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191 Royal Caribbean Dubai Cruise Reviews

This was our 8th cruise - 4th with Royal Carribean . Standards have dropped dramatically . From start to finish my husband and I were upset and disappointed by the whole experience on this cruise. RC rep at airport unsure if we ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise - 4th with Royal Carribean . Standards have dropped dramatically . From start to finish my husband and I were upset and disappointed by the whole experience on this cruise. RC rep at airport unsure if we were going to hotel or pier to check in Once decided - Check in at the Le Meridien hotel ( to avoid Pier queues) was a shambles with inexperienced staff ,resulting in long queues to check in and promised breakfast / freshen up time was rushed as we were herded on to the bus to the pier port. Once there we had to queue once again for our sea pass photos ( should have been done at the hotel check in surely? ) Once on ship we saw how badly the decks looked with sun beds crammed so closely together that you would have to launch yourself at one from the bottom to be able to use it!! While waiting for our room to be available we ordered a drink at the bar, we had bought a drinks package but this was not evident on their system or our sea pass cards so I had to show paperwork to prove we had prepurchased this package, not a great start with other people waiting to order drinks . Rooms ready at 1pm but cases not delivered by 4pm as promised , so we had to go search for them our selves. Room attendant Francisco , introduced himself and then chose to ignore us for the rest of the week , no " good mornings" or smiles and a bit of a growl when we asked him to change our towels one day . We found that many rules stated on the Daily Compass , had no one to enforce them. One being Children running around , on dance floors / nightclub areas after 10pm . Windjammer restaurant , although appearing clean had dirty chairs - remnants from former diners. Guest relations staff were very unknowledgeable when we lined up to ask them any questions. We were very unhappy to have to give up our passports on check in on first day to have to queue to pick them up on 4th day, to have to then give them up to immigration at Abu Dhabi on 5th day and then queue up again on the ship on 7th night to pick them up once again ( and they lost my husbands !) Guest relations could not explain to us why we had to keep giving them up ! Our belief is that you should NEVER give up your passport . As the week went on we realised that RC just wanted to squeeze more money out of the cruiser , extra for this, extra for that. It was relentless, and I should think made the poor feel poorer and the rich feel richer. We listened as people paid 300 dollars a couple to stand in a certain area on New Years Eve ( that was accessible at any other time ) with the promise of champagne & canapés - we went on the deck below and were served champagne anyway ( also this was covered in some drinks packages) total rip off but the gullible went for it. Entertainment Very poor - sub standard WIfi Extremely expensive and if you didn't want it all week but just on the last day , so you could check in for your flights, the price rose considerably compared to the original daily rate- another rip off . We know of people who bought the full wifi package for streaming and downloading and when it did not work , were told the signal in the Arabian Gulf is not good !!! Why sell it to people then ? Pre paid tips On previous cruises we are given vouchers at the end of the cruise to give to people who have served us well. Not this time . So if the room attendant got our tips, he did not deserve them ! This system has only left the staff with a lack lustre approach as they will get the tips anyway so why try and be plesant and helpful? To add insult to injury , envelopes were left in the rooms 2 days before end of cruise marked WOW , where we were encouraged to give further tips to members of staff that had stood out to us !! Is this not what the original pre paid tips are for ?? Lastly and we were at first hesitant to post this but feel we must warn others, is the standard of the majority of the guests , which , as we paid a lot of money for our cruise only says to us that the last minute deals are giving uncouth people with no manners / standards/ control of their children , the opportunity of affording. ( fellow guests told us they did not want to leave their cabins on sea days to avoid this type of people) I have been back 5 days now, completed 2 " guest satisfaction surveys " with mainly 0, s and sent a complaint to RC asking them to call me before I added this review to Cruise Critic , nothing has been acknowledged to date. If this is the standard of service and clientele that cruise lines are now encouraging, we will not be cruising again . Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We did a cruise on the Vision of the seas from december 26 2016 to january 2 2017 from Dubai and going to Khasab (Oman), Muscat (Oman), Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai. The flights with QATAR airlines were excellent. We stayed at the Holiday ... Read More
We did a cruise on the Vision of the seas from december 26 2016 to january 2 2017 from Dubai and going to Khasab (Oman), Muscat (Oman), Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai. The flights with QATAR airlines were excellent. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Internet city for 2 nights before the cruise, it was a perfect location to visit by walking the Palm, the Marina, the Burj Arab, the madeinat Mujerah and the Emirates Mall, The service and the food (breakfast was included) at the Hotel were excellent. The only thing at this Hotel was they convince us to use their taxi service and it was very expansive compared to the regular taxi. The embarkation on the ship was very easy, The service in the dining room for food and wine was terrible (they bring the wrong wine and no service at all to fill up the glass of wine when empty from the bottle we ordered, they bring the wrong plates, it was really slow, etc.....)...Very bad service for the imformation at the reception desk and excursions desk (when we asked if they have information about next port of call they told u they don't have anything but at the end of the day I discovered by myself that they have imformation right by the reception desk but nobody from the staff was able to tell me that.... The cabin was adequate with plenty of room to store evrything we had in our luggages. The disembarkation went very smoothly.... I really like all the place we did on that trip...I discovered a very nice country Oman (Khasab and Muscat). I did not know too much about that country but I find the people very helpfull, very respecfull, very friendly, great landscape.....I am very happy to discover that part of the world that we discover....) Dubai and Abu Dhabi are very nice too.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Check in was a breeze. It must have only taken 20 minutes. We had a large Ocean view on Deck 4 and this was perfect. There were no vibrations and you couldn't hear next door either! This is a nice size ship and has good ... Read More
Check in was a breeze. It must have only taken 20 minutes. We had a large Ocean view on Deck 4 and this was perfect. There were no vibrations and you couldn't hear next door either! This is a nice size ship and has good amenities. It was difficult to find a sunbed on the sea day. All the food was good. We ate in the main dining room every night. It was getting wraps from the Deli in the Solarium at lunchtime. The entertainment in the Theatre was really good and it was nice that most things centred around the Centrum too in the evening in-between the shows. Good ports of call. We bought a combo ticket online ourselves with the Big Bus company for Muscat, Abu Dhabi & Dubai. The bus comes direct to the ship. It was an easy way to see the cities. We didn't do any other tours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise to see this part of the world but while the ports were worth a visit the organised trips with RC were grossly over priced !!!!! Vision of the Sea is tired but the main crib is with the greed of RC like other reviews ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see this part of the world but while the ports were worth a visit the organised trips with RC were grossly over priced !!!!! Vision of the Sea is tired but the main crib is with the greed of RC like other reviews i found the amount of times we had to say no to photographs is out of order. After getting to our room i went for a shower only to find that there was no shower gel or shampoo supplied we found out later you had to ask the steward for them.(very bad show RC) The other gripe i have is with the now 18% added to each drink ordered,this added to the 13$ per person per day and the amount of hard sell throughout the ship including 3$ plus for a bottle of water supplied in room takes the gloss from the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Normally I don't cruise around Christmas time. The prices are too high. But this offer was unbelievable. The prices startet at 299 € per person. We had a nice veranda cabin midships. Big enough for one week. I had no great dining ... Read More
Normally I don't cruise around Christmas time. The prices are too high. But this offer was unbelievable. The prices startet at 299 € per person. We had a nice veranda cabin midships. Big enough for one week. I had no great dining exportations. What could you expect at this low prices? But ist was great. For breackfast I only need some "muesli", fruits and a cup of tea or coffee. Some vegetables for lunch. At night in the main dining rooom I found always something I liked. It was not the luxury I had on other ships. But you can't expect lobster at this pricees. The service was very good. Especially at the Windjammer the service was outstanding. Over all the entertainment was fine. But the shows on the new ships are much better and more sophisticated. The excursions were well organized and worth the money. It was my first trip to this area and I loved it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had a fabulous time....the Weather was brilliant as we expected We arrived at the terminal after a flight from the UK around 11 am. We were on board within 15 mins We booked for the 19th December for one week over Christmas ... Read More
We had a fabulous time....the Weather was brilliant as we expected We arrived at the terminal after a flight from the UK around 11 am. We were on board within 15 mins We booked for the 19th December for one week over Christmas stateroom 8024 and then stateroom 8032 from 26th December for the New Years Cruise . These staterooms are under the pool deck and you can hear trolleys, children running etc but it did not bother us to much We had a wonderful time ,so much so we have booked to sail again on this cruise on February 6th 2017 we have booked an aft jnr suite. We were very impressed with the service that we experienced everywhere on the ship The Captain Michael Lindberg was very visible and made a point of speaking to many guests on a one to one basis . The Officers we would like to thank for making our cruise very special are the Loyalty Ambassador Fernando, The Bar Manager Alex from Romania, the Maitre de and of course Junior and his team for the wonderful fresh food on board. The Concierge Team of Mangesh and V were also amazing When we docked at Muscat you can buy a hop on hop off bus ticket there is a special deal if you buy the Muscat, Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai bus tours which were a great way of seeing and learning about these great places. These buses are frequent and not to crowded. If you have a gold card then you can have breakfast served to you in Giovanni's. Check the cruise compass for timings. You can also have breakfast served in the main dining room. The Windjammer was very busy on times but as long as you avoid these busy moments then you will always find a seat and the staff are quick to assist and help, offering to take away empty plates and/or bring drinks. We ate at Chops, Giovanni's and Isumi several times during both cruises and enjoyed the exclusivity and quality of the food.and don't forget to try the Park Cafe in the Solarium for lighter options or late snacks. Room service was delivered quite quickly and if you fancy breakfast in bed then put out the breakfast menu before you go to sleep. your on Holidays after all ; o ) The Gym is well equipped and the spa was very good with special offers on port days The entertainment team we enjoyed and the cruise Director and his team were entertaining and happy at all times.we enjoyed the shows and the trivia quiz. There are plenty of lounges to sunbathe on because a lot of people are doing the shore excursions and don't forget to try the Park Cafe in the Solarium. You can also get fruit cups and some desserts at the Seattle's coffee bar deck six We went out in the evening in Dubai during the overnight stop for a curry on the and found that taxi's are cheap and we used Uber to take us back to the ship, worked out less than $10. You feel very safe in Dubai. My Husband had a shoulder back and neck massage along with a manicure inside the terminal it was extremely good and very reasonable, worth checking this out. Disembarkation was quick but we had already booked a car to our Hotel which was a day rate at the Hilton Creek.which is a wonderful Hotel The taxi rank however was not that busy around 8.30 but around 9 am it went very busy around 70 people waiting but the line moved quickly with plenty of taxi's Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have just returned from a 7 day cruise out of Dubai on RCCL's Vision of the Seas. She is an older ship that carries 2,500 people. A size and age that I usually love. Sadly, Vision was rather tired. Despite the best attempts ... Read More
I have just returned from a 7 day cruise out of Dubai on RCCL's Vision of the Seas. She is an older ship that carries 2,500 people. A size and age that I usually love. Sadly, Vision was rather tired. Despite the best attempts of the crew to keep her clean it never felt quite like they had succeeded. The food was a really mixed bag. At times it was excellent and other it was horrible. I ate breakfast at the Park Cafe in the Solarium which was fine. As I eat fruit, yogurt and granola washed down with black coffee I would have been shocked had it not been OK. Lunch was at the Windjammer - all except our sea day there was no other option. I found the buffet sadly lacking - it was two islands with four queues, each serving the same thing. The bread was pre-cut and consistently stale. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the sandwich and fast food section as a pescetarian they weren't particularly interesting. I had a soda package and found the bar staff seemed to begrudge me my diet coke. Dinner in the dining room with My Time Dining was a much better experience. I ate alone some nights and with a friend others. I had the same table each night and Walter (my Peruvian waiter) and Isse (the Kenyan assistant waiter) couldn't do enough. They were attentive, friendly and really honest about what was what on the menu. Most of the food was ok. The fish on some nights ran a bit dry but the rest was quite good. I can't eat refined sugar so the sugar free deserts are really important to me as I have a real sweet tooth. They were excellent except for the sugar free ice cream which was grainy and tasteless. The entertainment on board was the worst that I have ever encountered. With the exception of the concert by the Zoots - a 60s cover band who were very good the rest of dreadful to say the least. The resident troupe were dreadful. We walked out after the second song during their 70's review. The two excursions that I booked through RCCL in Muscat were fantastic. It is indeed a great city to visit and one that I want to go back to . My biggest disappointment was that on the final day of the cruise, we were docked in Dubai for the final day before disembarkation the following morning, it seemed like the ship's crew had given up. The schedule was half the size that it had been every other day of the cruise. There was only some music in the centrum that night and no show. It was as if it was a 6 day cruise that the passengers had decided to extend into 7 days. All in all - the route was good, the rest mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We decided to try Royal Caribbean Arabian Gulf cruise because the weather in the area would be warm but not to hot at this time of year. The embarkation was not too bad, we arrived in Dubai about 7.30 after an overnight flight from ... Read More
We decided to try Royal Caribbean Arabian Gulf cruise because the weather in the area would be warm but not to hot at this time of year. The embarkation was not too bad, we arrived in Dubai about 7.30 after an overnight flight from London and had to wait till 11.00 to embark. the luggage arrived in our cabin about 6 PM. The ship is ideal size and still in good condition after the 2013 refit. Our balcony cabin (aka stateroom) was fine although the shower area is very tight, fortunately my wife and I are thin. Everything after that was all downhill. The Windjammer buffet restaurant is awful, the selection and quality of food on offer was terrible and very bland. Because the Aquarius restaurant was closed most lunch times everybody had to use the buffet. If you were lucky to find an empty table, loud tanoy messages encouraged you to leave as soon as you had finished eating as there were insufficient tables to accommodate the guests. The food in the Aquarius restaurant in the evening was not much better apart from a couple of nights. The theatre is very nice but the ships dance and music group were second rate compared to some we have seen. However Julian Smith the soprano sax player was very good. The general experience was one of the HARD SELL all the time. We purchased the "surf and stream" internet package but when I complained that we could not download videos I was told the service would not work in the Gulf location !!. Our cabin attendant was great but some of the other crew (mainly Ukrainians who had only just arrived) were a bit lost for a few days. We went on a couple of shore excursions but felt they were very expensive for what was provided. Would we use Royal Caribbean again :- DEFINITELY NOT. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I had an overnight flight to Dubai I found out later that a lot of people on the flight were taking the cruise. I arrived at the airport picked up the case and after clearing customs were met out side in Arrivals by a Royal Caribbean rep. ... Read More
I had an overnight flight to Dubai I found out later that a lot of people on the flight were taking the cruise. I arrived at the airport picked up the case and after clearing customs were met out side in Arrivals by a Royal Caribbean rep. After checking everyone off we boarded the transfer coach to the port. This was an unusual cruise for me as I always travel alone, but this time I was meeting up with a couple of friends and some other people in their party. I met one of my friends at the port and we promptly boarded the ship. I have sailed on Vision before and as much as I loved being on Harmony I was looking forward to sailing on a smaller ship. The ship is quite old but still in great shape at the pool bar I was met with a friendly smiling face it was Kendrick from Ovation of the Seas it was great to see him again. As the morning passed we seemed to meet up with everyone within the next few hours. The time passed quickly and the cabins were ready in the early afternoon, I had a kind steward called Samuel who looked after the cabin. I had my time dining which was a bit hit and miss with the food and service but never mind it did not take anything away from my time on this lovely ship. A group of us did Chops on the second night it did not disappoint the food was amazing as was the service. I had breakfast every day in the main dining room with a section for members to sit at. The service and the food was very enjoyable as were the people I sat with. I also enjoyed the lunch twice on the cruise in the main dining room I do so love the salad they serve there. When we overnighted in Muscat we had an Arab themed party around the pool it was great I have never experienced anything like it. Everyone there seemed to really enjoy the evening and the staff worked so hard thank you to everyone. That really apart from the nation of flags ceremony with the Captain in the atrium was the only other entertainment that I saw. Talking with other people on the ship there seemed to be quite a mixed response regarding the other entertainment available. Service was generally excellent but My Time Dinning was a disappointment I have to say. The staff worked hard but I felt that the food was slow coming I did leave two meals but went to the Windjammer all turned out well. Mangesh Jambhulkar our concierge worked really hard in the lounge and everyone seemed to speak highly of him. Overall the cruise was really good, so good in fact I booked up to go back again in February to go back. I have sailed many times with Royal Caribbean which I enjoy and will continue I hope to do so for many years to come Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Excellent value and the ship was brand new. Getting on board was seamless. Better than usual entertainment. Went to ports we would not normally choose, Oman & Kochi. Even though it's a huge ship it was not crowded. There were no ... Read More
Excellent value and the ship was brand new. Getting on board was seamless. Better than usual entertainment. Went to ports we would not normally choose, Oman & Kochi. Even though it's a huge ship it was not crowded. There were no problems getting lounge chairs at the pools. no big queues at the dining venues. Food and service are great as usual. Good choice of tours in Ports. Activities are great too, North Star and I fly were amazing. Robot bar was a great novelty. There was a great wine bar with a good selection. Two seventy at the blunt end was an excellent bar to relax in and in the evening it transformed to a theatre. The free dining venues were 1st class and although an extra expense Wonderland was a great dining experience. Cabins were a good size and no sticky shower curtains, much more storage room than usual. Overall a great sailing adventure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The ship itself was very good but as reviewed before the dress code was very poor and I remember one night in the top restaurant the guy at the next table had T shirt shorts and thongs on and this was when the advertised dress for men was ... Read More
The ship itself was very good but as reviewed before the dress code was very poor and I remember one night in the top restaurant the guy at the next table had T shirt shorts and thongs on and this was when the advertised dress for men was a minimum of a jacket. Getting on and off was no problem and there were never any long lines.The biggest problem was visiting India where it was $100 for a visa and you had to jump through hoops to get and then have to front up to an indian official on the ship while he checked you were really you.....never Seen it before. Another problem was anytime dining if you did not book your time the day before you could only get in at 6 0 pm or 8 45 pm that night,so much for anytime. I am not to sure if the outside pool will be really popular as it is next to the kids waterworld and some of those kids can scream. Plenty of deckchairs so you will not miss out there. Like most cruises the entertainment ranged from really good to "what retirement home is this guy from" Overall pretty good, with the cabins a bit bigger but short on hanging space,the shower was excellent Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The new Ovation we were looking forward to so much as new Diamond members.Our cabin was really nice but lacked appropriate hanging space and need more drawers.Our attendant was very helpful. I did not like the dining experience I much ... Read More
The new Ovation we were looking forward to so much as new Diamond members.Our cabin was really nice but lacked appropriate hanging space and need more drawers.Our attendant was very helpful. I did not like the dining experience I much preferred my time dining in the one restaurant with a choice of others if preferred. The entertainment was very impressive and the Director was really good. However there was not much to do through the day and the progressive trivia was like a school boy carnival school yard jokes with unimpressive hosts.The other trivia in schooner bar was good. Considering most of the guests were 50 plus and take trivia a little more seriously.The Diamond lounge was dark and dingy in the Music Hall because we could not get a seat in the very brightly lit Diamond Club room and we were spilled over to the Music Hall with loud games being and people nearly hitting you with there pool cue as they played because this was part of the Music Hall that resembled a dark dingy bar.The Diamond lounge Concierge was extremely un friendly and mostly seemed to give her time to a couple of Spanish speaking guests no good morning or any type of welcome and It spoilt our Diamond Club experience immensely.We travelled with another couple who are Diamond Plus and their club lounge was beautiful. Will not be going on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We wanted to experience one of the huge ships to see if they were to our taste, after 10 cruises on smaller ships. We chose Ovation of the Seas because it was brand new and coming eventually to Australia. The ship is beautiful and very ... Read More
We wanted to experience one of the huge ships to see if they were to our taste, after 10 cruises on smaller ships. We chose Ovation of the Seas because it was brand new and coming eventually to Australia. The ship is beautiful and very modern, but relies very heavily on technology that often does not work properly. We had problems with noise that were not addressed & heard that many others had problems that were not adequately addressed. Do not book cabin number 12210 - the cleaning robot is stored in an area somewhere above this cabin and when the ship is at sea, it bangs loudly continually. We did not sleep for two nights until we were moved to another cabin. We were told that this noise cannot be fixed, which means that unless you have ear plugs, or can sleep through anything, this cabin is worthless. It was a real shame, as the cabin itself was very nice and in a great position. Overall, we found the crew not up to the caring standard of other RCI ships, but the entertainment and artwork was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
New large ship with lots of unique features. Production shows are truly amazing! Guest performers and In-house entertainers were very talented. I have taken many RCCL cruises, consider myself a loyal customer to RCCL and Celebrity. ... Read More
New large ship with lots of unique features. Production shows are truly amazing! Guest performers and In-house entertainers were very talented. I have taken many RCCL cruises, consider myself a loyal customer to RCCL and Celebrity. On this ship RCCL seemed unconcerned about the long line-ups at Guest Services, Crown & Anchor Desk or to wait patiently, in no specific line, to get internet help. Diamond Club and Concierge Lounge are very pleasant venues, both were busy in the evenings. As a solo traveller I did not like the dining system, no chance to dine and meet new people randomly. (I normally use the "anytime" dining system on cruise-ships, which allows for being seated at different, large, tables each evening, always chatting with different passengers.) "Dynamic Dining" - thumbs down Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We were traveling with our 21 yr old granddaughter so originally booked a grand suite but were offered an upgrade to a grand loft suite which was absolutely fabulous. Our Royal Genie was wonderful and made our trip extra special. All ... Read More
We were traveling with our 21 yr old granddaughter so originally booked a grand suite but were offered an upgrade to a grand loft suite which was absolutely fabulous. Our Royal Genie was wonderful and made our trip extra special. All three of us were tremendously spoiled - we never had to wait in line, all of our restaurant reservations and shore excursions were made by the genie. We were met at the port and guided thru check in and taken to our cabin. Don't think we could travel without a genie again! Our cabin was 2 stories with 2 full baths which worked very well. We dined in all the restaurants and found them very good with excellent service. We only ate in the marketplace a few times because it was usually very crowded. You do need to make your reservations online prior to setting sail because tho there are more restaurants on this ship than most, they aren't that big and most people opted for MyTime Dining. If you choose Classic Dining I think I RCCL makes your reservations for you. WE choose this cruise for the ports and weren't disappointed , Dubai, Oman, India, Penang and Singapore. There were a lot of sea days but there was enough to do onboard besides reading by the pool. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I chose this cruise because it is a new ship that is quite contemporary and full of technology. Plus I always wanted to see Dubai, India and Singapore, so they were the highlight of the trip. I had an amazing experience on the cruise: The ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it is a new ship that is quite contemporary and full of technology. Plus I always wanted to see Dubai, India and Singapore, so they were the highlight of the trip. I had an amazing experience on the cruise: The food, entertainment, technology, did I say entertainment!!!!..The performers are so talented and well organized...I had a blast. Customer service--TOP NOTCH. Added bonus, the bumber cars, first time in my life on a bumber car. Then the North Star--Up in the air so many feet above sea level giving such an exciting view. Then there's the I fly. What a treat!! Lots of other activities including Xbox, volley ball, air hockey. You name it, it's there. Plus you get a deal package of 3 dinners in specialty restaurants for such a low cost...OMG!!! Inside cabins with hi technology allowing one to see everything that's happening outside. I think that ship was constructed with taste and thought. And after all of that, there's the inviting gym. Well organized crew: No hassle nor long wait in line... I've been on many other cruise lines, but I will stick with Royal. They are AwesomE!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
New ship high expectations very disappointing cabin set out was good but no basic amenities supplied flat screen tv with basic repeat movies, movie channel available at a cost not enough activities available very boring when at sea for 7 ... Read More
New ship high expectations very disappointing cabin set out was good but no basic amenities supplied flat screen tv with basic repeat movies, movie channel available at a cost not enough activities available very boring when at sea for 7 days. Shore excursions where a complete shamble with no organization left at the peer in the heat no cover or water supplied or available (Oman). Food on ship was excellent except when coming to the end of the cruise they did not restock with fresh items shops where high end market no basic sundries shop at all. Entertainment had some good performers but trying to get a seat for a show was very difficult. Playing card with family out side 270 and others doing the same at 9pm crew came turned lights off and walked away very rude... I have sailed a number of ships before 2 prior with royal Caribbean would sale on there smaller ships again but never with ovation again Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
having cruised with rc before we were excited about boarding ovation, good job the itinary was good the ship was the worst we have been on the staff didn't know what they were doing, the pool was mainly coverd, not much ... Read More
having cruised with rc before we were excited about boarding ovation, good job the itinary was good the ship was the worst we have been on the staff didn't know what they were doing, the pool was mainly coverd, not much entertainment, food was always the same & cold, never heard so many people complain about a ship, going back on celebrity, you have to book to go into the 270 lounge, bumping cars & the north star (which was cancelled 3 times but no one tells you) this ship is made for the Chinese & NOT the british the standards on this ship have dropped, we wont be doing rc again as we felt are loyaty was not rewarded, the ship itself is badly designed ,we had a few days of storms which made the 14th deck flooded also not a good ship if you smoke only 3 areas you can go 1 was actually the casino but expect that to change when it gets full of Chinese, we also had 2 passengers under cabin arrest which ive never seen before all in all not a good ship but an amazing itinary Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We were really looking forward to cruising on a brand new ship with Royal Caribben. How disappointed we were! The ship is huge, cabins really nice but hardly any hanging space, no toiletries, had to ask the steward for some and got them on ... Read More
We were really looking forward to cruising on a brand new ship with Royal Caribben. How disappointed we were! The ship is huge, cabins really nice but hardly any hanging space, no toiletries, had to ask the steward for some and got them on the third day. We have cruised many times with different cruise lines first thing I check is we have our life jackets in the cabin (just in case) not on this ship!! You went to the muster station only to be told in case an emergency occurs you go to your muster station and get issued with a life jacket!! OMG with 6000+ passengers and then crew on top it would be chaos, they probably don't have them in your cabins as there isn't space. We were looking forward to the entertainment, but only managed to see two that didn't need booking, as by the third day everything was booked up NO AVAILABILITY was all that came up on the tablets around the ship. We paid for entertainment but like all of passengers weren't able to see any. The shops were all very expensive, Cartier, Regalia, Swarovski, Omega, Rolex, Michael Kors etc. THere was not a shop that sold toiletries and incidentals, only a pathetic excuse of a table hidden in the back of the Esplanade selling sweets, and a few bits. Food in the dining rooms was average no presentation at all. Speciality restaraunts ranged from $30 to $40 per person. Plenty of sun beds, good pool bars, and all the decor is lovely. However never again Ovation just a rip off Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
For anyone travelling on a cruise ship for the first time I'm sure they will be suitably impressed and the ship is very well presented and of course great German engineering. For me the ship is too big with too many passengers - ... Read More
For anyone travelling on a cruise ship for the first time I'm sure they will be suitably impressed and the ship is very well presented and of course great German engineering. For me the ship is too big with too many passengers - travelling up and down the crowded elevators seemed like I was in a commercial building going to work - and it's an all stops tour !!! We were constantly inundated with someone pushing folded up religious notes into our door on a daily basis ? - an apology from RCCL - the Internet VOOM was also taking a vacation for most of the two weeks but that's Internet at Sea. The Royal IQ app was ridiculous,we tried without any success to utilise this WOW experience, it never worked -it was up and down and it's not linked to the stateroom TV and trying to change any dining reservations was always a fail!! With the exception of Chopps Grille I found the food to be somewhat mediocre and the service whilst pleasant and mostly friendly always seemed a little fractured and rushed - the tables for two are too closely located to the next table and after the first night of feeling I was travelling in the middle seat of a low cost carrier with three other people I told the staff that I did not want these tables and the request seemed have been put into my profile. We had purchased the PremiumBeverage Package and it's minor but having a refrigerator full of Evian I felt the cruise line was just "gouging " by charging additionally for this, it's just not necessary !! All in all the cruise was ok we will not travel again with RCCL as their ships are too big and the WOW experience is just good advertising and is not evident in my opinion but this is just my opinion - travel and make up your own mind Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Overall, very disappointing. Expected great things from this ship and having traveled with Royal Caribbean for 12 cruises, I would not choose to go on this ship again. Agree with all the comments people have said about it being a ship made ... Read More
Overall, very disappointing. Expected great things from this ship and having traveled with Royal Caribbean for 12 cruises, I would not choose to go on this ship again. Agree with all the comments people have said about it being a ship made cheaply - lots of creaking noises in the cabins, can hear everything from next door -- you don't get this on their older ships. Wi- if Internet was an absolute disaster - almost had a mutiny on their hands by day 6 - nothing would work and people had paid a lot of money for packages. This is supposed to be a top class ship with all the smart technology- not for the customer. Dining was dreadful - the 4 restaurants have the sma e very limited menu part from about one option , and even when the menus change , every 4 days, they only change about one dish. Food - the poorest quality we have had on any Royal Caribbean ship, and Walter service, very slow and poor - which again it is usually good. Lots of couple son the ship as it was outside school holidays so there were about 20 children ( not sure why there were any as it was not the school holidays ) but major areas of the ship were dedicated to children when children should only be on here during the holidays ?? When we arrived in Singapore we were told that they were changing parts of the ship the Chinese market, so he could Parts of the ship not be altered for the adult market when it is not School holidays? Huge sea plex area and children's area and then a " living room " for teenagers 12 to 17 - we never saw anyone in here for the whole cruise - why do they have dedicated area, when there would be uproar if they had an area for 50 - 60 year olds !! This should have been the diamond lounge - the diamond lounge was much too small and this over spilled into he sic hall, where they had timetabled line dancing at the same time as cocktail hour for d members ! What a joke - they are definitely not looking after their loyal customers. No quiet areas on the deck to sit - all the front and back of the ship was taken up with suites and rooms so there was no access to see the ship coming in and out of ports- no sail always, because no one could see anything anyway. Lots of white elephants - the bionic bar - why would you pay for a drink from a robot which then comes as the exact measure in a plastic cup?? A saving grace was the 270 room, which was a lovely space, and the show spectra was fantastic. However, if you are not in the room, at least an hour before the show, you will not be able to see - there are only about 30 seats which have a good view. We were really looking forward to being on a new ship, but very disappointing if you have travelled Royal Caribbean before- I will not go on this ship or this class of ship again unless I have to - they would have to be giving it away. Lots of people felt the same, so there will be some cheap cruises coming up!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks ... Read More
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks and crannies. Once we discovered how to make bookings for the dining rooms, our dining experience was excellent. However, there is a need to have information available as to how to make these reservations as it is very different to the usual dining arrangements on all other ships. We found the staff very friendly and they did try their best to answer queries but as the ship was so new and quite different in its operation, they struggled at times. People need to understand this is a very different situation to what we all know and give the staff a chance. Entertainment and activities were tremendous. The specialty shows were amazing and so professional. Wonderful! We were so busy at times that finding time to swim in the excellent choice of pools became quite difficult! Thanks for all that was available! We would definitely cruise again on Ovation - we loved it! Am sad that there are so many impatient, whinging, complaining cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean has put together a very appealing vessel, but still it often felt like, well, like I was on more of a budget cruise. Food is abundant, with plenty of options, but a lot of those options are pretty low-quality. I suspect they cut corners behind the scenes as well, as I often had need of guest services to resolve problems, and the lines at guest services were always (ALWAYS) intolerably long. For example, the internet wasn't working for half of my cruise. I had prepaid for an unlimited package, so not having it for several days should warrant some sort of credit. Whenever I had a chance to ask someone about that (which, again, involved waiting in a really long line), the answer was something along the lines of "uhhh, we're working on it, you'll probably receive some sort of credit". That was a typical response to any issue I had. And I never did receive any credit. But internet outages were as bad as my issues got. It was easy to overlook them when there were so many fun activities to partake in on the ship. Between all of the music and theater venues, the place was really alive with entertainment. At night you could just wander around and choose from plenty of great places to sit down and hear some quality musical performances. I usually headed for the Music Hall. Or Two70. Or Michael's Genuine Pub. Or, really, it was always just a pleasure to hang out in the Royal Esplanade, which was always bustling with energy. I should perhaps point out that I traveled solo. This was my first solo cruise experience, and it exceeded my expectations. (See below for my review of the Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony.) It is as easy to join in some fun with newly-made friends as it is to find your own enjoyment of a less-social nature. Also, it was probably a little easier to get tables without a reservation. Which brings me to the restaurant situation. They are going for something like Norwegian's "Freestyle Cruising" concept, where you're not committed to a dining time and there isn't even a main dining room. But in practice, it doesn't really work like that. First of all, even though there isn't technically a "main dining room", there really kind of is. It's just split into four rooms and four menus. And my experience with them was mostly mediocre. I'm not generally too picky there, so if you are, you probably will find the food quality lacking. And even though you're supposed to be able to eat whenever you want, you still have to make reservations, or you will likely be turned away. (Although, as I said, less likely if you're solo.) I also tried Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, Chop's Grille, and Jamie's Italian. The first two were maybe not enough of an improvement to justify the extra price. But Jamie's definitely was. I went there three times, had different meals each time, and was always deeply satisfied. I also got a cupcake for $2.95 at Patisserie, and it was no better than a week-old supermarket bakery reject. But Ovation of the Seas has many complimentary food options. The pizza place in the Royal Esplanade had really sub-par pizza, but it was open late so I still wandered down for an occasional slice. But next to it was Cafe Promenade, which was open non-stop and had some really nice little sandwiches and pastries. There's a complimentary hot dog stand in the SeaPlex area, which claims on its menu to have "German mustard" but has no such thing. Still okay to have around, though. And I went to Cafe Two70 a few times, and had some nice salads. Oh, and that was a great place for breakfast. Speaking of SeaPlex and Two70, I just loved those multi-purpose spaces. Especially the latter, which was a lovely, comfortable lounge to relax in by day, and which transformed (I mean REALLY transformed) into a striking, elaborate performance venue for Spectra's Cabaret in the evening. That was a really spectacular show that I'll never forget. And SeaPlex is really impressive the way they constantly convert it from a skating rink to a bumper car ride to a multi-purpose court for ball games. I had read that they leveraged technology to make for zippy embarkation, but I didn't find it to be any faster than normal. Disembarkation was fine, although the crew was very noisy in the halls when picking up our luggage overnight. I got one of those wristbands that is supposed to do the same thing as the seapass card, but that was more trouble than it was worth because it sometimes didn't work, and it was annoying to have to take it off and hand it to people such as the waiters at the restaurants. I'll just close this review with a list of things I have fond memories of, in no particular order: Spectra's Cabaret, hanging out in Two70 when the performers from Spectra's Cabaret were rehearsing (or really any other time I was in there), the puzzle room, the pop choir activities with the cruise director staff, all the Music Hall bands (but especially the Queen and Beatles tribute acts), Jamie's Italian, my Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, the Mystical Muscat excursion in Oman, the hundreds of pieces of eye-catching modern art, Royal Egg Muffins for breakfast at Cafe Two70, lounging in the Solarium, pretend-skydiving at iFly (did that twice, loved it), the North Star, the meet-and-greet I attended in one of the incredible Royal Loft Suites, the sight of this enormous ship looming above the docks in Dubai, Muscat, Kochi, Penang, and Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was ... Read More
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was lower to suit wheelchair users. Access was great with the larger door having an auto opener fitted. The food was, without a doubt, a high point. The specialist dining was worth every penny, but no way would anybody feel shortchanged with the standard package, it was all plentiful and the selections available would suit any palette. The entertainment was plentiful and would suit the vast majority. Most of the crew were like walking ship maps and seemed to know what, when, and where for everything and as helpful as you could wish. Plenty of time was given over to excursions and city visits including plenty of time in Dubai prior to departure. I was at first a little concerned about embarkation and disembarkation but need not have worried, getting on and off went as smooth as could be and help was there at all points. Luggage was never an issue and was where it needed to be when it was needed. Just as an aside, the bars were great. The only problem now is where and with who next? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
11 night cruise Dubai to Singapore. Stayed 3 nights in Dubai at the Intercontinental Festival city pre cruise which I would highly recommend. Embarkation at the Dubai terminal seemed a crazy mixup of disorganised chaos, however I can ... Read More
11 night cruise Dubai to Singapore. Stayed 3 nights in Dubai at the Intercontinental Festival city pre cruise which I would highly recommend. Embarkation at the Dubai terminal seemed a crazy mixup of disorganised chaos, however I can honestly say that it all worked fine for us. I have a mobility issue & the staff checked me in quickly & I was on board the ship within about a half hour. I did hear later than some people waited for hours to check-in. The Explorer is a very nice ship & looks great thanks to a recent makeover. It is very easy to get around, plenty of sun beds (even though there were plenty of chair hogs) & great amenities. I love the big ships for all the little extras. We had one of the brand new Balcony cabins up on Deck 12 that were added earlier this year. It had a very similar look & feel of the new quantum class cabins. It was a great location just round the corner from the lifts/stairs & near the spa entrance. It was a very quiet location & the room steward did a great job. These new rooms are about a couple of feet longer than the older cabins, have a large flat screen Tv opposite the bed, heaps of wardrobe space, a nice sized balcony ( 2chairs + table) & it overhangs the sides more than the older ones & being up high has fabulous views. In the past I have not cruised Royal for it’s food, in fact I have been a little disappointed. However this cruise was the opposite. The food overall was great & the best I have come across on Royal. We had anytime dining & the Dining room food & service was great most of the time. The windjammer also had great offerings but it was chaotic at peak times. The food & service of Chops, Johnny Rockets & Giovanni’s was excellent! The cafe was ok but I think a ship of this size could do with another cafe elsewhere or at least a separate pizza station. The pizzas were pretty average. I can’t drink much alcohol so I can’t really comment too much on the bar service but it seemed ok overall, although I did notice a lack of drink waiters on the open decks. Entertainment I thought was average. I have been spoiled by the Oasis & Quantum class. If you are a fairly new cruiser you would love what was on offer. For me I wasn’t wowed other than the Ice shows which I love every time. The main production shows I found a bit boring & I didn’t catch all the Headliner shows but the ones I did see were just ok. Other entertainment around the ship was ok at best. Other than the staff at the entrance to the Dining room on deck 5, the service I personally encountered throughout the ship was great & I couldn’t have asked for anything more. For some reason there seemed to be a lot of whingy, angry, arrogant people on board this cruise (more than usual) who seemed to complain at the tiniest of things & even argue with other passengers in the process. There was a constant line at guest services as a result. I ignored the majority of it, & I’m glad I didn’t have to line up there at all. Ports of call included Goa & Cochin In India, Penang & K.L in Malaysia. For Goa we just jumped in a taxi which gave us a quick drive by the old town & dropped us off at Bogmalo beach for a while. In Cochin we hired a Tuktuk for a about a 3 hour tour & this was a great authentic experience & a quick way to see the main sights. In Penang we hired a taxi again & did a quick tour up the Peak & to some great Temples. For K.L. we did a ships shore excursion which was really just a transfer to/from the Sunway shopping centre. The organisation for the excursions that day was terrible as all groups had to meet in the Theatre at about the same time which meant there were a lot of angry passengers in long queues. We just avoided these & entered once most of the confusion died off. This whole process could have been handled better by the shore exc staff. Once we disembarked in Singapore, we stayed for 2 nights at the fabulous Hotel Fort Canning, right in the middle of a nice park in the middle of the city. All in all, we had a great time, & would not hesitate to do a similar sailing again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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