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

2,160 Royal Caribbean Southampton Cruise Reviews

Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but ... Read More
Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but the ships own shows were very poor ,people were walking out & the entertainment director was very unprofessional and never looked smart.The shows with guest performers were very good.{Photos taken by ships photograghers were $20.The tours are estortionate, just to go on trip too Rome was $369 Each.Meals in main resturant were ok but mainly only warm.One couple we met complained & were asked to come back the next night & it was excelant then following night cold plates again.The duty free shops were ajoke my perfume channel was $109 for 50ml yet i can buy that in uk £50.We have done 10 cruises before 1 with royal carabbean & p&o,Princess .Norwegean .thomson & never had complained before so sorry royal carabbean that will be our last with you.Service from the staff was excelant & our cabin attendant was great,we asked him about water & he told us he could bring us 6 wine glasses of water each day but if he bought it in bottles the ship would charge us $ 2 per bottle. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal ... Read More
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and I have to admit I was somewhat concerned about how much I would enjoy the ship, especially considering the spate of very negative reviews that have been written. Well in a nutshell my husband and I had a fantastic cruise and enjoyed almost all aspects of our 14 days, however in fairness I have to say that we are not overly critical people and enjoy a laidback cruise and on occasion the solitude of our cabin. So many reviews have commented that the ship is overdue for a refurbishment and not in a good stare of repair; well apart from the odd bit of rust on our balcony we had absolutely no complaints. Our cabin (8568) was well appointed, clean, had masses of storage space and the bed was very comfortable, and the public areas were fine. Then again we do not spend our holiday looking for negatives to complain about we just get on and enjoy ourselves. Embarkation was efficient and timely. We arrived in Southampton slightly earlier than boarding and after waiting perhaps 15 minutes we were on our way up the walkway, in the lift to the upper deck and sipping our first cocktail. (our traditional Aperol Spritz ) The windjammer buffet was a very pleasant surprise. Even that first lunchtime we were easily able to find a table and the choice and standard of the food was exceptional. The design seemed far more spacious than other ships we have been on and I never felt crowded. Perhaps my biggest compliment belongs to the MDR administration. When I booked I was not able to secure any time dinning and had to book fixed dinning. Unhappy with this option I contacted the Maître D on the first day requested a change and on the following day there was a note in my cabin saying they had amended my reservation to ATD. I really didn’t expect such efficient prompt action. My second compliment goes to the tender disembarkation organisation in Ville Franche. Royal Caribbean do not allocate tender tickets but it was organised in a very timely manner and we were ashore to meet out tour guide ahead of time. We ate every evening in the Sapphire dining room and enjoyed every meal. We liked sitting with strangers and having very different conversations each night. Service was perfectly acceptable for A La Carte service which I don’t expect to resemble the in/out speed of self service. We had planned to utilise our OBC by going to the speciality restaurants but food quality was so good I spent it on an amazing but ridiculously priced spa treatment instead,. Entertainment in the theatre was good but perhaps not excellent. While the professional acts were good I did not enjoy the royal Caribbean players. In my opinion the worst feature was the overly amplified sound system, making the whole show just a noise!! Perhaps the sound system was deliberately loud to mask the poor quality of the performers. Other evening entertainment venues did tend to get very crowded and was the only times I was aware that we were sailing fully booked. As iv said this cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we enjoyed every port. I don’t use ships tours preferring to organise my own small group private tours with local companies and all were excellent. I made contact with fellow passengers via CC and Facebook and a total of 8 couples did 5 tours of 4 couples each. It was an added bonus making such lovely friends. When reading my individual port reviews, you may realise I am not too keen on ships tours, but that’s my personal opinion. Small niggles – our cabin steward never bothered to introduce himself, disembarking at Southampton was a tad confused and I wasn’t keen on the structure of our balcony which was sheltered and prevented me sunbathing. All in all an excellent cruise, a fantastic holiday, some lovely friends and I won’t hesitate to book royal Caribbean again. Ports of Call Gibraltar Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes. Villefranche Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced La Spezia Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them. Rome – Civitaveccia We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good Naples We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company. Seville – Cadiz This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the cruise more for the ship than it’s destinations. On our arrival we were through check in and onto the ship in 10 minutes (although we did arrive an hour late on the coach due to traffic). The ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the cruise more for the ship than it’s destinations. On our arrival we were through check in and onto the ship in 10 minutes (although we did arrive an hour late on the coach due to traffic). The ship is big but I expected more things on it. Our inside cabin (1697 on deck 10) was small (2 adults and 1 teen) but adequate and quiet. We didn’t eat in the main restaurant as it was a set menu and our son is autistic so has issues with food. Instead we ate at the Windjammer buffet (and once at Johnny Rockets). We could not find any fault with the food or cleanliness. Before entering you are encouraged to wash your hands (by the singing washy washy men) and use antibacterial gel. Johnny Rockets charges $10 per person as a supplement but you can then order as much as you want from the menu, plus the food was nice. Our cruise was from Southampton to the Mediterranean and back so the first 3 days and last 2 days were not great weather. The rest were fantastic but with only 2 sea days we didn’t use much. We used the swimming pool just once but sunbathed a couple of times. The flowrider was always busy with good surfers hogging it. The skypad was fun but the VR was a little disorientating. We went to plenty of quizzes and won one. The entertainment was fantastic with several top artists flown in Darren Day, Steve Hewlett, Jamie Allen plus others. We also had a stage show of Grease which was good but I found very disjointed and not in the correct sequence. The shops were expensive although they had many sales later in the cruise. The Market had some allergy tablets costing $15 but you can get them in Poundland for.......£1. The service throughout the ship was second to none, in fact I honestly don’t think I saw or heard any miserable staff. I need to pay particular praise on our stateroom attendant, Lionel King. He couldn’t do enough for you, and his standards exceeded our expectations. He came in a cleaned up twice a day. We didn’t do any ship excursions as they were extremely expensive. Instead we simply did our own thing. Getting on/off in port was always really easy. Our son has autism and he enjoyed the cruise but didn’t do any teen clubs. He struggled a few days with food choices but was fine most days. He particularly enjoyed the hot chocolate from the Cafe Promenade. Afterwards he said he would like to do another cruise but in the Caribbean next time. We will definitely do another cruise but next time we will choose it for the destinations more than the ship. My only disappointment was the cost of the shops, laundry (although they do a deal for $35), premium restaurants and excursions. Finally we would not get the soda drinks package again as in our view it’s not value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the reputation of RC ships. Our 2nd cruise ever and first 1 was on Celebrity Equinox. The itinerary was not a disappointment- however- the ship was a great disappointment. The social spaces were ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the reputation of RC ships. Our 2nd cruise ever and first 1 was on Celebrity Equinox. The itinerary was not a disappointment- however- the ship was a great disappointment. The social spaces were all dark and dingy. The ship seemed to be overflowing with people, hard to find a space to escape the crowds. The entertainment was just adequate. Not of a high standard although the Ice Show which had a theme was very good. The food- average. The best night we had was at Izumi. Giovanni average. The Windjammer was like a canteen. And the Saphire lunch and dinner was almost same food as the Windjammer. The cabin was lovely, spacious however there seemed to be a permanent odour of some sort. The staff seemed in the main to be pre occupied. Not all happy though they tried hard. We are going to go on Quantum of the Seas in January - this was booked before this cruise and I am really hoping for a better experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We booked this cruise to meet with friends with whom we had a lovely time and met some other very nice people. There were also some very rude people on board but that seems to be the case these days. The cabin was adequate and the cabin ... Read More
We booked this cruise to meet with friends with whom we had a lovely time and met some other very nice people. There were also some very rude people on board but that seems to be the case these days. The cabin was adequate and the cabin steward did a good job and dealt with our needs. Service in the main dining room was a little slow at times, especially at breakfast, however the food was acceptable. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the shows as the timing could not be fitted around our dining time (Mytime). We did however manage to see the ice show which was fabulous. We didn't do any cruise excursions we had visited most of the ports previously. Not sure if we would use RCL again we much prefer Celebrity or P & O as was disappointed with the Ship a little sad in places. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wife picked the cruise to celebrate our 25th, because we did Alaska last year and loved the scenery. We expected to see more of the same and we were not disappointed. Norway was gorgeous, even with some showers and cooler weather. ... Read More
Wife picked the cruise to celebrate our 25th, because we did Alaska last year and loved the scenery. We expected to see more of the same and we were not disappointed. Norway was gorgeous, even with some showers and cooler weather. Spent first two nights in London at Hilton Tower Bridge, then used a private transfer with twelve transfers which was very reasonable against the cost of large group transfers. Embarkation in Southampton was a breeze - wish Florida ports could be that efficient. We arrived around noon and were on board within 20 minutes. The ship was fine considering her age. For all the complaints, I saw a lot more passengers that need work more than the ship did. We did the safety drill at 4:30 and were shortly on our way out of the port. We had MTD and being accustomed to getting a nice table for 2 with a view on our last 3 cruises, we were surprised to find the tables for two all on the inside areas of the restaurant. Our assigned table was right by a serving station and since there were hardly anyone there yet, I asked for a change - we were moved over one table. Service was extremely slow and turned out it was the assistant waiters first cruise and she actually gave us the best dining room service all week. When we left, I requested a change for the rest of the week, and was told, not a problem. Next night, we arrived we were taken to the same table by the serving station - now I know why people drink more on a cruise. We went to the casino the first night - it was the cashier's first cruise too and kept apologizing when we wanted to break down some large bills and after when we collected our winnings - yep, we both won on the slots and was the first cruise we came out ahead from the casino. Tried to get a drink at the Schooner bar on the way to the show, but was very over crowded and seemed that way for the rest of the cruise. Entertainment at the show was terrible - this is me being polite. Was actually the worst first night entertainment that we ever experienced. The comedian was hardly funny, the singers and dancers were so-so, the cruise director boring. I am not overly picky, and neither is my wife, but I have to say this set a tone for the cruise with regards to entertainment. My wife and I are in our 50's but we felt like it was geared towards thIte more senior of senior citizens demographics. Says a lot when we enjoyed the screening of Bohemian Rhapsody one night more than the entertainment shows. That being said, when it came to the Ice Show - it was spectacular. We saw it on the last sea day and the seas were a little rough and for those skaters to perform the way they did it was amazing. Also it seemed like they kept the best comedian until the going away show - he was skilful, funny and engaged at least 70% of the audience. I have to say the CD was probably one of the worst we have had - I think he has spent too long on the ship and is maybe coming the end of his run. Had running inside jokes with his activities director on what they called the morning show. He was not engaging when we occasionally ran into him by ourselves, however as soon as their were 10 or more people around he changed. He absolutely ruined the street parties by his screeching - apparently someone once told him, he could sing....he can;t. The port/shopping excursion manager should be sent off to another ship that isn't part of Royal's family. I hope someone sends a tape of her presentation on that first sea day to corporate. She came across totally disinterested in everything but herself. It was plain horrible. Then I got to hear her lovely voice again as we sailed into Geiranger - it was like nails on the chalkboard. "I want to have everyone look to the left - there is a farm, Norwegian's build farms along their fjords" was one of her highlights. Bar staff were hit and miss - in Windjammer - bad, in Casino, Pool Bar great. Rest of staff were very polite and wanting to help with anything. This is what I expected from Royal Caribbean. Our cabin was an aft cabin on deck 7 - it was fine even with the obstruction of the structure on the back of the ship. Nice to still be able to sit out on the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings. Our cabin steward Neville was fantastic and kept everything tip top. His excellent service was highlighted by the fact he was not feeling well and we had a substitute to cover for him - she barely got the bed made and threw two towels in the bathroom. With our experiences in the dining room disappointing, we ate a lot at Windjammer - what can I say, it is buffet food, but they try. One section always served what was being featured on the main menu, so we could still try it without suffering from the slowness of the wait staff. We did do breakfast one day in the main dining room and it was fine, but that is where the Windjammer actually excelled. The ports we visited were great - always did our own tours and not the ships. Loved Geiranger, Olden, Molde, Alesund and Stavanger. Bergen was okay and maybe the rain put me off, but it seemed to be like any other big city. Debarkation was a little chaotic - instead of self assist this time, as we scheduled a pick up around 8:30, we decided to go out as normal.. When our number was called to leave the ship, our bags didn't show up for another 30 minutes - had a crush of people wandering around looking for bags where our number was set up , but they seemed to be putting the bags anywhere. Apparently the number 24 comes after the number 32 for the employees pulling the bags off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The food in the Main Dining Room could be improved. I ordered Prawns and was given a shrimp dish and the shrimp still had the shell on. The entertainment was great, so was the Ice Show. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The food in the Main Dining Room could be improved. I ordered Prawns and was given a shrimp dish and the shrimp still had the shell on. The entertainment was great, so was the Ice Show. I don't agree with comments made that cruisers we're not happy with the entertainment. The Barricade Boys were off the chart awesome. We certainly enjoyed Perry Grant. Graham the Cruise Director was funny and informative. He can surely pack the Schooner Bar, 10-20 deep. I am so glad that RCL now has the hot milk in thermos instead of having it next to the oatmeal in a huge pot. We were invited to a Top Tier Party as Diamond members and that was very enjoyable. It would be nice if RCL would include more free mixed drinks for Diamond members in their menu. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Food exceeded my expectations in term of quality, and was some of the hottest MDR food I’ve ever eaten. Windjammer was impressive and only in embarkation lunch was overcrowded ( we had a very relaxed lunch that day in the dining room ... Read More
Food exceeded my expectations in term of quality, and was some of the hottest MDR food I’ve ever eaten. Windjammer was impressive and only in embarkation lunch was overcrowded ( we had a very relaxed lunch that day in the dining room instead) Realised the big ticket attractions such as flow rider and sky pad are not for us. Pool screen was awful quality, made live action films look like cartoons. Entertainment team lacked any enthusiasm for their role ... ever heard so much monotonous delivery of activities! Really enjoyed the ice show and the 80s tribute band, but the Once Upon A time production show was awful, band drowned out the vocals half the time but that might not have been a bad thing. Loved the Coca Cola freestyle machines but seems there is only one location now on the Royal Promenade. Our first Royal cruise and can safely say it wasn’t our favourite... nothing Royal did wrong (entertainment staff aside the rest of the crew were cheery and efficient) but it’s just not the best fit for us. I’d read reviews saying the ship was now overcrowded but we always found somewhere to sit, eat, relax etc. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chosen as a quick get away for half term with our young children. Embarkation was not the usual standard RCI provide at the pier. We were travelling in a suite and got moved from suite line to regular line and ended up waiting an age. The ... Read More
Chosen as a quick get away for half term with our young children. Embarkation was not the usual standard RCI provide at the pier. We were travelling in a suite and got moved from suite line to regular line and ended up waiting an age. The ships makeover has done her good. The activities for the children were brilliant and they loved exploring. Even though there were over 1000 children onboard it didn’t feel like it. They never really had to wait too long to get on their chosen activity. We were travelling in a JS, room 1106. One of the new cabins placed up by the spa. The room was lovely and quite spacious for four of us. However I would advise if looking to book this cabin for a sunny cruise the balcony may be an issue. Whilst a great size with table and chairs and two loungers as it was previously part of the spa the balcony is protected by glass all round with only the middle section being removed for you to see out. This prevents the sun coming through and I would imagine on hot days would make the balcony very hot. Main dining room and service was exceptional. Never ventured to windjammer. Izumi experience was brilliant and would highly recommend. The only negative we had was that we felt the staff (save our dining room staff) didn’t seem as happy/content as previous RCI cruises. Whether this was because it was only a 4 night cruise or for other reasons we couldn’t tell. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely ... Read More
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely decor. Stateroom was a good size (Balcony room) and the attendant did his thing every day very well. Dining. Food in the MDR was OK but nothing special, buffet was good with loads of different options. Had a choppes grill which was superb, highly recommend. Also the pizza at Sorrentos was absolutely delicious! We saw several of the shows (theatre and Ice) and they were all amazing. All the staff were really nice and friendly, but the bar staff seemed very busy in the evenings and they could do with more bar staff IMO My 2 gripes were that the ship felt a bit too busy/crowded at times, and that in the casino they literally want to screw you out of every last penny. The blackjack has the worst rules of any casino in the world coupled with 6/5 payoffs for a blackjack, which is an insult basically. Anyway if you are not a casino lover you will have a great time on Indy, but as we are gamblers my next cruise will be with NCL. Im sure they will be just as stingy but I feel I need to vote with my feet, Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. ... Read More
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. Our cabins were lovely & clean with connecting doors. The children adored this & loved the bible that flipped out of the ceiling. The food in the dining room & buffet was exceptional quality & the choice was awesome. There was one day when it was busy & we waited ten minutes to enter. This was no problem & we were happy to wait for a table. The attention to hand hygiene was great as I was worried about this. We also are at Izumi & this was INCREDIBLE. The staff ship wide were amazing. The sorts staff were great. Our girls tried every activity they could - loved the flow rider, the trampolines, the swimming, shuffleboard, bingo, ice skating, the shows, laser tag and all the silly napkin folding and crafting classes. I would recommend this cruise to anyone travelling as an extended family who wanted something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - ... Read More
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - staff generally unhappy. Miss the American service from 5+ years ago where they couldn’t do enough for you. With the staff on here everything was to much trouble. - have turned into a company where they are constantly looking to upsell to you. Perks or small gestures for returning to them, such as little gifts in your room have disappeared. - all the little things add up to disappointment. Can’t get lemon slices in your drinks, room curtains were old and had holes in them so light came through, constantly rammed in the windjammer, massive queues constantly to guest services, booked anytime dining and couldn’t get in for a meal at 6.30am, 5% charge for casino spends, the amazing if daytime activities has dramatically reduced, waited for room service for some toast for 90 minutes. The service and attitude of staff has changed dramatically and for that reason we won’t be booking again. Princess are much better!! Don’t waste your money!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We booked this short cruise for a weekend away as we are fairly local to the port, cruise RCCL three times previous (never from uk port). It was pretty clear that there were lots of first timers and hen/stag dos onboard which were ... Read More
We booked this short cruise for a weekend away as we are fairly local to the port, cruise RCCL three times previous (never from uk port). It was pretty clear that there were lots of first timers and hen/stag dos onboard which were intent on partying which resulted in some serious mad behaviour, didn’t bother us but things like people throwing up from drinking too much on deck could put a lot of people off! the ship rectify had a huge upgrade which has put things like skypad, escape room and laser tag onboard, all great but virtually impossible to do everything on a 3 day cruise. We also found the schedule/opening times of the various activities bizarre, things were often shut or not open for large proportions of the day or only open for short periods or open at odd times which made it very difficult to get to experience everything. Due to this issue when we stayed onboard one day we were sometimes struggling to find something to do because things just were not opening I.e the climbing wall we never saw open? Evening entertainment was good but again, at times things clashed in the schedule which didn’t really work, and only one ice show in three days? Strainge. We also noticed lack of inerraction with the entertainment team, they often seemed quite aloof and we only saw and heard the cruise director once, we don’t even know his name. I’m not sure if RCCL are becoming more reliant on the ships facilities instead of providing other types of entertainment but we’ve now decided RCCL is sadly no longer for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. Most of the musical entertainment was very good. The comedians were just okay...maybe it's because we missed some things since we're not British (the accent, colloquialisms, etc.). Perry in the Schooner was funny, but it was the same show every night. Further, the timing of some shows conflicted with both MDR times. The nights when there was only one performance, you'd either arrive late or have to leave early. The ship was refurbished a few years ago, and needs an update again. Some areas of the ship are showing wear and tear. Then, the food. There were some highlights, like the osso buco one night in the Main Dining Room. The buffet has a huge variety, but the food was just average. The set-up for the drinks is congested. We went to Chops Grille one night, and it was good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining ... Read More
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining room on deck 3 food was very good menu had a good choice of meals we sat on same table everynight apart from the night we went to chops grille wich was nice but thought it was just as good as the restaurant we were served by the same two waiters Prastika and Jayvee who were lovely entertainment was ok managed to see two films we wanted to see overall cant really fault anything staff work very hard and nothing was ever too much for them we purchased the drinks package wich i would recomend the waiters always made sure you had a drink sun bathinv without having to keep getting up for drinks was fab very relaxing Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This review covers the 7 night Northern Europe sailing on May 18th from Southampton. This is our 9th Royal Caribbean cruise and first on the Independence. Accommodation: Inside cabin, 9487. This cabin was off the main corridor so ... Read More
This review covers the 7 night Northern Europe sailing on May 18th from Southampton. This is our 9th Royal Caribbean cruise and first on the Independence. Accommodation: Inside cabin, 9487. This cabin was off the main corridor so noise was never an issue. It’s a nice quiet location and close to Windjammer and Adventure Ocean. The room was setup as a double and a Pullman bed (bed from ceiling). It states that this should not be used by children under 6 but there is no indication of this when we make the booking with a 4 year old. So I guess they expect the child to sleep with one of the parents and one of the parents up high! Needless to say we ignored that and our daughter slept in the Pullman bed. There is a railing to the side so it’s safe enough. The beds were very comfortable and being an inside cabin it’s nice and dark at night so a good sleep was had all week. The cabin is small and storage is a bit tight but we managed. For the savings I’d probably choose inside again. Food: Windjammers was its usual chaos but the food overall was good. The last night was great up there for dinner with an amazing selection of desserts and nice fresh pasta. Main dining room was fine (we used it just once). As normal, food is never that hot. We had a 4 night dining package and did Giovannis and Chops twice each. Starters weren’t that hot in Giovannis the first night and the carbonnara wasn’t good at all. The prawn and mash dish was lovely and the desserts were amazing especially the chocolate cake. On the second visit the Alfredo pasta was to die for. Service was excellent in there too. Chops is our go to speciality restaurant. As always the food and service is top class. The filet mignon is always worth it. Bars: Bar service was OK. It seems a little under staffed and maybe service doesn’t seem as good since most people are on a drinks package? Playmakers, which I loved on the Symphony isn’t the same here at all. It’s more of a walk through bar on the way to the casino rather than a walk in bar on the boardwalk of other ships. They didn’t have the games such as connect 4 either. We didn’t spend much time here. The Olive and Twist on deck 14 which is another favourite was closed every day from 5:30 – 8:30 for diamond members so we couldn’t go in. Places to relax and have a drink were limited. Entertainment: This was mixed. Some of the singers were ok, if not great in some instances. The Ice show is the best show and well worth it. Grease, is not my cup of tea but my wife and daughter enjoyed. The comedian was also good. Adventure Ocean: The staff here make the place and are always great with the kids. It’s not as fancy as is on the new ships but there’s enough to keep the kids happy. So overall everything mentioned above is pretty good. But the killer of all of that and the reason it isn’t rated higher is the crowds. I’ve been on the Harmony, Ovation, Symphony and each time before I cruised on each of these I read reviews about crowds and lack of space. However I never really had an issue with any of them except for Windjammers. There was always a place to sit and have a drink or watch the world go by. But on the Independence I completely agree with the complaints about the number of people on this ship. There was several times during this cruise where you would walk the promenade and have no chance of finding a seat. For most of the time it just seemed crowded and it became a frustration on this cruise. We spoke with a couple who were on it before the refit and they couldn’t figure out why it felt so much busier than before but it made sense to them when I explained about the extra cabins (500 people extra I believe) since the refit. Royal Caribbean is our most used cruise line. I love their ships, their innovation and their service. But their increased costs of cruising, increased in gratuities ($14.50 p/d, pp including our 4 year old) is making it harder to stick with them. I will probably go on of the bigger ships again, but I will never sail on the Independence of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I can see why Caribbean cruises are so popular now that we’ve sailed in north/west Europe. Mid May, and sea days were cold, windy and often foggy. Only people brave enough to go out were mostly those wearing parkas and the smokers. We ... Read More
I can see why Caribbean cruises are so popular now that we’ve sailed in north/west Europe. Mid May, and sea days were cold, windy and often foggy. Only people brave enough to go out were mostly those wearing parkas and the smokers. We did think there were too many smoking areas. Our first Indy of the Seas sailing. Two seniors. Even with everyone mostly inside, the shop did not seem over crowded. Food was adequate. Although in the main dining room their pasta dishes were not very good. Regular steaks off the menu were thin, tough and grisly. Other than that, we were happy with the food. We had the 6pm seating. Desserts were great. And the food from the coffee area on the promenade was sometimes better than MDR. We were in a promenade window cabin, 8th floor. Noise was not really an issue. Other than occasional party below, the room was very quiet. Even with a connecting door, there was no noise from bordering cabins. Great staff overall. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We picked Independence of the Seas out of Southampton for our first European Cruise. Embarkation with the new expedited boarding using the new app was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Junior Suite #7712. ... Read More
We picked Independence of the Seas out of Southampton for our first European Cruise. Embarkation with the new expedited boarding using the new app was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Junior Suite #7712. Room was ready at 1 and lunch was ready in the Windjammer. The cruise itself was smooth as the seas were flat. Fog in the North Sea didn't cause any issues. Entertainment and food on the ship were great, although I found the menu changed from the Caribbean cruises and the entertainment other that the normal shows (Grease) was more directed at the Brits as was the menu. Ports of call were Hamburg, Germany, Oslo, Norway, and Bruges in Belgium. The Fjord passage was great, and plenty of time in all the ports for sightseeing. We just walked off in Hamburg and Oslo and saw the port. We did a beer tasting Tour in Bruges with plenty of time after for lunch (Belgian Waffle of course) and chocolate buying. Upon return to Southampton we did the Windsor Castle Tour on the return to the Airport which did not disappoint. Debarkation for the tour was well planned and quick. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is our fourth trip on the Indy and first since the new refit of 2018. It was also our first cruise ship we traveled on back in 2008. It is our favourite ship along with the Navigator and Splendor (now gone to TUI). When I planned ... Read More
This is our fourth trip on the Indy and first since the new refit of 2018. It was also our first cruise ship we traveled on back in 2008. It is our favourite ship along with the Navigator and Splendor (now gone to TUI). When I planned this holiday for my wife's birthday I chose a Southampton cruiise to avoid flights as Brexit was blowing up at the time of booking and I did not want to do flights due to possible cancellations or additional costs such as visas etc. This is the first time my wife has driven to Southampton (as we normally would take the train and/or bus via London but these are becoming long and expensive) and we parked in the Yellow car park very close to the ship for £89 for the week. We stayed over the night before in Winchester as we had come from Nottingham and needed to be close to the port the following morning in case of any accidents or delays on the roads. As it happens, the roads were clear and we arrived at the port at 10am. The road near the docks had a digital sign that displayed "gate 8 for the Independence" which was very helpful as 2 other ships were also in that morning. It was also our first cruise with RCI as Diamond Plus members so we were right at the front of the queue for boarding and were in the Champagne Bar at 11am as we had the Deluxe Drinks package. This was well worth the extra money as there was 3 sea days and I knew I would not be outside much during them due to the location. One strange thing is that the "plus" on the seapass card is a + and not the word "plus" which would surely had made it easier to see for inspection where is was required (like for the reserved seating in the theatre and ice shows). The ship left on time and there were no issues. The Diamond Lounge is still on Deck 14 and they also used the Viking Crown Lounge as a overspill, so that area was closed off during the late afternoons. The chairs in the Diamond Lounge are not very comfortable and it was very busy and the nice settee chairs had gone (and there is no Concierge lounge for D+ members on this ship anymore so they all had to use the lounge as well). Also the coffee machine in the Diamond Lounge was broken for the first 4 days of the cruise as we normally nip up there after breakfast and lunch for a nice coffee and to get a better view of where we are. Now for the first bad thing - once again (as this happened 8 weeks ago on the Anthem), A single drink was added to our bill for $8.25 in the restaurant - even though we had the Deluxe Drinks Package (which is printed on the Seapass card and which covered beverages by the glass up to $14) and we both only had sparkling wine in there with our dinner and nothing else. Again we had not signed for anything and again Guest relations removed the fee and again, (like before on the Anthem) I asked Guest Relations how this had happened and again they could not answer why or how. I always thought that to incur a bill you had to sign a slip of paper at the time of purchase. The food in the main dining room was excellent and we dined there every night just after 6pm and had the same table and waiters throughout via My Time Dining. Also went in there for lunch on the 3 sea days and again enjoyed the fish and chips and also the salad from the middle of the room. Used the Windjammer a few times too. The food a really good and there was nothing to complain about. It was, however, a little full at certain times. The bars made us some nice drinks (had a few Kraken Coladas). The champagne bar was the place to be at night with a drinks package as there were all sorts of cocktails the barstaff would make you. Now the second and last problem was on my wife's birthday in Vintages where some very rude people pushed up to the bar and got served before my wife even though the staff had seen her waiting there for 10 minutes. It was a shame that the people who did this were British and this behaviour really lets us down especially when it is witnessed by Americans and Canadians. I think that since the refit some extra 500 plus cabin spaces have been created and therefore at certain times the bars and shows got really full really quickly. The shows were good. Got to see Grease again (last saw it in 2016). One showing was cancelled at the last minute for medical reasons but was put on 2 nights later. There was also the Take That Experience onboard and we got front row seats for it. It may be worth noting that the Diamond Plus and Pinnacle seats in both the Theatre and Ice Rink are only reserved and guarded by staff until 5 minutes before the show starts, so if you wait, you may get to sit in these seats at the last minute if no-one else takes them. The comedian on the first night told the same old jokes and seems a bit nervous and paced all over the stage. On the last night we got Mick Miller who had me in stitches with his jokes. The ice show was also excellent even though I have seen it many times before, I still enjoy it and this time we had 2 skaters off the TV in it. There were 2 large new waterslides that looked awesome, but I never got around to doing them (due to too many Kraken Coladas). The golf course has been moved from the back (where is was well sheltered from the elements) to the front where you get battered by the wind (although not too bad after a Kraken Colada or two!). It is a nicer course than before, but a shame it could not have been left where is was. Got my first Bridge tour with turning D+ so got to speak to Caption Teo. All I can say is that he is a very good Captain, but don't ask him if he will turn around and look for you if you fall overboard. Also, you get a bottle of wine in your stateroom upon arrival and they also offered is a free $34 laundry wash and fold. There were only 3 places to visit on this cruise. First was Hamburg. The ship sailed down the Elbe (effectively becoming our first river cruise) and docked right in the city centre. It was approx a 20 minute walk to the town hall and it was very well sign-posted. The return to the ship was not sign-posted and we had to remember which way we had come. Shame some "to the cruise terminal" signs could not be put up nearer to it. Next was Oslo. Again docked in the city and again a 20 minute walk to the cathedral. It was warmer than I was expecting as the north sea crossing was cold. Lastly, we docked at Zeebrugge and took the RCI trip for a sightseeing and canal trip of Bruges. Worth every penny. Well we had a onboard spend so used that to pay for most of the trip. The city was lovely and the weather was hot. One word of warning here is that there is a long walk involved and although it is flat, it takes a couple of hours and is more than the 2 miles RCI say it is and there is nowhere to stop if you are part of a guided tour. After the boat trip that lasted about 20 minutes, you did get about 45 minutes of your own time to get some chocolates and something to eat, but the city is very busy. This was the only trip we did via RCI as Bruges is quiet hard to get to in the time limit although there were some shuttle buses put on at the dock which were not advertised onboard beforehand other than "shuttle to the beach". Another strange thing here is that we were told we must take our actual passports off with us and not photocopies (as I have done elsewhere), but upon boarding only out seapass cards were inspected. I was told that Cruise Director Jamie Fentiman has left RCI. Marc (who I last saw on the Navigator) took over and did a very good job of filling in. The rest of the cruise director's staff were very entertaining but some did not speak good english which made it even funnier during some of the questions at the schooner bar quizzes. Yes there were still come very competitive people winning key chains and pens. It was a shame that the great "Name That Tune" from the Anthem had not been ported over as the prize on that was $300 of bed sheets (which I won back in march). The quest was also good, but they seem to have censored it down from years ago (if you know what I mean). Sadly the Indy is going to do the newly vamped Coco Cay run next year and may not be coming back to the UK. The Anthem is coming over as her replacement, and god help anyone going on it through the Bay Of Biscay to the Canneries! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just got back today from a 10 night cruise on Explorer of the Seas . Where do I start , I have been a loyal RCI customer for the last 6-7 years and the previous cruises and ships I could not rare highly enough but this ship is a ... Read More
Just got back today from a 10 night cruise on Explorer of the Seas . Where do I start , I have been a loyal RCI customer for the last 6-7 years and the previous cruises and ships I could not rare highly enough but this ship is a nightmare. Food luke warm in the windjammer every time I went in there ,even when it just opened. Lunch the same most days not much choice . Tables not cleared very quickly seemed to be a lack of staff compared to previous ships. Lack of any seating in the evening over the whole ship was a pain . General service in the bars and eating areas excluding the main dinning room very poor ,plates and glasses not cleared from tables for up to 30 minutes on several occasions. After 9pm only one place to get any food ,small cafe on the promenade not big enough to cater for a full ship. Ship is looking very tired inside and out and in need of a make over. Will not cruise with RCI again in the near future which is a shame as I have always enjoyed my cruises with them,I just don't feel like you are getting the service anymore that you did previously and that makes it not good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they ... Read More
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they really made my cruise. I enjoyed the food and didn't feel the need to eat in any other restaurants other than the main dining room and the windjammer. I have to say i was very tempted i have to say to eat in Chops though. My cabin was 6441 an inside which was ideal for me i was well looked after by the kind steward looking after my room. Entertainment was good in the Promenade and the Schooner bar, i didn't see any other entertainment. I was told by many people i met how good the shows were and the ice skating show. I didn't do any shore excursions but as normal just did what i wanted when we arrived in the ports. Shore excursions seemed busy but i never spoke to anyone that had booked any so i cannot comment. I am very lucky to be back on Explorer in September and October and i cannot wait. As i said the crew made my cruise for me and i hope to meet up with some of them again Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We picked this cruise based an assumed canary good weather Weather better in UK The ship rather tired and probably the worst quality ship we have been on out of 5 travelled Be reluctant to use RCI again unless it’s a newer ... Read More
We picked this cruise based an assumed canary good weather Weather better in UK The ship rather tired and probably the worst quality ship we have been on out of 5 travelled Be reluctant to use RCI again unless it’s a newer ship However staff as on all cruises fantastic Entertaining professional shows better than NCL apart from the ones laid on by the RCI guys which were quite awful equally as bad as NCL Food generally good and you can get some thing you like We had deluxe drinks package which as the measures were very small you would need 2 at a time so that the alcohol could be tasted but you are not allowed to do that unlike NCL The ship passengers were largely retired or nearing retirement unlike NCL Ports of call strange as went to Gran Canaria on Sunday and it was all shut Why did RCI land on Sunday!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I chose this Canaries cruise with Royal Caribbean for my birthday, having cruised with them 11 times previously, but I'm sorry to say this may well be our last. Please don't take me wrong, neither of us are snobs ... Read More
My wife and I chose this Canaries cruise with Royal Caribbean for my birthday, having cruised with them 11 times previously, but I'm sorry to say this may well be our last. Please don't take me wrong, neither of us are snobs or whingers, and I've never had a bad word for R.C, but this cruise has left us both a little cold. Embarcation: Long standing queues, no usual welcoming tipple. Stateroom: No coffee, No tea, 2 tiny long life milk tubs, no spare loo roll despite asking, which ran out on day 3 and had to use the box of tissues, sticky cabin floor and stained carpets, Fridge totally inoperative, and the stateroom felt tired and abused - stayed in better 2* hotels!...... oh, and the bottle of bubbly my missus had preordered and paid for NEVER arrived, although we got a spa discount instead, which ended up costing us more money AND the 'hard sell' of 'Buy these products we've used on you for an extra hundred and something dollars' only to be subjected to the 'face like chewing a wasp' when we declined. The room Steward was a friendly guy though, trying his best through adversity, and an obviously too heavy workload. At this stage, we went down and requested the $29 dollar per day tips removed from our cruise account..... everything seems now to be geared around tipping, even though we mainly used Speciality Restaurants (and paid extra), and the Windjammer self service, (we only used the main restaurant twice) and every time we had a drink there was already a service charge added to the bill! I'll always tip for over and above service, but this was cr*p! although we did tip our Steward in cash at the end as we usually do. The poor staff are obsessed with feedback.... even the photographer who expected me to get up and pose for a paid photo HALF WAY THROUGH MY DINNER! Main Restaurant: Food OK, although only word to describe it would be 'rushed' so used only twice. Speciality Restaurants: Hey! a good word at last I hear you cry! Both Chops Grille, and Giovanni's excellent, both food and staff Johnny Rocket's : 10 minute wait in outside part with no staff show, so finally went inside and ordered...... only 4 other people present, so no rush then! Shows: Ice show a spectacular triumph, greatly talented performers. Disembarcation: Self carry-off was a farce at 6am......... no staff present, and queue where you like standing for 20 minutes, even in front of lifts, gangways and stairs.... very safe I'm sure -NOT! Saving grace..... met some lovely people. Sorry to say this may well be our last R.C Cruise, the downhill slide is now very 'In Your Face' , and with all the expected extras, Cruise Lines not paying their staff a living wage and declining staff levels, the sad fact is I bet we're not the only ones. Rant over! bet you didn't guess I'm a bit disillusioned! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the ... Read More
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the cruise although shiraz was not included in a premium package but staff keen to sell you a bottle!. Dining room table allocated was poorly situated resulting in waiters squashing past and catching you with trays but after pointing this out we were moved to share a table which we didn't mind. Main dining room let down by serving tea and coffee in the evening in chunky mugs...not acceptable in a formal dining room. Windjammer buffet dated and canteen like but the food was varied and palatable Entertainment was good but not brilliant, not a patch on Norwegian cruise line the pianist was very repetitive after hearing him a couple of times. On board photos poor not proffesional standard. The main let down was the ports at Lanzarote (Arracefe) and Tennerife (Santa Cruz) as they are not attractive or interesting areas And the good places like Madeira were only half day stops docking late morning/early afternoon which left little time to take in the sights. Our cabin boy and dining room staff were good but felt overall that there was not enough staff and you were not getting that personal service as experienced on other cruises.staff didn't seem to know the basic info and contradicted each other when asking for advice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. ... Read More
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. We had a full drinks package and all premium drinks and cocktails included and we definately made rhe most of it. Food was unbelievable as always and thought i was going to have to be rolled off when we arrived home. We picked the Canaries as we thought the weather would have been good at this time but a bit dissapointing (obviously nothing could have been done about that). Arrival at all ports was easy to get off abd back on. The only port that disappointed was Gran Canaria we arrived at port and nothing was opened so couldnt really do much. The only disappointment we had with the ship was the entertainment. We sold it to our friends as top class (as it had been kn previosly ships). I have never been on a cruise were the theatre shows were so poor that people were walking out. Take that tribute band had the place rocking and the Frankie vali and 4 seasons tribute were great but 2 nights out of 10 isnt enough. To put a cruise director on as a main act and a movie which was then shown outside was a joke. The entertainment was more like i would expect to see on a budget holiday not a cruise and a number of people commented on this. All in all however we had a great time and would definately return to Royal Carribean but not on the Explorer of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click