1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews

2,459 Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Reviews

This was our third trip on voyager and we felt that due to the corona virus issues we should have been kept far more informed than we were. Seven sea days was a joke especially as the ship could have returned to Australian port prior to ... Read More
This was our third trip on voyager and we felt that due to the corona virus issues we should have been kept far more informed than we were. Seven sea days was a joke especially as the ship could have returned to Australian port prior to the 14 day self isolation bane was brought in. Our junior suite was certainly not what I would have called clean let alone sanitised. We regularly had no room service breakfast menus or tea and sugar. The food was definitely better than our last trip and the restaurant and bar staff were wonderful. We were closed out of one port after another and the captain gave no information and when he did it was incorrect telling everyone that the 14 days self isolation started from our last port! Tempers were becoming frayed after so many stories and not enough accurate information. We were given two days refund when the trip should have been canceled or cut short! I really felt for the young families on board that now will lose income while in self isolation! This may have been our last cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the ... Read More
After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the world's biggest ship had to offer, and 3/ they ship stopped at islands we hadn't been to before - including RC's own CoCo Cay. We booked an outside balcony cabin on the 10th deck. The price was quite reasonable - certainly quite a bit lower than Disney. Check in was a breeze. We did get on late - choosing to board after the early rush, and also figuring we could manage quite well without the obligatory Day 1 lunch. Entering the ship was kinda uneventful. We barely got a "Hello", with a greater emphasis being on sanitizing our hands - understandable given the outbreak of Corona Virus. We entered on the Promenade 5th deck and then headed to our cabin. initial impression was that the decor lacked any level of luxury or plushness. Yes, it was huge, and very interesting to have a promenade in the middle of a ship, but the decor was kinda tired - like being in a slightly dated hotel or office building. I think they expect your entrance in to a city-like promenade to do the trick. It doesn't!!! ENTERTAINMENT: This is where RC did well. Their main attraction shows were most excellent - certainly gave Disney a run for their money. And there was always something to do for all ages. There were parades on the Promenade and all kinds of music at various venues in the evenings. Solo guitarists, excellent jazz, and a band in the Dazzles bar that could really rock a crowd - and get them to dance. Before we went on this cruise, the reviews indicated that RC did an excellent job with the entertainment, and they certainly lived up to their billing here. CENTRAL PARK: Loved it. So relaxing. Vintage is a good place to get some good wines. However, the open area did tend to get windy and there were always some drops of water splashing down from above. Not sure from where - but it tended to happen even when the sky was clear. However, it's quite amazing to have this large atrium right in the middle of a ship. BOARDWALK: I think this was a bit of a let down, and didn't live up to its billing. The boardwalk leads to the aquatheatre, but apart from that, and a bar and hot dog restaurant, there's really no reason to be there. It was rather dead most of the time. FOOD: THIS was a massive let down. This ship has a ton of specialty restaurants. Having done these kinds of specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, we just figured these would not be worth the extra cost - since the main dining hall would always have something worth trying. I will add that we are big time foodies, who usually eat at anywhere from 125-175 restaurants a year - including some of the world's Top 50 restaurants. The food at the Main Dining room was completely substandard. We chose the Any Time Dining option - which was good for us. While it did mean a different serving crew every evening, in general they were pretty good - not great, but good. However, 1 evening it was so bad that for the first time in 10 cruises, I felt compelled to complain to the section manager. The waiter took 14 mins to even bring us a menu, and did not bother to introduce herself or even apologize for the significant delay. when it came time to take our order, she simply came to us and said, 'SO, what can I get you!". May be she was stressed, however, not only had we been patient all the while, but she was extremely cheerful with her other tables. Her manager noticed this behavior and tried to step in to make up for that. But the damage had been done. It took them 35 mins to get our appetizers, and an hour and 20 mins to bring our entree. To top it off, the food was inedible - and I ended up leaving most of my food. I thought I'd head over to the buffet and get some food, but by then even the buffet had closed. I ended up with a sandwich from one of the cafes. After 2 days of sub-par food at the main dining hall, we decided to try 3 of the specialty restaurants. Despite there being so many restaurants on board, there was only 1 that was really worth trying - the rest being rather generic - something that some of the other patrons who visited some of the restaurants told us. Simultanenously we dicovered that the buffet at dinner offered several ethnic options - and so we started going there for dinner - and canceled our 3 restaurant packae. Apart from the fact that the food in the main dining hall was low quality, the variety was even worse. They had the same, bland continental food every single day. Ridiculous! The only optional variety was the option to ask for some indian food. Upon further reflection, it's almost like the main dining option is designed to push you to their specialty restaurants. Not a good idea. When it comes to Indian food, there was always some indian food available at the buffet for all 3 meals of the day. The taste was not particularly great - which is surprising considering the executive chef for the whole ship was Indian - and would typically have had 5-star hotel training in India - where the food standards tend to be high. One evening in the buffet they served Caribbean food - which, while flavorful was a bit bland. And finally on the last day they had a chinese noodle station - where alls you could get is noodles. For such a large ship, the options for food without having to pay extra were not the greatest. RC certainly failed here. The late night food was decent - but got a little boring after a few days due to the lack of any variety. Desserts - easily the poorest and most unimaginative dessert selection of any cruise line we have done. The items were pretty much the same every day, and just loaded with cream - and extremely 'mild' flavors - what I mean by that is that if you didn't read the label of the dessert, you'd be left wondering if there was actually any flavor, let alone what it was. When we got home today, I made the family Molten Chocolate cake from the frozen Costco stuff. Even my kids said the frozen stuff at home tasted better than what they had on the ship. CoCo Cay - not bad. never felt crowded. But the island isn't too big. Disney's Castaway Cay is in a different league in terms of size and atmosphere than this island. Even NCL's island next door seemed to be significantly larger. CoCo is still being built out, and you can make out certainly sections have just been gotten ready - as everything seems to have a 'recently planted' look. Our kids used the water park, and really enjoyed it. I would suggest springing for that. I toyed with the idea of getting a cabana or bed....however, at $1000 for a bed for a day for 2 adults it simply wasn't worth it. If you have a large party, then it might be worth the cost. But the, a number of reviews said that lounge chairs were easily available. And frankly, that was plenty. Didn't see the cabanas or beds being worth the expense - even when we were on the island. So, I think we made a good call there. The food on the island was in line with the set expectations - bland and boring. They certainly had good choices and options - but the food was bland - even the Mexican food. When it comes to drinks, the options available were good. We bought the unlimited drinks package, and even though we didn't do justice to the cost, it was a headache-free option. The drinks were pretty good, and the bartenders accommodating and friendly. WiFi- we bought a package for multiple devices. The connections were good and strong - on the ship as well as on CoCo Cay. Worth the cost. Photo Package - we bought an unlimited photo package. This was a bit of a let down as the photographers were very few and rarely available. They were set up every evening in the Promenade - but rarely available at other locations - including at dinner and CoCo Cay. We didn't do any shore excursions thru the ship. We've done so many islands thru other cruises and vacations that at this point, they all are pretty much the same - and so we prefer to go to the beach and just relax. In St. Kitts we went to the Marriott - as we were told the beach is safe. The beach was OK - uncrowded, but the resort isn't up to usual Marriott standards. At St. Thomas, we decided to take a private tour of the island. We took a taxi tour of the island, and for a coupla hours it was just right. We should have done the beaches on this island - but didn't have time. Maegen's breach is certainly worth the trip and cost. Spa/health club - didn't use the spa, but it looked pretty standard. The work out center was also pretty standard. Casino - a LOT of slots, but not enough of Blackjack tables. Dealers were not too friendly. Maybe they were stressed out about Corona. The one thing we should have done was get The Key. Not knowing what it provided, we ignored it prior to the cruise. Then when we tried to get it onboard, they told us that it wasn't available as it had to be bought prior to the cruise. While I'm not entirely sure what all this "Key" offers, from the little I learnt, it certainly seemed to be worth the expense - at least to us - at $32/person/day. Not cheap, but the privileges would have been worth it. HIGHLIGHTS: 1. The big ticket shows - most excellent! I would put them in the league of good Broadway productions 2. Music - excellent options, and went on late in to the night 3. Promenade and Central Park LOWS: 1. Food 2. Food 3. Friendly, but not warm service Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Wife and I booked this for our first. Probably our last, just not for us. The ship was nice, the food and service ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I became seasick w/ somewhat rougher seas and weather the last 2 days. I am still having some land ... Read More
Wife and I booked this for our first. Probably our last, just not for us. The ship was nice, the food and service ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I became seasick w/ somewhat rougher seas and weather the last 2 days. I am still having some land sickness, yes there is such a thing, but hopefully will get over that. We swam with dolphins at Blue Lagoon, another experience checked off our bucket list. Def. Recommend. Our cabin steward, Edison, couldn't have been more attentive, we ended up tipping him extra. Shows were ok, would've like to have seen more comedians and maybe some earlier in the evening. For us, esp. motion sickness prone me, I think we will stick to land and air. Oh, watch out if you check towels off the ship for a shore excursion. When we came back onboard they collected them but didn't scan our seapass. On the final bill there was a charge for $50, $25 a towel. As soon as we walked up to guest services she smiled and said "pool towels?" Had we not questioned, we would have been charged. She did remove it Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As avid cruisers, we had a world trip organised from Feb-Oct 2020, which includes 7 cruises. We even started up our own blog for the trip thriftydrifting.com . A week before our first cruise was to depart our home in Fremantle, WA, the ... Read More
As avid cruisers, we had a world trip organised from Feb-Oct 2020, which includes 7 cruises. We even started up our own blog for the trip thriftydrifting.com . A week before our first cruise was to depart our home in Fremantle, WA, the cruise was cancelled ( due to Covid19) , with everything going haywire quickly we had a few weeks up our sleeves so quickly booked in on back to back Cruises on Voyager of the Seas. If we were going to accomplish anything with the start of the disruptions, given we were at 60 nights with RC the back to back would take us to 82 giving us our diamond. We love being on the sea and love sea days, so regardless of ports of call scheduled we were just happy we could be on the water. Embarkation- at Circular Quay in Sydney was smooth. At the time there was still no temperature checks, but we did fill out a health survey for Vanuatu ( originally this cruise was to New Caledonian Ports) . 2 days before the cruise we were emailed the itinerary change which would now go to Noumea and then to Vanuatu ports instead. Note: after our day in Noumea there was an announcement our cruise wasn’t going to Vanuatu, but now going to Tauranga and Bay of Islands in New Zealand and Eden, Australia The ship- overall appearance, cleanliness, maintenance, etc is very good. We like this ship and having previously been on Explorer of the Seas for 23 days we knew the Voyager layout very well. They are very similar. Dining- As we aren’t your typical cruisers, we can only comment on the dining options we do use. ( on this cruise we didn’t use any of the paid/extra dining options) and we only had dinner in the Main dining room once. Main dining room- we enjoy the main dining room for breakfast. They have it laid out so that buffet style is on the 3rd floor and a la carte is on the 4th floor. Problem for us is we always ask for a private table for 2. As there are limited private tables for 2 on the 4th floor we have to do the buffet on the 3rd floor. Luckily we don’t mind the buffet, think it’s a bit better than the Windjammer, and coffee better as well. Plus you get your ice water in a glass rather than a plastic cup. Occasionally we have lunch in the main dining room. It’s nice to go up for their Tutti salad buffet and see what else is on offer and also get any a la carte items as well. We don’t do dinner in main dining room. Much prefer the Windjammer as it is less crowded, informal and suits us. Windjammer - With other Royal Caribbean ships we have been on, we have been much more impressed with breakfast spreads. This cruise seemed to lack the extra variety. Example, didn’t have lesser known breakfast options like congee and accompaniments, Indian breakfast options, and even salmon was limited. Lunch and Dinner were quite good, lots of variety, although after 11 days it does all start to feel the same. We have been on ships were everything was salted heavily, food cold, etc, so cant complain about the food here. We also enjoy dinner in the Windjammer as it is not very busy, very casual. We also enjoy making a cheese plate and dessert plate to take back to the room to eat later. Note: on this ship the Windjammer had a hand washing station. ( pretty sure this will become common on more ships) , it is a slower process in line waiting, but once the initial crowd is in the line goes down as well. We also like the Cafe Promenade. We are happy with the complimentary coffee, so only occasion splurge on a bought one. But we also go for the complimentary snacks - pizza, rolls, desserts, antipastos, all nice for an afternoon nibble. Pools and Outdoor decks- there are 2 pools side by side in the main area and a 3rd pool in the adult only solarium. This ship the Solarium is open air. The ship also has 6 spas (hot tubs) 4 in main area and 2 in Solarium. We did find on this ship the pool and spas were often very busy, much more than on other cruises we’ve been on. Maybe the sunnier days and more sea days brought more people out. Activities - this ship has a big activities area: sports court, rock climbing, wave rider, mini golf, 2 water slides, etc. - we don’t really use these, but they looked popular amongst the crowds. Ice Skating - The ship has a cast of professional ice skater that put on a couple of shows. The Studio B only holds about 250 people so the initial shows get filled quickly. They also do free skating. We did the skating on Explorer of the Seas which was good. On this ship it was very crowded on the ice so didn’t bother. Deck 5 - walk around deck. We enjoy the deck for our morning walks and going out for a stroll throughout the day. Front of ship has steps up to deck 6, but we like that the deck goes completely around the ship. Reception - on numerous occasions throughout the cruise we had spoken to reception on a number of issues. On every occasion we get brushed off with a “ we know nothing, can’t help you attitude” or we’ll make a note and call you back - but never do. Unfortunately these interactions can really tarnish a guests overall experience on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I previously took a 6-day Royal Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas and loved it. Tremendous service! Housekeeping was attentive, and gave us lots of advice on getting around the ship and ports. They removed the barrier between two ... Read More
I previously took a 6-day Royal Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas and loved it. Tremendous service! Housekeeping was attentive, and gave us lots of advice on getting around the ship and ports. They removed the barrier between two ocean balcony rooms, so friends could share that space. My Time Dining was flexible, we didn't need to book dinner or entertainment in advance of the trip. On Harmony, we had to pre-book every dinner and show, and even then, got bad timeslots. In spite of this, My Time Dining was a disaster the first couple of nights. Throngs of upset customers crowded the third deck, asking for more reasonable times. Even more waited for hours to be seated. Housekeeping was minimally adequate; we had to ask multiple times for toilet paper, tissues, soap & blankets. We asked Guest Services at least three times to remove the barrier between our balcony patios, and no one ever helped. We did eventually have a great time with our My Time Dining team. Yay for Antra and Imad on table 300! Love those guys. That said, we'll stick with Freedom of the Seas, or try another cruise line for the next trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not a fan of this ship’s design. The centrum design lacks functionality. It doesn’t offer enough room for large crowds to enjoy the entertainment and it acts as a chimney for cigarette smoke to ... Read More
The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not a fan of this ship’s design. The centrum design lacks functionality. It doesn’t offer enough room for large crowds to enjoy the entertainment and it acts as a chimney for cigarette smoke to travel up to the upper floors and hallways. We were in a suite on floor 10, 5 floors above the casino, we could smell smoke just outside our room in the hallway. Park West, the art auction company that contracts with cruise ships, BEWARE!!!! They overcharge for their artwork and make false claims. Check them out on the internet and research before buying anything! RCI gets a percentage of everything sold onboard. The service on this voyage was excellent! The food on this voyage was average to slightly above average. They served Basa, Tilapia and several other substandard fish. The beef on the ship was all excellent! The noise in our suite from above was very loud. The entertainment was very good too. The itinerary was also very good. Do your research before booking any cruise and also read reviews so you don’t have any unexpected surprises! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I wanted to love RC. We‘ve cruised many times but this was our first on RC. My family and I were less than wowed. I realize the ship is heading to dry dock soon so perhaps they’ll make some necessary repairs but truly, it should have ... Read More
I wanted to love RC. We‘ve cruised many times but this was our first on RC. My family and I were less than wowed. I realize the ship is heading to dry dock soon so perhaps they’ll make some necessary repairs but truly, it should have gone to dry dock before this sail. Due to a bad propeller our itinerary was initially altered 3 months from our cruise. We received notice but truly, 3 months out, what can we do. Our itinerary was further altered at sea when Coco Caye was deemed to be too windy with a chance of poor weather. I understand from other individuals on the cruise that this is NOT rare. Imagine how disappointed my kids were given they’ve seen a million commercials about “the perfect day.” Stopping at Labadee was a poor substitute. In addition, my daughters swimsuits got mixed up with the dirty towels and, after having our room searched first, we were told it was never found. Wonder why the laundry staff rooms were not searched like ours? Seems some staffs daughter will have a nice new swimsuit. The aqua show was rescheduled more than once due to rocking of the boat. . . Perhaps that bad propeller is more important overall? The arcades had many games that do not work, the food was ok at best, the ice cream shop ran out of mint chip ice cream, everything is a very expensive additional charge, the rooms were worn and tired and the customer service was just ok compared to Disney and surprisingly Carnival. Seems to me issuing a $38 credit for the stolen swimsuit would have been a minor token of goodwill and good customer service. I wish I had researched cruise lines and boats better. Sorry RC, you fall terribly short on MANY accounts. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first RCCL cruise, we've also done Princess and Carnival several times. I liked the cruise a lot, but probably will not sail with RCCL again. PROS: - The crew was extremely friendly and the service was outstanding. ... Read More
This was our first RCCL cruise, we've also done Princess and Carnival several times. I liked the cruise a lot, but probably will not sail with RCCL again. PROS: - The crew was extremely friendly and the service was outstanding. - The ship was very clean, including the bathrooms. There were Purrell hand santiizers everywhere. There was a hand washing station at the buffet that you had to walk through to get to the buffet. - The ship looked very modern and stylish, with nice artwork and contemporary decor. - We had an ocean-view balcony. The room was plenty big for myself, my wife, and our two small children. The trundle beds (converted from a couch) was comfortable for the kids. I slept in one of the twin beds one night and it was fine for me too. The king bed my wife and I shared the other nights was comfortable too, though the pillows were a little hard. The balcony was sufficiently big to put our feet up an relax. The door had a child lock and sealed off the sound from outside too, we never heard anything and there was no soot on the balcony either (we were towards the back of the ship). The showed was comparatively big with the round "glass" door providing a lot of space, and good water pressure too. - There were a lot of activities on the boat and a lot too do all the time (probably too much to do, we had to skip some things). -The shows we went to were fantastic, especially the Columbus musical. That was really really good. The Aqua Theater show (the Fine Line) was also really good with incredible diving and acrobatics. I've never seen shows that good on a ship, it rivaled Vegas. - Roatan is a great stop, probably one of the best beaches we've been to in the Caribbean. Go to West Bay beach and walk around the West End area if you go. It's great! -Embarkation was smooth and fast. We got there at 10 and we were on the ship by 10:45. You should scan your passport using the app so that you can use the expidited line to get on faster. -Debarkation was very fast, we walked off the ship at 9am (we chose to stat on a little later) and were off the boat and through customs 10 mins later using their facial recognition. One of our bags got lost (someone wasn't paying attention and walked off with our bag, but left it outside the terminal when they realized their mistake). The port staff helped track it down after about 20 mins of us looking inside. I was very relieved they found it, but it would be great if they had a more secure way for people to confirm their bags (e.g. showing some form of ID, or using a barcode scanning process). - The comedian they had was really good, but he did the same act each night. Carnival has great comedians and they do a different act every night, so you can go every night and see something good. CONS - The food was sub-par all around. The dinner in the MDR had a pretty repetitive menu and the cuts of meat were not very good. I wasn't looking forward to dinner. The dessert were generally uninspired and they only had a warm cookie or brownie one night (I really like warm desserts with ice cream on top, rather than just a cold cake). Food is the main reason I cruise, so that deficiency on this ship is a show-stopper for me. I only ate in one specialty restaurant (Izumi Hibachi, which was very good itself and the show there was fantastic), but the food in the MDR and Windjammer were mediocre at best. I think they are trying to get you to buy the upsold specialty restaurants. I thought the food on Carnival was much better, especially since I like burgers and pizza. The Guy's burgers on Carnival are really good and their pizza is better than HOTS too. The breakfast and desserts on Carnival were also much better, they have melting chocolate cake every night. - The cruise director and his staff were not very visible for the first few days of the sailing. One of the questions at trivia on the third day was "what's the name of your cruise director." I think it speaks volumes that that was a trivia question. The atmosphere on the ship was not as fun as past cruises we've been on. - The stop at Costa Maya was not very interesting. We got off the ship for 30 mins and then got back on. - The ice skating was only open for a few hours the entire cruise and you had to get there early to get a slot. We ended up having to skip that due to its limited availability. - The kids club was ok. My 4 year old liked it a lot, but my 7 year old did not have such a great time there. He really wanted to play a specific video game they had there, but there was another kid that was hogging it the whole time and the staff did nothing to enforce time limits or sharing among the kids, despite me asking them multiple times to ensure my son got a turn. - Elevator wait times were not great, but I recommend using the stairs if you aren't too lazy and if you aren't disabled. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our teenaged son has gazed longingly at Royal Caribbean ships whenever we've been in the same port. He was thrilled by the size and variety of activities he could see. As a gift to him, we purchased a holiday cruise on Anthem of the ... Read More
Our teenaged son has gazed longingly at Royal Caribbean ships whenever we've been in the same port. He was thrilled by the size and variety of activities he could see. As a gift to him, we purchased a holiday cruise on Anthem of the Seas since the port was easy to reach and the date worked for his school vacations. The Anthem is a big ship. We logged thousands of steps each day just getting from the elevator/stairway lobby in the middle of the ship to our room in the aft. This is the first ship I've been on (my 8th cruise) which had only two banks of elevators. It was really inconvenient and we often wished for better access to the rear of the ship. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 9. The layout was good, though with the sofa bed open we struggled to get to the balcony. Closet space was adequate and decor is pleasant. The balcony was very nice - we liked having the footstools (which we could see are not available on other RCCL ships). My husband found the bed too hard and complained that it hurt his back. I didn't mind it. The bathroom is small but fine for one person. Sharing it between three of us was somewhat of a challenge. Little things made it harder, such as a hook design that dumped towels on the floor whenever they were brushed up against. Public areas in the ship were attractive. The layout of the main public decks (4 and 5) was confusing as they are divided into two zones (The Royal Promenade an the Via) but telling those apart was difficult. It took us longer to learn the layout of this ship than we have before. The various bars and entertainment spaces were comfortable. One thing Royal does really well is moving large numbers of people around. Though our sailing was nearly full, the ship rarely felt crowded and we almost always had a choice of places to sit. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze - the best we've ever seen. Kudos to Royal for that. The one place we had consistent issues with crowds was the jogging track. As it winds in between other activities it was often blocked and walking and/or jogging was frustrating. We wished for the dedicated promenade decks we've had on other ships. The Anthem has a lot of activities suited for active families. Our teen made friends immediately and went off with his posse every day. My husband and I were not really interested in bumper cars or scavenger hunts so many of the activities were wasted on us. I think for the many families on board these choices were great. For us, the lack of alternative adult programming was a disappointment. We did enjoy the lectures on astronomy given on sea days by an amateur astronomer from New Jersey. The evening entertainment was a real disappointment to us. We saw the three shows done by cruise performers and thought all three were weak. The Gift is visually stunning with great costumes and sets. But the plot, such as it is, was almost impossible to follow and the characters were so undeveloped we often couldn't tell them apart. Spectra's Cabaret had lots of interesting acrobatics, but they were done in the dark which may have created a mood but it left us wondering what was happening. We Will Rock You, like The Gift, had good sets and costumes but felt like it had been cut down, badly, from a longer show. I should note that the performers seemed very talented - it was the material they were given that was the problem. On top of all of that, the shows were all very loud. And each was introduced by Mercedes, the cruise director, who screamed every word she said every time we saw her. There were three guest entertainers on the cruise, all comedians of a sort. The best of the bunch was ventriloquist Ronn Lucas who did a funny show that featured a great bit using a guest in a dummy mask. We really enjoyed that show. Impressionist Jeff Tracta was a mix. Some of his observations on pop culture were cute but when he ventured into political commentary it left us very uncomfortable. We spoke the next day with some other guests who said they also felt the political humor was inappropriate. The final night Steven Thomas did a tired set of jokes about his wife, his in laws and farting that were just not funny. The biggest disappointment on the cruise for us was the food and the overall dining experience. This was the one place where it was obvious that Royal had thousands of people on board. The main dining rooms were crowded and service felt rushed. We were surprised to see that the menus changed only slightly each night, so that we had few new items to choose from. Most of the entrees were under seasoned and uninteresting. The Windjammer, though not overly crowded, felt more like a school cafeteria than a buffet. It was clear that the staff prepped for meals well in advance. The fresh vegetables often looked tired - wilted or discolored. The entrees were a broad mix - these too repeated several times in the cruise. It was the first cruise I've been on where I was sure we were getting leftovers. Worst of all were the desserts. With the exceptions of the cookies, we almost never had anything good for dessert. We did try one specialty restaurant - Jaime's Italian. There the service and food were much better. But for $170 for three people, one would hope so. On other cruise lines specialty restaurants charge an additional fee - with the idea that you've paid for your meals in your ticket but a small extra fee will give you an extra special meal. On Royal we paid for our meals in the ticket, then spent twice what we would have on land for a meal that was better but not as good as we could have had on land for less. Overall the staff were pleasant and friendly. Our cabin steward did the minimum. The ship was not as clean as others we've been on but it was good enough. We had the usual mix ups with guest services. One thing that confounded us was the Royal App. As the cruise went o it was less and less accurate. We felt like there was no on on board who could update it so it just became useless. Which is a shame as it could have been very helpful. We stopped at Port Canaveral and Nassau, both of which we've visited before. Our third stop was Coco Cay. That was really nice. Royal has done a great job developing the island. We were there along with Mariner of the Seas and it still didn't feel crowded. Our son liked the water park and we enjoyed stretching out in the beach chairs and swimming in the sea. The Anthem has lots of strengths as a ship and I think for many people it would be a great fit. It was not the right ship for us but it could be a perfect fit for others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We'd sailed Princess and Norwegian before, but this was our first Royal cruise. Food The food and service was better on Princess (I still dream of how the most simple dishes like fettucine alfredo were somehow mind-blowing!), ... Read More
We'd sailed Princess and Norwegian before, but this was our first Royal cruise. Food The food and service was better on Princess (I still dream of how the most simple dishes like fettucine alfredo were somehow mind-blowing!), but Royal's main dining room food was decent enough we'd sail with them again. The Windjammers Buffet was especially ample and fresh -- and we are not typically "Buffet people." (With kids, you make concessions!) The service was a little slow in the main dining areas for breakfast and lunch, though the wait staff was very friendly, professional, and accommodating at all times. Waits were not very long, but if you plan on making reservations while on board, you can run into a few snags -- you'll never get through to customer service by phone, many reservations are all booked up, and the app system does not always work if you need to make/break a reservations. Dining highlights included the mushroom soup, hashbrowns, baklava, mussels, and lobster tail night. I'd read negative reviews of Sorrento's pizza, but we ate there soooo many times. We're from Buffalo, land of amazing pizza, and it was good enough for us. Compared to other cruise lines, the specialty dining is a bit nickel-and-dimey. The drink package was well worth it, though I didn't use it for the "specialty coffee" as much as I thought I would, since the coffee lines were super long and apparently, a caramel macchiato is conveniently considered "food." The ability to use the dining/drink package on Coco Cay was incredible and generous -- what a perk! Other cruise lines would be wise to follow suit. Entertainment Sadly, we missed the "We Will Rock You" show (AND its rescheduled time) due to wild rocking waves on the way back home. "Spectra's Cabaret" was interesting and had a few decent numbers. The plot for "The Gift" was confusing at times, but overall it was tantalizing with moving sets, Broadway caliber music/dance numbers, and cool BMX tricks. The arcade area was lacking, with not much for the little ones to do and a lot of the machines out of order. Bumper cars are for people 42 inches tall AND at least five years of age... that was not immediately clear to us... our 4-year-old wall tall enough but not old enough, which was quite a melt-down of disappointment for him! Karaoke did not have great song selection and booked solid within the first 10 minutes. Many of the adult entertainment options were at an extra charge, so we didn't have much to do after dropping the kids off at the Kids Club. We had really looked forward to the on-board library for kids' bedtime story books... but there was literally nothing for children and the adult selections were little to be desired as well. There were a few puzzles and a chess set there if you're so inclined. We did like the Two70 Club and visited the upper balcony for movies, watching "Abominable" and "Maleficient 2" there. We liked the music playing around the ship -- the kids called the main concourse "the dance party." We went to the official "family dance party" -- the kids liked the glow sticks, but there was hardly room to dance in the tiny Two70 (they should've had it at Sea Plex!) and the music was horrrrrrible (like YMCA/disco/wedding DJ horrible); the entertainment was fresher aboard Norwegian. Ports In Florida, we rode the airboats and went to a wild animal preserve. I can't recommend this excursion enough! We saw so many gators! We'd taken a similar excursion with Norwegian nine years ago and saw zero gators on the tour. The hosts were super friendly and informative. You feel like you're flying on board the airboat. It's a birdwatcher's dream with roseatte spoonbills, herons, egrets, and other large feathered creatures. You'll even spot cows grazing in the marshes. If you're considering Nassau's Blue Lagoon Island DON'T DO IT. This excursion was a nightmare. Perhaps if you're booking the dolphin or sea lion or ray encounter, it would be worthwhile, but we booked the "Deluxe Beach Break" for a peaceful ocean day with the kids. As soon as we got off the ferry, we stepped into disorganized chaos with no signs or personnel to tell us where our "reserved hammock and beach chairs" were located. Spoiler alert - there IS no hammock, and beach chairs are first come, first served! We eventually hiked across the whole island and managed to find the last one available (in full sun). According to the bartender, there were 5,000 people on this tiny island. FIVE THOUSAND! We had come here for the dolphin tour nine years ago and it was simply the dolphin/sea lion preserve with a small hotdog stand. Now it's all built up, but lacks proper planning to provide a decent experience. I waited 45 minutes for a beer at the bar. People were ordering fancy blender drinks and a-la-carte food ahead of me. The staff waited for the food to be made and brought out before processing the next drink order -- unreal! I finally abandoned the line without a beer and went to another bar, where I waited "just 20 minutes." At least there - people weren't ordering food! We waited until a bit later to eat because the place was completely swarmed upon disembarkation.Good luck if you arrive hungry. The buffet was mediocre at best and left me feeling like I'd just paid $95 for a lukewarm burger and dry rice. My husband suspects the chicken gave him food poisoning. So now, frustration is in full swing, I wanted time in the ocean. You have to walk out pretty far into the crowded zone near the inflatable aquatic park to find water waist-deep. You might see one or two fish, but there isn't much to see. The kids enjoyed looking for shells, but I wouldn't say it's a good beach for shelling by any stretch of the imagination. The description implied the aquatic park was included in the deluxe ticket -- IT'S NOT. You also need to pay $20 per person for the mandatory life preserver! The kids were super disappointed, but who wants to pay another $80 for us to go over there after paying $360 for a ferry and a lousy lunch? We took the first jam-packed double-decker ferry back to the ship as soon as we could. It was the worst vacation day I'd ever had! Coco Cay, on the other hand, was a well-managed, first-rate experience. The perfect day we had from start to finish made up for all the hassle of traveling with two young children. We didn't pay for any of the excursions, instead "winging it" with the free attractions. Music performances greet you off the boat and there are signs and staff members there to direct you wherever you want to go. We walked everywhere easily, but there are trams if you want a ride as well. The kids played on the pirate ship right off the dock and the neighboring water playground for about a half hour. Then we headed to Chill Island to spend the day in sand and surf. Everyone was nice, pointing us to an open umbrella chair. We saw so many crabs, iguanas, and fish swimming near the rocks -- it was cool! The buffet was streamlined for efficiency with no waits. You could choose burgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads, or tacos. It was all fresh and stocked. We found a table with ease and watched the local chickens run around. We didn't eat at Captain Jack's, but we heard the wings and fries were really good. The bar lines were short and the mixed drinks were very tasty even if you're not a mixed drink sort of person. Sea Days Next time perhaps we'll take a spring sailing instead. The sea days were cold, rainy, blustery in February. We had one day where we could enjoy the outdoor pool and splash pad area. The kids loved it! The big TV was cool, but it's hard to find a spot to sit and watch a movie on such a huge ship. Shopping We didn't do much shopping on board. However, I will say this - if you are a lady in need of feminine hygiene products, you are doomed! You'll find the most rudimentary Tampax and paper-thin light liners. Service We got to know the staff of the Princess ship better, but the staff on Royal was dedicated. It's nice having the same waiters in the main dining room. We didn't see our room steward much, but he was busy keeping the room clean while we were away, so that was good. They delighted the kids with towel and napkin animals. If you need any service by phone, forget about it. If you manage to get through by phone at all, expect a long wait and no solution to your issues, whether it's the internet not working or trying to book a reservation. The guest services lines were pretty much always long too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is my family’s 3rd cruise with RC. We have done Oasis, Anthem and now Symphony. First THE GOOD. as usual, the dining room staff are terrific in the MDR as well as the Wydjammer. My wife has Celiac and they have treated her with so ... Read More
This is my family’s 3rd cruise with RC. We have done Oasis, Anthem and now Symphony. First THE GOOD. as usual, the dining room staff are terrific in the MDR as well as the Wydjammer. My wife has Celiac and they have treated her with so much kindness and consideration to make sure she has adequate food choices. Our waiter Marlon at table 301, allows her to pick her meals the night before so they can be specially made. The head waiter also helps out a lot during dinner and breakfast. In general the food Has been good , but maybe not “as good” as in the past. I didn’t get the Alcohol Package so I don’t drink As much so bartenders don’t seem as friendly this time around . But maybe it’s just because l’m not as drunk ? IDK But my BIGGEST COMPLAINT is there is wayyyy to Much dead time doing nothing. On other cruises there was ALWAYS ALWAYS something fun going on. On this cruise , with the exception of the big shows (Hairspray , hiro , 1977 Etc the choice are few , repetitive and boring. It’s pretty much trivia, karaoke, Latin fiesta 500 times a day, the same band playing in different spots, dance lessons and bingo. And mostly everything seems to be right around dinner time or start super late. So you have this lull of time from like 2-530 and then from Like 630-10. Other cruises there was ALWAYS somethings. They had a Journey cover band. They had a magician. They had this awesome singer who could imitate any genre of music. And this was in addition to Spectras cabaret, and the main show and just multiple games shows And a VARIETY of bands. Not the same band every night in a different spot and or “Latin fiesta” we’ve been bored every day Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because of the Galveston departure port as we live in TX. We have two small boys (5 and 8) and this was our "trial" cruise for them to see if they liked cruising. We wanted to keep it simple and not fly ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Galveston departure port as we live in TX. We have two small boys (5 and 8) and this was our "trial" cruise for them to see if they liked cruising. We wanted to keep it simple and not fly anywhere. This was our first time on a larger ship. Hubby and I have only ever been on NCL mid-size ships (Jewel, Pearl, Gem) so I had high expectations given what I had heard about the activities available on this particular ship (water slides and splash park). Boarding was easy and we had no issues except for the mediocre welcome. Crew seemed stressed out. No "Welcome aboard!". I found this odd. The atmosphere seemed a bit chaotic and it was very crowded. I felt a bit let down remembering the huge welcomes we had received in prior cruises. Our first disappointment was with our cabins. When I booked this cruise I asked for adjoining rooms because our boys are little. I was booking late (November) so I knew our options would be limited. I was told there were only two options available overlooking the Royal Promenade. I was concerned this would be noisy but the RC agent assured me she would put us in the rooms that were located above a store. The other option was right above the Hoof and Claw pub which would not have been ideal. Well, I guess the agent made a mistake because our cabins were directly above said pub. While our boys were able to get to sleep fine, my husband and I were forced to stay awake every night until at least 12:30 am due to Carlo, the entertainer there for 6 nights in the Hoof and Claw pub. He does 3 to 4 sets each night. When I went to GS the first morning, they told me there was nothing they could do as all cabins were booked. All I got was a mediocre "sorry". We were extremely disappointed to say the least. I was so tired by Wednesday night that I cried from exhaustion. People got very rowdy in this pub every single night. We could hear every single word of every song. I was so sick and tired of hearing American Pie two or three times each night. Even with ear plugs, we could still hear everything. If you want to get to sleep anytime before 12:30 am do not get cabins 6575, 6577, or 6579. In fact, I'd stay away from any room overlooking the Promenade. Second disappointment was the lack of attention to detail concerning our boys' birthdays. Both were celebrating birthdays on different days. Only one was acknowledged with door decorations. The other received a $200 voucher for use at the spa. Really? For a five year old? I had already informed RC twice about their birthdays and ages. I happened to mention to our steward that it was our 8 year old's birthday on his day and I think had I not mentioned anything, the door would not have been decorated at all. This was also very disappointing. Our steward, Reynaldo, was amazing. Very attentive to our needs and always smiling. No problems there. Dining was fine. We only did Windjammer buffet, pizza at Sorrento's, sushi (which is just a cart outside the cupcake shop), and Cafe Promenade. All were great and my boys wolfed down the sushi. I must say Sorrento's staff was sub-par. They seemed understaffed and generally unhappy working there. The tables were dirty and asking for a fork (I had salad) seemed like a huge inconvenience. There was also a funky bad cheese smell. Good pizza though. Cafe Promenade is a great place to grab a snack and coffee. They also have a good selection of teas. Staff was super friendly and nice there. Loved it. The Windjammer buffet could get very crowded. I was surprised at how small it was given the size of this ship. We enjoyed the choices they offered. Service in the morning for water and coffee was a bit slow. Some mornings I had to ask someone to come clean our table and get our beverages. We didn't frequent any of the bars except for getting a glass of wine every evening for our room from Vantages. Great service there, very pleasant. The pools and splash area were a bit disappointing. The water was so cold in the kids splash area that my boys didn't spend any time there. This was supposed to be the highlight for them. Instead they hung around the only pool that was warm enough next to one of the hot tubs. I guess this was the only pool that shared pipes with the adjacent tubs. Too bad because that pool got very crowded while the other was usually empty. Because of the icy waters, none of us were brave enough to try out the bigger water slides. On sea days it was difficult getting lounge chairs but not impossible. We did have a good time despite the above setbacks. We got lots of beach time with excursions in Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Jamaica was better and less crowded as we were the only ship in port. We did not do an excursion in Cozumel. Disembarkation was no problem in Galveston despite having heard otherwise from other cruisers. Overall, the big ship experience was good for our boys. They absolutely loved it. My husband and I prefer the smaller ship experience and likely will book a smaller ship again for our next cruise, probably with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just returning from 7 days on the majesty of the Sea out of New Orleans. Brought my sister in law with us who had never been on a cruise. It was not the best Impression for a newbie. Beyond RCC control the ship arrived at 3:30 due to ... Read More
Just returning from 7 days on the majesty of the Sea out of New Orleans. Brought my sister in law with us who had never been on a cruise. It was not the best Impression for a newbie. Beyond RCC control the ship arrived at 3:30 due to experiencing bad weather coming in. Embarkation was a crazy madhouse. Very long lines since they had us all arriving to board at 3:00pm. Embarkation took about 90 minutes. Pros Cheap price Food Average to above average Eagles Tribute band phenomenal Comedian very fun Ports were great Guitarist was great Staff courteous and helpful Dining staff excellent Cons Inside room on deck 2 very small and minimal storage. Hint. Have beds as twins rather than king. Made room more comfortable for two people Beverage prices high (1 beer and 1 Bloody Mary was $25 after tip) No seating in Centrum area where many events took place Production shows were average. Pool area overcrowded especially hot tubs, no area for adult only, kids took over the hot tubs Sewer smell on lower decks, especially today on debarkation day, enough to make you nauseous while waiting forever for elevators Buffet for breakfast usually pretty good but today coffee cold eggs cold too little seating. Waited too long before opening both buffet sections With all the news about conovirus the handrails were not wiped down enough Accessibility for many was difficult due to having to use stairs to get to several of the elevators in the main areas of the ship I’ve been on many cruises on four different cruise lines , RCC included. If this was my first cruise I would not cruise again. Very bad impression. I will cruise again but I think it is time to gut and redo this ship or retire it completely Key West and Nassau are walkable ports. We enjoyed both of these port days. Used some of the walking tour ideas from Pinterest. Coco Bay was very clean and nice. We were the only ship there that day. Complimentary food available was good ( except hamburger). There were plenty chairs around beach and pool available. You can use your beverage package on this island that is owned by RCC Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked this cruise for myself, wife and 6 year old daughter. The itinerary was the main factor in booking this cruise as we wanted to explore perfect day and take the little one swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas. We flew into Newark ... Read More
We booked this cruise for myself, wife and 6 year old daughter. The itinerary was the main factor in booking this cruise as we wanted to explore perfect day and take the little one swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas. We flew into Newark airport the night before the cruise and stayed in a hotel. The following morning was sat in breakfast when the ship popped up on the news. Some passengers had flu like symptoms and were being sent for tests, the rest disembarked. We had no news from RCL so assumed boarding was as stated. Arrived at the terminal and was then told no boarding till Saturday. Back to the Hotel to check back in. Had emails from RCL waiting for test results and would delay boarding till sat (Email confirming) Checked out again sat morning and waited for a further update from RCL. Update came through sat afternoon no boarding till Monday and stated their compensation package. Stayed in a different hotel as ours was full. Test results came back from the CDC late Sat night and we could board Sunday and Monday, however we would now be sailing to Bermuda. Having never been and unable to get flights back to the UK we decided to stay. Compensation package. $200 per night hotel costs, 50% cruise fair back as on-board credit (refundable any unspent), 50% future cruise credit. Got a shuttle to the port, dropped off and onto the ship within 30mins. Room we had an obstructive Balcony on deck 6, the bottom 1/4 of the balcony was the top of a life boat but didn't affect the views. Revised Itinerary Monday: Left NY sailed up the river past the statue of liberty and then did a 180 and sailed back past and out to sea. Tuesday: At Sea Wed: Bermuda Thur: Bermuda till 3pm Fri: At sea The ship is modern, clean and the staff very friendly. The IFLY experience (Free, yes, I know!!!!) was fun and my 6-year-old daughter is a natural. The Iplex, bumper cars and roller-skating (Also free) was also great fun. We tried a couple of the shows but not really our cup of tea, especially with children, bit too long tbh. The evening entertainment was limited but again due to the coronavirus scare I am guessing the acts were last minute. Food only went to windjammer for the little one who can have what she wants. Food was tasty and the staff/head chef very helpful and friendly. Being English I do enjoy chatting cricket with the Indian staff (England current world champions). Always find the main restaurants repetitive. The speciality restaurants I always find expensive on RCL so avoided. Drinks package for the little one was amazing, and she got her money's worth, just watch for the E numbers!!!! lol The indoor pool was a god send as the weather at sea was a cloudy or wet, with some rocking going on. We had dolphins booked for Bahamas and looked for dolphins in Bermuda. RCL offered a package for $370!!!!!! Got off the ship at Bermuda and a 5-minute walk we arrived at dolphin quest, $175 thank you very much. Daughter loved it and was shaking with excitement. I cannot stress to people go to dolphin quest and enjoy the animals and friendly staff. Bermuda: Gorgeous place with friendly people. Weather was 20c but felt hotter with blue skies. Enjoyed our time here, the dockyard and museum are well worth a visit and you get in free if you go to dolphin quest. Over all the cruise was ok. I didn't like the ship as much as the Oasis and Independence, just seemed more to do on these ships rather than the Anthem. The boardwalk area, was small, reminded me a little of the older P&O ships. Personally, I think adults will like this ship more than families. Yes, there are kids' clubs, but I like to spend time with my children on holidays and enjoy the shows, ship, destinations together. I will cruise RCL again, but not on the Anthem. Newark airport, I found the Passport control staff rude. As a military man I understand the need for firmness but even so you can be polite with it. I nearly lost it with one individual but bit my tongue as I wanted to get into the country. On departure quick and easy through the airport, but word of warning to UK flyers on BA. The terminal once you go through security is small 1 shop and food is obscene expensive!! complete daylight robbery. I would not use Newark airport again TBH. Final note. 1 week later and RCL have refunded 50% of the cruise fare and our hotels cost. Good work RCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My daughter was going on this cruise and asked us to go. This was my 3rd time on Royal and my last. food was just ok, the windjammer café is crowded and hard to find a table and the food is the same everyday with just maybe 4 or 5 diff ... Read More
My daughter was going on this cruise and asked us to go. This was my 3rd time on Royal and my last. food was just ok, the windjammer café is crowded and hard to find a table and the food is the same everyday with just maybe 4 or 5 diff items. I wont go as far to say the food was terrible but it wasn't great either. The same goes for my other Royal Caribbean cruise, I was hoping this time would have improved. I have been on Norweigen the food was absolutely amazing the buffets were excellent not your typical buffet. For the dinning room service was good, servers were great but again the food wasn't. I had prime rib and it didn't taste like a real piece of meat. Others had chicken and it was dryed out, my Granddaughter order chicken nuggets they were terrible it was all break crumb cooked to a crisp no chicken in there at all. so for food I give it a 4 or 5...The rest of ship was great, the pool is your usual pool and if you don't get there early you will not find a chair. There was no games or anything going on but the music was blasted to the point where we had to leave because we couldn't even hear our selves it was that bad. Even in the dining room the speaker was right over my head and the music was so loud, I felt like I couldn't get away from the loud music and I love music. The casino, don't waste your money it is horrible no one person won a jackpot and all the jackpots were exactly the same from day 1 to day 5 not one person hit anything. One guy did win at black jack $25,000 he got lucky and pulled 2 queen of hearts at the same time the dealer hit Black Jack for a awesome payout. So bottom line is if you hate loud music and just okay food stay away. Oh I saw Greece and that was great good show, good voices it was entertaining. last but not least when we got to the caymen islands there was no space at all on the beach, we went to 7 mile beach and we literally turned around and got right back on the bust and enjoyed some quite time at the pool...In Mexico we never got off the boat... All in all I would rate it a 6... Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We did a 10 day cruise out of Sydney Australia to the South Pacific. We chose Radiance of the Seas for the departure date and itinerary offered. Unfortunately this itinerary started changing immediately after we booked (prior to ... Read More
We did a 10 day cruise out of Sydney Australia to the South Pacific. We chose Radiance of the Seas for the departure date and itinerary offered. Unfortunately this itinerary started changing immediately after we booked (prior to Coronavirus) and continued changing right through our cruise. Understandably we were on the ship with week Coronavirus starting making news and quarantining other ships , so I can't imagine logistical nightmare the company was living.. We were to visit Mare, Lifou and Isle of Pine (which was on and off the itinerary a couple of times since I booked)- it was first cancelled as there would be too many ships in at the same time, and then added to our itinerary through the cruise with the cancellation of other ports. We completely understood the reasons for the closures, but it led to a lot of last minute research on the ports as the original ports were easy to do on our own.. where the other stops required excursion planning. Anyhow this was a circumstance out of our control and we were very grateful not to be quarantined. Here is the review of what we did: Ship: As others have said some areas look a little tired, but I enjoyed the size, the detail (many pretty areas) and ease of getting around. Cabin: We were in 8024 a balcony room. I found the room to be small compared to other cruises I have been on, but it suited our needs. The bed was comfortable. Dining: The buffet (Windjammer) got old for us pretty quickly, but we loved our meals in the dining room. The menu could have used a little more variety but what we had was always good and the environment was great. We had a table for two that was situated close to two other tables for two and we thoroughly enjoyed our company. Entertainment and Activities: We saw most shows and I felt they were well done. The singers on this ship were amazing. The theatre had lots of seating and great bar service. There weren't many activities on this ship that we wanted to take part in..I think that was mainly due to the size of the ship (variety of activities less) Service: Here is the big reason for my rating. We experienced excellent service in the dining room by all waiters and assistant waiters. The service in the all of the bars was slow- although the staff worked very hard.. Royal Caribbean has the waiter take the drink order and then make the drink, and then deliver... it was very inefficient and the passengers were getting frustrated, which in turn, stressed the waiters out and the whole thing did not seem to run smoothly. The bars were understaffed so waiting for a drink at a bar usually had one bar tender working as fast as they could to accommodate about 10-15 people waiting. Ports: To the best of my memory with all the changes.. Noumea- and we were here twice d/t port changes.. we booked a private excursion before leaving home with Dal Ocean Charters. Do not hesitate to use this company..they were amazing with communication before hand, arrival at port and the excursion itself. The first stop we planned a trip to Signal Island. About 12 of us on an inflatable speedboat which was very fun. Skilled driver.. the island is stunning and has amazing snorkelling (bring your own). We took a picnic from the supermarket right where the ship docks and the price was right for the trip. When they heard our ship had been rerouted back we received an email offering another trip to a different island. We took the same type of boat to Largenere Island and this was a highlight of the whole trip. Only about 20 of us on this island with printine waters, excellent snorkelling, a beautiful beach and great swimming. There were huts and picnic tables for shade. We were so pleased with Dal Ocean Charters. Paid Australian cash prior to the boat ride. Port Villa Vanuatu- We had booked a private excursion with Yumi tours. Excellent communication with this company as the port date changed as we were on our cruise. The owner was at the gate and took us to our driver Moses. We had an amazing day at the Blue Lagoon, a turtle sanctuary and a cultural experience at a village. We were well taken care of throughout and again I would really recommend Yumi tours. Mystery Island: This was a tender port and we didn't have to wait too long.. the process was very efficient. A great beach/ snorkel day. lots of places to swim and a nice walk around the island. Markets on the island and a bar if you want. Luganville: This was added mid cruise d/t port closures and it was the first time this ship had been there. 6 of us hired a driver (lots at the port with air conditioned vans with seat belts) and we went to Champagne Beach (about 50 min from the port) such a beautiful drive and then to a blue hole. There are several. Champagne Beach is where cruise ships used to tender to but they have changed things so it was very quiet when we were there.. excellent swimming.. no snorkelling here. All together we had 4 days at sea and these were good. Lots of seating top deck over the pool.. most people wanted to sit in the solarium or right around the main pool but that was too close quarters for us. This was our first time cruising the South Pacific and I would go back to see the ports that we had cancelled d/t Coronavirus. The people of these islands were lovely and there are many islands to see. Let's hope the Coronavirus is contained and visits to these islands can commence once again. Happy Travels Everyone! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Friendly staff. Kudos to RC for exemplary customer service. Giovanni's. Divine with great waiter. Central Park. Pristine. Sorrento's. Delicious antipasto bar. Activities. Event director passionate about guests ... Read More
Friendly staff. Kudos to RC for exemplary customer service. Giovanni's. Divine with great waiter. Central Park. Pristine. Sorrento's. Delicious antipasto bar. Activities. Event director passionate about guests enjoying themselves. Fun rumba/yoga classes. Cons Crowds. Too much waiting; elevators a nightmare. Cats. Boring. Sea pass bracelet. Paid for them so we didn't have to carry cards. Didn't work. Food. Overall, subpar. Consistently ran out of choc cookies, nacho cheese and colada ingredients. Stale banana cake in dining room. Calamari freezer burned. Dishes overcooked/salty. Carved turkey night was a few whole turkeys and rolled boneless breasts (lunch meat), Formal night. Dined dressed in after 5. Person sitting next to us wore a tee and hat. Spa. Treated teen daughter to facial. Consultant guaranteed blemishes would disappear if "mom bought the regime she used that was cheap." $260 regime (plus facial). You can't guarantee those results. A sales pitch that went too far. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose a 7 night Caribbean voyage for our first Royal Caribbean cruise. We had been to the 3 ports many times, but took totally different excursions. The itinerary was fun as usual, but this particular ship was older, outdated, and in ... Read More
We chose a 7 night Caribbean voyage for our first Royal Caribbean cruise. We had been to the 3 ports many times, but took totally different excursions. The itinerary was fun as usual, but this particular ship was older, outdated, and in need of a thorough deep cleaning. The any time dining plan was always crowded and a long wait. We like to keep a flexible evening just in case the day is running long, but on this ship, that cost us lots of lost time waiting in line. We do like to spend a bit of time in the casino, but again on this particular ship, it is a tiny, poorly thought out space with a lot of smoking patrons vying for not nearly enough machines. The entertainment was excellent and varied every evening. The theater served as the stage most nights, but this ship has an ice skating rink with a wonderful show shown a few times during the 7 days. We bought an extra item offered by Royal Caribbean called The Key. It is a combo of wifi for one device and privileges such as early check in on boarding day, special departure at ports of call, special seating in the theater or special events, early departure on deboarding day. The Key also granted free time each day on the rock wall, flowrider(surf board), but we didn't take advantage of those. The Key was well worth the small extra expense. The wifi connection offered on board was excellent. We had no problems at all for the 7 days while on board. The excursion we chose at the Jamaica port was wonderful and I highly recommend it. 1700s Great House and Plantation Tour with Lunch. Very informative tour with a tasty lunch. Our other tour, on Grand Cayman, Pedro St James, Island Drive, and 7 Mile Beach Tour. The first 2/3 of the tour was as advertised, fun, informative, full of Grand Cayman sights. The portion of 7 Mile Beach was a tiny bar area with an incline so steep it was virtually impossible for anyone, but the very youngest to attempt a walk down into the water. The water itself was dead coral, so not a single fish to be seen. A strong current, so not very good swimming either. The changing room offered was a nasty boarded shed where a person could barely find a clean spot to change back into clothes. Don't take the tour for any water activity. Expect to pay the usual tourist trap high prices at the bar also. It was a big dissappointment. We did two "on board" activities we had never done before and enjoyed immensely. All Access Tour. A complete walk through of hidden work places and behind the curtain views of just how this ship is run. Very highly recommended! We learned about everything from how the kitchen runs to how the ship is steered and kept on course. All so educational. I'd love to do it again. The Bottomless Galley Brunch. A wonderful meal served with champagne, after a full kitchen tour. Well worth the small cost of that activity also. Speaking of food, the meals served in the dining room was excellent. The food in the buffet lines were hit and miss. Very typical buffet style. The breakfast food was a repeat every day, but very satisfying. Especially the made to order omelet, then brought straight to your table for you. I miss all of the fresh fruits served in quantity every morning. You definitely will not go hungry. Be sure and find all of the hidden snack and coffee spots on decks besides the restaurants. The Coffee Cafe has included coffee in the back along with all of the cookies and pastries in the display. The Pizza shop on the Promenade deck also has included food items with coffee and tea at the back. I found the staff on the ship a little less outwardly friendly than on other cruises. Polite, but not overly talkative. As I stated before. The ship appears and smells like a ship that was used too long and should have been updated long ago. It is very ready for dry docking. Our room was an ocean view on deck 7 at the very back of the ship. We really liked it back there. Quiet every night and quick to get to the elevator, but always a long wait for any elevator going anywhere on the ship. Much faster to take the stairs and much healthier too, after all the food consumed. There is outdoor movie nights, but the screen was very damaged with digital black boxes showing all over. It was never fixed while we were cruising, so we didn't waste our time with it. Over all, I would rate this cruise right down the middle with about as much bad as good. I have definitely been on better. Carnival has a lot more positive things to offer than this Royal Caribbean. I will be taking a Princess Alaska Land and Sea Tour this summer of 2020, so I will have more to compare with and report for. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I know the Explorer is going in for dry dock, and some areas really need it. This did not affect out cruises. EXCEPT for the elevator situation. 4 out of the 6 forward elevators were out of service. Having a forward cabin and a ... Read More
I know the Explorer is going in for dry dock, and some areas really need it. This did not affect out cruises. EXCEPT for the elevator situation. 4 out of the 6 forward elevators were out of service. Having a forward cabin and a mobility scooter this caused us major difficulties. Especially when trying to get to the conference center. People were getting on whether they were going up or down, just to get on. Walking to the central elevators were a long haul, particularly with small children, when you had to walk back forward after reaching your floor. To me this was unacceptable. Guest services could not or would not give us any information. This made Disembarkation a major nightmare. They needed traffic control and shut down the elevators completely because of crowds Another major disappointment was the Photo center. Computers to order pictures were down most of the week. I bought the photo package and we had 5:30 seating. They didn't even start until 5:15 for photos. We wanted photos before dinner because a 3 and 5 y.o. are messy eaters. They rushed us and eyes are closed and were off center. They wanted weird poses. like knees up to look like we were walking up the fake Titanic back drop. Waving to the camera. I never got my pictures printed even though the manager promised they would be as they were in my cart. You couldn't check out The kids club was great, the food decent, Johnny Rockets was overpriced and meh. The ports were great and excursions fun. We made our own fun and had a great time. despite these issue Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Embarkation was very easy. On the ship within 5 minutes of arrival. Cabin was clean as expected. Main dining room food was good, except some meals were sent back because they were served cold. Windjammer buffet was good. Shows were ... Read More
Embarkation was very easy. On the ship within 5 minutes of arrival. Cabin was clean as expected. Main dining room food was good, except some meals were sent back because they were served cold. Windjammer buffet was good. Shows were just average and there were no production shows. They did not have a Love and Marriage Game show which we have always found to be enjoyable. Service was excellent. We also like the fact that there were tables and chairs around the pool area, rather than all chaise lounges. Cruise Director was invisible on the entire cruise. I WILL NOW ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS: On the first night, we could not get hot water in shower and sink. The following morning we called maintenance and they said they would fix this problem. We left the cabin for the day and when we returned, there was a note advising us that the hot water problem was resolved. I tried the shower for a few seconds and it was hot. I then decided to take a shower. After about 1 minute in the shower, the water began sputtering and black slime came out and was all over me, from head to toe. I jumped out of the shower and tried to wash the slime off me at the sink only to find that it's water was also black slime. I toweled off the best I could and called maintenance to report the issue. They told me that it was normal to get black slime after the hot water was worked on. They said that I should let it run for 20 minutes and it would clear up. I asked why the plumber didn't do it or at least leave me a note. Their answer was that he couldn't spare the time. They didn't even apologize for my problem. I filed a complaint with customer service. The next day, my TV remote did not work. I called the room steward who came with another remote and that also didn't work. He called for an IT repairman. We left the cabin for the day and when we returned, the TV seemed to work. That evening, we put on the Tv and the remote stopped working. It wouldn't change channels, adjust volume and wouldn't shut off. We called maintenance and spoke to a machine who told me to leave a message, which I did. We couldn't go to sleep with the TV blasting so I tried to pull the plug, but the plug was behind a metal screen and required a screwdriver to open it up. We wound up trying to sleep with the TV blasting. The next morning the repairman came and said that the problem was with the TV set and he replaced it. These experiences put a real damper on our vacation. Other than these problems, I rate this cruise as Average. 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
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
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
Third cruise overall, third with Royal, first through Asia. The overall experience had pluses and minuses when compared to previous sailings through the South Pacific (on Radiance and Explorer). Pros - the indoor pool was a great space ... Read More
Third cruise overall, third with Royal, first through Asia. The overall experience had pluses and minuses when compared to previous sailings through the South Pacific (on Radiance and Explorer). Pros - the indoor pool was a great space to relax with the kids outside of the harsh SE-Asian sun, with the air-conditioning just right (not too cold, not too hot). The Solarium was a beautiful space when I got the child-free opportunity to spend time there, which was not often. The 270* theatre is a peaceful location by day with gorgeous panoramic views of the sea. And lastly, the Music Hall is a terrific venue not found on other ships. Cons - The central Esplanade is a poor substitute for the Promenade or the Centrum found on other classes of RC ships. It felt like a soulless, exclusive shopping mall. There were very few areas on the ship where I felt like I had a connection to the ocean (in contrast to Radiance class ships where you can't escape sweeping ocean views). The staff service (Stateroom Attendant excepted) was poor to fair. Example - the Adventure Ocean staff were stern, unhelpful and appeared put out that you would even use their services. Bar staff were similar, sadly. I'll just put this down to a symptom of sailing an Asian cruise targeting international clientele, perhaps? I missed the Main Dining Room experience, which on Quantum Class is divided up into separate restaurants. It doesn't quite work, for me. Other observations - the Windjammer was constantly crowded. Bigger ship, bigger crowds I guess. The North Star was interesting, but really just a gimmick. iFly similar - good to try it and say 'I've done it'. Some terrific shows, including Sonic Odyssey and Starwater. Comedian Sam McCool played some gigs and was a standout. Conclusion - A cruise is a cruise and it's hard not to find something or somewhere enjoyable to spend your time. And this was certainly my experience. However for the first time I was not unhappy to disembark at the end. I will likely stick to smaller to mid-size ships in future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click