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82 Royal Caribbean Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

It was the Snowbird 13 day cruise and we wanted to visit Quebec City while seeing all fall colors. Where do I begin? Cabin had stains on carpet, dust under TV and, after one week, had to request a sheet change. The main dining room ... Read More
It was the Snowbird 13 day cruise and we wanted to visit Quebec City while seeing all fall colors. Where do I begin? Cabin had stains on carpet, dust under TV and, after one week, had to request a sheet change. The main dining room food, although good, had a very limited selection. Buffet was very good and service in both main and buffet was great! Entertainment was terrible and the night we were looking forward to "Can't Stop the Rock" was cancelled at the last minute without notifying passengers. Excursions okay but only two guides stand out as really good and two very bad. The L'ile de Orleans tours with winery had a guide that talked mostly about her drinking and didn't cover economy or history of island. The tour to Bay of Fundy, NS, also had a poor guide, Mike, that didn't know much of island's information, economy or history. Very unorganized in almost everything. Out of comment cards in English, no box to put them in, out of wash clothes one morning, operator gave wrong info for weather channel, really difficult to sign up for Galley Tour (took six phone calls and finally walked down to restaurant to book). Very old movies shown in theater. Library had very small selection with few books. We booked direct with RC and requested window table for two. It was not done and had to plead to get what we wanted. They had no record of it even thought it was noted that we preferred window seat on our confirmation. Tables set much too close together in main dining room even though many tables empty. It was very loud and servers couldn't even fit between tables. Our "spacious ocean view balcony" room was a good size but balcony was very, very small. Never would choose RC again. Oh, one last thing, I made some of these comments while on cruise and requested a call but never received any. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 14th cruise with Royal Caribbean. First the good. The food was excellent. The staff delightful and helpful except for guest services. Adventure Ocean and their staff was delightful and our grandkids loved it. The public ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise with Royal Caribbean. First the good. The food was excellent. The staff delightful and helpful except for guest services. Adventure Ocean and their staff was delightful and our grandkids loved it. The public areas of the ship were clean and appealing. The bad: I have been your customer since 2004. The relationship was great through 2014. We have never cancelled or changed a cruise booking. In my opinion, we have been model customers. Apparently we have a difference of opinions on that. We sang RC praises for years. When friends wanted to go on a cruise I demanded we go RC or we wouldn’t go. When we booked this cruise it was to be a family cruise. Not too long after booking, one of our son and his wife found out she was pregnant. Your policy will not allow her to cruise so close to her due date. I decided to cancel the cruise because I didn’t want to be on a cruise when the baby was born. Because I trusted RC and I THOUGHT we had a good relationship I was absolutely shocked when I found out there was a $100 charge per person for changing or cancelling the cruise. Sure enough, there it was. Hidden in the fine print. And to add insult to injury I had to PROVE with a Dr.s note that she was indeed pregnant. In other words I was a liar and had to prove she was expecting. And please don’t hide behind the malarkey that it’s your policy. I would have thought that you could look at our past relationship and take my word for it. But no. I guess you thought I was just trying to get out of a cruise. Something I’ve never done before or would ever do without a very good reason and this was a good reason. You showed before we even got close to the cruise that you didn’t trust me. Being a Diamond members I felt you treated us just like a first time customer. The baby was due the middle of November. Our granddaughter was born on Oct 10 while we were on the cruise. Thanks Royal Caribbean. This gratuity thing is completely out of control. The number one thing that absolute angered me and ruined the cruise for me was on day three I noticed they were charging us $14.50 per person per day for gratuity. We had 2 cabins and there was three in one room and two in the other. I specifically asked when I booked the cruise that I did not want automatic gratuities. I remember seeing on one of my documents that stated that I opted out of automatic gratuities. But you still put them on my account. Why? Were you hoping I wouldn’t notice? In my opinion you have this backwards. Automatic gratuities should be something the customer opts into and not have to opt out of. You charge 18% gratuity on everything we purchase. I would be curious how much of that 18% on all purchases makes it to your workers? Remember that trust goes two ways. We took our other son, his wife and two little boys (4 and 5 years old) because of all the water activities they could play on. When we got up to the pool deck and went to go on the children’s water slide we were informed that they aren’t tall enough to go down the slide. So we went over to the smaller area were there’s a slide and were informed that that area was for diapered toddlers only and were run out of there. We went to the back of the ship were the big slide was thinking I could go down with them. Nope. There was no water activities other than a small pool they could play in. Who in the world in your company thought this was a good idea to completely exclude certain size children from all water slides and fun water items? We recently became foster parents to three teenage girls. They had never been on a cruise and we decided to take them on the cruise with us. I needed to find out what paperwork I needed to take these girls out of the country. I emailed RC multiple times and was finally told that RC does not approve documents. I was given a phone number to the Port of Galveston and when I called I spoke to a women I was curtly told me that they didn’t do that and she had no idea why the cruise lines give out their phone number. I was right back to where I started from. FINALLY, after persistent but polite emails,I received an email from RC with an email address to someone at the Port of Galveston who could review the documents. I sent them and promptly received a thumbs up. The last thing I wanted to do was show up at the port, on a Sunday morning, and be told that the documents weren’t adequate. I would think a request like this would be an easy task for a cruise line? Sorentoe’s: I could never figure out when they would be open. One morning I went down to get coffee and they were open. I had the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever eaten. Looked so forward to that the rest of the cruise. Never saw Sorento’s open for breakfast again. Their pizza was delicious by the way. The daily cruise sheet we would receive in our stateroom the night before about the next days activities would have the times of the shops and restaurants hours. Unless I read the sheet incorrectly Sorento’s would be open earlier or later. I could never count on the hours published. Our dinning room table: I explained to our girls how beautiful the formal dining room was and how it was nice to have a nice meal while having a view of the ocean. Nope. We were stuck at table (501) which is in a corner with a window and a wonderful view of a lifeboat. Your company makes such a big deal about gratuities that on day five I wanted to get cash to give to my waiter, asst. waiter and stateroom attendant their gratuities. They all did a fantastic job. I went to the ATMs to get cash and none of them worked. I was informed by one of your staff at guest services that it was a satellite issue. I found out later that all the ATM’s were out of cash. I spent hours trying to get cash out of ATMs. Had I been told he truth, I wouldn’t have waste my time. I went down to the casino to get cash ($120) on my seapass. First all you charge 5% fee to get cash to gamble with and they informed me they’re not allowed to give us cash. I went to guest services and told them my problem and she told me I couldn’t give a gratuity on my seapass account since I opted out of prepaid gratuities. It took my quite a while to get her to understand I only wanted to give my assistant waiter his tip. I had enough cash for the stateroom attendant and waiter. She finally gave me a form to fill out. I got the assistant waiters full name and filled out the form. I showed it to the assistant waiter and told him to watch for his tip. When I took the form down to guest service to turn in I handed it to one of your employees behind the desk and it was obvious he had no idea what that document was. How do I know? Because he ask me what it was for. I had to explain to him what it was as the woman who helped me was not there. I did get charged for it on my seapass account so I hope the employee received it. I talked to other guest on this cruise and read reviews that your automatic gratuity is not well received. The windjammer is too small for they way you manage it. People come in, get their food and sit and eat it. Then they decide to sit there and take up a table while they sit and talk and drink coffee for hours. After all the view is wonderful. I think it would be a great idea to make an announcement every so often that reminds people that if they are through eating to go elsewhere to sit and talk as curtesy to other guest. There’s other places on the ship where the view is just as spectacular. I went to breakfast the first morning then never went back because it was almost impossible to find a table. Pictures: We wanted to buy a couple of pictures for our son and his family. We told your employee that we wanted to pay for the pictures using our account. He stated that we could absolutely do that. Our sons account was charged instead. In summary, the odds of me ever sailing on Royal Caribbean are virtually non existent at best. Your company chose to open this Pandora’s box of mistrust of me right from the beginning of booking this cruise. Maybe I have an unrealistic view of myself and the way I think you should view me. If so, then I accept full responsibility for your attitude towards me. I have never raised my voice or belittled any of your employees either in person or on the phone. I firmly believe in the phrase “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” Maybe you want me to go elsewhere? I did notice your little facial expressions emoji when my account was pulled up. Maybe I’ve done something that makes you no longer value me as a customer? IF, and I mean a big IF, I ever cruise again it will not be on RC. I no longer see it as a good value for my money. I no longer see our relationship going any further. And if you are considered the best cruise line for the last 16 years then I WILL NOT cruise ever again on any cruise line if RC is considered the benchmark. In retrospect I greatly regret not eating the $600 charge and cancelling the cruise. How many of your guests are willing to take the time to write a review with such detail as I have? I am not looking for any thing free and I can’t think of anything you can do to salvage our relationship. I’m afraid it’s damaged beyond repair. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on this ship 2 years ago going south and weren't really impressed but only went this trip because of the 9 nights we would suppose to be in port 5 days - didn't happen. A week prior to boarding we got an email that said ... Read More
We were on this ship 2 years ago going south and weren't really impressed but only went this trip because of the 9 nights we would suppose to be in port 5 days - didn't happen. A week prior to boarding we got an email that said due to a coast guard inspection don't show up until noon - no big deal. The boat did not leave until the following morning. It then didn't pull into boston until 3pm and there was absolutely no transportation and they canceled all shore tours. Went to Portland and then to Bar Harbor which they canceled because their "life boats" couldn't tender because of the winds - even though Bar Harbor has commercial tenders that could have been used - that's on Royal Caribbean. Then they announced that Saint Johns had been canceled even though the weather for the following day was 50, 6MPH and cloudy. So they decide to go BACK to Boston - are you kidding me. Back to boston then we hiked it all the way back to Halifax. Due to a tropical depression we were then late into Baltimore by 7 hours. The boat is aged and can't support a cold weather cruise. seating everywhere is limited. They have a majority (or lack there of) the entertainment on the Centrium deck 4 which has very limited seating. The two musical groups were on the ship two years ago. Upon getting on the ship, you could not get a seat anywhere on deck 9 and people were sitting out in the cold on lounge chairs by the pool I saw one staff member bussing tables - it was not a good situation. We have been on over 20 cruises and the food was par with golden coral buffet. the only worse food we experienced was on NCL. The buffet the food was luke warm at best. They did have a wide variety though. The dining room was so so. Twice my wife's good was cold and you can't blame the waiters, that's on the kitchen. I order a steak one night and it was maybe a 1/4 inch thick. A miller light was 8.56 and I order Manhattans which of the 7 I ordered 5 came that were 3/4 full - !5 bucks a pop. The room was okay, we did an inside because I knew the weather would be cold and windy. The room steward was great. Our waiters were also great. It seems that every time the ship would make an announcement they were wrong or didn't want to tell us what was going on up front. If they said we were pulling in late and would be there at 12, we got there at 3. We've been on numerous royal Caribbean ships and this ship is not representative of the company. I think they have a captive audience in Baltimore. I also think that the ship has operated in a subpar mode so long they think it's acceptable and the norm. Even if Royal gave us a free cruise on this ship we wouldn't waste our time Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we had a discount from Royal Caribbean because the previous cruise we were on we had a flooded cabin on the Allure of the Seas. We also chose this cruise because of the size of the ship. Neither my husband ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had a discount from Royal Caribbean because the previous cruise we were on we had a flooded cabin on the Allure of the Seas. We also chose this cruise because of the size of the ship. Neither my husband nor I liked the bigger ship, Allure. We preferred the smaller ships. We also liked the time of year and the biggest reason was the ports of call. We were very interested in seeing Boston however that stop & St John, Newfoundland was cancelled. We flew into Baltimore 2 days before cruse so we could see something of the city. We received an email from RC telling us even though hurricane Dorian may come our way we still had to be onboard ship before 3pm on Thursday, September 5th the day of departure. However, we did not leave until the morning of Saturday, September 7th. We also could not leave the ship. This is where I think RC dropped the ball. I think they should have had excursions into Baltimore instead of just having 2,300 people sitting on a ship. Good for them because then the passengers spend more money at the bar. What do you do for 2 days on a ship? My next problem was who made the decision on what ports to cancel? We went to 2 in Maine & 1 in Canada. Why didn't they choose the one in Boston, 1 in Maine & 1 in Canada? We did stop in Boston late at night for an emergency stop. We were on our way to Bar Harbor, ME but had to turn around & go back to Boston to drop a passenger off due to health emergency There were no medical facilities in Bar Harbor, ME? What happened when President Bush was at Kennebuckport? Of course this put us behind again. Finally I was not impressed with the excursions but I believe that was because we were always behind. The only thing we were on time for was the return to Baltimore. Had to be on time because another cruise was leaving that evening and they had to get us off & get ready for the next cruise. The dining staff in main dining room was terrific. Our stateroom attendant was also very good and helpful. I asked for ice and wine glasses & each night I had them in my stateroom. The entertainment was okay. The activities were okay but I think they were running out of ideas. You can only play corn hole so many days. The service was terrific. As with every other Royal Caribbean cruise we have been on the crew is fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up ... Read More
The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up singer for bigger names. The comedian was a has been second rate actor from the 90s. The service was average. We chose "my time" dining but it wasn't. They told us we needed to go to dinner at 8pm every night. And service was slow and they made mistakes. As a result we missed the shows. The smoke from the casino wafted throughout the ship. And you could not go from the dining room to the theater without going through the casino. The ports were short. We had to be back on the ship by 4:30 each day. We couldn't eat dinner at our destinations. They screwed up the billing and we had to go to guest services twice. Boring cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised a lot, like 24 times, with different lines, but the majority with Disney usually on the Magic. We do long cruises, so nine days was quite short for us. It didn't start well, as once booked I contacted RCL to see if ... Read More
We have cruised a lot, like 24 times, with different lines, but the majority with Disney usually on the Magic. We do long cruises, so nine days was quite short for us. It didn't start well, as once booked I contacted RCL to see if they had my Crown and Anchor number, as I couldn't find the details. Although it was back in 2000, they had no record of us cruising with them. I sent them a photo of my old dated Compass copies, they couldn't accept these. I gave up, they did however have our Celebrity cruises listed! We stayed four nights in New York before the cruise. When we got on board, I found our drinks package wasn't showing. I went to guest services, waiting for 20 minutes and was told it wasn't there. I had purchased it, because it had gone up $40 within a few days on the website and I was worried it would go up again. At the time when it went up over night, I thought this was a bit unfair. Even more unfair was that the transaction hadn't gone through and once the cruise date comes, the information on your web log in, is wiped! We had to purchase the package on board, which cost us even more - an extra $12 per day per person! So now, I'm thinking this all seems a bit 'nickle and diming' and it doesn't feel a good way to start a cruise. The cabin was great, a standard balcony room. Very clean, good air con. However the cabin stewardess told us off for leaving the door open at night, we love the sound of the waves, 'as the flies come in'!! The ship is large, but inside doesn't appear as large as some of the other ships we have been on. However, the spaces are all a bit strange for their uses. The visibility in the theatre was rubbish from upstairs with perspex screens and bars in the way, even in the front row balcony you had to lean forward. The schooner bar was what should have been a lovely piano lounge had people walking through and lifts at the end. It also seemed to have lots of quizzes, which kind of spoiled the ambiance a little. The Music Hall was enormous and always empty. The bands that played were good, but it was dark and not somewhere I wanted to hang out in. The pub was just basic, no comfort, very plain, very small, nothing like a real pub although the service and attention we had here was the best on the whole ship. It was extremely uncomfortable and basic. There was Solero lounge, which was more of what we like, but always had a dance band in, with people doing ballroom and we felt that was the crowd that was in there,the music was always the same, a sort of swing waltzy type of music. The large area at the back, wasn't really a lounge bar, more of an area to eat from the sandwich shop, or to see the show on the big screen. Again, not somewhere to really sit and be comfortable, the seats are hard leather and the layout to get through to one area to another isn't easy. I felt a bit like I was in a maze! We had My TIme dining, which we tried to book a time for. However, we ended up having to queue for 15 minutes or more each night, it was bedlam! We were in Silk, which was again, dark and very cheaply decorated. The tables were so close and cramped we could hear every word our neighbours said. The service was shocking, cold food, water not refilled and waiting for wine to come, we were on mains, before it turned up. We ate in Silk twice and then ate up in the buffet after that. We love leisurely meals in lovely surroundings on our cruises, but the buffet was quieter and a much nicer environment to sit in. If you ever told me I wouldn't eat in a dining room on a cruise, I would not have believed it! We had breakfast in Silk, once, the experience was so awful, we didn't again. We ate at Chops, which was okay, although my sea bass was over cooked. The service was a little better. We ate at Wonderland, which was fun, but the service was poor. We had to ask each time for water to be refilled and waiting for wine. In fact my other half nearly went off to the bar to get it himself. The shows were okay. We will Rock You is great. The Gift has great costumes, staging and design, but was a little hard to follow the story - just a bit weird. Spectra was not at all impressive. The comedian was good, if a little 'near the mark', but that was it! Nine nights and we found ourselves wandering around, not knowing where to go, we don't do Bingo, we don't do quizzes, we don't do ballroom, so we went back to the cabin a lot of the time. It needs a nice quiet relaxing, comfortable piano bar, something a little more classy than a pub or music hall. The bionic bar was good and do the best cocktails ever, because the quantities are standard. Sadly the bar staff all make cocktails differently, thinking they are doing you a favour by putting an extra slug in for you, but it upsets the balance. I don't think one Sangria we had was the same as another. Other half drinks brown beer, but the only one they had was Newcastle Brown, which is the UK is a pretty cheap beer. The stuff that winos on the street drink, or 'lads on the lash'. This was only available in the pub, so wherever we were, he had to go and get one himself.. A few times we were up in the North Star bar, but he had to go down and get a beer. None of the staff offered to go for him, when he asked for it, which is unheard of on most ships. There were some good activities Ifly, Surfing and climbing. Dodgems had a huge queue and you only got about five minutes. Our teen said the kids clubs were disappointing and very plain and unexciting, with only a few X boxes, but she enjoyed going. The language of some of the children around the ship was shocking. I don't expect to hear the F word used as a matter of course and perhaps the counselors could have reiterated a code of conduct. My daughter said it was the same in the club! We only did one excursion, which was to Peggy's Cove and Hop on Hop off bus. However, once you get back from Peggy's Cove, there isn't really time to do the bus, so was a bit of a waste really. The excursions are certainly cheaper than those on other ships we have been on, although the guy selling them had no idea what they encompassed and told us that the bus went to the Titantic Cemetery too, which was next to the museum. I didn't think this was the case, as the museum was by the ship, but he insisted we could do the cemetery and museum - we couldn't! Getting on and getting off was fantastic, a well oiled machine and the best on any ship we have been on. The food was good in the buffet and probably some of the best we have seen, the layout in there was excellent. Othe rhalf wasn't happy seeing people go into dinner in the restaurant in skimpy shorts and vest tops, there should be a standard for dinner at least. Would we cruise RCL again? Probably not. It was very disappointing. As new cruisers after a long break to RCL it was their chance to 'get us in', they failed. As my grandmother would say, it was all 'fur coat and no knickers' Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed on the Voyager of the Sea RC and it was fantastic. Thinking this was a newer ship we would be pleased. NOT! The food was not good at all. Service wasn't bad, but we had anytime dining and ate at The American Icon and Silk ... Read More
We sailed on the Voyager of the Sea RC and it was fantastic. Thinking this was a newer ship we would be pleased. NOT! The food was not good at all. Service wasn't bad, but we had anytime dining and ate at The American Icon and Silk most of the time. Plain décor in the Icon and noisy. Food mediocre at best. Silk a little better. Ismael was wonderful as our server but again the food was thumbs down. We were on a New England cruise and had to pay for lobster except for one night and it was awful that night. Paying for a good fillet or lobster is something I never had to do on a ship. AND we had to pay $2.50 for a small bag of POPCORN! The "diner" on top deck was never used because you had to pay for a hamburger, fries and milk shake! Two 70 eating area had a good salad. Windjammer was always crowded and typical buffet food. Even the ice cream was bad. Drinks were very expensive too. Shows were not for the older crowd on board for sure. The Gift, Spectra Cabaret, and We Will Rock You did not interest 60-80 year old people. The Elvis impersonator was good and so were the Las Vegas Tenors. All games including Name That Tune were for younger people....I don't think a 78 year old knows Bono's songs. The days at sea were boring for sure and we never made it to St. John. I was kind of glad because it was a 12 hour stop. It was a very crowded ship too. Lines were long for the shows and they wanted you to make reservations that were not necessary. Ran out of hand sanitizer often. We did get to ride the local bus for free in Halifax. They said we could go anywhere we wanted on it. Won't do RC again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The food in the dining room on this ship is far inferior to any RC ship I have cruised on.Overcooked chicken and steak, and tasteless fish. The service in the dining room for breakfast and lunch was extremely slow, and very slow for ... Read More
The food in the dining room on this ship is far inferior to any RC ship I have cruised on.Overcooked chicken and steak, and tasteless fish. The service in the dining room for breakfast and lunch was extremely slow, and very slow for dinner. We cruised on Carnival Miracle in September 2018 and the food was excellent. The cabin was a starboard side ocean view. It was very noisy; we could hear and feel a pump running, it seemed like every time someone flushed a toilet. What was worse, and dangerous, was that sewer gas would come up from the shower. I told the room steward and his response led me to believe that this was a known problem. I kept a wet wash cloth over the shower drain and this helped keep the smell to a minimum. I noticed that when I flushed the toilet the wet washcloth would bubble up where the gas was trying to escape into the room. Because of weather we skipped two ports. RC did not offer us any form of recompense, however our traveling companions were offered a discount on a future cruise. When we contacted RC to ask for the same offer we were told that no such offer existed. Our traveling companions sent us a voice mail from RC that they received making this offer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. ... Read More
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. Entertainment, C-, guess they are using the money on the bigger ships. Dining, same menu every four days, and if you are in a section with Pinnacle or Suite, you will just have to wait!. The ship is well maintained, but who ever did the planning and ordering really messed up. Plus they have been doing this run for two months, so it should be history. The on ship activities are located in small venues, such as Triva in the Scooner Bar, people are sitting on the floors and they refuse to change to the larger lounge that is one flight up. There is nothing even scheduled in there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As a Diamond Plus member with over 50 cruises of various cruiselines, this was by far the worse cruise I have ever taken. The good. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly except for someone taking my luggage instead of their own ... Read More
As a Diamond Plus member with over 50 cruises of various cruiselines, this was by far the worse cruise I have ever taken. The good. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly except for someone taking my luggage instead of their own to the airport. We both departed early, yet they got the jump on me and grabbed their bag. Port Everglades Royal Agent Maggie was excellent in confirming the passenger exited before me so we could confidently assume they took my bag which was similar. They eventually returned to the seaport when my bag was weighed at the airport. My cabin steward Richard on Deck 8 was excellent in keeping our cabin great, clean and attending to our needs and request. The bad: on Day 2 was supposed to take place at 4 pm per announcements made at 3:50 and Compass. It was cold and drizzling in Quebec City. Due to the delay of Royal excursions, while most of us stood either outside or inside (certainly not even enough seats for the elderly) for 45 minutes the emergency drill whistles did not go off until 4:30 and the muster did not end until 4:45. With 1300 elites on board, two of the four elevators to the Diamond and Suite lounges were inoperable the entire 13 night cruise, leaving most to have to walk up. While four contractors were visible on occasion working on the elevators, I mostly saw them in the Windjammer eating vs actually working. Needless to say there were not enough room or seats, even when the overflow were allowed into the Viking Crown. I did not see the Diamond Concierge until Day three, as he was out sick due to back pain for the first two days. The first two nights of the D event were by far the most disorganized. When he did return he was unable to book reservations for the times we wanted, although we tried on our own to book specialty reservations immediately when we embarked. He rarely left his desk and didn’t get up and chat with any passengers. Due to the cold weather and age of the average passenger, the ship seemed to be overly crowded as no one was on the pool deck and their did not seem to be enough seats in the interior. The Adventure Solarium is not covered so it too was too cold to attract passengers during its voyage. Finally when we reached warmer climate and the ability to use my balcony, I get a letter stating I may NOT use my balcony from 9-4 while docked in Port Canaveral while they varnish my balcony rail. So of two days I can sit out, one I can’t. They should have done it earlier in our cruise when it was too cold to sit out. During our Portland Lighthouse ship tour, we left late because the bus they sent did not know how to operate the wheelchair lift as we had a passenger who needed that service. The driver mentioned they only have a couple of these types of lifts and it was the first time he was using it. Again, everyone was held off the bus in the cold while they figured it out. I felt badly for the woman in the wheelchair as well. She only got off at one lighthouse. the food hardly changed from day to day in the Windjammer. Other than carving station, the offerings were the same. I will say I think Royal’s desserts were good. Giovanni’s menu was awful. It was small and how can an Italian restaurant not offer lasagna. Chops was no better. Actually the filet mignon was better in Giovannis. TV offerings were awful. Royal did not take the weather or audience into consideration. Showing two movies a day at least OUTSIDE where the weather was awful. I would have gone to a movie in the theater during the bad weather. We skipped Sydney and did not get an updated compass until 4 pm. Yet with bad weather, we witnessed their lifeguards mandated to stand in the cold empty swimming pools. I guess they lost some lawsuit, but it looked and was insane to make the lifeguards do this when there were no children in the pool and I believe only 7 onboard. I only saw two children and a poodle. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Horrible management on this sailing. MDR people and cabin steward were great but there was a total lack of concern by everyone else. Missed a port due to bad weather, cold, rain. They think it's a wonderful thing to show movies ... Read More
Horrible management on this sailing. MDR people and cabin steward were great but there was a total lack of concern by everyone else. Missed a port due to bad weather, cold, rain. They think it's a wonderful thing to show movies outside. What happened to streaming in rooms considering the weather! Large ship but other than trivia, not much else going on. Even the solarium wasn't covered. The evening reception was wall to wall people. Claimed they couldn't put in a larger venue because they promised the space to Park West!! During that time, the imperial loung was vacant!! In the meantime, no monitoring of who belongs in the evening reception other than,someone look quickly at you sea pass card going into the diamond lounge. The m ale shift bar, nobody the ked. Of course you could haced easily given your card to anybody. Who would have known? Suffice it to say, many NON Diamond on up passengers were able to benefit from the free drinks etc. from 4:30 to 8. To add insult to injury, we wanted to disembark in Canaveral 1 day early and planned it prior to sailing. Told $65 to do that. Challenged it with Miami, no luck. Found out that passengers that decided to get off earlier while onboard the cruise, NO CHARGE!!! Not rumor. Guest relations verified it and said we had to discuss with Miami. Used to be, as they say, loyal to Royal". Now the million dollar question, WHY? There were so many disgusted passengers on this cruise so I know this is not an isolated case, sadly. We are diamond plus, but with this treatment, are the perks worth it? Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Serenade of the Seas had the worst food that I have had on my 8 cruises. During the day, the Park Café was mediocre with mini quesadillas being the best thing on the menu. At night, the available food was cut in half and the Panini ... Read More
The Serenade of the Seas had the worst food that I have had on my 8 cruises. During the day, the Park Café was mediocre with mini quesadillas being the best thing on the menu. At night, the available food was cut in half and the Panini sandwiches were heated using a microwave. No one could tell us way the Panini Press could not be used at night. The cakes and cookies at the Park Café were always inedible. The Windjammer Café was just slightly better. A meat skewer offered during Middle Eastern night was not recognizable as food. This product became the opening joke for the late night comedian. There were virtually no vegetables and all meats except chicken were poorly prepared. All fish was either bland or salty. Potatoes, chicken, cakes, and pies were Ok. The Reflections Dining room was somewhat better than the Windjammer. The main entrée was OK on two of six nights that we ate there. On the bad side, the sauce for the Shrimp Ravioli was so salty we could not eat a single bite. The exception to the bad food was the at-sea luncheon buffet in the Reflections Dining room. This was absolutely fantastic. The seafood included delicious cold grilled lobster, and large scallops. If all meals were up to the quality of these luncheons, I would not be writing a bad review. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Starting with my first Royal Caribbean Cruise 15yrs ago, then multiple Carnival Cruises after that, we decided to choose Royal Caribbean again because of how much we enjoyed the first one. After 5 Cruises prior to this one in 2018, I’d ... Read More
Starting with my first Royal Caribbean Cruise 15yrs ago, then multiple Carnival Cruises after that, we decided to choose Royal Caribbean again because of how much we enjoyed the first one. After 5 Cruises prior to this one in 2018, I’d consider myself experienced and because of that, I have realistic expectations of what a Cruise should entail. Well, unfortunately this one was the WORST ship (Serenade of the Seas) I’ve been on. We travelled with a group of family consisting of ten people in total - 6 adults and 4 children. Three children under the age 10, one being 12 and the adults ranging from 40yrs of age to 60 yrs of age. We were amongst 1800 senior citizens, if not more! (Nothing against seniors, for the record) They should just market this Cruise for seniors, and not families traveling with little ones. 2/3 pools were closed on the ship. Jumbo TV over the main area was broken so there were no movie nights for the entire 7 day duration of the Cruise. Kid friendly night club was closed, as well as most of the child friendly activities weren’t running. There’s one indoor pool on the boat, which was considered “adult only” however nobody mentions that children are allowed to swim 2hrs per day during a scheduled period until the very last day of the Cruise - THANKS! The formal dining service was not very good and the food was mediocre at best. The Matradee (short, balding, mid 50’s, Greek type fellow) responsible for looking after the guests dining experience, purposely ignored our table every night, only catering to the senior citizens. It was almost comical watching him squirm and go out of his way to Ignore our table. We travelled in a pack of 10, it would be pretty hard not to see us!! The daycare centre was phenomenal and for the kids, one of the highlights of the trip. They were excellent with our kids and they enjoyed their time & activities at “Adventure Ocean”. The boat was very dated and it showed in all areas of the ship, There was next to no child friendly live entertainment and unless you wanted to listen to vulgarity, you were out of luck. This Cruise fell WAY below my expectations, especially for the high standard I remembered Royal Caribbean to have. It was such a bad experience, I have no reason to ever book again with them. Carnival Cruise line was way better. SO much more of a friendlier family, single and couples ship and to top it off....so much more affordable!! Royal Caribbean, you dropped the ball big time!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our luggage was taken to security. We were not notified and questioned where our luggage was. We were told it could be up until 9:00 PM when we received our bags. One bag was in the room by 4. We were advised to go to security. We ... Read More
Our luggage was taken to security. We were not notified and questioned where our luggage was. We were told it could be up until 9:00 PM when we received our bags. One bag was in the room by 4. We were advised to go to security. We were not notified our missing bag was being held in security! We went to security and were told we had to be present to open our bag. They opened our bag and there was nothing illegal in the bag We could not get a reservation for dinner in the main dining room and we booked our cruise 2 months in advance. We were told we had to call the dining room to make a reservation. No one answered the phone the whole first day. We were told at almost every port we had to meet in the theater 1 hour prior to our excursion. We sat in the theater and waited for our excursion to be called. We scheduled our excursions so we didn’t have to get up early. There was absolutely no reason to meet in the theater when we could have met our excursion on shore at the advertised time. No port maps before arrival at any port. Preview of port excursions was done in the art gallery. Art work blocked the screen. Could not understand the presenter. English was very poor Service in the main dining room, even with a reservation was so slow we could not get to the first show. Over 2 hours for two people to eat is inexcusable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon and from the time we paid in full for our trip to the time we got off the ship Royal Caribbean was a total let down and less than helpful. Our trouble began before even boarding with dissengaged ... Read More
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon and from the time we paid in full for our trip to the time we got off the ship Royal Caribbean was a total let down and less than helpful. Our trouble began before even boarding with dissengaged customer service representatives who seemed to only be able to give us the run around about "proper documentation" and even at one point suggested we CANCEL our trip two days before becuse according to them port authority would not verify my license with my new married name! After hours on hold and conflicting responses of "yes your documentation is fine" and "no it's unacceptable" we were put in contact with a Ms. Brittney Grant who told us to email all of the documentation to her and she would contact port authority for us and call us the following day.....that was the last time we talked to her. When we made and effort to get back in contact with her it seemed as though no one knew who she was or how to get in contact with her. Then the following day, a Sunday, we received an email informing us that she had contacted port authority and they had told her my documentation was unacceptable and we should look into canceling. We didn't cancel we did some research of our own and showed up on cruise day with the "unacceptable documentation" and were welcomed onto the ship with open arms.....we spend days calling, worrying and stressing for NOTHING!! Royal Caribbean needs to take a serious look at their customer service department. Once on the ship our expectations were once again not met! We found the ship, while one of the largest on the seas, to have sub par entertainment options. Days at sea we struggled to find things to do, the "library" was one bookshelf with 12 books, the dinning was unorganized, almost all of the shows required pre-registration which could only be one through a kiosk at guest services or if you paid extra to use the ships Wi-Fi and download their app. The central hub of the ship was nothing but pushy vendors trying to persuade you into spending extra money and restaurants that also cost extra! What happened to "all inclusive"??? When it came to our excursions we were once again let down. The price we paid for the excursions we experienced were ridiculous. No one wants to pay over 200 dollars to be shoved on a bus for a 2 hour highway drive and more shops where you have to again spend extra. It seemed the only fun we had was fun we made for ourselves off the ship and unaffiliated with Royal Caribbean. Getting off the ship was no breeze either! In one particular port of call there was a tender service which was totally fine...what was not fine was the fact that we needed tickets that dictated what time we were allowed to get off the ship, that we didn't find out we needed until the night before. Then after waiting in line for our ticks at 7 A.M. no one even bothered to look at them. My Husband has been on several cruises with Carrnival and was under the impresaion that Royal Caribbean was a step up. Boy were we wrong! We loved our honeymoon but not Royal Caribbean!! Sail Carnival folks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had sailed with RC 2 times prior and had satisfactory cruises. Friends had booked this cruise and invited us to join them. When trying to get anywhere on the fully booked ship, having so many elevators out of service was indeed a ... Read More
We had sailed with RC 2 times prior and had satisfactory cruises. Friends had booked this cruise and invited us to join them. When trying to get anywhere on the fully booked ship, having so many elevators out of service was indeed a huge inconvenience. Some had no AC and were always packed tight. Getting around the ship proved difficult as you couldn't cross over to the other side easily. The shows were just mediocre. Drinks were way too pricey. The night I tried karaoke, a 2 year old was allowed to crawl right up to where the monitor was repeatedly. "Issac" said nothing. I asked If I could take one of the books to look at songs, (we were two seats from the front) He said 'no they must be kept up here. I said 'that's OK I understand.' Two minutes later he gave a book to a gentleman and his family sitting right beside us. What the heck!? Food was again mediocre except for the last night which was great. We loved out wait staff. Comedians were good. Hubby enjoyed the FlowRider and water slides. We loved the ports of call. It was a smooth sail. Overall the bad far outweighed the good for us and we will never be back. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Have been a cruiser for many years. Choose this cruise for date and itinerary. Went to New England and Canada September 2018. Very disappointed in Royal Caribbean. Check in was ok but out pier staff repremended us for not printing out our ... Read More
Have been a cruiser for many years. Choose this cruise for date and itinerary. Went to New England and Canada September 2018. Very disappointed in Royal Caribbean. Check in was ok but out pier staff repremended us for not printing out our paper copy of the sea pass cards and stated now she would have to do it! Shows were Horrible. They advertise broadway type performances,but I’ve seen better high school performances. Had an ice show which was ok, but couldn’t figure out what was going on just put a bunch of acts together and called it a show. We did anytime dining because we enjoy eating early 5:30 p. When we asked for a window table we were told they could not accommodate by Rene the table assigner yet several of the window seats were available. When we spoke with the maitre D the next day we were at a window. Food was good. Celebrating a family birthday which was pre arranged prior to sailing. Well birthday card came addressed to the wrong person and birthday cake was MIA. When trying to get the cake no one could figure it out so we never received it. Elevators were TERRIBLE ! Sometimes you could wait up to 15 minutes for an elevator and no room to get on when it arrived. 2 main elevators were out of service and crew said they had been down for months. Talked with a cruiser who said she had been on the cruise the year before and elevators were out of service than as well. Cruise was less than average and did not meet the Royal Caribbean hype. When I approached customer service after the trip. Their response was yes we know about these issues, but nothing we can do about it. Shore excursions were very expensive and poorly orchestrated. Waited an hour to board a tour. Why ? To many areas for smokers. There was no way to avoid a smoking section on the main decks. Some of the cruise director staff were rude, unprofessional and snarky. Also they let crew performers compete in trivia games and won. Shouldn’t that be reserved for paying customers. Nick was an offender. Select another line you’ll be happier Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I choose this ship for a 50th anniversary cruise. The entertainment was amateurish and every place you went had long lines. Port Liberty is like driving to a crime scene, completely unorganized. Some of my friends were left hundreds of ... Read More
I choose this ship for a 50th anniversary cruise. The entertainment was amateurish and every place you went had long lines. Port Liberty is like driving to a crime scene, completely unorganized. Some of my friends were left hundreds of yards from the terminal because there Taxis would not wait an hour in line to get to bag the drop. I have sailed 30 plus times and never had a poorer port experience. The ship is too small for the number of passenger. It was the first try and the interior Promenade concept and not as roomy as Independence of the seas. WE had Seven Rooms in our Group and all complained of the beds, although the were recently replaced, they were very hard and uncomfortable. There were long lines for any time dining every night. The Windjammer was the most crowded Buffet I have ever experienced. IN summary, This ship is TOO small for its passenger count. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are loyal to Royal Caribbean and wanted to try a new ship and leave from our home state. Anthem of the Seas sailing from Bayonne met those requirements. We travel with 14 friends and arrived at Cape Liberty as a group by private ... Read More
We are loyal to Royal Caribbean and wanted to try a new ship and leave from our home state. Anthem of the Seas sailing from Bayonne met those requirements. We travel with 14 friends and arrived at Cape Liberty as a group by private bus. Embarkation was crowded and a little frustrating. Everything done on IPads. Lines were disorganized. But considering crowds moved pretty quickly. Ship was very different than we are use to (30+ Royal Caribbean cruises). Focus seems to be on technology....in customer service, in shows, in artwork. Not our cup of tea. The second focus seemed to be on getting you to spend on extras....from pushing specialty restaurants, to half the daily activities having a $ attached, to the cruise director's commercials..may we traveled with felt "nickled and dimed" to the max. Our stateroom was beautiful. Immaculately clean, lots of storage, nice size shower. Excellent stateroom attendant who left us many extraordinary towel animals. The hallways seemed wide also. This was particularly nice when others needed to park scooters or strollers in hallways. Breakfast & lunch in main dining room was good. Dinner left much to be desired both in quality of food and service. The exception was our head waiter who was the hardest working head waiter we ever experienced. He tried so very hard though it often seemed like he was fighting an uphill battle. The dining rooms are different on Anthem. We were in the Grande which was very pretty. The Chic was very bright and reminded us of a casino buffet. We didn't see the dining rooms for my time dining. We did not like the shows..they were more about technology and electronics than about talent and music/dance. Seemed a little ironic that the West end show "We Will Rock You" was about the death of rock n roll and the take over of techno. There wes one night with no show and some nights the shows were really late. The artwork and decor left us scratching our heads. Where we have been awed by the beauty of ships before, the art & decor left us saying "what the heck?". The artwork in the elevators was vandalized and graffitied----how sad! There are lots of indoor activities--solarium, indoor pool, seaplex sports complex. This will be nice in winter cruising out of Bayone but was stifling in beautiful August Weather being inside do much. Bumper cars lots of fun. Hot dog truck has yummy hot dogs. NorthStar was interesting but was not an activity worth repeating. Service at outside tables of Solarium cafe awful..we asked for table to be wiped and the girl we asked told someone else to do it, who turned and told someone else, who turned to someone else. We got up, went and got wet paper towels and wiped it ourself. Unheard of with Royal Caribbean on past cruises. The technology impacted the friendliness of crew. When we went guest services or excursions we were pointed to computer. Rather than make eye contact staff looked at their computer screens. The consigiere never mingled with guests...just stared at his computer screen. The ports were all excellent. Weather was superb and sailing was smooth. We are loyal to Royal Caribbean and have a number of upcoming cruises but we will not cruise on (nor recommend) Anthem again. It just wasn't our cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I decided to try a cruise. The Good: great food, suprisingly well equipped fitness area, and the staff was super friendly. The Bad: Prepare to pay additional costs for anything and everything. See Details Below. We spoke to ... Read More
My wife and I decided to try a cruise. The Good: great food, suprisingly well equipped fitness area, and the staff was super friendly. The Bad: Prepare to pay additional costs for anything and everything. See Details Below. We spoke to an older couple at dinner early in the cruise who indicated they had been on countless cruises since 1984 and they assured us this is the worst they’ve been on so far. This confirmed our concerns about our own poor experience. Our first cruise experience and probably our last. We stayed in room 2343. Not a suite but not really a room either. The bed was hard as a rock. The room smaller than any hotel room we have ever stayed. Barely any TV except the massive array of royal Caribbean commercials and channels trying to sell you Royal Caribbean cruises and sponsored products. There are only two electrical outlets in the entire room so you may have to take turns charging devices. The food: Is delicious if you don’t mind waiting in line regardless of reservations. We didn’t bother trying most of the specialty dining restaurants as they are all additional costs on top of the already expensive trip. Internet package: Don’t bother. I understand the limitations of wireless at sea. However with the amount they charge per day per device, you would expect to be able to reliably stay on the internet or load a webpage. Don’t expect to stream anything. With so many people on the ship even simple web browsing is impossible. It might be cheaper and less frustrating to talk to your cellular provider if they offer international or roaming options instead. Beverage package: Don’t bother. You get a cup that you can fill up with soda or water in only 2 locations despite there being 14 decks (The Windjammer dining area and the 5th floor). You get no bottled water in the room nor is it available without paying. They really want you to pay the 3-6 dollars for bottled water or even more for other beverages on a cruise you could have sworn you already paid for in full. The worst part is the mandatory 18% gratuity on everything. We can understand that tips are essential to service personnel and having it automatically included ensures a consistent pay for all employees. However, we prepaid the service gratuity per day before embarking. The crew does provide good service but you’re asked if you will leave an additional tip on top of the mandatory 18% on each item you buy on the ship. Not only did you prepay for service tip, everything on the entire ship has 18% automatically added as an additional fee (that 3 dollar coffee is 3.54). Don’t be shocked if the crew gives you a look when you don’t put a tip. Overall, I don’t know if we will be back on a cruise. If we want to throw away money we’ll go to Vegas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The Windjammer buffet area, food, and table availablilty was not good. The food was always cold. The flow of the buffet does not run smoothly with that many people. Many times there was nowhere to sit. Personnel lacking. The timing of ... Read More
The Windjammer buffet area, food, and table availablilty was not good. The food was always cold. The flow of the buffet does not run smoothly with that many people. Many times there was nowhere to sit. Personnel lacking. The timing of the buffet open is lacking. Not enough other areas to eat for free when the buffet is closed. They only offer one place to get water when the buffet is closed. Store purchases lacking. Too many high end stores not enough normal store areas. The regular store is very small and not a lot of sundaries and gifts for purchase. The specialty restaurants are too expensive. The in room television is lacking, other cruise lines do not charge for movies. Room service on other cruise lines do not charge for room service. The elevators were lacking. One of the elevators was always out of service. The pool bar area did not have menus for drinks. And the drinks were poorly made. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This ship was too large, there were too many people on board, food lines were too long, my time dining was unorganized each evening and the overall experience was poor value for the money. The Windjammer was a crowded mess at every meal. ... Read More
This ship was too large, there were too many people on board, food lines were too long, my time dining was unorganized each evening and the overall experience was poor value for the money. The Windjammer was a crowded mess at every meal. It was difficult to find a table and food was cold until you got to eat it. We were double charged for drinks and finding water or soda without buying an overpriced drink package was awful. The cost for internet service was outrageous, It should be free for what you pay for the cruise. There was always a long wait for elevators too. The Royal IQ phone app did not work as I thought it should. It was difficult to make any reservations for restaurants or entertainment from it. The port tours were also unorganized and confusing with little information provided on board as to where each group would meet. The cruise was totally a poor value for the experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We cruised out of Cape Liberty, NJ. It was easy to access and parking was easy, the parking fee was $20/day; which is a little bit of a price gouge compare to parking at termihnals in Florida .The Anthem of the Seas was ok large and open, ... Read More
We cruised out of Cape Liberty, NJ. It was easy to access and parking was easy, the parking fee was $20/day; which is a little bit of a price gouge compare to parking at termihnals in Florida .The Anthem of the Seas was ok large and open, rode in average seas very smoothly, lots of open space. The elevators were very good and wait times were short. Shops were all high end and over priced. The up scale restaurants were extremely over priced based on being an upgrade seems like we paid full price. Drinks were way over priced for the moderate drinker ~$13/drink, Ship Board daily activities were just sales presentations. The evening bands were not versatile to chnage the program to fit the audience and most of the time people were not dancing and when they did the band did not recognize that they should adjust to the customers. Do not waste your money on the ship app, it did not work very well. Overall just average, NO WOW. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We spent the night before the cruise at Courtyard by Marriott Newark Airport, chosen solely because it was the least expensive hotel in the vicinity of the airport or cruise port that met my minimum standards. I would highly recommend this ... Read More
We spent the night before the cruise at Courtyard by Marriott Newark Airport, chosen solely because it was the least expensive hotel in the vicinity of the airport or cruise port that met my minimum standards. I would highly recommend this hotel for a pre-cruise stay. They have a complimentary airport shuttle, and the hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful, giving us a map & tips on the best way to get to NYC for the evening. The next day we headed to the ship. Once on board, I spent the first hour and a half just trying to sort things out. Not the most exciting way to start a vacation. We had purchased the 5-night dining package. You’re not able to pre-book any of your dining reservations when you get the dining package – it all has to be done on board. (WHY??!!) So there was that to take care of. (And even afterward, there were mistakes with our dining schedule that I had to go back again to have corrected – or just deal with in the case of our Chops reservations that I scheduled for 8:00, but they pushed back to 8:30.) I had to go to one location to schedule our My Time dining reservations and a different location to schedule our specialty dining reservations. (WHY??!!) I finally got all of that taken care of, then noticed that my SeaPass card said “Coca-Cola”. I had pre-purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package and had always had a sticker on my card indicating that in the past. So I went to guest services to make sure they knew that I had the Deluxe package. The person at guest services told me that I had only purchased the soda package – NOT TRUE! – and luckily I had the email confirmation to prove it. My mom had also pre-purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package and had the same issue. Thus began my fantastic voyage of standing in line repeatedly at guest services. Royal Caribbean was my first cruise line. The one that made me instantly fall in love with cruising on Voyager of the Seas in her maiden year. But they have consistently gone downhill since then, and this cruise was the last straw. I have been on 19 cruises, 10 with Royal Caribbean, and this was by far my worst cruise experience ever. In order to avoid being 100% negative with this review, I’m going to jump now into the few positives of this cruise. First of all, this ship is absolutely lovely. Great décor and just a really nice ship overall. And there is a TON to do on board. I love cruise ship shows, but didn’t see any of them (except for the late-night comedian, who was great) because I was always busy doing other things. Highlights were going on the trapeze and iFly indoor skydiving. IFly, in particular, was a fantastic experience. My kids and I had a blast doing that! Also, the solarium on this ship is fantastic. There’s a really cool cascading series of pools, ending in a shallow pool with lounge seats. I loved sitting in the lounge seats in the shallow pool with a drink and a book. I also loved the huge, round, padded lounge seats. I parked myself in one of those one evening and just looked out over the waves and the sunset. The solarium and the iFly experience are my favorite memories of my time on the ship. Adventure Ocean (the kids’ club) is one area that Royal Caribbean has actually improved on over the years. On past cruises, my kids had never cared much for the kids’ club on Royal Caribbean. We’d send them there only when we had to for some adult-only time. But this time, it was hard to drag them away! Even on this 9-night October Canada/New England sailing (not many kids on board at all), they had a blast and were always eager to go back. Food was not the best, but I’ve come to expect that from Royal Caribbean over the years. Fish was consistently over-cooked, even in Chops. Actually, Chops overall was pretty disappointing. We went twice because we had another night of our 5-night package to use up. My fish was overcooked the first night, and steak was overcooked the second night (though I had some of my mom’s steak, ordered medium just like mine, and it was fantastic). I was pleasantly surprised though by Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant. I have been to Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in London, and the one on the ship was better! I had the crab pasta and the truffle pasta, and those were the best things I ate the entire time on the ship. The appetizers there were amazing as well. Dinner at Wonderland was also a fantastic and a very fun, unique experience. So, those are the positives. Pretty much Everything else was just such a big hassle, especially booking excursions, booking dining, and repeatedly being charged for things that I shouldn't have been charged for. I spent WAY too much time at guest services correcting mistakes to our dining reservations and onboard account. Then there's the hassle of booking shore excursions. Why does the IQ thing (because you can’t book excursions with an actual person anymore) show excursions that aren't available? We had to click all the way through trying to book each excursion only to find out that none of them were available. There should be an option to filter out excursions that we can't purchase. And why does it show a lower price (apparently the price you'd get if you had booked in advance, which we tried to do 2 weeks before sailing but the excursions we wanted weren't available then) and then increase the price right when you try to check out? Don’t display a price that you know you won’t honor. That only makes people angry. One excursion that we had managed to book in advance ended up being cancelled, so we were offered a 10% discount on another excursion for that port -- but there weren't any available! Even after getting our Deluxe beverage package sorted out, we were repeatedly charged for drinks that should have been free or were charged full price for wine bottles that should have been discounted, and we had to make almost daily trips to guest services to have these charges removed. My dad especially had a terrible time and has sworn never to cruise Royal Caribbean again. My mom had the drink package, and almost every single time she ordered a drink there were charges put on her card that shouldn't have been there. My dad spent every morning furiously marching back to guest services to have them removed. He also mentioned to the bar manager that he had only purchased the soda package because he wanted diet sodas. That's all he drinks, but the soda machines were always out of diet soda. She explained that they had been unable to get what they needed for the diet soda in the machines, apologized, and said she would have some complimentary diet sodas sent to his room. He ended up being charged for all the diet sodas she sent!! Another angry trip for him to guest services. He also purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package for my sister-in-law once we were on board and was double charged for it. He was also double charged for a shore excursions booking. He was absolutely furious by the end of the cruise. My mom was in tears on the last night of the cruise when she called my room to tell me that my dad was on his way to guest services AGAIN because of an unexplained $20 charge from Vintages after she had ordered a glass of wine with me earlier that night. I passed my dad on the way to guest services to check on a mystery charge of my own, and I have seriously never seen him so angry in my entire life. There were also ridiculous difficulties getting off the ship – 20 minutes standing in line one day to get off because of some sort of malfunction. We were told to just stand and wait, even though people at the other exit had no problem at all – why didn’t they tell us to go to the other exit?! We were seconds away from missing our excursion (booked through Royal Caribbean) because the tour guide hadn’t been notified of any delay with letting people off the ship. Another day, we had to wait until after 11 am to get off when we had arrived at 7! Yes, they were tendering and we didn’t get a tender ticket the day before, but since when does it take more than 4 hours to let everyone off the ship? There was no delay in letting the early tender ticket holders off the ship because I was awoken every 15 minutes or so by the announcement calling for the next tender group. Then at about 10 am it all just came to a halt. This is not even close to all of the issues we had on the cruise. -- Oh yeah, I almost forgot the dirty underwear that was left in our stateroom by the previous guest! (Not the first time that has happened to us on a Royal Caribbean ship, either.) There were many, many more annoyances and mistakes, but it would take all night to write out every single one. It's really a bummer because I just reached Diamond status in Crown & Anchor now after this cruise, but at this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to cruise with Royal Caribbean again – certainly not if my dad is coming along! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I have been cruising since 1994 and with Royal Caribbean since 1999. Last year I made Diamond Level with Crown and Anchor. This is the only ship in the fleet that I can not recommend. The Good: There were lots of on board activities ... Read More
I have been cruising since 1994 and with Royal Caribbean since 1999. Last year I made Diamond Level with Crown and Anchor. This is the only ship in the fleet that I can not recommend. The Good: There were lots of on board activities of every kind. The entertainers were magnificent and the best I have ever seen. The food was for the most part good to very good. The staff were as always polite, friendly, competent. The various technological gizmos were a nice touch. Embarkation and Debarkation went amazingly smooth for such a large passenger complement. The Diamond level kitchen tour I was invited to was excellent. The Kitchen staff were masterful hosts and hostesses. The Bad: This ship has the highest guest to staff ratio I have ever experienced on any cruise line. I spoke to a staff member who told me that people transfer off the ship as soon as they can because of the staffing levels. Our wait staff were expected to cover almost 20 tables in the main dining room. We never go out of the main seating for dinner in less than two and a half hours. The ride was very bumpy and there was a lot of movement. I was on board the Navigator (an Excellent Ship BTW) when we skirted a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic back in 2014, and we had a smoother ride then. The ship The North Star viewing platform was only raised and lowered. It was never swept side to side like in all of the advertising. During a kitchen tour and brunch I was invited to, there were 3 wait staff servicing over 40 tables. Eventually we had to go to the waiters station and get our own water pitcher for the table. Finally the pastry chef for the Windjammer thought that to make a pie you dump yellow cake batter into a pie crust and then you cover the results with frosting. Those things were really awful. The Truly Horrible: On our first night at sea the Head Waiter for "The Grande" dining room displayed the most vile behavior I have ever seen on a cruise ship. .While his people were setting up for the second seating, he was on the PA system for the dining room berating his subordinates. He was using racial slurs to describe members of the staff. He was calling names in order to humiliate individuals. He told several to pray to their respective deities for speed. The Head Waiter's behavior was both obscene and dehumanizing. Many people including myself complained about this behavior. The ships only noticeable response was to close the doors to "The Grand" before seating time and turn off the PA system. As of 10/21/17 no disciplinary action had been taken according to staff members. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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