crowded, and tables were hard to come by. I had heard in advance that cruise ship buffets on Asia-based cruises can be a nightmare, but I figured attending during off-peak times might make this point irrelevant. Sadly, I was wrong, and by day 3 and 4, we did everything we could to avoid the Windjammer. For those who are curious: Sorrento’s Pizzeria and the poolside snack bar are great alternatives when you need a quick bite. We did not attend any of the specialty up-charge restaurants, which were all Asian, except for Jamie’s Italian (which did not seem well attended throughout our cruise, by the way. I wonder if this was the right move by RC for an Asia-based ship). Perhaps the biggest difference I observed on this cruise as compared to every other cruise I have been on was the drinking culture (or lack thereof). RC specifically designed Spectrum to have fewer bars, knowing that Asians do not drink as heavily as their American clientele. Well, they were certainly right, and if anything could have removed a few more bars. Any time I wanted a drink, I could walk straight up to a waiting bartender and place my order. It was a nice luxury, but makes me wonder how RC will compensate for the lost alcohol revenue they typically rely on to turn a profit. On this particular sailing though, they were lucky that the passengers were not heavy drinkers. All the bars were out of most ingredients, and they were even out of Tiger beer from day 1…on a sailing FROM Singapore! A bartender explained to us that a beverage shipment the ship had ordered did not arrive in time. This was incredibly frustrating as most frozen drinks, cocktails, and mocktails were not available. RC had heavily discounted drinks packages before the cruise, and we were very close to pulling trigger on it. Thankfully we decided against it in the end. We would have been very frustrated having paid for an “unlimited drinks” package that actually entitled you to about half of what the ship normally has to offer. The Bionic Bar is a must attend, however. We had drinks from here twice, and not only is a neat experience to watch a robot make your drink, but the drinks are fantastic. On the entertainment side of things, RC did very well overall, although there is insufficient seating in the Royal Theatre for a ship this size. The first night was a Beatle’s tribute band, and while they were OK, I felt bad (for the performers) about the number of people who stood up and walked out in the middle of the performance. The main show however, “Showgirls”, was standing room only and no one moved until it was over. Really well done by the performers, though I do wonder how the show will be received by the Chinese market as it was entirely western songs from different decades. In the 270 venue, we were very fortunate to grab one of the last spots for the day 4 performance of Silk Road. Again this performance was very well done, both by the performers and everyone involved behind the scenes to make the technical aspects work flawlessly. As far as activities on the ship, we were largely disappointed and very frustrated. We went to guest services at around 6pm on the first day—just hours after boarding—and were told that North Star and iFly were fully booked for the entire cruise. This seemed implausible to me, but apparently some people were able to book these activities in advance of the cruise. I tried to make reservations in advance but could not. I later found out that due to technical issues, some cruisers could not make reservations in advance. In my view, this is completely unacceptable for RC, and robbed me of 2 experiences that had attracted me to this ship in the first place. For the non-reservation activities, such as the Flow Rider, Sky Pad, and Bumper Cars, the queues were consistently very long. We only had the patience to wait for Sky Pad, which took about an hour, but was very much worth it (recommend taking the Virtual Reality option for a unique experience. The only downside is they do not permit you to do flips when you opt for VR). Oddly, the rock-climbing wall was often empty, and my girlfriend was able to climb it twice without any wait. The casino was a massive disappointment. It is the largest casino I have ever seen on a cruise ship (again, specially designed for the Asian market), but smoking was permitted. Given the low ceilings, the smell of cigarette smoke was worse than you could ever imagine. This was the first cruise I have ever been on (except for my first ever cruise, when I was 13!) that I did not gamble once. On day 4, we had signed up for the All Access Tour. We had received a notice the day before that the Engine Control Room would not be accessible, but we would receive $20 per person in on-board credit as a refund. I will not go into every last detail of the tour, but if you are a cruise ship nerd at all (like me), it is absolutely worth the time and money! On the final day, we were assigned 9:30am as our departure time, and told to meet in the Main Dining Room. We showed up on schedule to the MDR—and there was no one around. Everyone was lined up outside 270, and interestingly most people kept all of their suitcases with them, completely ignoring the usual system. The process looked chaotic, but it only took us about 10 minutes to debark. Overall, I cannot fault anything about the ship itself. It is brand new and in my opinion, very impressive. There are some key design differences as compared to ships based in other parts of the world, but it still mostly has the look and feel of a Royal Caribbean cruise. It will be interesting to how Spectrum does in the Chinese market, but I would not recommend this ship for Westerners--I think you will be frustrated by your fellow passengers! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise ship because it was new and we did two days in Vietnam and Hong Kong. First, it is absolutely the most beautiful ship we were ever on. The balcony cabin was spacious for a big ship, the cabin was comfortable and I loved ... Read More
I chose this cruise ship because it was new and we did two days in Vietnam and Hong Kong. First, it is absolutely the most beautiful ship we were ever on. The balcony cabin was spacious for a big ship, the cabin was comfortable and I loved the balcony size. The staff were very friendly, but most were not knowledgeable about ship details. Asian security was tight and the first phase of check in in Singapore was slightly disorganized. There were two lines on Asian passports and Asian passport holders. Initially we had to present our passports and other documents with staff at a kiosk. Once we got upstairs to the check in area it was better organized. We were not told our passports would be surrendered before boarding, so you were no5 able to go back downstairs to the terminal. Our iron was held with security I felt like criminal. I guess it was my fault, but it wasn’t highlighted enough on the check in process on the website, but we didn’t have a Chinese Visa (I didn’t feel so bad because there was a hundred or so passengers that didn’t have that Visa either) and had to spend $140 per person on board. The Vietnamese’s landing card only was $7. We didn’t want to spend more money on specialty dinning, but we ate upstairs in buffet dining. The main dining room area was beautiful, but the food was tepid, not appetizing and the portions were small. The shopping area were high end items and the ship gift area for RCL was so small and if you forget toiletries etc oh well. The entertainment was good and Two70 production Silk Road was phenomenal. The casino was small for such a large ship and everyone huddled to the One cent slots. I like to the scratch lottery I won $40 bucks in 9 days lol. I did visit the video arcade sports area flow rider ripcord sky pad and North Star. The spa area was over priced. I thought we could do other ports. We stayed overnight in Hong Kong not two nights and had to be board by 2 pm the next day, so technically you can only do one excursion. Of course, I had to cancel one. I think RCL could have provided shuttle buses to the main area since the terminal was 40 minutes or so to the Star Ferry. The lecturer was extremely informative and disembarkation was very good. Finally, this was my third and last RCL cruise I have cruised on the Serenade Harmony and Spectrum. I can’t wait to go back to Princess cruises. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or ... Read More
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or flavoured teas or green tea at the buffet area.I wish they had included Chinese tea for a change. My opinion of the food is similar to other reviewers who were also onboard the Spectrum in May. But the crew who served us food at the dining rooms were fabulous.Many thanks for being attentive to my folks. Individual travellers might feel left out.The afternoon quizzes at the bar were boring with no prizes. There were no super enthusiastic inhouse photographers to take our photos.I appreciate that but that puts the photo viewing gallery the most underutilised place. There were lots of indoor spaces like tiny family sitting rooms with litter of couches spread all over the public area. The Singaporeans demonstrated that they are for afternoon naps and indoor picnic, I am not so sure about how the Chinese would utilise those spaces. What are forgone on the Spectrum are big open spaces in the swimming pools, big outdoor cinema screenings, wide outdoor decks in public area balcony. There are more indoor activities such as fencing lessons, bumper car rides, karaoke lounge which appeal to Chinese of all ages and who are also less keen on sun-tanning. My cabin attendants were from Indonesia.I was thankful.Besides Bahasa, they spoke English well. I had the 'luck' of ending up in the ship's clinic.I don't think anyone speaks Mandarin in there. Fingers crossed, i hope they are bored to tears in their entire stay in China. The seasoned cruise tourists will appreciate the fuss free muster drill that took place without the need to pull out our safety vests, line up in rows and put on our vests.But for many Asians onboard, it is their maiden cruise. This is my umpteenth cruise and I had experienced a real situation which required reporting to the muster station. I much prefer the hassle and inconvenience. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have ... Read More
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have boarded later, the crowd was horrible and jammed as staterooms only open at 1pm. The only places to wait was at Windjammer or the Main Dining Room, where lunch was available at the moment. At 1pm sharp, the doors to the staterooms opened. My stateroom was on Deck 10, an Interior stateroom with Royal Caribbean's new "Virtual Balcony". Quite a nice invention by them, to allow even interior room guests to pay budget and get a view. Room size is okay, with a sofa bed, just nice for a family. We stayed in the room for a while, before we went for the bumper cars at SeaPlex. Good choice! The next two days, bumper cars attraction had long snaking queues! SeaPlex overall is a wonderful place, with a multi-purpose court, table tennis, table soccer etc. Afterwards we had our Guest Assembly Drill. Better than Voyager 2 years ago. We had an air-conditioned muster station. Dinner in Main Dining Room was perfect. Steak well-cooked. Those who had fish choices said it was inedible though. Service was fast, waiter Leonard was a kind guy and attended to us regularly. Awesome! Right after dinner, we went for laser-tag, also held at SeaPlex. Also great choice. The next few laser-tag sessions had long, snaking queues. During night show, cruise director said whole cruise was fully booked! I did not see the cruise director much, except during shows. Fitness Room/Gym was terrible and small but I suspect since the ship will homeport in China and Chinese do not exercise much, it is fine. Port Klang was not a good port, long drive into Kuala Lumpur and the port had barely anything. the new debut of Sky Pad on Quantum Class ships was great, I had loads of fun on it. But as usual those long, snaking queues take up to 1-2 hours at peak hours. Rock Climbing Wall closed most of the time though, which is sad. I enjoyed the Flowrider very much as well. The solarium was a nice place, but I did not stay in suites so didnt get to try Silver/Gold Dining. The sea day was fine, but just really crowded on Decks 5, 14 and SeaPlex (Deck 15 only). Overall to finish, had a great trip and definitely coming back to RCCL, especially Quantum Class! Thanks Royal Caribbean! Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
1. Would like to thank Crew staff (did not know his name) for carrying my 84 yr old mum down the stairs as the elevator for the 13th floor was out of order. Noted at least 1 lift shaft was down. 2. Would like to feedback a very bad ... Read More
1. Would like to thank Crew staff (did not know his name) for carrying my 84 yr old mum down the stairs as the elevator for the 13th floor was out of order. Noted at least 1 lift shaft was down. 2. Would like to feedback a very bad behavior from the Flow Rider staff. Risk of causing accident by intentionally spraying water into my face to get me out of the pool due to miscommunication & a safety risk for me. He is a Caucasian staff. Date/Time of event is 19May, about 5pm. Pls check security camera. Pls reprimand him for potentially risking an accident. 3. Would like to comment of inconsistencies for the Flow Rider. The staff from Philippines is the best, ensuring whenever possible, to have customer knelt on the board for a memorable photo shoot & the PRC staff is encouraging. Others could not care less. 4. Poor organizational skills, in particularly the ice skating. Long snaking queues without any knowledge that all the slots have been taken. 5. Nightly performance was a drag! Only a single performer per night. A violinist for 1 night and an acrobat couple the final night. No variety. 6. Finale Night was a total let down. Small crowd, very poor attendance by the crew and staff themselves. Did not recall seeing the Cruise Entertainment Director. And only 1 performer! 7. Dining staff are extremely short handed. Tables not cleared on time. Food all over the floor. Staff expressionless face tells many stories. 8. It seems like an old ship sent to asia for retirement. Worn and rusty. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. ... Read More
I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. The one Big Restaurant choice instead of four is a great idea , a lot less waiting time at dinner . The decision of creating a Silver Lounge for Silver Suites guests is a great idea , even if when I booked it 8 months ago it was advertised that they were going to allow all suites guests to go in the Gold Lounge and Gold Restaurant on decks 15th and 16th forward , but looks like they changed their minds and restricted the access to those decks only to Gold Suites and Gold Balcony Staterooms and they created on deck 14th forward a Silver Lounge . Nice a spacious, with excellent service , but that closes at 8:30 pm so it is not possible to have dinner there . So Silver suites guests must use the Main dining Room. The only terrible think of the Ship is the gym facility. I understand that Chinese customers are not using gyms very often, but the space that has been designed on this Ship for Gym and changing rooms is totally inadequate . I guess no more than 600 square feet with very little equipment , and waiting times to use an equipment are incredibly long , so people just decide not to use the facilities. And the changing rooms are even worse , in the men one there are just 6 lockers so you have to wait to have a locker key . There is no physical space to undress or dress unless you choose to do it near the entrance door where people can see you naked from outside when the door opens. But the worst part is that there is only one shower , so you have to queue to get one. And what i don't understand is that on the contrary the Reception area of the SPA is huge: a lot of that space could have been used to make the changing areas and the gym bigger. So avoid this Ship if you are a frequent Gym user. As already mentioned by other guests , the entertainment is poor in terms of variety. The few shows are outstanding but limited in quantity. And the Lectures as well, not enough. First excursion in Muscat was nice . But today in Mumbai a real rip off. The Guide was really bad, and the bus old and filthy . I Hope next ports of call its going to be better. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 1st cruise and probably last. Entertainment and lectures uninspiring. Woman who gave lecture of forensics looks like just fell out of bed. 1 night had singer in Schooner bar competing with Spectrum big band because lack of ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise and probably last. Entertainment and lectures uninspiring. Woman who gave lecture of forensics looks like just fell out of bed. 1 night had singer in Schooner bar competing with Spectrum big band because lack of theatre space as shows were practising. Food from Winjammer plentiful, repetative but constantly cold. Breakfast line for cooked eggs 6 deep every day. Drink prices not too bad. All cost on board charged by American dollars. I noticed when in port a lot of people racing for free wi-fi, why do you need to charge $23.00 per day for this service. NOW for the CASINO WHAT A FOUL SMELLING AREA THIS IS WITH PEOPLE SMOKING IN THE SO CALLED SMOKING AREA!! Really Royal Carribean where is you non smoking policy in the Casino. Seems you have limited areas outside for smokers but in the Casino it is allowed. We can see where this ship is heading. Went to so called Gym bit of a joke, I asked why it is so small and was told Chinese people did not exercise much. The restaurants where the same old same old very limited and why can they not advertise prices. One good thing was Silk Road performance 3/4 hour so limited. Beatles show according to my partner fantastic but they bolted at the next prot. Jamacian band near pool same music different day. I am sorry Royal Carribean but this ship was definately built for a certain market and we are not part of that market and to assume people would be impressed by the size of this floating casino if a bit of a joke. You asked you got. A no so happy 1st time cruiser. Read Less
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