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18 Royal Caribbean Dubai Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with RC and will definitely be our last. We were supposed to have special needs assistance as arranged by Royal specialist services as I have mobility problems and my husband was recovering from a broken ankle 7 weeks previous. We were promised wheelchair assistance at the airport and pier, but as soon as we became under the jurisdiction of RC the assistance disappeared. There was no wheelchair assistance at the hotel where we were booked in for breakfast and when we got to the pier we did as instructed, found an RC person, asked about wheelchair assistance and were told we had to wait for two hours, outside sitting on a concrete floor in the midday sun with temperatures in excess of 40degrees. Family members went off and found two wheelchairs, not belonging to RC and took us into immigration and we were not allowed to go any further because they were not RC wheelchairs. Eventually 2 RC personnel came after a lot of hassling, took us on board, dumped us in the Windjammer and took away the wheelchairs so we could not access our stateroom. We were told that we would have to stay where we were wait until the ship sailed as they did not have enough wheelchairs. Again family members went off searching for staff to resolve the situation and after making a fuss which we really did not want to do, we eventually got a wheelchair and the family ferried us to our stateroom which was scruffy with paint on the carpet and the balcony was a disgrace, they had to come and clean it before we could go out on it. The automatic doors to some of the toilets did not work so unless someone was with you, you could not get in or out of the toilets. We are Diamond plus but it meant nothing. We asked for bath robes and were told there were none available. At each port the ship started discarding furniture and metal into skips lined up along the quayside as the ship was going to Cadiz for a refit and many crew members were finishing their contracts in Barcelona so they didn't' really care. Many were of Eastern origin and had difficulty understanding what we wanted or needed. The officers and guest relations were mostly absolute rubbish and guest relations were rude. We were so disappointed as we have recommended RC to friends and family but never again. I could write a lot more but am too disgusted. All they wanted was our money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
In this day and age,they allow smoking on half of the ship outside, many smokers on board, smoke came inside and filled the centrum as well as many other areas like the main dining room. My allergies made me miserable. The other ships ... Read More
In this day and age,they allow smoking on half of the ship outside, many smokers on board, smoke came inside and filled the centrum as well as many other areas like the main dining room. My allergies made me miserable. The other ships that I sailed on only allowed smoking on the rear of the top deck where no other areas would get smoke. To me, the cruise line doesn't care about passengers health. The food was bad. Poor quality and not prepared well. They overcook everything. They cook in cookware without cleaning from the last item prepared. Not much to do. Bad lecturers - one could not be understood and was not well prepared the other was promoting a progressive agenda. I can't believe the ship would schedule this or if they do, give the other side. Evening entertainment was disappointing. I came on board expecting much better. I was very disappointed. This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and probably the last. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We spent a very enjoyable week in India and the second week was a seven day cruise As soon as we got to our cabin we knew we were not going to enjoy the Cruise the cabin was so out of date needed a complete refit no toiletries in the ... Read More
We spent a very enjoyable week in India and the second week was a seven day cruise As soon as we got to our cabin we knew we were not going to enjoy the Cruise the cabin was so out of date needed a complete refit no toiletries in the bathroom no tea or coffee making equipment tried room service for coffee in the morning took over 30 mins Went to the bar very shabby looked better at night The self service Restaurant was similar to a BHS cafe The other Restaurant was very good service could be slow but the speciality Restaurants were very good We thought the shore excursions were very over priced used the Hop on Hop of bus tours at the ports very good much cheaper than buying on the ship Tried the internet for a day unable to send photo attachments so was a waste of money I don't think we will ever go on another Royal Carribean Cruise Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Exotic destination in the sun,a cruise combined with a 3 night stay in Dubai,was what I wanted to have. The embarkation at 11 am was quick and in no time was I inside the ship. The staterooms were available at 1pm,but the waiting in ... Read More
Exotic destination in the sun,a cruise combined with a 3 night stay in Dubai,was what I wanted to have. The embarkation at 11 am was quick and in no time was I inside the ship. The staterooms were available at 1pm,but the waiting in the sun was pleasant and the time passed very quickly.Having been on the Independence of the Seas several times I expected the Vision to be in the same league.But it is not.The Vision is in the need of a complete overhaul,it is fraying at the edges,lacks any cosiness and comfort where one can get lost for an hour or two and just read or watch the life go by. The self-service restaurant on the 9th floor has a strange,musty unpleasant smell.The tables are never quite clean enough, the same cloth is used to wipe every table without washing or changing, utterly unacceptable.Lunch was served in the main dining room once only..Six days it had to be taken in the self-service restaurant.Very disappointing.The food was a hit and miss affair with more misses than hits.But the bread and rolls were good,sometimes excellent.The choice of cold meats and cheese was poor.The fruit provided was of poor quality. The entertainment other than some acrobatic performance, was not up to standard. In the seven days we visited Khasab and Muscat in Oman,then Abu Dhabi and lastly docked in Dubai the last day and evening. Khasab is not a suitable place to be a part of an itinerary.Muscat did not warrant two days stay either, so in all the itinerary could have been so much better. There were not enough deck-chairs available for all the guests,often we had to sit on the towels on the floor.The deck chairs are very uncomfortable.The nicest thing about the cruise were my two waiters in the Aquarius restaurant where I dined at 8.30 in the evenings at table 88.They made my stay very pleasurable.Without them it would have been a total and complete washout. The next time I want a lovely time and excellent food on a spotlessly clean ship I will cruise on Celebrity Eclipse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We wanted to try another cruise, having tried one a few years ago which we didn't enjoy: we thought we might have been unlucky: we weren't, it was awful. Lots of people seem to enjoy it so we must be weird, but hey-ho! ... Read More
We wanted to try another cruise, having tried one a few years ago which we didn't enjoy: we thought we might have been unlucky: we weren't, it was awful. Lots of people seem to enjoy it so we must be weird, but hey-ho! Being herded about and charged for everyday living is not my idea of all-inclusive. Wifi costs $20 per day !!!! Even though you pay tips in advance [ we did] they add 18% service charge to every drink or "extra", or anything you buy on board. Altogether a con from the minute you step on board. "Sailing" it is not, a floating prison more like. They search you when you get on in case you sneak something on which they could otherwise charge you over the odds for. [ It's not for security, anyone could have walked on, we saw a group of extremely drunk people let on without any question except making sure they weren't carrying drink]. Sorry to be negative, but we have been home 2 weeks now and it still feels the same. Nick [ GP in Scotland ]. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
After reading previous reviews of this cruise i wasn't expecting it to be fantastic, but it was even worse than the review said. We have been cruising for over 10 years with many different cruise companies and this was the worst one ... Read More
After reading previous reviews of this cruise i wasn't expecting it to be fantastic, but it was even worse than the review said. We have been cruising for over 10 years with many different cruise companies and this was the worst one I've been on by a long shot The ship was extremely old and outdated. My cabin had wooden pillars on the wall which creaked and cracked every time the boat moved. On further inspection i found pieces if paper slotted under the wood to try and fix the problem so RC were clearly aware of this issue but hadn't bothered to fix it properly. The bedding had marks and stains on it when i arrived in the room and despite asking for it to be changed many times the same marks were still there on debarkation day! The balcony door stopped opening half way through the trip so we were unable to use it as noone came to fix it. The entertainment on the boat was abysmal! The shows were some of the worst I've ever seen, singers not in time or tune, dancers out of time, stumbling on top of the shows just being dull. The only decent night was when a professional singer was brought onboard. The Guest entertainment was even worse! On the one day the activities on offer were Line Dancing, Karaoke or a Belly Flop Competition. I wasn't aware I had signed up to go on a 1970s Floating Butlins! I've never had such poor and outdated entertainment on a ship. The evenings were particularly bad. The restaurant food was mediocre at best and the evening entertainment seemed to be either karaoke or someone (allegedly professional) singing at you (however it was hard to tell who was doing karaoke and who was being paid to screech). There were no bars to sit and have a drink without some poor extremely loud singer appearing. The Ports were good, Dubai, Abu Dhabi particular but would be better to have longer in these places rather than 2 days in Muscat where very little was going on. Especially as the last night was supposed to be an overnight in Dubai, However RC staff clearly have a staff jolly on this night so guests are made to on board to collect passports between 6-9pm and then must put suitcases out by 10pm. This means that not only do you don't get to spend the evening in Dubai but as all the staff have the night off there is also nothing to do on the boat. This is most definitely my last Royal Caribbean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We flew Emirates to Dubai and that was really excellent. Bigger seats, more legroom, great infotainment system, very large seat screen, really good food, great flight attendants, huge overhead lockers, clean, new, modern, smooth quiet. ... Read More
We flew Emirates to Dubai and that was really excellent. Bigger seats, more legroom, great infotainment system, very large seat screen, really good food, great flight attendants, huge overhead lockers, clean, new, modern, smooth quiet. Loved the A380-800 we went on. Without question the shortest 7 hour flight I have ever done and we would have happily spent another 7 hours playing poker and watching the movies on board, eating, wandering about the plane etc. My recommendation for this cruise is to stay on the plane if you can. We were cruise virgins and were recommended this holiday by our agent having given the brief to find a holiday in a sunny location with some class and things to do. The holiday for the weeks cruise wasn't inexpensive. Unfortunately Royal Caribbean and their ship The Vision [Prison] of the Seas didn't in any way live up to our expectations. Firstly the Arabian Adventures "private transfer" from the airport to our hotel for the night before was a beaten up grubby Toyota mini van driven by a chap of Pakistani origin who thought it hilarious to tell us that he had tried to get entry into the UK but had been refused because he was on a terrorist watch list, ha ha ha. We weren't laughing. Both of the other AA transfers were late to arrive, the last back to Dubai airport at the end of the holiday so late we just got on a bus also bound for the airport. The next day, embarkation involved standing in line for an hour and then having our passports taken from us. Hmmm....I'm sure I was always told never to give up your passport and we effectively became RC's prisoners. Starting as they meant to go on, every 10m on the walk to the boat there was another Royal Caribbean display and staff member badgering you to buy this, that or the other. I was already feeling harangued and stressed. Whilst the low level staff were all very nice and desperate to please (ultimately clearly their corporate masters rather than us) to the point where you could see the fear behind their eyes, at a corporate level Royal Caribbean and their ship we found tired scruffy, worn, crass and low brow. The cabin looked like a Travel Lodge room, not the new ones rather the ones in bad need of a refit some years ago and nothing like the website. Belly flop and ships sexiest man competitions around the pool, the 70's and early 80's Saturday seaside special shows (complete with white people wearing afro wigs, dark make-up, and singing off key) and the ships Captain prowling around the central bar floor singing Jon Bon Jovi songs was not what we really expected for "entertainment". Maybe JBJ was piloting the ship at the time, but I think not. Ra ra flag waving by the dining staff, clearly made to do it, in the dining room at dinner similarly lacked any decorum or class. It was Butlin's in the 70's on a boat, like it or not, and there was no way to get away from it. There was a totally overbearing and relentless competitive upselling going on throughout the week everywhere which included the staff themselves asking directly if we wanted to buy a $40-$50 (including $6 "service charge") bottle of £5 wine (Euro2 if you are in France) because "we are under so much pressure from our bosses to meet our sales targets". Plus staff openly trying to poach orders from other staff members tables causing a relentless barrage of request to order drinks. I did notice that those who had pre-paid for drinks packages didn't appear to have this issue however, I wonder why! Similarly their staff were repeatedly requesting that when we fill in the end of cruise questionnaire please could we rate them 10's because this is what determines what they get paid for the week. Furthermore Royal Caribbean are clearly aware of this issue as there is a question about it on the end of cruise survey. The fact that they seem to think we should also inform on these bottom of the rung put upon staff to them too so they don't get paid beggars belief. Clearly their "dedicated international staff" from places such as Peru, Madagascar, India and so on (didn't see any Germans, British, Australians etc) in these lower level roles, were very poorly paid and under the corporate cosh all of the time. There were also PA announcements to "put extra gratuities for staff in envelopes provided" presumably so RC could get away with paying them even less themselves. Everything included was done to the most basic level they felt they could get away with. For example, the listed ballroom dance classes were in fact 30 minutes once in a bar area by two of the show staff who could neither teach nor were qualified and just wanted to get it done and away to their day jobs, box ticked! Similarly the Poker lessons were not a lesson at all rather just a game with other (far more experienced players) and with the sole intention to turn you into a Royal Caribbean fish for the week bled dry by the 10% table rake. Everything not included they charged as much as they thought they could get away with. The indoor pool, one quieter place on the ship where you could get away from the likes of Black Lace - Agadoo playing over the PA system, was partly empty of water and falling to bits. We even had to ask the staff to get the maintenance men to take their hammer drill elsewhere mid afternoon while by the pool. The assistant entertainment manager was openly announcing to everyone from the main stage in the theatre that she was leaving at the end of the week to go and work for Celebrity, at every opportunity she had. I've not seen anything like the entertainment director since Hi-de-Hi and the only person I would recommend see him would be Steve Coogan if looking for ideas for new material. The drinks were limited and extortionately priced with 18% service charge added just to add insult to injury. As well as wine we like cider and English pale ale; requests for which were met with blank faces and a shrug from the "carefully selected international staff". It was all lager, mostly American, cocktails and mid range supermarket grade wine at grossly inflated prices amounting to profiteering. The main dining room food appeared ready made and often from frozen. The unpopular gritty snails ended up on the menu every night they were so slow moving. The orange juice wasn't orange juice and all the drinks appeared mixed up from artificial concentrate rather than actual juice full of artificial sweetener. The coffee was good however! Everything was American centric rather than with regard for the main demographic of the ship which was plainly predominantly British, certainly European. At every doorway there was a nazi staff member demanding to squirt disinfectant goop on your hands because everything is infected apparently. Don't know about you but I was taught to wash my hands before meals and after using the toilet and I don't want to be on holiday with people who don't or on a boat that is generally infected! My case was delivered with the lock broken off to my room, 6 hours after we boarded the ship which got things off to an unfortunate start. Nothing was taken from the case but plainly the case was broken into rather than by accident. We later learned that anyone with their own alcohol in their cases would have it seized on boarding! Nothing was said, it was just dropped off at our room. The porters Royal Caribbean are using were grubby in dirty clothes and equally grubby high viz vests and I was uncomfortable leaving our cases with them particularly when we disembarked. They definitely didn't look the part. We met plenty of people on the boat, some of whom had done more than 50 cruises in their time and they were of the same opinion. One couple, cruise veterans of 30 years, said that this was the tackiest cruise they had been on and would not be sailing RC again. On the plus side (and I'm trying really hard to find something), the ships band were good and we would have liked to have seen more of them doing their own sets. The lower level staff are clearly doing their best in difficult corporate circumstances but we were left with the clear understanding that RC are not a nice company to work for. We also found we would have liked to try the games in the casino (Poker and Blackjack) but the table cut and minimums were way too high and for reasons that are not clear smoking was also allowed in the casino and made for a quite unpleasant environment. Food was not 24 hours and room service incurred a charge at certain times contrary to what was promised. The food that could be got out of hours was rudimentary and low class. Burgers, chips, processed chicken pieces, or maybe gritty snails in garlic. We won't be doing anything with RC again and in the process of making complaints to get a good part of our money back - In short, avoid! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the destination, the weather, and the time. However we had never sailed with Royal Caribbean before, but we hoped it would be like P and O. How wrong could we be...... I have never sailed with such a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destination, the weather, and the time. However we had never sailed with Royal Caribbean before, but we hoped it would be like P and O. How wrong could we be...... I have never sailed with such a mean spirited company. Everything was geared to extract as much money out of the guests as possible. Firstly everyone was given the same embarkation time, so the queues were long and tiring. Eventually we get to our room and await our luggage. However my friend's case did not arrive. We were directed to security and there like a naughty schoolboy he had his bottle confiscated. You will only be allowed to drink what they sell you at extortionate prices. You are not treated as humans, but as cash generators. You will get the hard sell on everything but beware of the 18% tax they levy on everything. Having a drink in the evening costs the best part of £20 for 2 drinks so beware ! On a sea day there are not nearly enough Sun beds, and the half hour rule for leaving them unattended is not enforced. The food is very mediocre. The Aquarius restaurant is very slow but at least you can sit down in comfort. The Windjammer is a free for all buffet with everyone milling around looking for a clean table. Food is quite repetitive. The singer and band who play on deck 4/5 are worse than average and played the same limited repertoire every night, they must have been as bored as we were. Public toilets left a lot to be desired and always smelled of stale urine, with paper towels strewn everywhere. I had to complain to a member of staff one night because of the awful smell coming from the gents toilet every time the door was opened. We didn't do a lot with the day time activities, after we saw the belly flop completion in the pool, surely they could have come up with something better than that. Cabins were average, but you have to ask for showergel and soap. Disembarking, well they have extracted as much money as they can and they want you gone, We were off the boat at 06.45 for a flight at 2.30 in the afternoon. So overall not the best experience I have had on a cruise, and would not recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
When I purchased this cruise, I was aware it was a repositioning. What I wasn't aware of was the extent of renovations and closures that were going to be done whilst I was on board. Royal Caribbean kept very quiet about that and for ... Read More
When I purchased this cruise, I was aware it was a repositioning. What I wasn't aware of was the extent of renovations and closures that were going to be done whilst I was on board. Royal Caribbean kept very quiet about that and for that reason alone they should be ashamed of themselves. Anyway, apologies in advance for a long review. However I think it's important to let people know just how I and all other passengers were treated by an otherwise reputable company. It's not a moaning session - everything in this review actually happened and even now I'm back home, I still can't believe they did this, Embarkation was terrible. The girl who checked me in wanted to see my Visa for Singapore. I explained I was British and didn't need one. She replied that I did. I explained that I was in Singapore a few months back and didn't need one then and that she was mistaken. To cut a long story short, we argued for another while before I asked to see her manager. Off she went , came back and said I didn't need one. No apology, nothing. She also didn't tell me that my stateroom had been changed from the one I requested on my booking. I found that out the hard way when I boarded. We all waited in the hangar for about two hours and no-one seemed to be co-ordinating the boarding process. We eventually got on board around 4pm having arrived at the terminal at 1pm. We got to our stateroom to find another couples name on the seapasses in our room. I called guest services. After waiting for what seemed an age, they told me I was at the wrong room. I told them I had my booking in front of me and that I was at the correct room. They said it must have been changed and gave me a new stateroom number. I asked about our luggage which had the original stateroom labels on. They said the luggage would be transferred automatically ( you know what's coming next don't you ) Anyway we go to the revised stateroom and found our seapasses there. After the muster drill we still didn't have our luggage. I went and stood in a big line at guest services to seek help. I am being perfectly honest when I say that the guest services rep didn't understand what I was trying to tell her. She just kept smiling and nodding saying " Yes, yes, luggage on way " I decided to go looking for myself. After a few visits to our original stateroom I tried guest services again . Basically same as before - no help whatsoever. I asked if they would please call the room to see if our luggage was there. They refused so eventually at around 11pm I went there myself. The " do not disturb " sign was on the door. Reluctantly I went back to my room and made a telephone call to the room. I said " Sorry for calling you so late sir but by any chance do you have luggage that doesnt' belong to you ? " - "Yes " he replied " " I reported it straight away but no-one has come to get it yet " I ended up going along and picking it up myself. Not a good start to the first day. The next morning I discovered the extent of the renovation work and closures. I won't go into detail but it was sufficient enough to merit being done in dry dock without passengers on board.Again, a trip to guest services to enquire why we hadn't been told about this - No help whatosever. They did give me $400 non refundable on board credit but for me that was way too little too late. I didn't want credit. I wanted to use all of the new facilities that Royal Caribbean had been boasting about but virtually none were available. No Mama Mia, no casino, no Northstar etc,etc. Another major screw up was their information regarding a Visa for India. Royal Caribbean told me ( and many others ) that a Visa was required, even if we didn't want to get off the ship at India. They said I wouldn't be allowed to board unless I had a Visa So my wife and I each got one - £212 total cost ( around $330 ). Imagine my surprise when I got on board to find out we didn't need a Visa after all. To add insult to injury, RC even had a procedure on board whereby you could go on one of their overpriced shore excursions without a Visa. One wonders how a large company such as RC can make such a blatant error and force their customers to incur totally unnecessary additional cost. I have written and asked them to refund this but I won't hold my breath on that one. The wait staff in the restaurants were all new and totally inexperienced ( the cruise director admitted this on his morning TV show and asked us all to be patient ? ) Result was a complete lottery when trying to order a meal. I lost count of the times I was given a meal different to what I ordered and then trying to communicate to the waiter who didn't understand what I was saying. " Yes, sir, chicken , very nice, very nice ". Not the response you want to hear if you had ordered a surf and turf. Cutlery missing, dirty drinking glasses, dirty tablecloths. If the staff hadn't been wearing RC badges I would have sworn I was on a low budget cruise ship. Bar staff weren't any better. One told me I was not a Diamond member and asked me to leave the Diamond lounge. When I showed her my seapass she said that she hadn't seen me in the lounge before. Again, no apology for being rude. We are long standing RC customers so I know what to expect in terms of food quality and level of service. Considering this is their newest ship, the food and service were appalling. I stopped going to the Windjammer as the food was so awful, undercooked and not even warm. Like may other passengers , we tried to bring these shortfalls to the crews attention but it was a lost cause. All you got form them was a nod and a smile no matter what your issue was. "Yes sir, thank you, have a nice day " - Pathetic ! We all thought the internet wasn't working. It was but it was just painfully slow. Remember the old 56k modems ? - it was worse than that. Again the cruise director said it was difficult to track satellites whilst at sea. They didn't say that in their advertising blurb. And anyway, that excuse doesn't really cut ice when you are sitting in Singapore harbour. $20 for an hour and you couldn't even get a website to come up. Unforgiveable considering they were flagging this ship as being the most high tech afloat. The only shining light was our stateroom attendant who was great. Never in your face but was able to get into our room twice a day to clean up, refill the ice bucket ice and leave the occasional towel animal. Well done Jerry. So was it a one off ? - Only way to find out is to give Royal Caribbean one last chance. I am going on the Allure in July. This upcoming cruise wasn't cheap. If things are as bad as the Quantum then I am afraid Royal Caribbean has just lost a customer Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having done more than forty cruises, ten of which have been with R.C.I. this is without doubt the worst cruise my wife and I have ever been on. The problems started before the cruise began with total confusion over the need for an Indian ... Read More
Having done more than forty cruises, ten of which have been with R.C.I. this is without doubt the worst cruise my wife and I have ever been on. The problems started before the cruise began with total confusion over the need for an Indian Visa. Despite the fact that I made it known to R.C.I. that I did not intend getting off the ship in Cochin I was informed that I would not be allowed on the ship without an Indian Visa. Having gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to obtain one you can imagine how angry I was when I found out that a visa was not required if you were not leaving the ship in Cochin . Embarkation at Dubai was a shambles with little or no supervision. As a diamond member I was supposed to have priority boarding but had to join the stamped. Boarded the ship at 11.45am but luggage had not arrived in time to change for dinner at 8.15 pm. Spent large part of the cruise queuing to see Guest Services or the one person attending to problems with the internet packages. For a smart ship the internet service was extremely poor. Port information for passengers doing their own thing was none existent. Most cruises provide you with a map and some local information The ship was clean and smart but lacked the wow factor. Has less wow than the Freedom Class ships. Windjammer was like a cattle market most lunchtimes with people wandering about with plates looking for a table while i saw four people sitting playing cards and nobody doing anything about it. The food choice was limited and often not very warm. The only alternative lunchtime dining was in the American Icon which was only open for two hours The main restaurants were fine and the food very good but the menus were a bit limited. The ship was obviously gearing up for the Chinese market and there was large crew changes with several hundreds of Chinese crew members joining the ship mid cruise with many receiving training during the cruise. Training should have been done in small numbers on other ships before they came onboard. Highlight of the cruise was disembarking. This was the smoothest disembarkation ever. Congratulations to the Singapore Port Authorities. R.C.I. No more. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was the second time that I had been on the Brilliance of the seas and there was quite a reduction in service and quality since the last visit in at the end of 2009. We arrived after almost 24 hours travel at the port at 9am tired ... Read More
This was the second time that I had been on the Brilliance of the seas and there was quite a reduction in service and quality since the last visit in at the end of 2009. We arrived after almost 24 hours travel at the port at 9am tired and in need of sleep. After being 'fast tracked' to check in, we were told we had to wait in the metal shed for 2 hours before we could get on the boat as they were 'cleaning'! This in a warm shed with no water and not enough chairs.... a really dreadful way to greet customers. When asked why we could not get get on to change our clothing, we were told again it was the 'rules'. I would imagine that animals would have been treated better and at least offered water (it took over an hour before one desk was set up offering water, with a line forming almost round the shed to get a glass). After waiting, we were finally allowed to get on the ship, but told now that no one was allowed to go to their rooms until 1pm as these were being cleaned! However when we nipped down to quickly change, all the rooms were already done! Then the bags did not arrive until almost 7 hours after we left them next to the ship in the shed. One wonders exactly how difficult it is to move cases and why if this is the case that customers are not allowed to just do it themselves if they choose. The cabin was fine and the cabin steward both quiet and unobtrusive (instead of the sometimes over the top greetings etc you get). The cabin however was without water for 2 nights out of the 7 due to 'maintenance', no apologies given. The ship is clearly tired and this is reflected in the decor. The staff with the exception of the waiters in the dining room, appeared largely uninterested. There was little to no entertainment, with poor to average shows by the singers and dancers for 45 minutes in the evening and no sign of the 'entertainment' crew the rest of the time. Charges were again very misleading with $155 for a wine package then adding on 15% compulsory tip making the real price $178.25. Why not just be honest and say the real price to the customers rather than hide it in the small print. Also we were charged over $13 dollars each for the compulory visa to visit Oman, again since it is compulsory, we would have expected it to be included in the price of the holiday, after all the cruise company selected the ports to visit so would have known about the visa! The food was average, there was plenty to go round but it was not spectacular by any means and often it was a case of selecting the best of the bunch. The old days of 7 small courses long gone to 3 courses with cheaper ingredience, for example the 'wimbledon strawberries and cream' turned out to be strawberry jelly with custard and sprinkles of lime skin on top (Yuk!). The ports selected were industrial ports and in Oman we were given a shuttle bus to the 'mall' which was just that, a really down market supermarket, think Lidl and you would be on the mark.... honestly is this the best they can offer? Almost every day I had issues with my room card and was unable to leave the ship or collect towels etc without having the card replaced after walking to the guest relations area and waiting in a line to be dealt with. On more than one occasion the staff member told me it was 'my fault for damaging the card' and when I explained I had only been given it an hour earlier and it was not working, I was then told that I must of put it next to my phone (I had not) or a magnet (as if I carried one round!) and then finally that I had put it too close to the fridge (since I could not get in the room it would have been difficult to do so!). Just seemed a bit curt, when a sorry and lets see if we can finally work out what the glitch in the system is. Even as a shareholder in Royal Carribean (and therefore a vested interest in supporting the company), I cannot say that it was a positive experience and would not recommend this cruise or the ship. After the cruise we went to the Atlantis Palm in Dubai and honestly wished we had stayed there instead for the whole time... Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
First let me make one assumption about this company. From my experience I must assume that there is a terrible disconnect between Royal Caribbean the company and Royal Caribbean the Ship, Crew and Staff. Therefore I will say up front ... Read More
First let me make one assumption about this company. From my experience I must assume that there is a terrible disconnect between Royal Caribbean the company and Royal Caribbean the Ship, Crew and Staff. Therefore I will say up front that I trust and respect the Ships Crew and Staff immensely. I cannot say the same about the Company folks.PLEASE READ THE LAST FEW PARAGRAPHS, even if you skim through the rest.I left for my 16 day voyage with eager anticipation and hopefulness of a wonderful trip, sadly the first day was marked with Aircraft troubles between The States and Dubai. I had to rebook to fly into Abu Dhabi, missing Dubai altogether. I immediately contacted Royal Caribbean and they advised that this would pose no trouble what-so-ever and that the Ship and Crew would be expecting me the following day in Abu Dhabi. This was NOT the case. Once I arrived at the port in Abu Dhabi no one there was the wiser. It took quite a bit of explaining and pleading with the port security to give me approval for me to gain entrance to the port. Bear in mind its 98f degrees and I'm not the only one trying to board. Once at the ship, again no one seemed to be expecting us. After lots of confusion and answering the same questions over and over again we were finally aboard. Again there was total confusion by the staff. The ship itself is dated in decor. The overall appearance is tired and looks worn. Lots of fake effects with notes of brass, glass and lots and lots of mirrors.The food was hardly edible and after 5 days at sea starting to look as tired and worn as the ship herself. If you wish to order room service from the 3 or 4 items offered, get the cold salad, because when it does finally arrive it'll be cold, what ever it was. Oh and there is a "late-night" surcharge, so be prepared. Of course there are NO other dining options for late night, so why not try to make a few extra bucks! The specialty dining rooms do offer some refuge from the boring and uninspired food in the two "free" dining rooms, but not by much. If they aren't closed for a private function (as on my cruise the majority of the nights they were), it might be worth the extra money just for an escape.Bear in mind that EVERYTHING has a dollar attached to it. At dinner when ordering a bottle of wine, FIRST you MUST present your "Sea-Pass" card before they will even consider serving you. This is cheap. I over heard many of my fellow passengers complaining and moaning about the pricing on aboard. One man claimed to be charged for an envelope at the front desk, and the over all attitude was sorrowful that things had to be this way.I went to play BINGO one day and was asked for 36 dollars for four cards. The prize if I was so lucky? A "Will & Kate" Union Jack Flag from the decorations on the ship for the previous days Royal Wedding tribute. Thats right 36 bucks for their garbage!I went to yoga, one of the few activities offered that I actually had interest. 12 dollar fee please. Keep in mind this is a 16 day cruise.You can quickly figure out that Royal Caribbean figured out early that anything of slight interest (which there are few and far between) they'll charge for. If you would rather spend your days listening to dull lectures or stringing beads for "jewelry" class thats fine, though I see no reason to leave the "old-folks home" to do that.The majority of people just hung out and waited for it to be over.The entertainment was on par with the cheapest of Atlantic City lounge performances, and although the shows are included, again this was a 16 day cruise. Lots of the same shows repeating. Gross.No lets get juicy!The ship left me stranded in Italy. I was to meet the ship in the port of Livorno, one of its last ports of call. I had rented a car in Rome and drove up through Tuscany. On board NO ONE on the crew even hinted or suggested that I should do otherwise. It was reasonable to believe that the ship would meet me in Livorno. This did NOT happen. They left me STRANDED with out my life sustaining medications. They left me STRANDED, with out clothing or personal items. They left me STRANDED with out advise or consul as to what I should do. When I called Royal Caribbean to ask where the ship was after running around the port for 3 hours looking, they offered NO explanation. I was totally ON MY OWN at this point. To Date they have still offered NO explanation.I had to find arrangements to get to Rome in the middle of the night on a standing room only train that was pitch black dark and stank of Calcutta in the summer. I had to cough up 300 bucks to change my ticket home, I had to cough up money on top of money on top of money to see that I got home safely and TO DATE, Royal Caribbean had offered NO assistance in returning my personal items left on board, leaving it completely up to me to arrange getting these items home. They are now stuck in US Customs for how long? I cant get an answer. Royal Caribbean has NOT even so much as offered me an apology. PLEASE consider these last few paragraphs before EVER giving them your money. It is imperative while traveling that you have trust that your interests are being looked after. My experience shows that this is NOT the case with Royal Caribbean. They are more than happy to play their game, and more than happy to ignore things that disrupt their game. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
My partner and I have visited the Emirates before and stayed in hotels. I was eager to try a cruise and he took some convincing. However this seemed an ideal compromise. We flew with BA (world traveller plus) and stayed in Sofitel in ... Read More
My partner and I have visited the Emirates before and stayed in hotels. I was eager to try a cruise and he took some convincing. However this seemed an ideal compromise. We flew with BA (world traveller plus) and stayed in Sofitel in Dubai for 3 nights before embarking. Hotel was nice and in good location. We arranged our own transfer to the ship which was without problem and it was quick and easy embarking the ship.Things went downhill from then on. Although we had never cruised before, there appeared to be too many people for the ship to accommodate comfortably. The 'windjammer' was always busy and proved difficult at peak times to get a seat anywhere. The sunbeds were an absolute joke. They were so tightly packed that it was difficult to actually get on and off them. That is is you could manage to obtain one in the first place. The ship has a policy that beds cannot be left unattended for more than half an hour but this is not enforced.Accommodation was very small but kept clean. Entertainment was poor and very 'butlins', as was the quality of the food in our opinion. We only went to the dining room once and had to wait an age. Don't bother with 'my time dining' as you will soon find that it is not your time choice at all (unless you reserve a table at least 24 hours in advance). Despite only using the dining room (minstrel) once, all gratuities were automatically deducted from our credit card. SHAMEFUL! We went to Choppes Grille - good steak but nothing to write home about and Portofino was awful -food was cold and mediocre and service was poor.We didnt get off the ship at first port of call as we knew there was not much to do. We did not book any tours with RC as they were already squeezing too much money out of us. We got off at Oman and paid a taxi driver to give us a tour of Sultans Palace and some of the nice hotels and then went to a private beach which was lovely and well worth a visit. In Abu Dhabi we caught the tour bus to Marina Mall and got a cab to Emirates Palace and then spent the day at the Hilton (you can buy a day pass to use private beach and pool and restaurant facilities). In Dubai we visited some malls and then found a little public beach and park. We then went to the Marina (Festival city mall) and ate at the Intercontinental Hotel which was fantastic.RC purports to offer a 5 star service. No RC, you offer a 3 star service and charge 5 star prices Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
CRUISE, DUBAI, OMAN, FUJAIRAH, ABU DHABI AND BAHRAIN We left Birmingham airport 20 minutes late on an Emirates flight to Dubai. Landed just after midnight and transferred to the Arabian Courtyard Hotel near Port Rashid ready to join the ... Read More
CRUISE, DUBAI, OMAN, FUJAIRAH, ABU DHABI AND BAHRAIN We left Birmingham airport 20 minutes late on an Emirates flight to Dubai. Landed just after midnight and transferred to the Arabian Courtyard Hotel near Port Rashid ready to join the cruise. Arabian Courtyard was classed as 4 star but in my opinion it was closer to 3 star. Regardless it was OK for one night, but I would not have wanted longer there. Joined the Brilliance of the Seas and check in took around 10 minutes. Very organized. Grabbed something to eat in an overcrowded Windjammer Cafe and caught a taxi to the Gold Souk for that special treat ring. Got back to the ship and luggage had arrived so unpacked. Asked about upgrade to a balcony cabin and were told there had none, but various conversations throughout the week made me doubt this. Supplies of toiletries were non existent in the bathroom cabins and I never failed to wonder how they had managed to obtain toilet paper so thin that it could not even have been classed as one ply. Counter productive on cost saving as you had to use 3 times as much. First port of call was Oman. When we landed at 9am the temperature registered 41C. It was very hot. Went to the Souk which was well worth a visit. Currency is Rials but they accepted AED Dirhams. By the time we got back to the ship the temperature was approaching 45C. Never have I felt heat like it. This was my favourite port of call. Second port was Fujairah. I had read the trip reports previously and didn't expect too much which was just as well because it was disappointing. We did the shuttle bus to the port gate and then paid extra for the shuttle to take us to the Lulu Hypermarket. Waste of time. Third port was Abu Dhabi. What I saw I liked. Clean and modern. Again we paid for the shuttle bus that continued past the port gates into the centre. We got off the bus at the town centre mall. Unfortunately there was nothing much else around the same area to wander around other than the marina which had the bluest sea I had ever seen. Fourth port was Bahrain. Again opt for the shuttle bus to part gates and paid extra for the transfer to the Mall hoping there would be souks in the vicinity. There were not so we ended up at the mall for 4 hours. We assumed that there would be an hourly collection from the mall as there was on the 2 previous ports, but there wasn't. We and other passengers felt as though we were just dumped at the mall. The items were so expensive I don't think anyone purchase anything. Then we called at the museum which was as boring as hell on earth. Not my cup of tea at all. A complete waste of a day and at $21 each, far too expensive for what was offered. Got 3/4 of the way back when the coach broke down. Groan!! All the passengers had to get off the bus and wait at the roadside in the heat for a replacement. Thankfully another coach occupied by BoS passengers stopped allowing us all to jump on for a lift back to the ship. Arrived harassed and disappointed. There were only 2 ports of call (with the exception of Dubai) that were worth a visit and to be honest I had already gathered this from previous posts. The cost of alcohol was extortionate. $12 for a glass that was not even full for a Chardonnay. Outrageous. During the week the Iceland volcano erupted (damn the thing). I guessed straight away that our return flight home would be delayed. It turned out to be a nightmare situation. RCL were absolutely useless. All they were interested in was making money. There were stupid pointless photo shoots. Photo with a cuddly toy, one with a member of staff dressed in arab outfit, one in front of the ship, one at dinner, one by the pool, one............... People were getting sick and tired of being asked to have their photo taken. I enquired on Saturday morning (whole companies were still open in the UK) at the Guest Relations desk what their intention was regarding hotels and flights when it became apparent we would not be flying. I was informed that if it was a RCL package (which mine was) then RCL would locate us a hotel and alternative flight. As if!! So based on this information RCL were going to re-locate between 1,000 and 2,000 passengers in hotels, pay for them and re-arrange their flight home. I bet they will I thought! While guests were at the evening meal and continued to the entertainment section of the ship RCL left in each cabin a note saying all passengers where to disembark at Port Rashid in Dubai and arrange their own accommodation and return flights. I was right!! Furthermore at the same time as leaving the distressing note envelopes were left for you to tip the staff. A mutiny occurred. A meeting was held on deck 9 whereby 3 passengers were elected to speak to the captain. The outcome was that no hotels would be paid for, no flights organised (although different carriers were more helpful than others eg. Virgin), so chaos erupted. The captain eventually agreed free access to the internet and cabin phones in order that the passengers could book accommodation, but you try getting the use of a PC on board that ship... you can't. RCL gave all passengers an Emirates contact number and told each passenger to keep ringing if for flight updates. You were left on hold for ages and still obtained no information. For me my 2 sisters proved saints. I text them and they managed to book me and hubby 2 nights in a hotel. I asked them for 2 nights assuming that this amount of time would be close to the delayed time it would take to fly back to the UK. We had to pay for the hotel and the taxi to it. I then found out that if you sought the assistance of RCL they would offer a FOC shuttle bus to a named hotel but they only started offering this facility the day before we were due to disembark and by this time we had already reserved our hotel. RCL was sailing on a repositioning cruise from Dubai to Barcelona. Hardly any new passengers were joining the ship yet they still dumped all the existing passengers. They preferred to leave us all with no flight and no accommodation and sail to Barcelona best part empty. Words fail me especially bearing in mind that today on the news we hear that a new cruise ship sailed from England to Spain with the sole intention of collecting stranded passengers. We had already paid for our cruise and RCL couldn't have cared less. I sailed to the Baltics 3 years ago with RCL and was satisfied with them, the service and the food. How things change. As I previously said everything came down to money, the service was OK but the food poor. The Windjammer food was cooked at least a couple of hours in advance and by the time we ate it, it was fit for the bin. Seating in here was also insufficient. The Minstrels dining room menu was poor. For the last 3 days I hardly ate anything. The choice was dreadful. On the last night I walked out in disgust. What with the dumping of us planned for the following day and then rubbish food it was too much. The entertainment in the theatre was satisfactory but dated. Nothing has changed from all the previous cruises we had done over the years. I must give the Beatles Tribute Band an award as they were absolutely outstanding. Went to see them at the first show and returned for the second show. Got off the ship on the day of disembarkation and transferred to the hotel to accumulate my maxed out credit card. Thankfully I did have a credit card though as people both old and young were put off the ship with no card and no money. Overall I was very disappointed with the attitude and service offered by RCL. When to see Emirates in the Town Centre Mall who gave us a return flight date of 6 May. It's dire. How on earth could we afford to stay in the hotel for this amount of time, buy food, arrange clean laundry and survive? While it is easy for people to say we should think ourselves lucky to have been stuck in Dubai, they are really missing the point. The whole holiday was spoilt and not just by the volcanic activity, by the attitude of Royal Caribbean not assisting us. We both needed to get back to the UK as soon as possible. We had not catered for 2 weeks and had commitments back in the UK and I also had a sick mother. On Tuesday we went to the Mall of the Emirates (my favourite mall) and visited DNATA. They were helpful and through them we started to agree our route home. The following day we moved out of the hotel because of the cost and went to the airport to start our way home. We slept fitfully at the airport during the night and at 5.55am left Dubai airport for Doha. Then caught the connecting flight to Tunis with Qatar Airways. A very satisfactory service and I would say an improvement on Emirates. Arrived in Tunis and dashed to any of the ticket desks that would provide us with a flight over the sea to Europe. Nothing available at most of them. Went to check at Tunisair who were flying to Paris at 14.55 and were put on standby. Was asked to return in one hour to see if seats were available. Returned in 40 minutes and were told the flight was full. Felt like crying after the length of journey we had already made and the thought that we may be stuck here for another 3 days for the next flight to Madrid. Went to enquire at the business class desk and inbetween the language barrier problems we found out that they had 2 seats left in economy. Hubby checked in the bags while I ran over to the ticket desk to pay for them at which point the system went down. Explained the urgency of the matter (only 20 minutes now until anticipated flying time) and the person at the next desk assisted. Dashed round to pay the cashier (it's not all done at the same desk), grabbed hubby and ran from one end of the airport to the boarding gate. Caught the plane with minutes to spare. Although hubby and I were not sitting together at least we were on the flight and as hubby said to me when we got off 'that plane wouldn't pass an MOT'. I had to agree. Arrived in Paris and paid the extortionate rate of 245 euros each for Eurostar to London arriving at St Pancreas Station. Again was tight on time and almost missed it. Arrived in London, caught a taxi to Victoria Coach Station to transfer back to Birmingham and the bus had left 10 minutes early. How ironic that we had got from Dubai to London just managing to catch all connections only to find National Express had left early. Waited an hour for the next one and arrived at Digbeth Coach Station at 3.30am absolutely shattered. Arranged for a taxi to home and arrived here safely at 4.10am. We consider that we didn't go on holiday. We had 2 weeks of stress and a cruise ship that was sub-standard. Now we are in the process of going through all invoices and receipts with a view to trying to reimburse ourselves an estimated £3k that we did not allow for. The outcome of all this is...............I'm never going on holiday again!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
In one word if you are thinking of booking this cruise, don't!! I am sure this cruise is not reflective or typical of Royal Caribbean, but the initial impression of bad organisation and poor standards is not what you would expect. ... Read More
In one word if you are thinking of booking this cruise, don't!! I am sure this cruise is not reflective or typical of Royal Caribbean, but the initial impression of bad organisation and poor standards is not what you would expect. They are trying to turn around the ship in too short a time, leaving passengers hanging around for hours waiting to board, only to find that rooms have been hurriedly prepared and standards within the ship, quite poor. The ports of call are not worth visiting especially when in some you are expected to pay five dollars to get off the ship and leave the port, as you cannot walk in the ports. Trips are too expensive and one of the ports we visited Bahrain was a shocking disappointment. They called it 'Bahrain on your Own' and the only good thing about the trip is that the buses are available to take you back to the ship earlier than planned. On a positive note, the entertainment was excellent. We left the ship leaving our prepaid gratuity for our cabin steward, we never actually saw her for any length of time, other than when she complained to us that we should indicate when we leave the cabin, by putting out the card to make up the room. The cabin was tired, had a dreadful smell most of the time and he balcony absolutely filthy, my husband had to clean it. Basically, we enjoyed the sun and the entertainment but would recommend that you look elsewhere for a holiday with some standards!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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