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Sail Date: October 2011
We have just returned from our family's first trip to Europe. We decided to cruise to get a taste of Europe and for the convenience of having one room for the entire trip . The trip was fabulous! The Liberty of the Seas is a good ship ... Read More
We have just returned from our family's first trip to Europe. We decided to cruise to get a taste of Europe and for the convenience of having one room for the entire trip . The trip was fabulous! The Liberty of the Seas is a good ship for families, groups and couples, though there were very few children on this cruise due to the time of year, most children are in school. We spent an extra day in Barcelona on our own which was great fun, we toured the city on a double deck-er bus then strolled Las Rambles. We boarded ship just after noon and were pleased to find our room ready, allowing us to unpack and get a snack before heading for the mandatory Muster Drill. Our Junior Suite with balcony was a good size for our family, I was pleased to have a closet to put suitcases away and hang clothes. There were ample cupboards and drawers as well. We ate in the main dining room each evening and tried room service, the open buffet and the dining room for breakfasts. The food and menus were uninspired and average. By the end of the trip I didn't want to see another scrambled egg! Staff was helpful for the most part, with two exceptions, our cabin attendant--and the security detail. On two occasions we mistakenly went below to disembark, and were greeted quite curtly -- with a demand for ID, and excursion tickets before being given directions to the proper location for disembarking. Also, on re boarding, when a passenger set of an alarm, they were again treated a bit harshly, I thought, and as one who set off an alarm due to the trim on my outfit, I was a bit taken back. The ports of call and excursions were very good, we chose a variety of tours, some half day, some exclusive. Guides were very knowledgeable most of the lunches served were exceptional and buses were quite comfortable and clean. Our cabin attendant was quite poor - on the first night we requested coffee cups, and when none were provided, my husband made a cup in a glass then headed out to a restaurant to get a cup of coffee for me. Our daughter slept on the hide a bed, which was made up with one sheet and a dirty blanket the first night which prompted me to make a list for the next day. Three coffee cups were never provided, glasses were not replaced, the extra blanket we requested never materialized but three flat sheets did. Sadly, my daughter only got one towel animal while the little girl down the hall got one every night. The funniest/saddest moment with our cabin attendant was when we requested some more coffee creamer. He told us that the creamers were only for people in the bigger suites, not the Junior Suites.. I sort of laughed to myself, as we had had ample creamer until we got our one coffee cup, because additional cups were "on back order" according to our cabin attendant. By contrast, we had such fun with our waiters each night. Our service was impeccable. Our beverage porter even procured Limoncello for our table when he discovered there was none on the ship. On the last day of the cruise, we had an opportunity to try out many of the ships amenities, including a skating rink, flow rider, rock wall, and swimming pools. Aside from the music being painfully loud around the pool area, the amenities were great. We also took the towel folding class, (since our cabin attendant wasn't going to do it, we figured we would) the class was more of a demonstration, than a class. We watched staff fold various animals and were given a pamphlet from which to learn on our own. It was over in less than 20 minutes. We also tried a cup cake decorating class, which cost $`5, and lasted all of about 15 minutes. Our daughter is twelve and looked forward to visiting the game arcade and the "Living Room" for 12 to 17 year olds. Unfortunately, it was more for 17 year olds so we enjoyed ping pong and the arcade in the evenings. One thing that cruisers often talk about is the "all inclusive" aspect of cruises. However this cruise seemed to up charge for many things. Staff would encourage the guests to try these items, stating that there would be a "small" extra charge...an unpleasant financial surprise might await at the end if one is not careful. Would I cruise again, yes. Would I like to try other cruise lines, yes, I now have the "travel bug" and look forward to visiting Spain, France and Italy on our own so we can experience them in more depth. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Just recently finished our sailing with Allure of the Seas for the October 16th 2011 sailing. Here is my review being as objective as possible: - Food in main dining room was of low quality. Lackluster dish presentation, bland tasting ... Read More
Just recently finished our sailing with Allure of the Seas for the October 16th 2011 sailing. Here is my review being as objective as possible: - Food in main dining room was of low quality. Lackluster dish presentation, bland tasting food, and limited menu. We ended up tired of going there and skipped the same at the end. - Food in specialty restaurants were of great quality, great presentation, and very tasty, especially Chops Grille! Highly recommended. If you have the money I would skip the main dining all together. - Having sailed in other cruises, including other RC ships, we found most shows to be boring. Chicago though was very good. - Although the Cruise had several entertainment options and activities, we found these completely lacking, especially for a ship that spends 3 days at sea. One does really get bored. Being a couple in their 30's and early 40's, we found most activities and entertainment targeted to an older population, specifically american, for a ship carrying such a culturally diverse crowd. For a ship with so many bars were one would expect a lively nightlife, these were dead most of the time. Our sailing unfortunately was filled with rainy days and many cancelled outdoor activities. Although we understand that weather is unexpected, there should have been a plan B for indoor entertainment. - Not all was dissapointing, beautiful cruise ship, so many different places to be and see, excellent ambience, Central Park is beautiful, Promenade is awesome. In sum, beautiful ship with lots of potential to correct the flaws. But so far not worth the higher premium. Never feels cramped until you need help or get in an elevator. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We were part of a group of eight first time cruisers on Royal Caribbean, and all agreed that it would not be our last. We started with a great time in Baltimore capped off with a wonderful pre-cruise dinner at G&M Seafood Restaurant. ... Read More
We were part of a group of eight first time cruisers on Royal Caribbean, and all agreed that it would not be our last. We started with a great time in Baltimore capped off with a wonderful pre-cruise dinner at G&M Seafood Restaurant. There were a total of 12 Cruise Critics at the dinner where we all had top notched Maryland crab cakes. We booked one night before and one night after the cruise at Comfort Inn Airport. Hotel was just ok, but the price was reasonable which included a full breakfast and a shuttle to the cruise terminal. Arrived at the cruise terminal at 11:00 am and was on-board having lunch around 11:45 am. Boarding and departing the ship in Baltimore was the easiest of any cruise terminal we have experienced. Weather for our cruise was great except for Boston where we had rain and fog. Bar Harbor had a record high of 90 deg. while we were there. We enjoyed all of the ports, but Halifax was our favorite. In Halifax we had booked a private tour with Your Cabs. Our driver was Jonathon Duru who has to the best tour guide we have ever booked. His knowledge of the history of Halifax, the Titanic and Peggy's Cove was outstanding. As for the Enchantment, Like I have stated, this was our first cruise with RCI and we were very pleased. When comparing the Enchantment to most of the Carnival ships that we have sailed with, I would have to say that RCI's style is more to our liking. Food was as good or better and entertainment was comparable. Our stateroom was smaller than on Carnival but had much more storage available. Now for the negative. I'm sure that I am not the first to observe this, but RCI must do something about the overcrowding of the public rooms such as the theater and the Market Place buffet. I understand that this was caused by the addition of staterooms during the last refit. I would hope that RCI will address this during Enchantment's next refit. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Unable to resist the almost ridiculously low rates for this voyage and the availablity of very reasonably priced air from NY to Istanbul, my wife and I decided to return to the Mediterranean. Let me state - unequivocally - that this trip ... Read More
Unable to resist the almost ridiculously low rates for this voyage and the availablity of very reasonably priced air from NY to Istanbul, my wife and I decided to return to the Mediterranean. Let me state - unequivocally - that this trip met or exceeded all expectations. The ship, while obviously older (1998), was in very good shape. It does show some age with some of the design and furnishings, but this did not in any way deter our enjoyment. Our cabin - large outside - was absolutely perfect for the two of us. The only signs of wear were a few "dings" in the furniture, but everything else was absolutely fine. Sure....we missed the interactive flat screen TV's that we have experienced on newer ships, but this was a minor issue. Staff was unfailingly polite and attentive. Our cabin steward kept the stateroom in very good shape and the cleaning was meticulous. Dining in the main dining room (Aquarius) was very good - there was never a time that we could not find something to enjoy for dinner. While the food was definitely not "gourmet," it was as good as any main dining room food we have had. It is clear that the lines have cut back on the higher end choices - no lobster tails, no crab legs, generally lesser cuts of meat (filet mignon was available at a $14.95 upcharge), but again, absolutely adequate. We DID miss the optional dining experience we had on Royal Caribbean a couple of years ago, but we knew that it would not be available and it was not a major issue. Complaints? It was very apparent to us that in the past two years, RCCL has significantly raised the price of "extras." Wines were offered at 3 - 4 times retail. $10 bottles were routinely offered at $35 - $40. I would expect this at a NY restaurant, but not onboard. Glasses of wine ranged from $8.00 to more than $15.00 - really overpriced. Most mixed drinks were in the $8.50 - $10.50 range. Keep in mind that all of these were given a mandatory 15% service charge. Spa treatments were absurdly expensive - 50 min. massages for $150! I guess that the reality of the marketplace dictates that the cruises have to be deeply discounted but every attempt is made to recoup the lower margins by charging close to outlandish prices for onboard services and purchases. The thing that stands out most was a "special behind the scenes tour" of the ship for $150 a person. This is NOT a mistake - $150!!!!! In the past, these kinds of tours were routinely given for free. All in all, a wonderful cruise and a very nice ship. The only real negative was an outbreak of the Norovirus and a fairly large number of people (including my wife) getting sick onboard. To their credit, the ship made every effort to avoid the spread of the virus and care for those who had contracted it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Just returned from a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. Beautiful ship and had a wonderful time. It's a great cruise for active families or anyone who wants a lot of options of things to do. Shows were wonderful - the food couldn't be better ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. Beautiful ship and had a wonderful time. It's a great cruise for active families or anyone who wants a lot of options of things to do. Shows were wonderful - the food couldn't be better in my opinion. We had some wonderful meals and the wait staff was terrific. All of the staff are friendly, helpful and pleasant. The ship is so incredibly large that you never feel movement at all and the beds are fantastically comfortable. We were two women dressing for dinner every night and had no problem at all moving around the cabin.

Improvements needed are few: for one, the coffee is absolutely terrible and by the end of the cruise I had to start watering it down just to drink it! Also - we so enjoyed the formal dinner nights (we had two) but the dress code is not enforced and one night we sat with a couple in tee shirts and shorts! It's not like there are not other options for dining if you don't choose to dress up! That was a little disappointing for us. Also, in this day and age, charging for wireless internet is disappointing - and expensive!

For me personally, I think I would prefer a smaller, more intimate cruise experience on my next cruise. Oasis is an impressive ship - but it seems very "closed in" to me. Lots of glass enclosures but I would rather have the feeling of being outside more, not feel like I'm on the inside looking out! Pools are not that impressive and are rather small for such a big ship and passenger size - although there are many of them. The Solarium is beautiful, but again - you feel like you are inside looking out through glass.

I would love to try another cruise line at some point and will do some searching of reviews on other lines - I've only cruised on Royal Caribbean (Jewel of the Seas five years ago) and would absolutely cruise with them again and highly recommend!

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Sail Date: September 2011
The ship was very impressive our room was larger than on other cruises we were on. we had a room with a Balcony which was a big plus. Even the bathroom wasn't a bad size. The food in the main restaurant in the evening was good but in ... Read More
The ship was very impressive our room was larger than on other cruises we were on. we had a room with a Balcony which was a big plus. Even the bathroom wasn't a bad size. The food in the main restaurant in the evening was good but in the buffet one it was alway cold and the same menu every day no variety. The ports of calls were not great really enjoyed Kopei and Dubrovnik but should have stayed on board in Bari. It was not a very nice location especially the old town felt like we steped back in time but not for nice reason. It was like walking into a slum. The house were really run down and children tearing through the narrow streets on bike. The staff were very helpful on the ship until you had a problem. We returned to our room one day and the lad cleaning the room advised that the toilet was leaking and that he had reported it. We left the room and came back a few hours later to a flood. We rang maintenance 3 time and they kept saying they fixed it even though it was still flooding. Ended up going down to reception to complain and she got the same answer from maintenance. They promised to send up a man but a girl with a cloth to dry the floor arrive. She again had to ring before they believed us. Beware of buying watches etc on board. I bought a watch and when I got home it didn't work. Emailed them and they won't replace or refund as it was bought duty free on the sea. Its their rule if it is an expensive watch I would have to contact the maker no signs on board to this effect. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We had a great cruise. Bermuda was a great destination and the ship was very luxurious.

We drove down from Toronto, Canada the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn in Parsippany, NJ overnight. It ... Read More

We had a great cruise. Bermuda was a great destination and the ship was very luxurious.

We drove down from Toronto, Canada the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn in Parsippany, NJ overnight. It was only about a 1/2 hr drive to the port from there and we paid $95 cash up front to park at the cruise terminal. We were able to board the ship around noon, however the rooms were not ready until 1:30 pm. They had the Windjammer open for lunch though to pass the time.

The food on the ship was outstanding. We purchased the soft drink package and used this quite frequently during the cruise (unlimited coke, sprite, diet coke, ginger ale). We dined in the main dining room every night except for the formal night(2nd night of the cruise), when we went to Portifino. It was definitely worth it to try Portifino, which had a $20/person cover charge. The food and service were slightly better than the main dining room. But I don't think I would go there each night. For breakfast we ate in the main dining room when we had time as the food is much better quality than in the Windjammer. We ate breakfast at the Windjammer when we were docked in Bermuda in order to make it on time to our excursions. For lunch, we mainly ate at the Windjammer, however one day we tried Johnny Rockets, which was also worth the $5/person cover charge. The staff were extremely friendly and the milkshakes and extremly large burgers tasted great. Any place that has unlimited fries and onion rings is great in my books. If you were hungry late a night there were always warm cookies available in the Cafe Promenade.

We tried a large oceanview cabin on this cruise. It had a king-sized bed, which was a little on the hard side, but a nice big window at the front of the ship. I think next time we'll try a balcony room so we can leave the door open and get the ocean breeze at night. Even though the bathroom is tiny, the shower was a decent size. Our cabin steward, Jeff, was so friendly. He greeted us by name everytime we passed by him in the hallways and he kept our room very clean. Every night he left us a towel animal and put the sunglasses we left in the room on it.

There was always so much to do on the ship. We played mini golf, ping pong, basketball, video games, rock climbed, took gambling lessons in the casino and lost money at the casino. The events on the pool deck (world's sexiest man and the belly flop competitions) also kept us amused the days we were at sea. Each night we enjoyed going to the main production show after dinner. There was a very talented ballroom couple that were a pleasure to watch.

While docked in Bermuda, we explored the island ourselves the first day using public transportation $12/person pass, which you can buy right outside the boat on the dock in Bermuda. My recommendation is the take the ferry to St. Georges first thing in the morning and then take the bus back to Hamilton. On the way back to Hamilton you can stop at the aquarium. From Hamilton you can take the bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach - a definitely must see. Hop back on the bus back to the Dockyards where the ship is. We also took the Bermuda Triangle glass bottom boat night excursion, which was definitely worth it. We were able to see the coral reef, a ship wreck and the captain made jokes the entire trip. There was also unlimited Rum Swizzels on the way back.

Even though there were thousands of passengers on board you could always find a place to go where there was no one else, especially after dinner time. We went in the hot tub a couple of nights and we had it to ourselves most of the time.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
Just returned from our first ever cruise on The Royal Carribean, Grandeur of the Seas. We thought the ship was lovely, just the right size, nicer than I expected after reading some reviews on trip advisor.

There were plenty of ... Read More

Just returned from our first ever cruise on The Royal Carribean, Grandeur of the Seas. We thought the ship was lovely, just the right size, nicer than I expected after reading some reviews on trip advisor.

There were plenty of activities provided on the ship in fact we didn't have time to participate in them all as we were off the ship for 4 days.

The service was exceptional in all areas, particularly in the main dining hall where we had a fantastic waiter, Amel.

Our 3 excursions were brilliant, when we booked initially we thought they were expensive but they were well worth the money.

Our transfer from the airport to the ship was excellent with an added extra stop at a beautiful castle in Majorca. The return trip was just as well organised although there was a big queue for check in which is to be expected.

Our stateroom although very small was designed very well with plenty of storage and made us realise you don't actually need a big room.

Dining was excellent, plenty of places to get food whenever you wanted, from 6.00am to 2.00am. My son loved the fact he could get free ice cream whenever he wanted.

The childrens club looked good with plenty to do but my son never actually went.

The entertainment was good, in particular a Beatles tribute band.

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Sail Date: April 2011
We spent 4 days in Dubai at the Traders Hotel before embarking on RCI Brilliance of the Seas. Hotel was OK for the airport and cruise port, but a bit too far away from the tourist attractions of Dubai. Embarkation was the easiest that I ... Read More
We spent 4 days in Dubai at the Traders Hotel before embarking on RCI Brilliance of the Seas. Hotel was OK for the airport and cruise port, but a bit too far away from the tourist attractions of Dubai. Embarkation was the easiest that I have experienced. No wait at all at the terminal and luggage delivered in about an hour.

The ship was only half full, having had the itinerary much modified to account for problems in Egypt. From Oman to Rome was 9 days at sea. The longest stint at sea I and the crew had experienced. However, the first few days of the holiday on land and sea was hectic and the rest was welcome.

My first experience of RCI and will probably be the last. Apart from some brilliant musicians on board who entertained several times a day, I am unable to give a 10 out of 10 for almost any other feature of the cruise.

Most notable feature of on board life was the over the top cost of extras, particularly drinks. Even the discounted wine packages were over the top. $4.50 for a bottle of water was perhaps the biggest excess. I am not a heavy drinker, just one or two alcoholic drinks per day, but my bar bill ended in being twice what I have expected ti pay compared to recent cruises with other lines.

Food in the buffet was better than the dining room. The dining room food did not have the good, strong taste that is the hallmark of American cuisine. Very bland.

Entertainment was quite varied, but about as good as you will get in a local club or pub back home. Quite a few acts were cruise regulars, with acts that have hardly changed in two or three years.

I wanted to see Dubai and the Middle East, and I have and have memories that will stay with me, especially the central mosque in Abu Dhabi, but the cruising part of the holiday did not inspire me much at all. Disappointing really, when conversations with other RCI regulars painted a much brighter picture.

One other first too. We had the SAS on board for a few days whilst sailing the Gulf of Aden and into the Red Sea just in case Somalian pirates fancied their chances. Black clad individuals casually carrying heavy shoulder bags. They were taken off by tender whist still at sea. Ship sailed blacked out at night, and a 'safe haven' drill was carried out.

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Sail Date: February 2011
This was our 6th cruise, the 3rd with Royal Caribbean and the first on the Serenade of the Seas. This is one of the smaller RC ships and we loved it. At no time did we feel crowded like we've felt on other ships. We didn't have to search ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, the 3rd with Royal Caribbean and the first on the Serenade of the Seas. This is one of the smaller RC ships and we loved it. At no time did we feel crowded like we've felt on other ships. We didn't have to search for seats in the Windjammer, except for the morning of debarkation.

We were impressed with the quality and attention paid to the layout and the interior decor of the ship. On the Serenade you could walk from bow to stern without having to go up a deck, through the casino then down a deck. The decor was elegant and understated. Our stateroom with balcony was tastefully decorated and most importantly, the bed was comfortable.

We were pleased there were no obstructions on the balcony as we spend a fair amount of time on the balcony; before breakfast having coffee and before dinner having cocktails.

The staff, from the dining room to the stateroom attendants, was fantastic. They were very knowledgeable and had a great attitude. Our stateroom attendant, Leon, did a great job.

We ate breakfast in the Windjammer where there was a wide selection of food, all of which tasted great. We never had to look far to find a table next to a window. For dinner we chose "my time dining" which worked out very well for us. We ate dinner in the Reflections dining room. The menu choices were varied and the food was VERY well prepared. As a Sous Chef for 17 years I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and the presentation of each course.

The wine selection was nice and our waiter, Ajay, was well versed in what wine would pair nicely with the meals we chose. We didn't try the specialty dining rooms, Chops or Portifino, but will on the next cruise.

The comedian and other acts, with the exception of the song/ dance show, were good - not great but good.

As far as the ship excursions, we booked ours privately so we can't comment.

There were three aspects of the cruise which slightly disappointed us. The first was boarding. Having one camera to take the security photo showed a lack of planning; we spent an hour on line to get our pictures taken. The pictures should have been taken during the initial check in, where there were more then 20 check-in desks. The second issue was with the production shows. They are not as good as some of the other cruise lines. The mix of the song and dance routine was a little bizarre but the cast was talented, shame to waste it on the poor choice of show tunes. The third issue was with the glass roofed Solarium. The roof could be opened but never was and while the room itself was nicely decorated it reeked of chlorine from the whirlpools.

Overall, we were pleased with the crew and the experience we had aboard the Serenade of the Seas.

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