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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all ... Read More
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all pleasantly satisfied with everything and looking forward to future cruise with Royal Caribbean. We missed our tour in San Juan, I contacted the executive office after Customer relations tried to give me a hard time for my refund. The office responded immediately and set up my refund. Excellent customer service on and off the ship. After the kids were in bed, we went out passed midnight almost every night enjoying the night life. The pizza restaurant was delicious, myself and kids enjoyed every slice. Our Waiter Florentina and her assistant went out of their way to take care of us. She found us sits in the crowded Windjammer for breakfast. I would recommend more varieties on the menu in the main dinning room. Also, more entertainment for the kids, we attended the kids disco on the 14th floor which started at 7:15 during dinner time. By the time we finished dinner and went up, it was almost over. The lady on the first day was interactive with the kids however, the guy on the other day just played music with couple of hula hoops and ballon laying on the floor. Both ended at 8:00 pm and 7:45 respectively. I will recommend this cruise line and ship to anyone looking for a great vacation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise was a treat for myself, my wife and Son (21). It started off great with a gentle cruise out of Venice capturing the views of let’s face it, stunning architecture. With purchased the all inclusive drinks package. Again ... Read More
The cruise was a treat for myself, my wife and Son (21). It started off great with a gentle cruise out of Venice capturing the views of let’s face it, stunning architecture. With purchased the all inclusive drinks package. Again what we expected no hidden nightmares. Ship Dated and in a poor state of repair : toilets not up to scratch along with the public areas below spec Sun beds dirty with no comfy option. Again we are Diamond members - should be a free option for regular members. Trips : Appalling: overly expensive with little to no quality. Absolute rip off I honestly cannot point out one positive thing other than the guide they were terrible for such a fabulous itinerary. We have complained to RCI via feedback however yet again no response. The food was average to good, entertainment was plain shocking! If you like Butlins but at sea then RCI are beginning to become exactly that. We thought Carnival were bad however this is now our worst Cruise. Avoid ! Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride ... Read More
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride were chargeable n why should we pay so much n get charged for all these rides . Guest services : poor , advised that we don’t need arrival card upon arrival to shanghai ( she claimed she checked with immigration . Very crowded n rowdy especially eating area ,sailing in this region . Unhygienic practices by passenger . Spitting n hand handling of fruits RCL must have also cut budget on fruits selection . Apple and grapes were the lowest quality selected , resulting in lot of wastage . Only plus point of this ship : NEW I will still cruise but not in this region anymore . Guess is an eye opener for me Note : wonder why the gym was given such a mini area Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked this ship because we loved her sister, the Oasis of the Seas. I was not very impressed with the activities onboard, I was very bored. The shows were amazing though. The dining was good. We ate in the American Icon most but we did ... Read More
We booked this ship because we loved her sister, the Oasis of the Seas. I was not very impressed with the activities onboard, I was very bored. The shows were amazing though. The dining was good. We ate in the American Icon most but we did eat in the other two. The food is the same in all three. I was not impressed with the service at Silk. It was slow and he was not friendly. We had an Ocean View that was actually a board walk view and the cabin was very good. The ports were awesome. I would not go on this ship again well maybe far in the future. I do reccomend sailing on Allure of the Seas. She is a beautiful ship. There is not a flaw about her. The only thing I would change is have more activities going on during the day. Every time we would go to an interesting event it would be so packed you could not even get anywhere, because there was nothing else to do. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an ... Read More
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an older crowd and there are few children, teens and college aged folks. Since the ship is older and lacks these amenities the price point is lower and attracts cotton tops on a fixed income and people who are looking for a bargain. The crew was awesome. It is not unusual for crew to try and remember you and your tastes but it seems that this crew really has a talent to make to feel you are the only person they are taking care of. I could write a review on Dan Burgess, the piano player in the Schooner Bar, and his talent for making connections and bringing an entire room of people together and making them have a great time. The food is standard Royal Caribbean offerings. I don’t find any uniqueness or variation in menu, quality or presentation from one RC ship to another. I believe corporate does this to maintain a homogenous expectation much like a chain of restaurants. I think this is a mistake because passengers feel like they are eating at the same chain restaurant every night and every cruise. The food in the MDR and the buffet are the same. The premium restaurants do serve a notch higher quality and portion and variety of menu. I would like to see RC put an exec chef of every ship and give them autonomy to create dining venues and offering that make one RC ship unique from another. My only truly negative feelings are of RC and their incessant and relentless jamming of dining, drink, internet, next cruise, jewelry, shore excursions etc etc. They are there to sell these things and I am here to buy them. Their nonstop, high pressure tactics is a HUGE turn off for me. Immediately upon entering the door of their terminal we were ordered, in a not so nice way, to empty all of our outside drinks on the ground. After checking in and even before getting to the ship we were hit up for dining packages, drink packages and the usual obligatory photo. I have no issue with this. Once on the ship, we were approached NINE (yes nine) times in the first hour to purchase premium dining. I began for feel this was rude and I had no problem being rude to anyone who approached me with a smile and a brochure by telling them to go away. Hitting the Windjammer for lunch as soon as you board is a bad idea unless you want to start your vacation by becoming angry. The spa personnel set up a table and greeted guests as you approached them instead of circling an area like a street beggar who is desperately pan handling for drug money. I purchased over $500 in spa services for my family. This is proof that slamming your guests with an army of beggars is not effective and creates a paradigm of anger that lasts for the entire cruise. If you are not a stickler for details and can turn a blind eye to sloppy repairs in public areas, worn furniture and scratches; then this may be a good fit for you. I would sail on Grandure again as the value is fair. If those little things bother you and mildew totally turns you off then you may want to look at Oasis class ships. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely ... Read More
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely decor. Stateroom was a good size (Balcony room) and the attendant did his thing every day very well. Dining. Food in the MDR was OK but nothing special, buffet was good with loads of different options. Had a choppes grill which was superb, highly recommend. Also the pizza at Sorrentos was absolutely delicious! We saw several of the shows (theatre and Ice) and they were all amazing. All the staff were really nice and friendly, but the bar staff seemed very busy in the evenings and they could do with more bar staff IMO My 2 gripes were that the ship felt a bit too busy/crowded at times, and that in the casino they literally want to screw you out of every last penny. The blackjack has the worst rules of any casino in the world coupled with 6/5 payoffs for a blackjack, which is an insult basically. Anyway if you are not a casino lover you will have a great time on Indy, but as we are gamblers my next cruise will be with NCL. Im sure they will be just as stingy but I feel I need to vote with my feet, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first ... Read More
After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first time). The date of the cruise was determined following family constraints for the Passover holiday of 2019 in April. Since this is the first time we make a cruise and after a thorough examination it was decided to go on one of the best - a large ship of Royal Caribbean. As stated, there were time constraints and therefore the cruise was chosen with the Allure Of The Seas, https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-sh…/allure-of-the-seas, Western Caribbean track, 7 nights with 4 anchors in NASSAU- BAHAMAS, COZUMEL-MEXICO, ROATAN-HONDURAS, PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO and 2 DAYS ONLY, Departure from Miami. Now it was left to choose which agency would invite the cruise. There are many opinions whether to order through an Israeli agency or through a foreign agency. After a thorough and thorough examination, I found out that the company Crozit, https://www.cruiseit.co.il/, with the agent Orit Cohen Rochov gave the best offer. As I mentioned, it was decided to order with a minimum risk and therefore the room with balcony to the ocean, on the 11th floor in the center of the ship (room number 11590 D2). The room is spacious enough, a double bed and a sofa bed, a shower with excellent water flow and a balcony facing the sea, television, storage closet, 110 and 220 volts power sockets. It is difficult to describe in words the experience of sitting on the balcony while sailing and sleeping with an open window and hearing the waves coming back - an experience! The ship is huge, really a floating hotel. Many different types of rooms, countless dining rooms, restaurants, cafes, 2 promenades with vegetation, casino, swimming pools, Jacuzzi, climbing wall, Omega, surfing and more. 2 notable restaurants for light meals: 1. Park Caffe - Salads, sandwiches, cakes and flag sandwich with roast beef 2. The pizza restaurant The ship has a wide range of performances, including Mamma Mia, acrobatic show with oceanAria, Ice Ice show, Blue Planet, Headliner Showtime and more. About 60-90 days before the cruise, the possibility of planning the cruise is open on the Royal Caribbean site, ordering an hour for dinner (17.30, 20.00 or "on my own time"), ordering the various shows on the ship and booking excursions at the ports. For convenience and schedule of performances we chose the time 20.00, we got a regular table in the dining room on the 5th floor and regular waiters. In accordance with our needs, we purchased in advance and at a discounted price Classic Soda Package, which includes soft drinks and cola and an internet package VOOM Surf + STREAM Voyage Package - 1 Device Additional alcoholic beverages, coffee, shakes and more can be purchased. It is also possible to purchase a 10-cup card or a 10-alcoholic card. Each room has the option of bringing 12 bottles of 17 oz and 2 bottles of wine to the ship. In the boat, at various meals, you will be served free glasses of water and juices. The ship anchored at the port of Miami in Terminal 1 of Royal Caribbean, we reached the port of the car rental agency in the city and left the port to the airport on a trip with uber. The check-in and check-out of the ship is carried out with remarkable efficiency with no queue and speed. The attractions we did at our ports were: NASSAU-BAHAMAS - taxi ride ($ 10 toward) Cabbage Beach on the island island Paradise Island, a beach with soft white sand and good water for bathing. You can rent 2 sunbeds + umbrella for $ 20, and there are street vendors selling drinks. You can walk to the beach of the luxurious Atlantis Bahamas and even enter the hotel grounds and be impressed by it. COZUMEL-MEXICO - A fun day of sailing to spectacular blue lagoons and dive snorkeling, booked through http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/cozumel-snorkel-tour-res…, at a cost of $ 50 per participant. ROATAN-HONDURAS - We booked a day trip to the island with a local operator named Francklin Gálvez, francklinalexisgalvezbonilla1@gmail.com, a nice guy who tries very hard to please the guests he accompanies. Franklin charges $ 20 per participant for a full day of pick-up and return from / to port and travel according to an agreed plan. ($ 10) Visit the Chocolate and Fun Factory at the stunning beach of West Bay Beach (one of the resorts, plus sun beds + umbrella $ 15) PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO - We ordered a $ 50 golf car from MAYAHUAL Local Golf Car, https://costa-maya-golf-cars.negocio.site/, marvin1907@yahoo.com.mx and drove to the beaches of the nearby village of MAYAHUAL Docking Port . In retrospect it is unnecessary and you can reach this coastal strip with a local taxi. The coast of the Costa Maya disappointed. Hope this summary will help others. I'll be happy to answer any question. Yaari Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I choose this ship for my family vacation because of the size as well as the variety of activities, entertainment and open air spaciousness of Central Park and the Boardwalk. Members of my family vary in age and interests and there was ... Read More
I choose this ship for my family vacation because of the size as well as the variety of activities, entertainment and open air spaciousness of Central Park and the Boardwalk. Members of my family vary in age and interests and there was something on the Symphony for everyone. I first considered the Harmony until I discovered that the Solarium didn't have a pool. The Solarium is my favorite Sea day spot so this was an important feature for me. Dining: I read reviews about the food being average so we went to four speciality restaurants. Two for lunch and two for dinner. The service in the Main Dining room was amazing but the food was hit or miss. The food in the speciality restaurants was an all around amazing experience. Chops, Wonderland, 501 Central Ave and Hooked. We also had a Mediterranean buffet dinner in the Solarium which was also quite tasty. The only place that we would never eat at again was El Loco Fresh which was crowded, messy and did not have good food. Service: March Spring Break was a sold out sailing and a very full ship. The staff was on point and had everything under control. The waiters and bartenders kept orders moving quickly, the room attendant was pleasant and did a great job. Customer service was efficient and the ship was immaculate with the crew detailing the ship daily. World class shows and entertainment! This alone was worth the cost of the cruise. Casino: I wanted to try my luck at the slots or even play the lottery but I couldn't get near the casino because the cigarette smoke was so terrible. It also permeated the hallways, Dining room entrance and the entertainment areas on the fourth floor. Second hand smoke is a serious health hazard especially for people with asthma and those who work there. Royal Caribbean should do a better job on the air filtration or ventilation system. The Key: This is supposed to come with priority Embarkation & Debarkation, private time on activities, Internet, reserved seating at shows etc. The crew is still working out the kinks but things went smoothly in most cases so it was worth the added expense for this sailing. If I weren't on a crowded ship I would pass on the Key. Teen Center: My son only went on the first day, he had fun but preferred to hang with his older brother on the sports deck where there are tons of activities. Art: There is no shortage of spectacular artwork to discover around the ship. I sent my kids on a daily scavenger hunt and we still haven't found it all. On the last day we looked down the elevator shaft and noticed art in the elevator well below the third floor. Our family loves the Oasis class ships and Symphony of the Seas has all of the best features combined in one perfect ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Great staff, great ship, awesome friends, terrific cabin...fantastic! That was a wicked week, and it all started with the staff onboard, nothing was ever a hassle. Our servers in the MDR were some of the best I have ever encountered, ... Read More
Great staff, great ship, awesome friends, terrific cabin...fantastic! That was a wicked week, and it all started with the staff onboard, nothing was ever a hassle. Our servers in the MDR were some of the best I have ever encountered, met + exceeded all expectations. Voyager is due for a refurb later this year, wouldn't think it needs (only a couple of things here & there) but really the ship is in great condition...the refurb will be insane! Did a splurge for this cruise and got a Junior Suite on Deck10, right under the Windjammer...but really had no idea at all, didn't hear a thing and was able to sleep in until late :) Clean cabin, spacious, a good escape when needed. Picked this cruise for the range of ports and they didn't disappoint, Langkawi always a favourite, but Phuket was just too much fun and the food! In short loved it, pretty obvious I suppose...but as always go on with the right attitude and have the vacation you deserve :D Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our family had very wonderful experience with Symphony of the Seas to trip Caribbean for vacation 1/19-1/26/2019. one week on the ship travel, we feel excellent service, amazing shows and activity on the board, awesome food. On the ship ... Read More
Our family had very wonderful experience with Symphony of the Seas to trip Caribbean for vacation 1/19-1/26/2019. one week on the ship travel, we feel excellent service, amazing shows and activity on the board, awesome food. On the ship trip also you can enjoy beautiful view of Caribbean and islands. The waiters, Prabhu, and Junny did wonderful jobs for each customer. They gave us detail good information and services, also they provide very useful information for ship trip, such shows, activities etc. when they knew my wife birthday, they held service members to celebrate birthday for my wife. My wife enjoy a special birthday dinner on the ship. Our family will remember this wonderful birthday. Another amazing thing will be never forgotten for this trip. Our family visited ST. Tomas island. When we returned to the board, my wife lost ruby ring. After about 2 hours, my wife was aware of her ring lost. We asked cabin crews to help. The crews asked derail information about ring and quick found the ring in board entrance security area. Crews gave us a great helps and also let us have very happy vacation trip. We want to thank very much for the crews' helps. The crews of Symphony of the seas did excellent job for customers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship is an amazing ship for family cruising. Especially children 8 and older. There’s plenty to keep them busy. If you have children, choose an aft cabin. All activities for kids are aft. Otherwise you will be walking half the the ... Read More
The ship is an amazing ship for family cruising. Especially children 8 and older. There’s plenty to keep them busy. If you have children, choose an aft cabin. All activities for kids are aft. Otherwise you will be walking half the the time. Plenty of restaurants both for children and adults. The dining staff in the main dining room which is cramped when the ship is full, were fantastic. The food was mediocre. The shows on board were different and eclectic. Lots of talent. I did not try any of the specialty restaurants as I was traveling with my family of 14. Make reservations early. The cabins were typical and very well taken care of. The shore excursions were terrible. All beach destinations were crowded and didn’t stay long enough. Avoid getting off the ship in Nassau. Always crowded and Atlantis shore excursions took forever to get there and the Atlantis staff were rude and the grounds dirty. The waits were so long, you didn’t get to stay long enough. The pier is very long and the traffic was horrendous. This is not a cruise for the elderly. Too big and too crowded. One big plus was the ease of getting off and on the ship. However , once off the ship the traffic is congested and slow moving. The private island of Labadee was great. Also the trip over to the deserted island. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First, This is a big boat. But it's mostly storage for all of the passengers. There are not enough amenities to host all of the passengers comfortably. Many times we found we had to wait in lines to be seated for food, for soda ... Read More
First, This is a big boat. But it's mostly storage for all of the passengers. There are not enough amenities to host all of the passengers comfortably. Many times we found we had to wait in lines to be seated for food, for soda machines, ice cream machines, and (most annoyingly) elevators (all the time). We chose this cruise because it was a 'DreamWorks' cruise. We thought it would be like Disney with characters going around. Not so much. In fact, hardly at all. Over 7 days, we saw 4 characters. There were long lines for photos with the crew yelling at people to "get in line!" Not so much for the ambiance. For the kids - our children hated their child center on the 14th floor. Our 9-year old described activities more appropriate for 5 or 6-year-olds and requested to not return after 1 visit. Our 7 year old only went there twice and then didn't want to return. Total disappointment. The staff kept them in 1 room running around playing games for hours. It was like a big kid pre-school. The staff seemed totally totally disinterested. Our child literally said, "I hate this place" right in front of them and they didn't even acknowledge or ask the child why. The housekeeper constantly pressed us on our schedule for the day. We would tell her that we were not sure but we would leave the sign out when were we gone. She seemed annoyed and it became very uncomfortable after several days. We really love to hit the spa (steam rooms, etc.) on the ship. These were tiny rooms. Again, unless you hit the rooms on off-hours, they were very crowded. The staff, who had to open the thermal rooms, often seemed annoyed by having to do their job. The showers were cold and there was no privacy for changing. It was terrible. Did we mention that everything was very crowded? The pools on deck 15 are tiny and filled to capacity except on excursion days. The pools were falling apart. The hot tubs in the family areas were always packed. The ice cream machines were messy and not kept up. You can sign up for various drink packages but the soda machines are not plentiful on the ship. (Floor 5, 15, & 16). They were often out of order, no ice, and the drinks tasted like watered down soda water. You can ask at various bars for soda but the bartenders often seemed annoyed. Overall, not good. Dining - The food was quite good on the first day. However, as the cruise progressed, it became clear that the cooks were recycling left-overs and just changing the food a little bit to make a different dish. Needless to say, it got stale and gross pretty quick. The main restaurant poses as a fine dining establishment. Yet, they blare announcements, loud music, and have the audience "give it up!" for the entire cook/wait staff every night - they would go on and on for 10 or 15 minutes per interruption. We were interrupted during multiple conversations with the family. It totally interrupted nice meals and is very disruptive. Lines and crowding - please be advised that you should make reservations for most things on the cruise well in advance. Expect to stand in line and wait a lot. Again, the boat is bigger but the amenities are really not. The cruise as a whole is constantly trying to get you to spend more money. The experience felt like one upsell after another. The customer service was poor. We felt like they just wanted to process us to get to the next customer. Many seemed nice but quite a few were annoyed at having to help us. Finally, getting off this cruise is hell. Everyone is thrown into a huge warehouse and we had to all be processed through customs. It was so disorganized and stressful. Terrible, terrible experience. We were told that our 'disembark time' was 10:45 AM, then the room attendant told us (that morning) that we were supposed to have been out by 9:00 AM. There was nothing in the documentation saying that!! If you like spending your vacation at a hugely overcrowded, sticky, broken mall, then this cruise is for you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This ship should really listen to what their customers say!!! Alot of people understand that formal night is not for everyone but dressing in singlet tops and shorts for dinner - dressing like this is totally unacceptable. So Royal ... Read More
This ship should really listen to what their customers say!!! Alot of people understand that formal night is not for everyone but dressing in singlet tops and shorts for dinner - dressing like this is totally unacceptable. So Royal Caribbean listen to what we are saying, a dress code is for everyone not some arrogant people. I found the food ok for dinner, we went in Silk and Wonderland, but wait for the deals it’s well worth it. Food in the windjammer is ok, 1 thing I don’t understand is the boy and the little toaster, poor man is stressed out to hell, give him a bigger toaster!! The entertainment is brilliant, went to the shows not sure I understood The Gift. Our room was lovely and big, nice shower. The guys in the jewellery shop are great we had a good deal - Imran thank you ☺️ Loved the drinks robot Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife selected this cruise to experience the new Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. We've cruised RC on inaugural/early cruises for all the Anthem and Quantum class ships. The new boarding experience is much faster and ... Read More
My wife selected this cruise to experience the new Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. We've cruised RC on inaugural/early cruises for all the Anthem and Quantum class ships. The new boarding experience is much faster and exceptional and we boarded in record time with many fewer annoyances. Symphony does not depart from the standard of quality we've come to expect from the ships of the larger RC fleet. The form, fit, and finish of ship's accoutrements does not disappoint, and it presents itself as a world class cruising experience. The attitude and pitch control of the boat is well executed and provides a low deck pitching experience. The shear size of the ship helps to provide a smooth "ride" during rougher seas. As expected, the crew is exceptionally well trained, attentive, and helpful. We spotted several experienced crew members from previous RC ships that we've cruised. To have access to a bath tub, we booked room 9626 a starboard Junior Spa Suite more than a year ago. The friendly attentive stateroom attendant kept the room clean, neat and tidy, and did his work in timely fashion and did not interfere with our use of the room. We purchased VOOM internet and found that we could connect almost everywhere on the ship. Its speed was not fast enough to prevent video stuttering. Our main dining room wait staff were professional, attentive, friendly, humorous, and hard working and did their best to please us. The quality of the food in the main dining room varied from evening to evening. Most food items were good. Foods that disappointed including overly baked potatoes, overly fatty strip steaks, under-cooked, hard, nearly raw vegetables, and frost burned sugar free ice cream with a sandy texture. We were also disappointed that it was not made obvious that our junior spa suite class allowed dining in the upscale Coastal Kitchen during supper time. We were invited to attend a Suite upgrade seminar by the Next Cruise staff in which we found out about our eligibility for dining in the Coastal Kitchen in the evenings. We promptly made reservations for the only remaining time of 8:30 PM. We greatly enjoyed the food and staff there. The grade of sugar free ice cream served there was superb, In the future, if we stayed in a suite, we would switch our evening dining location to the Coastal Kitchen for the superior food items. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise because it was a renovated ship and had a port every day. There was a good mix of traditional beach & shopping ports (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados) and newer exotic ports (Grenada, Dominica). We ... Read More
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise because it was a renovated ship and had a port every day. There was a good mix of traditional beach & shopping ports (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados) and newer exotic ports (Grenada, Dominica). We were in port from 8:00-5:00 every day so we were able to sleep in on some days, get a full day in port on other days, and always make it back to the ship to sit down for a family dinner. I really like the predictability of the 8-5 port schedule. It's very easy to keep it straight in your head. We really wanted beaches and relaxation so we did not book any excursions. There were lots of teens & kids on the boat so our daughters made friends and were excited to meet up with them every evening when we returned from port. There was a rock climbing wall, golf course and kids' pool, but the ship was still a manageable size. We were not overwhelmed by people or lost trying to find each amenity. Disembarkation was not a total zoo like it can be with the mega-ships. This ship has an indoor cinema and outdoor movies by the pool, which we love, but they repeated several movies over the course of the week. No movies on the "network" TV in the room (we really like that about Norwegian & Princess). All-in-all, the amenities were pretty good and the cabin renovation was nice. One thing I HATE about the renovations is the lack of outlets in the cabin! We always bring an extension cord. I like to unplug (we don't buy internet on the cruise) but we still need to charge cameras, iPhones, Kindles, etc. Royal Caribbean does the best with service, embarkation, disembarkation and all the little details. The dining room food was a bit boring with the same menu almost every night, but I think they do that to push you toward the specialty paid restaurants. The buffet food was pretty good, but there were alot of "repeats" there too including Indian food all the time. I love Indian food but was a bit baffled to keep seeing it for lunch every day. Many of the buffet & dining room desserts were bland, but others were excellent. The buffet was not open all the time. For example, when you get back from port at 5:00 PM, it's not open. It did not re-open until 6:30 on port days. Also, there was not a continuously open burger/pizza place for the kids like most other cruises have near the pool. We had no issues with food availability, but when you have kids you expect to find that type of convenience food regularly available if they did not eat in port. We did LOVE that breakfast room service is still free on Royal Caribbean if you just do the continental breakfast. I love to relax in bed with my coffee and ease into my day. It's also nice to give the kids milk, fruit or a pastry while they watch cartoons in their pajamas. If you want hot breakfast (eggs, etc.) for room service, there is a charge. On Thanksgiving night, they did a HUGE dessert showcase in the buffet with chocolate covered strawberries and a chocolate fountain. We had our actual Thanksgiving dinner in the main dining room and it was underwhelming. We ended up going to the buffet afterwards. The gym was pretty good with sturdy treadmills and plenty of machines & free weights. There were a few free fitness classes and a few paid ones. Not as many classes as on other ships, but there was always 2-3 classes every morning-- usually spinning, abs and yoga. The fitness classes were in an open area in the middle of the fitness floor which was annoying because you had to hear the spinning instructor SCREAMING across the entire gym while you tried to listen to music on your treadmill. One downside of the gym was no TVs on each treadmill/elliptical. Not a huge issue, but a nice feature on other cruises. Given that this was an older ship, the gym was still pretty large. It was much larger than I expected. We did not do any posed family photos on this cruise, but it did look like they offered a variety of different backdrops. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Overall cruise experience was great! 6th time cruising and I have only cruised with RC. Food in windjammer was one of the best out of the 6 cruises I’ve taken. Entertainment was THE BEST out of the 6 cruises. MUST SEE – Saturday night ... Read More
Overall cruise experience was great! 6th time cruising and I have only cruised with RC. Food in windjammer was one of the best out of the 6 cruises I’ve taken. Entertainment was THE BEST out of the 6 cruises. MUST SEE – Saturday night fever and hyno-tainment! New to cruising – wait to shop on ship until end of cruise. They always run sales on clothing, bags, jewelry etc. Cabin -This is my 6th cruise, second time in an interior room and let’s just say I will not book an interior room again. Personal opinion, I felt like interior cabins got pushed under the rug - stains on towels & sheets. They didn't put a mattress pad on top of the two twins making a king, you had a valley where the beds met. Our lights in bathroom and desk area lost connection or breaker blew? Hair and dirt in drawers. Night before vacation was over - heard very loud noises coming from bathroom area – neighbors must have had an issue, couple of minutes later, our toilet overflowed/backed up causing water & other “things” everywhere which took over and hour and a half to get taken care & cleaned up around 10 PM night before getting off ship. On the bright side, everything was brought to staffs attention and every issue was taken care of immediately. Excursions - 1st stop - Roatan, Honduras - We booked last minute for the Gumbalima Park. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! such a cool experience. We already had a snorkel excursion planned and beach/speedboat excursion booked at the 2 other ports, so we thought to try something different. Bittersweet, again, excursion was awesome but knowing after the fact we weren’t able to snorkel at the other ports, I wish we would have went snorkeling. 2nd stop - Belize City, Belize - All water excursions were cancelled for Belize because of rough waters, luckily, we found out early morning the day before we were at port so we could rebook something else. We went to Kukumba Beach, it is a manmade beach which was pretty cool. The slide was awesome! There is a restaurant, bar and gift shop located at this beach. Tons of activities for all ages. I am also surprised they still tendered instead of skipping island because of the rough seas. The port is really nice, shops and bars! 3rd stop - Cozumel Mexico - always a great time in Cozumel! Again, water excursions were cancelled. Our excursion got cancelled but didn't find out until we were supposed to meet for our excursions at 10:15am, off the ship at 7:45am. We docked and were allowed off boat at 7:30am, RC made announcement at 8:30 am on the ship when more than half the boat was off that all water excursions were cancelled. When we finally were told our excursion was cancelled we had only 2 options to book, panoramic bus tour or dune buggies. We booked the dune buggies (4 people per buggy). Dune buggies was fun. It was called Dune buggies, beach and snorkel. Luckily since all water excursions were cancelled, we weren’t allowed to go snorkeling or to the beach. The beach is rocks…like big boulders covered in seaweed. The snorkeling…..doesn’t look great unless they take you away from the shoreline. Maybe it looks different if there weren’t rough seas but from what I saw, I am glad we didn’t “beach” and “snorkel”. The beach club you go to is ok. They have many mini stands (food, souvenir, essentials stand, bar and fish therapy). There is also a pool, but it looks like it’s just the ocean water. The beach club also shares an excursion with the captain your own speedboat. It might get busy there.. Food – We only ate in the windjammer and Sorrento’s. Some people say we miss out on the best part about cruising which is the MDR. However, it was so nice going to the windjammer every night on our time. Every night was a different theme, so you could get the same old thing (hot dog, burger etc) or mix it up every night. Dessert was always on point. Service was great. We have had no issues with breakfast lunch or dinner in the windjammer. The staff stayed on top of clearing tables during the busy time so everyone could sit. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Great Ship, Wonderful Service, Even full (6700 passengers) it did not feel crazy crowded. We ate mostly in the MDR thought the food was good. Really enjoyed the Mediterranean Food at the Solarium Bistro for Dinner. We like to eat lunch in ... Read More
Great Ship, Wonderful Service, Even full (6700 passengers) it did not feel crazy crowded. We ate mostly in the MDR thought the food was good. Really enjoyed the Mediterranean Food at the Solarium Bistro for Dinner. We like to eat lunch in the MDR on sea days, but the menu was pretty limited - the great thing is there’s a buffet in there that you can also use if you don’t see what you like on the menu. Windjammer was pretty busy for breakfast- we tried to eat at the MDR when we had time. Saw most of the shows, they were ok, the standout was Grease. The ship is great for families. We loved Labadee - did the Dragons Breath ZipLine - really enjoyed it. We took a taxi to Paradise Beach in Cozumel - it was fantastic. Climbed the Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica - loved it! Our favorite neighborhood was Central Park - it’s beautiful and never very crowded. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a family of four (two children age 6 and 9) who flew in from overseas the day before embarkation. We had booked a family room in Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale - 17th Street. The hotel is a prime choice in terms of how ... Read More
We are a family of four (two children age 6 and 9) who flew in from overseas the day before embarkation. We had booked a family room in Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale - 17th Street. The hotel is a prime choice in terms of how close it is to the Port. The hotel had friendly staff, a great (complimentary!) breakfast buffet, a fairly nice pool area and free drinks during Happy Hour in the evening. In terms of the rooms the hotel is nothing extraordinary. A strong recommendation is to choose uber, rather than a more expensive airport shuttle on Embarkation Day. We payed much less than the guests who crammed into the shuttle buses, even when we chose the uber XL (Mercedes SUV). Embarkation was a positive surprise, as it was professional and smooth. We had packed a bag with swimsuits, sunhats and sunblock, and carried this on along with some extra clothes for the kids. This was a good recommendation, as the checked in bags did not arrive until late afternoon, several hours after we were aboard. In the checked in luggage, we had also brought mini-sodas and snacks for the children and the 2 allowed wine bottles for us. This was conveniently bought the evening before at the Publix store located within short walking distance from the Embassy Suites Hotel. As first time cruisers, we certainly do not have much of a reference frame, but I assume even frequent cruisers would be impressed by the size of this ship. It took us a little while to find our way around (and not walk in the wrong direction). Our cabin was a Stateroom with a seaview Balcony on the starboard side. This was a good choice, as we got a great view of the ports as we were "sailing in". The room itself was nice and clean, but it sure could not be smaller, leaving approx 25cm between the desk and the sofabed when folded out. The balcony had a small table and only 2 chairs, which we found odd and a little disappointing, as the cabin is for 4 people. We did move out the desk chair the couple times we enjoyed breakfast on the balcony, but with that done, one of our children had to sit on a lap. In terms of dining, the Solarium Bistro for breakfast was a stellar recommendation. Very fresh buffet and not as big and crowded as Wind Jammer. Not many people seem to know it is complementary for breakfast and ok for children in the bistro, although the Solarium otherwise is from 16y and up. Another fantastic option is the complementary room served breakfast, where you have a lot to choose from, although no form of eggs or warm breakfast without an extra charge. This was perfect on the days we were to arrive very early in Ports - we could have the breakfast delivered as early as 6:30 (earlier?) and enjoy the food and the sunrise and watch the port as we were getting closer. The Wind Jammer is a very busy place, which in my opinion is a more stressful option (goes for all meals). Lunch options are quite a few, where Park Café definitely became a favorite. Great grilled sandwiches, fresh fruit cups and good speciality coffee (although at extra cost). We chose My Time Dining, which absolutely was the right deal for us. We notice that we differ from many Americans, who value having the same server the entire cruise. We did not have to plan around our meal time, and as we tried the two My Time Dining options, in terms of the MDR (The Silk and Icon Grill), we never had to wait long for a table. Our servers where friendly although a couple times surprisingly neutral or plainly uninterested. Half of the time, they did not seem concerned about checking on us, and forgot drink orders quite a few times - mainly for the children. We were happy with the food in most cases. I would not call it very fine dining, although I was continuously impressed about how the could cook and serve so many people at the same time. Considering this, I had not expected higher quality. We did look into options of drinking packages prior to our trip. For us, this was not a preferred deal and we concluded our choice to try glass wines in the MDR to be a good one. We did learn that it was possible to buy a bottle and save it for upcoming dinner(s), which we chose not to. We enjoyed trying a different glass (or two) with each meal. It seemed as many travelers enjoyed many colorful drinks and beers already from early hours around the pool, so for some their calculation may lead to going for the drink deals. In terms of sodas, (although I did not actively look for them) the coke machines where not plentiful, and if you decide to buy an all-you-can-drink version there, I heard it is good to prepare for some lines. In terms of the pools - I unfortunately had high hopes for the pool areas. Our children LOVE swimming and playing in water. The water fun park was unfortunately for toddlers, with water level up to the ankles. There were a couple "water guns" with a weak, barely existing beam a few feet in front of you. The remaining pools had rules, where the rules pertaining to children were strongly enforced (no jumping, no throwing a ball, no drinks even when sitting on the edge etc). But the rules of showering before entering, only 21 people in the pool (I counted 40! big grown ups at times), drinks in the pool (very many adults brought their drinks into the pools) were constantly ignored by the life guards who only blew their whistle at children. We do always look after our children and do not let them out of our sight, as well as make sure they act respectfully. I understand this is not always the case and I can understand the safety issues behind the rules, but I cannot understand why there was not a more kids friendly pool at all. And being a health professional, I can not understand the disregard for health/hygiene issues. My children stayed in the crammed pools and tried to swim, as there were no other options, resulting in eye infections as well as a couple other infections. I never saw any measurements or water sampling going on. Hopefully, I just missed them. I also realized I may be getting older (43), but the music in the pool areas was fairly loud. I wish it had not constantly been playing, as I many times had a hard time relaxing in a sun chair or reading a book. In terms of the entertainment on board, we were impressed. We saw "Mamma Mia", "Blue Planet", an ice skating show, and two water shows. All with impressive talents. We loved the free seating concept. It is good though to book the majority of the shows months (!) or at least several weeks in advance. Also a big plus for yummy popcorn outside the Amber Theatre (not complimentary though). While in the Ports, we had decided not to join any shore excursions. In St Marteen, we took a water taxi to the first stop and found a hotel by the beach which we had heard of - Holland House. A nice and stylish hotel where we got sunbeds, an umbrella, 4 drinks and wifi for 25USD. They also had a great lunch restaurant (cheaper options along the street, but probably nothing better). In Puerto Rico, we went with the free city tram from stop nr 12 (avoid the crowds at the stops by the boat). (Google "Tram puerto rico" to find good info from the city's homepage - Old San Juan trolley). This will take you to the old town and the Fort, etc. In Labadee, we enjoyed our day mainly on Nikki Beach (beware VERY crowded in the water, leading to significantly less clear water as the day went by). We also played quite a lot of Beachvolley and the kids played in the water playground next to the beachvolley court. The playgound had nice fountains and a fun water bucket mobile. We did hear about the pushy salespeople on the market, but still took the little trolley there after the complimentary lunch buffet organized by Royal Caribbean. There were some arts and crafts, hats and bracelets. The people were asking you repeatedly to come look at their stand/products, but they were friendly. I did not feel unsafe or pushed. What to remember is the extreme poor society which is just outside the walls and barbwire of this manmade beach Paradise constructed by RC. There is a limited, set amount of servers/sales people that in a controlled manner get to come inside these walls everyday, hoping to get small crumbs of our riches. Back on the ship our last day, we decided to try some of the activities we hadn't yet tried: the surf simulator and the zip line (my daughter was sad to learn she was too short) and the climbing wall. Those were very fun activities. We were pleasantly surprised about the relatively short lines we had to wait in. Other acitivities we tried were mini golf (several rounds, ok quality course), table tennis (fun, but fairly low quality on tables and rackets), soccer and basketball (same court). A few days we did get to go to the gym, which was very nice. It takes a little to get used to running on a treadmill on a moving boat! But it was lovely to do so with an ocean view. Also, there was a running/walking track on deck 5, which went all around the boat - great! Lastly, disembarkation: we were as impressed as with embarkation. Very professionally organized. We had left our bags outside our room before 11pm, and only carried a couple small carry-ons with us as we walked off the ship. The bags waited for us, clearly marked, in a huge arrival hall once we were off the ship. Now, the last question (I still ask myself) is whether I will go again. I must say that much of my impressions were positive. It is such a convenient form of traveling, offering the possibility to have it all around you, while being taken to new places. Yet, I have several times since we came back reflected about the - in my eyes - grouse pool situation and the lacking hygiene. This is an issue, I have not yet decided if I want to deal with again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I not even know what to talk about first. I took this trip with my mom and sister and I couldn't be more satisfied. The service, organization, shows, food, cleanliness, just about everything exceed my expectations. I went to the ... Read More
I not even know what to talk about first. I took this trip with my mom and sister and I couldn't be more satisfied. The service, organization, shows, food, cleanliness, just about everything exceed my expectations. I went to the flowrider and to the water slided which were pretty fun! There were also several Jacuzzis in different parts of the ship. The restaurants and menus had a wild range of foods to choose among. For those who like to stay up late is possible to have great food. There is always somebody there to serve you with a smile. A big thanks to Putra and Jonathan who served us every night with excellence. Hugo, the ship director was also great on what he was doing, always smiling and with a great contagious mood. I would hightly recommend this ship if you are looking for fun, hanging around, getting to know people, dancing, having a good time with your family, or just reading a book. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Well where to start! This ship cruise was my very first ship cruise ever! Enjoyed the statement room my grandmother and I had, was a nice size just for the two of us. Dexter our stateroom attendant was very very nice, did an awesome job ... Read More
Well where to start! This ship cruise was my very first ship cruise ever! Enjoyed the statement room my grandmother and I had, was a nice size just for the two of us. Dexter our stateroom attendant was very very nice, did an awesome job keeping us happy. The entertainment on ship from live shows to yoga, movies in a nice huge theater to live musical bands were non stop. The cruise consisted of a 14 day and many stops from France, Italy, Greece and Malta! Which we took advantage of the many excursions there were to offer and see! The dining especially formal dining our waiter Davor was so awesome we kept coming back just to see his lovely smile! He was very attentive to us since we only sat at a two setting table. I got to try escargot for the first time and had any of the recommendations of the menu Davor had to offer. The manager sorry I can’t remember his name but is from India he was so awesome too, he always took the time to come by to just chat with us as well! Kuddos to both! So overall regardless of knowing this was a smaller ship have already recommended this same cruise with your company! I’m definitely am highly satisfied with the cruise I as well met many different people around the world! I am definitely coming back! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I have been on one other ship; Freedom of the Seas 3 years ago and loved it. Me and my mother went on this ship last week. I was hoping she could enjoy the same things I had on my Royal Caribbean cruise. We did have a great time. But, ... Read More
I have been on one other ship; Freedom of the Seas 3 years ago and loved it. Me and my mother went on this ship last week. I was hoping she could enjoy the same things I had on my Royal Caribbean cruise. We did have a great time. But, there were some things in need of being repaired. We had at least 2-3 broken electric outlets in our room and the vanity in the bathroom was scratched up. The shower was very small with a curtain; not a hard door. There was a place on the outside rail on one of the upper decks that was taped off because it was broken. There were 4 coke machines. 3 of them were right next to each other. One of those never worked. The others were frequently out of ice. It would be nice if they were more spread out and easier to access from different areas. This is the first time I have never had the choice of lobster tail on the formal dining room menu. They put some "premium" options from Chops grill on the menu for an additional fee.Most of the entrees that I chose were good, but a few werent. I really dont want to spend more money when we have already paid for food beforehand. The crew was extremely nice and helpful. WE loved our waiters. Even though we were stuck with " My time dining"; we were able to have a standing scheduled table and time every night when we asked. We enjoyed the singing/dancing shows in the Orpheum and there was a comedian that was mediocre. We loved Cococay beautiful beach and nice buffet set-up! Nassau is alot of stores; diamond and gold shops mostly; if you have seen it once, there isnt much point in getting off unless your doing an excursion. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Royal Caribbean Explorer I might have originally put this under “you get what you pay for”, but on reflection it’s more complicated. My wife and I have sailed Princess four times and Regent Seven Seas Explorer most recently. ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Explorer I might have originally put this under “you get what you pay for”, but on reflection it’s more complicated. My wife and I have sailed Princess four times and Regent Seven Seas Explorer most recently. That said, we left our last spoiled. A two week all inclusive on one of their newest boats can do that to someone. Yes... we paid for it. But in fairness it was our 25th wedding anniversary and THAT should date us for those younger readers whom may be checking my/our compass. We found an amazing deal via email for a four day three night Seattle to Victoria B.C. on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer mid September (‘18). Basically $200 (x2). You can’t find a hotel in Seattle for two nights for that price. I got the ok from “management” and we booked a month before. Doing the usual specialty restaurant reservations and single excursion to Butchart Gardens. Really, how could it go wrong?. Well, like it sometimes does in the Northwest (we live in Oregon), fall came in all at once. Our record number of ninety degree days dropped to our first rain filled fifty degree week. We took the train to Seattle the night before, and bought umbrellas the day of departure. Getting to the port (pier 91) was painless. Boarding was easy and we were very surprised that we could carry our luggage onboard ourselves. No matter the ship, I just LOVE boarding. Ships are just amazing and mysterious (initially) to me and always inspire a feeling of awe. However once onboard Explorer, I felt a bit more of a feeling of “oh dear”. In a word, old. Though her last referb was 2015, she looks a bit tired. Faded pink pastels and tired carpets. We grabbed a late lunch up at the buffet and I must say - which using Princess as a comparison - was horrible. But again, for what I paid.. ok fine. I felt like I was at a cheap all you can eat American buffet: limp French fries, well done sausage size burgers, pasta pasta pasta and of course all the sweets you can stuff your plate with. For September, the fruit looked more like March - pale and flavorless. Like most chow wagons, the mood was “get and go people... get and go!”. I would be in trouble with “management” at this point if I didn’t mention the awful “stink” the linen napkins all seem to have (to be fair, I don’t smell my napkins much, but full disclosure at this point will make future sailing... um happier). There are “chow” lines on both sides of the dining area as you enter - but - the “different” food is all the way in the back. Go there first. Less crowded and an over all better mix of food. And expect some diversity.. imagine what appears to be a sweet little old lady (85ish?) turning and growling at you as she cuts in and grabs the last piece of ham. Back girl back!. Inspired to look beyond, I decided to round up a couple drinks after lunch and before we sailed. The pool side bar (but not the recently rained on pool) was full. The hot tubs looked like large “tail gater cocktail cups – filled with drink package warriors loudly arguing about upcoming football games. I ponied up to an available spot and ordered two drinks of the day (no idea what they were, but knew they had vodka and allot more of other stuff – per the menu - aka weak cocktail. What came back was two three inch narrow clear plastic cups and a bill for $34. OMG!!!!!. “Where’s your gun?!”. $34 for a combined total of 6oz of liquid?! No, the only thing pointed at my face was a nice kids smile (from Uganda) and a very genuine “thank you sir”. I pointed my invisible gun to my own head and shot a “buyer beware” bullet into my brain. Remember, the server is only the messenger. This may also be another consequence of sailing all inclusive last time... but still, COME ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN.. REALLY??!!. Those that know need no further explanation of why some cruise lines do this.. it (and the casinos) feed the beast. But, you could buy - as was heavily pushed by the bar staff - a $200 drink package. Four days (which really is three since you arrive at 6am on the fourth) to drink as much as you can.. hmmm, maybe the food improves?.. Moving on. The balcony room really wasn’t too bad. Dated yes (no USB ports and old cabinetry etc..) but not bad. Bed was stiff, but linens clean (no napkin stink per management.. sleep was allowed .. The shower is more like a “beam me up Scotty” Star Trek transporter - but the water pressure and volume of nice hot water was amazing. Cabin steward was warm and attentive. Balcony on this class of ship is very old school. Alcove style with half steel wall with a small glass lip in front. If it were sunny (god forbid) we’d never feel it on our balcony until mid morning or afternoon depending on the position of the ship. Neither a positive or a negative, just an observation compared to other ships. Television had a few stations, but nothing to hang out for. Decent over all room storage. The mini fridge was barely below room temp and clearly was part of the original “mini bar” era it was built for. Two power outlets and a small vanity had barely enough room to charge our electronics and still have room for managements hair “tools”. A small hair dryer was provided as well as a small room safe. Management & I like an early gym workout. Here we were not disappointed. Nice space, good equipment. We did not get to use the steam or sauna, but they looked great. Being such a short cruise no spa for “management” was attempted either.. but they looked ok. In an environment like this (unlike the slightly snootier class ships) we have no problem walking through the morning buffet in our workout clothes. In fact, at no time was “dress code” an issue. I would say as long as you had clothes on in the morning, the general meal areas were open to what ever you choose to wear. The specialty restaurants had some breakfast options that had a few more restrictions, but not many. No change here on food quality (general dining -= never did a specialty breakfast other than the kitchen tour brunch), but so be it. If we were bringing young kids along (as we did once on Princess) it would be just fine. We took the galley/brunch tour as well. Again, tour documents say closed toes shoes required, but upon arrival a few had flip flops and were told “no problem” (really!? Why print it?!). Here again, a tad disappointing. We’ve done one on every ship and while the actual galley tour was great, here the food was a total let down. Hard boiled eggs benedict and runny bland “something sauce”. The table was graced with nacho chips and guacamole (but no salsa), sushi (but no soy sauce or ginger/wasabi), charcuterie meats, cheese but just sliced bread, Oh well. Fun company at our table and champagne flowed freely (about $40 each I think). Ok - the MAJOR bummer spoiler alert - the smoking sections are basically wide open and flow everywhere. Up on the pool deck it’s on one side, in the casino it’s on one side. Basically all the smoke wafts freely all over the place. HEY ROYAL CARIBBEAN!! STOP IT!!!. STOP THE POISON!. STOP THE STINK!. Put those that can’t quit in a boxed off area to stink peacefully and get cancer to themselves. Really, they don’t care where they smoke, just that they can. We air lovers however DO care that our air not give us cancer or stink. DO YOU HEAR ME?!. Go ahead smokers.. dig in if you must, but really you shouldn’t. This addiction affects all those around you as well... and second hand smoke is just not fair. And I guess in this case that’s not really enough said.. but that’s for you all to realize and enough for me to have said. No No... move on smokers!. We wish it were warm and dry enough for us to try out the many outdoor activities available on this ship. Flow rider surfing, wall climbing were out of our reach -because of weather-. But when the weather allowed we got in some putting on the golf greens and almost got some shuffle board in. Indoors the video arcade was great (had to pay :( ) but it was a nice option during the rain. The ping pong tables (three) were a great diversion. The casino has lots of options, but as I mentioned you’d better like the STINK and have a change of clothes available afterwards. By accident while waiting to get a table on our first night we stumbled into the ice rink and watched part of the show going on there. AMAZING!. Likewise after dinner that night we stood in the back and watched part of the comedy show in the main theater. But we’re not night folks anymore, so I’ll leave reviews of the night life to those that partook. We watched a great match of dodge ball and heard fun stories of the ping pong tourney. In these areas the ship crew were (and actually have been through out) GREAT!. Asian theme restaurant Izumi was ok. But ala-carte adds up quick. But over all nice food. Did Chops steak house last night on board. GREAT views and really decent food. Service was over the top wonderful. We never had time to try the burger place, though it seemed at least themed nicely. Never got to try the pub fair on deck 5 but heard ok things. On the whole, food for 3800 guests is surely a task. The overall size of your ship will obviously dictate the quality of your food - at least if this cruise showed us anything. And actually, this is one of their smaller ships. AND... AND please understand as a culinary school instructor I realize what makes food “good” is subjective to each individual. I preach only to those who find some common ground in what I’ve laid down here. Some of my best friends find equal happiness in a bag of Doritos and a cheap beer just as equally with a perfectly cooked steak. Neither is better than the other in their eyes. It often revolves around those they share the meal with. I get that, I truly do. And I also am very versed in the economics of large production meals. But the truly best apples are often highest up on the tree. Those that take the challenge to reach those deserve my finest critiques. Little bits: coffee- free if you look for it (deck 5) behind the pay for espresso coffee shop - bring a large insulated cup. Coffee itself is really never been great on any cruise so far. For gods sake don’t pay for it - because they will let you. Water- bring your own bottles... fill at buffet restaurant or in gym. All tips are by default added to your bill...add or not accordingly but look at your tab!. Bring a usb hub or plug bar... there are two (maybe) plugs U.S. . There are a million YouTube videos giving suggestions on “what to bring on a cruise”... many have great ideas and therefore worth checking out. Bringing booze on the cruise.. hmmm, well we’ve done it in the past and I will say there is a comfort knowing you’re not paying $11 for a Dixie cup worth of watered down liquor. A two inch pour of wine for $14 leaves me grumpy. That said, ethically NO, don’t “rob” the cruise line of their margin. They make their money back (after all the other costs of running a ship) on booze and the casino. In most cases you’re allowed to bring one unopened bottle of wine on board. However, if you feel a tad righteous about being ripped off related to your ROI (return on investment) on adult beverages, than I say it’s probably worth the risk. But you must be sneaky and you don’t want to be obvious... just pretend you’re a teenager again and don’t want to get grounded. “ No car for a week!”. The bottom line on a 4 day 3 night Royal Caribbean Explorer cruise from Seattle to Victoria B.C.: A long weekend in a hotel that moves to different locations and feeds you for (in our case) far cheaper than a two night stay in a hotel in Seattle without food or entertainment is by itself a reason to go for it. There is most likely no one reading this that is in a class of folks that wouldn’t consider it in the first place (those guys are over on the Regent or Silver Seas boards). There are issues to be sure, but overall our “long weekend” was great. In and out of Seattle was easy and worth an extra day on either side… so much to do. Would I want to be on this ship for a week or more, sadly probably no. However to be fair, we never got to experience her on a sunny fully functional cruise (meaning all the outdoor amenities were useable). Nor have we ever not been on a warm sunny cruise. If choosing Alaska or a cruise like this, look for the interior reviews. There ARE ships that do it right. There are obviously thousands more critiques on this ship out there. Please Please Please look at least a few more before making a decision one way or the other. Getting off the ship was a piece of cake. As when we boarded, they allowed us to carry off our own luggage allowing for an immediate and crowd free departure, and almost no slowing or questions at customs. Probably because of it being Canada and such a short cruise. We found 13 Coins restaurant (newly built under a Embassy Suites next to the train station and stadium) was (is) open 24/7. GREAT FOOD !..GREAT PRICES!. Just say’n. I love cruising. I take each new cruise (never have done the same ship or cruise twice) as an adventure and an investment. I use this venue as a way to express to myself what I think or thought of it as I went. I hope all that read along found it useful or at least.... Not Boring. Thanks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
1st cruise ever, we chose a short one. We will be back...longer! Room with balcony of sits and table. Excellent service room care. Dining service of care, especially Gluten Free issues for us, was passionate and delicious. So many eating ... Read More
1st cruise ever, we chose a short one. We will be back...longer! Room with balcony of sits and table. Excellent service room care. Dining service of care, especially Gluten Free issues for us, was passionate and delicious. So many eating areas available; main dinning room, Windjamer buffet just two of the many we loved. Outside and inside pools, decks and decks outside sitting. So many shows in theatre and bars/lounges. Casino and fun games in bars/lounges. Honestly if you couldn't find it...just ask. Need assistance, just ask...doctor and three nurses. Transfer to islands so easy. Options for the islands are there. Walk, ride via carriage, bus, taxi, tours...pick what you want. Food, beaches, souvenirs. How about ride to the ocean and ride submarine to see the fish, turtles and corals. Ask Bahama people where THEY go to eat out. Anyone can eat McDonald's...you should eat Conch food or local fish, the local way. You will be thrilled. Not an activity person? Enjoy relaxation and food, you will be thrilled. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as expected. ... Read More
Stay away from. Room 2278. Noise from studio b till 3am That’s my fault for booking last minute cruise On the cruise as I write his. Customer service. Says they will write the wrong We’ll see in a bit. Food was good as expected. Chops still consistent after many cruises on this line. Disco party is exactly same in every ship so go me it’s a little long of tooth but for new cruisers splendid new hand was area at windjammer I trusting but think a slip And fall accident is in there future. I will recommend. Totally except my room Great for new cruisers. Family on budgets or Batchelor or batchlelorette parties at least 10 on this cruise. Hope you enjoy your next cruise if you select this ship Ps they changed liquor packages. So be careful and do the math if you think it’s too much as it’s now per room not person Read Less
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