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2,183 Royal Caribbean Southampton Cruise Reviews

This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at ... Read More
This cruise was cut to 11 days due to bad weather on previous cruise. RCI did offer a price reduction - pro rata - or a full refund to be used towards a future cruise. Apparently full cash refunds were offered, but we did not know this at the time. Anyway we decided to go despite the change which meant we only visited one Caribbean Island instead of four. Summary: barding was excellent and on time. Our stateroom was not well presented, dust visible, and locker doors not properly secured. Disappointing start. We chose My Time dining and we were not disappointed. The food quality was good and the staff were excellent. Casual dining in the windjammer was more than adequate. We felt there was not a great deal of daytime activity, other than quizzes and hard sell presentations at the spa The evening entertainment was average. There were no lecture sessions to attend. All in all a big disappointment and would make us think twice about using RCI in the future. One final point; we did not receive a cruise review form so could not give our views. After many requests we go a very brief form which was a waste of time. We wanted more than anything to rate the excellence of the staff - but the rest left much to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This review isn't so much about the ship. More about the way Royal Caribbean went about showing how little they care about their British customers. We found out a few days before leaving that this trip was going to be cut short by ... Read More
This review isn't so much about the ship. More about the way Royal Caribbean went about showing how little they care about their British customers. We found out a few days before leaving that this trip was going to be cut short by 3 days, supposedly because of bad weather. A strange excuse because when you book a cruise, you are told that these ships are so large that they can handle any weather situation. That coupled with the fact that I am aware the Explorer has had rudder problems in the past, made most of us suspicious that the weather was really to blame for the itinerary change. However , having decided to the the cruise anyway despite Royals poor compensation package ( only $16 per person port fees refunded for replacing four ports with one - who are they kidding ? ) we expected that they would perhaps go the extra bit and put on a good cruise for us. Sadly not !. Considering this was an 11 night trip with only one stop, they could have done much better to keep us entertained on the many sea days The entertainment was very poor. Perhaps this was because the headliner acts that were meant to be on board didn't actually turn up due to the change of ports. Suffice to say that apart from the Beatles tribute band, the rest of the headliners were grim. More suited to a Butlins holiday camp As for the on board entertainment team, this was the worst I have ever came across. The cruise director , Mike ( even after 11 days cruising I still don't know his surname ) didn't interact with passengers at all. He even stood behind the podium during the love and marriage show he hosted. Clearly not a people person. For a ship full of Brits, why didn't they choose a more suitable cruise director such as Hello Clo, Joff Eaton or Luke Arrowsmith. Compared to them, this guy was a disgrace. His activities manager wasn't much better. The majority of activities were trivia. OK if it is hosted by someone who can talk english or someone who is remotely interested. When we questioned the guys lack of motivation or interest during the Battle of the sexes quiz, his reply was that he didn't care what we thought as his contract was up at the end of the cruise. And as many of their quiz questions were so way out, it completely took the fun out of it. We saw people winning a quiz with as little as 6 correct out of 20. As for night time entertainment, can someone please tell Royal that a ship full of people mostly over 50 aren't really interested in a Rock Britannia street party at 10:45pm. We had a promenade room. When I looked out and saw only a handful of people standing watching below, I felt quite embarrassed for the staff having to jump about in costumes to 1970's rock tunes, especially the old Italian guy who clearly was extremely uncomfortable and out of place. Two days before reaching Miami, the casino took away the European Roulette table. When I asked why he said they were getting ready for the US market. I replied that it was two days before we reached Miami and asked why they couldn't wait & remove it then. His response was this " You don't complain when we pick up your luggage from your stateroom ". I responded that I wasn't complaining. I was merely asking a simple question but didn't expect such a stupid & condescending answer. Needless to say I didn't go back to the casino. So to summarise, I don't believe Royal covered themselves in glory on this one and have now probably lost a great deal of UK customers. However when you see the reduction in the number of cruises leaving from the UK next year and going forward, I don't think they really care. not exactly in summary, Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, ... Read More
I saw this cruise on TV Cruise 1st channel and booked for the transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The fact that it was due to visit Islands that I had previously been to in my teens when I was a young seafarer sailing on cargo ships, before everything went in containers, it was to be a nostalgic voyage as well as my first cruise. Needless to say myself and travel partner arrived at Manchester coach station on the 5th Nov 2019 and found we were the only ones there waiting for a coach to Southampton. We where both extremely worried as no place was open to phone and find out what had happened. Maybe you will call us stupid but I don't use emails very much and that is the reason for us showing up on the wrong day. Cruise 1st had sent one email to tell me about the cancellation and rescheduling of the itinerary. I was asked if I wished to cancel and I would have but my travel buddy was all set to go on holiday and travel across the ocean for the 1st time so I couldn't say no. I don't believe the weather and passenger comfort had anything to do with the changes as when we did eventually sail from Southampton the weather was very bad and lots of passengers including my partner were seasick. The ship rarely went above 18/19 knots so could have gone faster and had enough time to visit the missing islands. Also having to pay for internet access , soft drinks and (special) coffee in a drinks package and even bottled water from the cabin steward is a bit much. It's not as though this Cruise Line is struggling. I was given some paltry compensation but it never made up for missing out on visiting 4 Caribbean Islands. I did have a lot more to say about this ship and the company who run it but as I am the only other person who seems to have reviewed this bad experience maybe it is best to just forget it and promise myself to never bother with Royal Caribbean and their very old ship again. Just another thing ! I always expected to be served lobster at some time whilst on a cruise. If it was served I definitely missed it or maybe it was meant to be served on the day about 1000 people on board had sea sickness . So much for passenger comfort. I really do have to say a really big THANK YOU to the service staff especially the cabin stewards who work so hard to clean and make up so many cabins each day and to all the staff I had personal interactions with Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its position then. Three of the island stops were thus canceled. We had the opportunity to cancel and be reimbursed of change our travel plans to Southampton from Barcelona (nears airport to our home). We were also informed that our cabin would not be a "guaranteed junior suite" but a balcony cabin at same price. Several phone calls resulted in our obtaining what we paid for with written reservation : a junior suite 7692 We were not reimbursed for cancelations of two prepaid hotel reservations , one night in Barcelona (before flight to Gatwick) and one in Southampton. This added extra unexpected expenses. The ship was in excellent condition and cleanliness. The restaurant gave excellent service and a wide choice on the menu. One minus there : price of wines + gratuities !!!! Entertainment on the long seaways was not entirely to our taste. But we give high marks to the ice-dance show, the Beatles imitators and the magician/pickpocket. Passengers were 95% Senior Brits. Disembarkation was extraordinarily well organised. And fast !! Within one hour after waiting in dining room, we were in line at the airport for car-rental. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Remember this song ?There was no land in sight !!!! October 25th was quite a nice day to embark on our 11 night cruise to the Canaries I have been on this cruise many times and couldn't wait to sail. Embarkation was reasonable ... Read More
Remember this song ?There was no land in sight !!!! October 25th was quite a nice day to embark on our 11 night cruise to the Canaries I have been on this cruise many times and couldn't wait to sail. Embarkation was reasonable but being Diamond does not seem to have that preferential treatment it used to ....sadly . Once onboard we were able to go straight to the cabin which was one of the last two available as we only booked three days prior to sailing at a great price too I hasten to add, an inside cabin on deck 8. Off we sailed and we were nowhere near the Bay of Biscay before we heard the most awful crashing at the front of the ship which was apparently the waves ! The ship was pretty rocky and there were several falls and lots of sickness all of which I have never witnessed before . The Captain informed us the weather was bad but would settle down which it eventually did a day later lol We ate in the main dining room svereal times but we were the only people on a table of six there were lots of tables likes this and despite asking to sit with others it was never granted so we decided to eat at at the Windjammer instead, The food was very good I especially enjoyed the curries and seafood of which their was plenty . The entertainment was not very good at all and sadly the cruise director not much better he gave you no incentive to put the tv on and find out what was happening .The only entertainer who drew crowds every night was Perry Grant he sang in the Schooner bar and he was my reason for going on this cruise this was the third time I had seen him in a year .The bar was packed and it was standing room only every night The audience participation was second to none on this cruise it was hilarious . After we had visited Madeira, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria the weather had started to take a turn for the worse for our route home and apparently we would approach four storms ,after a lot of confusing hearsay we were told that we would not be visiting Vigo nor La coruna and in fact we would be spending four extra days onboard to avoid the storms . We reached Lanzarote (theres a great zara in Lanzarote ) and some people disembarked , obviously this change of itinerary affeceted lots of people in many ways either children not being able to return to school and people waiting to have surgery that they could not rebook as they did not know how long before it would be rescheduled and some people just desperately wanting to get back to ther own businesses . Eventually the ship sailed and the Captain announced that we would now be stopping at Malaga for two days then a further two days in Lisbon ,I for one was elated I love Malaga, and Lisbons Antiques and general market was due to be held on the day we arrived (Tuesday ). The weather In Malaga was quite windy and there were several ships in port it was very busy the market was on but it was a thouroughly enjoyable stop,again some passengers disembarked and I admit to being scared regarding the seas as we sailed away . We arrived In Lisbon and it was cloudy with a few showers The market was great as you look from the ship its behind The Dome to your right so not far and I took a 10 euro tuk tuk there and walked back down the hill . As we sailed away from Lisbon we heard that our Captain had in fact given up his own vacation to keep us safe which I think is to be admired . People were apprehensive mainly because we had experienced such bad weatther on the way out ,We did feel more movement and I believe that peoples cabins were changed away from the front , we never felt a thing in our cabin as it was inside and midship .some people stayed in their rooms as they were unable stand up due to the movement and sickness and some people slept on the sofas on deck 11 as they felt the fresh air helped . Miraculously we avoided the worst of the four storms and reached Southampton late on the Thursday evening and started disemabarking about 20.30 . The passengers that left the shipprior to Southampton were offered £300 each as compensation to get home and I managed to claim on my travel insurance for delay and received £200.Passengers that had the drink package had to pay their own for the extra four days which was not appreciated by some .Unfortunately The Explorer was due to commence a Transartlantic Cruise and this itinerary was also changed they missed all the ports bar one and also lost four days so I believe lots cancelled .I will think twice before booking October and November in future as things could have been far worse but thanks to our Captain this time they were not . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Wont be using RC again or recommending them. Needed something to fit in school holidays. I wanted plenty to occupy child and flexible enough to allow them to eat / play / explore without pressure. So we could all have a break. ... Read More
Wont be using RC again or recommending them. Needed something to fit in school holidays. I wanted plenty to occupy child and flexible enough to allow them to eat / play / explore without pressure. So we could all have a break. Unfortunately it didnt work like that. Boarding was straightforward having cruised before I expected to go straight to my room find cases outside,unpack, go exploring/ have snack etc. No, cant go to room til 1:30. But my access card is in my room not issued on admission to boat? When we did get in cases not there, in corridor about 100m away. Kids club was loved by our lo when it went to plan.It was closed for 2hrs between sessions so say 12-2. Too long for a meal but not long enough to do anything else. The pm session finished at 5pm. She could not eat until 6pm cue one hangry, frustrated disabled child. It closed at 10 so if she watched a late show she couldnt eat afterwards. I am used to being on cruises where you can eat complementary food at almost any time. Granted the selection is limited by time of day but you can get something...couldnt get anything unless prepared to pay. No poolside food or tables. Cant leave child unattended in pool so you have get them out back to room to get changed. Only one buffet on ship for 4000+ people, what are you thinking? They were stopping people going in for breakfast because it was becoming dangerous. Wet floor signage that we watched 3 people fall over in 45mins!! We cannot get breakfast on time so cannot join in morning activities. So much time wasted waiting for lifts a ship this size needs more although I accept you cant retro fit them. So many facilities closed or available to book only. When you book them no-one tells you they are now closed due to weather. So when you take your child there they tell them no. Even though you have booked. Cue upset child because 'I have booked it' to them means a promise its happening. Things advertised we never found like laser tag. Then on last day it was mentioned in on board brochure as a competition. Most of what was 'exciting' for children in clubs never actually happened. Says on todays agenda 'team ball sports' or whatever. Our lo would then get excited, she likes sport. ''No we played with playdough' or a game, she's nearly 11! This added to her anxiety and she wanted to go home after 3 days because of the lack of structure. So no-one enjoyed their holiday The only positives were staff were really kind and helpful right across the ship. The food when we could access it was nice. but we wont be travelling with you again. Cabin had very limited storage and balcony was obscured by the structure of the boat but they arent deal breakers Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was nice, people were great. Dining room dinner menu disappointed and we ate in the windjammer most nights. When we did eat in the dining room, it was good. The ship was on the small side, but it doesn't need to be bigger ... Read More
The ship was nice, people were great. Dining room dinner menu disappointed and we ate in the windjammer most nights. When we did eat in the dining room, it was good. The ship was on the small side, but it doesn't need to be bigger with ports so close together and one cruise day. First port, Hamburg Germany on a Sunday. All stores are closed on Sundays, forget shopping. Are you serious Royal? My wife and I are more than upset. Only thing you can do is walk empty streets. Second port, Rotterdam, plenty of time, but nothing special. Third port, Amsterdam, somewhere around 6 hours, not enough time to really look around and enjoy the place! France, the last, promised 28 hours to visit the city. Came into port 2 hours late, shuttle stopped on the way to Paris even though no one wanted to. They changed the pickup spot and a passenger had to go get the others like us to find the bus! From drop off to pick up, we were given 21 hours that includes sleeping! This was the port we really were looking forward to and we feel we got screwed! Thanks Royal, you really did a crap job! Another disappointment, I really look forward to the T-Shirt sale and they didn't have one on this cruise. Seriously, bad schedule! We save our valuable time off to spend one good time a year and this was awful! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Hamburg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Felt it was a good way to see these destinations. Apart from the drizzly weather, which was expected at this time of the year, they were very interesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Hamburg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Felt it was a good way to see these destinations. Apart from the drizzly weather, which was expected at this time of the year, they were very interesting places. Embarkation at Southampton was extremely easy, onboard very quickly and cabin and luggage available within hour. We had inside cabin 8673, very well located. Very quiet. Excellent room attendant 'Floyd'. Only ate in the Windjammer and at the Promenade Café. Excellent food and service. Biggest disappointment was shuttle bus in Hamburg. I believed that Royal Caribbean had indicated that shuttle bus was recommended. They charged 18 USD per person and I bought tickets on board. We went to same place that we had been dropped off for return bus to ship. Lot of people, didn't notice any signage regarding shuttle bus service. Waited approx. 40 mins, no bus arrived. Noticed other people walking in direction of ship, we followed. Very easy walk along quayside which took approx. 20 mins. On return to ship went to Reception desk, noticed others that had also walked in the queue. Persons in front of me made report to Receptionist, I added my observations and disappointment to their report. Giving our cabin number. I was told that Shore Excursions would respond on their return to the ship. They did not! I went to their desk during the evening and was advised that the shuttle service was not the responsibility of RCI. I did argue the point as I felt that they were responsible. They sold the ticket and advertised the service. The shuttle was operated on behalf of RCI. Member of staff did not agree and Manager called. Manager said I was rude to staff member and would not discuss. She did check to see why I hadn't had response to my original complaint but could not find it on their system! Entertainment on board was good, ice skating show was excellent. Felt that Reception/Shore Excursion staff let RCI down. All other staff were brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found Explorer of the Seas to be as nice as when we first sailed on her 3 years ago on an Alaskan cruise. In fact, we found the service and food to be even better! The ship is kept immaculately clean. We were surprisingly assigned the ... Read More
We found Explorer of the Seas to be as nice as when we first sailed on her 3 years ago on an Alaskan cruise. In fact, we found the service and food to be even better! The ship is kept immaculately clean. We were surprisingly assigned the same balcony cabin, 8280, from our Alaskan cruise which is mid ship and a perfect spot. The only disappointment was in picking this particular cruise, we wanted to visit Versailles which was an excursion for the port of Le Havre. About 2 weeks before the cruise, we were advised that the ship would be arriving 2 hours later in port and the excursion would be pushed back to accommodate time. No problem, we would still get to go. Disappointedly, 5 days before sail date we were told the excursion was completely cancelled. This left us very little time to find another excursion as most were filled up. Nothing much in the port of Le Havre. Paris is 3 hours away and even with an overnight docking, I don’t think I would consider a 6 hour travel time. Other ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were wonderful. We didn’t see much of the entertainment....not our cup of tea, but many seemed to enjoy the shows available. Dining was excellent in the main dining room and my time dining was flawless. We always had a table available and service was excellent. The food was always served piping hot and was delicious! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are ... Read More
This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are no nice complimentary toiletries - just some body wash in a locked container in the shower. There are no little towel animals or chocolates on the pillow, nor is there any complimentary room service (they charge 8 dollars). Also the sheets are past their best and are bobbled. In the windjammer restaurant the plates and glasses are made of plastic. In the formal dining room there are only two waiters per three large tables meaning service is painfully slow and drinks sometimes don't arrive (no sommeliers at all). Again, no one to pull out your chair and place your napkin on your lap - those little extra touches that make all the difference. Also no coffee after your dinner. Entertainment good, but I like cruising because you are made to feel special and I WANT all those little extra special things. Sorry Royal Caribbean but I think you have gone too far in trying to penny pinch. I shall be going elsewhere for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the D Day Beaches and the American Cemetery at Normandy. We booked a fairly expensive all day excursion in Le Havre. I was shocked to receive an email about a month before sailing, that due to ship speed limits, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the D Day Beaches and the American Cemetery at Normandy. We booked a fairly expensive all day excursion in Le Havre. I was shocked to receive an email about a month before sailing, that due to ship speed limits, we would not arrive a Le Havre at 10:30 am as scheduled but at 12:30 pm. The excursion was cancelled and we did receive a full refund. I booked a different excursion to Normandy immediately that was still shown on the cruise planner. Once we got on the ship, a partial credit was issued as this excursion was shortened without a single word to us. The last stop on the excursion was Arromanches, the site of the remaining Muberry Harbor, but at the time we arrived, all shops in the area were closed and only two restaurants open. Everyone on the bus had to go to the bathroom so this was total chaos. My second complaint is the main showroom. One of the shows was a cover band of the group Take That, that I had never heard of. Apparently this was an English group that was know to the British cruisers. We saw the whole show but was not impressed. Imagine our surprise when the Farewell Show the next night featured the group again. However not for just a song or two but their entire show from the night before. What a disappointment, not with the group but scheduling from the entertainment staff. Ship is in need of some updating, but our cabin was fine and our room steward was great. Dining was very slow the first night but we complained to the head waiter and extra efforts were taken to complete dinner service in a reasonable time frame. Food in the main dining room was fine. No options late at night but the Promenade Cafe. I noticed that the bills from the bar did not indicate that a tip had been added. I asked my bartender and he stated that a standard tip was included in the amount paid. He also mentioned that this had changed with their departures from Southampton. I don't know if this was a ploy to get an additional tip added or some issue for the British cruisers. I did not add an additional tip so I hope the bartender was correct. I had heard that Royal was doing away with formal nights but this was not the case. We had two of them and planned for none. Went to a future cruise talk. Three people showed up and the audio visual equipment wouldn't work. In the shore excursions, Royal did not offer transfers to Heathrow after the cruise. I was forced to find my own transportation and was surprised to see transfers on the embarkation schedule. One of the couples at our dinner table called Royal and was able to book this transfer. Why do you have to call to book a transfer? Even though we overnighted in Le Havre, no information was provided in the Compass or by the shopping staff. The cruise line sold bus transfer tickets into town for $10. Based on the crowds of people waiting catch the bus back to the ship in town, so they certainly knew how many people went into town. I mentioned this to the shopping manager and apparently it never occurred to them that people might be interested in Le Havre. I have cruised on Royal five time. This will be my last for some time to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cabins need a refurb. Public areas ok. Entertainment was hit and miss. Ventriloquist was excellent a really funny show. Take that experience were good. Not sure about the headliners, didn't enjoy any of their shows. Drinks prices ... Read More
Cabins need a refurb. Public areas ok. Entertainment was hit and miss. Ventriloquist was excellent a really funny show. Take that experience were good. Not sure about the headliners, didn't enjoy any of their shows. Drinks prices high. Charged for shuttle buses we waited for over an hour for one and in the end paid for a taxi back to the ship, other cruise lines provide these free of charge. Customer service terrible. Some staff rude. The guy who greeted you at the Windjammer always had a smile and was great with the kids. The food overall wasnt on par with other cruise lines and didnt think the Italian specialist restaurant was worth the additional surcharge. Facilities onboard for kids are the best we've experienced at sea, Ie. flow rider, rock climbing, ice skating, arcade, sports court. Probably wouldn't book again on this ship but would give RCL another go. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We are C&A members, and we've sailed with RC over 10 times. So by no means we are "rookies". Granted this was a charter cruise, but we expected the service to be RC quality. Boy were we wrong. There is an extreme lack ... Read More
We are C&A members, and we've sailed with RC over 10 times. So by no means we are "rookies". Granted this was a charter cruise, but we expected the service to be RC quality. Boy were we wrong. There is an extreme lack of personnel in the general public area. Starting with the Windjammer, the food was mediocre at its best. There were no personnel going around tables to offer drinks from the bar. With the drinking package, one is given a refillable cup, which RC expects one to carry it at all times. That cup has a chip on the bottom, and it allows the person (in theory) to get their drinks from a Coca Cola machine. Well, the problem is that none of the machines were working properly. If one was lucky enough to find a machine that actually dispensed the drinks, it usually was out of most of the drinks, or didn't have ice, or in the middle of the refill would just show a message on the screen saying the machine was out of whatever drink you were serving yourself. As for the midnight snack at the Windjammer, they only serve cold hot dogs and greasy hamburgers that looked like they had been made 3 days ago. Only a small section of the Windjammer would be open at a time, so the lines were absurd. As for the main dining hall, I was not allowed to enter because I had arrived 30 minutes after the dinning time had begun. I had no idea the dinning hall was totally strict with the hours. When we did make it on time, the food was mediocre. How can you mess up a T-bone? It even tasted weird! The cabin was ok, it was an inside cabin with a huge screen that showed the outside of the ship like if we had a balcony. What a waste of resources! The darn thing didn't always work, and honestly, I could have done without the screen. As for the itinerary, I understand it was a charter cruise. But we were in port less than 5 hours. That meant that most of the shore excursions were cancelled without giving alternatives. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were really looking forward to this cruise. There were too many people on this ship. Our first evening we realised that there were not enough seating in-social areas for the amount of people on board. Every evening after dinner it ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise. There were too many people on this ship. Our first evening we realised that there were not enough seating in-social areas for the amount of people on board. Every evening after dinner it was three deep at the bar to get a drink there was no seating available to enjoy a drink, we ended up walking aimlessly around with drink in our hand , which was difficult when crossing the Bay of Biscay in a choppy sea. The sports bar was twice a big then any other seating area , and half empty . I also did not like the fact that children were in the jacuzzis with out parents and used them as swimming pools. People in the jacuzzis fully clothed is also a new one on me !! . The sun bed situation was horrendous far too close together, and very difficult to get on. I can not fault the service in dining room and cabin, the food was mostly ok. The windjammer was a nightmare,very chaotic walking round and round trying to find what you wanted, ( why can’t they put butter next to toast ) . We have been on Royal Caribbean 5 times this is by far the worst. They have made a massive mistake with the refreb of this ship The only good thing was how quick we disembarked no problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I've sailed on other cruise lines and Royal was not my favorite, but they were going to a port that I really wanted to go to and not many other cruiselines went there. This was a family trip so that my dad and the rest of the family ... Read More
I've sailed on other cruise lines and Royal was not my favorite, but they were going to a port that I really wanted to go to and not many other cruiselines went there. This was a family trip so that my dad and the rest of the family could visit the fishing town in Spain where my grandfather came from. Overall the ship was fine, but there were a few things that irked me. They closed the Windjammer after each meal - not getting a cup of coffee, sitting at a table and playing games, chatting, etc. They had Cafe Promenade to get drinks, but they never had lemonade and it was always crowded. They had no card room and trying to find a table in a bar area that fit 8 people in semi-quiet was impossible. Another odd thing to me was when we go off in port there was never a sign telling you when to come back on board, unless you had your Cruise Compass with you no one said anything. Maps for port were at Guest Services, but it was never mentioned anywhere, I just happened to see them there one day. Our room steward was ok, not bad, but after 1 day I never got my ice bucket which I asked for every day. I gave up after a while. Also, on embarkation day I bought 2 bottles of sparkling wine with strawberries and one bottle of red wine with cheese plate - never got the cheese plate and they only gave me on plate of the strawberries. I mentioned it to guest services but they never did anything about it. The ice show - you can't reserve seats so you have to get there almost an hour early to wait & then be told "sorry no more seats, but wait here and some Suites & up people may not show up". We gave up and never say the show. Overall the people on board were very nice, being Americans we were in the minority, but that was fine. The ship could use a sprucing up - mainly the rooms and public bathrooms. Food was fine, ate in the restaurant 3x and the Windjammer the rest of the time. The dining room just takes too long for my taste. Ports were great - Lisbon, Vigo, Canary Islands, La Coruna, Funchal. I would visit those places again. We used RCL tours for all except La Coruna where I did a private tour. RCL tours were fine and we enjoyed them. Cabin was fine, although we were in an Aft Balcony 7408 and knew it would be a bit noisy in rough seas, and it all worked out. We only had 2 days/nights with rough seas and there was a bit of a shuddering of the cabin. Toilet in the cabin liked to fill almost to the brim at night - very strange. Told them about it and it stayed that way the entire cruise. I never overflowed but it was strange. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Overall the cruise was a cruise, a time away from our everyday lives to relax in order to continue with the demands normal life lends our way. That said let me tell you we have been on over 25 cruises, on several different cruise lines, ... Read More
Overall the cruise was a cruise, a time away from our everyday lives to relax in order to continue with the demands normal life lends our way. That said let me tell you we have been on over 25 cruises, on several different cruise lines, and this has to be one of the most unique and challenging thus far. Here are my pros and cons from this cruise: 1. The pros for entertainment was all good with costumes appropriate for all family members. This modest dress was surprising and appreciated since many lines have gone to risque attire making the cast and production cheap and unrefined and an insult to the talented cast. The production of "Grease" was a nice addition; however, the show is very long so placing a 10-15 minute intermission or shortening the production would have been beneficial. The con for the entertainment was the lack of consistency for show time, Some times were set to early and 2nd showing was too late to 1st seating diners making attending some shows challenging but could be sorted out in the end. The second con was the comedians who either made excuses about their lack of talent, claimed they were unable to perform because they only tell inappropriate jokes, or some other excuse. This should never occur. 2. The pros for dining has to be for the main dining room that created wonderful meals each day. While some of the combinations were not what we desired the staff was eager to make the selection to our liking. Our table servers, Naptali and Birendra, were attentive to ensure a top-of-the-line experience. However, one con also involved our table servers who when asked for a small amount of extra vegetables the amounts continued to increase each day to being excessive. In addition, Naptali told us each day that we needed to complete the survey providing excellent ratings which resulted in lower ratings. Another con was the wastefulness in the Windjammer which threw away tons of food several times a day. Finally, any other ship we have traveled on a variety of food items can be found throughout the day and is continuous until at least midnight. Not on this cruise the only food available after 9:00 was pizza with the Windjammer closing for the night making guests on option for food or beverages on deck 5. 3. The extra charge items should be avoided at all cost. We did the mystery dinner that was ill produced and definitely not worth the $79/person extra charge. The cast were from the main stage and it was clear, early on, they are not actors. This was a waste of time and money. Second was the escape room which after we tried and failed (only could solve 1 of the 6 puzzles within the hour) we discovered that no one has ever been able to complete the challenge the first time. They try to convince guests to book multiple times at $19.99/each person with the knowledge it is impossible. Other lines have an escape room and is solvable within the time limit making it a fun activity to share with family and new friends. Even with the challenges the cruise fulfilled its purpose of a relaxing time away from home and work. But it added information about thinking twice prior to booking another Royal cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and ... Read More
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and a hot drink as windjammer wasn't open. Our balcony cabin was ready by 1pm and 30 minutes later our cases turned up so we unpacked and went for lunch. We used our D+ BOGO and went to Chops Grill first night and Giovanni's the second night. The other 4 nights we went to MTD and our waiters Russel and Bradey were excellent. Pre-dinner most nights we went to the Concierge Lounge where the service was excellent. We visited 3 ports. Vigo- Spain.Nice port 10 minutes walk up a hill got us to a long pedestrian street of shops including Zara and Mango. Gijon-Spain.This was a 20 minutes free shuttle ride into town.There was a nice promenade plus a long street of shops including Zara and Mango Le-Havre-France.There was a massive queue for the €5 return shuttle with estimated 45 minutes wait. We got a taxi instead to the docks shopping centre for only €8 which took around 10 minutes. We enjoyed our cruise and the ship looked in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely ... Read More
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely fabulous outstanding in all aspects of offers and help and suggestions he made.Entertainment we found enjoyable some nights were absolutely outstanding still couldn’t fault it. We were on the ship on the 2019/10/05 for 6 days. It was our first cruise and we thoroughly had a fantastic time we sailed from Southampton we had two stops in Spain one in France back to Southampton thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the point is we have booked another cruise with Royal Caribbean on the jewel of the sea in Dubai in March next year. We just like to say well done Royal Caribbean explorer of the sea for all your hard work in making our cruise special Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were ... Read More
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were 'polite' to the point of rudeness. The ship was tired and dull - downright grubby in places. Mirrors in dining room had a film of grease over them. No real sparkle to this ship. It may be going in for refit - but there was no excuse for poor cleaning. All the luxury elements were missing, no flowers on dining room table - in fact no diners!! Our complete section had empty tables around us - the food was tepid, insipid and uninspiring. Waiting staff were excellent - doing their best under the circumstances. The head chef spent more time apologising to guests than he did in the kitchen. Conclusion - they were trying to get you to spend more in the speciality dining ! Forget the windjammer - crammed to capacity due to guests not using dining room. Our jnr suite - excellent space - but we had to ask for the floor to be cleaned in the second week - no sign of a hoover and carpet getting thicker every day. Glass tables in bars were grubby. Drinks waiters friendly - but then they were getting regular tips to remember us. The changed the itinerary dropping Genoa before we even sailed - due to overcrowding - did they not book their slot over a year ago?? the replacement port was skipped due to the non-appearing Hurricane. Lisbon was skipped - and they substituted it with an overnight stay in Le Havre. Of all the ports they could have gone to why this ferry port with nothing of interest?? They did not even lay on shuttle buses to get to town. Over 3,000 people on board, many old and challenged - the queue for the port bus was over one hour long. the 25 minute walk - was more like 40 mins. They did manage however to book coaches for an overpriced trip into Paris. They even took coaches to Rouen for a trip - WHY French health official had declared the place an health issue due to huge chemical fire. Toxic soot on everything, questions over air quality and a ban on eating fruit and veg grown there and the milk had to be thrown away - yet RC thought it would be a great idea to take people to visit it. How desperate for profit was that. Very poor entertainment Cleary they are floundering in the expanding cruise market and have lost their edge. Our worst cruise out of 19 others !! Very poor value for money and disappointing to say the least -- Royal Caribbean dont even bother responding to correspondence outlining issues. Staff refused to provide a letter for insurance company stating port missed and the reason. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with several lines, but found Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas the best for food.The choice in the buffet is vast. Embarkation was swift & easy, as was disembarkation.Going from Southampton is ideal, so ... Read More
We have cruised with several lines, but found Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas the best for food.The choice in the buffet is vast. Embarkation was swift & easy, as was disembarkation.Going from Southampton is ideal, so much better than having to fly to a port. Entertained by Perry Grant most nights. A very talented pianist, singer & comedian offering great fun with the audience's participation. All other entertainment was good, especially the Ice Show which should not be missed The only disappointment was missing 2 ports & spending 2 days in Le Havre instead! We also found the prices of drinks quite high. The cabin was comfortable as were all on board facilities. A good choice of shore excursions, but again pricey. Very good service in all areas. A little 'tired' in some areas, but due for a refit in 2020. We certainly recommend Royal Caribbean & will definitely cruise with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just home after a cruise to the Portugal and the Canary islands departed from Southampton. Firstly, RCC never miss a trick to make money !! Always book a drinks package and a dining package - we did both and it was excellent value for ... Read More
Just home after a cruise to the Portugal and the Canary islands departed from Southampton. Firstly, RCC never miss a trick to make money !! Always book a drinks package and a dining package - we did both and it was excellent value for money. Sea days = Hell days just too many people . The sundeck was just awful peop!e packed in like sardines roasting in the sun. No room between lounger and literally no room to move and angle to face the sun. Food - good quality and tasty in the main dinning room. The Italian was excellent the steak much, much better than Chops !! Chops - the maitre D would make a great team in a funeral parlour , no smiles and no finesse a rather lack lustre dinner . Wind jammer my least favourite restaurant on board like a canteen and an unpleasant experience defiantly not relaxing or fine dinining. Best bit.... The washy hand man always singing and always smiling. Our cabin - Deck Ten 1402 very clean, large balcony although we never got any sun on it. Bathroom very compact but useable . Towels were tiny and a bit thread beard. Staff - all without exception very nice, helpful and genuinely like to look after you. Would we go again with RCC - NO !!!! This cruise is not "select " or luxurious and the price reflects the calibre of their guest - We will stick to Regent Seven Seas in future. I have in all honesty never seen so many mobility scooters , tattoos and chavs in all my life. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net ... Read More
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net curtains which didn’t meet in the middle and filthy curtain liners. Come on RCI. Our cabin was kept clean though, so no problems there, it just felt grubby because it was tatty. The food in Windjammers and the MDR was very good, plenty of choice. We had the lovely Amit and Heman (Table 755) looking after us, who were so lovely, friendly and helpful. We had My Time dining and had the same table and time every night. The shows in the theatre were very good, but the last couple of nights they changed the time to 7pm or 9pm, which was no good with our dinner time, so missed 2 shows. Grease was ok, but they had a few hiccups. Both the ice shows were great. I don’t think the groups/bands were as good this year, but that’s just my personal opinion. Bar service was generally good, but they could do with more staff in Boleros, as most days there was only one serving and if they had to go and get more bottles it was left unmanned. Quite a bit of queuing most of the time. Katerina, the waitress was brilliant there, friendly and smiling. All the ports of call were great, as was getting on and off the ship each time. We had the usual kids running around and playing in the lifts, but that’s down to the parents who obviously didn’t care. I was a bit worried after reading previous reviews about getting a seat anywhere, but we always managed to find a seat in Windjammers and a sun lounger every day. The bars were quite busy and if we couldn’t get a seat in one we always found one in another (except the Schooner bar, which was always rammed). I do wish everyone would wash their hands in the restaurants, as every day we saw people just walking straight in and we have to go and use the tongs they have used. Instead of the lovely singing waiters singing to wash your hands as you go in, they should be making people do it who walk straight by. Great cruise, lovely ports of call, glorious weather and no real complaints, only the tatty stateroom. Cannot wait until the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one ... Read More
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one on deck 12, or its back to your room. - Great idea to put a piano in a lift at peak times which in effect made lift unusable, and yes they put a piano in a lift.....great idea that was - Sun beds rammed in side by side with no access from the sides unless you spend 30 mins dragging other ones out of the way - Apart from deck 4, there were no Sun lounges available - State rooms were shabby and need updating - The so called multi million pound refurbishment was obviously not spent on interior decoration - Windjammer menus seemed to repeated every other day and food was on many occasions cold - It was like a treasure hunt most days in the Windjammer to find the vegetables, which again were cold - On the other extreme you would get second degree burns from the utensils that were kept under the lamps In summary, RC seems to be focusing on quantity and not quality, can we please have the ship's back as they were..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make ... Read More
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make introductions every night. This has always worked well on previous cruises. On this occasion I got ready for the evening meal, spruced myself up ready to make new friends and found myself all alone. After two nights I spoke to the Maitre .D who said there were two other ladies due to be at my table but they had obviously decided not to use the dining room. There were no other tables with space I could move to apart from those occupied by family groups. As I didn’t want to intrude in families I went on every other night to the Windjammer. I have no complaints about the buffet food but this was not the holiday experience I had been hoping for. As I eat alone most nights of the year I find having company for my meal something I really look forward to. Obviously I pay double price as a single passengers to then have this disappointment over the meal was a real blow. Not RC’s fault but I will probably not ever book another cruise in case the same thing happens, The embarkation was wonderful. From being dropped off by taxi just over ten minutes to being in the buffet. Cabins ready within a couple of hours. Nice cabin, sofa a bonus, kettle which I wasn’t expecting. Comfortable bed, great shower. I had an aft cabin, no 8710. Disappointed that there was just a door with a high window so couldn’t easily see out. However the balcony itself was good with two armchairs and a sun bed. The ports of call were generally very good apart from Ibiza and Majorca which were not at all inspiring. Watch out in Cadiz. I had my purse stolen and I still don’t understand how that happened. I thought I might have a bit of advice from Guest Services about informing the police, etc., but they were completely disinterested and offered no help at all. I have enjoyed my days away but they could have been so much better after paying £3500. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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