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4,955 Royal Caribbean Miami Cruise Reviews

My friend has never been to Key west and I wanted to see the new Coco Cay. So we were fine with itinerary but a lot of people on the cruise were still disappointed about not going to Cuba. The entertainment was great. Keve was the ... Read More
My friend has never been to Key west and I wanted to see the new Coco Cay. So we were fine with itinerary but a lot of people on the cruise were still disappointed about not going to Cuba. The entertainment was great. Keve was the comedian very funny. They had the Diva of the Seas come on board she does a tribute to Whitney Houston. Wow, what a singer and great entertainer. Loved it. Cruise director and staff really worked hard. Loved how they got the 70's party rockin and a rollin, so fun. Food was good for the most part. There was always hits and misses, but could always find something to please the pallet. Room steward James was really good. Yes there are plumbing problems. Could smell sewage periodically on deck 5 and on deck 2. Also one not brown water came out of the tap ewww gross. Also black gunk bubbled up through our toilet last night. Other than that ship was nice. Little ship with some problems but staff really are very friendly and made the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I saw a negative review, i believe they sailed the same cruise we did. I did not have the same experience and felt it worthy of a positive review. We have cruised Royal Caribbean since the 90's and have never been disappointed. ... Read More
I saw a negative review, i believe they sailed the same cruise we did. I did not have the same experience and felt it worthy of a positive review. We have cruised Royal Caribbean since the 90's and have never been disappointed. This cruise to the Bahamas was perfect for 2 kids under 11. The water slides on deck 13 entertained them all day. The food was what i expected, decent and ample choices. The dining room was nice and service was fantastic. We had a balcony room and the space was tight for 4 people, but who stays in their room... Coco Cay was amazing, the kids thought this was the coolest. I have sailed many other lines and some were comparable to RCL, one was slightly better and one was absolutely horrible. While it didn't impact my trip nor was the service i received affected, several of the staff members complained about not getting time off and being overworked. We look forward to our next cruise on RCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with RC several times and always had a good experience. Recently we cruised on Harmony and loved it. When an opportunity came to sail on Navigator at a bargain price we said lets take a chance. When you cruise in Sept or ... Read More
We have cruised with RC several times and always had a good experience. Recently we cruised on Harmony and loved it. When an opportunity came to sail on Navigator at a bargain price we said lets take a chance. When you cruise in Sept or October you get the best rates since school is in session and its hurricane season. As far as the weather, you take you chances but we were lucky and had great weather. Navigator is an older ship but she is well maintained overall. The pool area just received most of a 100 million dollar refurbishment. The pool deck on Navigator is as nice as anything I've experienced and is comparable with the newest and largest RC ships. Food was very good. The restaurant servers were great and very accommodating. We actually preferred the food in the Windjammer by the pool because of the variety. We didn't do the specialty restaurants since this was intended to be a bargain cruise. Our cabin was an interior and overlooked the promenade. We loved it and actually preferred it to the balcony we had on the Harmony. The room was spacious and very clean with a great cabin steward. The cruise director was fantastic. Maybe the best we ever had and we've been on 15-20 cruises. The entertainment was good, but not up to the standards you get on the 7 day ships like Allure or Harmony. Overall it was good. The Quest game is X rated and if your not easily offended it's hilarious. Embarkation at the new Miami RC terminal was a breeze. You park in their garage and drop your luggage there. Disembarkation was the fastest and most efficient ever. We literally just walked off the ship without stopping except to have a screen shot of our faces at the kiosk. The RC Coco Cay island is the finest island resort stop ever. RC has turned it into a Disney style water park. It was a major highlight. I loved it and I'm not a beach person. The swim up bar is too cool, and the island buffet was great. Overall this was an excellent get away at a very good price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation: We completed all our paperwork using the app prior to arrival which was really easy and took less than five minutes. The ship left out of Terminal A (Royal’s new terminal in Miami). We arrived at the port around 10:30 and ... Read More
Embarkation: We completed all our paperwork using the app prior to arrival which was really easy and took less than five minutes. The ship left out of Terminal A (Royal’s new terminal in Miami). We arrived at the port around 10:30 and were on the ship literally as fast as we could walk from curbside to the boat. Ship: This was our first time on a Navigator-class ship. We were very impressed. The facilities provided lots of variety in terms of both atmosphere and food options. The outdoor decks were nicely designed and included chairs, day beds, cabanas, and hammocks. It was really a nice change from the field of lounge chairs you see on Radiance class ships. We did notice some food service items which were left in the hallways throughout the cruise which was a little unsettling but other than that, the common areas were kept very clean. Dining: We did My Time Dining but enjoyed our waitstaff so much that we basically went at the time the Maitre’d assigned us so that we could keep the same table each night. The food was good and we felt like they had a better selection than our cruise a year ago. As I mentioned, our waitstaff Neftali and Ardvint) were amazing. They were the perfect combination of efficiency and hospitality. We were also travelling with our toddler so it was great to have some of the other staff like Jose (not sure what his job was, maybe an Assistant Head Waiter?) stop by each night to entertain the kid. Cabin: We had a great cabin. The Panoramic Oceanview room has a spectacular view and a good amount of space. Our cabin attendant, Georgiana was awesome. She would always make it a point to stop what she was doing and talk to us every morning and night, and by the end of our trip our daughter wanted to look for her every time we went out of the cabin. She really went out of her way to make us feel special. Entertainment: We didn’t go to a lot of the shows but we did go to iSkate the first night and it was amazing. The whole family enjoyed it and it’s definitely a can’t miss event. We also had several appearances by the Stowaway Piano Player. That’s a great addition and alway made for a surprise when the elevator doors opened and he was on there. As many other have said, the slides were available most of the week but the lines were ridiculously long so we never took the time to ride them. Ports: We stayed on the ship in Nassau and really don’t feel like we missed much. CoCo Cay really exceeded our expectations. We started out at the kids play area but decided mid-morning to go into the water park. They were charging $44 pp at the entrance and it was well worth it. We found that lines weren’t that bad in the morning or later in the afternoon. Seating around the wave pool, especially shaded seating, was at a premium. The slides were really fun and fast. Service: So, as the saying goes, “I’ve saved the best for last!” From Captain Angel all the way to the crew that goes around cleaning the ship, we found that just about everyone on board to be friendly and happy. Many went out of their way to interact with our toddler as well. The ship was nice but the crew is what made it special. Final Thoughts: We spent the last day (Sea Day) trying to figure out how to take another trip on Navigator before the crew turnover begins later this year. Need I say more? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Pre-Cruise: I booked parking through Spot Hero. Parked at the Embassy Suites in Crystal City. They have an airport shuttle. I paid $44. If I had parked at Reagan it would have been $68. Flight was direct DCA to MIA. Transfer to the Port ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: I booked parking through Spot Hero. Parked at the Embassy Suites in Crystal City. They have an airport shuttle. I paid $44. If I had parked at Reagan it would have been $68. Flight was direct DCA to MIA. Transfer to the Port through Royal. The transfer service was fantastic. I have never had a cruise line employee board the bus and give a little speech - telling parents that a ship is a mini city and to be vigilant. To the adults the same thing, don’t take your safety for granted. Embarkation: From the time I got off of the bus until I was on the ship was less than 5 minutes! We got off the bus and the cruise line employees told us to just leave our bags by the bus and someone would be over to get them. There was no one to tip. It was strange and I felt weird leaving my bag there. Into the terminal, up the escalator and over to priority. A lady scanned my phone (I had the app loaded and ready) and asked if I’d been feeling ill at all recently. She then directed me to the security screening. From there directly to the ship – AMAZING efficiency. Stateroom: Loved my cabin and there will be video and details in the Cabin thread. Junior Suite – Deck 10 – 1344. Rooms were ready at 1:00pm on the nose and my bag was at my room when I opened the door to leave again at 1:30! Service: Wonderful service. I never met my room steward. Cabin was serviced twice a day. The room was always tidy. I LOVED my dinner servers. Aiman and Josephine were fantastic. Bartenders and bar servers were also pleasant and fun. CocoCay: I was up and at the gym, had a bite to eat and then was the first one off the ship. I already knew where I wanted to “camp” for the day. The island is wonderful. I would go again for sure! The weather was not great. A bit of sun here and there before 12pm. Mostly cloudy with showers. Finally, after grabbing a chicken sandwich as the Snack Shack, I gave up. The wind was terrible. I went back to the ship to explore and read before dinner. Nassau: Terrible weather, again. I had not planned to visit. However, I wanted to lay in the sun, read, drink, people watch. Nope. Raining, cold and windy. I wandered the ship, watched some trivia, read, watched a movie. Food: I like GOOOOD food. I consider Ruth Chris a good steak not a great steak. I was expecting a solid three based on reviews (scale 1-5). Overall a solid 4. I ate dinner two nights in the MDR and once at the Windjammer. Breakfast each morning in the Windjammer. Lunch on embarkation was at El Loco Fresh and then the Windjammer for Saturday and Sunday. I truly enjoyed the MDR. Windjammer was completely average. I do like that they have the Freestyle soda machines. I can’t believe they never had pizza in there. You travel to deck 5 the Café Promenade or order Room Service to get pizza. El Loco Fresh was good. I had a simple chicken quesadilla. Of Note: The only show I saw was a Battle of the Sexes contest. It was lively and fun! The piano playing, musical comedian from Schooners, was amazing. If you are a wine drinker prepared to be disappointed with the options available with the Drink Package. The one I drank was the Andrew Peace Cabernet Sauvignon. Bourbon – No Woodford. I found Bulleit in the Royal Theater when I was wandering around on the last day. Most passengers were polite and friendly. LOTS of families and groups (bachelor and bachelorette, Quince, birthdays, etc.). I did not witness any elevator rudeness or disgusting drunkenness. It really was a lovely, relaxing few days. Disembarkation: I was up at 6:00am. I showered, then ate a quick bite and was headed off at 7:15. I did self-assist. I was sitting on the shuttle by 7:30. Final Thoughts: I would sail on the Navigator again. Based on this one trip Royal is heads and tails above NCL and Carnival. I was worried about the ship being bigger than my previous ships. It didn’t overwhelm me. I was able to find my way quite easily. The ship, the food, the staff, the fellow passengers all put this ahead of the other two, IMHO. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Room was dirty, food was horrible. Stay away from Royal Caribbean, try others, their absolutely horrible. Called customer service, alerted them of our concerns, and only was offered $115 discount on a future cruise with them, I ... Read More
Room was dirty, food was horrible. Stay away from Royal Caribbean, try others, their absolutely horrible. Called customer service, alerted them of our concerns, and only was offered $115 discount on a future cruise with them, I respectfully declined after spending almost $2000 on a 4 day cruise and coming home extremely dissatisfied. Room was dirty upon entering. Our dinner reservation was double booked and we had to wait for another table, what’s the point of a reservation? The whole time they constantly are trying to sell you more stuff on the cruise, it’s like Royal Caribbean just wants to dig in your pocket the whole time your on vacation. Not one thing on the boat tasted fresh, every single thing tasted like it was precooked and warmed up and served. We have been on cheaper cruises and received way better service and food than Royal Caribbean. Never ever again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and ... Read More
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and us common guest look down on. The food had a great choice every service but the quality i have had better on smaller ships. The service was not as good and what put me off the most when sitting down to dinner in the evening all very posh until you asked for a coffee after your meal and it got served in a mug not a cup as on most ships very strange. The cabins were very nice and clean and comfortable only saw our cabin steward once the whole week. The entertainment very good and lots of choices. The main thing i dislike with the company at Miami was embarkation and the worse one was disembarkation was like a mass of people all fight and pushing to get off and we ordered an lyft taxi from the port waited over 2 hours for it to arrive they had sent 6 different cars to us all were stuck in a mess traffic jam into the port nightmare. A very expensive ship and the service i have had better of other cruise lines . I have done royal Caribbean now and would not do again ship to big and not for us Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
12 family members cruised on the Symphony on 9/14/19 - we had a great experience. The ship is so large you barely feel any sea movement. We never felt crowded. Getting on and off in Miami was a breeze. The ship is like a floating city - ... Read More
12 family members cruised on the Symphony on 9/14/19 - we had a great experience. The ship is so large you barely feel any sea movement. We never felt crowded. Getting on and off in Miami was a breeze. The ship is like a floating city - amazing. The crew bends over backwards for guests. Our cabin person Katie Lee was excellent - the children (4 under4!) all loved her. I would definitely cruise on the ship again. We took the alcohol package but struggled to meet our quota. We always asked for bottled water with every cocktail and love the fresh squeezed orange juice. I only ate at the Japanese steak house - the kids loved the performance - and the food was good. Another party ate at Chops and loved it. Daycare was utilized and much appreciated. We did the Gumbalimba Park tour and liked it very much. We were the only ship in port so it wasn't crowed. Lots of nature to see there. Also did the Uchben Kah Raft, Swim & Lunch and enjoyed that very much. The raft is bamboo and you are poled down an estuary in the lagoon. I didn't see as many birds as I would have liked - could hear them but they refused to show themselves - but we all loved the serene ride. When we go to the lunch we swam and the water was lovely but water shoes are a must as it is rocky. Lots of birds beside the restaurant. We just grabbed a cab to Cozumel and did some shopping along the strip. Cococay was very good. I was disappointed that the nature trail is now a tram road. Everyone enjoyed the Lagoon and there were plenty of chairs. The beach was also nice. I wish there was more nature to be found there but still enjoyed it. The shows were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time back on Royal in 12 years. Our last Royal Cruise was a very very disappointing time. Our son and his wive gave us a wonderful family trip with our grandchildren. We had seven wonderful days of fun. The staff was ... Read More
This was our first time back on Royal in 12 years. Our last Royal Cruise was a very very disappointing time. Our son and his wive gave us a wonderful family trip with our grandchildren. We had seven wonderful days of fun. The staff was extremely nice and very helpful with anything we needed. This is my 23rd Cruise and have never been treated so well. The only problem I had was the food was bad in most of the restaurants. Chops the fine dining was great. We had a window cabin, which I would not recommend for 4 people. Embarkation was the best I have ever had, fast and very efficient, disembarkation went just as smooth. Every cruise line should disembark this way. Our luggage was on a carousel like at a airport, this made it very easy. Over all I may try Royal again. We are Platinum with NCL, so it is very hard for me to use another cruise line. Dona Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Note: Hurricane Dorian had just gone through a week beforehand so I am not going to base any of my review on the Nassau Port beach areas or initial expectation of beach enjoyment rather, I will focus my review on the Navigator, Nassau, ... Read More
Note: Hurricane Dorian had just gone through a week beforehand so I am not going to base any of my review on the Nassau Port beach areas or initial expectation of beach enjoyment rather, I will focus my review on the Navigator, Nassau, & Coco Cay's activities and amenities. We had booked beach/ocean excursions but canceled after the hurricane knowing that the water would be full of debris and not clear. It's a good thing or we would have wasted a lot of money. Myself & 18 Year Old Daughter Ocean View Room - Deck 2 Budget Trip to Enjoy the Ship & Ports - No extra packages etc. We literally wanted to sit by the pool and on the beach. First, the Cons: Ship: The ship is showing signs of wear and tear, seats in certain venues are worn and look rough. Cushions on the deck in the Solarium are stained and as the fabric is a solid, light color, it has a particularly "nasty" vibe on the cushioned couple's lounges...if you know what I mean. (Hey Designers....the cushions would be better off with a printed fabric.) The Solarium pool is a little worn and the fountains never worked while we were there. On cruise days, there just wasn't enough shaded seating as an option on the decks and if you didn't get there early, there wasn't enough seating around the pools, period. We spent a lot of time looking for pool seating then heading indoors so as not to get burned until people would disperse for activities. Seriously, there was NO music at the Solarium, no steel drums, no dj, nothing...just this weird dead air silence or chatter from the people laying about. We could hear music from the other pool but if you didn't want to share the pool with kids, you didn't get the fun entertainment or music at all. There wasn't enough music on board in my opinion. Cabin: Let me say, I was hesitant about our cabin location but I LOVED it. This was a budget trip but I can't do rooms without natural light so I spent more on the OceanView but didn't choose our room. Our steward was super nice and kept our space very nice but you could tell that she was just "done & over" the whole thing. We made sure to leave her a nice tip and try to keep our space clean. I felt that we may have been in her way a lot. As for the room, we had 2 twins set up and everything in our cabin was perfect except, 1. there was mold growing between the glass and wall in the shower behind the seal, not a place that can be cleaned. (poor design) 2. The decor and linens are starting to look worn and there are a lot of stains on the whites. 3. Our window stayed pretty dirty which hindered our view.....we couldn't tell if it was between the glass or outside but it's probably because it was so low to the water. Food: Windjammer had too much repetition, especially at breakfast and lunch. The food seemed to be geared toward the kid's palate, not adults as much. This is probably a good way to get cruisers to try the elevated dining but be prepared for that if you plan on traveling on a budget. The "American" food choices were a bit bland while the "International" foods were sometimes oversalted, especially the meat at the taco bar by the pool.....add rice and beans to subdue that. Also, if you like chocolate, you are going to really be searching the ship, there wasn't a lot. If you don't drink a lot of alcohol or sodas, buying a drink package is pointless but be prepared to have little to no selection for beverages. On day one, the Windjammer had coffee, hot tea, water, ice tea, lemonade, and oj, after day one, I only saw coffee, hot tea, water and apple juice (watered down)....you had to really hunt down water as the dispensers were often empty. It's difficult to refill water bottles at the dispensers but quick tip, if you go to the soda dispensers, they also have water and you can fit a water bottle under the spout. The hot tea selection is pretty decent so if you can find ice (good luck) you can make a decent ice tea....bring your own reusable bottle/cup or you will struggle to stay hydrated. Entertainment: Again, more music on the Solarium deck please! Also, throughout the ship, there needs to be more music during the daytime. The rest of this con is personal preference as entertainment is so subjective. Much of the Promenade entertainment felt very "middle school pep rally" except the live bands across from the Cafe Promenade...they were awesome even though you had to stand in the walkways to watch. The library needs to be repurposed; I was told that a lot of the books get thrown out when there is a shipboard virus or people walk off with them so it was really a sad sight to see almost empty shelves. This would be a good space to display more art, have a coffee house vibe, or even just some sort of interactive space. If you are a solo traveler or have a travel companion that is introverted, plan on a lot of people watching as most activities on board are hard to enjoy solo. Nassau - Since we canceled our water activities, we decided to explore Nassau by foot and have lunch at Senor Frogs (go see Michael, he's great). We explored the Straw Market and walked around the town a bit. There is a LOT of aggressive souvenir selling, most of which are repeated items, look for local artisans that are sitting and making and buy from them then just say no thank you when you are finished. On the walking paths, a lot of "high end" shops with "callers" from all sides. If you are traveling with small children or those who have sensory sensitivities, this can be overwhelming and scary. We decided after several hours of being called after ("Mami, can I be your son-in-law!" was constant) it was time to go back and just enjoy some quiet pool time. Ok, Now the Pros - If you are traveling with kids, this is the ship for you!!! Ship: The waterslides, flowrider, rockwall (early before it gets hot), courts, putt putt golf, pools, WATERSLIDES, game rooms, ice skating rink (bring long pants and socks), laser tag, splash parks, teen rooms, WATERSLIDES are AMAZING!! Did I mention the waterslides???? I'm almost 50 and I LOVED them, totally went on them more than you can imagine. If you are are traveling with kids, you are going to have fun. You can even sit in the pool and watch family friendly movies after dinner. The side balconies on the 4th deck and deck 3 are the best places to hang out when the ship arrives and leaves the docks....it's just beautiful and gives that windy "I'm king of the world" feel. If you don't mind being in full sun, there are a lot of upper deck areas to enjoy the view the ride. However, if you need to be indoors because you fry crispy in 10 minutes, head to the Cosmopolitan during the day, it's practically always empty and has a gorgeous view from the top with wrap around windows. You can take your drink up there, a journal, book, sketch pad and have hours of uninterrupted solitude with a great view. Food: If you aren't eating at the Select Restaurants on board but are tired of the Windjammer, make sure you go to the dining room! Their food is top notch and if you get Rob & Felix as your servers, you are going to be pampered. Don't feel bad if you want to order 2 desserts or appetizers, it's totally worth it. Do it! Never leave the dining room without experiencing the creme brulee....if you don't get it, you have missed out. I've decided that anytime the dining room is open when I am on a cruise, I will be there. It saved the food experience for our trip. The taco bar by the main pool is a tasty alternative to the lunch in the Windjammer but their meat tends to be on the salty side so make sure that you get a little extra beans or rice to cut that and some lime and you will be happy! Entertainment: If you are planning a cruise and you love art, add an art budget to your allowance....oh my word, the art auction by Park West was the absolute best fun. I didn't have it in my budget but I left with 6 authenticated, signed art prints in hand and I'm waiting on my Anatole Krasnyansky print to arrive. I just kept entering raffles and participating in the art games and I'm stoked that I came home with so much artwork. I have a few that I like and I've got gifts for Christmas! Look for the piano man in the elevators, that's a lot of fun. Go to the shows....some are hokey but Showgirls was great! We saw their last performance but I'm sure it will be replaced by something else equally great. I enjoyed the Latin dancing and music on board BUT would have loved to have someone to dance with...they need to add professional dancers (like in Dirty Dancing) to dance with solo cruisers because otherwise we have to sit and watch. :( Go to the late night dance parties if you like pulsating dance club vibes on a low key level. I noted that there were a lot of in-bar activities during the day; game show type games, karaoke, bingo, wine/martini/whiskey tastings, and most were geared towards couples. Coco Cay - IF YOU HAVE KIDS>>>>>>>WOWZA! The splash park, waterslides, pools, etc are amazing, you will have a blast. It's a waterpark on an island. Plan on spending the whole day the same way that you do at a waterpark....bring your sunscreen and just let the kids RUN. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty ... Read More
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty awful. On the past 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean the food was very good. They really missed the mark this time. We did the “my time dining” which was a nice option because every night we ate at a different time. But every time we were in the dining room service was either rushed, or non existent. And most of the wait staff seemed terribly overwhelmed. Had dinner at wonderland which was the best meal of all that we had, chops grill meat quality was not up to par and we sent steaks back multiple times. They had a hard time getting it right. I was very annoyed at the pool set up, the pool in the solarium was tiny and always felt disgustingly dirty. Every time I looked for a bed to lay in they were always held by someone’s towels for the whole day, but rarely were those people actually using the bed. Signs everywhere that said chairs cannot be held, on cruising days all chairs near the pool and beds were claimed with a towel by 9am. Excursions were ridiculously overpriced. Room was always kept tidy and normal size for a stateroom. We had a balcony over looking Central Park which is an excellent room choice. However the beds were absolutely rock hard and had my back hurting after a couple nights. 1977 ice show was the best show we saw on the ship. They were phenomenal. After all the shows let out it was very hard to get an elevator, my father is disabled and had a scooter to use onboard. People literally pushed us out of the way to get on the elevators 90% of the time. Overall we still enjoyed the cruise but had better cruises in the past. For the money spent it just did not come close to meeting our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a amusement park on a busy day. Always crowds of people, always waiting for extended periods of time for elevators as well as food and rarely a quiet time at night. The state rooms were small and tighter than I expected. It was hard to find open tables for breakfast and dinner in the windjammer. I always felt like I was going to bump into people wherever I went. Some positives include; the quality of food, the quality of cocktails and alcohol, and the service at dinner. The only place we had to wait to order drinks for a long period of time was Coo Coo Cay at the swim up bar. We enjoyed the variety of entertainment available nightly but again everyone was packed into events tightly. Lastly, I felt as if Royal Carribean is always trying to nickle and dime there customer. My wife and I and the group as a whole had already invested more money than I ever have on vacation before. The better amenities come at a upcharge to include; the specialty restaurants, basic internet, popcorn at nightly shows, wrist bands with your card attached, the entire water park at coo coo cay, the helium balloon rides and some mixed drinks. Overall, I am glad I checked it off of our bucket list. However, due to the overcrowding, the poor bang for a buck and the tight cabin space we will not be returning to RC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including ... Read More
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including tax. Breakfast in the a.m. was $15 per person which was insane. There was a "market" and Starbucks in the lobby... to get some milk and a snack for the kids at breakfast was over $20. I wouldn't recommend this hotel based on cost and offerings but it was truly a nice property. We had a group of 23 cruising, so we hired a private shuttle to drive us from the hotel to the ship. This was a smooth process and we were inside the terminal within 30 minutes from leaving the hotel (including loading and unloading time). Embarkation was very smooth. We got there about 12:30 p.m. so it seemed as if most of the morning rush to get on the ship was through. Took about 10 minutes to complete check in, security and photos. We had connecting cabins (9310/9312) for our family of 4 which was SO nice! Our cabin stwerad came by and opened up the connecting interior rooms right away and also opened up the 4 balcony dividers that we had - giving our 4 family cabins a TON of outside space. The rooms were clean, cool, and very spacious! We had plenty of room between both cabuins - with 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 suitcases, all of our clothing, 2 strollers and a crib. Elvin was our cabin stweard and we LOVED him. He was so great with our 2 young boys. We ate most of our lunches in the Windjammer - it was crowded but we always manged to find tables for the 7 of us. The Mango juice and Strawberry Kiwi juice we DELICOUS! Food was always hot and had a great variety. Breakfast in the Windjammer on the first morning (day 2, sea day) was a JOKE! There was a line to get in that would have taken every bit of an hour to wait in. Luckily, we knew there were other breakfast venue's on board so we ate elsewhere. After the first full day, it seemed like everyone had figured out the different places to eat onboard, because we did manage to eat breakfast in the Windjammer most of the week with no issues. We had breakfast at Johnny Rockets one day and it was hot and fast and very good! Dinner every night was in the Main Dining Room - we had my time dining at 6:00 p.m. every night and due to the large size of our group (23) we had the same table reserved for us. Geia and Andy were our waiters and they were FANTASTIC! They made sure the kids had their milk and a fruit plate soon after we sat down every night. They also put the kisd order in right away and had their food out early so they were occupied during the long meal time. The food was hot, great and had tons of variety and options. The shows themselves were GREAT, PHENOMENAL! but the reservation and seating process were a joke! We had reservations for every show. Per the direction of the cruise line we arrived at the shows 15 minutes prior to show time...only to find each venue FULL! Not even 1 seat open. It seems as if they let the guests without reservations in at the 15 minute mark and then it became a free for all. Not very happy with the way RCL handles this. Every show we were left scrambling for seats. Even on the night we got there 30 minutes early. Seating for the shows was a complete disaster and disappointment. The photo department was a REAL negative part of the trip and it an area majorly lacking in service and convenience. The photographers were rushed while taking pictures. They didn’t take the time to pose us or even suggest how to stand. We had a 2 year old and a 4 year old with us and ended up just awkwardly holding them or standing grouped together for photos. My parents were watching us take a photo and yelled out to us to pull down our sons shirt because his belly was sticking out under his shirt - something you would think the photographer would have noticed before they started taking pictures. The real BAD issue with the photos was when it came time to order them... we had photos from the last formal night (night 6) that we wanted to see - but the photo shop didn’t open until 7 p.m. on the last night due to being in port at Coco Cay and that was the first and ONLY opportunity to see the photos from day 6. It was also the last time ANYBODY on board could buy photos (from 7-11 p.m.) so the photo area was a MAD HOUSE. Additionally, since we were traveling as a group, we had photos all over the place. They were on my cabin account, on my husbands cabin account, my parents account, aunts account - ect... the problem is you are only allowed to access the photos that are in your account. Therefore, I wasn’t able to buy or even SEE the group photos on the accounts of anybody else in the group we traveled with. I had photos of my grandparents with my kids that I couldn’t buy because they weren’t in my account. The photo manager could transfer photos from someone else’s account into mine, but all people in the photo needed to give their consent to do so... which was a joke. Photos were to be ready by 10:30 p.m. for pick up... went to get them and they weren’t ready. Photo center said they would deliver to cabin before the morning, we woke up - no pictures. I had to go back to the photo center and wait in line to pick up the photos I bought at 6 a.m. on disembarkation day. Not happy... My BIGGEST complaint is that there is no swimming pool on board where families with young kids are allowed to swim. We had a 2 year old with us who wears diapers, we had him in very nice swim diapers that our aquatic center at home requires us to wear into their pools. We were bombarded every 20 minutes by the lifeguards because we were in the main pool with him - not in the water but standing on the outside of the pool. The designated "kids pool" is a playground with splashing water. My kids hate being splashed and in the kids area there was no way around that. Additionally, my parents (60 years) cant just stand in the kids pool all day and watch the kids play. We all wanted to sit in the water and even float around in the pool to stay cool. For a cruise line that caters to families and offers on a regular basis "kids cruise free" they really do a poor job accommodating guests with young kids. Coco Cay was an absolutely AMAZING, truly perfect day. Beach chairs were a little hard to find... but eventually we all settled in and found some so it worked out. Everything about Coco Cay was wonderful. It's beautiful, clean, organized. The prices for the water park, cabanas and misc. excursions are too high, but we just didn't participate and stuck with the included things and had a great day. The shopping was OK, the stores sold the same stuff from hut to hut were pretty pricey ($25+ for a t-shirt) and the employees inside (locals) were all pretty rude... but it was nice to be able to get a few souvenirs to bring home. Overall a great cruise. A few things worth mentioning that we were unhappy with but mostly a good trip! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of ... Read More
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of beauty . We are Diamond Plus so we have seen a few ships and love that feeling you get when you first get on if you get that WOW feeling. The Symphony "almost" gave us that feeling, I guess the similarity to some of the other ships, only bigger came to mind. Let me start with the POSITIVES: Embarkation: What a breeze! We got to the curbside around 11:00 am, bags to the porter in about 2 minutes and off to the races getting on. We went up some escalators and saw people directing us to people with iPads, we handed Sea Pass information, took some pictures, and BOOM, we are on the ship at 11:20. So it's time to go meet this new lady. Entertainment: I would say that this was the highlight of the week. We went to all of the shows. Hiro was excellent, Flight was also excellent, 1977 (Ice Show) was also fabulous, and Hairspray was good (my least favorite but the actors really tried). I believe that Royal has upgraded their entertainment considerably in musical, dance, and talent in general over the years. On the same note, the singer in the Schooner Bar was fantastic, there was a strolling piano player that was great, also a classical guitar player from Cuba that also was wonderful....she also played in the English Pub. Specialty Dining: We bought a 3 night package so had the opportunity to eat at Hooked which was delightful, 150 Central Park which was our highlight of the trip, and Jamie's which was our least favorite. We also had My Time Dining - This began as a real problem since 2 couples were on reservations from a TA and 2 couples were on reservations from Royal. We were unable to reserve a table for 8 online because of Royal's "rules" so we could only link the reservations and get 2 reservations at the same time and wait until we got onboard to fix the problem. Thanks to the Head Waiter and the Maître D', we got this fixed and had a great time at the same table each evening....average food but a good time. Solarium Bistro: We found this restaurant to be our absolute go-to place for breakfast, lunch and even evening dinner once. Most times it was quiet, great views off the bow of the ship and even though is was a buffet, the food seemed to be a step up from the Windjammer. AVERAGE THINGS: Windjammer: I may be unfair here since we were only in the Windjammer twice but both times it was very crowded, the food was picked over and seemed only warm at best and not really appealing. Several food stations but several seemed to overlap with the same things. The only really good thing were the French Fries. Cabin: We were in a Jr. Suite on Deck 12. We normally book at least a Jr. Suite or better but since our sailing mates were in a balcony on Deck 12 we tried to stay close. The size was OK, closet OK, but where there used to be drawers - only shelves (like next to the bed). Safe was small, so we had to cram our valuables inside. We were on the bump so the balcony was nice but our bathroom was a challenge. We had a tub with a shower that only had a glass enclosure that partially enclosed the tub so you had to crowd up to the showerhead to shower so water did not get all over the floor. Door to the cabin was the hardest thing to open I have ever seen. I had to give it the old shoulder bump every time. Bars: While there are bars everywhere, it just seemed that they were understaffed most times of the day. At some times, there may be 15-20 people being served by 1 bar staffer and yes they tried to do their best but times were slow. We had a drink package so maybe this is an effort to control the use of the package.....just saying. Just so you know we always tip a little extra each time. HO HUM THINGS: Itinerary: St. Kitts & St. Thomas we have been to several times so do you stay on the ship and get to know her a little better or find something different to do on the island. Well we opted to go to a Resort on St. Kitts and it was a pretty good day with the exception that the water was murky from Dorian so we spent the day in their pool. It was nice but so was their bar bill. In St. Thomas we went on a walking tour, little did we know that the temperature would be a blazing 98 degrees, almost lost it with little shade. However none of this was the fault of the ship except taking us there. CocoCay was a nice surprise. Disembarkation: We had a fairly early flight so we grabbed a quick bite from the Windjammer and headed down. Elevators were a nightmare, people were going up to go down (typical), but we finally got to where we needed to be, got a porter, found our bags, thru security and headed to Uber. Oops, maybe should have gotten a taxi....after a 45 minute wait our Uber showed, then off to MIA. NOT SO GOOD THINGS: Reservations: First time making reservations for everything online. Didn't know what to expect but soon found out. Reservations for the show at 8:00pm meant you really needed to be at your reservation by no later than 7:45pm....but wait, there is a line of people that also have reservations for the same show that have already been in line since 7:15pm so at 7:45pm you might not make your reservation at 8. So when you made your reservation for dinner at 6pm, thinking you would have 2 hours to eat (like on other ships and then go to the show), WRONG. So it's a hurry, hurry, hurry, eat real early, go get in line, wait, wait, sit and wait, sit and wait, watch the show, go to bed exhausted. This went on for a week. Being unfamiliar with the reservations thing and how it worked, my wife and I walked off the ship just exhausted, not just the normal "tired", after a great week onboard. Cabin Attendant: We finally met our attendant on day 4. Nice enough guy, he kept our cabin clean, clean towels but we never had any ice, however we did get a WOW envelope the night before departure asking for an additional tip. Nice of him, as we never had anything to write with to leave him a note. First time ever. Photo Department: We had several pictures taken. Went to look at them on the last day and selected 2 from our Diamond Plus package. We were told to come back at 6 pm to pick them up....came back at 6 pm on the way to dinner...not ready, come back at 10pm. Went back at 10pm, waited in a line for 45 minutes where 1 person was trying to check out everyone (must have been 200 people in there). Nope, not ready. Talked to a manager, most apologetic, said they would be ready at 6am or he would have them delivered to my cabin, I opted to have them delivered. Never got the pictures!!! Spa: Went in for the $99 special message on the Diamond Plus Package, reserved a time. Went in at the appointed time and the therapist finally came out 30 minutes late to get me. I told her that I had some areas that needed some special attention and to be more gentle in those areas, reminded again, reminded again. Thank God the session was over. Bill came, $139 less 20% Diamond Plus...lets go talk to Management....refused to pay more than $99 special because it came with a 20% discount as well. Finally gave up...I will take it up with Royal directly. Diamond Lounge: The Lounge was always slammed with no overflow options. Many evenings I went down before 5pm and there were no seats available, waited a while and left. Other times I went down and maybe one seat was available or there was a table for 4 available then I sat there and almost immediately someone came in and took the chairs. Not one evening did I get to sit with my wife for a drink before dinner. GENERAL THOUGHTS: This ship is lovely but big. It is not the size ship for my wife and I so we will not be going on an Oasis Class Ship again. The people on her are just like the people everywhere, there are chair hogs but this ship seems to patrol a little better. I call them "elevator rushers", but this ship seemed to have more of them trying to rush on the elevators before people got off than I have seen before, however I did like the color bar above the active ones (green for up, red for down). I liked the washing stations, better ways to keep your hands clean however saw a lot of people not using them. I liked the Solarium but there was no air moving in there. One thing that I noticed on the Symphony vs. other ships we have been on is everything seems to be "inside" on this ship (very few outside decks except on top), where on other ships there are more outside decks like on deck 4 & 5 then the top decks as well. My wife mentioned (she is a smoker), that the smoking areas are so cramped and crowded it was uncomfortable for her to enjoy her time there and meet people....she just grabbed a quick smoke and left. Let me also say that I have never seen so many tank tops, ball caps, bathing suits with cover-ups, shorts and flip-flops in the Main Dining Room for dinner in all of my life, formal nights included. There were a few tuxes, suits, some sports coats but those were in the 5% range. Call me old fashioned, but I would not eat in the Main Dining Room unless I were wearing long pants and I always wear at least a sports coat on formal night. I blame Royal for not enforcing the suggested dress code better. When I sit there in a jacket looking at someone in shorts and a ballcap turned backward with his wife/girlfriend in a cover-up, both have flip flops on....I'm sorry, IMO, Royal should do something. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the tub so narrow I couldn't stand in it without my feet being curved. It actually hurt to take a shower. The final day I had to stand with my feet together to take a shower. Also, the partial glass screen on the tub, is not attached. I almost did a header and fell out of the tub the fist time trying to get comfortable. Be careful . The public restroom was another miss, with a tall , small urinal. Again I am just under 6 feet tall, and I had to stand on my tiptoes to use the urinal. What were they thinking. Lets make a urinal that only 6 foot 6' people or taller can use. There were many puddles on the floor, and that's all I'll say. Then there was the food. Is it me, or is RCL buying cheaper and cheaper food? The food was terrible. I took a chance and tried a specialty restaurant, when the Coastal Kitchen had absolutely nothing on the Menu that night that my wife or I could stand. I paid extra to stay in the Junior Suite so I could eat there, and it was disappointing . I have had nothing but bad luck trying RCL's specialty restaurants. Trust me, there's nothing Special about them. My last cruise was on the Independence of the seas, and my wife and I tried the Specialty restaurant plan. What a waste of money. 2-3 hour waits. Rude service. The couple next to me complained, and was berated by the waiter. Awful food. We tried to cancel after the 3rd try, but was told we couldn't get a refund. We didn't care and lost the rest of our money. On the Symphony I tried Hooked. It was terrible. The service was fast and friendly, but I just couldn't stomach it. They started me off with this cheese biscuit. It was old, hard and had no taste. Then I was brought a crab and clam chowder. I was half way done, when I bit into something that sounded like either a shell or glass. I tried another bite with the same result, but found what I hoped was a shell. I stopped eating it. Then they brought me my shrimp cocktail, and it smelled funny almost like bleach. That was enough. I stopped and called over the waitress and told her I couldn't eat here and wanted a refund. I was then made to repeat everything 2 more times and grilled by the chef, but got the refund. The food is getting worse every year on RCL. So much so, That I am not going on another RCL cruise. Even the trusted pizza at Sorrento's was bad.I am now going on their sister company Celebrity , because the food is supposed to be a lot better , and they have a NON-SMOKING CASINO!!!. You can smell the smoke within 20 feet of the casino entrance. It's really bad, and they have a new drink policy that's horrible. If you earn 2400 points in a year you get free drinks in the casino. Now you can only get 1 drink every 10 minutes. Also the one staff complaint was that this was the only RCL cruise I've been on, where the bartenders were rude. The bar was open a few minutes before the casino and they were serving drinks. I went to the counter and asked for a drink, and they berated me, and told me I had to wait for the casino to open. When the casino opened, I went up to the counter again to ask for a drink, and the Bartender snapped at me that I had to wait until the casino was open. I pointed out to him that it was, He didn't believe me. I then pointed to people , right in front of us playing the slots, and all he said was "Oh'. then got my drink. Also I was ignored a lot by the Bartenders because I was Prime (Free Drinks), and I didn't have to pay for my drinks, and I guess there would rather wait on paying customers. I was ignored several times a day. It was really frustrating . It's like the new policy was invented to prevent you from wanting to get a drink. Well it worked. I usually lose a lot of money in the casino to get the points for the free drinks, and this is there new way of saying thanks? They really should have someone that is/was a guest to check out their designs,new policies and food before implementing them on new ships, that way they could avoid all these mistakes . RCL , Please upgrade the food. It's really bad when Kraft Mac & Cheese is 10X better than yours. On the good note, was the service. As usual the service was excellent. I have no complaints at all, except the Bartenders in the Casino. My room steward did a fantastic job, as so did the wait staff in the restaurants. I thought the Independence of the Seas was my least favorite ship, but Symphony comes very close. Hopefully they will see this, and improve everything, but i doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this originally when we were supposed to go to Havana. When that got cancelled, we should have taken our money back when offered instead of taking the half price cruise. Big mistake. With the hurricane coming, they ended up ... Read More
We booked this originally when we were supposed to go to Havana. When that got cancelled, we should have taken our money back when offered instead of taking the half price cruise. Big mistake. With the hurricane coming, they ended up changing out itinerary again. Despite this, they wouldn't let us cancel. We were stuck going to the Bahamas, the very same place getting devastated by the hurricane... The ship itself is the oldest in the fleet. We were willing to take it to Havana, but it is unsuitable for any other journey in my opinion. The amenities are few and far between. The one tiny pool was full on the one day we were "cruising" (I will get to this later) despite the ship being half full. The food was not up to the standards I've come to expect from Royal in both the windjammer and the fancy dinners. Now onto the worst experience part: Day 1: We get on the ship easily enough, get some drinks, go to the windjammer. Here is where the fun begins. We were accosted 2 times to buy their steak house dinner in a matter of 10 mins while trying to enjoy our lunch. I don't know about you, but I like to be left alone when eating my meals. Moving along to later that afternoon. We are in our tiny cabin resting and we finally get our find our bags which were delivered to the wrong room. My wife goes to take a shower and the bathroom floods. I go to the front desk to ask for help and to possibly move to another cabin (since the cruise was half full). They call maintence which responds quickly enough, but we were told that they were still waiting on passengers. "We don't know if we will have any open rooms". The cruise was half full, they knew it was going to be half full. We didn't ask for an upgrade, just a lateral move. They never followed up. At dinner, the food was underwhelming and we were accosted a third time that day to reserve their steakhouse dinner. We still hadn't left port that night because we were loading supplies for the Bahamas. Fine with us. We were happy they were making an effort to provide aide. If we only knew what that meant for the passengers. That night in the AM the ship was rocking and rolling on the waves as they went full speed to the Bahamas. I don't get seasick, but that is difficult to sleep through. Day 2: We are anchored outside the Grand Bahama Island the whole day offloading supplies. This is causing the whole ship to shake as they gun the engines to keep us straight. So we were really "cruising" at all. It was blazing hot and the pool was packed full. No wind to enjoy from a moving ship. The other passengers were all malcontent as well from being forced on this ship causing a very tense atmosphere. Thank god their spa was run by a third party because it was the only enjoyable hour of the cruise. At lunch, for the fourth time we are accosted by the steakhouse. My wife polietly said, thanks, but we already know about this, we are not interested. The guy starts to walk away and then turns around to give us another pitch! I with my mouth full of food, put my hand up to stop him. He decided this was a very rude action and made a snide comment about waving at him. That just the icing on the cake. It confirmed to us that not even the crew wanted any part of this cruise. Dinner was okay (besides the shaking mentioned earlier) but they were missing ingredients for my wife's entree and they didn't seem to know about it or care to inform her before she ordered it. The show was good, but since everyone was malcontent, the crowd was very lifeless. Day 3: Port of Nassau We were not interested in getting any excursions due to the hurricane so we got off the ship briefly to call home. This is the only time the pool was empty, so we were able to enjoy a relaxing swim. Dinner was actually good for once. We didn't really take offense to anything that day because we grew used to the standards of this non-vacation. We did order an excursion in Miami that would take up part of the day and drop us right at the terminal to fly away. Of course this was cancelled, leaving us 8 hrs of nothing to do in Miami. Once again, we were just used to the awfulness. Customer Service: We logged our complaints with their customer service line. They didn't care. Just told us, nothing we can do. Well there is something we can do, and that is not book a cruise with Royal again who don't care about their customers or their experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We originally booked this cruise with the sole purpose of going to Cuba. Like most other reviews have stated, the laws changed and the itinerary was changed to a 6 day Western Caribbean, which we were fine with. We received 50% of our ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise with the sole purpose of going to Cuba. Like most other reviews have stated, the laws changed and the itinerary was changed to a 6 day Western Caribbean, which we were fine with. We received 50% of our cruise fare back, which was more than generous for still being able to go on the full trip. Flash forward to 2 days before our departure. Hurricane Dorian was on track to hit Florida directly, so Royal Caribbean shortened our trip by 3 days (leaving on the following Wednesday now rather than Sunday.) While we were disappointed, we understood the safety concerns and decided to sail anyway since they stated they would give us a refund for the 3 days we missed, and a future cruise credit. I'll go ahead and get the negatives out of the way (none having to do with the actual ship.) While we were thankful for the refunds, they did not inform the Empress passengers on what that refund would actually look like. On the first day of the trip, the guest services attendant stated we were getting two 50% refunds based on the original cruise fare, basically meaning we got a 100% refund. We were ecstatic. However, on the last night, we learned that Empress passengers got a refund based on the already refunded trip from the Cuba change. So for missing 3 days of our cruise, we received less than $200 back, and our cruise credit was in the same amount. Obviously there isn't any 3 day cruises you can book for under $200. We tried not to be greedy, but we felt that the compensation was misrepresented between different RC staff. We are overall satisfied with the compensation, especially since both circumstances were out of RC's control, but the communication (or lack thereof) made it confusing and frustrating. The ship itself is very well maintained. It is very small, but the layout is different than any other RC I've been on. There is an ocean view in almost every common area, which made it beautiful. The pool is small, and I could see that it would be an issue for a full sailing (we only had 600 on board, so it was perfect for us.) Most of the loungers are in the sun. I wish there were a few in the shade. The pool bar and the attendants walking around were on point. Drinks were much stronger and tasted better than on any other ship. The crew was absolutely phenomenal. I was surprised with how many crew members remembered our names right off the bat, our drink orders, etc. Friendly, talkative, and didn't seem frazzled and overworked like I've seen other crews on other ships. The Chops Grille promoters were pretty pushy, but we ended up booking since we had a cruise credit and finally understood the hype. We had a great experience. The food was amazing, service was very personal, and we didn't have to share a table with strangers. I told my boyfriend that we would have to budget for a night at Chops for every cruise in the future. I'd definitely recommend checking it out. Main dining room and Windjammer were above average compared to other RC ships. The main dining room has a wonderful view with a ton of windows at the back of the ship. If you can, try to go to dinner around sunset. The view is spectacular! We also utilized the spa. There was no sauna or steam room, unfortunately. I booked a massage with seaweed detox, and my boyfriend booked a haircut. My massage was unreal and incredibly relaxing. If you ever find yourself with a large cruise credit, the spa is certainly the place to use it! They do try to sell you some products at the end, which kind of throws off the zen you just spent 100 minutes trying to achieve, but at the end of the day I would absolutely recommend investing in the spa services. They're overpriced, but you're on vacation! :-) Our cabin was decently sized. Small bathroom. Cruise cabins are meant to be tiny, so we weren't bothered. Not a lot of storage space on this ship. Bring an over the door shoe hanger, it saved our sanity on this boat! We booked a forward, ocean view cabin. Since the ship is smaller, we felt MAJOR effects of the hurricane winds. I could feel the waves much more significantly on this boat. If you are prone to sea sickness, it's important to book a mid cabin on this ship since it's so small! Entertainment was fun. They had a solo singer that was great (Lou Gazzarra), a pretty decent comedian, and a great cast for the shows. Trivia was kind of clumsy, but always a good time. The casino was laid out differently than any other ship (split between two decks). What I loved about this ship was that it was a non-smoking casino since it wasn't necessarily contained. We spent a lot more time in there due to that fact alone. Despite its size, I don't feel like we would've been bored if we had the full 6 days (which I was originally worried about) We didn't do any shore excursions since we've been to Nassau more times than we can count. We looked in to it, but they were way overpriced for what you got. We noticed the sewage smell on the lower decks (outside, mostly), but I wouldn't say it was overwhelming. Just normal for a cruise, to us. Overall we had a great experience on the ship and would have loved for it to have been the full 6 days! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful ... Read More
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful and enormous with many extravagant shows that are worth watching and very entertaining. The room is really nice and spacious as well as the bathrooms. Bar Service: bought the unlimited drinking package and definitely got my moneys worth but service was probably the worst. Quite a few times I've had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. Many bartenders would not even make eye contact with me to ask for a drink. I at times had to try and get their attention (not ideal and quite embarrassing). It wasn't at all bars though. The specific one that had the worst service was at Playmakers sports bar. Justin was the one that served me and many of my family members with mediocre service. Quite rude and intentionally ignored all of us. Pro: There was one server, named Greedep at Playmakers who was amazing! Service exceeded my expectations and food came on time. Very kind and welcoming. Pro tip: Go to Schooners bar and you will def get a good drink with good service as well. Best cosmos there! Main Dining Room: did not exceed my expectations. Felt very crowded and food was just okay. Everything was subpar except for service which was excellent. Overall the cruise was fun, lots of activities to do. For the adults, definitely recommend lounging at the solarium where it is relaxing with huge bath pools/jacuzzis. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work ... Read More
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work (off on Tuesdays and Fridays and this Monday was a holiday). Perfect! Then in the few days preceding this cruise, tropical storm Dorian became Hurricane Dorian. We were to depart Miami Saturday August 31st, spend Sunday September 1st in Nassau, a day at sea, then home. Many ships were having changes made to their schedule as the storm grew stronger. At 10pm Thursday I packed late, checked the RCCL website at 1am and saw my cruise was eliminated since the extended the August 24th cruise until Sept 4th. I cancelled my airline reservations just after that post. With an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, I went to sleep. By morning, to confirm this really happened, I looked at the website and to my surprise, no listing for my cruise. I called the helplines at RCCL. They found nothing. Luckily I screenshot the website and had it to email the representative. For 90 minutes he searched while I was on hold. Finally I got a text message with word the ship we depart early and be extended a day. I knew before the rep did! RCCL did an amazing job. I rebooked a new trip at the last minute (paying way too much) but I made it there. Embarkation: WOW. I handed a staff member my preprinted boarding passes, she scanned the barcode with her iPad and we walked to the ship. The keys are waiting for you at 1pm in your cabin door mail slot. We didn't much more than pause our walk to get scanned and we were on the ship in 10 minutes. NO WAY could this be easier or better. We went to Boleros to buy the WOW band. It was $5 and cool to have. It worked great as cabin door key, it was OK as a way to pay for drinks. Sometimes I just chose to use the card as it was easier to hand over. The readers in the bars worked ok most of the time but of course walking servers do not carry readers. Grabbed a Mojito to kick off the cruise by 11am. We dined for lunch at the Park Cafe - the Kummelweck roast beef sandwiches. Yes, they are as good as everyone says plus a nice custom bowl of salad. Delicious. Our room had good and bad. I am never one to complain. Room 14-577 was top of Central Park in the very front. Glad i tried it but I won't do it again. If you happen to book these neighborhood balconies, be aware that it is not like an ocean view. There is no privacy so your curtains will likely be closed all the time. Be aware that the 15th floor is the pool deck. You will hear foot stomps when kids run across that deck. While not bad at all, we did notice that. Be aware that in this cabin the ship's framing is a roofline just over your balcony so the great part is - always shady. I didn't care for keeping the key card inserted in a slot to keep lights and air on but I understand it's a good idea. Not a lot of normal TV to watch but who really cares to watch TV? The bed was extremely firm and our steward says they no longer offer the egg-crate pads, I also understand. We managed just fine. Plenty of room, plenty of storage, bigger shower than most ships too. But I will never choose 14th floor neighborhood balcony again. Oh it did include a bottle of red wine and two coke packages (refill cups). The shows? WOW. I have often thought NCL Epic had the natural win in this category but when I saw HAIRSPRAY, I loved everything about it. Then we saw FLIGHT and that was entertaining in a usual cruise ship show kind of way but well done with a mix of technology and live action. The ice show was 1977 and though I wonder what that year had to do with anything, there was excellent skating, beautiful costumes, and it all started amazing drones flying over the performance area giving us a light show. Loved it. Finally HIRO - what an amazing show. I would say that the price of the cruise was worth it just to see this show! Swimming, diving, dancing, arial performances, a lot like Cirque on overdrive. I am still blown away. Food. I would say it was good. Some of it was excellent, some just OK. I was shocked that the prime rib was just OK. I love prime rib. But the tenderloin and short ribs were outstanding. Salmon was better than OK but not the best. Lasagna was OK but not too good. I did order a beef stroganoff dish but sent it back because it was unlike any I had ever had...more like a pasta dish with a light brown garlic based gravy. Not a complainer - everything was edible and decent. But for the quantity served, it is still impressive. Early traditional seating is my choice. Always kind, if we wanted to rush to a show, they put us on fast pace. Wine was plentiful and they kept me with a drink at all times. Activity: WOW. Zip line - long wait for a short thrill but very cool to do. Abyss....long line and awesome anticipation for the thrill. Loved it - especially the que to actually get on the slide being all glass way up there. I ran out of time but would have body surfed the flowrider. Lines were not bad at all. PuttPutt was always in use and looks like fun. the court was half basketball half soccer. They all seemed to love it. I rode the carousel. It's been years since I had done that and well, it just makes me smile. Artwork. another WOW. Some cool stuff. A lot of weird things too. Loved the piano stairs. Didn't quite get the sound art and light art but OK. Plenty to see. Interactive art is always cool. The cruise director Ricky was fun. Led many street parties and works his tail off. They had a balloon drop at midnight day one, they had a Caribbean street party, an 80s party and a pirate parade. We sat in a sing along with a guitar player that was fun (crowd was a blast - singer was excellent). Saw a little piano playing in Schooner but I do tire of the same old 70s and 80s pop songs. Oh another cool thing on this ship is the stowaway piano player - he may be in an elevator (that's where we saw him) or anywhere on the ship at any time. Very cool!! Did I mention we were to be in Nassau on September 1st but Hurricane Dorian decided category 5 would just sit over the Bahamas and destroy...so RCCL sent us to Costa Maya Mexico instead. We were out of harms way, mostly in the hot sun. RCCL added a 4th day to our cruise so we had to get new airfare home but they didn't add any extra cost to our beverage package or Voom package. I think they actually gave us $50 On Board Credit too. I didn't care for Costa Maya but that's just me. I was glad to be there! We did not excursion there either. Just to add to controversy, I will tell you that in my opinion, all cruises should be non-smoking. I won't go in to a casino so long as there is smoking - so I didn't even visit it on this trip. Celebrity has no-smoking in their casinos. A different vibe for those of us that don't like the smell. But to each their own and I was just fine without it. I didn't plan to buy a NextCruise certificate but I did because this was my new favorite cruise. Finally getting off the ship - WOW. We chose late as possible because our flight was 12:30pm. We got tags #69 9:00am. Teh drink package still got us premium coffee drinks for free the day of departure. We waited it our in the Cafe Promenade. When we left the ship we walked into the terminal, chose our bag from the 100 or so still left there and walked to customs. No need to even bring out a passport of fill out the declaration papers...we walked up to an iPad that took our picture, waited a few seconds, got a green check mark and we were out to the taxi line. No more than a couple minutes to get in and no more than a couple minutes to get out. Way to go RCCL and US Customs! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured ... Read More
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured our safety so we decided to go ahead keep our reservation and take the cruise. This ship is the nicest ship we have ever had the pleasure of taking, We have taken many cruises on many different lines. We are now have Platinum Status on RC so we are trying to continue growing our reward level on this RCI ships and family. We absolutely LOVED every single part of this ship! The Rooms were the largest and spacious and beautiful. The ship is immaculate, the food was excellent, and the service was awesome! I cannot tell you how pleased I was with my experience! Royal Caribbean knocked it out of the park with this Ship and this Cruise. There really were so many differences to this cruise and this ship than so many others. It was just a way different class of ship than so many others! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for wanting to celebrate my husband's birthday on a cruise, enjoy the longest water slide (was fun despite long wait on hot deck material with bare feet) and spend the day on CocoCay. Yes, the storm, Dorian, closed ... Read More
Chose this cruise for wanting to celebrate my husband's birthday on a cruise, enjoy the longest water slide (was fun despite long wait on hot deck material with bare feet) and spend the day on CocoCay. Yes, the storm, Dorian, closed CocoCay and we understand since we live in Florida. But, the quality of the staff, enforcement of expected passenger behavior and rules totally lacked on this cruise. The cabin was booked as a GC balcony and although near the service elevator, it was more quiet than expected. The cabin was disappointing as far as the bathroom and balcony. Cracked shower tube, green growth around the faucet and the mirror was disgusting. Inside the cabinets were rusted. The closet was sufficient, desk area fine and the larger TV good. The pillows (only one kind available) were good for us as we like firm. Mattress wasn't the best. The balcony door was extremely hard to open and lock. Noise from neighboring cabin came through the balcony door. But, Janet, our cabin attendant was one of the best ever. Always understood and enjoyed our conversations. Never failed on remembering a request. Kept our ice bucket full, cabin as clean as possible and even placed a Happy Birthday Surprise decal on our cabin door for my husband. Check-in was easy and swift. $22.00 per day to park in new Terminal A, but the ease of dropping luggage at the elevator and the "car to bar" wasn't quite that but close. Cabins opened a half hour later than normal. Had lunch in Windjammer since only venue open. Normal pushing, rude passengers fighting for tables. The Carvery Chef got the "rude award" for embarkation day. I asked him point blank twice if another roast beef was coming out. He ignored my first request and then pointed to the leftover scraps he expected me to take. Most of the staff has this blase' attitude. They'll do their job, but not really looking like they're enjoying it. Even the officers who circulated had a glazed look while walking through the ship. Only encounters with officers in the Diamond Lounge were as expected. Genuine and engaging. DL Concierge a gem, too. While on subject of the Diamond Lounge, once again it amazes us that for being loyal Royal Caribbean passengers, the choices and quality of liquor is less than before. The vodka, New Amsterdam, is disgusting. Wine is not good either. The Spa's Steam Room was down the entire cruise. The Ladie's Room near MDR deck 4 was hidden around a column and sign not lit for entire cruise. Never routinely cleaned. Overflowing towels spilling out of the wall receptacle that the lock was broken and for days just opened and closed with movement of the ship. Last night the missing lock was replaced by a rubber band that attempted to keep it closed. One night the bathroom was closed. And every bathroom I visited was sloppy. Or stalls locked empty obviously since toilets did not function. Or ceiling lights out. Not having a MDR table placed on our cruise card, we visited a MDR Captain in the afternoon who told us we had to come back at 6PM to speak to a manager. We had our DL Concierge handle for us. Even she was surprised we were treated that way by the Captain. The waiter was fine although he repeatedly forgot items we asked form. His assistant was scary as terrible bad breath with teeth to match. The food was just OK. Best were the lamb chops served on hubby's birthday. Had Creme Brulee' one night and top was soggy, custard almost watery. We love to spend time in the Solarium and it appears nice on the Navigator. Would be if the no kids under 16 rule was enforced. One day the main pool was closed since obviously a child vomited and another defecated. The ship decided to let kids use the Solarium pool. Why should the paying adults be penalized for a child's actions? On the last day, the lifeguards made parents leave the pool and take their severely challenged child with them. Guests in pool repeated asked the lifeguard to allow them to stay but no. They were forced to leave. Last afternoon aboard know there were too many people in pool and over limit. Nothing done. A guest had a wireless speaker on edge of step area of pool blasting music he chose from his cell. Nothing was done. Heard from reliable frequent passenger about the Wednesday night Quest show. Seems multiple passengers had no second thoughts about removing clothes to reveal their requested piercings, tattoos or men's underwear. We did enjoy The Edge concert earlier the same evening. Had seen them on another cruise and wanted to see again. It is the opinion of frequent cruisers that the ship's Captain reflects the tone of the officers and staff. This Captain needs to spend a lot more time around the ship and correct attitudes and expectations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was ... Read More
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was cold. It wasn’t pleasant. It was elbow to elbow at the tables to eat. COMFORT 1)The Mattress on our bed was rock hard so didn’t sleep well. 2)Not enough seating around the ship for the volume of passengers. 3)Lots of noisy drunk passengers at 2am on 3 nights and they were allowed to continue waking up passengers and the crew did nothing to stop them. 4)Lots of uncomfortable queueing for everything onboard - food, drinks, toilets and entertainment. Virtually everything. 5)Impossible to watch the shows as the staff kept letting other people continuously into each audience and constant walking in front of us. 6)The ship docked at 2.16am on Saturday 31st August and the noise from everyone involved in the docking woke us up and we couldn’t get back to sleep and this was before a several hour, long journey home. HEALTH AND SAFETY 1)Smoking was allowed in the Casino on the ship which bellowed cigarette smoke into the Main Dining area. 2)One of the other buffet areas had another smoking area near to the swimming pool so it was pretty much the same experience. This is especially not good for babies and children breathing this in whilst in the pool. Or pregnant women, the elderly or ill. We found this very unpleasant. 3)Staff constantly mopping and passengers having to be careful walking on wet floors. 4)The ship can clearly not cope with over 5,000 passengers as everywhere we went people accidentally bumped into each other - couldn’t be helped under the squashed elbow to elbow circumstances. An extremely serious health and safety issue. 5)Lifts were continually full and had elbow to elbow people in them. Another serious health and safety issue. We had to take the stairs on several occasions. SWIMMING POOLS 1)Too crowded and we were unable to use them. INFINITY POOL 1)Was able to use it once - too crowded otherwise. JACUZZI 1)Was able to use one of them on one occasion - too crowded otherwise. CRUISE FOOD 1)Poor. We are used to excellent food (and a good selection on cruises) but didn’t experience it on this cruise. 2)The ship clearly struggles coping with the volume of passengers and there were long 30-45 minute queues at all eating places. 3)We decided we would try Jamie’s and pay extra as it was quieter in Central Park. They told us that they could get lobster for us from the main dining area as they had run out in their restaurant. We declined and ate in the main dining area. Why pay for the same thing? What a cheek. 4)Several mistakes made throughout the week with our food orders in The Main Dining Room. Long waits to be served. More examples of them not coping with the volume of passengers. DRINKS 1)There should be more cold drinks available throughout the ship but there are not. Or at least people coming round with trays of cups of water. Instead everyone had to queue at the bars for an excessive time or walk a fair distance to the complimentary drinks areas in the heat. 2)There were mistakes made on our drinks orders in the main dining area and we were charged. Had to speak to guest services to get it refunded and that involved more sessions of queueing at guest services with other disgruntled passengers for long periods of time. STATEROOM 1)The mattress was hard and uncomfortable which provided poor sleep and stiffness. 2)The steward did not introduce himself to us at any time. We had to introduce ourselves to him, once we had worked out who he actually was. ENTERTAINMENT 1)We had booked to see all the shows on board. On the first evening of our cruise we queued for nearly an hour, to be seated. The audience had drinks orders taken and then the Cruise Director announced the show was cancelled. He seemed to think it funny - we were not impressed. He was dreadful at his job throughout. 2)The timings of all our shows booked were moved around constantly throughout the week (at the last minute) which encroached on our other plans. 3)Bad customer service. We were appalled. CHANGE OF ITINERARY 1)Constant last minute changes of Itinerary. 2)The communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate by the Captain and his staff. 3)We had to continually queue at Guest Services to find out what was happening. 4)Dreadful Customer Service and communication. MISSED PORTS/SHORTENED VISITS 1)Saint Maarten was cancelled. 2)We had half a day in Puerto Rico. 3)We had a day in Laberdee (a resort). Food was poor. Not enough to go round. Toilets were in a dreadful condition by mid afternoon with loo roll piled high and over flowing out of the bins by the loos. 4)We had half a day in Nassau with nothing to do as our excursion was changed without us being told. 5)Didn’t receive what we paid for throughout. Extremely disappointed. EXCURSIONS 1)Our excursions were constantly moved around. Communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate. 2)We had to constantly queue at Guest Services for refunds on excursions. 3)We had booked an Excursion to go to The Blue Lagoon in Nassau on the last day and it was changed to 8am without us being told. Yes we had a refund but we missed the opportunity of seeing somewhere really lovely on our last day due to bad customer service and had to queue yet again for a refund. VOOM/GUEST SERVICES 1)When we expressed our disappointment to Guest Services re lack of communication to us, we were told to check out information on the app. Yes we had the Royal Caribbean app but we needed VOOM (the internet) to be able to use it, which would have involved extra expense. 2)Why couldn’t the captain and his staff have just kept everyone updated on tv screens or via the tannoy system? 3)Appalled. Dreadful customer service and lack of communication with passengers. ROYAL CARIBBEAN WEBSITE 1)One day before our holiday was due to finish, many passengers read that Royal Caribbean announced on their website that we were going to be taken to Mexico and not returned to Miami until Wednesday 4th September. Many passengers changed their flights and other plans. I have a copy of this information. 2)The Captain and his crew went quiet over this website announcement and when we queued (yet again) and asked at Guest Services, they wouldn’t say what was happening. 3)This left us feeling anxious and with uncertainty. 4)It was only when we were woken up by noise at 2.16am (on the last day of our holiday) that we realised we were in Miami. 5)We had suffered dreadful worry and anxiety that we would not have had to experience if customer communication had been adequate. An announcement over the tannoy would have been enough to put everyones minds at rest but the Captain and his crew buried their heads in the sand. WOULD WE USE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN? No we wouldn’t. We are avid cruisers and did not get what we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San ... Read More
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San Maartin, and that were we going to CoCoCay as an alternate stop, then when that island was threatened, we were going to stop at Nassau, Bahamas. We made it back to Miami at 1:30am Saturday morning. For the inconvenience they did refund one day costs for each passenger. Embarkation: The terminal in Miami is a brand new terminal and there are videos out on the web showing how easy it was to get in. I don't know what time they arrived at the port but we arrived at 10:30am and not only was the traffic horrendous but the first 5 levels of the parking garage were filled to capacity. Speaking of the garage, you had to go up to level 4 to drop off your luggage and then park your car, take an elevator down to the main level then once inside the terminal take an escalator back up to the ship's gangway. For those who need handicapped parking spots, they have them in the vicinity of the elevators on each level. Most ports we sailed out of, we dropped of the luggage on the ground floor and take an escalator up once. This up and down flow didn't make any sense. Once inside the terminal there seem to be confusion as to where to check in. One person told us to go to one area, another told us to go to another area. They now take your picture with hand held devices like an iPad. There was no order as to waiting on a line, people were just jumping to the next available agent. There are some things that still need to be worked out with the check in process. By the way, NCL is building a new terminal right next to Royal's. With just one single lane going by both terminals, it is going to be a nightmare getting to them. This was the opinion of the people who work there. SHIP: There are some changes to this ship that are different from the other Oasis ships. First, the Park Cafe on Deck 8 was expanded to accommodate more people. The biggest change we saw was to the Solarium. They made the area on Deck 14 smaller and there are no longer pools there, only seating. On deck 15 there are two hot tubs and one small pool. The pool was much smaller than the other Oasis ships have. The only way to get into the Solarium Bistro is via the inside lobby. There are doors to get out but you are told to enter thru the lobby area. Speaking of the Solarium, they needed to do a better job keeping children out of the area. There were several times people were asked to leave the area. Overall, the ship was the same as the other Oasis ships so there wasn't any new WOW factor. In fact this ship was the same as the Harmony except for the Park Cafe and Solarium areas. They added a new seafood restaurant on deck 16. As for the pools on deck 15, they are really small. if 25-30 people are in them it will seem crowded. There are three such pools on this deck. Definitely not enough pool capacity for over 5,000 passengers. They could have made larger pools by eliminating some of the hot tubs. Another feature which was eliminated was the information you can obtain in your cabin like the dinner menus, your itinerary from the cabin TV. You could only obtain this info from your phone. The dinner menus usually are displayed outside the dining rooms but this ship did not have any displays to show them. Entertainment : They had two excellent comedians that were very funny. Shows that are a must see are 1977 (ice show) and Flight Dare to Dream. This was a musical of the history of aviation throughout time. The ending will WOW you but I will not spoil it by saying what is was. As for the diving show in the Aqua Theatre, it was boring and repetitive to what we saw on the other Oasis ships. If it is the first time you will see it, then then go but if you've seen it before don't bother. As usual they had entertainment in the Promenade that is worth seeing. If you have children, they Adventure Ocean for different age groups was a wonderful area for your children to enjoy. Unfortunately, this area wasn't utilized as it should have been. There were a lot of foreign guests who seem not to use this venue. They had Laser Tag in Studio B, but you must have reservations. Dining: The food in the Windjammer was average at best. It seems the variety of the food did not change from day to day. Only the meat they served changed. They was one day they closed the second serving stations when we were at sea. We couldn't understand that logic since the place was very crowded. Except when we were in port, it was always a challenge to find seating. The Park Cafe was a very popular spot to get away from the crowds. If you will be looking for omelets, you find not find them in the Windjammer. You will have to go to either the Main Dining room, Johnny Rockets or El Loco Fresh on deck 15 by the sports complex. On other ships this was called "Wipeout". We had My Time dining and at 8:00pm seemed to be the busiest hour. Lines were almost out the door trying to get seating. You may want to book your time earlier than 7:30 to be on the safe side. We actually had the same waiter we had on the Harmony. He played his guitar and sang for the guest near the area where he serviced people. That's the first time in all our cruises that has happened. In speaking to some people who were long time Royal cruiser, we all felt the quality of the food and service have diminished in the dining rooms. It seems we are being forced to go to the restaurants that you have to pay for. Ports of Call: We were supposed to visit St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. However, due to the storm we visited San Juan, Labadee and Nassau, Bahamas. Been to all three several times so we didn't get off the ship. Royal Caribbean should do something with Labadee. It's boring and you have to listen for HOURS to these so called "musicians" banging away on their "drums". At one point one of the local restaurants turned up the music to drown out the drums. We were really looking forward to visiting CoCoCay but the storm prevented us from doing so. Debarkation: We took our own luggage and walked off the ship which occurred at 6:15 am. People were actually on line at 5:00am. They do not require to fill out the Declaration of items you may have bought and they now have many stations with cameras to confirm your identity. The process was well organized and the staff was informative, unlike the ones during the Embarkation process. However, you needed to take an elevator up the the level you were parked at. When there are hundreds or thousands of passengers in the need of an elevator, that could cause quite a wait for one. Luckily we were one of the first ones off the ship so it wasn't bad. Overall impression: It seems Royal Caribbean is attracting a lot for foreigners. At times it was a little difficult finding guests who spoke English. The ship is very similar to the Harmony of the Seas and there were some differences but not enough to impress you if you sailed on the other Oasis class ships. If you choose My Time dining, it would be best to reserve a time before 7:30pm. The crew on board was very friendly. The ship was very clean except for some of the bathrooms. One observation over the past couple of cruises is that Royal’s clientele seems to be changing and it shows. We originally cruised with Carnival and switched to Royal to get away from the clientele they had. It used to be that Royal attracted middle aged people now it seems to be the same crowd Carnival attracts. People were hanging their belongings on the interior balconies of the ship and it looked like a ghetto. These same people were rude and didn’t control their children from running around the ship. We have one more cruise planned on Royal later this year, if we run into the same type of crowd, we will be seeking other cruise lines in the future. This will be unfortunate since we are close to being Diamond Plus members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
NEGATIVES Photos cant only get on disc when complained of this manager said only corporate can make modifications and only pkgs starting 1 hundred on up or 19 for 1 Bingo 3 sheets $42 must be 21 but can gamble in casino at 18 Beer ... Read More
NEGATIVES Photos cant only get on disc when complained of this manager said only corporate can make modifications and only pkgs starting 1 hundred on up or 19 for 1 Bingo 3 sheets $42 must be 21 but can gamble in casino at 18 Beer sampling additional and drinks cant ask for a double only a single Lbgq limited to one area and only to limited times that allowed straights to be in same room only advised on a flip screen in one area not on daily itinerary sheet Captain doesn't come down to dinner even on captain dinner night Sushi making class additional and not offered elsewhere on menu. When weather service forecasted that hurricane Dorian was going to hit port same as our return cs did not have any information until 3 days into it and was not announced till 3 days prior to departure date nothing was pre arranged causing hundreds of people to pay more to get off in a different port and make flight arrangements costing more. Limited 18 to 20 have limited things to do for their age group. One pool only deep end no shallow end with small water park. Salt water. putting kids and adults in pool and 3 jacuzzi together. Fancy app for royal however it is not available or supported on the ship Express of the seas They offer a tour of the kitchen but its additional of course. They have a decent comedian show. The ship is small so its easy to find your way around but takes forever for a elevator 2 smoking sections deck 6 and 10 both outside but no smoking in the casino. Future credit is given instead of present credit when on board when Hurricane Dorian kept us out to sea and was only 1 days worth of credit for the hassle of having to change flights, take additional time off work, kids off school and spend additional money that was not planned for. POSITIVES The dinner staff has excellent customer service Shiv and Xiangying were our food servers and they really made our Birthday and Anniversary special. Decent entertainment 80s dancing, karaoke , juggling acts, ragge music (loved the ragge band) the best shows are doable for early dinner but not unless you rush to get to the show from the pm dinner. More shows should be at 10pm not dinner at 8 and show at 9pm. Deals in the onboard shops Nurse and Dr available but times available not so great. Rooms are upgradable for a small charge of 1 hundred on up The room service is excellent and very clean. But we didn't have our beverage pkg cups until we asked for them. Laundry service good but slow Security is good and ontop of things but often I would smell marijuana onboard and sat next to a guy on my tender boat back to the ship who admitted it was in his bag. No issues with the stuff but if you're gonna say that you can't have it onboard then that obviously wasn't being monitored enough. Excursions are very good and easy to book , well organized but additional in cost range from $40 on up in the hundreds. Safety is of their biggest concern this is responsible and good . It would be nice if someone could give better insight to crew and guests in tough weather conditions other than headquarters holding up information till last minute. There is a gym and spa nice there is acupuncture that I showed interesting and helpful if in pain, facials, massage therapy and hair, nails but no sauna, no mineral pool, no steam rooms or hot chairs. The gym is small very busy in the morning and cruise days. Limited equipment and the jogging areas are limited around the deck. There is a rock climbing wall small one but no frills like mini golf or water boarding. Onboard credit is given before you board if your trip is changed example not able to go to Cuba and given credit to encourage people not to cancel. Casino nice but limited poker machines mostly tables. The bar in the casino has the best drinks on the ship. Schooner bar has good drinks the pirate burbon drink was a nice touch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Summary Pros: *Wonderful kids camp - ages 3 to 11 are all together and my kids said it was the best Adventure Ocean camp they’ve been to *El Loco Fresh Taco Station - food was good and they had enough ready items that you can ... Read More
Summary Pros: *Wonderful kids camp - ages 3 to 11 are all together and my kids said it was the best Adventure Ocean camp they’ve been to *El Loco Fresh Taco Station - food was good and they had enough ready items that you can grab something *For the size of the ship, pool options were good *Fun and attentive staff at Windjammer (if you can find a table to eat at) *Cool guy rides the elevator playing a piano! Cons: *Lack of entertainment - there was basically a comedian and 1 ice show that was shown twice *Navigator and Royal App out of sync so you could miss one of the VERY FEW events on board *Waterslides are cool in concept, but there were absurd wait times (+1 hour) for the Blaster slide and only a few mats for the the Riptide so only the same 15 people can ride it and you have to basically wait for someone to not want to ride it anymore , including port days! *Coco Cay bungalows are a complete waste of $400 and in general, excursions are over priced at Coco Cay The Details We are a family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 kids ranging in age from 4 to 10 and we are experienced cruisers; we are Emerald with Royal, and have status on Carnival, Disney and NCL but admit that Royal is our preferred cruise line at the moment. This was our first time on Navigator of the Seas but we’ve sailed Mariner, Oasis, and Allure recently. We knew Navigator was much smaller than Oasis and Allure and comparable to Mariner, so we knew what to expect, sort of. This was BY FAR our least favorite Royal Caribbean experience. The boat is OK, but there were a lot of small things that added up and left us frustrated and annoyed more often that I should be on vacation. There were some highlights but overall, I would not recommend this itinerary; Royal has much better experiences, including the Mariner. This was an overall, very subpar experience for us. It was not all bad, however. The ship was recently updated, which is how the water slides were added, the specialty restaurants added and according to the staff, how the kids camp was reconfigured. The camp, again according to the staff (I didn’t verify) is the first and only in the fleet to have ages 3-11 all together. My kids, who are experienced “Adventure Oceaneers” RAVED about the camp. They said it was the best one yet! Staff was very nice and friendly but there is a 90 person capacity to the camp so while I don’t know of anyone turned away, it’s possible, I suppose. The dining room was OK. Staff didn’t really go above and beyond like they usually do. We had early seating and only ate there on nights 1 and 3. Nights 2 and 4 we did Windjammer/Cafe Promenade so that may have played into the issue, but dinner took a solid 2 hours so we decided to mix it up for the kiddos. Johnny Rockets was nice. It was an “express” which I personally prefer because you only pay for what you eat and you only order what you want. On other boats it’s a cover and you can eat as much as possible. On this ship, they give you a pager and you can eat your food anywhere on the ship, although there are about 4 tables near the restaurant on the pool deck. Opposite Johnny Rockets is El Loco Fresh Taco. On other ships this is where the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers typically is. I personally loved this venue. They have warm flour tortillas, and will serve you the protein and you can then hit the toppings station and add lettuce, salsa, cheese, cilantro, etc. They also offer premade cheese and chicken quesadillas and beef and chicken burritos, and tortilla chips. Wonderful for a quick way to feed hungry, soggy kiddos! The opposite could be said of Cafe Promenade. Since the boat is smaller there’s no Sorrentos so the only place to get pizza was at Cafe Promenade. They had 2 lines and we could just get pizza or the sandwiches. I left my oldest to watch the other 3 because we were in a rush to do the escape room, and I tried to order 4 cheese and 4 pepperoni slices. I waited on line for 5 minutes and was denied. The pizza limit is 4 slices per person! I pointed to my children and said “I need to feed them all dinner, they’re too little to wait on line with me and carry hot pizza?” The woman, Jialu, said “maybe you should drop this off and get in line again.” So I did. Waited TEN minutes next time because people came and by time I get up to the front she was out of cheese pizza and said “3 minutes” so I waited TEN MORE minutes for 2 slices of cheese pizza. I get it, I understand the procedures but when you can see my kids with no plates of food and unapologetically ruin dinner for my entire family it’s absolutely absurd. Not the Royal service I am used to. Windjammer is great, staff is great, food is standard but it’s way too tiny. We almost never got a table in there. I really wish they removed Jamie’s and Chops and let people eat in peace, but alas we had to take our food to our room for lack of seating more than once. There’s also an good balloon artist at breakfast who made really cool balloon animals for the kids for free, which my kids were delighted with. Aside from the seating availability, great service in Windjammer! Entertainment on the ship, compared to others, is light at best. There is one show and one ice show. Ice shows were at 1 and 3 pm on the last sea day and the one show was after Coco Cay. Other nights there was a comedian. Not anywhere near what you get on Oasis or Allure. Not a lot of activities planned for the days either, especially the sea day. Perhaps it was just a lousy cruise director but there wasn’t too much to do on board. The printed Navigator Times/location planner was not in sync with the Royal Caribbean application so we decided to do trivia on sea day to entertain the kids and the app sent us to Boleros. Well at 10 minutes past, another guest asked the bartender (who pulled out the paper) and said “no it’s in Schoonmaker bar”. We had 3 really disappointed little kiddos and they had 2 annoyed parents. When we told the person running it she unapologetically pointed to the paper and said “you should always check the paper one. The app is usually out of date.” Great. There is the main pool and splash area and 3 hot tubs (2 on deck 11 and 1 on 12). For the size of the boat the pools are fine, arguably bigger than what I’ve seen on other ships so that was nice. We did not use the Solarium pool because of the kids but that looked nice too. Another addition of the remodel was The Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm is the area with the 2 waterslides - Riptide is a slide that requires a mat, which is provided at the bottom of the slide. There are about 15-20 mats on board, so if you don’t get a mat, you have to wait until someone doesn’t want to ride anymore as they don’t collect the mat at the bottom of the slide; if you have one you can keep it and ride the slide over and over. This caused some frustration and disappointment from hot, soggy people who want a turn. Even on port days there is a wait, which was very disappointing. The other slide is called the Blaster and is very similar to Disney’s Aquaduck. The tube holds 1 or 2 people but the combined weight of the 2 people had to be 100 lbs. The height restriction for this was 48” I believe, but it was less on Riptide so my youngest could only do the Riptide. The wait for the blaster was insane - over an hour at some point. There’s nothing you can do; it’s a bit of supply and demand but it was not really worth the wait. Tip - this is not much different from any other cruise, and we planned for it! We fed everyone a HUGE breakfast before boarding the boat and everyone boarded In bathing suits so we went straight to these 2 slides. There were plenty of mats available for Riptide and my older kids did the blaster about 10 times. Thankfully we kind of got our fill because there was not a opportunity to ride again due to the long waits/lack of mats. We rode the slides and did FlowRider until they got bored, basically on embarkation day. Then we grabbed tacos and went to muster! The FlowRider staff was OUTSTANDING. I’ve done it on other boats and usually they tell you what to do and you wipe out. Here they really worked hard to get people on the board and kneeling, etc. My oldest left it feeling accomplished and not frustrated which was awesome. The casino is eh. The non-smoking section is like 15% of the place so it just stinks in there. Nothing too outstanding either way. Finally, Coco Cay. We had not been in a while and they are constantly remodeling so we booked the Beach Bungalow. It was $399 and accommodates 6. We’ve done cabanas at Disney, and with Royal but the $800 cabana felt like more than we needed so we did the bungalow. It was an absolute waste of money. We got off the boat at 8:15 which was great! Got the the bungalow and checked in. There were LOADS of free chairs and umbrellas on the beach at that time. We get our bungalow only to find out the section is neither private nor patrolled! We had people who did not pay sit on our lounge chairs, smoking cigarettes next to us, and laying out in front of and next to our bungalow! All you get is a 1 walled building, 4 bottles of Evian, 2 floating mats and 4 loaner beach towels. You get no privacy, and 2nd hand smoke. I asked those who were using our chairs to move, and they did, but they simply brought chairs down from the beach area. It’s not patrolled so I had to tell the people at the check in area that they were like on top of us. When I told them they moved the chairs but the guests didn’t leave, they set up their towels and lit their smokes! Anyone is allowed - it’s not roped off or patrolled - you don’t even get bar service and it’s a decent walk to the buffet. I STRONGLY discourage this particular excursion. Other than that, Coco Cay is ok. I realize Royal is trying to accommodate all price points but I think that things are kind of pricey. $80 for the water park is ok but it was PACKED. We didn’t do it but we could see the waits for the slides and it wasn’t pretty. The free stuff was fun. We explored a little after my oldest got stung by some jellyfish. They have a cute pirate splash pad with kiddie waterslides and another area for kiddie waterslides and a bucket that fills and splashes. It was nice enough. The buffet was very good; Royal did a good job planning the area to eat and it has ample food options and seating. Overall, it was, again, my least favorite Royal experience. Will not do this itinerary again, simply not worth it to us. My recommendation is the Oasis, when it returns Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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