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56 Royal Caribbean Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit ... Read More
When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit cranky... an hour later, still on the coach and waiting to fill 4 seats we realised why they were cranky as they had been on the coach for 2 hours now and the staff just kept saying "we need to wait for more passengers and fill the bus before we go to the port"... this was our first complaint as the company appeared very inefficient! So on we went to the ship, embarkation was good... no problems, fairly straight forward. Once onboard we made our way straight to our cabin to see if it was ready, which it was. First impression was great, good size, double balcony... large enough room, nice bathroom and clean beds... On closer inspection of our room we found that the balcony was never cleaned, the furniture was marked by dirty shoes and pen marks, and the toilet seat had been scrubbed so hard the white lacquer had come off!! We had left Glasgow at 4.30am and it was now 1pm, so neadless to say we were starving... only eatery open was the windjammer buffet, which was packed with a queue of about 200 people squeezing into the entrance... so we decided to retreat to our room and order room service. unfortunately room service was not available until after 5.30pm when we would be leaving port, so that was another dead end. we had a look in our fridge/cooler to have some nibbles as we were absolutely starving!!... and found that everything edible in our fridge was out of date by months! shocked, we told our suite attendant who said it wasnt her job to fix it, but she would tell her superior. okay we thought... but by day 3 our fridge was still stocked with expired food stuffs... so we phoned reception who had our fridge emptied but never re-stocked... such a simple task but we fought a losing battle to have it done. staff all appeared to be bored and unhappy and wouldnt say hello to you if you walked past them on the ship. the BEST part of our cruise was going for dinner in the evening... our waiters Daniel and Ephriam were exceptional! also bar man Neville was a pleasure... they remembered everything you said to them, what we ordered form the bar, if we took pepper and if we drank coffee... little things like this made it a better holiday. however, i dont think i would go on another royal caribbean cruise as they just lacked a certain spark... a spark that i find to be present on NCL cruise's 100% of the time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This is the first Royal Caribbean cruise we have taken and definitely the last. The ship is beautiful and the cabin good although rather dated, needs updating rather like an old fashioned hotel, but very clean and plenty of room. ... Read More
This is the first Royal Caribbean cruise we have taken and definitely the last. The ship is beautiful and the cabin good although rather dated, needs updating rather like an old fashioned hotel, but very clean and plenty of room. We chose to have a balcony which was just as well as there is nowhere else to sit and read a book. We were very lucky with our neighbours as they did not smoke and were quiet, I think it could have been a different matter if they were noisy smokers. The main body of the ship is very good and the amount of glass and chrome makes it very attractive, however the people on board certainly are not. There were some very rude and loud people who seemed to think that everybody wanted to share their children. We chose to have My Time dining which works out a lot more expensive as you pay up front for your gratuities. I thought that by being able to pick a late dinner i.e. 8.30.p.m. there would be a nice peaceful atmosphere, how wrong I was the dining room was heaving with children, babies crying and pushchairs. One night my Husband and myself were seated at a table for two minding our own business when a woman parked a push chair next to my elbow, she was rummaging around in the attached bag and I thought she was just looking for something, how shocked was I when she put the brake on and started to walk to a table some way away from the pushchair. I called after her asking her to remove the pushchair (and it turns out there was a baby in it) to which she called me names which are unprintable. She eventually took the child and pushchair and we were left in peace, I was so upset that I really did not enjoy me dinner. We tried had to find a suitable area to sit and read, but there was only one place and that was a through corridor with a few upright seats where all the older people gathered. We are not old but just wanted somewhere to sit in peace and quiet. Even the library was packed with like minded people so unless you got there at the crack of dawn you stood no chance of getting a seat. The food was OK, not restaurant quality more like a good bistro/cafe, the meals themselves seemed to go downhill throughout the ten days aboard. The Windjammer was a joke not only could you not get a table but you were falling over pushchairs, highchairs and any other items needed for babies and the crying would drive anyone to leave as soon as they could. The parents of these children didn't seem to have any control and even worse didn't seem to care that they were screaming and bawling. Anyway enough of that on the plus side the staff were very polite and helpful and our cabin attendant, Clive was brilliant always cheerful and willing to be of any help he could. The ports of call were a bit hit and miss, but this is not the fault of the cruise line so I am not going to labour this point. All in all the ship is mostly lovely but leaning far too much towards children and their needs and certainly not enough for the older client. We did complain but the reply was that it was a ship aimed towards families and I got the impression that they were really not interested in my comments so we shall definitely NOT BE GOING ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Not cruised before....You will love it Got kids...They will love it Enjoy Butlins....You will love it Looking for a quality cruise with all the touches...forget it In comparison to the many other cruises we have taken ... Read More
Not cruised before....You will love it Got kids...They will love it Enjoy Butlins....You will love it Looking for a quality cruise with all the touches...forget it In comparison to the many other cruises we have taken (including 3 this year with Princess and P&O) what's on offer here is sadly lacking. 1. No launderette. Were told by guest services they preferred to use the space for an ice rink and other facilities. No irons permitted in the cabin but of course I could get clothes pressed up at the laundry, for a fee. . 2. No formal afternoon tea in the dining room. Only afternoon snacks in the self-service canteen. 3. No chocolates on the pillows at night (petty I know, but always adds to the ambiance) 4. No full range of toiletries in the stateroom, only tablet soap and shampoo from a dispenser...no shower gel,no shower cap, no body lotion as on other cruise lines. 5. Meals: The self service Windjammer (Canteen)on deck 11 had a good selection of well cooked food, breakfast, lunch and dinner - although the menu was repetitive. The Dining Rooms on decks 3 & 4 were a let down. They served a la Carte breakfast on deck 4 from 7.30 - 9.30 - very minimal selection. Deck 3 self service buffet also very limited selection until 10 30. Reconstituted orange juice served free - if you wanted freshly squeezed then you had to pay for it. Didn't try the restaurant lunch menu, but we have never had such mediocre dinners on any cruise ship. The Dining Room evening meal was a basic 3 courses (even on the night of the Captains Gala Diner). Each course was very ordinary with starters being such things as Prawn cocktail, melon or soup. Main dishes were unimaginative and on the whole not attractively presented. Never offered lobster once, except in bisque soup! Sweets were probably the best part of the meal. The whole experience was comparable to a general English pub menu. 6. Entertainment on board during the day was limited unless you wanted to spend money in the spa, play bingo or the casino. No cookery demos, fruit carving demos, ice carving demos, tour of the galley, computer classes etc . They had a liking for trivia quizzes though, averaging up to 5 per day! Could it be because they were held in the bars encouraging passengers to part with more cash in return for drinks??. Drink prices were inclusive, none of the plus 15% nonsense. 7. The main street - Royal Promenade ran half the length of the ship and was lined either side with shops and bars and a general jumble sale of the usual stuff on stalls down the middle. A nice idea and quite pleasant for walking during the day, but totally unsuitable as a venue for functions, such as the Captains welcome party. It was so full you couldn't move. The champagne had finished by the time we got through the sea of people and there were no canapEs offered. They also held a 70s street party and a Britannia party there. It was a crowded free for all. There were 2 evening parades along the promenade- reminiscent of Disney. 8. Their Quest show was more suited to a Club 18/30 holiday. In a nutshell, the audience was divided into teams for a treasure hunt which started off with mundane items such as a pair of shoes, ties, excursion ticket etc. and then sank into the realms of collecting trousers, shirts and bras (minus their owners of course). 9. Their stage shows were very colourful and the scenery was good, but when I tell you that they Were called "Once upon a time" and "Under the big top" you know they were geared to younger audiences. You also may not wish to go back on IOTS for some considerable time as we were told that because of their complex scenery etc. to change the show costs between 1.3 and 2m dollars and they were expected to run for up to 8 years on the same ship, that is until it is re-fitted!!! The resident 9 piece band were good. 10.No alcohol was to be brought on board (not that we had much chance to buy anything in port as the timings were dreadful). In Madeira and Vigo we didn't arrive until lunchtime and set sail again late afternoon. House wine was $5 a glass in the self-service canteen and wine bar on the Royal Parade and $7 everywhere else.Draught beer, Boddingtons or Speckled Hen about $7 a pint 11.There were no nibbles produced with bar drinks until after the first week and then only if you asked for them. 12.No art auctions (not even an art gallery). We missed the entertainment value, even if you didn't buy anything! 13. Inside cabin appeared narrower or could have just been badly laid out. To get round one side of our double bed was impossible as the bed end was against the edge of the fridge. 14.Tea making facilities supplied in the cabin - but no coffee sachets. Very odd! Cabin breakfast service excellent and free. 15. No champagne fountain - always good for a photo opportunity. Talking of which there were 22 photographers on board. That's obviously a good money spinner at up to $29.95 per photo. The spot lighting and IT equipment around the ship was first class. 16. Most unusual place we found to eat was Johnny Rockets - a 1950s style milk bar. There was a supplement (of course) but worth the extra $4.95 each. They had remote juke box selectors on every table. Unfortunately they were only for display and the music was canned but all of the right era. Food was fun. Typically burgers, fish and chips, onion rings and dip and bowls of chilli and chips. I really loved the chocolate sundae. The waiters entertained diners by sporadic dancing to the music!!Everyone was applauded by all present upon entering and leaving the facility! 17.The morning TV show was mainly taken up by the Cruise Director and his sidekick reading out jokes and the odd dedication, that had been sent in by passengers. Their time might have been put to better use giving more general info about the ship and facilities ashore. On Lanzarote we were offered a shuttle bus at $6 per passenger each way into town. We were given no intimation of how far it was but fancied a walk. After 30 minutes we reached IKEA and still couldn't see the town. So we went into the store for a drink, turned round and walked back to the ship! There were a lot of children on board. It was the Scottish school half term holiday (something we didn't know when I booked.). However, it is obvious they are pitching to the family market. It felt like an upmarket Butlins on the sea. Provokes a question - what families wouldn't want laundrettes????????? Oh yes - for amusement value only. I had a problem with the hardwired hairdryer in my cabin. It cut out 3 times when I was drying my hair on a formal night. We were visited by 2 electricians (how many men does it take to repair a hairdryer??) who proceeded to explain to me how to operate it properly! Just so that you know for future reference, apparently one should only switch it on for about 3 seconds then switch it off for 2!! Fortunately by the time they passed on their words of wisdom, my hair was done. I did however make it clear to them that I had never heard such rubbish in all my life!!! I have to say that the ship was spotless. When we arrived at the port we were handed a piece of paper that said there had been an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous voyage and that our embarkation would be delayed due to a deep clean. Thankfully, I didn't hear of any such problems on our trip. On the plus side - the ice show was very good but it didn't make up for all that was lacking. Good choice of room service menu - although tea/coffee sometimes arrived lukewarm. Our cabin steward -Edmund - was a good ambassador for his ship. Always cheerful, polite and attentive. If you are over 45, travelling without children, or used to cruising with fine dining and the frills that make the experience extra special then THIS IS NOT FOR YOU - DON'T GO THERE Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Left Southampton on the Friday knowing bad weather on way . PO cruises Azure decided not to sail and I believe Fred Olsen ship left but turned back.Got worse during Sat and night into Sunday Hurricane level winds with 30 ft waves. Ship ... Read More
Left Southampton on the Friday knowing bad weather on way . PO cruises Azure decided not to sail and I believe Fred Olsen ship left but turned back.Got worse during Sat and night into Sunday Hurricane level winds with 30 ft waves. Ship certainly thrown about and many first time cruisers [seemed to be a lot] were not too happy. Due to weather Captain had to slow ship down and go towards coast of Portugal. Stopping at Madeira was cancelled My wife and I have not sailed with RCI for about 3 years as recent cruises have been with Celebrity. We are Diamond Level in Crown and Anchor Loyalty Programme [saved this cruise]. Went on this cruise due to dates. We were renewing our wedding vows [ Ruby] . Will not repeat all about ship as really lovely clean ship. LOWS: Ship too big with too many passengers for us. I do not do queues, As an example went for breakfast one morning in main dining room as I fancied Eggs Benedict [Only place they serve same]. Got told I would have to wait for 15 /20 minutes - went to Windjammer. Queues for getting off at the ports and getting back on. Queues for getting ice show tickets for most plus the actual events. Massive queue down the promenade the first day the cigarette price dropped by 15%, but price dropped again 3 days later and again on last sea day. Took the shuttle into Arrecife [ don't - take taxi] and when arrived back at pickup point the queue was massive, and in the usual British spirit all standing complaining!!! Took couple of pictures of queue, and then took taxi to ship for 7 euros. Went with unused shuttle tickets to Guest Relations, got price refunded and also my taxi fare. Totally accept that this ship is for families but should older children not be at school? I have no problems with children as we have 2 of our own. The problem was not with them but the parents who seemed not to care how their children were behaving. Some of the lounges for obvious reasons do not allow children after say 10/11pm . One night I was standing on Promenade just before midnight and I counted 14 children in buggies either sleeping or crying whilst 9 others were running about.In Ben and Jerrys ice cream they have high stools to sit on. Father sat watching his 2 sons about 7/8 continually pushing the stools over and the waiter having to place upright. Never said a word to them. Seemed to be everywhere including casino. I cannot stress enough that I am not a snob. I am a normal working guy, who has been lucky enough to go on a few cruises . There seemed to be a high number of people on board who I would describe as 'non cruisers'. At lunch time one day sitting at table when couple were boasting that they got cruise for under £400 comparing it to Benidorm. Seemed to be that loads of passengers got last minute deals to fill ship up. A lot of males in football tops. One night on way to dinner,outside Schooner bar 2 'football tops' could hardly stand as so drunk. In disco, smoking area, before we went to lunch on last sea day bar staff ejected male at 11.45am as so drunk! Food quality has dropped on this ship and has been altered for UK market , a point I do not agree with. Couple at our dining table were on identical sister ship Freedom of Seas end of last year sailing out of Miami and food was tremendous, with good choice of steaks, lobster etc as the US customers would insist on. We were offered roast beef and Yorkshire pudding 3 of first 5 nights, and on final night on menu was mixed grill with sausage and bacon. I chose NY strip steak one night as usually excellent .What arrived was very poor sirloin. [waiter agreed] HIGHS: Although our Renewal of Vows was expensive, it was excellent and well organised by RCI and on board. Impressive. Initially thought that the photograph package for the renewal was expensive at $199 but actually was cheapest. That price included 5 large 8x10 and approx 20 of 5x7 pics. Buying the pictures individually ranged from $15 - $30 PER PHOTOGRAPH- bit steep . We in D2 balcony cabin and size and cleanliness excellent , and room steward performed duties fine. Had room service brekkie in our room most mornings. Although as mentioned in my opinion the standard of food in main dining room has dropped , I believe in Windjammer it has in fact improved but problem with numbers and finding table. Went to specialty restaurants, Chops and Portofino and service and food is excellent - ate too much. The Diamond Level Loyalty Programme is really worthwhile and certainly would encourage cruisers to remain with RCI. Briefly, on Ind there is a Diamond Members Lounge on deck 14. The Diamond level seapass card opens the door to allow entry . It is open for cereal/ continental breakfast from 8-10 am, good quality speciality coffee 24 hours and from 5-8 pm on offer is hot and cold savoury and sweet canapes and free drinks including wine and spirits. Basically each night before dinner we had about 3 drinks either gin/ton or wine worth approx $500. Also is free photographs, welcome reception, disembark when you want at your leisure, special lunch with champagne etc. Other points: I took Gold drinks package that worked out at approx £19 per bottle and you can ask for some of your wine in any of the restaurants and they keep any unused till following night. Most of the Headliner shows were before our 2nd dinner seating and we were in Diam lounge, but seen some on tv. Comedian seemed fine . Heard better Abba Tribute and magician seemed poor. Entertainers in lounges were of good standard. If event like a quiz was in lounge, it was too small for numbers attending. Did not go but seemed to have bingo every day at least once. You now have the choice of carrying your own cases from ship. Seemed to be chaotic with people dragging cases and taking up most of space in lifts, holding up the process. Finally, this cruise will be remembered as we had a wonderful day renewing our vows, meeting many nice, decent people, especially at our dining table, and the Diamond Experience, but the overall impression is the numbers of people on the ship and the behaviour of a few. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
3 days into our 10 day canary island cruise on the Independence and my wife wanted to go home. I managed to talk her round with the promise of better times when the ship landed at the first port of call (Tenerife) but I really wish now ... Read More
3 days into our 10 day canary island cruise on the Independence and my wife wanted to go home. I managed to talk her round with the promise of better times when the ship landed at the first port of call (Tenerife) but I really wish now that I had listened to her. It is certainly not possible to please everyone but we will not be cruising again with Royal Caribbean or most probably any other cruise line. Royal Caribbean do so many things right that I feel a little guilty about complaining. Our deluxe sea view cabin with balcony was lovely and our cabin steward was excellent. The food is very good and plenty of it and this is catering on a big scale and on this point one wonders why so many small establishments in the UK do it so badly. The service cannot be faulted and one is acknowledged by every member of staff usually with a smile and there is always someone at hand to help. The shows were very good and often as high a standard as any we have seen in the West End of London. The ship is spotless and hygiene is stressed wherever you go in the ship. So what are we disappointed with? Well, probably the lack of anything intelligent to do on sea days and because the Independence is a big ship there are a lot of people on board and we felt that it was crowded and full to capacity. O.K. there were trivia games and suchlike but so brief and the seating arrangements in the bar areas where they were held was woefully inadequate. Invariably there was not a seat to be had which brings me to the complaint that it was usually impossible to get a seat in any of the main bars as there is insufficient seating. The same applied to the windjammer buffet restaurant and on one occasion we gave up on having breakfast there. Fortunately we had a very nice cabin to retreat to and we made full use of it! However we did not expect to spend so much time in our cabin. Perhaps it is us as we do not play bridge, hate the swimming pool areas as the many children there are not ours and we cannot stand Bingo. We did book the holiday to avoid half-term but it would appear that many parents do not worry about taking their children out of school and so there were many children on board and rules about their presence in bar areas such as the champagne lounge or dining rooms were ignored. The lectures on photography both of which were very short were also very mediocre. The half hour talk given by the chief engineer was very well attended but the visual aids were poor, which was a shame as so many people were interested in how such an enormous ship functions. If one were to be cynical one could say that the lack of intelligent entertainment is perhaps down to the fact that the RCI 'bean counters' wish every aspect of ship life to generate money. I accept that they are running a business but you cannot walk in a straight line through the Casino as it is designed to make you stop and gamble and it is surprising how often in ones travels through the ship that you need to pass through it. We like playing slots and accept that we will lose all ggour money but 'what the heck' we are at sea and want to enjoy ourselves. These machines are there to entertain and if set up correctly will do so and take all your money. The slots in the casino seemed only designed to take our money as fast as possible and that takes any fun out of it and so we did not gamble very often. A lot has been written about the drinks prices but I am sure that the bar profits might be even higher if the prices were more reasonable. I paid $10 for a small glass of wine at lunch one day and did not repeat that on other days. In our younger days we went to the beach at Benidorm and the people on board reminded me very much of those days and in fact we sent texts to our friends from 'S.S. Benidorm'. Royal Caribbean have brought cruising to the masses and do it very well but their philosophy seems to me to be 'pile it high and sell it cheap', apart from the drinks! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our 1st cruise with RCI and having watched many TV programs and reading almost every weekend newspaper praising this wonderful ship that sails from Southampton we decided to give it a go! The ship although very large is ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with RCI and having watched many TV programs and reading almost every weekend newspaper praising this wonderful ship that sails from Southampton we decided to give it a go! The ship although very large is fantastic, in 10 days you cannot possibly take advantage of everything on board. There are allot of people on this ship and you cannot always get a seat in the lounge or bar of your choice, this could be helped a little if some, not all, parents would control there children and not let them run around the ship at all times of the day or night. The food in the main dining room is OK but is dining room food rather than restaurant quality, the food in the Windjammer is very good but you have to be prepared to queue for food and a table. The food in the specialist restaurant Portofino's was excellent, we both ate far to much. We did not use the other specialist restaurant Chops & Grill but were told by some of our fellow cruisers who had dined there that it was excellent. The drinks are very expensive and priced in US Dollars so for the first few days it was a little confusing, how they justify $10 to $15 for a medium glass of wine and $6 to $7.50 for a beer i don't know. If you have children the soft drink package seemed good value for money. We had an outside stateroom which was excellent, I have never seen or slept in such a large bed. our stateroom was cleaned and served twice a day by our excellent stateroom attendant. All the staff on board were excellent with the exception of the staff on the customer relations desk. On the three occasions I found myself wanting their help i found them extremely rude and very unhelpful. As i mentioned above at times it was stormy both inside and outside the ship. We left Southampton heading for bad weather while other ships stayed in port, so we sailed into a Hurricane with the captain telling us next day that it was the worst seas he had sailed through for the last 10 years. We had lost 10 hours sailing in the wrong direction to try to avoid the worst of the storm therefore we would not now be calling at Madeira, a great disappointment for us, so we now had an extra day at see, putting more money into the RCI purse. The other ports of call are good and the excursions on the whole were value for money. To sum up then the ship is excellent but RCI is a money making machine. Would I recommend RCI to friends a definite NO Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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