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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Have been on the Serenade twice before. I noticed that they seem to be cutting corners. Seems to be less crew to accommodate passengers. Noticed this in pool area -- no glasses at the self serve drinks near Park Cafe when they were ... Read More
Have been on the Serenade twice before. I noticed that they seem to be cutting corners. Seems to be less crew to accommodate passengers. Noticed this in pool area -- no glasses at the self serve drinks near Park Cafe when they were closed. No one cleaned up water around pool (till 10:35 AM )which had accumulated Saturday into Sunday( during the night)-- someone could have had a serious fall ! Several (2 evenings) with no entertainment in the Tropical Theater. Menus in Reflections Dining Room at dinner were repetitive ( especially appetizers and desserts) I doubt hat these cutbacks are only on the Serenade. Royal Caribbean may just be concentrating on its mega sized ships . The Guest Relations crew staff need to know where there are pharmacies close to the ports. It is inexcusable that they sent me to a pharmacy almost 20 miles from the port (in St. Thomas) when there was a pharmacy which was less than 1 mile and walkable from Crown Bay where we docked ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were in the 4 bedroom presidential suite doing the south Caribbean the past week. As I am sure there will be reviews on here about the passengers on this cruise, I had no issues and will focus on facts about the line, service and value ... Read More
We were in the 4 bedroom presidential suite doing the south Caribbean the past week. As I am sure there will be reviews on here about the passengers on this cruise, I had no issues and will focus on facts about the line, service and value of RCCL. We were 7 comprising of 2 senior ladies, their sons and wives and on grandchild 9 years of age. My wife and I and child cruise every year and have done simple like carnival victory to NCL Haven. This by a long shot was the worse cruise for value for dollars and service. Embarkment was chaos and no support for 2 members with special needs, even after indicating this at time of booking and every email through the 2 years worth of communication. But local Peurtaricans were given all access... I get it locals looking after their own...just realize when they advertise priority for suites...it does not apply until once through security. On board the ship is old but in fair shape on the service. And got to room with no issues. We get suites for the perks to make travelling easier as we have 2 cardiac 2 anxiety disorder a special needs kid and one mobility issue related to back. In this department there are no real perks minus one. We still got free room service. No dedicated staff for the room. Not even a visit by consierge. We had to go to home during his 3 hour window fos issues which was daily. Our room was not clean and our Stewart made no issue informing us we was just a cleaner. Yet underwear and cups from the previous week guess was under beds all week and only on final night we pointed this out while taking pictures for my blog. To be clear, we had issues from the first day with trying to get the hottub filled, only to have our Stewart forced back to our room to show us how to fill and unfill hottub...all week we did this ourself and also cleaned it ourself as he only cleaned it on last night tip night. Spa. Booked services for mother and her friend which they tried charging her and upselling for a cheaper service even though I had already paid. I have always sent my child and wife for s mani or pedi on formal night sea day in every line without issue. I had called and email management consierge and spa onboard over the year leading up and within the weeks before boarding to ensure my child was good. Emails confirmed service and payment made. Day of treatment was told my kid cant go and no refund was going to be issued, so my wife would need to get a lesser treatment or take another adult. After embarrassing the manager with copies of all emails every received and sent.. mix got a teen nail treatment. No apology from spa of note. Mother bought and paid for photo book. Last day they recharged her account and was trying to force her into more charges until I got involved with Dudley the cousiearge guy. 4 hours later charges were reversed. No apology from photo gu, just Dudley, like it was his fault. Only excursion we booked through ship was a joke. Bonaire highlight and chill beach. Bus went zooming by anything of interest and not spotting and they were booked with other groups. So it was a drive around the island learning about how evil "rich people" were and s drop off to a resort, which was nice btw. Finally we suspected issues with the AC as 2 persons had to use emergancy inhalers daily. One member got angania from air quality in room and coughing and only felt better on the deck or of the ship. We all now have been confirmed with bacterial infections on throats since returning.Thanks Royal. The good was the staff in the dining room. In all our cruises, never have I seen the main floor manager/head waiter at our table every night and helping out. Our staff all got to know us and really made sure we were looked after. So of the best staff ever. The ugly...So Royal has found out z new way to increase profit st the cost of its workforce. We were told by a few crew members that at the end of the cruise their would be a survey sent and if the average scores in their areas were below 75% they dont get paid. Any surveys not done count as well. So those graturities that are suppose to be used to pay staff are now finding their way into corporate hands... I for one will not cruise on Royal again and will be open and honest on all my media forms to offer factual information on this cruise company. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We loved almost every single aspect of this cruise. We started as skeptics, we had strong feelings we would not cruising and were hopeful that we could find some peace and quiet. Frankly I expected to work during most of the cruise. ... Read More
We loved almost every single aspect of this cruise. We started as skeptics, we had strong feelings we would not cruising and were hopeful that we could find some peace and quiet. Frankly I expected to work during most of the cruise. Boarding: Embarkation - painless, quiet and easy. Traveling with my mother-in-law who required the assistance of a wheelchair to get around (she can walk, but very slowly and no steps or inclines, she is elderly). As our Uber pulled up to the terminal at 10:30am, our bags were whisked away with quiet efficiency and a gentlemen with a wheelchair made a beeline for us offering assistance. The gentlemen assisting my mother-in-law sorted through our paperwork in short order and has going through security in a few minutes then it was on to the ship. From the moment I stepped out of the uber it was maybe 15 minutes later I was on board. And security was so very good they caught something the TSA missed. Unlike the TSA, these people were professional and kind and took care of everything. I was very happy to see active, attentive security staff. It gave me confidence in the leadership. Day 1: The ship was spotless, everything was bright, clean, freshly painted or polished. She gleamed from end to the other, every line coiled and stowed, she was squared away and her crew took obvious pride in her, stepping aboard within an instant you got the message that her captain led his crew with confidence and pride. She didn't look a day out of dry dock. Guest services rented us a wheelchair for the duration of the cruise ($145) and the three of us were off to explore the ship. We got registered for the escape room (NOTE: at 11:30am when we registered, there was only 1 other open slot during our one sea day (Thursday) - everything else was booked up. We made our way down to Jamie's Italian around 12:00pm (Chops was not open for lunch) and sat down to a decent lunch. ***Warning*** Skip the next paragraph if you are not a food nut - Normal people will like Jamie's Italian just fine. Ok fellow foodie - here's the deal, some of the food is good and some is downright terrible. For us and I'm not sure why everyone from the host to the waiter spoke about their "San Marzano" tomatoes and then showed up with a can of cherry tomatoes. Not joking. The antipasto board wasn't bad, but it was a San Danielle ham that was quite close to a parma ham and they added Spanish caperberries and left off most of Italy's best olives, and swapped in cows milk mozzarella for the promised buffalo. To make things worse, the fried squid was cooked at around 325 degrees - so it had no color at all, very pale flour/yellow coating and cooked so very long at that low temp that you needed a chainsaw to get through the calamari. However, the house aioli was great, we loved it. The ragù alla bolognese was the best I have every had in my life. The cheesecake to die for, the eggplant parm was great and the lasagna was weird but good. Their pasta is excellent and well made (machine extruded, but not bad). The burger read well on the menu, but was average - I'd have it again but it certainly wasn't great food. After dinner we caught the comedy show, it was cute. Day 2: Nassau - We fell in love with Junkanoo Beach, hung out there for a few hours and bought a jerk chicken and pork combo plate from Junkanoo Jerk on the beach - the absolute best Jerk I've ever had; the chicken was great; and the pork deserves it's own Michelin star. Yeah, it's that good. The beach? It was touristy and real at the same time. We loved it. When we got tired of the crowds, we went over to the Hilton and checked in for the day which gave us access to their private beach; we had the place to ourselves. It was wonderful. We also did our own walking tour of Nassau and enjoyed it. Back on the ship around 6pm, we had dinner at chops and well if you read my prior review of Jamie's you have an idea of where I am going. First of all no dry aged steaks, second they sold us a couple of beaten choice steaks as prime. The mushroom soup was stunning, I loved it - the crab cake was good (but note: they used special crab not jumbo lump), the shrimp were off (old - mushy - ammonia; now they weren't bad like they would make you sick and frankly most people likely wouldn't notice, but we know food and shrimp in particular). Desserts weren't bad, but they really phoned it in. We ended our day sitting on the bow watching the passing ships and when the wind picked up we moved back our balcony which we loved. The magic show was a nice retelling of a few tried and true tricks. But it was on the simplistic side although very well executed. Day 3: CocoaCay - we took the glass bottom boat tour (my wife doesn't dive - so this was a great way for us to both share some reef time). We loved it, the tour operator was fantastic and made it all worthwhile. After the tour we had lunch (terrible jerk bbq) and laid out on the beach. It was nice, we enjoyed it. Back on the ship, we hit up Jamie's for dinner and loved the Lamb Chops, the shrimp pasta was terrible (and we knew better so shame on us). We also ordered 4 apps from the main dining room and 2 of their entrees in addition to the apps and entrees we ordered at Jamie's I'll stay positive and say the duck mousse was excellent. Day 4: Sea Day - spent some time on our balcony and wandering outside around decks 3 and 4 (also up to 11 and went forward to watch the bridge). Peaceful and relaxing (we stayed away from the crowds) Here's what I haven't articulated - the service from everyone, everywhere (except the main dining room) was amazing, fantastic and over the top. The crew was so wonderful we are 100% sold on another cruise in a few months. Great value for money - really great value. Internet (voom) worked ok, we had 4 devices connected concurrently and I was able to get some work one. Disembarkation: Just as smooth and getting on - took us maybe 20 minutes total to walk off the ship (we did carry our own bags, were off the ship at 7am). Do not under any circumstances go on the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. We did. One of the worst experiences we have ever had, so bad I have to call it bait and switch. I'll be curious to see if Royal Caribbean will cover me on it. It was horrible. So we are batting 50/50 right now on excursions (glass bottom boat on CocoaCay A+, Hop On Hop Off Bus F-}. Getting around with my mother-in-law (who walks real slow or needs her chair) - this went great. She used room service for a couple of lunches and the ship really took care of her. She was very happy, therefore my wife was happy and thus I was happy. Questions about this cruise? - Please feel free to ask, I'll answer anything I can - I'll argue you'll love it. Just understand the food at best isn't that good. The ingredients are mediocre and the kitchen leadership is lacking. Other than that - this cruise was a pretty perfect moment for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Get-a-way winter cruise with similar generation guest onboard. Room service was excellent, room was clean and adequate square footage. Both dining room and Windjammer offered variety of tasty food....real orange juice would taste better ... Read More
Get-a-way winter cruise with similar generation guest onboard. Room service was excellent, room was clean and adequate square footage. Both dining room and Windjammer offered variety of tasty food....real orange juice would taste better than the watered down "frozen", service in dining room was slow (need more help), but very cordial and willing to serve your needs. Evening Entertainment was very good, would prefer more "clean" comedians onboard ship rather than filthy mouth comedians. Grand Cayman Disembarking by tender without onshore ship excursion booking was a two hour wait...not happy with rules for offloading...I paid same price for sailing to Grand Cayman and do not expect to be treated second rate just because I did not book an excursion. Biggest complaint is high price of drinks with added gratuity and high room service gratuity. For seven day cruise, room service gratuity for two is @$200 on top of basic cruise price...not very welcome or value added. All in All, the cruise was very enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back ... Read More
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back to back on this particular cruise. We signed up for the second cruise. We have taken 14 cruises since we retired ten years ago.....10 with Celebrity and this being the 4th with RCCL. We realized that the Serenade had been around for a number of years. But the itinerary and the reputation that RCCL has/had was a good reason to sign up for it. Starting from the good to bad reviews, let me start with the good. Our room attendant and the wait staff were excellent. It was what you would expect, or wanted, on a cruise. The food was good. It could have been better, but we were okay with it. By no means was it outstanding. And, we definitely have experienced cruises with some above average appetizers, entrees and desserts. The entertainment usually held in the theater at two scheduled times was not good. There was no entertainment on two nights. Zilch. Oh, they did offer movies in a cinema room. But the big entertainment for the night was missing. Instead they called a movie their entertainment. And, this happened on the preceding cruise taken by many of our friends. I have to give this review a fair-good rating. A 5 out of 10 !!! I forgot to add that the overall status of the ship was in need of some major overhaul. Many areas appeared worn. I am not sure if they have had any refurbishing of this ship. 7610 Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We liked the idea of galvestion sailing so no plane ride, we hoped the kids would be back in school (wrong). We have been on RC relocation cruises which were terrific. The food seems of lower quality and variety than our past RC cruises. ... Read More
We liked the idea of galvestion sailing so no plane ride, we hoped the kids would be back in school (wrong). We have been on RC relocation cruises which were terrific. The food seems of lower quality and variety than our past RC cruises. Lots of food spills in the buffet area. Ship seems to have been remodeled so there is less adult pool and more children's pool. No outdoor eating area. Entertainment lacked the wow factor of other RC cruises. To us a comedian is not really entertainment. On deck band played with lack of enthusiasm. Lots of emphasis on duty free shopping including a number of robo calls to our room. A large group was booked on the ship and they closed off some sections at times to the rest of the paying guests! It also seems like they have raised the prices of their specialty restaurants a lot from our past experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose RCI Anthem of the Seas for several reasons 1) we could drive to the port, it was 2.5 hours away. 2) the itinerary that went to San Juan, St Kitts, and Barbados where we have never been to 3) it was with Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We choose RCI Anthem of the Seas for several reasons 1) we could drive to the port, it was 2.5 hours away. 2) the itinerary that went to San Juan, St Kitts, and Barbados where we have never been to 3) it was with Royal Caribbean - we thought a quality cruise line. Being the 1st time on such a large ship, we were awed by the size, and cleanliness of the crew. We were worried we would lose that 'personal touch' that we've received before - we didnt. The 1st 2 days we were at seas, the shows were very good. HIGHLY Recommend We Will Rock You. The 3rd or 4th day, is when the AC issue started ..... read on Here is what I filled out for my survey Cabin 10171 Inside Accessible - internal Cabin Temperature 80+ degrees from Day 3 until last Sea Day when we hit cooler weather. REPEATED (2 and 3 times a day) Trips to Customer Service - Captain finally announced that we had an AC issue 2 days later and that it would be fixed in a few hours. It wasn't. Captain announced the next day, that they were still working on the issue via zones and it would all be fixed by tonight. It wasn't. We received no further updates from the Captain, and Customer Service couldn't do anything - Onboard CS tells us to call CS Stateside when we get off of the ship. We received a letter in our stateroom stating that we would be getting a $200 refundable OBC Cruise Fare Credit for your Technical difficulties. (if you were a Balcony or Ocean View, you receive $300, and if you are a Suite $400) Obviously $200 credit for a RUINED 12 day cruise is laughable and a slap in the face for a client who is loyal to Royal AND we even booked another cruise BEFORE all of this AC issue started. Next subject Theater Accessibility for Wheelchairs - there are rugs with a Wheelchair Symbol on them, (for wheelchair and scooters to watch the shows at) there are big heavy comfortable chairs on these carpets, that GENIES reserve for NON Wheelchair/Scooters. Being big comfortable chairs, people sit in these first, with no regard for us folk in wheelchairs. A *SIMPLE* solution is to remove these chairs and only place them when a Wheelchair user's COMPANION needs one. - which when I spoke to the Captain personally, he said it "SHOULD NOT HAPPEN" and he would "CORRECT IMMEDIATELY" - (it wasn't corrected and still happened even on the last show of the cruise,) I pointed it out to RC Personnel who stated that in his 10 years with Royal, these rugs have ALWAYS had chairs on them. The Good - well GREAT Roel our assistant waiter in MTD Silk - Fabulous, friendly attentive - he really needs to be the waiter and his partner Elvis needs to his assistant. Chops - 'Dundee' (also known as James Bond) FABULOUS, Funny, engaging, took care of any request we might have Micha our Room Steward - was Fantastic, kudos ! Thumbs up ! We cant praise these 3 staff members enough ! The bumper cars - my wife Dottie enjoyed beating and banging with the other 2 couples we traveled with. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our New Year’s Cruise on the Allure of the Seas 12/30/18 thru 1/6/19 I would like to begin this review by elucidating to all readers that we are absolutely not the type of Cruisers that believe we are above and beyond any other person ... Read More
Our New Year’s Cruise on the Allure of the Seas 12/30/18 thru 1/6/19 I would like to begin this review by elucidating to all readers that we are absolutely not the type of Cruisers that believe we are above and beyond any other person on a cruise ship regardless of what room they stay in or their status. We are a very humble couple and feel very blessed to be able to enjoy these types of vacations. However, regardless if you stay in an inside cabin or the owners suite it still costs money and the agreeably there is a standard set “By the Company” you are cruising with, and quite frankly if they cannot live up to their Standards then it is something that should be shared with other travelers. With that I will begin our review of the Allure of the Seas. First and foremost I have similar reviews of the Big Ships and ironically it seems to be the same all the time – RCCL and others have these big beautiful ships and unfortunately they don’t have to correct amount of staff to keep up with their “Standards”. We have been on a total of 13 Cruises since 2012 and have sailed on the Vision, Radiance, Voyager, Freedom and Oasis Class ships at least once. It is not hard to figure out that service levels from Vision and Oasis are worlds apart. If I had to scale these in order of service and standards I would say Vision (80-90%) Radiance (80-90%) Freedom (75-80%) Oasis (65-75%). Again this based on number of Passengers to the number of employees. The Oasis class ships have a passenger compliment of 5400 with 2165 crew members which is 2.49 crew members to every passenger. With 18 Categories of Officers the equation greatly reduces the total of number of crew members to guests in the rating of less than 1 per passenger. Overall the statistics may or may not be of any significant to most people however it does illustrate the point that just because their bigger doesn’t mean their better, and it Segway’s into my review as it may hopefully give a better insight on the “Standards and Service Levels” that we were engaged with. Overall the cruise was awesome however when it came to specific one on one details about service and standards it was a little below average. I have broken this review down into categories to save some reading. Boarding We boarded in Miami and although there are some changes and rebuilding in effect it could still use allot of help. We still don’t understand why they haven’t built this Embarking / disembarking the same as Port Canaveral that is a beautiful port. RCCL has streamlined there process by having your Sea Pass Cards delivered to your stateroom – you will not receive one prior to boarding – This did cause allot of confusion if you went on board and wanted to get a drink and or if you showed up to your stateroom and there was no sea pass card available which means you get to spend time in the Customer Service Line (Which we seen allot of passengers doing) – I cannot 100% say for sure that was the issue however I have never seen that many people at a Customer Service Desk before leaving port. Disembarking Allot of issues here – First off if you’re a smoker we can assure you that if you’re not up at 6am – there will be no place to light up with your coffee. The Allure shut down all smoking areas at 8am – so if you’re one of the lucky ones who have to wait last to leave it will be a long morning. There is a long walk to the Final Inspection gate but customs has a new system in process that will get you right out the door unless you’re picked out by CBP officers. Pool Decks / Bars Little to no service from mobile bar service, regardless if you have a drink package or not rest assured you will be spending more time waiting in bar lines getting your own drinks. We both had a drink package and I am not above getting my own – however when there is 10 people in line and only two bar tenders that doesn’t make for happy passengers. It got so bad that the passengers in line were ordering 5 or 6 drinks at once for their parties just so they wouldn’t have to wait. Which inadvertently caused bigger wait times and longer line shuffles. When there was mobile service it is not like the smaller ships – You would literally have to yell out for the person to hear you, which in my opinion is rather rude. Nonetheless after 2 days of lines we cancelled our drink package. It was much easier for us to go somewhere else on the ship if we wanted something. Dinner at the Dining Rooms Unbelievably the service at our Main Dining room Tanked our first dinner night. We actually sat for 25 Minutes before getting water to the table. And another 10 minutes before finally seeing a waiter. We felt very uncomfortable and almost not existent while sitting there. My wife finally said lets go, so we ate at the Windjammer most of the trip. The Mgmt. Staff advised a “Few” people called off. I am not sure what “Few” meant but if 3 people called off and it caused that much disruption – I can’t imagine if 10 or 15 called off. Overall I think the dining room service experience was less than average. It is a shame because our cruise one year ago was off the chain in the dining room – But again it was on a Freedom Class Ship. Casino Drinks and Service My wife and I like I am sure many others have reached Primary Status with Casino’s which will allow you to drink for free. Well without getting into allot of detail, the bar service was really nonexistent in the casino. We were playing cards at a table with 4 other people. On 3 separate occasions we asked for a Waiter from the Dealer to the Pit Manager. And after 2 hours of waiting we and another couple finally left. On another occasion when we did get service we got charged for our drinks, even holding a prime membership and then spent over an hour at Customer Service getting it removed off our billing statement. Casino Betting The Oasis Class Ships raised their Bet Limits on their tables to $15 which is Ludacris in itself. We are avid 3 Card poker players and in theory (for those of you who know the game) each minimum hand bet would cost you $45 on the Ante – Play and Pairs Plus – The Dealer Hand bet stayed at $5. – We were told there were high rollers on the ship and that’s why the min. was raised. I am not an expert on the, who and why but how silly is it to raise the tables on a handful of High Rollers when I am sure they were outweighed by 90% of the other passengers. Seriously RCCL Casino Royale your marketing team needs some attention. We also had the pleasure of having a dealer who made a mistake during the Betting who decided to call out the Passengers for making an error when cleating bets. (I was dumbfounded by that whole experience) Shows / Entertainment The headliner shows were great, as were the comedians. RCCL does need to work out a new routine of the 70’s Disco etc.. Theme days. We have seen the same thing over the past 7 years. It’s about time they mix it up a bit. How about a Sock Hop / 80’s Theme or Motown – Something new needs to be created. Parents For the love of God Parents – If you bring your children Please – Please be responsible and watch them, it is not the responsibility of any company to watch your kids (Unless of course you use the day care service – if provided). We witnessed a couple at pool side drinking and on their phones while there young (between 7 and 9) swim in one of the adult pools. Granted there is a life guard standing there but their job is not to baby sit – If you want to enjoy your vacation and no kid watch – leave them home or use the Day Care Service. Also letting your kids run Free in 35 Mile an hour winds on the top deck of a ship is probably not a good move either, these children weigh maybe 40 lbs. it would not take much of a cross wind to send them out to sea. – Seriously it is very concerning when you’re a spectator watching this happen. Overall It may seem like allot of negativity on this review however my hope is to convey that although the Allure is a beautiful ship – please don’t assume you will get the same service levels as the smaller class ships. These crew members work a min of 12-14 hours a day, and to service a ship this size back to back day after day has to be draining at some point and time. Bigger isn’t always Better but it is a beautiful ship. We love RCCL and will continue to cruise with them – although our expectations won’t be as high as they usually are on the Voyager or Freedom Class ships. Thanks for the Time and the Read Steve Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. ... Read More
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. Plenty of dining options to find something to taste. Entertainment directors could have been more entertaining. Missed a sailaway party and more bands live music on the pool deck. Shows were of a high standard. Overall staff were amazing and it was a holiday of a lifetime. The embarking disembarking was speedy. Some wait for tender boats but not too bad. Islands were all wonderful and snorking was the best we have experienced. Mystery island was the family favourite. Touch touch train on noumea is highly recommended. Isle of pines 2 hour sighseeing train (booked on island) was also recommended. Dont miss the cave it was a highlight. Will be cruising with royal caribbean again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is ... Read More
Left out of Miami on Dec 28. This was a family cruise (4 people over 50, 3 in their 20s/30s, and 1 5 YO), so we had two balconies next to each other (6388 and 6390), as well as a new interior room. Embarkation: EASY. The new terminal is great. Fast, attentive, wonderful. Disembarkation: Same. We did self assist and left at 8:30 after breakfast. Ship: while the updates are nice, they have NOT made their way to the staterooms. The overhaul makes the ship look newish, which is good. Dining rooms look lovely. Service: not one attendant on this ship smiled or seemed to care about our experience. We actively had some give us dirty looks (when returning towels or not ordering a drink by the pool). We had one server kick over our drink, look down, and then leave. By far the most depressing service I've ever had on a cruise. Cabins: We had the 6th deck aft balconies that have the deck in front. No one ever goes on them, so we didn't mind that "obstruction" at all. Room was a decent size, balcony a great size. HOWEVER — the room was in poor shape. The handles to the balcony were covered in tape and paint, it was SO HARD and LOUD to open the balcony door, the balcony was always dirty, the carpets were stained, all of the doors jiggled constantly, there are only two outlets in the room, one in the bathroom (bring an international adapter to add one more). Bed was rock solid (I didn't mind this).Remote never worked, etc. The INTERIOR room was brand new and much nicer (but nothing great, honestly). Food/drink: good: Dinner in the main dining room was lovely. Well prepared, tasty, and included. We didn't do specialty dining due to both cost and lackluster menus. We should have done lunch (see below), but those restaurants were still too expensive and completely empty at lunch, leaving the few diners to look sad and alone. bad: The windjammer has no change in menu for breakfast or lunch. I despised it by day 2. Very little was healthy for lunch, and there isn't even a basic vinaigrette for salad. I'm not a picky eater, so this was really disappointing. All I ever want to drink is plain soda water, which is usually available on the ship's water machines. On Mariner you don't get to pour your own beverage, so I was pretty sad. Activities: We really did enjoy laser tag! Free is the right price for it, and it was a blast. Sky pad was fun, too. Not worth a long wait, though. Escape room seemed like a good idea, but booking was a pain and we ended up not doing it due to that and the $20 pp fee. Pools were FREEZING. Hot tubs were packed and warm :). The solarium was the best for adults, but still FREEZING cold pools. My Alaska cruises were warmer... Kids camp/adventure ocean: what a disappointment. There were enough kids to do fun activities, but each day they just watched tv or colored on their own. Our kid LOVES kids camp so she didn't mind too much, but she said she was bored after two hours. She also was COVERED in marker — her clothing, everything. No one told us, and there were at least two other kids drawing all over her. The counselors (except one) never smiled or talked to my kid at drop off, despite her trying to make conversation. Overall this may be the cruise that makes us stop taking Royal Caribbean. I've usually been happy, but this was below expectations for this price point. We have recently had some lovely cruises on NCL and we'll be using them next time. Read Less
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