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240 Royal Caribbean Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy ... Read More
I was with a tour group of about 300 people. LGBT “bears” (large and hairy men) from a tour operator named “Arno”. This was my second cruise. The first one was at Carnival Pride, with a similar but smaller group called “Daddy Cruise”. The ship was amazing and huge. Very clean and they had sanitization stations everywhere. Embarkation was quick and simple at the home port and every other one. Leaving the ship was super quick as they just did facial recognition. I hate kids/teenagers. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Only bads: the menu in main dining barely changes the whole trip. They want you to pay for premium dining. Carnival was different every day and very good. So we did. Wonderland was awful, slow, too long. Sushi was ok, but nothing special. Nice gym but no saunas or steam rooms unless you pay. Saunas and steam room were separated by gender and free on Carnival. may be the largest ship in the world but still the ocean is much larger. Last day, the ship was shaking and vibrating and jumping. We got warned in advance but still was unnerving. If you though the size meant it would move less... no luck. The adult area is nice and in front of the ship. Much larger than Carnival Pride, which is in the back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship was not our choice, we were in a group and the organizer always uses Royal,. Embarkation was fast and easy aside from sitting in the terminal waiting to board. Self -assist off the ship was quick and easy, 15 minutes or ... Read More
The ship was not our choice, we were in a group and the organizer always uses Royal,. Embarkation was fast and easy aside from sitting in the terminal waiting to board. Self -assist off the ship was quick and easy, 15 minutes or less from the time we started till we were outside. The ship was too large for our taste, our cabin was 7600, middle/middle so everything was a long walk. Elevators were a mob scene just like every other cruise; this is # 11, we've done Carnival and Celebrity. The MDR food was very good, service was excellent. We ate there twice as 8pm was our time and that's too late. We ate at Hooked, the seafood restaurant and service was superb and the whole lobster was excellent. However, several others said they went there late in the evening and the lobster was not good. We think they cooked it all ahead of time so since we were at first slot of the night that might be a possibility. The buffet was not nearly as good as Celebrity buffet. There was never an omelet station at breakfast, very little variety from day to day. On the evening when there was crab claws, they did not have the cracker tool. We saw several people give up and let it go to waste. There was no outdoor seating for the buffet, unlike Celebrity. There were LOTS of kids, and they often seemed to be charging around with no parental supervision. More than once we saw near-collisions with kids and elderly folks with a cane or walker. One aggravation was that on deck 7 at the Aft elevator, there was no way to pass from port to starboard side, one had to go up one or down one to cross over. Staff was friendly and very attentive. The solarium did not have a swimming pool, just a small 3ft deep pool with benches around the perimeter; all one could do was sit. The hot tubs were not hot but that's true of all the cruises we've done. Only one day was there an open towel station in the Solarium. We did not do any shows so no comment. There was no dedicated Piano bar just like Celebrity. I did one ship excursion to a Mayan ruin, it went well. I also did an excursion on my own. The Promenade and Central Park were nice but the flooring in Central Park was very slippery when wet, which was often. We purchased a wrist band to use instead of the ship card but ended up needing the card at times and every time we got on or off the ship. What's the point? Overall it was good, it WAS a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would think that this ship was bad... I got woken up at 9:30am ship time to the crew emergency practice... on the 6th day. Why couldn't they have used the walkie talkies... The wifi was so expensive it almost made me won't to jump off the ship... I really wanted to get up and just go on the bumper cars... I waited for 2 hours then I had these snobs who cut in front of me... This cr u ise was the worst serviced cruise... I'll say a positive... oh yeah that's right there is none... Can I just say that my 12 year old son waited in line and then I found him crying in a corner reheating lining up... Don't bring your children they will be bored there is nothing to do for them... unless you buy the key then you will skip all lines and get yelled at. If your child is younger then 12 then dont bring them Please listen I paid 4000 US dollars to get on this 9 day cruise for the worst experience of my life... And they had LGBTQ every night for choose who where. If your a sleeper then do not go o n this cruise you can't sleep it was to Rocky on the last night and don't get virgin Australia it got canceled for 2 and a half hours for maintenance and then they tell us that it has had maintenance problems. -Anymous 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
Overall we had a great cruise. We are two dads with a 3 year old and 7 month old. Aside from getting several quizzical and confused stares from passengers, we found the other folks on board to be quite pleasant. The most challenging ... Read More
Overall we had a great cruise. We are two dads with a 3 year old and 7 month old. Aside from getting several quizzical and confused stares from passengers, we found the other folks on board to be quite pleasant. The most challenging time (not surprising) was dinner in the MDR. Our waitstaff constantly seemed confused by how to set up our table (booster, high chair, kids menu) and only brought us a kids menu the first night of the cruise. Since dinner took so long and my active 3 year old could not sit still, we took frequent breaks to ride the glass elevators up and down. Another highlight was the nursery. We dropped off our 7 month old every night for a few hours. The staff loved seeing him and we enjoyed getting a break. We had the opposite experience at aquanauts, the 3-5 year old kids club. Our young 4 year old is fully potty trained, but does need reminders to go, which I told the staff at check in. Well, they didn’t remind her and we got a call to pick her up because she had an accident. Another day we had to pick her up because she was sad. Upon picking her up, I was told she had “2 strikes” and 1 more strike would result in her not being allowed back in the nursery. I was livid. I get getting “strikes” for hitting or biting, but for being sad or having an accident... come on. My impression was that the staff was not closely supervising the children. We got a coffee punch card but I was annoyed that a large coffee got you 2 punches. Come on royal- I know you enjoy nickel and diming but seriously. Another thing I appreciated was no announcements were made in the cabin other than the muster drill stuff. Great for sleeping kiddos. Finally, the casino is disgustingly smoky. It’s nearly 2020. Smoking kills. Make the entire ships interior nonsmoking. Please. Now. Port excursions: with little kids we went for beach days- Maya Key in Roatan and Starfish Island in Belize. We found both to be perfect for our little family and our kids loved splashing in the beautiful water. Very easy with small boats to and from the private islands. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is one of the smaller ships offered by Royal Caribbean. I would definitely go again. I've seen some reviews about cleanliness and norovirus and I could not disagree more. It's almost like you'd have to *try* to get ... Read More
This is one of the smaller ships offered by Royal Caribbean. I would definitely go again. I've seen some reviews about cleanliness and norovirus and I could not disagree more. It's almost like you'd have to *try* to get sick on this ship. Our cabin was cleaned TWICE a day, there were hand sanitizers everywhere, there were people holding and offering you hand sanitizer as you entered and left each restaurant, as you entered and left the ship in ports, etc. We embarked and debarked from Tampa and had no issues at all. We did do the self-assist and it was literally 30 min from leaving our cabin to catching a taxi (we live in Tampa). As I said, this is a smaller ship, so if you get motion sickness, bring Dramamine just in case of a rough night. We only had one and two Dramamine pills took care of it for me. On this ship, there's only 3 restaurants. Edelweiss is the nice dining room (no shorts, t-shirts, tanks allowed), Windjammer is the buffet, and Park Café is the grab n go. We really only ate at Edelweiss and Windjammer and both were good. Again - not sure about the 'cold food' comments re Windjammer, we found it to be just fine. The food that was supposed to be hot was hot and the food that was supposed to be cold was cold. The bars and theater were great. The weather was rough on our first day so the port at Key West was closed. The team at Rhapsody added multiple activities and I soon found myself going from super sad to super happy. My teen and I did the Scavenger Hunt which was so much fun, then I got to watch my Saints play the Titans in the theater! I'm a die hard Saints fan and figured I would miss the game and, instead, got to watch Michael Thomas break a record. Very happy! The shows in the theater were very good. I especially enjoyed Anselmo Boles in the Schooner Bar (a.k.a. the 'piano bar' at night) each night. He played great sing-a-long music for everyone. The Schooner bar also offers trivia during the day that is fun. The Shall We Dance lounge offers karaoke, bingo, etc and karaoke is for both family and adults at different times. Be aware that bingo is ridiculously expensive ($29 minimum for 3 games), but the prize money and prizes are gigantic. This isn't your regular charity bingo that you play for your kid's school. The Centrum is great for everyone and they offer just about everything. We were on a Christmas cruise and Santa came for all the kids, they had a Christmas tree lighting, massive gingerbread display, bands, Christmas music, etc. Other days were towel animal making sessions, family team egg drop competitions, dance classes, etc Above all, I would say that I loved this ship because the staff were beyond friendly (even to clearly rude people). On a smaller boat, you get to know the staff well as well as some of your fellow passengers and I found that the staff made an effort to remember my name which I thought was so cool. I visited Guest Services, the Internet Desk, and another desk (can't remember - not excursions), and my service was super fast each time. There are a couple ATMs on the ship. My card did not work in the casino ATM, however, it did work in the Atrium ATM outside of the casino (next to Guest Services). I will say that if you're going ashore and on any excursions, the ATM on the ship - even though the service fee will seem ridiculous - is still cheaper to use than any ATM on your excursion. We went into Cozumel and took a taxi and I had to go to *6* ATMs to even find one that worked and it cost me $7.95 in fees PLUS 7% of my transaction. Get your cash before you get on this ship or while you're on the ship. Much cheaper. Probably a lot of people know this, but I did not. On the Pool deck (9), there is a bar and a big screen where movies are shown. I found myself watching some movies I had wanted to see in the theater as well as a documentary one night. 10 has a ton of deck chairs and that is where I read my book and hung out in the sunshine each morning. There is also a walking/jogging track and a gym on 10 if that is what you want to do. I did visit the spa for a massage. The hot stone massage was FANTASTIC and I bought what I feel are some very good products. I've been sold products on cruises before at the spa, but these, I actually have already used them and I like them tremendously. My only complaint on the spa was that the spa seemed to be directly under the teen/kids space and I heard a bunch of 'thump thump thumping' while I was getting my massage which is a little disconcerting. I traveled with my teenager. I think my teen would prefer a bigger ship with the ziplines, 42 restaurants, etc, however, I am 49 and I loved it loved it loved it. I would say this ship more caters to the 40-80 year olds even though my teenager did have a very good time overall. Also, my teen is LGBTQ and I saw meet-ups for adults, but none for teens even though I met other passengers with LGBTQ youth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We decided to take a vacation and looked for a ship that would fit our schedule, landing on the Majesty of the Seas! All the way from the amazing karaoke and game show hosts, to the dining staff, kindness and gratitude were never missing. ... Read More
We decided to take a vacation and looked for a ship that would fit our schedule, landing on the Majesty of the Seas! All the way from the amazing karaoke and game show hosts, to the dining staff, kindness and gratitude were never missing. We had Oliver and Tefeing as our waiters and we LOVED them! They remembered everything, brought us coffee without asking at the end of dinner and honestly provided the best service I’ve ever had! We went to a TON of the live shows and have never laughed so hard as we did that night. If you’re looking for the trashy party scene, then this isn’t the cruise for you, but if you enjoy truly amazing people (staff and travelers) that love to have a good time and are always laughing and get to know each other, this is the one! There was never a shortage of dancing, music, food or fun. I will be a returning guest!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up ... Read More
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up between 14:30 - 15:30. We left our AirBnB in Barcelona at maybe 10:15, and were at the port shortly after. We snuck in with our friends who were in a junior suite although we were only in a CP View cabin and were given group one and told it would be a 45 minute wait or so for boarding to commence. But we were happy to have group 1. However maybe 10 minutes later they started calling group 1. By the time we made it to the elevator to the gangway they were already saying group 1-25!!! So really fast boarding. I am a complete newbie to the Oasis Class, but I did get a feeling the cruise wasn't by any means sold out though. Which would make sense at the end of the Summer season like this. The ship was impressive and lived up to the hype of the Oasis class. One thing I had read online and also that my friends who cruise on other ships also noticed along with myself is that the ship really is very interior focused, and even the few spaces on the main decks that do have windows/portholes for some reason have frosted or vinyl'd over glass. You could easily go a day on this ship and maybe only see the water once or twice. Even though the ship was two weeks away from a major dry dock and her amplification, she was in pretty good condition. Only a few niggles with the lifts sometimes not responding to button pushes. We did a few finger wipes in nooks and crannies in public areas and every-time were impressed with the cleanliness. Our cabin was fine for the two of us, although other than speaking with our steward(ess) about having our beds separated the first night, we did not really interact with her again. Dining was average in the main dining room if I am honest. It wasn't to Disney standards, and my Carbonara one night was particularly congealed which was disappointing. The wait team in the MDR were brilliant though. We also did Izumi which was great. And 150 Central Park, where the food was good, but the atmosphere and staff were a little lacking. Entertainment wise the main shows were great. Cats was a great production, but I do not understand why RCI thought this would be a good fit for the casual audience of a cruise ship. Many people left before the show even made it to the end of act 1, and even less came back. The Ice show was also great. Come fly with me made zero sense, but the cast were great. One night we ended up really enjoying which we hadn't expected to was the 70's party night in the Promenade. It just clicked and the place really came alive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Overall the service could be a bit lacking and maybe this is because the crew knew it was the end of the season and they have one more cruise after ours then a long dry dock. But that is really no excuse, in particular every time I used the Solarium Bar, I was served by the same server who seemed very unfriendly and uninterested. Shore excursions we did just one official RCI one which was Aix on your own, so it was really a commentated coach ride in and then we did our own thing (in the pouring rain sadly). Majorca was a great stop, although quick. but for me Cinque Terre at La Spezia was a highlight, stunning scenery and a great walk between two of the towns. Naples was foul, we took a train to Pompeii, but if I did another cruise that stopped in Naples, I would stay on the ship. Overall it was a good introduction to RCI, and great to be able to brag at having done one of the largest ships in the world, and the first of the famous Oasis class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise due to its sailing date and my school schedule. I figured an 8 night cruise would be a good way to finish my summer before returning to class full time. When we were approaching the ship it was dirty with rust staining ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its sailing date and my school schedule. I figured an 8 night cruise would be a good way to finish my summer before returning to class full time. When we were approaching the ship it was dirty with rust staining by the anchors. We were told we were getting an upgrade when we arrived to the port as we had requested it and they said the employees at the port can get you into your upgraded room. When we checked in we were told there wouldn’t be an upgrade like the employee said there would be. So we went to our room and it was very tiny and hard to navigate with both people in it. Once we were settled in the room we went to explore the ship some. We went to get a quick snack then walk some more after that. The pool was about the size of my living room. Our luggage was held for a while too, for no reason that could be explained but we know it can be chaos too sometimes. As we were sailing out of port we noticed a rather strong sewage smell on the pool deck. We went back inside and finished walking the ship and finding things to do(which wasn’t much). We went back to the room and showered, the water was presently warm, the only down side was it didn’t drain quickly. I asked our steward why it wasn’t draining fast and he said it’s an older ship, which I understand and said thanks, he did say if it starts to spill out to let him know and they would definitely fix it at one of the ports. We went to bed relatively early due to the fact we had to drive from Daytona down to Miami. When I woke up the next morning it was due to the fact my hip was in pain(have had 2 procedures done on it at 25) which isn’t their issue, the room steward got me an additional pillow to put under my hip with a blanket which I was very grateful for! I went and had some breakfast and sat up on the front deck to wake up some and enjoy the ocean and nice breeze. With the days at sea it usually was a better idea to go to the pool early if possible or late before it closed as it was pretty crowded. If you were on the pool deck you got a smell of sewage, if you went up to the bow area it was fine as you were up wind. We had met some friends and had a few drinks with the day at sea and planned for the first stop at Coco Cay. When we arrived into Coco Cay it was overcast which was AMAZING as it had a nice breeze and would have been rather hot. We walked around did some shopping and enjoyed the lounge chairs on the beach. Our next stop was in San Juan Puerto Rico. We got into Puerto Rico in the afternoon which didn’t leave too much time to explore. I definitely would consider going back to Puerto Rico when there was more time to explore as there was TONS to see! I was headed to the Windjammer Cafe and stopped by the restroom. When I walked in the urinals were overflowing onto the floor(it happened rather frequently at least daily from what I saw). I went and notified the staff who said they’ll address the issue soon. I went to eat dinner they only had water and tea to drink, so I ate dinner and decided to go buy the drink package. We decided to tough out the smell and join people down on the pool deck to have a drink and talk about the next stop. When we got to St. Croix we went on a dive excursion, it was extremely well priced and the staff running it were great too! There are some shops there that have very unique things to buy which was also nice. Upon entering the boat after our day of exploring I went to shower and get freshened up. We decided to go get dinner and head up to the bow area to enjoy the departure. When we got into the cafe they had a chef making meals for everyone. We gave him four tries at cooking food and it still didn’t click and come out right. He kept adding additional things that we didn’t want even though we were standing there saying yes and no to ingredients, partially due to an allergy. I sat up on the bow and did some work on my laptop and enjoyed the night. Our next stop was St. Thomas! When we left the ship we walked some and also did a van excursion and met up with some people we know in the area! The staff were very friendly, they also let us experience how some of the natives do things! Once we were done for the day we headed back to the boat. Some of the iguanas were rather tame, I got to pet one that was randomly roaming. (We have exotic animals at our home) We had two days at sea on the way back to Miami. Unfortunately we had to make an emergency stop in Nassau, hopefully the passenger was okay. Overall I would like to recommend RCI, I wouldn’t recommend the Empress of The Seas. The sewage smell was horrendous, the ship was rather old and dingy, and the amenities were sub par. Our steward was absolutely amazing! He helped make this cruise halfway tolerable. Next time I sail I will definitely be looking at all the reviews of the ships and cruise line making sure the room is in fact the room we want. This was not a good first experience on RCI. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date April 2019
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting ... Read More
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting you to wash your hands (really catchy and they could sing really well)! I was impressed by the amount of food they had although some of it was bland wish it had more flavor or was more sweeter ( red velvet cake). The activities they had on board were amazing and really fun to participate in. I went to the Living Room which is a teen club for teens ages 12-17 and it was way better than the Carnival teen club Club 02, with more people in it and a lot of activities. Although they didn't let you in if you were wet and you couldn't eat in there. The woman who cleaned my room always put my pajamas on my bed folded and was really nice when talking to her although I wasn't in the room often, I do wish I had a TV guide for when I was up late night and nothing was open. The ports we went to ( Labadee, Haiti & Falmouth, Jamaica) were beautiful and nice with music playing in Haiti and a shopping center in Jamaica. The excursion I did in Haiti was the Dragon roller coaster was very fun but scary at times going down fast on the turns. This is a very great family cruise for all ages including babies (my one year old went with my family and I). This is also great if you are wanting to do so much and learn so much from the activities. I definitely want to go on another Royal Caribbean cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both ... Read More
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both got food poisoning from eggs Benedict and ruined the last day of our trip. We were sick in our room the rest of the day. They had the Grease show which was pretty good but the staff were very unorganized with keeping the guests waiting in an organized manner, making some wait at the top of the stairs while others lined up at the doors below in a separate line making people frustrated. The last part of the show had to stop due to technical difficulties so we left. The highlight of our trip was our Izumi sushi class and the Savannah Jack concert. There could have been more shows going on also as there was not much to choose from. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around ... Read More
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around 9:45, we were in the Schooner bar having a drink and listening to Joy Wade the piano player. He was going along quite nicely, until he got bored or ran out of popular songs, and then started playing something that talked about sex and killing someone. There were a few nervous laughs from the folks sitting nearby, but we found it inappropriate and walked out. We're not prudes, but that was out of line. The rest of our cruise was great. We found the food in the main dining room to be much better than what we had on Freedom last year; even the choices in the Windjammer were better. The forays off the ship were eye-opening. We did a mix of RCCL and Costco excursions. We enjoyed them all, but driving through the impoverished areas with the shanties and garbage strewn everywhere made me feel sad. And Colon, Panama looked like Dresden after the bombings of WW2. Cartagena was beautiful. We did a Dora tour and we highly recommend it. 4 hours total between driving and walking around the city. The vendors are relentless, but a firm "No, gracias" usually did the trick. There was a running commentary during our Panama Canal transit, which was very informative. The ship was very clean, and the crew was constantly wiping down/disinfecting the common areas and handrails. We were asked EVERY day about dining in the specialty restaurants. We actually went to Chops Grill on embarkation day as part of The Key package, and dined at Giovanni's Table on the last night on board; both were excellent. Speaking of The Key, I highly recommend it. For 20 bucks per day per person, you get a lot of perks. We walked on the ship with the Diamond and Pinnacle folks, we had the free luncheon at Chops, we had the Voom Internet and streaming package on our phones for the whole cruise, we had some free and then half-price drinks, we had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our cabin on day 1, we had priority disembarkation at all the ports, we had reserved seats at all the shows, we had an a la carte breakfast in the dining room on the last day, and we could walk off the ship whenever we were ready to go. Everything was pretty smooth (even if the ocean wasn't on a couple of days, turning the pools into wave pools), until the day we ended in Miami. The breakfast for The Key was very nice, but afterwards, there was supposed to be someone there to escort folks to the gangway; it's no big deal, we found our way off the ship by ourselves. It was a nice touch to see Andrea, the cruise director, waiting by the gangway and wishing each guest safe travels. After getting our luggage and going through customs, there was no one from the crew directing people to the shuttle buses for the airports; there were crew members there with signs for excursions, though! We eventually found our ride, but a little nudge in the right direction would have helped. Overall, we had a really nice time on this once-in-a-lifetime (for us) cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Everything was seamless- the boat was easy to navigate, crew went above an beyond to ensure a great experience. Our inside stateroom was perfect for the two of us... many storage compartments and beds and pillows were super comfortable. ... Read More
Everything was seamless- the boat was easy to navigate, crew went above an beyond to ensure a great experience. Our inside stateroom was perfect for the two of us... many storage compartments and beds and pillows were super comfortable. Many activities for teens. Entertainment was either very good or disappointing but the parties and outdoor movies were great. Food was delicious in both dining rooms. Valentines was celebrated with a fantastic chocolate buffet. I truly appreciated how the staff encourages people to wash hands. Issues: the app isn’t reliable , announcements can’t be heard in the cabin, smoking areas are not located in great areas..... casino stinks of smoke and the smoking area on deck 11 is too close to the doors and towel station... several of the staff at the customers service desk were not fluent in English which led to mistakes and misunderstandings. Our stateroom assistant was outstanding.... he couldn’t do more for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was a great vacation for my husband and I! Lots to do delicious food, fabulous entertainment, and a great room. We did do a lot of the upgraded dining, we started with chops and then wonderland the next day because we had the buy one ... Read More
This was a great vacation for my husband and I! Lots to do delicious food, fabulous entertainment, and a great room. We did do a lot of the upgraded dining, we started with chops and then wonderland the next day because we had the buy one get one deal. They were both fantastic. We also did Jamies and Chef's table I would recommend both. The lunches an dinners we had in the Main Dining room were also solid. Really enjoyed the cruise director and director of activities. The shows were just as good as the last time we saw them. We booked Anthem again for next February. They were also very good this cruise of keeping kids out of the solarium. Overall we had a great time and great service. Also very much appreciated that Royal Caribbean had an LGBT mixer every night. Great to meet everyone and enjoy a glass of wine. We even banded together to win Madonna trivia! Would very much recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date November 2018
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and ... Read More
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and upgraded to a Junior Suite and then to a Grand Suite. It was a good a deal, so we went for it. PRE-CRUISE: One night in Barcelona, stayed in the Acta Mimic Hotel, close to the port, good for a one night sleep. EMBARKATION: Fastest embarkation ever. we did the online thing, uploaded pictures and at the port they just scanned our sailing passes and Boom... om board in less than five. SHIP: Symphony is just Amazing... the amount of art pieces around is just incredible. Layout is perfect, that you dodn't feel the crowd around. Loved the ship overall. CABIN: we ended up upgrading ourselves to a Grand Suite slowly slowly, cabin 7254; just Amazing... loved the layout. Incredible amounts of storage space. Bathrom size perfect. Location was just perfection... close to elevators, close the the entertainment decks. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Grand Suite Cabin gives you Sky Suite Class perks: Concierge Service, All Day Access to Coastal Kitchen with reservations, Specialty Bottled Water (upon arrival), Complimentary VOOM, Priority Boarding and Departure, Priority Dining Reservations, Reserved Seating Area in Select Entertainment Venues, Suite Lounge Access (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening), Access to Suite Sun Deck, Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard, Luxury Pillow Top Mattress, Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane. The concierge (Rahul) was amazing and fixed everything we needed in a very efficient way, the first day we just brought him a plan we wanted for our dining reservations (specialty and Coastal kitchen) and he took care of that in just few hours. The suite lounge is really a place to enjoy and relax, in our sailing there were a lot of Pinnacles (around 250) and therefore it was always crowded during the day and it kinf of annoyed us, but whatever that was not going to disturb our holiday. The only thing we missed in this suite class is having a buttler or kind of an upgraded Stateroom attendant but we managed well. Suite Sun deck with a bar and jacuzzi: perfection. DINING: • Coastal kitchen: As part of the Suite perks, we had access to CK as our main restaurant. In general we loved CK, the dinner menu changes everyday (at least for the first seven days), breakfast and lunch menus didnt change daily but t it was great we loved every single meal. The staff made its best to make us feel welcome and at home. • Windjammer: Very good and varied selection for lunch (when we were there), good quality and tastes, also good service from the waiters. • 150 Central Park: This was our choice for the first night and it was a train wreck, dinner for the two of us took around 2,5 hours and we waited almost an hour between started and main without having contact with the waiter at all, like if we were forgotten... then the waiter shows up and gives up a excuse aboput some problems in the kitchen and asked us to wait a little bit more... we did, the food came and the steaks were raw, even if Iasked a medium -raw it was still cold inside... whatever we decided to not make a problem of it, eated some of it and hqad dessert and that was it. • Chops Grille: It was good, good steaks, good service but nothing to brag about. being this the most "signature" restaurant from RCCL, they should do better. • Jamies's Italian: One of our favorites, so good at every level that we visited it twice during the cruise. The menu, the quality of the food and the service were some of the best during all the cruise. • Hooked: one of the new kids in town of the RCCL restaurants... perfection at every level... The food, service, the design of the restaurant... Just do yourself a favor if you liek seafood and eat there. • Wonderland: Incredible dinner, good service and amazing entertainment now with a mad hatter going around interacting with the tables while you enjoy dinner. • Solarium Bistro: loved the concept and easy delicious buffet dinner. • Johnny Rockets: easy going dinner but it was slowly with an almost empty restaurant. • Playmaker's (for dining): BEST BURGERS EVER. period. • El Loco Fresh: if you like (or love) Mexican food just go there, easy lunch and delicous and fresh and and and and.... Guacamole... burritos... Carnitas... BARS: as said, we bought the premium drinking package and we found it is still worth it. In general we found the service around all bars to be good with no long waiting. Best bar for us as the English pub... ENTERTAINMENT: NO SPOILERS: just go and enjoy and the shows... everything... Symphony entertainment team does a great job overall and the shows are some of the best productions we have ever seen on a ship SERVICE: I would say the service all around the ship was great. SHORE EXCURSIONS DESK: we didn´t use this so will not comment on that. CRUISE NEXT OFFICE: they did their job and we booked two future cruises with very good deals and promos DEPARTURE: VERY CAOTHIC PERIOD, the shuffle to the airport was kind of crazy and not organized at all. CONCLUSSION: we would definitely and easily sail again in the Symphony but not in Suite Class, it was great, and we loved it but comparing with other suite programs (Celebrity and NCL) you get less for your money... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My fiancé and I chose this cruise and booked about 5 months prior to our sailing date as I simply could not pass on the price for this 4 night cruise on a ship of this caliber. I booked us a balcony 'hump' cabin on deck 7 for ... Read More
My fiancé and I chose this cruise and booked about 5 months prior to our sailing date as I simply could not pass on the price for this 4 night cruise on a ship of this caliber. I booked us a balcony 'hump' cabin on deck 7 for roughly $600 for the two of us. I know from being an avid RC cruiser that this ship was special and had just underwent a large refurb this year. I will highlight some of the pros and cons of our trip to simplify the review from a 24 year olds perspective. Pros * Large mix of crowd including families, middle aged couples, few elderly, lots of young couples, lots of honeymooners, bachelor parties and overall VERY friendly people aboard. (We made 6 friends on our ship that we still are in contact with.) * Ship was beautifully refurbished and felt as though half of the ship was brand new. * Complete refurb of the promenade area with brand new bars that were appointed well. * The ability to easily get a drink on board and almost never a wait depending on which bar you go to for your cocktail. * The "Bamboo Room" bar was phenomenal, never crowded, never a wait, and easily had the best drinks on the ship. * The check in process was remarkably fast for even a sold out ship. * Size and furniture on our balcony. * The stateroom size including the bathroom (balcony hump room) - side note I loved our location on deck 7 as we were only two decks from the promenade and four decks below the buffet area/pool we felt as though we were right in the middle and our stateroom was right by the stairway but had no noise from the elevators. * Nice and modern hand washing stations in the public areas where there was food. * The staff that we ran into including our waiters and cabin attendants were all very nice however you could almost sense that they had a lot going on with the tasks they may have to compensate for a lack of crew. * Late night nightclub in the viking crown lounge would stay live and upbeat until 2am or so with drinks, dancing, and music. This gave something to do for us in the younger crowd that liked to stay up late and utilize our drink packages. * Discounts that would appear on the cruise compass for special packages in the spa seemed to have a much better price than anything comparable to what you would order before your cruise (such as $175 spa packages) that seemed to be a great deal. Cons * Elevators often appeared to never come or would simply glide by your floor with nobody on them, we even saw crew members working on them regularly. * Although stateroom was a nice size it did appear dirty and we even had things like rubber hosing hanging from our balcony door. * It appeared to me that there was definitely a shortage of crew given the size of the ship the ship sometimes late at night felt as though you were on a ghost ship with nobody around. * The food quality was frightful even in the main dining room... My theory being they have decreased the quality of food as compared to how it used to be to push the specialty dining on board for an additional cost. This ship has numerous 'add on' specialty restaurants however I did hear from friends I made on board that the food in those restaurants was indeed divine. What was most frightful to me was that my crab cake appetizer in the dining room had the taste of freezer burn to it. * The seating in the Windjammer buffet was TERRIBLE despite this area being entirely renovated. Most times there was no seating as there would be giant waves of people in there. * Late night food options. The Windjammer opened for late night snacks and was the only area to get food after dinner aside from the pizza cafe on the promenade level. However the the only area they had that had random pieces of food on it is used as just a bread area during the day if that puts into perspective how small of an area there was for late night food. * Being just two of us we were sat at a six person table in the dining room with no other table mates and noticed other tables set up similarly we would of preferred either table mates or being sat at a two person table. * Activities on board the ship often ran into each other including the best things to do such as shows and dinner times. * The price for on board services such as any spa treatments and even dining options. Overall for the price we paid I was only slightly disappointed however the food simply is not up to RCCL standards which was the biggest disappointment for me. I will be sailing on the Enchantment for the 3rd time next month and will be very interested in seeing how the food quality is on that ship to see if the issue was just an isolated incident for the Mariner or if it is fleet wide. With the status matching on MSC cruise lines we tried a week long cruise and was by no means disappointed with that cruise line I would almost even give that trip 5 stars and I was even bumped up to Gold level privileges on their cruise line which would almost be equivalent to diamond I believe on RCCL. I am however a loyal royal sailer and hope that my love for the cruise line will continue to stay strong! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. ... Read More
The itentary- fall foliage Cabin, they have even ran out of facial tissues, received a note, sorry we are out with a room of toilet tissue! Service - diamond +++, they have ran out of all white Zens, there is no Chardonnay. Entertainment, C-, guess they are using the money on the bigger ships. Dining, same menu every four days, and if you are in a section with Pinnacle or Suite, you will just have to wait!. The ship is well maintained, but who ever did the planning and ordering really messed up. Plus they have been doing this run for two months, so it should be history. The on ship activities are located in small venues, such as Triva in the Scooner Bar, people are sitting on the floors and they refuse to change to the larger lounge that is one flight up. There is nothing even scheduled in there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that prevent me from giving this a five star review. The ship and the staff are incredible. Despite being very busy we didn’t encounter any of the over-crowding problems mentioned in other reviews. It never took more than a couple of minutes to get a drink, even at busy times. The food was generally good. The main dining room seems to have slipped a little since last year, but it’s still good. The speciality restaurants are all excellent and not too expensive if you pre-book a dining package before you get on board. I enjoyed all the bars and felt we received great service from the staff right across the ship. The delux drinks package is well worth having, with a great selection of spirits and cocktails. What lets it down is the quality of the wines. The reds and whites are pretty poor and the “champagne” is awful. It’s a non-descript sparking French wine which smells like a clogged drain. Our cabin, a balcony on deck 6, was okay. It looked a little tired in the places and the carpets and curtains were outdated, but it was a good size and kept clean and tidy. I slept well every night, even in rough seas, so the bed was very comfortable. The entertainment was excellent. There’s a first-rate production of Grease and the ice shows are stunning. The themed nights on the promenade are good fun though they do get very crowded and hot. We had a party under the stars one night on the upper decks which was fun too. What let the holiday down for me was the large number of children and teenagers onboard. We deliberately went during school term time but this seemed to make no difference. I know the Scottish half term took place during this fortnight but most of the kids were English, meaning they’d been kept out school for this trip. It resulted in all the issues raised in previous reviews: kids running around unsupervised, playing in the lifts late at night, etc. We were also unfortunate to encounter a lot of Diamond class snobs on this cruise. They bragged about the Diamond lounge like it was the holy grail, then proceeded to moan about it: how small it is, how common it’s become, how there are too many diamond members on the ship and they were forced to mingle with the “riff raff”. We had four of these people on a table of eight at dinner and I found the constant moaning to be a drain, especially in the second week. Not RC’s fault, just the luck of draw for table seating. I wouldn’t like to think I’d ever go on a huge, beautiful ship and spend most of my time sitting in a single cafeteria-style room, not matter how many points I’d achieved, just to feel special. The itinerary was good, with a nice balance of sea and shore days. I always enjoy the sea days with plenty to do across the ship. We had a bit off iffy weather on the way back: 5 metre waves and 60 mph winds, but the ship handled it well and with the stabilizers engaged it wasn’t too bad at all. It took about six hours to get through the worst of it, which we spent on a low deck, midship with little to worry about. So, to summarise, Independence is a wonderful ship with lots of do and enjoy, let down by the odd issue here and there. But with the recent refit designed to appeal to families rather than couples, I don’t think I’ll be sailing on her, or any RC ship, anytime soon. I’d rather book with an adult only company and guarantee a child free, more relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Cruised Sept 23-30 Chose this cruise because it was my first time on Allure and the dates really worked for my schedule. The service model on this ship is broken and they could really use a week off to retrain everyone (not going to ... Read More
Cruised Sept 23-30 Chose this cruise because it was my first time on Allure and the dates really worked for my schedule. The service model on this ship is broken and they could really use a week off to retrain everyone (not going to happen). I tried to write my experience in 3 categories. NEGATIVES 1. Upselling is out of control. Once you step foot on the ship you're being up-sold if you take a spa treatment, sit in the main dining room (while you're eating) or just going to get a drink. I understand being hustled in the various ports of calls because in most cases we are dealing with people who see us as well off compared to their circumstances, but the hustling aboard the ship to enrich an already wealthy corporation that I have already paid thousands to have a relaxing time, is offensive. 2. Took me a few days to realize that the bar folks did not need to present a white ticket for each drink and that this was a cheap ploy to get an "additional tip". This practice was pervasive. We had full drink packages and based on our sea pass cards the waiters knew that. Every drink includes a tip but the ticket has a space for "Additional Tip"????? I guess this is RCCL way of trying to make the tipping process transactional instead of tipping at the end of the cruise. I made a point of tipping at the end of the cruise the three people who did not present these tickets. 3. Some of the folks in the food and beverage service could really use some training on how to relate to guest and just good table manners. This was so pervasive I have to conclude that it is a lack of training issue POSITIVES 1. Pool life guards were very attentive and watchful during EVERY shift. This did not vary from person to person. It was consistent. 2. Room Steward was friendly and cleaned my room like magic. He cleaned twice per day without ever knocking on the door. It just happened. 3. Getting on and off the ship was relatively painless Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
-Survey; While the Genie will look at them they won’t have it memorized so manage your expectations and make an effort to have your preferred drinks etc (note that if you like a certain type of liquor that is rare or Dr Pepper they will ... Read More
-Survey; While the Genie will look at them they won’t have it memorized so manage your expectations and make an effort to have your preferred drinks etc (note that if you like a certain type of liquor that is rare or Dr Pepper they will get it onboard for you but you need to say something before the cruise so they can plan)… Some people comment on the “gift from the Genie” being associated with the survey but don’t look at it that way as our cabins gift had nothing to do with the survey… -Intro email from the Genie: this is your welcome letter and its more or less a generic letter but it does give you an email address if you want to communicate with your Genie… -Genie/Loop App; possibly one of the worst designed communication platforms… first of all its not an app but a website that has to be refreshed constantly… long story short don’t use it… use your Genie’s email from your intro email or call them if onboard the ship by using the direct number on their business card they give you… -ASK FOR A DECT PHONE in your emails prior to boarding… for newbies it’s the same cell phone that the Genie and managers carry around onboard and can be used to call other rooms, Genie, and Room Attendants… -Make Thank You Cards… I’ll attach a copy of the ones I had done on one of those business card websites… its crazy cheap to do and people will be impressed… you would be shocked that the Genies we gave them out to and tons of the staff hadn’t seen them done before and actually kept them… They also served as a cool way to share your info with other cruisers you meet on board… -Get $2 bills… Yes, you read that right… whenever we travel we always bring a ton of $2 bills for tips.. it’s a fun gimmick as everyone loves $2 bills… this will also help them remember you… use the “thank you business cards” with a $2 or more tip as you hop around the boat and watch how everyone goes out of their way to help you… (yes, your gratuities are included but a few bucks here and there is always appreciated) -Bring a small gift for your Room Attendant and Genie on Day 1… don’t go overthink it.. something small and as easy as candy or something from your home town… it’s simply thought… -Order some fun envelopes for tips throughout the trip… I’ll attach some pics of the ones I bought off amazon.. we would generally only use these for nice lunches and dinners every night as well as the final “big tips” for everyone at the end of the trip… -Get there a day early and don’t party too hard the night before Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2018
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple ... Read More
This was our honeymoon cruise we told the cruise line this having been on other cruises I knew what to expect it was my wife's first cruise I told her what to expect however the small touches were missing lots of corners cut simple things like chocolate on your pillow bed turn down I don't expect these things to me done but on past experiences it has been done and always think it's a lovely little touch.ive always syayed in interior cabins and I knew what to expect but the cabin was very grubby. I did not like the dining experiance we were only offered 6.30 or 8.30 dining didn't get offered my time dining when booked Going to dinner on the first night and being sat with 8 people we didn't know and this would be our table for the next 14 nights we had never been so uncomfortable I do not like eating in front of people I don't know we was on our honeymoon and wanted our own space. We went to customer services and ask them to help us out was told to speak to restaurant manager which we did the following evening we was told he has 3 sheets of paper of people asking for tables for two may be Royal Carribean should look into share dining a bit more a lot of people we spoke to did not like the share table and choose to eat in windjammer which is a shame because fine dining is all about the experiance of a cruise.ship very dusted in public places bar areas broken chairs other passengers who have been on this ship a few times said its the worse it has been lots of corners being cut. We all knew it was going to dry docks in January but it's not a excuse for cleanliness. Staff also seem very sparse but they did work very hard and always very polite and friendly but maybe a bit short staffed Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a round-trip cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico stopping at a different port each day in the southern (or lesser) Antilles islands down to Barbados. We arrived mid-afternoon and found our Junior Suite to be fairly nice. We loved ... Read More
This was a round-trip cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico stopping at a different port each day in the southern (or lesser) Antilles islands down to Barbados. We arrived mid-afternoon and found our Junior Suite to be fairly nice. We loved eating breakfast each day and watching as we arrived and docked at a different port. Then each evening, we would eat our dinner watching as we left that port. The one time when we weren't yet seated at dinner when just leaving port, we found out that the ship had left while we were walking around the on-board shops and we were amazed that we couldn't tell the ship was moving. Needless to say, we never took our drama mean. Two of our three shore excursions were great. We really liked the Sea Trek St Maarten and A Taste of Antigua Rum tours. The Sea Trek was a wonderful underwater experience with "sea helmets" allowing us to walk around under water. My wife is a poor swimmer, and she felt safe with the many nearby scuba staff showing us different things. There were young kids and much older folks -- all had fun. The taste of rum tour was not just rum but also a history lesson about Antigua and the other islands. That tour also was wonderful. However, we simply picked the wrong day for A Day Trip to Nevis with Lunch. The day we were there, the island was celebrating a holiday. So, we couldn't see the Alexander Hamilton house and museum and our guide couldn't convey any of that history. The dining experience ranged from great to awful. Not surprisingly, the specialty restaurants had the best chefs and wait staff. These were generally recommendable, but some were better than others for either food quality or service. We did try a regular restaurant for breakfast one day. We were there when the doors opened along with a long line of other passengers. Seating was immediate after the doors opened. However, it took a half hour to get a waiter to take our order and another twenty-five minutes after that to get our breakfast. The Windjammer buffet restaurant worked better for breakfast or lunch. Think smorgasbord, though. There was plenty of food, but unremarkable in its preparation. For example, I would like to have had eggs over easy for breakfast, but the short-order cooks had their stoves too hot. Their eggs were leaping off the sizzling, popping stove so the eggs were scorched on the outside and raw in the middle. The made-to-order omelettes were a better bet -- only one out of three was too burnt to eat. While onboard, we did discuss our dining experiences in the non-specialty restaurants with two other couples. Both volunteered that the Freedom class of ships seemed to get the "second class" help. Independently, they both said that the top talent was on the Oasis class ships. On our last night, we were in a specialty restaurant seated next to a Royal Caribbean employee on vacation. That employee confirmed that he, too, had noticed that trend. So, if you like the RCCL big ships, this is another reason to go that way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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