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47 Royal Caribbean Dubai Cruise Reviews

I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. ... Read More
I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. The one Big Restaurant choice instead of four is a great idea , a lot less waiting time at dinner . The decision of creating a Silver Lounge for Silver Suites guests is a great idea , even if when I booked it 8 months ago it was advertised that they were going to allow all suites guests to go in the Gold Lounge and Gold Restaurant on decks 15th and 16th forward , but looks like they changed their minds and restricted the access to those decks only to Gold Suites and Gold Balcony Staterooms and they created on deck 14th forward a Silver Lounge . Nice a spacious, with excellent service , but that closes at 8:30 pm so it is not possible to have dinner there . So Silver suites guests must use the Main dining Room. The only terrible think of the Ship is the gym facility. I understand that Chinese customers are not using gyms very often, but the space that has been designed on this Ship for Gym and changing rooms is totally inadequate . I guess no more than 600 square feet with very little equipment , and waiting times to use an equipment are incredibly long , so people just decide not to use the facilities. And the changing rooms are even worse , in the men one there are just 6 lockers so you have to wait to have a locker key . There is no physical space to undress or dress unless you choose to do it near the entrance door where people can see you naked from outside when the door opens. But the worst part is that there is only one shower , so you have to queue to get one. And what i don't understand is that on the contrary the Reception area of the SPA is huge: a lot of that space could have been used to make the changing areas and the gym bigger. So avoid this Ship if you are a frequent Gym user. As already mentioned by other guests , the entertainment is poor in terms of variety. The few shows are outstanding but limited in quantity. And the Lectures as well, not enough. First excursion in Muscat was nice . But today in Mumbai a real rip off. The Guide was really bad, and the bus old and filthy . I Hope next ports of call its going to be better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My wife's sister lives and works in Dubai and the opportunity to see her and locations we had not been to before made this choice irresitable. We spent a few days in Dubai, we had been there ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My wife's sister lives and works in Dubai and the opportunity to see her and locations we had not been to before made this choice irresitable. We spent a few days in Dubai, we had been there before, but really enjoyed it as well as a day trip we took to Abu Dhabi. We chose an early boarding 1100 AM, which was a good idea. We were on board in no time and had a cocktail in hand immediately. We decided to check our cabin 1232 on the off chance it was ready, perfect, it was. We dropped our carry-on and proceeded to our usual tasks which include, specialty restaurant dinner reservations, hair appointments, and checking our dining room seating, We then went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which we enjoyed, just something about a greasy burger and french fries chased down by a cold beer. For us boarding was easy and uneventful, and we were able to get our primary objectives done and now it was all about enjoying the cruise. The cruise on the whole we enjoyed, we did feel however, that some crew members were not engaged. I think part of that could be the length of the cruise (it started in Singapore we picked it up in Dubai) as well as that the ship was going into dry-dock for refurbishment. These ladies and gentlemen work extremely hard with no days off and long hours, so a lot of it I get. We enjoy eating in the specialty restaurants, however the menus need some change. The Chops and Giovannis Table menu have not seen a change in many a cruise, we enjoy these venues but we will re-think the amount of times we patronize these establishments going forward. We usually get the five night dining package plus a couple of additional dinners, but being faced with the same menu all the time becomes boring. The dining room was okay, nothing really special on that front, we do however enjoy breakfast in the dining room. We enjoy going to the Schooner Bar after dinner each evening and this cruise was no exception. Yanus and Stanislav (bartenders) could not have been nicer and more efficient. They went above and beyond especially when they ran out of grapefruit juice. We enjoy vodka and grapefruit juice and for some reason when you travel to that part of the world they always seem to never have enough and mid-way through the cruise they run out. Yanus and Stanislav would actually run to another bar in an attempt to find us grapefruit juice. Hope you guys can get off the ship in Miami. Why is having enough grapefruit juice on a cruise an issue? Best RCCL bartenders!!!! Our stateroom attendant was Li, a nicer gentlemen I have never met. I enjoyed speaking with him at length will hopefully run into him again on another cruise. We booked our 2019 and 2020 cruise with Carinha Duarte. Bon Dia Carinha!!! See you in the north!!! She did a fabulous job working with us for our next cruises as well. very informative and helpful with the different ships and venues. We only took the tour of Petra with RCCL, we are finding their tours are over priced and you can usually do better with a private tour company or venture off on your own. We enjoyed Crete (Chania) very much and of course Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Barcelona. We did Jerusalem and the Dead Sea with a private tour operator because it afforded us to see both in the one day we were in port. RCCL offered one or the other. Barcelona is one of our favorite port cities we have been there many times and so we go off on our own and seek out the obscure tapas and wine bars always the best. Going through the Suez Canal was an adventure, so glad we got to experience that. On the whole an excellent vacation with just the few thing we mentioned that hopefully RCCL can address Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of ... Read More
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of the ship and of course, the fact that we had JS helped. At the same time the layout of the storage space was somewhat inconvenient compared to regular balcony on Princess. Our waitress and assistant in MDR was wonderful providing great service. Here are some negatives: our cabin was very dirty when we got in, there was terrible smell, our cabin attendant was nowhere to be found. The air condition was not functioning properly. After a while, the supervisor came by and the issues were taken care of within a day. The food selection and quality was not there, even in the specialty steak house. The Italian and Izumi was very good, both service and food. Also, it appears that all activities were happening in the centrum while a huge lounge remained empty. There were never enough seats in. The centrum and it was difficult to participate in the activities or even watch them. People had to push and shove to get near. Overall it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary is what I want and the price is right. We enjoyed the following ports : Petra, Muscat, Ashdod ( Dead Sea ), Haifa ( Bahai garden ) and the passing of Suez cannel. The food is above average. The service is excellent in the ... Read More
The itinerary is what I want and the price is right. We enjoyed the following ports : Petra, Muscat, Ashdod ( Dead Sea ), Haifa ( Bahai garden ) and the passing of Suez cannel. The food is above average. The service is excellent in the Windjammer. We tried out three rock climbing and the staff are very helpful to encourage us to reach the top. Bartender at the Diamond lounge and the deck 11 lounge are very friendly. My room steward is very hard working and friendly. Too bad he had to leave the ship in Athen due to some visa issues. The land tour to Petra is in the expensive side, we managed to find a private tour only half of the price. However, the Dead Sea tour is very well organize and relaxing even it is called " Dead Sea on your own". The Gym is kind of small and had to wait for most of the machines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We arrived in Dubai the day before the cruise an hour late as usual because of the Emirates flight yet again been late leaving Manchester? EK22 is never on time! Arrived at the Hyatt Regency Deira (after the idiot Taxi driver took us to ... Read More
We arrived in Dubai the day before the cruise an hour late as usual because of the Emirates flight yet again been late leaving Manchester? EK22 is never on time! Arrived at the Hyatt Regency Deira (after the idiot Taxi driver took us to the Hyatt regency Dubai Creek? Clearly he did not know his way around.) Cost 70aed all in all. The Hyatt staff did everything possible to look after us even getting me a cake as it was my 50th Birthday and a top floor room overlooking the Gulf. In the morning got a taxi to the port (25aed) and check in at the pier was a breeze and we was sat on the deck by 12 having our first beer of the day. After reading previous reviews we did not know what to expect, but after been on the Splendour last year doing the same itinerary we was ready for anything, as that was simply the worst cruise we have ever been on, and we let RC know that. But we did not have to worry our room was spot on, inside on deck 8 good size and good configuration (for the size of the ship), Antonio our room guy was excellent, food in My time dining was spot on always hot and served professionally by Joel and Sandee always with a smile and a bit of Banter, and our reservations (which we booked beforehand) were always ready for us and at the same table which was a bonus. The maitre de every evening came to speak to us every night which was lovely. Entertainment was surprisingly pretty good day and night (after been starved of it last year, The revolvers were pretty good as was the Boogie Wonderland night. Drinks were very expensive and we did not get what we asked for in some cocktails as they did not have the correct ingredients and were substituting them for cheap alternatives which we caught then doing and complained about, as the bar menus said what ingredients needed to be in them. Luckily we had the drinks package but if we did not then our combined bar bill would have been over $1900 which is ridiculous, even water is $4 a small bottle, so 5 bottles each there is $40 gone. Bar staff were a bit abrupt and unfriendly and there was not many of them, but the guys and girls walking around getting you drinks were superb. We thought the ship was pretty tidy, ok it is older and smaller and if you have been on the big ones it is not going to compare, but we was well happy. We met a lovely American couple (Steve and Kathleen) who lived in Costa Rica who got us a cake one night in the dining room for our Anniversary, which was amazing and totally unexpected, if your reading this thanks again. For a small ship give it a go the ports are pretty good, some are not, but hey that's cruising. Disembarkation was a disaster, what a scrum this needs sorting. We would do it again so that says it all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Stayed in Dubai pre and post cruise, embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. We had a large interior cabin and had to ask for the bed to be split so that it was easier to get into the beds through the middle rather than the side.The ... Read More
Stayed in Dubai pre and post cruise, embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. We had a large interior cabin and had to ask for the bed to be split so that it was easier to get into the beds through the middle rather than the side.The cupboard doors and the drawers need updating, very noisy when opening and closing. We could hear the cupboard doors shut and open in the cabins either side of ours. The food in the main dining room was ok, for 2 days running we were served cold food, noticed on the second day that the waiter took everyone's orders first and than returned from the galley with all the starters, sometimes 20+, by the time we received ours they wee cold. After this we decided to dine in Windjammers were the choice of food was good. We spent most of our day time in the Solarium, although for adults only children were in the pool and jaccuzi until there were asked to leave by the staff. We also noticed that some smokers were smoking in areas which were not the designated smoking area, RC need to monitor and manage this accordingly. Overall the service was good, the ship definitely needs a good makeover but I would not cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Overall good cruise. Fantastic service from stateroom staff, along with the service from concierge lounge. The service in the reception and shore excursion was at an all-time low - but overall good service other places. We were ... Read More
Overall good cruise. Fantastic service from stateroom staff, along with the service from concierge lounge. The service in the reception and shore excursion was at an all-time low - but overall good service other places. We were surprised at how good the food was in the aquarius restaurant with good service. A bit noisy, and with "forced seating" with strangers at our table (made good friends though!) but overall a nice experience. Dining in the windjammer, not so good. Ports of call was an interesting mix. Khasab was not at all interesting. We made an excursion by bus through RCCL - but the most horrendous guide ever. Also made an excursion in Muscat (much better location), but again guide subpar quality. Another guide in Abu Dhabu - better this time, but still not worth money nor while. My tip for this itinerary; stay onboard or book excursions yourselves, especially if you are under 40 years of age. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Booked this cruise because of the price mainly and the timing was just right. After reading some of the reviews was a little worried but on getting aboard these vanished. Had an ocean view cabin on deck 2. Plenty of space for all our ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the price mainly and the timing was just right. After reading some of the reviews was a little worried but on getting aboard these vanished. Had an ocean view cabin on deck 2. Plenty of space for all our luggage loads of coat hangers etc. One small complaint, not enough information, for instance, where to get towels for sunbeds. We were on anytime dining and didn't book any of our evening meals, had no problems and didn't have to wait to be seated. Food was very good in all of the venue's, didn't go to any of the speciality restaurants so cannot comment on these. Entertainment was not as good as some of the other cruises we have been on hence the four stars, the only highlight being The Revolvers, a sixties tribute band. Didn't do any activities and I think the activities team had to work hard on this cruise to get people to join, on the "sexiest man competition" only one man turned up so he got the prize. Shore excursions were organised well with only one unfortunate holdup that was out of anyone's control. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, and overall helped make the cruise far better than expected. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other ... Read More
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other reviews have stated. The public rooms, showroom and lounges were in very good shape. the crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. We had a suite that was very nice with a wonderful balcony. My wife and i are not major cruise takers, but we have been on Princess, Disney, and Crystal. Disney and certainly Crystal are in a very different class than Royal Carib. Princess about a step above. The main negative we had was the food. Breakfast and most lunch items were fine. The pizza was the worst i ever tasted. When it came to dinner is where it got really bad. The selections were not the problem, just the finished product. The kitchen would have been better off opening a jar of Ragu for their pasta dishes than what they served. I am not going to go further with the food review, since it wasn't that important in our overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ship: We have cruised many times before including Princess, Celebrity, and RC. We travelled as a party of six, all but one had cruised before.This was the smallest ship any of us had been on and we were interested to see how it ... Read More
The ship: We have cruised many times before including Princess, Celebrity, and RC. We travelled as a party of six, all but one had cruised before.This was the smallest ship any of us had been on and we were interested to see how it compared. We all enjoyed our stay on the ship, it was in good condition and well maintained. We certainly wouldn't worry about booking a cruise on this size ship again. Cabins: The cabins we had were all on deck 2 (all inside)which is the lowest deck we have all stayed, it wasn't a problem and sometimes an advantage (getting off the ship).The cabin was very clean as you would expect, the shower had a curtain which wasn't the end of the world for us. We was surprised there wasn't a fridge but then though do we really need one? not really there normally too small anyway. Dining: We all found the dining experience to be a pleasant one, good food something for everyone with the hard working friendly staff that can't do enough for you. Entertainment: As this is a smaller ship it would be unfair to compare (as I think many do) with the larger ships, things are on a smaller scale, but there was still two main productions in the theatre along with some other good acts on other nights. Plenty for everyone ! Service: As good as any we have had on other ships, a very high standard, a great team. Ports: We booked all our trips away from RC (mainly because they did the same but cheaper) Oman,Khasab We did a boat trip which was nice and relaxing, we also saw some dolphins, a must do! Oman, Muscat: We were here for two days, we did a general tour which took us to a beautiful mosque, Muscat is a nice modern friendly place a real eye opener, it got the thumbs up from us. Abu Dhabi: We did a general tour which took in the mosque which is amazing! Dubai: Many of us have been before, it's a popular place to visit. We went to the Global village which was really worth a visit, we was there for over six hours and didn't see it all we only left because we were worn out.Note:ladies have to cover their knee's or they won't get in. Taxi from the ship cost 90 dirham back cost 70 (lighter traffic). Getting a Taxi in Dubai: General rule if your not on the meter don't get in, the first taxi turned the meter off and basically stitched us up 90 dirham when it should have been nearer 50 ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were looking for something not too expensive and an alternative to our usual winter week in the sun in the Canaries. This met the bill and the itinerary looked interesting as neither of us had been to that part of the world at all. ... Read More
We were looking for something not too expensive and an alternative to our usual winter week in the sun in the Canaries. This met the bill and the itinerary looked interesting as neither of us had been to that part of the world at all. Thoroughly enjoyed our week and we thought everything on board was very good. Yes, of course, one can always find fault but we were pleased with our week and would recommend Royal Caribbean and the ship. Not sure about the ports of call and Dubai didn't do it for me at all but I'm glad to have been there at least. Some people we met on board thought the ship looked as bit "tired" - well she's certainly not brand new but many areas have been modernised and the ship was clean so I do not agree with the "tired" comment at all. Staff were very good and one or two were exceptional. The Captain was keen on keeping everyone up to date and he and his senior officers were visible throughout the week. We used MyTime dining which we preferred and we ate twice in the restaurant and four times in the Windjammer (and one night ashore). We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants. Since both of us are trying to watch our calorie intake there was plenty of healthy food on offer and we drank hardly any alcohol at all during the week. What alcohol we did drink we thought to be a bit expensive. The Classic Soda package was fine for us and we reckon it worked out just worth it and no more. One gripe - 18% added to everything on top of everything purchased I thought as bit steep as there is already a daily charge per person for gratuities (which we asked to be removed from our bill and this was done without a problem and without question). As I said - we'd use Royal Caribbean again and recommend it but we won't be going back to the Arabian Gulf even though the weather was wonderful and the sea flat calm throughout. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
It’s such a shame that this ship is getting so many negative reviews, were we on the same ship!? IMO a lot of it is down to lack of research - this is not a big ship like oasis of the seas! We were on it last year and it was impressive ... Read More
It’s such a shame that this ship is getting so many negative reviews, were we on the same ship!? IMO a lot of it is down to lack of research - this is not a big ship like oasis of the seas! We were on it last year and it was impressive but we knew this would be nothing like it, we chose this for the price and the itinerary as it was different from anything we’d done before. The ship is older yes but it is clean and well maintained, the staff were also fantastic on this ship so friendly. Breakfast in the main dining room was excellent, as long as you’re not in a rush as the service was pretty slow. We had lunch in the windjammer just about every day and no complaints whatsoever, food fresh, hot and plenty of choice. I was a bit disappointed that the main dining room only opened for lunch once but not a huge deal when the windjammer was so good. The staff were great in the windjammer and we always managed to get a glass of wine near enough as soon as we sat down. Dinner in the main dining room was very good but service was hit and miss, very slow on formal nights. If we had realised this we would have done our speciality restaurants on those nights, chops was good but not great, we ordered scallops and they were not good at all, it was the quality of the scallops though and not the cooking of them so a bit disappointing, Giovanis was excellent, we also did chefs table for a special treat and it was very good but it didn’t match up to giovanis. We felt it was very long and drawn out, it lasted around 4 hours. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss, the beatles celebration was fantastic and the other headliner show was too but other than that not our cup of tea. However plenty of different bars/areas to choose if you didn’t like something. The centrum usually had something going on in it or the karaoke was a good laugh. I would agree with many others who have said that there weren’t enough sun loungers but we always manged to find somewhere eventually. As many others have said the captain was great on this ship, really friendly and even entertained us a few times with his singing! The ports were great, not much in khasab so do a tour – we did the dhow dolphin cruise for half a day was totally amazing. Muscat was really interesting did mystical muscat though cruising excurions, Abu dhabi we did our own thing and got taxis everywhere, they were so cheap and for us it was the best way to see exactly what we wanted. In dubai we went to see the old town , very interesting and totally different from glitzy/glamourous Dubai. Some great bargains so be had at the souk at the river. Overall we had a great week and would recommend the ship! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise because the itinary was unusual and it didnt dissapoint . We did the dhow cruise in Khasab which was amazing we saw dolphins and wonderful scenery also the Wonders of Dubai trip was very good value you get to see ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinary was unusual and it didnt dissapoint . We did the dhow cruise in Khasab which was amazing we saw dolphins and wonderful scenery also the Wonders of Dubai trip was very good value you get to see the BurJ khalifa lit. up at night and its amazing fountains The ship itself is a little tired but clean All staff were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble Food was excellent in both the main restaurant and buffet The indoor spa area is a nice place to relax and good if you fancy a healthy snack we saw a couple of shows in the evening one was a Beatles tribute band which was very good was also nice to have entertainment going on in the atrium All in all a very enjoyable cruise apart from the very expensive drinks and gratuities what a shame Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a ... Read More
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a little disappointed with the service levels and lack of attention to detail but had no real issues this time. We thought the availability of food in the restaurants was good, the cleanliness was good and service generally good apart from one or two occasions. We were slightly disappointed with one or two occasions in the main dining room at night particularly on one occasion where we were seated but waited for service for quite some time and then received patchy attention throughout our meal. The meal was lukewarm and when I asked for blue cheese for dessert we were advised there wasn't any despite the fact we had seen an extremely large portion delivered to another table on request the previous night. I assume the waiter couldn't be bothered. Drinks service good (deluxe package) and we ate in the speciality restaurants 3 times at a reasonable upgrade and good food/service. We were allocated our room (inside) when we booked but no complaints. Very comfortable and a lot of storage. We did make the mistake of drinking the water in our room at an extra mini bar charge despite having the package but although we had seen another couple refunded for this we were denied and the policy seemed unclear. We didn't get involved with the entertainment out of choice but heard that it was average apart from a very popular Beatles show. Although the ship is one of the older ones to say it is tired would be unfair. We thought it was fine. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and are happy to rate as very good Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were ... Read More
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were transferred to a hotel for breakfast, then boarded ship around 11am, allowed into cabins around 1pm. First impressions on exterior of ship we thought it looked a bit 'tired' i.e. deck/sun beds etc. Didnt spoil our holiday though, interior was OK ...cabin a bit small but not a problem. Unfortunately no cabins in centre of ship available so we had to have one at the rear of the ship. Drinks VERY EXPENSIVE, i.e. small Chardonnay 8 USD PLUS 18 per cent service charge, Proscecco 10 Dollars plus service charge, practically all lager was bottled around 5 USD. Evian water 6 USD - disgraceful!! My partner forgot his Bow Tie so hired one for the evening 8 USD....!! Of course no chance of buying alcohol on shore so we drank very little during the week. On deck/Windjammer buffet area there is tea, coffee, water, flavoured waters available free of charge, also ice cream. There is no kettle in stateroom but another passenger mentioned you could ask for one to be delivered to the room. Food in general OK but nothing special....more in keeping with an average 3 star hotel. Staff everywhere VERY pleasant and willing to please. Found the constant 'plugging' of their excursions, trying to persuade us to buy wine, spa etc quite annoying, in fact we hadn't even boarded the ship when we were accosted. Personally prefer P and O overall but can't complain as it was very good value for money. Tip: take a wide neck plastic bottle to fill from the water fountain if you don't want to keep buying cold drinks. They don't 'advertise" the fact that Shuttle Buses are available as they want you to purchase excursions. in Dubai there are shuttles provided by a couple of Malls, Abu Dhabi - ships shuttle to a Mall in City, we then took a taxi to Mosque, Emirates Palace etc 3 hour trip for 6 persons was around £20 per person. Muscat you can walk to the Souk and/or walk along the Corniche FOC. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Choose this cruise instead of going to the Caribbean as we were worried about zigs virus We had a couple of days in Dubai before the cruise which we would definately recommend The ship was smaller than our usual choice but we liked ... Read More
Choose this cruise instead of going to the Caribbean as we were worried about zigs virus We had a couple of days in Dubai before the cruise which we would definately recommend The ship was smaller than our usual choice but we liked it,we had a balcony cabin 7022 which was nice although we didn't use the balcony very much,our fantastic cabin attendant kept it very clean and comfortable well done Brasil loved the towel animals,we were on my time dining which was good we booked our table for 8.30pm each night and got to meet different people each night,the staff on this cruise were great and could not do enough for us,the shows were a bit limp but ok, and it was very easy to get a drink in the theatre which can be a problem on larger ships the destinations were good and the shore excursions not to expensive and well organised, the food in the buffet was good and plenty of choice and the food in the main restaurant was also good quality and well served,yes the morning buffet is busy but it's the same on all cruises we have done [10+ ] this was our second RC cruise the first was Anthem of seas,which we loved, we like royal Caribbean they seem to put a bit more effort in to entertainment side which we like,we are trying the Oasis of the seas in two weeks and are looking forward to finding out what a large ship is like [ can't wait ] All in All a good cruise for us, sure there's things to complain about if you look hard enough, we go on cruises to enjoy so don't look for negatives and we would go on Vision again,in fact we have just booked its sister ship for January 2018 Caribbean as part of a land tour holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our second RC cruise and although Vision of the Seas is a much smaller ship than we cruised on before it had many features that we preferred. The pool area was less busy and there was no bum fights for sun beds as before. With ... Read More
This was our second RC cruise and although Vision of the Seas is a much smaller ship than we cruised on before it had many features that we preferred. The pool area was less busy and there was no bum fights for sun beds as before. With fewer passengers the bar areas and restaurants were less busy. It is not really a cruise liner for teenagers (luckily we didn't take ours this time) and the clientele was much older. At 44 I think we were amongst the youngest of passengers. Staff were all very attentive in the restaurants and bars and our cabin maid kept our room immaculate, changing the bedding daily. I would have liked to have had tea making facilities in the room but it really isn't a hardship to trot upstairs to one of the drink stations. The drinks packages are expensive but the wine was of a very good standard and I think we got our monies worth over the period of the week. We didn't book any excursions as these are quite pricey. We simply took the free shuttle bus rides into the towns and then explored independently on foot, using a taxi to return to the ship from Dubai (only $15). Check in/out is a very organised proceedure and we didn't have to queue at any time. Our luggage was delivered straight to our room for when we arrived and delivered to the collection point on disembarking. Overall an excellent cruise. We hope to cruise again with RC In the near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had not taken a cruise with RCI in several years and although we were a bit disappointed in how everything seemed to have gone down a notch (except the service of many of the crew), we still did have a fun time on our Arabian Gulf ... Read More
We had not taken a cruise with RCI in several years and although we were a bit disappointed in how everything seemed to have gone down a notch (except the service of many of the crew), we still did have a fun time on our Arabian Gulf Cruise aboard the Vision of the Seas. We travelled with 6 other family members. HIGHLIGHTS: attentive waitstaff and room steward, friendly cruise activities staff, interesting ports of call and the time allotted, a wonderful Muscat Mosque shore excursion, amazing magician show (I thought the audience should have been more responsive), fun & creative game activities, beautiful gleaming décor throughout the ship, very smooth boarding and deboarding process. FROWNS: a mild but persistent septic smell in our deck 3 corridor, very limited hours for the self-serve ice cream, small offerings at late night Park Café, uninteresting portrait backgrounds, never any vacant deck chairs but way too many unoccupied towel-draped chairs on the outside decks (always plenty vacant ones in the Solarium, though). TWO THUMBS DOWN: because of the inappropriate dress of one of the guests, 35 minutes of our Abu Dhabi city and Mosque tour were wasted while we waited for our guide to sort out the issue (in the meantime, the rest of us were left standing on the inside of the mosque security check entrance not knowing what was going on). Since both ship literature and the shore excursion staff had given ample warning and clear instructions about proper head and body covering at the mosques, we still don't understand how our tour guide could allow an inappropriately covered person to even get in line when we got off at the mosque stop. Several of us reported this to the shore excursion desk afterwards but we have yet to receive any follow-up apology. As for shore excursions on the whole, we were very pleased. Our groups were never excessively large and all our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and personable. Considering that the grand mosques in Muscat and Abu Dhabi have limited visiting hours, we felt the best way to see them was as part of an organized ship tour. In particular we were most impressed with our guide Abdullah in Muscat, who was both informative and entertaining and knew how to herd us through the streets and sites efficiently! Khasab: The ship should have been provided us clearer instructions regarding the free shuttle from the ship to the town of Khasab. Hoping to take the shuttle and then walk to the nearby Khasab Castle/Fort, we got off when the driver stopped in front of what looked like the town center - a block or two of small shops (not knowing, that there was yet another stop further along the route.) Following minimal directions we got from a passerby, we walked hesitantly about 20 minutes along a very quiet dusty, and fairly uninteresting road until we were relieved to arrive at the old Portuguese castle. It was small but quite fascinating (entrance fee of .5 Omani rial, or 5 dirhams). But what we did discover after chatting with some other cruise passengers we met there was that the shuttle route is a LOOP first stopping in town (1/2 way point) and then stopping at the Castle - the 3/4 point of the loop. In fact, from the top of the Castle, we could even see our cruise ship docked just across the water! We did enjoy taking our time looking through the old fortress, especially with so few visitors there. We also enjoyed going across the street to the Lulu Hypermarket (yes, it’s a HUGE store) where we bought a variety of dates and other local snack food. Going back to the ship, we just stood outside the castle along the main road and soon enough, the shuttle van arrived to take us back to the ship. We were just minutes away! Muscat: To get a good feel of the port, we took the shore excursion to the Qaboos Mosque, the Mutrah Souk, and other parts of the city. Wonderful! In the evening we ventured out on our own. Note that the cruise ship gets around the visa issue by collecting our passports while we are in Oman, and giving each of us a special pass as we leave the ship and which we had to return when we re-boarded. We took the free shuttle that took us to the end of the pier and the start of the seawall (Corniche). From there we strolled along the Corniche, getting a taste of the Omani nightlife and where we viewed the Sultan's two yachts that were moored in the harbor, and then shopped in the Mutrah Souk. Very pleasant and very safe. The whole passport collection and return was done in a very efficient way, too. Not a small task. Bravo, RCI. Abu Dhabi: Hopefully our "mishap" on our shore excursion was a rarity - the bulk of the tour was excellent. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-see! Also, the free wifi at the Abu Dhabi terminal is excellent and there are plenty of benches for sitting while you catch up on email or send photos. Shopping opportunities there as well. The wifi even reached as far as the Aquarius Dining Room while our ship was docked! Dubai: The complimentary shuttle to the Mercato Mall was very convenient. On our last day, we went on the shore Excursion: City Tour with Airport Drop-off. Another well-thought feature. A highlight of this city tour but not mentioned in the cruise write-up (why not??!!) was a 10 minute stop in Jumeirah so we could run out onto the beach and have a perfect photo op in front of the iconic Burj al Arab. Our guide also took us on a walk to a couple of spice and gold souks but these were more like regular stores on the main street rather than the intriguing stalls in the winding alleys of the Deira district, so that was disappointing. We appreciated the two day docking in Dubai so we could take a desert dinner tour. However we went through another agency for the Red Dune Bashing/Bedouin BBQ tour because the ones offered on the ship did not include Dune Bashing – or didn’t mention that. We booked this one before our cruise and fortunately we were able to be picked up right at the ship terminal - a memorable experience riding the red dunes in the Lahbab desert with dinner and entertainment at the Bedouin camp! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for a winter break,but was a little apprehensive due to negative feedback we read before leaving. We have been with Royal Carribean before and knew what level of service is offered,well we were not dissapointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a winter break,but was a little apprehensive due to negative feedback we read before leaving. We have been with Royal Carribean before and knew what level of service is offered,well we were not dissapointed. The staff and service were amazing only encountered a couple that were not so helpful on the customer service desk apart from that the staff fall over themselves to make your holiday a memorable one.We were asked on several occasions is everything okay can they get us anything. One review I read was that the food was the same in the Windjammer well I defy anyone to not find something different everyday to eat the food is amazing. I found some people were rude to the staff with no please or thankyou dosent cost anything. Our room was a little small but you are only sleeping there so did not find it a problem. very clean bed changed every day with cleaning staff very nice. Shore excursions were reasonable enjoyed the big bus tour of Dubai at night, wrap up though cold on the top. My only criticism would of been that the windows on the side of the ship were very dirty especially on the top deck.on our other cruise they would be cleaned daily when in port but it was a new boat. Do not know what some people expect, the boat is 20 years old but spotless. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first cruise so I cannot compare it with other cruises but overall we had a good experience. Our youngest child had difficulty going to the kids club and the staff did not have much patience for him, so at times it was ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I cannot compare it with other cruises but overall we had a good experience. Our youngest child had difficulty going to the kids club and the staff did not have much patience for him, so at times it was difficult to find anything else for him to do on the ship. He spent a lot of time watching TV when we were at sea! Our other kids loved the kids club and wanted to spend every second they could there. The pool is quite small so at times it felt too crowded to take the kids there and the rock climbing wall is for 6+ and only open for a couple hours a day. The dining room felt really slow with trying to get four kids to behave and wait patiently for their food, so after two nights of trying with them, we gave up and ate all of our meals at the Windjammer. We actually thought the food was better in the Windjammer and way easier with kids. There were times, it was way too crowded and it was difficult to find a table but overall it was fine. The staff was usually really helpful with our kids and always nice. The excursions seemed super over price and I'm glad we ended up finding our own tour guides. Our private tours ended up being much cheaper than the excursions and they were sooooo much better. At least for us, we prefer not traveling in a big group and the private tours were just our family. For our guide in Muscat, we used Nasser al-Mazrui. He took us on an amazing adventure to a sinkhole, a beach, and to see a couple wadi's. My kids loved it!! His number is +968 9214 5678 and his email is nassermazrui39@gmail.com. In Khasab, we took a boat tour to see the dolphins, the fjords, and do some snorkeling. It was FANTASTIC!! We used Mohammed and I contacted him through WHATSAPP..his number is +968 9902 8609. He charged the same for all 6 of us as the ship charged for one of us! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Check in was a breeze. It must have only taken 20 minutes. We had a large Ocean view on Deck 4 and this was perfect. There were no vibrations and you couldn't hear next door either! This is a nice size ship and has good ... Read More
Check in was a breeze. It must have only taken 20 minutes. We had a large Ocean view on Deck 4 and this was perfect. There were no vibrations and you couldn't hear next door either! This is a nice size ship and has good amenities. It was difficult to find a sunbed on the sea day. All the food was good. We ate in the main dining room every night. It was getting wraps from the Deli in the Solarium at lunchtime. The entertainment in the Theatre was really good and it was nice that most things centred around the Centrum too in the evening in-between the shows. Good ports of call. We bought a combo ticket online ourselves with the Big Bus company for Muscat, Abu Dhabi & Dubai. The bus comes direct to the ship. It was an easy way to see the cities. We didn't do any other tours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Normally I don't cruise around Christmas time. The prices are too high. But this offer was unbelievable. The prices startet at 299 € per person. We had a nice veranda cabin midships. Big enough for one week. I had no great dining ... Read More
Normally I don't cruise around Christmas time. The prices are too high. But this offer was unbelievable. The prices startet at 299 € per person. We had a nice veranda cabin midships. Big enough for one week. I had no great dining exportations. What could you expect at this low prices? But ist was great. For breackfast I only need some "muesli", fruits and a cup of tea or coffee. Some vegetables for lunch. At night in the main dining rooom I found always something I liked. It was not the luxury I had on other ships. But you can't expect lobster at this pricees. The service was very good. Especially at the Windjammer the service was outstanding. Over all the entertainment was fine. But the shows on the new ships are much better and more sophisticated. The excursions were well organized and worth the money. It was my first trip to this area and I loved it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The ship itself was very good but as reviewed before the dress code was very poor and I remember one night in the top restaurant the guy at the next table had T shirt shorts and thongs on and this was when the advertised dress for men was ... Read More
The ship itself was very good but as reviewed before the dress code was very poor and I remember one night in the top restaurant the guy at the next table had T shirt shorts and thongs on and this was when the advertised dress for men was a minimum of a jacket. Getting on and off was no problem and there were never any long lines.The biggest problem was visiting India where it was $100 for a visa and you had to jump through hoops to get and then have to front up to an indian official on the ship while he checked you were really you.....never Seen it before. Another problem was anytime dining if you did not book your time the day before you could only get in at 6 0 pm or 8 45 pm that night,so much for anytime. I am not to sure if the outside pool will be really popular as it is next to the kids waterworld and some of those kids can scream. Plenty of deckchairs so you will not miss out there. Like most cruises the entertainment ranged from really good to "what retirement home is this guy from" Overall pretty good, with the cabins a bit bigger but short on hanging space,the shower was excellent Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks ... Read More
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks and crannies. Once we discovered how to make bookings for the dining rooms, our dining experience was excellent. However, there is a need to have information available as to how to make these reservations as it is very different to the usual dining arrangements on all other ships. We found the staff very friendly and they did try their best to answer queries but as the ship was so new and quite different in its operation, they struggled at times. People need to understand this is a very different situation to what we all know and give the staff a chance. Entertainment and activities were tremendous. The specialty shows were amazing and so professional. Wonderful! We were so busy at times that finding time to swim in the excellent choice of pools became quite difficult! Thanks for all that was available! We would definitely cruise again on Ovation - we loved it! Am sad that there are so many impatient, whinging, complaining cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean has put together a very appealing vessel, but still it often felt like, well, like I was on more of a budget cruise. Food is abundant, with plenty of options, but a lot of those options are pretty low-quality. I suspect they cut corners behind the scenes as well, as I often had need of guest services to resolve problems, and the lines at guest services were always (ALWAYS) intolerably long. For example, the internet wasn't working for half of my cruise. I had prepaid for an unlimited package, so not having it for several days should warrant some sort of credit. Whenever I had a chance to ask someone about that (which, again, involved waiting in a really long line), the answer was something along the lines of "uhhh, we're working on it, you'll probably receive some sort of credit". That was a typical response to any issue I had. And I never did receive any credit. But internet outages were as bad as my issues got. It was easy to overlook them when there were so many fun activities to partake in on the ship. Between all of the music and theater venues, the place was really alive with entertainment. At night you could just wander around and choose from plenty of great places to sit down and hear some quality musical performances. I usually headed for the Music Hall. Or Two70. Or Michael's Genuine Pub. Or, really, it was always just a pleasure to hang out in the Royal Esplanade, which was always bustling with energy. I should perhaps point out that I traveled solo. This was my first solo cruise experience, and it exceeded my expectations. (See below for my review of the Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony.) It is as easy to join in some fun with newly-made friends as it is to find your own enjoyment of a less-social nature. Also, it was probably a little easier to get tables without a reservation. Which brings me to the restaurant situation. They are going for something like Norwegian's "Freestyle Cruising" concept, where you're not committed to a dining time and there isn't even a main dining room. But in practice, it doesn't really work like that. First of all, even though there isn't technically a "main dining room", there really kind of is. It's just split into four rooms and four menus. And my experience with them was mostly mediocre. I'm not generally too picky there, so if you are, you probably will find the food quality lacking. And even though you're supposed to be able to eat whenever you want, you still have to make reservations, or you will likely be turned away. (Although, as I said, less likely if you're solo.) I also tried Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, Chop's Grille, and Jamie's Italian. The first two were maybe not enough of an improvement to justify the extra price. But Jamie's definitely was. I went there three times, had different meals each time, and was always deeply satisfied. I also got a cupcake for $2.95 at Patisserie, and it was no better than a week-old supermarket bakery reject. But Ovation of the Seas has many complimentary food options. The pizza place in the Royal Esplanade had really sub-par pizza, but it was open late so I still wandered down for an occasional slice. But next to it was Cafe Promenade, which was open non-stop and had some really nice little sandwiches and pastries. There's a complimentary hot dog stand in the SeaPlex area, which claims on its menu to have "German mustard" but has no such thing. Still okay to have around, though. And I went to Cafe Two70 a few times, and had some nice salads. Oh, and that was a great place for breakfast. Speaking of SeaPlex and Two70, I just loved those multi-purpose spaces. Especially the latter, which was a lovely, comfortable lounge to relax in by day, and which transformed (I mean REALLY transformed) into a striking, elaborate performance venue for Spectra's Cabaret in the evening. That was a really spectacular show that I'll never forget. And SeaPlex is really impressive the way they constantly convert it from a skating rink to a bumper car ride to a multi-purpose court for ball games. I had read that they leveraged technology to make for zippy embarkation, but I didn't find it to be any faster than normal. Disembarkation was fine, although the crew was very noisy in the halls when picking up our luggage overnight. I got one of those wristbands that is supposed to do the same thing as the seapass card, but that was more trouble than it was worth because it sometimes didn't work, and it was annoying to have to take it off and hand it to people such as the waiters at the restaurants. I'll just close this review with a list of things I have fond memories of, in no particular order: Spectra's Cabaret, hanging out in Two70 when the performers from Spectra's Cabaret were rehearsing (or really any other time I was in there), the puzzle room, the pop choir activities with the cruise director staff, all the Music Hall bands (but especially the Queen and Beatles tribute acts), Jamie's Italian, my Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, the Mystical Muscat excursion in Oman, the hundreds of pieces of eye-catching modern art, Royal Egg Muffins for breakfast at Cafe Two70, lounging in the Solarium, pretend-skydiving at iFly (did that twice, loved it), the North Star, the meet-and-greet I attended in one of the incredible Royal Loft Suites, the sight of this enormous ship looming above the docks in Dubai, Muscat, Kochi, Penang, and Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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