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35 Royal Caribbean Dubai Cruise Reviews

Getting on the new ship in Dubai was very exciting and it certainly does look amazing. Staff onboard were very organised and friendly and everything ran very smoothly for all of our excursions. Our stateroom with balcony was great, ... Read More
Getting on the new ship in Dubai was very exciting and it certainly does look amazing. Staff onboard were very organised and friendly and everything ran very smoothly for all of our excursions. Our stateroom with balcony was great, quite spacious and the stateroom attendant was very good as well. I like the origami animal towels! Breakfast delivered to the room was a lovely touch also. We mostly ate at the windjammer as we preferred the more casual atmosphere to the main dining hall. The food here was great, lots of choice. Healthy fish and salads for me and not so healthy chips etc for my husband! Unfortunately we got quite sick the last week of the cruise with some sort of bug and could not enjoy the food then - there are sinks and hand sanitiser outside the windjammer buffet but we saw many guests ignore this and not wash their hands :( The entertainment onboard was mixed, some great shows like gold art duo and some not so great shows like showgirl and the main production show Silk Road - they just lacked any real story and I thought there would have been more of a complete theatre show at some point with an actual plot. Silkroad felt like they took more time showing off what could be done with the stage and the tech, there was just too much going on to enjoy the very talented performers - I didn’t know where to look half the time! The Royal Theatre layout wasn’t great, we could only see half the stage as we were in seats in the 2nd level. Lots of seats with limited views so had to go very early to make the shows worth watching. My main disappointment with the ship was the gym. We had seen other ships of the same class with massive gyms and we were really excited about this. The gym on Spectrum of the seas felt like an after thought. It was like it had been completely forgotten about and then crammed into a few small spa rooms at the end. It was very hard to find any free equipment, there were only two weights benches, limited floor space and no barbells. It was also frustrating that crew were in fact using the gym as well - it would have been hard enough to find a space nevermind not being able to use a facility because a crew member is using it. I would have expected them to have their own gym onboard and if the customer gym is busy to be using this. The gym was also uncomfortably hot, I think they were trying to put people off using it! All in in I felt like Royal Caribbean just wanted more and more money from us constantly and it felt like a bit of an insult. We booked this trip for our honeymoon and spent thousands of pounds on it and more again on excursions. It felt like taking advantage of customer who have already paid a lot to be there, extortionately priced drinks, overpriced and slow WiFi, high gratituty charges etc. When we got our final bill it was in dollars and when it came out of my account it came out in sterling at a very poor exchange rate.. £150 more than the going rate! Not impressed by royal Caribbean with regards to their constant fleecing and upselling. However the vast majority of staff we dealt with on the ship were lovely and this is more an issue with company policy than the Spectrum or its team. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise for the ports and weather. The ship and facilities were disappointing. Lack of stock in shops. Entertainment when at dinner and over by 10pm. Geared to asian clientele. Food only average. Mashed potato with everything ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports and weather. The ship and facilities were disappointing. Lack of stock in shops. Entertainment when at dinner and over by 10pm. Geared to asian clientele. Food only average. Mashed potato with everything not fine dining. Dirty areas round pool and in theatre. Ship tired and going for refurb. Overpriced tours. Insect bites. We paid a lot and not value for money. Have written to rci. Travelled a lot with them and standards have slipped. Food in dining room poor. Dining service poor and slow. Windjammer food better with good choices but no fresh crepes. Windjammer rammed at peak times struggled to get a seat and ship not full. Karaoke mostly asian songs and on when at dinner. Diamond loungr rammed due to number of frequent cruisers. Some staff were miserable. Think some of them were being laid off due to refurb. Nice nail paint in spa. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Firstly I know this ship has just gone in for a six week refurbishment. That being said having cruised with Royal many times ( Diamond Plus) I found myself constantly defending their policy’s but I can’t defend the indefensible. When ... Read More
Firstly I know this ship has just gone in for a six week refurbishment. That being said having cruised with Royal many times ( Diamond Plus) I found myself constantly defending their policy’s but I can’t defend the indefensible. When will they stop this nickel and dime policy, over priced tours ,menus unchanged in years,shows that boarder on children’s party level. I take no pleasure in saying that. The ship was clean but looked tired ,we had work men on board during the cruise dismantling venues a very poor impression given to first time cruisers. The ice show repeated at least nine times during our 28 night voyage,trivia’s repeated three to four times. The staff on the whole work very hard and polite. The ship is in dry dock and needs this overhaul. We had a inside cabin on deck 6 in was fine clean ,quiet and everything worked well. We mostly dined in the dining room at night the service was good and the food of a good quality. Dining room lunch was our favourite meal of the day good choice. The entertainment was in my opinion poor as I have said some shows children’s party level but we did enjoy a Beatles tribute and violin player . We took two tours from the ship in Phuket and in Cochin both were fine and weren’t expensive.We then took a private tour to Petra in Jordan which worked out at just over half the price of the ships tour and featured more sights. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were originally booked on the Legend of the Seas (RCI) for a Singapore to Dubai cruise with 4 stops in India. It was just what we wanted. Cruise booked and paid for - we were then notified that the Legend of the Seas was being sold ... Read More
We were originally booked on the Legend of the Seas (RCI) for a Singapore to Dubai cruise with 4 stops in India. It was just what we wanted. Cruise booked and paid for - we were then notified that the Legend of the Seas was being sold and our cruise cancelled. We had to find something else. So we transferred to this cruise. Had a suite booked on the Legend - couldn't get one on the Vision because their were sold out. A number of things booked on the Legend could not be afforded to us on the Vision. Overall the cruise destinations and ports were good. Staff onboard the ship were just wonderful. However, the entertainment was shocking. We saw only two shows with the singers/dancers from the ship. The rest of the 'headliner' acts were all paid to be there. Bill the Cruise Director I believe needs to move on and get some vibrancy into the program. The shows were geared toward a select group of people from a select age group - rarely did you see a young crowd in the theatre. Too much was being held inside and not enough activities on the upper decks outside. If you come across Michaela (dining room), Seby (Windjammer) or Natalia (jewelry shop) you have struck an absolute stunning group of staff who would turn the ship upside down to help you. We found the balcony cabins extremely small on this ship comparative to other cruise lines. The junior suites on RCI are about the same size as other lines that we are used to on other lines. Food: stick with the dining room or specialty restaurants. The Windjammer (buffet) is not great - perhaps for breakfast or something really quick. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had an inside room. #4459. We knew it would be small BUT the shower was the smallest I have ever had in all my years of sailing with RCL. It was smaller than The Majesty and the Empress!!! Then the bed did not have twin mattresses ... Read More
We had an inside room. #4459. We knew it would be small BUT the shower was the smallest I have ever had in all my years of sailing with RCL. It was smaller than The Majesty and the Empress!!! Then the bed did not have twin mattresses when pulled apart BUT bunk size twin mattress that sagged on the right and my husbands on the left. In other words if they had been together the mattress would have sagged in the middle. There was no refrigerator. So we asked our great room steward Elisabeth to pls. get us one and she did. No shelves in the closet. For a 16 day cruise very little room to put anything.. The worse part was that above us on Deck 5 was the casino bar and the back office of Guest Services. EVERY SINGLE night the noise from about would start around 10PM and last until 2-3AM!!! There was an elephant walking (swear)people dropping boxes, chairs grating across the floor. They said it was the casino bar but not totally. The back office also. It took me 3x to convince Guest Services to try and calm down the noise. After the 3 complaint of me going up to the desk in my PJ's at 1AM saying "you need to do something NOW!" did anything happen. Then security came and knocked on our door at 1:30AM. I said the noise was not from passengers but from the crew!. Anyway it lessened somewhat but not enough that I could sleep. There was only 1 empty Emergency Room on deck 2. But there was only 3 nights left of the cruise so why bother to move. The entertainment was good. Brook Ahern my favorite did 2 performances. I like the way if the entertainment the night before was good, they performed the next night in the centrum so they had 2 shows going almost each night. During the day there was many exercise and dance lessons going on and very well attended. The Centrum was the center for all activities which I though were very good. The food was standard for RCL. Not super good, but not bad either. Sort of in the middle and quite edible. As long as I am not cooking I will almost eat anything or find something else in the Windjammer. The salad bar in the dining room on sea days is Wonderful!! I got one every day we were at sea. Plus I got one for dinner at night also. The crew were wonderful!! The Concierge, MJ, was the best I have ever had in all our sailings. MJ made it a point to shake everyones hand at night when they came in, and to go around and speak to Everyone, NOt just suite and pinnacle people. Which is what usually happens. He was just terrific. Would I sail on this ship again. No. Only because it is old and needs fixing up and bigger showers that can be easily addressed by putting in the sliding rounded plastic doors. Plus refrigeratore and more storage. I will stay away from the "Vision" class of ships. It was a good cruise all in all but gave it a 3 because of all the problems. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I've sailed on Vision about 7 or 8 times, and have enjoyed it. I choose this ship mainly for the itinerary, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My April 2017 cruise was my first on Vision since the remodeling, which hurt my experience. ... Read More
I've sailed on Vision about 7 or 8 times, and have enjoyed it. I choose this ship mainly for the itinerary, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My April 2017 cruise was my first on Vision since the remodeling, which hurt my experience. They took away public spaces and stuffed in more cabins, making the public spaces too crowded. (One time, there was a line to get into the Windjammer.) The Cruise Director made things worse, with loud, very intrusive activities. It was difficult to find a quiet space to relax. The Centrum is a terrible entertainment or activity venu, but it was used a lot for this, making it virtually uninhabitable for much of the day and night. This is a classic case of corporate greed, i.e. milking a few more $$ from each cruise, killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. I plan to avoid this ship, unless the itinerary is overwhelming. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We purchased a package from Imagine Cruising which involved a 3 night pre cruise stay in the Atlantis Palm Dubai. We were unlucky with the weather as for 2.5 days we had cloud wind and surprisingly for the desert, some rain. It was even ... Read More
We purchased a package from Imagine Cruising which involved a 3 night pre cruise stay in the Atlantis Palm Dubai. We were unlucky with the weather as for 2.5 days we had cloud wind and surprisingly for the desert, some rain. It was even too cold to use the waterpark which was attached to the Hotel. The cruise overall was reasonable as food and drink were good as was most of the entertainment. The ship has seen better days but the price reflected this I believe. The cabin was satisfactory. The ports in Oman were disappointing which left Abu Dhabi and a return to Dubai. My illness began during the second night on board and continued until the airplane journey home. I don't know if anyone else on board suffered but i have never experienced anything quite like that. I was confined to room for 24 hours which meant missing a prepaid excursion and I felt too poorly to avail myself of the drinks package I had shelled out for. I contacted Royal Carribean CEO and received a prompt call back. They offered me 40 pounds off my next cruise. Most disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose RC because we have been with them before and they were excellent. This ship has passed its sell by date. The sun loungers are old and some of them broken. As always they have signs prohibiting you from reserving chairs and leaving ... Read More
We chose RC because we have been with them before and they were excellent. This ship has passed its sell by date. The sun loungers are old and some of them broken. As always they have signs prohibiting you from reserving chairs and leaving them unoccupied for more than 30 minutes, and restricting the 9th floor pool to adults only but these rules were not implemented although there were " security guards" . You can tell the age of the ship around the window frames and the cabins are nothing special. We didn't have cold water it was warm and very unpleasant to clean your teeth wth.They tried to fix it but they couldn't because some where along the line the hot water pipes were touching the cold water pipes. If you wanted shower gel YOU had to ask for it. Maid very nice and pleasant. The dining room was good and the service was EXCELLENT thanks to George and Julius 4th Floor table 190. The food was good although portions on the small side. Wines VERY expensive silly prices, however three days into the cruise , bottles of wine were offered at 60% reduction and you could take them to the dining room if you wished! The entertainment was ok but it reminded me of Butlins. Service on board overall was very good, however if you go to the Gym the guy that was supposed to be looking after us spent more time with the entertainment manager than helping us the paying guests! We stopped at a place called Khasab - what a waste of time nothing to see or do. The majority of fellow passengers lasted 5 minutes in this place before returning to the ship. Oman, Muscat two days in this place was too long as after you have seen the Grand Mosque and few other bits there was no much to do, in my opinion. Abu Dhabi to be honest with you I can't remember much about the place. The service charge at 18% is far too high, but having said that, the staff believe it or not if they have a drink they also have to pay yes you guessed 18%. I don't know how true this is but I was told by a few members of the staff that the prepaid gratuities are going to Head Office in Miami and if they are lucky they might get 20% of the share. This was the first time I have come across on a cruise that if you wish to dine in other restaurants you have to pay considerable $$$$. There is a cash ATM that dispenses only $$$ they charge you $6.50 per transaction plus what ever rate of exchange they apply. Would I recommend this cruise NO! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Chose the cruise as part of longer stay in Dubai. Embarkation process was smooth. The main reason for writing this review is to set some facts straight about the drinks packages. My wife and I are not big drinkers, but do like a ... Read More
Chose the cruise as part of longer stay in Dubai. Embarkation process was smooth. The main reason for writing this review is to set some facts straight about the drinks packages. My wife and I are not big drinkers, but do like a drink when we want one. The inference we drew was that we would be very disadvantaged if we didn't commit to a package at leat 3 days before sailing. We would only have been interested in the alcohol inclusive one, which was £45 per day each times 7 days, plus 18% gratuity. A breathtaking £743.40. Very difficult to find the following info anywhere so here it is. The Windjammer restruant is open most of the day and the area immediately outside is open 24/7. The Windjammer offers free water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit drinks all with or without ice. The area outside offers tea, coffee and water. The Park cafe from 2-6 most days offers the wider Windjammer range. So you do not need to buy a package!!! Don't rush to buy it, unless offered precruise discount as available at Port and all first day aboard the ship, so take your time.You can carry drinks around the ship and lots do. If you want a drink you can just buy them when you like. Some thought they were good value, others not. You will pay $12 for a glass of wine, plus 18% gratuity. Just think about that. Some (few) took full advantage of the package and were clearly smashed for the whole cruise. Who is irresponsible here?. Shore stops were uninspiring, Ladies beware you really need to cover up, with no see through cover all if you want entry to a mosque. Food was good, waiting staff in main restaurant were mixed in enthusiasm and rather slow. Orlando Othennez was very good indeed. If you do go on this cruise enjoy it for what it is. Entertainment other than nightly show was hi de hi at best, but feature shows did perform. When in your cabin, look around you, we had a larger ocean view. You are in effect standing in a 1970s caravan!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Checking in and embarkation was excellent, however the first area I visited was the pool and I was disappointed as it looks tatty and the sunbeds are horrible. Never seen any thing like these before. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Checking in and embarkation was excellent, however the first area I visited was the pool and I was disappointed as it looks tatty and the sunbeds are horrible. Never seen any thing like these before. Like wide elastic bands with gaps in between. Next was my room. A large outside, it was a good size and the bathroom was great. However, the room had dated old cupboards and scratched and dented wood. Dented old ceilings. Needs refurb for sure.The room attendant was very efficient and friendly. The food onboard was fairly good in the the windjammer although the toast is like cardboard. Aquarius is ok. I have to say though that I am still suffering with a bad stomach and have been home 4 days now. I only ate and drank on ship so something got me on the 5th day and spoilt the rest of my cruise. Entertainment is quite good. Comedian very funny. The centrium gets a bit boring with same Vicky and the Holding crew playing nightly. Beware also as they give you a cd to buy only to find out it is $20!! Music round the pool is loud and very off putting also football matches on big screen whilst you try to sun bathe so not at all peaceful! The luxury drink package is very expensive at £45 a day with an additional 18% surcharge! They also give small measures and loads of ice so you have to ask for more spirit in order to taste it. I didn't use the excursion service as I find it cheaper and just as easy to arrange my own. The staff are lovely and helpful all except one toilet attendant who was very rude. Disembarkation was very well organised. All in all I would not cruise on here again on any Royal Caribbean with same packages and noise around pool I'm afraid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Was not expecting much and I got what I expected.Ship is way past it's sell by date,needs a massive deep clean,everywhere I looked I could see flaws.The solarium was filthy,I wiped my hand across a ledge and it was filthy,the floor ... Read More
Was not expecting much and I got what I expected.Ship is way past it's sell by date,needs a massive deep clean,everywhere I looked I could see flaws.The solarium was filthy,I wiped my hand across a ledge and it was filthy,the floor tiles were so grimy needed a good jet wash.Our cabin looked ok but when you started probing it wasn't great. Food in general has definitely deteriorated,not awful but nowhere near as good as it used to be.We ate in Chops and Giovanni which were both excellent. Shows were just ok,nothing special.The best entertainment was in the Atrium every evening where everybody had a great time. The best thing about this ship is the staff,cheerful,helpful and willing.The Captain was also super friendly and always ou and about. Despite all the above,we had a great holiday even though the weather was poor,but I definitely wouldn't go back on this ship and I wouldn't recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise prior to travelling to India. The ship is smaller than many in the fleet but this is not a problem and does mean that tenders are not required as , in the main, the ship can dock near the towns. Some painting is ... Read More
We chose this cruise prior to travelling to India. The ship is smaller than many in the fleet but this is not a problem and does mean that tenders are not required as , in the main, the ship can dock near the towns. Some painting is perhaps needed around the balconies but this is not a major issue. The food was better than previous cruises and as usual the staff were exceptional. Special mention to Saschi in the Schooner bar. Hope I Have the correct spelling We had taken a drinks package prior to leaving and while I initially thought this was overpriced when you take into account the price of drinks on the ship it was not too bad. I do think that 11 dollars plus 18% for a glass of white wine is just unbelievable. Does the ship not get alcohol duty free? My main complaint was the ports. While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are well worth a visit,. there is no need to spend 2 days in Muscat, especially when there is only one in Abu Dhabi. Khasab is described as an up and coming tourist destination but I would suggest the cruise only returns when it is established. We spoke to no one that found it even slightly enjoyable. I would have no problem in using this ship again but would want to be clearer on the ports available. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I have always cruised on RCL and this time the cost curptting initiatives were evident. Food in the Windjammer Restaurant was reduced, bath robes and tissues were on provided upon request, the number of waitering staff seem to have also be ... Read More
I have always cruised on RCL and this time the cost curptting initiatives were evident. Food in the Windjammer Restaurant was reduced, bath robes and tissues were on provided upon request, the number of waitering staff seem to have also be reduced, few waiters in the Windjammer Restaurant resulting in a delay in tables being cleaned and a mad rush of waiters in the Aquarius Restaurant, the Crown member's party was not held (disappointing to note cost cutting loyal for customers), there was no live music near the pool during the day and the performers, both of RCL and the guest performers, seemed to be second tier. The Captain made up for the weak performances, although, in my opinion, he was too visible and was involved in too many shows-he is the Captain not part of the events team. Dissapintingly, waitering staff in the Windjammer Restaurant did not have first aid knowledge and medical assistance took very long to arrive. The decor of the ship is dated and needs an upgrade. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We took advantage of very low pricing (starting at £649pp including flights to Dubai) to fit in a short weeks cruise for some winter sun. We flew from LHR and upon arrival were transferred to Le Meridian hotel which is opposite the ... Read More
We took advantage of very low pricing (starting at £649pp including flights to Dubai) to fit in a short weeks cruise for some winter sun. We flew from LHR and upon arrival were transferred to Le Meridian hotel which is opposite the airport to complete check in formalities and to enjoy a fabulous breakfast spread until they started calling us for the coaches to transfer to the port around 10.45am. Given that BA’s offering for breakfast was a bar of Nutrigrain the breakfast was very welcome. You must try the hummous! On board the ship was cosy and generally in good condition, apart from the pool which had a very rusty surround and floor. Cabins were ready at 1. Luggage was delivered by 2.05!. We had an ocean view on deck 2 – never been down there before but found it to be very convenient. As this is an older ship some amenities were missing, such as a fridge or cooler, no tub of shampoo in the shower (only a bar of soap was supplied). You could also not see your balance on the TV screen which meant you had to keep going to GR to check it was right. 2x European plugs and 2x USA plugs. As a D+ member I received the new plate of 6 cookies, a bottle of wine, and 4 bottles of water and a further beer (as per my order). The only down fall with this cabin is the noise when using the thrusters to dock early in the morning. Wifi cost $12.99pd and $17.99pd and was quite slow and patchy due to the mountainous terrain. A very convoluted passport process, you leave them on check in at le meridian, collect them after Oman then go through a face to face check in AD where you leave them again and finally collect them again in Dubai Giovannis cost $29pp and still had the old menu featuring the filetto di manzo and the sole. Delicious. The windjammer was at the front of the ship – very confusing – but nicely laid out and we could always find a table. They had Tetleys on board (important for Brits to know the brand of tea!). The Solarium café did a nice selection of wraps, soup and the beef sandwiches. There is a sauna and a steam room (Free) in the ladies locker rooms in the Spa area. A small gym. Chair hogs were out in full force, with some chairs untouched for 4 hours. They did try putting stickers on the chairs indicating when the pool attendant had noticed the chair being empty but I didn’t see him removing very many towels unfortunately. Shops were open when we were in port in Muscat overnight and also in Dubai overnight. Abu Dhabi. We caught a cab to the Mosque for 60AED and then we hired free abayas for those who were not suitably covered. Interesting to note that they would not allow any tee-shirts with slogans on them or trousers with cartoon animals or decorations. My friend was wearing Thai type trousers with elephants on them and she had to wear the abaya. We then hired free headsets and did a self guided tour. You have to leave your driving licence as security. The mosque also offers free tours on a Saturday at 10:00 am - 11:00 am 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. No need to book the inflated shore excursions in this port! After the tour we caught a cab to the fabulous Emirates Palace hotel for 40AED and we had tea there. Cab back to the ship only cost 26AED. Note that in AD there is a 20AED surcharge to leave the port so it is always more expensive to leave than to come back! The same applies in Dubai port too. In Abu Dhabi they offer a complimentary shuttle bus to the World Trade Centre shopping Mall which apparently ran hourly. The HOHO busses come right to the port in both AD and Dubai. We were the first cruises of this Dubai season to make the required numbers for the M&M. They did a good job with some nice prizes. The CD was a young girl called Angelle from the Netherlands. She did a good job but she did keep screaming 'are you having a good time'...'. Unfortunately thelack of a sign up shows that most people on board are non cruisers. There were a lot of moaners and groaners and I did hear 'It’s not like this on P&O' several times! There were also several large groups from the traveller community on board. So finally to Dubai. We docked on Sunday morning and had to recollect our passports. As mentioned a cab carries a 20AED surcharge to leave the port. We went to the Gold Souk for 38AED and then to the spice souk and then across in an abra to the other side of the creek. From there we went to the Sky Train and went to the Burj Khalifa. Transportation is cheap and efficient. They even have pink cabs driven by lady taxi drivers. This was to be our blow out of the cruise. We had booked afternoon tea at At.Mosphere in the Armani Hotel. This experience costs 490AED pp but for that price you do get 1/2 bottle of sparkling grape juice included (you cannot advertise wine in Dubai!). Take a lift to 123rd floor and then walk down the glass staircase to 122nd. Far too much food and an amazing view. After tea we went to Souk el Bahar which is an area off the Dubai Mall with fabulous views of the fountains which go every 30 minutes or so. Then back to the ship! Our flight was at 10.05am and RCI had put us on a transfer at 6am! We ignored that and strolled off leisurely at 7.30, in a cab immediately and we were at the airport by 7.55. The cab cost 65 AED. In summary: for what we paid it was incredible value. The ship was looking a little tired in places and the entertainment was not up to the usual standard. Food in the MDR was OK, served quickly and was always hot but the menus are getting very tired. This is the 3rd time I have done this itinerary and I will be doing it again next month. I hope this has helped those travelling in coming weeks or those who were thinking of visiting this fascinating area of the world. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We did this very same cruise last year when it was the Splendour of the Seas, and booked it again this year (early and paid much more than many guests we met) as we had loved it and rested and relaxed for a whole week in great weather. ... Read More
We did this very same cruise last year when it was the Splendour of the Seas, and booked it again this year (early and paid much more than many guests we met) as we had loved it and rested and relaxed for a whole week in great weather. On the positives of this cruise; we witnessed some excellent members of staff; the cabin was fine (very good bed and pillows and shower); the weather was excellent with the exception of the one day at sea and good specialty restaurant in Chopp's. We watched two movies outside on Deck 9, under the Arabian evening sky and it was fantastic (although blankets were no longer available to keep us warm). This time however we had a few more concerns and saw real evidence of a number of cut backs from Royal Caribbean from last years cruise. Firstly, no complimentary toiletries (shampoo and shower gel) in the toilet/ shower room; no Crown and Anchor party any longer for those who have cruised once or twice before with Royal Caribbean; menu selection vastly cut back and poorer quality of what was available; new-ish staff generally not nearly as well trained or motivated; no daily news sheets every morning for the UK or USA and constant hard selling for services such as art auction, spa treatments, shops, casino and Internet packages. The entertainment was poor with the exception of the wonderful Bruce Parker. Our biggest disappointment however was that sleep was so difficult because of our cabin's location. We were cabin No 7620 and we could hear clearly every word of every song from the Schooner Bar below us, from 10.00am until after midnight. Royal Caribbean said it had never been reported to them as an issue before. It took us 3 mins on Cruise Critic to see that this was in fact a problem for Cabins 7614 to 7622. It was as if the music was being played next door to us and sleep was impossible for my wife and myself. We complained after the first night. All cabins were full so they could not move us but they promised to monitor it and reduce the volume. Two of the evenings we stayed out until midnight order to avoid the noise. The other evenings we did not notice much of a difference in the noise level and returned from holiday much more tired than was planned or hoped. One receptionist was unhelpful, one was helpful and the Manager promised to make changes to improve the situation for us, plus offered a discount off the next holiday with Royal Caribbean; that pre-supposes that we will want to cruise with them again. We just wanted a good sleep on holiday and that was the one thing we didn't get. Despite calling to see the manager (AE) again, he avoided us for the rest of the cruise. It felt that they stringing us along until the week was over and no improvement was made. Our complaint was handled very poorly and dismissively. We also reported that the cabin was very cold. An engineer arrived immediately and cleaned the filter of some amount of dirt, cleared a blockage and that made the difference. We got locked out of the safe; our fault! Reported to Reception and we were told to immediately go to our cabin as someone would arrive to fix it for us. They didn't but on being asked again they arrived the following day to re-set. Breakfast in our cabin every morning was good but only two mornings was the order exactly as we had ordered it. Ship was not as clean as it should have been and was a bit tired in places. Dirty cabin doors into the balcony. Black mould at bottom of doors. American passenger base has reduced significantly leading to a consequential drop in overall standards. Captain was very visible, engaging and an excellent communicator. Our waiter and assistant and person who cleaned the cabin were all excellent. However many of the general staff you encountered in the rest of the ship were quite often rude, not particularly friendly or disinterested. Is this now a general downturn in the quality offered by Royal Caribbean? We'll see. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise to get some much needed rest, sleep and sunshine having done the same cruise on Splendour of the seas last year. We found Vision of the Seas a bit tired and not as nice as Splendour. Embarkation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get some much needed rest, sleep and sunshine having done the same cruise on Splendour of the seas last year. We found Vision of the Seas a bit tired and not as nice as Splendour. Embarkation and disembarkation were quite smooth. We found that the menu choices in the Main Dining Room were poor on some evenings. The (always busy) Windjammer food was consistently fresh when we ate at lunchtime and breakfast in the cabin was generally fine. We had a fantastic meal at Chop's Grille but did not enjoy our meal at Giovanni's table. We chose our shows carefully and enjoyed the Beatles tribute band and Bruce Parker and watched 2 movies on deck which we really enjoyed. Most of the time service was good and our waiter and assistant were very good but sometimes food service in the main dining room was a bit slow. We only booked one excursion, the hop on/off bus, via the ship in Muscat as we had already visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi before. We really enjoyed the bus tour. Although the we enjoyed the winter sunshine we felt that even from January 2016, RCI has cut back a lot on what it provides while trying to sell lots of extras to you. Overall the quality of this cruise was inferior to that of last January and the issue with noise in our cabin, overall reduction in service and the poor way in which our complaint was handled, make it unlikely that we will sail with RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
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
This was our 1st cruise with Royal Caribbean having previously traveled with most of the other major cruise lines. In general we were somewhat disappointed with the cruise and particularly the on board service and the lack of ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with Royal Caribbean having previously traveled with most of the other major cruise lines. In general we were somewhat disappointed with the cruise and particularly the on board service and the lack of entertainment options during the day. Also as a person who has enjoyed craft activities on other cruises it was disappointing that participating in this activity incurred a charge. Boarding in Dubai was farcical due to the absolute lack of information. and the exceedingly long queues. Little did we know that part of the cause was due to extra sanitation on account of health problems on the previous leg. Caution re the Novo virus continued for the whole cruise to such an extent that staff were being pulled from all areas of the ship to assist in sanitation and in distributing plates in the Windjammer cafe. The meals in the Windjammer buffer were OK although the set up could be better organised. The deserts however were generally of poor quality. The promenade cafe was also good although as the offering is the same each day its attraction diminished as the cruise went on. We were on anytime dining and whilst in general we didn't have to wait long to get into the dining room in general once we entered the service left a lot to be desired. Often we were not asked if we would like wine with our meals and on a couple of occasions our coffee cups were put out but then they forgot to return to fill them. We found the staff seemed so rushed it was hard to develop any real rapport with them which was not our experience on previous cruises. The outstanding quality of the bread rolls was however a higlight. Our inside promenade cabin was excellent and it was great to be able to look into the promenade. Our steward Loyal was also fantastic. It was good to have a shower with doors rather than the traditional screen. It was however noticeable that unlike other lines the shower did not contain liquid soap. The promenade shows were good however apart from the showband and the ice skating show the rest of the entertainment was ordinary. We also saw and heard a lot less of the cruise director than had been our previous experiences. For a ship of this size on thing noticeable was the lack of public entertainment areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We flew from Singapore to Dubai to join the ship for a long anticipated vacation on a WOW mega ship. Embarkation in Dubai cruise centre was chaotic from the start. There was not sufficient staff on the ground to guide passengers ... Read More
We flew from Singapore to Dubai to join the ship for a long anticipated vacation on a WOW mega ship. Embarkation in Dubai cruise centre was chaotic from the start. There was not sufficient staff on the ground to guide passengers through. We checked in online, printed all the required documents (sail passes, luggage tags, etc), yet we spent about 20-30mins trying to get registered at the cruise centre. There was a huge bottleneck of passengers trying to board at the same time. No designated queue for those booked in the higher categories and those who have mobility or disability issues. Once on board, things got better. The cabin was above expectation except that getting into the bathroom took some effort as the floor was raised rather high. I have a slight mobility limitation and use a walking aid. Booking online for dynamic dining, shore excursions proved to be rather easy. However, after a few meals on the ship, we realised that even though we booked at different restaurants each night, our meals appeared to be rather similar except for the venue and way they were presented. The menu for all meals at the Windjammer were very predictable. Same everyday. We were on a 14day vacation and cannot imagine how our fellow cruisers feel, some having been on the ship from Cape Liberty - eating the same food everyday. After day 4, we spent sometime planning out our dining schedules for the rest of the cruise, eating at different venues for each meal. Meals at Jamie Oliver were the only ones we looked forward to. Onboard entertainment was rather limited except for the headliner shows. Movies were shown on the open pool deck and repeated several times over the 14days we were on board. On some evenings, it was too warm to be on deck; some days when watching a movie, we had to move around the deck in order to avoid getting wet when it rained. Onshore excursions were badly planned and beyond expectation. Joined Penang food trail hoping to be able to taste some of Penang's favorite local food. The excursion departure timing was too early. We left the ship at 0730hrs. Guide brought group to a street coconut vendor. Having coconut so early in the morning? As it was too early for street hawkers to be opened, we were left at a shopping mall for nearly 2hrs!! Next stop, local fried noodles. Most of us gave up after realising that there was no seat and the wait for our order was 1hr. Group were next taken to try durians and a quick walk through a street in Little India. By this time, it was time to get back to the ship. Out at 0730hrs, no food on a food trail tour when we finally returned to the ship at 2pm. Been on Legend and Mariner previously. Although these were smaller ships, we had a truly good time but not this time on Quantum. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We had never travelled with Royal Caribbean before and were very excited as we were visiting places we had never thought we would ever visit and had heard great reviews about Royal Caribbean as we have family members that have been ... Read More
We had never travelled with Royal Caribbean before and were very excited as we were visiting places we had never thought we would ever visit and had heard great reviews about Royal Caribbean as we have family members that have been travelling with RCI for years and they always gave us great reviews. We are a couple, travelling with a family of three so a total of 5, one member was in a wheelchair. Check in was initially done online so we assumed it would be pretty simple as we were allocated a check in time of 11.00am. We arrived at the terminal in Dubai at 10.45 and can only describe it as chaos. We got out of the taxi and had to wait in 50 degree heat for roughly 40 minutes whilst the disorganised luggage checking in men finally decided to get to us. People were pushing and shoving to get the luggage men to take their luggage which was quite difficult for us when travelling with a disabled person and a 3 year old child. Once our luggage was checked in we headed towards the check in desks to be faced with queues that were moving exceedingly slowly, these also were very disorganised and people were let to the front and rushed through without any explanation, after queuing here for another 90 minutes other cruise members insisted our group went to the front of the queue as we had a disabled person with us. We then checked in again, had to give credit card details and passports even though we had previously done this online. Great we thought, we can finally get on the ship and relax, how wrong we were! We checked in and then faced huge queues and a mob of people all waiting to board the ship. No one advised of what was happening and everyone was complaining to staff, it was about 40 minutes before someone explained that we were not allowed on the ship as not everyone had got off. We then waited a further 40 minutes before the doors opened and the stampede of people ran for the doors. We pointed out to one of the stewards that we were travelling with a disabled person and they should board separately, this seemed to work and we were allowed to board the ship. We went to our room and it was clean and ready, we then decided to go and find the buffet restaurant as we were quite hungry from hanging around all day. The food wasn't great and certainly wasn't hot but we put it down to being the first day and it must be difficult as people were boarding all day. After contacting the customer service desk we were told our luggage would possibly be at our room by 8pm. We had no change of clothes and no swimwear to get changed into. We spent the whole day in our travelling clothes which was very frustrating. The second night on the ship, we decided to eat in the Grande Restaurant and my husband wore a shirt, tie and trousers, he was almost turned away as he wasn't wearing a jacket, luckily the receptionist realised that a shirt and tie is smart and got my husband a spare jacket to wear. The table we were seated at was right next to the kitchen which was very noisy and waiters were constantly walking past. We were not asked if we wanted a drink and when my husband asked for a Jack Daniels and it took 45 minutes to arrive. Well after the main course had been eaten. The starters weren't great, the prawns I had still had the black vein in them and my husbands starter was cold. Both our main courses were cold and lacked taste. The main buffet, windjammer wasn't great, most of the time the food was luke warm and lacked taste. We also noticed the floor in here was never mopped, the edges of all the carpets and close to the serving benches were always grubby with dirt all around them. It was difficult to eat in the dynamic dining no matter what time you tried to eat there. The soft drinks package did not include all soft drinks, it was only drinks from the machine that ran out of anything orange flavoured within the first 6 days of the cruise and this wasn't filled up till around day 18 of the cruise which meant we had to make do with something we didn't really want. If you wanted more than one bottle of water because of the temperature outside, you weren't allowed, you had to go and come back at least 15 minutes later. So hardly unlimited! Cruising around Malaysia was a nightmare, the children from China were left to run riot around the pool. They were throwing the sun loungers in the pool, balls were being thrown everywhere, there was running around the pool and diving, water bombing and the Chinese were even drinking from glasses rather than the safety plastic ones normally supplied. The trips were a joke for someone in a wheelchair yet we were advised by the booking staff that they were suitable, we weren't able to do most of the activities due to difficulty with stairs and were treated with total disrespect in Hong Kong by staff at the highest point in Hong Kong. Throughout the whole cruise we had problems with our wrist bands and the bar staff had to get us to sign a chit rather than scan our bands as they weren't working properly. Internet was quite expensive and was very intermittent, we complained time and time again after having to queue at guest services each time for 45 plus minutes. I couldn't use the bionic bar as my wrist band had the incorrect date of birth so I paid for the full drinks package for 3 nights and had to continually use my husbands band even after queuing up at guest services for 40 minutes, several times. We were told to vacate our room as some work had to be done in there for 4 hours, the chaos was ensuing around the pool so we left there to head to the 270 bar but that was closed due to a private function and the other areas to relax were very cramped. There was constant drilling and construction work being done around the pool which made it very difficult to relax as you could hardly hear the music. When the ship arrives in a port and its a changeover day, there aren't many places to eat after breakfast. The pool bar doesn't open until around 11.30 and the services are greatly reduced. The pool wasn't open till 10.30 either. First two weeks, our room girl was great, she never disturbed us and would always keep an eye out so she could service our room. Unfortunately once the maid was changed to a male after two weeks, the service went very much downhill. Our sheets were hardly changed and I spilt coffee on the quilt cover and this wasn't changed for over a week. The pillow cases had stains on and the room was never serviced before 1pm. We were delayed into shanghai due to fog by 5 hours so when we arrived we were told we could stay in our room till we disembarked yet we had a rude staff member from room service ring our room and tell us we needed to vacate. Guest services advised this was incorrect, we were then called half an hour later and told to get out of the room by 3pm. We headed to the 270 bar as this was where we were told to go where there were hardly any seats. The bar was shut and there was no where to get food. We left the ship after queuing for 2 hours at 8pm. We then had to queue for another 2 hours for a taxi with thousands of other people all waiting. Whilst on board I got an ear infection from the swimming pool and our whole party got a chest infection as there were so many people on board with chest infections, it was inevitable. Most of the staff with the exception of about 3 were poorly trained, had terrible customer service skills and spoke little English. Speaking to them was a difficult chore we tried to avoid. Once we reported all our concerns once again to customer services we were offered 500 us dollars room credit when we book another cruise!!! Be careful booking this trip as they cannot deliver what they promise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Myself,recently retired and my wife nearing retirement,we finally embarked on our first cruise holiday. The first mistake was not checking out on visa requirements, regulations an costs which our travel agent nor the cruise company ... Read More
Myself,recently retired and my wife nearing retirement,we finally embarked on our first cruise holiday. The first mistake was not checking out on visa requirements, regulations an costs which our travel agent nor the cruise company informed us about apart from saying it is our responsibility. Despite our far and wide air travel experience,we discovered the hard way,India is very different,true to her much vaunted advertising slogan,"Incredible India". It cost us two £187 not least having to complete on line a lengthy form,travel twice to Hayes in Middlesex,UK,once to hand in the documents and again for collection after waiting in queues each time! If that was bad enough,Indian Immigration Officials (just two) had to conduct a ludicrous visa to face check on board before arrival in Goa for around 3000 passengers and repeat the same ordeal before her next port of call,Cochin in India. First time,we queued for nearly 3 hours and felt sorry for elderly and frail passengers. Our hotel accommodation in Dubai after flying out on Emirates A380 from Heathrow was great and prepaid transfer was great. Transfer from hotel to Port Rushid in Dubai was bungled and we had to pay for a taxi ourselves. Hotel accommodation in Singapore was very mediocre.Our stateroom on Deck 9 with private balcony was superb and spacious. Room attendant was friendly and polite deserving the handsome tip. Ship information service was very good and accepted our instruction not to preload gratuities as wanted to reward those who made our vacation special.Hand sanitisation requirement was excellent and food was good albeit tasting pretty much the same. Orange juice was free only at breakfast and iced water was preferred to iced tea and lemonade. Electric violinist Jane Cho brought tears of joy to my eyes and we had the privilege of meeting her by chance at breakfast the following morning. Disappointment that she had only a three minute slot on the final day before reaching Penang where she left the ship while other artistes had bigger slots,some of whom bored me to tears! We found ship's shore excursions restrictive and not value for money and therefore,venturing out on our own with a couple of fellow passengers to share expenses giving more freedom.Not allowing passengers to bring their own choice of alcoholic drinks was a big disappointment as we enjoy a few drinks on holiday and relax in the privacy of our room or cabin.In summary,it was an experience to 'enjoy' but,cruises calling at different ports of call in the same country giving some 7 or 8 hours to go sightseeing instead fewer ports of call and spread of different countries giving more time for sightseeing and definitely,NOWHERE IN INCREDIBLE INDIA after our own experience. Sadly,it is not the country nor the people but sheer BUREAUCRACY that we do not want a repeat of. It is a shame that such itineraries did not include neighbouring Sri Lanka,a tourist friendly paradise with simple on line visa requirement which costs much less. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Firstly, for those who have read my previous reviews I hope I've demonstrated that my comments are as objective as possible and where possible as positive as I can be. This review is based on my expectation for the price we paid. Had ... Read More
Firstly, for those who have read my previous reviews I hope I've demonstrated that my comments are as objective as possible and where possible as positive as I can be. This review is based on my expectation for the price we paid. Had I paid less I may have thought our experience was acceptable. This is quite long, but bear with me! As a result of lots of positive comments from friends and the fact that I love anything to do with water we decided to give Cruising a go. I chose Royal Caribbean because it sounded like an American company and therefore I expected a really high standard of customer service. Furthermore, as it was a first time experience I decided to go for a high-end option. To make the booking I initially rang straight through to RCI, but they couldn't organise the itinerary I wanted (odd), but they sold the cruise well so I contacted my own agent and they were able to book the complete deal without any fuss (dial a flight -- Michelle). Paying the amount we did we expected priority for various procedures such as boarding, lounges, bathing, dining, the usual and from the tone of the call to RCI I wasn't expecting anything less -- you get what you pay for. We set off, really looking forward to the trip! We arrived at the port in Dubai to embark on the 'Serenade of the Seas' (1) We were surprised to note that there was no one at the entrance to identify what type of customer we were and to guide us from there. In fact this set the tone for the trip and much of what we discovered over the next 7 days was as a result of default rather than good customer care. We made our way to the check in and were advised that we could access our stateroom at 1pm. (2) we were told to wait in the general waiting area. First impression was not very good. (3) Deck 11 is a bit tired looking and reminiscent of a 2-3 star holiday camp. By the way, I was 15 years old the last time I was at a holiday camp and I think I'm well past that type of experience! We made our way to what was an Owners Suite. It's a 2 bed-roomed suite with a living area, a bathroom, en-suite and balcony. Couldn't swing a cat on the balcony as 2 sun-beds, a table and 2 chairs took up all the room. (4) As the week progressed the balcony became a real source of irritation. We were in very high temperatures and as the barrier was fully with no ventilation it became like an oven so unusable! By day 2 when I realised that getting a location on the general sun deck that didn't involve getting intimately close up and personal with all the other guests was nigh on impossible, the fact I couldn't our balcony was really frustrating. Later that afternoon we went in search of lunch. 'The Windjammer' was the only option. This is a buffet style canteen. First impression -- Staff really very miserable and unfriendly -- oh dear, and worst of all, plastic plates - Yuk! Unfortunately, having 24 years in the customer services sector means I'm more aware of what good service is and if you've read my previous reviews I'm really good at complimenting those organisation who deliver well. However, rather than throw myself overboard I decided that the best course of action is to eat (the plastic food) and have a glass of wine. (5) We had bought the premium drinks package $55 per day per person, which included all types of drinks. Total cost to us, as 4 adults in the family, was £995 for the week. We aren't heavy drinkers, but we didn't want the hassle of having pay for each item so consolidating it seemed a good idea. I asked the rather fed up waitress if I could have a glass of wine. Waitress - "Do you want red or white?" Me- "White wine pleases. What have you got?" Waitress- "Chardonnay" Me- "Don't you have Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio" After all these are probably 2 of the most popular grapes!! Waitress- "No, just Chardonnay!" Brilliant, I thought, this is going from bad to worse, which way to throw myself over board? So far rubbish greeting, shabby boat, horrendous canteen, miserable staff and now I can't get something reasonable to drink! Needless to say we dispensed with the premier drinks package -- at the end of the week we spent less than the cost of the package anyway, so would not have been worth it! (6) When we got to the cabin we were advised that our luggage would be delivered to our cabin by 8pm. Joy -- this meant we wouldn't have had the option to lie in the sun as we didn't have any swim wear! We booked 'my time dining' for 6.30pm so couldn't get changed for dinner either! (7) Our cabin attendant arrived to show us round the cabin. He was a nice chap but not very informative. He showed us the manual and left. At 6.30 we made our way to 'my time dining' located in the Reflections restaurant. It was very cramped, but looked really pleasant and professional. Nice tableware, neatly laid out and thankfully smiley waiting staff. Thank God for Yasar and Harry. Yasar is from the Philippines and was genuinely keen to ensure that we had a good dining experience. Our family just loved him. He was so sweet and polite, and so we generally took his menu recommendation. To be fair, he was normally absolutely right. 'Miss Alice' and 'Sir Alan' was how he addressed my daughter and husband, I think I was 'Madam Janet' and he really made up for the poor impression we'd had up to that point. What was even more endearing was that even though we'd eaten at the speciality restaurants for the following 3 nights and given that there were 2000 guests on board, he remembered our names when we ate there again. So impressed were we with this team we ate there for the rest of the week. Harry was also really sweet and as the week progressed he opened up a little more. They made a very good team. Top tip -- Take the 'wine package' for dinnertime, as you get better choices and overall probably works out as being more cost effective. General comments - (8) Entertainers on this ship were awful. Singing is not there best feature! Whoever auditioned them needs to have their ears tested. The karaoke singers in the pub were better. - Casino -- Staff don't smile. We didn't actually use the casino, as we wouldn't know what to do except lose money, but it was interesting to observe. - Theatre Shows - My husband and daughter attended the Beatle's night (big hype for this show!), and had it not been for the fact they were at the front, they would have left very early on. I was given the impression that the shows were fabulous on a cruise -- not evident on this one! - Pool area and sun deck -- one word Horrible. Beds were plastic and uncomfortable and far too close (some very intimate moments could be had if you were that way inclined) and the pool looked decidedly dodgy. (9) I love the sun and it was one of the key features of why we chose this cruise. However, I managed 6 very unbearable hours in cramped and thoroughly unpleasant bathing conditions. My family did not even entertain the idea of going out onto the deck and as our balcony was like an oven we couldn't lie out in our own space. As a result we came home the same colour as we left! - Restaurants - Chops Grill -- Really, really great steaks and pudding. A definite must. Giovanni's -- Good Italian food. Azumi -- very bland and lacked character - Concierge Club -- Opening hours not brilliant as these were 8-10.30am and 5-8.30pm. Wasn't opened on day 1 from 1pm, which would have been really useful as could have given us a lot of information. We were booked on an early sitting so didn't get round to going there until day 3. Provided complimentary drinks and food, which were okay, but no Gordon's or Bombay Gin! Dawson and Lee were lovely and ensured that we were never without a drink. Francois was really helpful. - Trips -- Seriously overpriced and so we didn't use the service - Stop over's --Throughout the trip we docked at industrial ports so nothing attractive to look at. Nothing to be done about that, but again as we were first timers it was disappointing. Suggestions -- as per numbers 1. There should be someone to meet priority clients and to guide them through the process of checking in and then advise what to do 2. The concierge lounge should be open for the whole day on day 1, as it would allow guests to meet each other, break the ice so to speak. It would also provide an opportunity to learn more about what to expect or what is provided during the trip rather than guests having to figure it out as they go along 3. I understand that the ship has had recent refurbishments and this is evident in most parts of the ship, but the areas on deck 11 look really worn, so first impression not good. Other areas did look good. 4. The balcony should have slatted barrier to allow air to get through. Useless in extremely high temperatures 5. Premier drinks package should have a variety of wines. Lets face it a reasonable bottle of Sauvignon Blanc can be bought at cost for a few pounds, in bulk even less, so don't be mean. It appears a bit money grabbing!! 6. For priority client's luggage should be taken to rooms at earliest time, otherwise what's the point in paying extra? 7. Cabin attendants for Gold card clients should be given time to actually instruct their guests on options and what to do rather than directing them to a manual to read 8. Get better singers. 9. Section off an area for Gold card clients to sunbath What we loved 1. 70's night was hilarious 2. The guests who sang on the Karaoke night 3. Yasar, Harry, Dawson, Lee and Francois 4. Chops Grill 5. Coming home! Would we cruise again -- Yes, but on a smaller and more customer focused ship. We would never travel to this part of the world again and will try Europe or somewhere that has a more attractive and interesting landscape. Also one where you pay for the whole package rather than feeling as though everywhere you turn someone is after more money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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