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14,746 Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Reviews

updates on the boat are very nice on board activities are done nicely staff is nice menu is very repetitious for 7 night select dining has much to be desired at the extra expense. Food was a D at Izumi rooms are acceptable ... Read More
updates on the boat are very nice on board activities are done nicely staff is nice menu is very repetitious for 7 night select dining has much to be desired at the extra expense. Food was a D at Izumi rooms are acceptable with decent closet space Drinks of course are very overpriced Excursions in Haiti were not available due to weather with a very unprepared private island that you do not feel safe in that is small with little other activities Jamaica was better but the 1 hour 20 minute average to and from each excursion is to much for the day wasting 3 hours time Cozumel is very good with an average excursion travel 15 minutes with a nice friendly shopping area close by for gift drinks,food .Feeling very safe at all times the experience with customs arriving back home was deplorable at best the absolute rudest people i have every seen and I travel outside the country and average of 10 times per year 8 officers showed up at our door at 7 am with a dog asked us to dress and exit the room for a search nothing to me is wrong with this ... EXCEPT FOR THE ATTITUDE of the racial animal that was questioning my fiance about here citizenship when she has been here so many years with a valid passport and as well as a passport card. When he asked her when she took her oath it was another officer that finally stepped in to and told us to just get dressed and have our breakfast before we disembarked they held us up for 2 hours to get off the boat and of course found nothing because there was nothing to find It is my feeling that since anyone is allowed to roam the halls while they are on the boat that a royal Caribbean person could be around to see that way they are treating people As i did go down to have bags x-ray it was obvious that people of color were the choice of the official who happens to be as white and me while my fiance is darker and Dominican Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just came back not so long from the trip and we are thoroughly satisfied with our trip, the service for the cruise is outstanding, everyone working onboard is super friendly and helpful. Dining: Windjammer could improve its quality for ... Read More
Just came back not so long from the trip and we are thoroughly satisfied with our trip, the service for the cruise is outstanding, everyone working onboard is super friendly and helpful. Dining: Windjammer could improve its quality for buffet but we dined mainly at the Mexican restaurant and it's delicious. Dinner at main dining room is absolutely delicious, the menu changes everyday and I had the best food in my life there. And I have been traveling quite a lot to luxury resorts before. The quality of food for main dining room is outstanding and the service is excellent as well. Entertainment and Activities: This is the reason why we are coming back to this cruise, the activities for the kids and adult are unlimited and it's so fun to be on this ship. We love the zipline & mini golf and our kid loves the kids club. There are countless shows to see every night from jazz bar, piano bar, aqua show that won't leave you bored for a moment on this cruise. Service: outstanding, everyone working there is very pleasant and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We booked Harmony two years ago because of the hype. Overall, our trip was ok. The ship is too big and spread out. We missed having every amenity conveniently located throughout, we enjoyed Brilliance so much more. (It took me 5 days to ... Read More
We booked Harmony two years ago because of the hype. Overall, our trip was ok. The ship is too big and spread out. We missed having every amenity conveniently located throughout, we enjoyed Brilliance so much more. (It took me 5 days to find the froyo on Harmony!) The crowds were a bit much, especially on formal nights. Our balcony stateroom on 10 was nice, but opening the door at all screwed up the A/C and we woke hot every single night. Mid ship was perfect for the crazy amount of waves (all the crew said they hadn’t seen anything like it in years) we had. The wait staff was phenomenal, especially with my need for gluten-free food. Loved that the casino had smoking and non-smoking! But at the slots we were never asked if we needed a drink, only at tables. Overall, Harmony was a fun one-time experience. But it’ll be smaller ships for us from now on. Side note: Do not book for CocoCay. Everything on island was much too expensive, the food selection where we were was crap (and we didn’t know until after that we had to search for more choices), and it was SO windy and cool. Not enjoyable at all in winter. RC shouldn’t send anyone there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my fourth cruise with RCI, and, as usual, I left the ship satisfied. We decided to take this cruise as a family since the prices were very low, and we all enjoyed it. Although embarkation was a bit slow, it went smootly. When ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise with RCI, and, as usual, I left the ship satisfied. We decided to take this cruise as a family since the prices were very low, and we all enjoyed it. Although embarkation was a bit slow, it went smootly. When we boarded the ship, we found out it wasn't as small as we thought it would be. Although it was very accessible, it had a very decent size. Also, since the ship is 30 years old, we thought it would look old. We were wrong. The only thing that made it seem old was the sound that the engines made when they started. We booked an oceanview cabin. When we arrived, we were dissapointed by the size, but we slept comfortably and didn't find the size as a problem, but if you're claustrophobic or are over 70, I wouldn't recommend booking an oceanview cabin for its size. Dining is delicious on this ship. The main dining room was fancy, and the food was amazing. The Windjammer was very good, and there were many potions to choose from, but I would recommend for everyone to have lunch at Compass Deli. The paninis are delicious. All activities are fun and entertaining. The cruise director's staff does a really god job. What you cant miss: 60 Seconds Or Less Challenge, all Trivias, Game Shows, and Baggo Competition. Entertainment is great on the Majesty. Although I didn't attend much shows, I did see Boogie Wonderland, and you can't miss it. All crew is amazing, as on every Royal Caribbean ship. I would like to recognize certain crew members: Qiao Xiu (China), Yifan (China), James (UK), Juvenil (Philippines), Samantha (Mexico), and Tanya (UK). The last is the cruise director, and she does an outstanding job. Regarding ports, there were 2 I loved. First, Coco Cay. The private island is amazing for all ages, and it provides a day full of adventure. I do recommend for every kid and young adult to get the Thrill Waterpark Full Day Pass. It's totally worth it, and all waterslides are amazing. Then, Key West. It's a beautiful, small town filled with small houses. If you want to get to know the island, I recommend renting a bike on your own. You'll save some money. Finally, Nassau. Unless you're going to the Atlantis, don't det off the ship. Overall, we had an amazing vacation, and I would recommend for everyone to take this 7 night cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during ... Read More
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during slightly rougher weather when it's not rough enough to drain pool, even several decks down from the pool. Crew is phenomenal except for overworked mdr staff, in what now seems to be a common theme across both Royal and Celebrity ships. More and more items are prepared to reduce any additional service that was such a nice touch and went a long way to making the experience special. For example, souffles served in plastic ramekins with the sauce on the side, same little plastic sauce cups with mint jelly on the plate with rack of lamb. Probably a good thing though since your Walter and assistant waiter aren't available since they're assigned too many tables. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We decided to try RC again after a VERY BAD experience in 2015. I am happy that we did. Most of the staff weref friendly, welcoming, and professional. The only exceptions were the guest relations desk who felt the need to tell me that ... Read More
We decided to try RC again after a VERY BAD experience in 2015. I am happy that we did. Most of the staff weref friendly, welcoming, and professional. The only exceptions were the guest relations desk who felt the need to tell me that the question I had asked they had answered two days before - clearly I didn't remember; one of the cruise director staff members - he was a little snarky, and one bartender at Labadee who told me that the drink hut that I stopped at was only for the other RC ship in port (another bartender apologized and said that all huts were for all RC ships). Cabin had a beautiful large window on deck. One con was that the movie pool side was difficult to view due to pool cabana set up and they had the prime seats blocked for their cigargs and cognac promotion which no guests were attending. Another con was ice cream was stopped at 6pm - I lke ice cream with my movies. Food was teriffic and wait staff was as good as a 5 star. Bathrooms incredibly tiny - toilets set at an angle due to small space. I just wish that on sea days there were more things to do on ships during the day except sitting in the sun or gambling - this one and all cruise ships Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have sailed on just over 50 cruises. We are Diamond members on Royal Caribbean. The price for this ship was a real value and we live in Ft. Lauderdale so we decided to give it a try despite some negative reviews. Empress of the Sea is ... Read More
We have sailed on just over 50 cruises. We are Diamond members on Royal Caribbean. The price for this ship was a real value and we live in Ft. Lauderdale so we decided to give it a try despite some negative reviews. Empress of the Sea is well worth your time and money. It is well maintained, run by an excellent crew and a ship you will feel great about upon conclusion of your trip. The entire crew wants you to be there. It is obvious and energizes all the passengers aboard. The food is very good, the shows are well done and our cabin (inside) served us well. It is always a mystery to me to read negative reviews about a ship and see none of them during my cruise. We have been on all the 4 giant ships of Royal and a sampling of the other sizes. Empress of the Seas hold its own against them in these ways. The ship only has 1600 passengers so no waiting for anything. It is a good starter ship for young families. Many were on board. It is a value price for the young marrieds, singles traveling in a group and middle aged and seniors looking for a cruise for their hard earned money. The ship has no flow riders, sliding water tubes, race tracks, or garden to walk thru. But it has a crew that provides numerous activities thruout the day that you will find worth your time. We were lucky to have Steve from Canada as our Cruise Director. He is a dynamo and keeps everyone engaged. Our cabin steward Jose Fernandes was possibly the best we ever had with his hard work, attention to detail and enjoyable daily interaction. We came across a staff member that we met on the Symphony of the Seas. She now works in the Empress Windjammer restaurant. She told us I just love being on this ship. You will find the entire crew feels that way. The Allure, Oasis, Harmony and Symphony have problems from time to time. That is life. But you still have a great cruise. The same will occur on the Empress. Give it try. You will be pleased you took that action. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
So we chose this cruise because we were traveling with a wide range of cruisers and it was a port drivable from Kansas City. We had ourselves in our 40's on our 8th cruise, my mother-in-law and her sister in their late 60's on ... Read More
So we chose this cruise because we were traveling with a wide range of cruisers and it was a port drivable from Kansas City. We had ourselves in our 40's on our 8th cruise, my mother-in-law and her sister in their late 60's on their first cruise, and my daughter and her friend who are 18 and 19. Being our 8th cruise and being that our most recent two cruises were on the Harmony of the Seas and the Norwegian Getaway, we had lowered our expectations for this trip. We knew it was a baby ship in comparison, older, and had less overall amenities than any other ship we had gone on, including our first cruises with Carnival when our kids were smaller. I was concerned whether this ship would be good for all of us. That concern was certainly warranted! Here is how I feel it went from all perspectives: 1) For us on our 8th cruise, this cruise was a letdown. The entertainment was some of the worst we've experienced on any cruise - particularly the Centrium and and the stage presentations were just kind of bad. The music was all aimed towards the older travelers in our group. Nothing that even really appealed to us. The food was exceptional, as with our experience on the Harmony, we were very satisfied with the food. Our service in the main dining room was also exceptional, but our room steward was probably one of the least attentive and knowledgable that we have ever had. 2) From our mother-in-law and her sister's perspective, they had a great time. They found lots of enjoyment in the music, the different activities, and the casino. Much of this ship was geared straight towards them and it helped that they had no previous experience for comparison. 3) Our in betweeners - not old enough to drink and be a part of that scene, but not young enough to be a part of the teen club. I think they were the most bored and unamused at the entertainment options. They did a lot of Karaoke watching, but said that much of the entertainment was "cringy". There is no nightclub aboard this ship and some of the dance parties were canceled due to weather. The girls ate, slept and wondered around. I think they enjoyed it, but it wasn't a wowwing experience for the 19 year old who had never cruised before. My conclusion on this is this - I would not book this ship again. Just too small, too outdated, and too few options for killing boredom, especially on a rainy sea day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise, even though it was in the school holidays, as a reward for our son going into Year 11. We have been on Voyager of the Seas before and enjoyed the activities- FlowRider and ice skating etc and also chose the ... Read More
We chose this cruise, even though it was in the school holidays, as a reward for our son going into Year 11. We have been on Voyager of the Seas before and enjoyed the activities- FlowRider and ice skating etc and also chose the destinations that were best for snorkeling. As there were 3 of us and we had a lot of snorkeling gear we chose a balcony cabin with an extra bed (8268). The extra bed came out of the ceiling above the top of the king bed, so you did have to watch your head, otherwise the room was as expected. Clean and in working order. We live the FlowRider and the staff on this activity are helpful and friendly. If you are going to give it a try do it early in the cruise as the lines get huge on the last couple of days. We had the Key so had a few advantages such as extra sessions on the FlowRider, Laser Tag and Iceskating rink that we enjoyed. This also made embarkation quick and because I booked 5he first boarding time we stepped in the ship at 11am. I got the Key for seats at the show but it wasn’t that busy at the shows as there is so much to do. Disappointing things were the removal of the sauna and indoor spa as part of the latest changes. The slide was fun though - hint don’t wear a rashy as it slows you down too much. The adult area is ok but you are treated like children - no drinks allowed in the spa even though they are in plastic glasses. We bought the drinks package and looked forward to frozen mango drinks only to find that the ship had run out of mango from the last two cruises. They did have strawberry which was ok but even ran out of this and Pina Colada and other options as the cruise progressed. The drinks package was still worth it to us but just be aware you may not be able to get your favourite drink. Different bars have different cocktails - R bar had a Let’s get Fizzical that you could only get there - so try different bars if you like variety. Our son made a lot of new friends on the cruise and had a wonderful time at the silent disco, pool parties and other activities. He enjoyed the teenage Living Room. There were a few bullies on the cruise and it was disappointing that the ship couldn’t control these kids but my son was old enough to deal with them when they approached him and keeep away. The cruise ship did disembark a couple of young adults that were fighting on the first night so they do deal efficiently with inappropriate adults. The entertainment was good in general and varied. We have seen the hypnotist before and the show was similar to 5 years ago. Also the adult comedian did a general show in which he did make some inappropriate jokes during the general show and repeated half of his adult show for the general show. One of the comedians was not that great. Some good and some not so good. There were heaps of activities ( Trivia, lectures of all types, ballet classes etc) to choose so it really is up to individual taste. In general I would recommend this cruise for the ages from teenager to an adult wanting to try out the activities on offer. A child too small for the slides and FlowRider will miss out on a lot. We chose the 5 night dining package and enjoyed the three specialty restaurants and the main dining room.Service and food in all restaurants was great. Unfortunately we ended up with the 5pm dining,which was a bit of a rush to get to (especially if you are on the a FlowRider), but gave us the rest of the evening to enjoy shows and sit in High Notes for a drink. Think about your dining chose - early, late or My Time at the time you book. We enjoyed all of our ports: Noumea - turtle tour at Signal Island - book online before you go. Excellent. Mare - took the bus to the beach and snorkeled - we did swim past the bouys Lifou - Jinek Bay snorkeling (bought the tickets from the locals for $15 each for the morning session to 12:30pm) is definitely worth it and the water hole in the cave Louganville - a local took us to Chaampagne beach which was beautiful, the Riri blue hole which was fun and cold and Million Dollar Point which is great for snorkelling. This replaced Isle of Pines as their chief had passed away. Villa - we did 2 dives which we organised ourselves - Wreck and bommies. Mystery Island - lovely island but the snorkeling wasn’t great that day as the currents were strong. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was the first cruise our family of four (2 x adults,2 x teenagers) had been on so we didn't know what to expect. I had been reading so-so reviews about Quantum of the Seas and I was apprehensive about what we would find. In ... Read More
This was the first cruise our family of four (2 x adults,2 x teenagers) had been on so we didn't know what to expect. I had been reading so-so reviews about Quantum of the Seas and I was apprehensive about what we would find. In summary - we thought the cruise was amazing and are so glad we went! We embarked at Singapore and after a small hiccup were on the ship and eating lunch. After the first afternoon, the crowds thinned out and we had fun exploring all the nooks and crannies. Our kids made friends immediately with others their own age and then they were off doing fun things with their new mates. We saw them once a day (maybe!) and we had to leave messages for them on the door if we needed to communicate! Our friendly room attendant was fantastic and kept us up to date with where the kids were as well as he regularly talked with them as they came and went. We knew cruises had a good reputation with food and Quantum of the Seas didn't disappoint. The kids only ate at Windjammer or Sorrentos but my husband and I ate in the dining rooms mostly. The food was varied and mostly delicious (one steak wasn't great but we loved the Cherries Jubilee!). However, the highlight for us were the activities and we enjoyed trying new things and going to the shows. Trivia quizzes, bingo, dance classes, stretching classes, iFly, Northstar, music shows, competitions, world class entertainment with trapeze shows, tribute bands, comedians etc made this cruise for us. The rooms were spacious, well attended and comfortable. Our room on Deck 8 was quiet and we had no trouble sleeping. We also regularly went to the Solarium for the view and a cocktail (especially when docking at ports) and two70 for relaxation. The ports we visited were Laem Chabang in Thailand and PhuMy in Vietnam. We organised our own tours at these ports and they were brilliant and easy to arrange. The disembarking at these ports was a hot mess as everyone tries to get off at the same time. We also had to collect our passports prior to docking in Thailand as everyone on the ship must disembark for Thai Face to Face Immigration. In an effort to streamline this procedure, each deck had a crew member to hand back passports but the lines for this were snaking past cabins for a long way. There was only one crew member on our deck - this would have been sped up if there were at least two crew to hand back passports. Also, at PhuMy in Vietnam, the lines to get off for the day were ridiculous and not moving at all. There were two gangways off (single lines?) and one was for cruise organised tours, the other for everyone else, hence the problem. Stairwells were blocked and queues at a standstill. Very stressful if you have a private tour waiting for you! This was the only negative during the cruise. There were lots of little touches on the cruise that made it special. We enjoyed the guitar playing musician at lunch who took requests and was joined in enthusiastically by the waiter accompanying the song using spoons to provide a drum beat. The way the railings and windows were kept spotlessly clean, the art work around the ship, the friendliness of the crew and staff, the videos of the cruise director (Gordon) to let you know what was happening, the towel animals on our bed, the crew member who ran around with a blow up whale shouting "Whale, whale, whale" when one was spotted, the head waiter who chatted with us about life as a crew member on a cruise ship. All these things made it feel like much more that a floating hotel. We wouldn't hesitate to go again - once we have saved up!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a ... Read More
The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a cruise to Vietnam and there is no Vietnamese food . Even fast food items like hamburgers and grilled Panini are Poorly made . We also tried the paid teppanyaki restaurant which is another mistake ! Quality of food is not up to standard . Gym and Pool- it is a big ship but the pool and gym are both small and congested . logistics - even with reservations the waiting time can be 20 minutes ; and tables were assigned after the staff checked us in Which takes extra time . We are also concerned about security , Sea passes were left outside the room instead of giving to us in person during check in. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our servers, Yan and Sunil went above and beyond to help us with our dietary needs. The Indian food was fabulous! Silvio did an impeccable job with keeping our room clean and comfortable. The entertainment staff and cruise director were ... Read More
Our servers, Yan and Sunil went above and beyond to help us with our dietary needs. The Indian food was fabulous! Silvio did an impeccable job with keeping our room clean and comfortable. The entertainment staff and cruise director were good. The ship is smaller and may not have as many amenities as the larger ships. The gym is small but has all the needed equipment. Gym can get very crowded in the mornings. We did feel the ship's motion many times on all decks, but the weather was a bit stormy. The ship does need some basic makeover like new paint as rust is seen in some places. There were too many sale pitches at some of the activities. Ladies pamper party was a waste of time... Just a way to get guests to buy products and sign up for spa services. If possible, avoid the casino since the smell of cigarettes can be overwhelming for some. Overall, a fantastic experience and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 ... Read More
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 pictures not a single one was a full length photo. Just waist up. These are STUPID photographers if they can't get formal photos from head to toe. What was the point of wearing a gown? If we need to request full length then post it!! We are sick of three nites of RCCL song and dance crew. Once or twice is sufficient. We have seen all the moves and putting on a different costume doesn't improve a thing. Add some other entertainers and variety. The live orchestra is to die for. This is the only line that continues to have the orchestra and they are pure talent. A joy to listen to. Best loyalty program on the seas. The Diamond lounge has no equal in the ships and lines that we have sailed. RCCL made extra provisions when they found that they had a larger number of this class of passengers and provided extra lounge space. Well done. The sizing in the shops is ridiculous. We find this on each ship. Lots of XL, 2XL and S sizes but a M or L are nearly non existent. This is on the first day so it is not that they are sold out for the sailing. They just don't bother to update the supply for each crew. We no longer book NextCruise. The deposit and the lack of flexibility for making a change has let us know they only want our money not to accommodate loyalists. The RCCL phone app is a joke. We tired for three days to bring up our stateroom account and could never get it to work. It is no longer accessible from the TV. We also could not get our internet package without going down to IT to have them fix it. That all needs some serious work. We think the food if good, plenty of selection and always restocked. If I had any complaint it would be that this smaller ship offers fewer soup choices than the larger ships. The dining room experience was great. We chose MyTime and never waits for more than a couple minutes. Menu options for dinner continues to shrink. Fewer choices. Very disappointed that I was charge an additional gratuity in the dining room for ordering the lobster for dinner. First NO LOBSTER on formal nite, which is poor on RCCLs part. I chose to pay an extra $30 for one small tail. Then they tagged on an 18% gratutity to it. That is obscene. I already paid for dinner and a gratuity I paid extra for the small tail and then to insult you with a tip to boot is beyond stupid RCCL. Embarkation and disembarkation was seamless and efficient. We had not issues with getting on or off at ports of call. Easy and organized. Staterooms on this era of ship as well as the Freedom Class era of ships is much more generous for storage. There are sufficient drawers, shelves and cupboards to store your items. No the case once you hit Oasis or above class. Cabins got smaller on the larger ships and the elimination of closet and drawer/shelf space is very obvious. We do have an issue with the new beds. The supports make it very difficult to store a suitcase under the bed. Then they store linens in bags under there as well. Seriously RCCL what do you expect us to do with our large bags? We have small complaints as you can see but we will still sail again. Booked for March! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We joined our close friends (group of 13) on this Birthday celebration cruise. 3 in our party were celebrating birthdays. We flew in to San Juan a few days early and stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. It was an amazing hotel. A little ... Read More
We joined our close friends (group of 13) on this Birthday celebration cruise. 3 in our party were celebrating birthdays. We flew in to San Juan a few days early and stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. It was an amazing hotel. A little pricey, but the location was well worth it. The bar in the hotel has great food and drinks. You will likely have to wait to check in as rooms are not available until after 4pm, but they will take your bags so you can spend some time in the bar. they have great wraps in the bar. On Sunday, The staff at the hotel got us a taxi right away to go to the Pan American Pier to get on the Freedom of the Seas. we shared a van taxi with others going to the same pier, so it was pretty inexpensive. We arrived at the port at 1130 and there was absolutely NO LINE! You have to drop your bags off with porters on one side and walk over to the check in area. Not a big deal because there was hardly anyone there. We were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes! crazy fast! Once on board, they were trying to direct everyone to the Windjammer buffet for lunch, we instead when to Deck 5 (Promenade) and got pizza at Sorrento's and our first drinks at the Bull and Bear Bar. Huge shoutout to Simona in the bar.. she really gave us excellent service. During the first day, dining room staff are making rounds convincing people to sign up for specialty restaurant dining. We signed up for Chops and Giovannis. I liked Giovannis better as we are not big Steak eaters. Both were good, but it was $134 to do both, plus gratuity. Beware if you order the whole lobster... it comes in the shell but the lobster meat was removed, chopped up and mixed with some kind of sauce. not what I was expecting for another $21 on top of everything. We got the beverage package and it was worth every penny. The bar staff and dining room staff are very attentive and bring you drinks constantly. We tipped cash often ($5, $10 here and there) and it payed off in excellent service. The ship has the self serve soda machines and you get a cup as part of your package that has some kind of sensor in it. when you put it up to the machine, it allows you to choose from soooo many drinks, plus water, sparking water, etc. I can only drink clear diet soda so it worked great. Another tip, ask for water with your drinks, you will never run short of bottled water. There are always team members offering water when you exit the ship for excursions as well. Our dining room staff was amazing, especially Inengha ( I am sure I messed up the spelling), but he was so very attentive and did an outstanding job! The food in the dining room was good, I would say definitely better than Carnival or Princess. The food was hot and there were so many choices. The food in the Windjammer was good as well, not the typical buffet fair. They actually had fried eggs available without having to order them special. I typically do not like buffets but there was always something to eat. We ate breakfast in the main dining room two times and it was fabulous each time. They even had a bartender in the dining room and at the Windjammer making drinks (excellent mimosas!) Between the buffet, the dining room, and the pizza, if you go hungry, it is your own fault. Our room steward Froi was OUTSTANDING!!! He fulfilled our every request... I have found if you tip throughout the week, you get really good service. He is very skilled at towel animals too. I liked the room being serviced 2x a day. on Carnival, you have to pick either morning or evening service. We did the Bottomless Mimosas Galley tour and brunch on our sea day. it was awesome... the food was great... the tour was a lot of walking and standing, and you will get hot in the 3 kitchens you tour. but we were rewarded with a great brunch, and more mimosas than I could count! You have to make time to go to Vintages wine bar. Royal has done a great job of staffing the wine bar with true sommeliers... these three gentleman really know their stuff. We did two wine tastings and they were very informative and the wine was excellent! We did excursions in St Maarteen, Barbados, and St. Kitts. every port we were docked so it was great to get on and off. The Barbados pier is very large and the walk is far but they have transportation to get people to and from. We didn't go to most shows, but I heard they were excellent. we did do the "Crazy Quest"... an adult scavenger hunt... it was pretty raunchy and hilarious. definitely adults only. There were a lot of activities on the Promenade, but beware if you have a room that has a widow out to the promenade...you will hear the loud music and parties. 3 in our party had these rooms, the rooms were very nice, and large, but you will hear the noise from the promenade... and don't forget to close your curtains. I have read many reviews that complain about the locals from Puerto Rico on this cruise, but I have to say, I found everyone to be extremely friendly and pleasant. Every announcement was in English and again in Spanish. There were not many children on this cruise that I saw. Overall it was a fantastic time! At the end we chose to do self debarkation with all of our luggage due to an early flight. it was so very easy and fast. We were off the ship by 0730 and on our way to the airport. a taxi ride from the pier to the airport is about $30 plus a tip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were very happy with our Royal Caribbean cruise. We chose the Allure because we have a tween and a teen and they were excited about all of the activities that are available. We booked this vacation as our family's Christmas ... Read More
We were very happy with our Royal Caribbean cruise. We chose the Allure because we have a tween and a teen and they were excited about all of the activities that are available. We booked this vacation as our family's Christmas present. EMBARKATION It was painless. It took us about 15 minutes to get on board. After going through security we received a band for our 11 year old to wear on his wrist. STAFF The staff was friendly and went above and beyond to meet our needs. Our room attendant, Made, was excellent. KIDS CLUB The staff in the kids club were all friendly and energetic. Our younger son is 11 and did not want to leave. Ever. There were organized activities--science, gaga ball, and other games. FOOD We really enjoyed the main dining room, and our kids loved being able to go to the Wipeout Café, Sorrentos, Park Café, the Promendade, and the Boardwalk hot dog kiosk. We also enjoyed the Windjammer Café. The only food that did not appeal to me was the Asian cuisine. It was very bland. We did have the free Johnny Rockets breakfast but we preferred the other dining venues. We also ordered the complimentary continental breakfast from room service. It was nice to eat on the balcony. COFFEE Yes, I am mentioning the coffee. I brought individual creamers to put in my coffee. The coffee on Royal is not good. I did have a Starbucks gift card and used it at the kiosk. CABIN Our cabin was 10216. We really loved having a balcony. The furnishings were up to date and the cabin was clean. There was plenty of room for storage (we kept our luggage under the bed). PORTS Allure was originally supposed to go to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, and Coco Cay. About four months before the cruise, we were told that due to continuing propulsion issues, we would go to San Juan instead of St. Kitts, and we would only be in San Juan for 5 hours. We were given the option to cancel without penalty. We opted to keep this sailing. We did not book a shore excursion in San Juan. If we had more time, we would have done the rainforest tour. Due to weather, Coco Cay was canceled and we instead went to Labadee. It was very pretty and there is a lot to do, but we opted to leave after a bit and go back to the ship. We enjoyed a near empty pool and hot tub. We loved St. Thomas and did the kayaking, snorkeling, and kayaking excursion (this was amazing). SHOWS The only show we went to was the Aqua show, which was fantastic. DISEMBARKATIONN This was a bit confusing, but it was our first Royal cruise. We thought we had to go to the Amber Theater to get our luggage at a certain time, but then were told to go to the baggage claim area after leaving the ship. We were able to get a cab and get to the airport. It was extremely crowded but that is to be expected when so many people are all trying to get somewhere at the same time. OVERALL This was a beautiful, well-cared for ship. We would definitely book the Allure again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
They will tell you your insect bites are from the area where you dock, give you cream and pills for any allergic reaction but KNOW THE SIGNS OF BEDBUGS BITES (whelps, small bites in a row). Cruise lines are known for bedbugs in fact. If ... Read More
They will tell you your insect bites are from the area where you dock, give you cream and pills for any allergic reaction but KNOW THE SIGNS OF BEDBUGS BITES (whelps, small bites in a row). Cruise lines are known for bedbugs in fact. If you value your health don’t travel on this ship. When we got off, another group on the same day. Hardly enough time to rid the ship of an infestation. The theaters, couch in the room and outside furniture also have bedbugs. I had a suite so I paid a LOT of money to be a meal to their insects for 11 days. They even go so far as inspecting the room to tell you there’s nothing there. This will work for a day or 2 but the bugs are in the room full force again after that and you will have the bug bites to prove it. Do your own bedbug detection and insist they correct the problem because once you’re on the ship you won’t be able to get off for a day or 2 and there’s no sense going to another bedbug-room on the ship. The food was impeccable as usual with any cruise with many varieties of food for everyone. No matter what type of diet, there was food to fit your appetite. Getting of the ship went very quickly, minutes in fact and I wound up waiting for my ride for an hour. This was my 3rd time on this ship and the excursions weren’t attractive since I’d been to most of the ports. I didn’t get off at 2 of the ports as a result and the ship didn’t got to Antigua, St. John as scheduled. I attended stretch and abs classes. The fitness instructor arrived late, ended the classes early and didn’t demonstrate or do the exercises with the class. What a waste of time this was! My onboard experience was poor overall after suffering bedbug bites during my time on board as I was scratching and experiencing pain from the adverse reaction to the insect feasting on my body. Public restrooms were clean as seen by the eye. I didn’t make a habit of using them considering my unfortunate experience with bedbugs, I didn’t want to catch anything else. I went to my room instead for the majority of my time on the ship. I suspect the theater is also riddled with bedbugs too. I felt something crawling on my ankle but couldn’t tell what it was because it was dark. The staff was very courteous and friendly.my stateroom attendant, waiters, greeters and shop personnel were amazing and set the atmosphere of excitement for the times we were at sea. Given the amount of money I paid for this (I had a suite), there weren’t a lot of perks. I was told I’d have a bathrobe to use but the only way I got it was to call housekeeping and expected a tip for bringing it. No matter what the cost, a person’s health is at stake due to the unsanitary presence of bedbugs. With the money they’re charging they can surely afford to provide the guests the peace of mind of being insect free on their luxury liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our fourth sailing on the Harmony. My husband, 21 year old granddaughter and I had a wonderful time. Boarding was easy and efficient. We boarded immediately and since we were in a suite, went to the suite lounge. We really ... Read More
This was our fourth sailing on the Harmony. My husband, 21 year old granddaughter and I had a wonderful time. Boarding was easy and efficient. We boarded immediately and since we were in a suite, went to the suite lounge. We really love the suite lounge, the two concierges, Jeremia and Elaine greeted us. We confirmed our dining and other items that we booked on line. Since we had the all inclusive dining plan, our first lunch was at Jamies. We walked around the ship to tour with our granddaughter. Then we proceeded to our crown loft suite on deck 17. The location is excellent as we are close to the suite restaurant and lounge. Our cabin attendants were also excellent, Marijane and Iputu. The crown loft is a wonderful experience. It is hard to go back to a regular balcony cabin after the "royal service" and 2 bathroom, 2 story suite. Plenty of storage for the three of us. And the two story windows wonderful! Our granddaughter enjoyed relaxing on the balcony day and night. The weather, except for one day was very good. We loved the ports, especially our visit to Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel. We also enjoyed the Mayan Princess day ship excursion. The first day we saw Grease- for the second time, but loved it Talented singers and dancers. We also really enjoyed the two comedians. Adult comedy. Unfortunately during our sailing the weather for shows didn't cooperate. We couldn't see Columbus the musical, the aqua theatre show- but we enjoyed both on a previous sailing. The ice show was also very good and we saw a new ice show this sailing. My granddaughter and I both had our hair blown out for the two formal nights and were happy with the results. We dined in the Hibachi restaurant, and our granddaughter had Sushi at Izumi twice for lunch. We had Johnny rockets. We all loved chops , Sabor , and 150 Central park. We dined in the adult pool area for lunch. Every morning, we had breakfast in the suite restaurant, costal kitchen- We all had the unlimited drink package and that was also great- Starbuck coffee shop isn't included with the package- but available for a fee- you can use your starbucks app. Shopping was typical for a cruise ship, however they do have some high end stores. It was a great cruise! We will be on the Oasis of the seas this August- and have a Celebrity cruise in March. I believe these Oasis class ships to be Royal's finest and highly recommend for families or couples. So many activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a balcony which was small but perfectly formed. Our stateroom attendant was unfailingly cheerful even though he never seemed to get a break. We decided to purchase the Key, a priority program and skip the line pass that included the Zoom internet package. We mainly bought this mainly to skip the line with activities, which it was not very useful for (see below) but it was useful for onboarding and disembarking. Not sure if it was worth the cost. The activities such as FlowRider, NorthStar, IFly, bumper cars and roller skating were pretty amazing given this is all on a ship, but the lines are long if you did not have the Key and even with the Key we could only skip the line once a session. There are 5000 passengers on board. Sometimes this is not apparent but sometimes it did get very crowded. There were countless attempts to separate your money from your wallet, ranging from art auctions to high end shops to lots of sales and "opening specials" on thousand dollar jewelry which did get a little tedious at times. The price point for the beauty and massage service, Vitality Spa, I thought was rather high as it is easy to find a Thai style or hot stone massage in Australia for 60 AUD, as opposed to the 190 USD being charged onboard. The gym was enormous but even so could get very crowded. There were free stretch and core classes, although again these could get crowded and occasionally started early which I found a little irritating. I thought that the shows were quite good, with professional dancers and singers and the Cruise Director was very amusing. We found the complimentary dining more than adequate with US style service. The Windjammer was the biggest buffet I had ever seen. Cant comment on the alcohol as I don't drink. This ship is full of Aussie passengers - the construction business must be good as there was a preponderance of cashed up tradies and their families. Some kids ran around like they were in a caravan (trailer) park and would press all the elevator buttons. There were a couple of craft activities that simply consisted of a staff member handing out a craft kit. No real instructions to speak of which I found disappointing and again this often started early and was often crowded. Our main problem was the teen clubs called The Living Room for 12 to 14 and Fuel for 15 to 17. There seems to be this expectation that teens were simply let loose until up to the curfew at 1 am, to roam around at will, which I thought was highly unsafe given the population was equivalent to a small town. There were scheduled activities for teens aged 12 to 14, but after about 8 pm there were a few gangs of boys that roamed around checking out the young girls, some of whom were allowed to dress with long fake nails, low cut crop tops and false eyelashes. As I had a 14 year old daughter, I was not impressed. She loved meeting the other kids though and it was difficult to drag her away. We did our own shore excursions. Noumea was not that exciting although we did a bus tour which was interesting. Mystery Island was beautiful, but suddenly overcrowded by 5000 passengers! We ended up taking a village tour to Aneityum Island which was very interesting and much less cramped. We did the Hop On and Hop Off bus at Auckland and spent most of our time at the Auckland museum. Overall my impression was that was a surprisingly good holiday. This cruise liner catered for all types of passengers, although with a strange combination of high end exclusive marketing trying to persuade a somewhat downmarket customer base to spend up big on their vacation. The ship is quite spectacular and the service from the international crew was excellent. The teen area was our major concern and may be a deal breaker for us in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were family group of 23 on this cruise, ages ranging from 79 to 5. There were many large family groups, which was great, as it was Australian school holidays. This was our 5th cruise with RC. The check-in and bag drop in Sydney on ... Read More
We were family group of 23 on this cruise, ages ranging from 79 to 5. There were many large family groups, which was great, as it was Australian school holidays. This was our 5th cruise with RC. The check-in and bag drop in Sydney on embarkation was seamless and easy. The ship is huge! Our cabins were spacious and very clean. We had a lovely balcony which added to the spaciousness of the cabin. The cabin was serviced twice daily and our attendant went out of his way to make our stay memorable. Its a pity we didn't realise how large the was before booking cabins, I would definately book cabins closer to the elavators especially for older people. I enjoyed the long walks on the ship as I managed to get plenty steps in! The Windjammer, where we went to for breakfast and lunch was busy, but you could get tables within a few minutes. The variety of food offered was extensive and chef Joseph was wonderful in accommodating special dietary needs. The staff were friendly and the service incredibly efficient. We had dinner at Chic restaurant and there our waiters and the head waiters were outstanding in the service they provided. All the staff went out of their way to attend to our every request. All the staff were polite and helpful and RC should be proud of having such good staff. There is such a wide variety of food offerings on the ship that you would never go hungry. Pizzas at Sorrentos always went down well! With such a large number of passengers it is only expected that the teenagers were going to queue for activities such as the Flowrider, bumper cars, roller skating etc. The queues for these activities were quite long. The iFly and North Star should be booked immediately on boarding. The adults enjoyed the relative peace of the Solarium. The Pixel and I love legs shows were really good. We enjoyed all the shows and parties at 360. The resident band......well it could be improved, everything they sang sounded the same. The two comedians were average at best. I think that this 10 night itinerary should have had one extra port. One sea day too many. Noumea was really nice and the beaches and swimming good. Please note South African cruise passengers did not require visas for New Caledonia. We spent weeks trying to ascertian this before our departure and could not get an answer from RC, the French Embassy, South African International Relations department, the Government of New Caledonia and various other sources. I wish that we had know that Mystery Island did not offer any foods except barbecued crayfish. No cool drinks, no bottle water, snacks were available at all. There was not very clean looking boiled tea offered by the locals. The island is beautiful, snorkelling and swimming excellent. I would suggest that when you stop in Nomea, visit the supermarket and buy snacks to take to Mystery Island. Definately take your bottled water. Auckland was a lovely quiet, clean city which were toured using Auckland Scenic Tours who provided us with private mini buses for our group. Knowledgeable and informative tour guides. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and there were activities for all ages. My biggest gripe was the cost of wi-fi. Buying wi-fi for 23 people was not feasible and we had great difficulty trying to find each other and the kids. We generally met at meal times. RC should should seriously think about how to make communication amongst the passengers easier. I kept complaining that it was as if we were on parallel holidays because we could not find each other outside of meal times! The app should include What's App for passengers or cheaper wi fi. In 2020, it can't be a problem to have connectivity for cruise passengers. I would definately go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper ... Read More
This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper cars, rock climbing, video games, ping pong, sports court, free Zumba and stretch classes, craft (could do better with the craft classes, just gave out kits), lectures, many pools etc. Teen club was good but too many boys hanging around outside. Entertainment was first class. Some of the other passengers let their kids run around without any supervision which I did not like but not much that RC can do about it. Complementary meals and service was good, ranging from fine dining to the massive Windjammer buffet restaurant which has to be seen to be believed. I cannot understand all the whinging in other comments. I mean really, someone got the wrong parmesan? Seriously? Overall very good and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed Rhapsody of the Seas in January and had a great time. Rhapsody is older and smaller than most other RCI ships, but that’s part of why I enjoyed it. Being smaller means everything is closer and the service is more personal. ... Read More
We sailed Rhapsody of the Seas in January and had a great time. Rhapsody is older and smaller than most other RCI ships, but that’s part of why I enjoyed it. Being smaller means everything is closer and the service is more personal. This comes at a price, of course. A smaller ship has less to do and moves around much more than the larger ships. We had 6-10 waves and you really felt it in several parts of the ship. The solarium pool acted like a wave pool. It was great fun! The cabin stewards were great. They made several towel animals during the trip and always greeted us with a smile. Our assistant waiter, Ladylin, was outstanding. Even at the buffet, she’d see us and give us extra special service. The attention to detail was impressive. Guest services worked hard to keep us happy. During peak times, they had someone with a tablet helping out and keeping the line short. Tampa We arrived in Tampa the night before and stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown/Convention Center. The hotel was great and the area around it felt safe and inviting. They had a stay and park deal, which worked out just fine. We could have taken the trolley to the port, or even walked, but we overpacked and took a LYFT instead. Worked out great! We left Tampa just as the rain cleared and had a beautiful view of the Sunshine Skyway as we went out to open sea. Key West Arrival in Key West was on time, but we were delayed getting off the ship due to a medical emergency. Sadly, this was the second medical emergency as someone was removed from the ship in Tampa as well. The sky was clear and the temperature was in the mid 70s. Our parasailing excursion was cancelled due to high winds, so we walked the town and went to Fort Zackary Taylor. Very cool place! I recommend it both for the beach and the historic fort. One shout out to RCI on the Parasailing. The winds were 20+ mph. This is higher than the recommended speed for parasailing. However, the excursion company was still taking people out. Personally, I really appreciate RCI being careful and cancelling. Grand Cayman I’ve never been to Grand Cayman before and really liked it. The island was cleaner and better kept than any I’ve seen in the Caribbean before. We did a Snorkel and Stingray City excursion which everyone enjoyed. Cozumel Cozumel is Cozumel. Been there. Done that. Walked around the pier shopping for a few minutes and went back to the ship. Costa Maya Cancelled due to high winds. Rhapsody of the Seas does not have Azipods and was not able to overcome the wind to dock. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I cruised on the Symphony of the Seas in January 2019 to the Western Caribbean. This was our 27th cruise overall, 11th on Royal, 4th on their mega ships. We are in our 60’s and usually cruise to a more interesting location as ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Symphony of the Seas in January 2019 to the Western Caribbean. This was our 27th cruise overall, 11th on Royal, 4th on their mega ships. We are in our 60’s and usually cruise to a more interesting location as we’ve cruised the Caribbean too much. However, she attended a conference on this cruise so we had no choice on location or timing. Overall it was a good cruise but not great which is why I gave it 4 stars. There were two main issues: First, the weather was poor which is expected this time of year and not the cruise lines fault. Be aware of Caribbean cruises in mid-Dec to mid-Feb as you are likely to encounter rain and strong winds. Departing Miami we had rough seas for a couple days, got rained out at Roatan (most excursions cnx), okay weather in Costa Maya, windy in Cozumel, and very windy at Coco Cay so most activities there were cnx. Second, we felt Royal is eliminating or reducing items that were free before and now make you pay extra for the same thing. Also known as “nickel & diming you to death!” This first occurred on boarding where we looked forward to a peaceful lunch in the dining room to avoid the crowds at the buffet, only to find that the only dining room lunch available was for “Key members” who paid an extra fee of $25 per day for perks including lunch on first day and reserved seating at shows, etc – which takes away seating from us little people. Then we found the Windjammer buffet stopped at 9:15pm every night, normally it’s 10 or 11pm, so you have to go to their very limited Café Promenade or pizza place OR order room service at $7 plus fee if you want a snack late at night. In room TV is now extremely limited with a few channels with obscure tv shows or very old movies as they want you to buy the On Demand pay movies. Final expense we didn’t appreciate was the specialty restaurants now are $50ish per person. We ate at Chops and it was fine but not as good as we’ve had and certainly not worth $53! EMBARKATION – We drove to Miami and parked in the garage next to the pier for $25, pricey but very convenient. You drive up until you find the porters (on level 4 that day), drop off your bags, then park. Walk over to terminal, go thru checkin line, then security. Although a little crowded at noon, we were thru and on the ship in 20 minutes. You do not get your room key until you board the ship, it’s in an envelope outside your cabin. If you charge drinks, etc, you show your boarding pass until you get your key card. SHIP – Symphony OTS is a beautiful ship as it’s only 2 years old. As with our earlier cruises on these mega ships, there is a lot to do and activities for all ages. The crew and staff were outstanding and very friendly and helpful. Even with the windy weather the ship did not rock that much. We had a full load of 6,000 plus passengers but there were lots of quiet areas - our favorite was Central Park on Deck 8 CABIN – We were in a balcony cabin on deck 11 forward. The cabin seemed larger than previous mega ships, definitely longer as we had a king bed and a full size couch. They’ve added storage and two separate wardrobes with hangers, very nice. Plenty of electric plugs. The shower is also larger. Our room steward was very good and gave us extra towels, soap bars, and shampoo as needed. DINING – We had early fixed dining at 5:30pm with the conference group which worked well. Late dining was at 8pm. They also had a room for anytime dining but we heard no comments on it. We prefer fixed dining as the servers seem better because they know your preferences and the food arrives quicker. Our waiter and assistant were superb. Overall the food was good, even beef options were tasty, but the menu was somewhat limited as there were only 3-4 new choices each night plus 5 standard choices. Lobster tails were served on the second formal night. Formal nights are now more business casual as you only need a collared shirt, no coat or tie. OTHER FREE DINING – We ate in Park Café (Deck 8) and El Loco Fresh (Deck 15) quite a bit. Park Café has been expanded so there was always seating available. It has breakfast sandwiches and pastries and then salads and great roast beef sandwiches rest of the day. El Loco Fresh is outdoors in the aft area by sports activities and has a limited breakfast buffet and then a great Mexican buffet rest of the day. We really enjoyed El Loco! Café Promenade and Sorrento’s Pizza (Deck 5) were okay but I found the sandwiches a little odd and the pizza just okay. Windjammer buffet was always crowded and the choices were limited compared to other cruise line buffets. Also they did not have omelet stations for breakfast unless you went to the dining room for brunch. DIAMOND CLUB – This was our first Royal cruise where we were Diamond status and thus could use the Diamond lounge on Deck 4. We really enjoyed it. Although not a large room, it is very comfortable and was never crowded for happy hour. Happy hour was 4:30 – 8pm where you got unlimited drinks in the lounge plus 3 free drinks at bars and dining room. Drinks were well drinks, although they made martinis, cosmos, and margaritas in the lounge, wine by the glass, beer, and sodas. ENTERTAINMENT – Symphony had the best shows of any ship we’ve been on. Hairspray and Flight were outstanding in the main theater. 1977 was a great ice show and Hiro the very energizing water show. Very important tip – make your show reservations online before the cruise - they were available 45 days prior for our cruise. You can also make reservations onboard using the Royal app but they book up quickly. If you do not make reservations you will be in long lines hoping to get seats just before the show times. We also went to the Comedy Club but found the comedians average. SPORTS – Symphony, like the other mega ships, offers many recreational options. I like the large gym and long jogging track (Deck 5). There are four full size pools, a kids area with water slides, adult pool in Solarium up front, and many jacuzzis. In aft on Deck 15 they have 2 flow riders, basketball court, short zip line, and new slide Ultimate Abyss. You wear street clothes on Abyss and sit on a mat when you slide - surprisingly the lines were not long for this. One more complaint about the free items disappearing is the flow riders have a lot of time allocated to people who pay for private lessons and reserved times so free riding time is limited. WIFI – We bought one Voom Surf plan for the week, that’s the slower plan than the Surf & Stream plan. Buy it online before the cruise as it’s cheaper. We had connectivity thru the ship but it was slower in our cabin. My wife and I shared the one plan by logging in & out with each device. ROYAL APP – I downloaded the free Royal app before the cruise and found it helpful on the ship. It has the daily planner as well as the activities we’d booked already. You can also check your onboard charges and make reservations for excursions and shows. DEBARKATION – Very smooth and quick. Unless you declare customs, you get your bags and walk out of the terminal. There was a face scan station which apparently took care of immigration. Took our bags to the parking garage and drove off. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a puertorrican family composed by mom (47), dad (48), daughters (19 and 21). In January 2 we fly from Puerto Rico to Ft Lauderdale, to board Symphony of the Seas on January 4. We stay in Hampton Inn Coconut Groove/Coral Gables, a ... Read More
We are a puertorrican family composed by mom (47), dad (48), daughters (19 and 21). In January 2 we fly from Puerto Rico to Ft Lauderdale, to board Symphony of the Seas on January 4. We stay in Hampton Inn Coconut Groove/Coral Gables, a small hotel with breakfast included, very good price per night and the best location ever (close to restaurants, parks, the train and public transportation), and rent a car. While there we visit the area with parks and cute restaurants with outside tables...great for an afternoon stroll . We eat in ARIETE, super good ambience. For the vegans, I can recommend two places that my daughter absolutely love in the Miami area: Veganoroma and L'Artisane Creative Bakery. On Saturday 4, we arrive to the port around 3pm, really quick process, where stand up representatives receive the ones with online check in. And onboard we were! Being in Oasis and Allure, Symphony does not feel very different, is big and beautiful. Lets go to the details. Food: The food is great, lots of choices in different venues. Does not eat in any of the specialty restaurants. We enjoy the breakfast in the Windjammer, Solarium, Park Café and the main dinning room. For lunch too, included the Taco Loco venue. All our dinners we go to the Main Dinning Room to our lovely Waiter VIKRAM, and Assistant Waiter ANELYN (in table 242). They go beyond our expectations and requests! My daughters enjoy the vegan menu they have available every night for them, its a great step from Royal Caribbean. We too enjoy the food from the regular menu. SHOWS: I went with high expectations in terms of the Broadway Productions. HAIRSPRAY: I have to say that I enjoy more the one in the Oasis of the seas. The one in Symphony is a bigger production, but the one in Oasis stick better to the story. HIRO: was canceled because of the wind and weather conditions. FLIGHT: Its the history of aviation, a little boring but visually is a beautiful production. 1977: Its a GREAT SHOW skating show, the better I've seen. COMEDY SHOW: Really don't like it, but maybe its something about american humor vs. latin humor. LOVE AND MARRIAGE SHOW: As hilarious as usual. PORTS: Roatan: I have make arrangements to visit the West Bay Beach and Roatan Chocolate Factory through Roatan Taxi Tour. But the day we visit this port was raining (Royal Caribbean cancel all the tours in that port because of the weather). So we stay in the port, I drink a hot and delicious coffee, my daughters buy some things and chocolates. Costa Maya: I make arrangements through Chac Ek Costa Maya, a little local company. Since the moment I contact them through FB, the way they received us in the agreed place, and the whole local experience with Tino and Hugo (the driver) everything exceed our expectations. BACALAR SEVEN COLORS LAGOON is more beautiful than you can imagine or see in pictures. Color perfect, fresh spring waters and spa with natural clay, while enjoying local beer, tequila and snacks. The experience includes a lunch at a really nice taco place, for 3 delicious taquitos, and they even prepare the most delicious avocado for our vegan daughters. Also a quick stop for the sweetest pineapples that grows in the town. A safe and unforgettable experience with great people. Cozumel: We pay for the X-PLOR All Inclusive Royal Caribbean Tour. I would like to share something important about this tour. The group is reunited in the theater, early in the morning. At 7:30 am you will be boarding a ferry, that travel through really brave waters, and will transport the group to Playa del Carmen. When you board they will give you a green bag...and soon you will know why. Lots of people will be around you, throwing up and feeling sick..they get out of the ferry looking like zombies. So, if you have motion sickness beware of this, please. We do not get sick, thank God, but something to take into consideration. Well, once in Playa del Carmen you will be transported in a really big and comfortable bus that will take in a short drive to X-PLOR. We have the time of our lives: 10 ziplines, underground rivers, hybrid car and a delicious buffet with lots of alternatives including one station with only vegan-vegetarian food. This tour is expensive, like $200 per person, but in our opinion it was worth it!!! You will walk a lot, and climb lots of staircases. Coco Cay: Another day with bad weather, rain and cold winds. We can not enjoy this beautiful paradise as we wish, because of this. Some attractions were closed to. The island is still under construction, but it is as beautiful as the pictures. CONCLUSION: We have a great time in Symphony of the Seas, all of us enjoy our vacation, the food, the service, the ports...everything. I love Royal Caribbean, and will continue traveling with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love cruising and have cruised 4 times in the past 3 years! This was my first time on the Mariner of the seas and I was excited for my small children to experience the Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise fell short of my expectations ... Read More
We love cruising and have cruised 4 times in the past 3 years! This was my first time on the Mariner of the seas and I was excited for my small children to experience the Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise fell short of my expectations and truly left a lot to be desired. Boarding was easy and painless. It only took about 20 minutes from the parking lot to the ship. For this review, I will begin with the pools. There are 2 pools on the main deck surrounded by 4 large hot tubs. There is not a designated pool/water play area for children on this ship as opposed to some of their other ships. Children bombarded the hot tubs and made them nearly impossible to enjoy. Drunk adults were in the hot tubs with the children and it was cringeworthy. The boat has a solarium for adults with 2 hot tubs and 1 pool but children were consistently passing through this area running, yelling etc. to reach the main pool via the aft elevators. On prior cruises, the lifeguard would ask that they leave the area but the people on this boat could care less. Lunch in the windjammer was a madhouse on the first day. People were touching the food and putting it back. There was hair on my food and to be fair, it could have come from the patrons or the staff. I lost my appetite and did not eat there again. The sky pad was fun when it was open. It did close quite a few times even though the app said it was open during the cruise and I’m not sure why. The slides are okay for kids 48 inches or taller. Also, there is a small climbing apparatus for kids that should be replaced for a wade pool or some sort to keep them entertained and away from vacationing adults. The rooms were well taken care of by the staff and they entered 3 times a day to replace towels, make the beds, replace used water glasses etc. The dining room staff is amazing! They make us feel special and remembered little things about us. Ours called us by name and that is very nice. The shows they prepared for us were boring to me. It reminded me of a high school talent show. It was not entertaining. The cruise director really tried his hardest but neither he or the comedians were funny. The kids fell asleep and we left early. The most fun they had were in adventure ocean. Otherwise, the itinerary missed the mark. The ice skating show began but stopped abruptly. They took an intermission and then began again. The boat also had Bingo, a casino, NFL games on the big tv outside, and Laser tag while the ship docked in Nassau. I wish they had laser tag again during the forced sea day. This ship was scheduled to dock in Nassau, Bahamas and then dock again on Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay. The “Perfect Day at CocoCay” was cancelled. The announcement that we heard said that the Ship failed to dock but the staff said that it does happen sometimes and the ship just doesn’t go there. Hundreds of passengers were upset and asking if they will receive compensation and were told that they would not. The sea day was boring, cold, and quiet. Royal Caribbean has to do a better job entertaining the guests in the event that the ship cannot dock. It took more than 2 hours to revamp the itinerary and the first activity wasn’t scheduled until after 1pm. We learned that the second port was cancelled before 8am. The guest services crew was rude, even when I asked them a question unrelated to the itinerary (I was changing credit cards for shopping). The lady took a deep breath and mumbles under her breath. Future cruising on this ship or any other Royal Caribbean ship is a no go for us. I had no idea that they sometimes do not go where they promise to and in the future, we will steer clear!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My mom, DD (8) and I sailed this ship/itinerary in August and loved it. We went back for a short getaway and brought my father along. We used ScootAround for my father. It was very easy to get the scooter in the terminal and return it ... Read More
My mom, DD (8) and I sailed this ship/itinerary in August and loved it. We went back for a short getaway and brought my father along. We used ScootAround for my father. It was very easy to get the scooter in the terminal and return it in the terminal on exit. The ship is still being kept up well and looks nice. However, there were some changes that were not for the better. In August, we had the balcony partition opened between our cabin and my mom's. When we tried to do it on this cruise, we were told this captain has ordered the staff not to do this. There were no connecting cabins available when we booked so this was very important to us. The stateroom attendant was not good. He finally showed up around 5:45 on embarkation day and didn't seem to care at all. He promised to get a supervisor about the balcony partition, but that never happened (when we were finally able to speak with the supervisor on Sunday, he told us it was the first request he had received regarding us speaking with a supervisor). He just didn't seem to want to be there. Overall, the ship seemed disorganized compared to August (running out of food at Sorrento's/Promenade Cafe, not prepared for when we missed Coco Cay, among other things). The dining room service was excellent and the food was better than August. We would sail Mariner again for a short getaway. Despite the declines, it is still a good ship/experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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