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Sail Date: August 2019
Being frequent sailors on NCL, we had some trepidation in dipping our toe back into RCCL's offerings. We were pleasantly surprised on many, but not all, points. The ship was large, but unlike the NCL Breakaway, it never felt crowded ... Read More
Being frequent sailors on NCL, we had some trepidation in dipping our toe back into RCCL's offerings. We were pleasantly surprised on many, but not all, points. The ship was large, but unlike the NCL Breakaway, it never felt crowded except on sail away. We never encountered the long lines that were common on the Breakaway. We never had a problem finding a deck chair, as long as being right next to the pool was not a goal. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze in Southampton and at every port. We had a large balcony and it felt spacious for two people. The shower was the only thing that was very small. You couldn't bend in the shower without opening the doors. RCCL provides a bar of soap and a soap liquid that serves as BOTH soap and shampoo. There was an electric tea kettle because this was a cruise out of England. The outlets in the cabin were both American and European. It would be better if they also provided conditioner, like NCL does. Overall, NCL has larger bathrooms, more room in the shower and better amenities for bathroom products. I also believe that NCL provides robes that are not a condition of your cruising status. The balcony was very roomy, with two chairs and a large circular table and plenty of room to move about. We got two towels animals during our 6 day cruise. I think on NCL we got a towel animal almost every day. We ate at the Italian restaurant, Giovanni's. It was average. NCL does a better job with specialty restaurants. I had grilled shrimp, which was fine, but it should not have been served on a bed of mashed potatoes at an Italian restaurant. The desserts also were not well presented and looked very sloppy and not gourmet. The waiters in the main dining room were very good and attentive. They accommodated my lactose intolerance by having me order one day in advance each night. The food overall was between good and average. Some meals were better than others. I did not have dairy in my meals, so perhaps they were blander than the standard fare. We found the choices at the Windjammer buffet very good. We ate breakfast, lunch and tea in the Windjammer. It was fun to experiment with some British foods we never heard of like the meat pie and Scottish egg. The scones at tea time were very good and they offered strawberries, jam and cream to go with the scones. The entertainment was good too. We enjoyed the ice skating show, Strings. I wish they had showcased the ice dancing headliners more, as they were excellent. I also wish they had more than one ice show. Grease was just ok. It was a cut above a school play. However, the cast was very talented. It is just that Grease did not showcase their talent. We saw the woman that played Rizzo sing Rocky Horror at the Rocky Horror sing a long. She was exceptional. You could not appreciate her exceptional talent in Grease. Also, cast member J.P. did a guest set at the piano bar and he was absolutely exceptional and talented. He did a Jerry Lee Lewis rendition that was outstanding. Again, the play and show offerings did not show the breadth of his talent. NCL wins in the entertainment division. They have better quality shows. We enjoyed trivia, although the questions were geared towards the almost exclusively British crowd. The Britannia dance party was great fun as well. The ports were fun: Normandy, Bilbao and La Coruna, Spain. It was easy getting both on and off the ship. We booked an expensive semi private tour of the D Day landing beaches. I probably would not recommend that. They tour quality was fine but the guide, Christopher, was persnickety and scolded me for opening a ginger candy in the van when I felt motion sick. Also, we had a group of older, petty people who made the trip unpleasant, with comments about where they sat in the van. I think the anonymity of being in a larger tour is better. Our large tour of Santiago de Compostela was excellent. We took a ship shuttle to Bilbao and spent they day at our own pace. We would probably try RCCL again, but the food and entertainment on NCL is better. We did like the Independence much better than NCL Breakaway. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We have just returned from a 13 day cruise from Southampton to Spain, Lisbon, France. Travelled in 2 cabins, myself and my husband in one and our 2 teenage boys in the other. The embarkation and disembarkation was a dream. We parked at ... Read More
We have just returned from a 13 day cruise from Southampton to Spain, Lisbon, France. Travelled in 2 cabins, myself and my husband in one and our 2 teenage boys in the other. The embarkation and disembarkation was a dream. We parked at the port, left the cases by the car and they were delivered to our cabin a couple of hours later. We drove from Manchester and were sat in the bar at 12.30pm enjoying our holiday without any airports. I would recommend carrying off your own luggage if you can - the luggage collection area was manic. In terms of the ship itself, I was a bit concerned about some of the negative reviews but we all loved it. OK there may be room for improvement in some areas but honestly if I didn't know the ship was being refurbished next year I wouldn't have noticed. It is in good condition and there are plenty of nice bars and good sun decks. Overall I thought there was a great atmosphere and a great mix of people onboard. Cabins were basic but fine and the cabin stewards worked super hard and cabin was always spotless - could not fault it. Plus the beds were very comfy - have never slept so well in my life! The dining was good. We did buffet for breakfast and lunch and the selections were vast and always delicious. The MDR was also good and we had 2 great waitors taking care of us. The food wasn't always amazing but honestly can't complain when they are serving that many people with that many food choices. Some nights the food was outstanding. We dined in Izumi which was truly amazing, so much so that we went twice. Definately worth the cost. Also Giovannis table was nice and a pleasant change from the MDR. Bars were great. Perry Grant in the Schooners bar literally made our holiday - he was hilarious and he packed the place out every night - fantastic. We had the drinks pacakge which was expensive at £41 per day each but was worth it when we worked out what we would have spent. The service in the bars was great and was never without a drink. Entertainment was a bit average but it is a personal choice of course and we were happy to watch Perry everynight (or the guitar player in Crown and Kettle). The ice show was good but some of the others not so good. The ports varied from great to poor but we expected that before we went and we had good weather which helped. The pool decks were good - generally very busy in areas but there were a couple of quieter spots where a sunbed could always be found. Loved the music and general atmosphere around the pools.Drinks flowing too and lots of waitors around. The teenaged boys enjoyed their holiday as the cruise allowed them more freedom than a typical holiday so they spent a lot of time with their friends and in the arcade. Some of the newer ships perhaps have more fancy entertainment but they enjoyed it. Overall we had a great holiday - the ship is great and the staff were excellent without exception. We would definately travel with RCI again (have only previously taken a P&O cruise which had a more "stuffy" atmosphere which didn't suit us as well). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I was asked to accompany a friend and this was my first ever cruise. It was the best experience ever, From start to finish the whole experience was effortless. No queuing to board or disembark. Very calm and professional service ... Read More
I was asked to accompany a friend and this was my first ever cruise. It was the best experience ever, From start to finish the whole experience was effortless. No queuing to board or disembark. Very calm and professional service throughout. I did visit the gym once( to look around!) very well equipped but did not use it as I was relaxing but lots of people did. I was fortunate enough to see dolphins and whales!! Food was amazing, so much variety and all freshly prepared with so much choice all day long. I was a little disappointed with the amount of children running wild in the evenings unsupervised but it was the last week of the summer holidays.I do think young children should be with adults on such a luxury holiday not pulling phones off walls and playing in the lifts but that’s down to the parents. I won’t get the email to ask for my review about waiting staff as my friend booked it. I just wanted to mention Handi and komang gave the best service I have ever come across. Their attention to detail was above and beyond first class. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They truely deserve a mention as they made meal times an absolute pleasure. I hope 100% that I meet those young men again. An absolute asset to the ships crew. Thankyou Handi And Komamg for your service, friendship and entertainment. I am a bit of a sun worshipper so didn’t really use the day time activities but there was something going on all day every day. Evening shows were a must see. Some really good some not so good but everyone’s tastes are different. What I wasn’t really bothered about some were laughing there socks off so each to there own. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have just returned from 2 weeks on the Indy, departing Southampton on the 10th August, calling at ports in Portugal and Spain. It turned out to be a cruise of 2 parts, the bits we expected to be good were as always excellent, Crew, ... Read More
We have just returned from 2 weeks on the Indy, departing Southampton on the 10th August, calling at ports in Portugal and Spain. It turned out to be a cruise of 2 parts, the bits we expected to be good were as always excellent, Crew, superb, entertainment, superb, buffet food, good, MDR food, much improved over the last cruise on Oasis, where the food was really awful in the MDR, so perhaps RCCL have listened. Ship, looking a bit tired but still very nice, cabin, good, we had a Junior suite at the stern on deck 10, and it was large and pleasant to stay in for 2 weeks. Then there was the unexpected part, which in 30 years of cruising with many different lines I haven’t experienced. Groups of unsupervised teens running amok on the ship at all hours, up to 3am. Balls thrown from 4 floors up onto the main concourse, pizza thrown about in lifts, lift doors getting progressively more and more dented as the cruise progressed, elderly people knocked over in corridors, and the meagre numbers of security staff struggling to cope with what I would assume they do not normally have to deal with, Culminating in a full on fist fight, with a teenager tazered by security to stop a violent assault on security staff, and as the ports went by, more and more people were “Offloaded” another thing I am pleased to say I have not experienced before. So I’m sure the Indy crew were pleased to see Southampton on the 24th August, and I hope for their sakes that they don’t get a repeat on the next cruise. So for us this will be the last RCCL cruise, and probably the last peak school holiday cruise full stop. I think that possibly the AI drinks package may have left a lot of parents in the bars not really worrying what their kids were up to, and thus the issues I have highlighted occurring, we as parents certainly want to know where our son is and what he is up to, and supervised his 1am curfew religiously. So to summarise the cruise, nice ship, ok ports (But we have done the med to death over the years) great crew, friendly attentive and always helpful, Great shows, and good food. Just maybe not in the height of the holidays for us again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having been on a cruise with my wife on freedom of the seas and really enjoying it I got together with freinds 19 in tottal and we all decided to go on independence of the seas and after the great re fit was looking forward to this. I can ... Read More
Having been on a cruise with my wife on freedom of the seas and really enjoying it I got together with freinds 19 in tottal and we all decided to go on independence of the seas and after the great re fit was looking forward to this. I can honestly say what a great ship the staff work so hard to keep it clean and the service they give is outstanding food is superb aswell. The thing that lets it down is far too many people on this boat during re fit they also added more cabins a lot more this results in over 700 plus more people on the same size ship as the last ship I went on freedom of the seas.... the obvious reason for this is to make more money but it is at the exspence of people enjoying there time on board. Sea days where awful it was like butlins holiday camp people reserved there sun beds early on and despite the so called 30 min rule for unattended beds this was never enforced. I had a balcony cabin for myself and wife and internal for my children also drinks packages I paid a small fortune for this and was not happy at some of the people on board and they ha e far too many teenagers on board there seamed to be gangs of them running around till early hours. I wish I had read the reviews before hand as everyone says the same thing. Shame on you royal carabian for putting profit before customers Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the itenirary British Isle mostly for Scotland which is rarely offered and thought the ship would be as good as same category ships ie loved Jewel and Serenade. Not problem at embarkation in Amsterdam although very annoying ... Read More
We chose the itenirary British Isle mostly for Scotland which is rarely offered and thought the ship would be as good as same category ships ie loved Jewel and Serenade. Not problem at embarkation in Amsterdam although very annoying feeling besieged by staff selling ALL they could think of prior to us stepping on ship. Upon entering our balcony stateroom, the smell of sewer was so strong and the preview of 12 days amora to come. Not only our cabin but public toilets were often as bad. For our 25th anniversary my husband had pre-ordered 2 champagne and 2 wines to be deivered in the cabin prior to our arrival. NO BOTTLE in sight, we had to chase them for delevery. His surprise to me was ruined. The shock was to be told that we no longer have BASIC ameneties (hotel basic) no shampoo, conditioner or body lotion and 1 soap. In the shower is a dispenser 2 in 1 shampoo and body soap!!!!! Technology is backwards on the ship, no access to your account so line-up at guess services for a copy. But twice, my husband was given a copy of another stateroom....confidentiality? The dining room staff was good but food not at par. They even removed the salmon option when nothing is attractive. I will skip many bad experiences of this cruise to skip to the very bad ending. For the first time after 40 cruises we bought a transfer to the airport by bus. Once at the airport, only 1 out of 2 suitcases made is and NO ONE from RCCL to handle this. Thanks to Welma of Intercruises at the airport who took charge and texted at the port to find our luggage to be put on the next bus . Brilliance was less that Brilliant at this time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation seemed to be going very smoothly and we were given our sail passes and made our way to the ship. At the gangway we checked the passes only to discover they had the words ‘Diamond Plus’ on them, we were unsure what this ... Read More
Embarkation seemed to be going very smoothly and we were given our sail passes and made our way to the ship. At the gangway we checked the passes only to discover they had the words ‘Diamond Plus’ on them, we were unsure what this meant so on closer inspection discovered that the sail passes were in different names to ours and had the wrong cabin number on them but our photographs had been imposed onto the cards. We had to go back to the Embarkation desk and start the process all over again which took a very long time as the error had to be corrected and then new cards issued to us. We were told by the staff at the Embarkation desk that the error was Royal Caribbean’s and that out names had been allocated to the wrong cabin. On the first evening when an ‘Adults Only’ show was advertised for the Palace Theatre we were horrified to see that quite a few very young children had been permitted entry and they proceeded to scream throughout some of the performance that ruined the show. We had been ‘Upgraded’ by Royal Caribbean prior to departure which was very nice except that when we went out on the balcony on the first evening we were overwhelmed by thick black smoke coming from somewhere above the cabin (at first we thought there was a fire). On closer inspection the next morning we saw that the smoke had been coming from some vents that were above the cabin. This continued every evening and made it impossible for us to benefit from the balcony without being overcome by the smoke – very upsetting. There was a disgusting odour which seemed to be sewage on the 4th deck Starboard side every day 9near the gents toilets). Some days it was so disgusting it was unbearable to stand on the deck. We paid for and visited Chops Grille on 21st June at 8pm, the first 2 courses seemed to go OK but by 9.30pm we had still not received our main course and suddenly a second tray of bread was delivered to our table even though we had not finished the first and our wine glasses were being topped up even though we had not requested this. Both of our steaks were ordered ‘Medium Rare’ but when they were finally served one had been cooked for far longer than the other as there was no pink inside the steak (the maitre d' agreed with us), our mushrooms and asparagus were cold. The only thing cooked correctly were the fries – a very disappointing evening. I appreciate we are probably not the slimmest of passengers – more an average size, but the bath towels supplied in the cabins are ridiculously small and was impossible to wrap the towels round us after showering Evening entertainment has been the worse we have ever experienced, ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ comes to mind. It was impossible for us to find 2 seats together in any of the bars most nights so we spent every evening wondering the ship wondering what to do. We do not expect to go on a cruise together and have to sit separately in a bar (not acceptable at all). We would find it very difficult travel with Royal Caribbean again and I’m afraid we will find it impossible to recommend you to anyone. We have now emailed Royal Caribbean 10 times about our complaints only to receive 'Bog Standard' replies that say they will respond within 3 days - it's been 3 and half weeks SO RUDE to ignore your customers Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. Most of the musical entertainment was very good. The comedians were just okay...maybe it's because we missed some things since we're not British (the accent, colloquialisms, etc.). Perry in the Schooner was funny, but it was the same show every night. Further, the timing of some shows conflicted with both MDR times. The nights when there was only one performance, you'd either arrive late or have to leave early. The ship was refurbished a few years ago, and needs an update again. Some areas of the ship are showing wear and tear. Then, the food. There were some highlights, like the osso buco one night in the Main Dining Room. The buffet has a huge variety, but the food was just average. The set-up for the drinks is congested. We went to Chops Grille one night, and it was good. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Just got back today from a 10 night cruise on Explorer of the Seas . Where do I start , I have been a loyal RCI customer for the last 6-7 years and the previous cruises and ships I could not rare highly enough but this ship is a ... Read More
Just got back today from a 10 night cruise on Explorer of the Seas . Where do I start , I have been a loyal RCI customer for the last 6-7 years and the previous cruises and ships I could not rare highly enough but this ship is a nightmare. Food luke warm in the windjammer every time I went in there ,even when it just opened. Lunch the same most days not much choice . Tables not cleared very quickly seemed to be a lack of staff compared to previous ships. Lack of any seating in the evening over the whole ship was a pain . General service in the bars and eating areas excluding the main dinning room very poor ,plates and glasses not cleared from tables for up to 30 minutes on several occasions. After 9pm only one place to get any food ,small cafe on the promenade not big enough to cater for a full ship. Ship is looking very tired inside and out and in need of a make over. Will not cruise with RCI again in the near future which is a shame as I have always enjoyed my cruises with them,I just don't feel like you are getting the service anymore that you did previously and that makes it not good value for the money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they ... Read More
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they really made my cruise. I enjoyed the food and didn't feel the need to eat in any other restaurants other than the main dining room and the windjammer. I have to say i was very tempted i have to say to eat in Chops though. My cabin was 6441 an inside which was ideal for me i was well looked after by the kind steward looking after my room. Entertainment was good in the Promenade and the Schooner bar, i didn't see any other entertainment. I was told by many people i met how good the shows were and the ice skating show. I didn't do any shore excursions but as normal just did what i wanted when we arrived in the ports. Shore excursions seemed busy but i never spoke to anyone that had booked any so i cannot comment. I am very lucky to be back on Explorer in September and October and i cannot wait. As i said the crew made my cruise for me and i hope to meet up with some of them again Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We took the ship and we enjoyed it. Staff was helpful, tons of activities on board and great variety of entertaiment. The main restaurant was great, not "awesome", but the buffet was extraordinary. We didn't bother ... Read More
We took the ship and we enjoyed it. Staff was helpful, tons of activities on board and great variety of entertaiment. The main restaurant was great, not "awesome", but the buffet was extraordinary. We didn't bother buying the beverages package, we just paid for our beverages at the end, buying the beverages pack would have costed us more and we had a lot of shots, haha. I think the cruise beverages pack includes only alcohol, so if you want for example a capucchino, you will see it in your receipt at the end. One thing we were very pleased was with the guy who attended us, he learnt our names from the very beginning and he kept our room clean, his name was Zack if I remember correctly, most of the staff was really nice. :) We enjoyed looking at the promenade, any noise didn't bother use since we just enjoyed the view. On thing about the cabin, tho, we had a big window, it made the cabin look bigger and we used it as a shelf for some of our stuff. We had a really fun, and exciting experience. We would take this ship again with no hesitation. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. ... Read More
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. Lots of complaints about this. It’s like Disney. You queue for everything. It’s as if this ship was over capicity.. it was mayhem. Good ok. Entertainment good. Anchour bar was good but the bar stank of sewage. But it was a good bar. Offered late checkout. Went to book it day before they said they had pulled it too and refunded the fee. It’s as if they where winging it. Rooms good space but tired. Had balcony. If you want to wait 10 minutes on a lift not know if things are happening after booking and be walking and walked upon go on this cruise. A glorified booze cruise. We where with our best friends another couple we made most of it and enjoyed it but more because of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper ... Read More
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper deck activities, a pool and a couple of the hot tubes were closed for maintenance, we went below then found a bar closed for a private function. This made all other areas much fuller than they might have been. The standard of food at breakfast was poor, we struggled to find water that was hot enough to make a coffee. The evening meal and service was excellent, the waiter got to know us very quickly and made every evenings dinning experience a pleasure, probably the highlight of the cruise. The evening entertainment was okay but you had to be in early to get a seat, unfortunately a few technical issues kept letting things down. Generally the crew couldn't do enough for you, unfortunately it was the ship that let them and us down. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
For our fifth cruise my wife and I chose a trip from Southampton calling at Bilbao and La Coruña, Spain then Cherbourg and Le Havre, France. The ship did not sail until 7pm, so I didn't feel quite as worried booking the overnight ... Read More
For our fifth cruise my wife and I chose a trip from Southampton calling at Bilbao and La Coruña, Spain then Cherbourg and Le Havre, France. The ship did not sail until 7pm, so I didn't feel quite as worried booking the overnight flight into Heathrow scheduled to arrive more than twelve hours earlier. Our transfer to Southampton included a pre-cruise excursion stopping at Stonehenge--one of those places that I always wanted to visit, but never thought that I would. I must admit that I would have enjoyed the ride through the idyllic English countryside a lot more without the jet lag. But that was part of the plan--maybe we would have a burst of adrenaline arriving in Europe and be able to catch up a bit as the first full day of the cruise was spent at sea. That didn't quite happen; our internal clocks seemed to be off the entire trip. But I guess that's part of what makes travel so interesting. I'm not really sure why I am writing this at all. I read a lot of these reviews and many just seem to nitpick about so many things. Unless something is very bad, very good or maybe just a bit odd, it doesn't seem worth mentioning. Our cabin was as typical as one might expect. I don't have anything to nitpick about. We ate all of our dinners in the main dining room. The first night we sat at a table that was in a very warm part of the room, so they moved us to a more comfortable one for the rest of the cruise. The food was, as expected, usually pretty good, but nothing to email home about. We did have the beef wellington one night, just so we could compare it with the beef wellington we were planning to have at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants in London before we returned home. (Guess whose dish won.) At our first port we got a surprise. It was some kind of holiday and entrance to the Guggenheim Museum was free (or as our non-English speaking cab driver told us, "no dinero!) Actually, we were just planning to take some pictures of the Puppy sculpture outside and not go into the museum at all, but it was a nice bonus. Most of our time in the ports of call was spent very leisurely, drinking coffee at outdoor cafes. We did stop to eat some octopus in La Coruña and had some macarons in Le Havre. Our one purchased shore excursion was the trip through the idyllic Normandy countryside to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery--another one of those places on the bucket list. It was a sobering venue and well worth the price. While I have been quite well-traveled domestically for decades, for much of my life I didn't even want to travel at all internationally. After retirement, this all changed; we applied for our passports almost immediately. And a few years ago we discovered cruising--another thing that for years I had disdained. This was only our second European trip. I found it much more difficult finding English speaking Spaniards in the places we stopped than in our previous travels. In fact, the predominantly British passengers were also hard to understand with all their dialects and accents (not even counting the fact that many of them were also drunk!). Due to the facts that my wife is a smoker (and I quite often sit with her in the smoking area of the ship) and a lot of our on board time was spent in the casino, we kept running into a lot of the same people. I really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise. As far as all the bells and whistles of the Navigator of the Seas, we have never and will never try the flow rider or climb rock walls. We did try to play miniature golf once, but it was very windy. The late night comedy show we attended was entertaining. After the cruise was over we took a train into London and spent the weekend there before returning home. We visited some sites we missed on our first visit there a couple of years ago like Trafalgar Square and Greenwich. We really enjoyed the Thames Clipper River Bus. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from a short Stages cruise on Navigator of The Seas, Found good and bad points on board, I will start with the good. Embarking the ship was easy arriving by taxi we waited a short while, the were passed via security ... Read More
Just returned from a short Stages cruise on Navigator of The Seas, Found good and bad points on board, I will start with the good. Embarking the ship was easy arriving by taxi we waited a short while, the were passed via security check onto check in and on board, only to find no cabins were ready very little seating area, lunch was served in the Windjammer which was excellent but this quickly filled up, and seats here also run short, so it was eat up and back on your feet walking around looking for seats, cabins were opened at 1:30 pm but when we found ours it was still being cleaned, the luggage was also missing, and this never arrived till after 5pm.. Cabins were good but lacked a few home comforts no Shower Gel, Shower Caps, Hair Dryers etc. Crew were very good always a smile and tried hard to please, with exception of customer services, wifi desk , and the excursion desk. The excursion desk were no help , give no information and failed to arrange shuttle busses in port. We were allocated first sitting for dinner but told we there were no reserved tables and it was first come first served! So we dined in the Windjammer. The bars were VERY expensive at $8 a pint! With the result not many used them. Entertainment was first class with big star names like Michael Ball, Collabro, Bobby Dravro and a host more, only problems there were long queues for each show, with seats for some shows reserved for VIPs and shows often over run and clashed. On return to Southampton we were given breakfast and luggage unloaded with great speed as the ship had a very short turn round. One last point my wife was taken ill and we had to visit the medical centre twice , the staff were very good, but for the size of the ship was worried it was under staffed! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked Navigator because of the varied activities advertised. There were 8 of us in our party - aged from 75 down to 18, so we wanted things to keep us all happy and occupied. Having previously cruised several times on Celebrity, we ... Read More
We booked Navigator because of the varied activities advertised. There were 8 of us in our party - aged from 75 down to 18, so we wanted things to keep us all happy and occupied. Having previously cruised several times on Celebrity, we had high hopes of this being better equipped for the two younger members of our party and, indeed, that proved to be the case. However it was definitely less luxurious than Celebrity. For the first time, my travelling companion and I decided to treat ourselves to a suite (1294) and we were really delighted with the extra space it gave us. Best of all there was a walk-in wardrobe with more than ample space for all our clothes, shoes, suitcases and general bits and bobs. That made a HUGE difference! In fact there was a massive amount of storage space throughout. Some irritation about a unit specifically for a kettle and coffee machine, though - a useful unit but no nearby socket in which to plug either machine?? Poor planning. In the event we found the machine coffee pretty foul and ended up using sachets of instant, plugging in the kettle on the dressing table area. The balcony was a little disappointing - room for a table and two generous chairs, but barely enough for the (single) sun bed as well. However, having a sun bed crammed in was better than not having one at all. The bathroom was very compact, but adequate. From a personal point of view, having the shower over the bath in such a tiny space was much less appealing than having a walk in shower. The suite was kept spotlessly clean and our attendant, Kunal, was very conscientious about clean linen and towels as required. Room service was prompt and efficient, though some of the ordered food seemed a little less than fresh. Generally we found the food ok - but not special. Occasionally, however, it was absolutely first class, most especially the 'at sea' buffet lunches in the dining room. Dinner could be very iffy and several times one or other of our party found a dish completely inedible. Again from a personal point of view, I think the portions were far too big. The steaks were huge which I found off-putting and, despite requests for half-portions, they couldn’t seem to oblige. The amount of wasted food must have been enormous. Service in the restaurants and bars was, almost always, excellent. Pretty much every member of staff we encountered was helpful, friendly, humorous and efficient. Some went above and beyond and Ali, the restaurant manager in the MDR, was hugely helpful in arranging to get us all seated together at times that weren’t necessarily convenient to them. Entertainment was varied and, obviously, subjective. An excellent male quartet singing songs from the shows but singing and dancing by crew members we thought was very amateurish. Our evenings, however, were dominated by nightly performances in the Schooner bar, near the main theatre, by Perry Grant - who was spectacularly entertaining. Although the format of the show was the same every evening, it was never boring and our only complaint was that we found laughing so much became quite physically painful!! Perry is a born entertainer - a brilliant musician and singer, with a warmth and wit that was outstanding. Activities for the two younger members of our group (18 and 21) were varied, well run and supervised. For the older members the biggest complaint was the noise! This holiday was out of school time so there were few youngsters on board. I would hazard a guess would be that the average age of passengers was around 60. So, music blaring out of giant speakers ALL day, was both disturbing and, at times, quite distressing. It was hard-to-impossible to find a quiet spot near the pools on deck 11, 12 and 13. Films blared out at top volume or music played, sometimes so loud it was actually painful. I love music but, in communal areas, it should be background music. In many places it was simply impossible to have a normal conversation! Trips were well arranged but, like other reviewers, I would urge people to use taxis on shore, rather than pay the ship's unnecessarily extortionate prices - often for a lesser service. In Agadir our party paid $15 per head for a coach into a nearby square. In scorching heat, the coach had no air conditioning, was packed out, and some of the seats were broken. Having experienced that we took a couple of comfortable, cool, taxis back, at $5 per taxi. On our return we voiced our complaints (as did others) but the ship was less than sympathetic to (many) complaints and point-blank refused to refund a part of the cost we’d paid them because they said we were warned that coaches might not be up to international standards. That was not the case when the tickets were booked, but 'Guest Services' weren’t interested. So, on the whole we had a good trip. Would I use Royal Caribbean again? Not sure. I think possibly the good outshone the bad, but I’d personally prefer Celebrity to RC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was to celebrate my 60th birthday. Unfortunately due to an allergic reaction on my husbands part it was spoilt for us as they were pre warned.The good points are the entertainment was excellent the food in the main was ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate my 60th birthday. Unfortunately due to an allergic reaction on my husbands part it was spoilt for us as they were pre warned.The good points are the entertainment was excellent the food in the main was delicious. The Windjammer restaurant got to be very monotonous as I am gluten free. Surely they could have provided gluten free pasta? There was gluten free pizza in the Cafe Promenade but not in the Windjammer. The bars were excellent and the Sapphire Dining Room was very elegant. We had a balcony cabin which was spacious with plenty of storage, the attendant was excellent and room service always on time. Getting on the ship was very smooth and efficient but getting off not so. The scramble for trolleys nearly ended in a fight! This ship is going to be refurbished soon and it is needed. Some of the public areas are looking tired. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple ... Read More
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple things like chocolate on your pillow bed turn down I don't expect these things to me done but on past experiences it has been done and always think it's a lovely little touch.ive always syayed in interior cabins and I knew what to expect but the cabin was very grubby. I did not like the dining experiance we were only offered 6.30 or 8.30 dining didn't get offered my time dining when booked Going to dinner on the first night and being sat with 8 people we didn't know and this would be our table for the next 14 nights we had never been so uncomfortable I do not like eating in front of people I don't know we was on our honeymoon and wanted our own space. We went to customer services and ask them to help us out was told to speak to restaurant manager which we did the following evening we was told he has 3 sheets of paper of people asking for tables for two may be Royal Carribean should look into share dining a bit more a lot of people we spoke to did not like the share table and choose to eat in windjammer which is a shame because fine dining is all about the experiance of a cruise.ship very dusted in public places bar areas broken chairs other passengers who have been on this ship a few times said its the worse it has been lots of corners being cut. We all knew it was going to dry docks in January but it's not a excuse for cleanliness. Staff also seem very sparse but they did work very hard and always very polite and friendly but maybe a bit short staffed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I travelled with three children aged 6, 10 and 13 on a three night, midweek cruise to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. I was slightly nervous as the only adult on the trip as to whether we would all be kept amused but we all had great fun for the ... Read More
I travelled with three children aged 6, 10 and 13 on a three night, midweek cruise to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. I was slightly nervous as the only adult on the trip as to whether we would all be kept amused but we all had great fun for the whole time we were away and would do it all again in a heartbeat. After we got through the heavy traffic into Southampton and found the cruise parking embarkation was really easy and quick. Our bags were whisked away from the boot of our car and we walked into the terminal and were at the doors of the Windjammer within 30 minutes. The check in was easy and the staff friendly. We were onboard at around 12.30 and there was a queue outside the Windjammer but they let around 30 people in at a time, the queue moved quite quickly, and once in there were tables available. We ate in the Windjammer for all our lunches and breakfasts. We only queued one other time and always found a table, three times by the fantastic big windows at the back of the ship. We were all happy with the food in the Windjammer. I especially enjoyed the salad bar at lunch and the freshly made to order omelettes at breakfast. We also enjoyed the Washy Washy song at the entrance with the ever cheerful guitar playing man who welcomed us in and who got the biggest cheer at the waiter's parade in the MDR on the last night. We finished lunch on the first day shortly after 1 and went to find our cabin which I have reviewed separtely. Our bags were waiting for us there when we arrived and we were blown away by our amazing windows. We spent the afternoon making a start on the on board activities. We managed to do everything was wanted to but could not repeat much in the time available. The waterslides are brilliant fun. There was never too much of a queue for these. Minimum height 48" so our six year old could not do them sadly. She could do the much smaller water slides in the splash zone which stopped her from being too upset. The splash zone was fun with three slides, a little pool, various fountains and some hot tubs. There was also soft serve ice cream available there. The main pool was warm enough and deep enough for some proper swimming. Both of these areas did become quite packed at busy times but there were always sunbed available there when we wanted them. The Sky Pad was ok. The queues were longer for this one. The view from the queue was good! The vertual reality was ok but I think it would be more fun without. Minimum age as 5, minimum age for the Virtual reality headset was 7. Without the virtual reality you are allowed to do flips. It was a 2 minute go. The VR involved moving through a world trying to hit balls or sweeties or music. The older kids had a go on the flow rider. Min height 48" for boogie boarding and 58" for stand up boarding. This was quite fun to watch and the queues were never more than about 8 people long. There was a climbing maze in this area which kept my 6 year old amused while the others were on the flow rider etc. The climbing wall was fun - queues not too bad. They only had the easy walls open during our cruise so my 13 year old got a bit frustrated as he would have liked more of a challenge. They had 3 ropes going all on self belay. I think it was done by minimum age of 6. Whatever the rules were, we could all do it which was good for us. The lazer tag was quite fun. This was in studio B. Up to 14 people at a time for 7 minutes each in a blow up maze in two randomly chosen teams. We did wait for around 4 or 5 groups to go ahead of us sitting in the seats at the side of studio B. This queuing was not much fun as it was dark, noisy and we could not see what was going on in the maze. We were all allowed to do this. The ice skating was great. They run 30 minute sessions for up to 50 people with 10 minute breaks between. We arrived during one session and were in the next one. We waited in the same place as for the laser tag but it was much brighter and we could watch the skaters so the waiting was more fun. We were all allowed to do this, can't remember if there were any restrictions. We played mini golf on sailaway. Quite fun and a great view from deck 13. We had a quick go at table tennis on the way past on deck 11. We enjoyed a brisk walk around deck 4 and up to the helicopter pad. We went to the Main Dining Room each evening and had requested a table for 4 by the window by e mail in advance of the cruise which we got. It was a fantastic veiw from deck 5. From our table, we saw the pilots get off the ship after leaving Southampton and Rotterdam down a little rope ladder onto his launch. The waiting staff were really friendly and helpful. The food was good if not fantastic. The mushroom soup and seeded bread were particularly good. The guests generally did dress up quite smartly for dinner even on casual nights and there were lots of dinner jackets and suits and ties to be seen on formal night. We spent the evenings at the shows which we really enjoyed. We saw the ice skating show - strings, the end of a magician show, Greece and the Take That experience. We arrived about half an hour before the ice show and Greece and got reasonable seats. These two shows were both full with people standing. We did not have any problems with Brits behaving badly despite this being a short cruise out of Southampton. We were impressed by Joff the cruise director who was visible at all the shows and very funny. We did not go to any of the bars but when walking through the Royal Prominade in the evenings I saw available seats. We didn't eat in there either as the children loved the Windjammer so much but I did have a look and the venues were much less crowded than the Windjammer and the food looked ok. We did go shopping in Sugar Beach which is a pick and mix sweet shop. The kids loved it but the dispensers go very fast and it is very easy to get more than you wanted. They did let us put some back when it got a bit out of hand! I didn't really "get" the Royal prominade and would not miss it if it wasn't there. All the windows on deck 5 were blocked with lifeboats. I think I prefered the centrum on Radiance class as a gathering place. We stayed on board in Rotterdam with a great view of the Erasmus Bridge. We took a taxi into Bruges for 55 euros each way. The journey was about 20 minutes. We went into the chocolate museum which was ok but probably would not do that again (25 euros for the four of us). We queued in the market square for a 30 minute horse and carriage ride/city tour for 50 euros which was brilliant. Disembarkation was very easy and quick. We took our own bags off so could leave at anytime before 8am. There was a queue to use the lift to bring the bigger bags down a level but it moved quickly and we were able to just walk out and back to the car. The traffic leaving Southampton was lighter than on arrival. In summary we had a great time on Independence of the Seas. Lots to do, great views and friendly helpful staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a BIG ship, but easy enough to find your way around after initial familiarisation. We chose to visit Northern Europe - Hamburg (OK, but not scintillating), Oslo (excellent) and Bruges (always lovely), since apart from Bruges these ... Read More
This is a BIG ship, but easy enough to find your way around after initial familiarisation. We chose to visit Northern Europe - Hamburg (OK, but not scintillating), Oslo (excellent) and Bruges (always lovely), since apart from Bruges these were destinations that we had not previously visited (we generally prefer smaller ships). We booked at the beginning of the year and paid just over £80 each per day for our inside-cabin on the seven-night cruise. The food quality was excellent (we preferred to dine in the main restaurant, but used the Windjammer on a number of occasions when port-excursions meant that this was the only 'standard' option) and service was generally of a very high standard everywhere on the ship. The professional ice-dancing show was pretty amazing and one or two of the other evening productions were just good entertainment. Frankly, those who have criticised the ship/crew/food/entertainment/ports of call probably onyl have themselves to blame for not seeking out the best possible deal on prices - but based on our own experiences II do not believe that we would have been disappointed even if we had paid at least one-nad-a-half times as much. In summary, an enjoyabe 'large ship' experience with plenty to do on board (that said, the library is pretty pathetic - but that is probaby because the ship does not typically cater for 'bookworms'). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruising so I chose a short break to test the waters ! I always thought cruises were for your twilight years how wrong was I . As a single mum with 2 young boys it was daunting however the terminal and ship staff talked me ... Read More
First time cruising so I chose a short break to test the waters ! I always thought cruises were for your twilight years how wrong was I . As a single mum with 2 young boys it was daunting however the terminal and ship staff talked me through what to expect and where to go and nothing was a problem it really was smooth sailing... ..great customer service. It is an impressive ship much larger than I ever thought it would be. Lots to do for all ages, rock climbing, surfing, swimming ,splash pools, slides, basket ball and the nightlife including bars, silent discos, amazing theatre shows and a superb ice show. The onboard ice rink that turns into laser run for the kids during the day. An actual Street on board where you can spend on bags at Michael Kors or something sparkly with Pandora. Amongst other shops it was mind blowing! We used the buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner there was an amazing display of great food to please all pallets. We had a balcony stateroom which was amble size and comfortable. I have booked again for next year we can't wait ! The Bruge snd Paris trips were well organised and seamless. I would recommend this ship and Royal caribbean for great care and customer service. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise because it was for our Anniversary in August. Embarkation at Southampton was very smooth and we were onboard in 20 mins. The ship is lovely and the staff were generally amazing with excellent service. Entertainment ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was for our Anniversary in August. Embarkation at Southampton was very smooth and we were onboard in 20 mins. The ship is lovely and the staff were generally amazing with excellent service. Entertainment team work hard and made us smile on more than one occasion, Joff does a great job as Entertainment Director and his team are really good. The Ports were lovely although Cartagena had a national holiday and we were not blown away by this stop. Gibraltar was good we took a private taxi from the town and it was really worth it. We avoided the cable car because the queue was 1.5 hours and the taxi was so good we made the right decision. If you walk straight when leaving the ship you see some arches and go through them into the shops, right by Debenhams there is a taxi rank and he charged us 35 euros each to go to the caves and then to see the apes at the top. It was a great 1.5 hours and he stopped for photos along the way. The ship was extremely busy but there were over 4000 brits on a ship from Southampton and yes there were lots of children (School holidays). I always got a sun bed but had to go to deck 12 but there were beds available everyday, unless you want a certain spot by the pool... I refuse to put towels down at the crack of dawn. The food was good, we liked the Windjammer and the main dining room was also a lovely experience. Grease is worth a watch and we had some good headliner acts too, the hypnotist was a funny evening. All in all a great holiday, we were 2 adults and enjoyed the trip. I would not particularly do the Southampton crossing again because of the Bay of Biscay and you may not have the weather but it is a good time to relax for a couple of days before you reach the sunshine. The positive of Southampton is the ease of getting on the ship and no issues with your luggage. We also had a really speedy disembarkation to our car when we left and this is all handled really well by the staff. Hope you enjoy your trip on the Indie. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are a retired couple, who have cruised many times with RCCL. This itinerary appealed to us, as we have been only once before, & wanted to explore the places again in greater depth. Normally, we don't cruise during school ... Read More
We are a retired couple, who have cruised many times with RCCL. This itinerary appealed to us, as we have been only once before, & wanted to explore the places again in greater depth. Normally, we don't cruise during school holidays, but this was the only suitable time for us, as this itinerary is not done often. We stayed overnight at Southampton, meaning it was a gentle stroll to the ship on embarkation day. The weather for the most part, was beautiful, so even that was in our favour. Boarding was a very straightforward procedure, no problems at all. Our only gripe... If a boarding time is given to pax, why doesn't RCCL insist the times are adhered to ? Theoretically, we should have been one of the first on, but boy did we get a surprise when we saw the crowds at check in. We have seen people arrive to check in as we have been leaving the ship early, on the final day. Our cabin, was well maintained by Eldridge, who cleaned it early, so it was done by the time we returned from breakfast. We ate breakfast in Chop's, where the service, & food were excellent. We enjoyed the interaction with the crew working there...all lovely people, who remembered our order as soon as we sat down. The chef was also excellent, with food for my husband, cooked to perfection. Breakfast was not the only time we ate there. We were invited to a special lunch, and the food we had was tasty, exquisitely presented, and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. Needless to say, we didn't eat dinner, or anything else, that evening !! The Windjammer looks good after its refurbishment, and the food presentation is well done. We never had any problems finding a table for two, either for a light snack at lunchtime,or in the evening for a one course meal. We never had a problem finding suitable, healthy, food, our problem was to restrict our choice ! Food, at our table for two, main seating, in the MDR was fine, as were the servers, but as we don't now have big appetites, we decided it was better for us to go to the WJ for a light, one course meal, consisting of various small items, opposed to a single main course plate. Hope that makes sense to you reading this ! The Maitre D's in the WJ were lovely people, normally there is only one, but Patel is taking over, so both were present whilst we were cruising. Our favourite bar was the Olive or Twist lounge on deck 14. Janice, lead bartender, was super, nothing ever seemed to phase her. She had a very good team, especially Milton, who took over when she wasn't present. Eugen, who normally worked in the pub on deck 5, assisted in the lounge in the evenings. Iwayan, senior bar manager, seemed omnipresent, always with a smile, & friendly word. This applied to all bar staff we encountered, both inside & on deck bars.. Stephan in Playmakers & Ralph in the Pool Bar, were prime examples of this. We didn't sit in Playmakers, but walked through it several times, meeting with Stephan each time, who engaged in conversation. The Pool Bar always seemed very busy, but the couple of times we got a cold drink, Ralph always acknowledged us...pity we didn't have an opportunity to chat with him longer. Junior & Mihee, Concierges, were first class people, attentive to ones needs, not that we required anything, but we observed them working. The Suite lounge is a lovely quiet place to sit and look out. The bar servers in there were good, but as there isn't a bar in situ, they always had to go out to either the pantry, or Olive or Twist bar for drinks. We had no problems getting served, but could see problems if the place was busy, & cocktails were ordered. The one major change which we liked...no smoking in the casino. It's taken a long time for this to happen, but now it's not an area to avoid. Passive smoking is as injurious to health as active smoking, so it's a win win situation for both crew & pax. We hope this is now fleet wide, & not just on certain ships. We did notice the extra areas for youngsters & young at heart, on top deck, but, as they didn't appeal to us,we avoided going there. Craig, the Hotel Director, does a good job, and we enjoyed chatting with him. The Next Cruise team, headed by Alexs & Matt, were good, kept busy, but nothing was too much bother for them. Unfortunately, we didn't book future cruises onboard this time, but Matt was very helpful with our enquiry. Justin, LA, on deck 2, was always willing to help, but again, we really didn't need her assistance. This was only a short cruise, but we enjoyed it, & look forward to sailing on her again in the near future, for a longer period of time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was my very first cruise and what an amazing experience. The staff from cleaners to waiters to entertainers, were simply amazing! The food was to die for. The selection of food to choose from was fantastic! I had the best 6 days ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and what an amazing experience. The staff from cleaners to waiters to entertainers, were simply amazing! The food was to die for. The selection of food to choose from was fantastic! I had the best 6 days ever!!! It was sad to wave the ship goodbye today when we arrived back in Southhampton but I will for sure book again. I want to thank Captain Teo Strazicic for taking good care of the ship while we were on board. I felt very safe. Also a big thank you to the cleaners who made my bed everyday and kept my refreshments stocked. To the waiters who served us on Deck 3.... Thank you! You were amazing. A week to remember always. I have nothing negative to say except for a little issue I had last night. I was feeling very ill and when I called to speak to the nurse, she was rather rude and sounded as if I were annoying her by calling. I literally couldn't walk and she said she would only help me if i went to deck 1 and paid for meds. I was flabbergasted. I was so ill and I was in bed because of it, but she wouldn't help me unless I went to her. This is the only negative feedback I can give. The ship was clean and very entertaining. Loved it never the less!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked our cruise with Cruise Village who were amazing througout the whole booking process. We drove to Southampton & check in was seamless everyone was extremely helpful. Boat & staff were amazing. Food outstanding!! Kids ... Read More
We booked our cruise with Cruise Village who were amazing througout the whole booking process. We drove to Southampton & check in was seamless everyone was extremely helpful. Boat & staff were amazing. Food outstanding!! Kids clubs were great my 3 young children loved it. We loved waking up in a different place most days. Particularly loved Valencia & Lisbon. Our twins celebrated there 6th birthday on board and staff really did make a big fuss of them especially in the Windjammer restaurant. Some negatives are; Pool area too small for volume of holiday makers. Dining times in main restaurant far too restrictive. Alcoholic drinks were ridiculously expensive. Not much variety of merchandise in on board shops. Evening entertainment not great a bit 80’s cabaret (cheesy)! Could not believe no ironing/ self service laundry-especially with having 3 young children. Loved the whole experience though & would use Royal Carribean again but probsbly a different ship. Read Less
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