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Sail Date: January 2015
My husband and I have previously sailed on Celebrity and Carnival and were excited to take our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We anxiously waited for a whole year for our trip. Back home in New Hampshire the weather was below 0 and we had a ... Read More
My husband and I have previously sailed on Celebrity and Carnival and were excited to take our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We anxiously waited for a whole year for our trip. Back home in New Hampshire the weather was below 0 and we had a lot of snow. We arrived in a rainy New Orleans where we stayed 2 nights. Not enough time and we would like to return at some points in our life. On Saturday morning, after a harrowing cab ride we arrived at the pier around 10:15am where a porter took our luggage and asked our room number. He said everyone was supposed to get an e-mail stating not to arrive until Noon because some rooms were damaged and to go to the Riverwalk Mall and return at Noon. We went back downstairs around 12:30 only to be informed that there were 299 rooms that would not be sailing but they did not know which ones. A short time later, they said that there were another 117 rooms that would not be sailing. We stood in the cold in line for over 3 hours before being let into the cruise terminal. After another 2 1/2 hours, we found out we were one of the lucky ones to sail. We could not go home, we were having whiteout conditions. By the time we boarded the ship, it was very late. We found our stateroom and headed off to get something to eat. After dinner, I unpacked while my husband went to explore. By the time he got back and I was done it was almost 11pm. We still had not moved. The next day, we found out that the Coast Guard had cleared us and we were finally going to sail. It has not been more than 24 hours with little communication, we were still in port, the theater did not work and neither did our television. It did not feel like the relaxing vacation we were looking forward to. PROS We had a balcony room that was very nicely laid out and clean with a lot of storage. The only thing that was not clean was the glass on the balcony but our cabin steward took care of that by the next day. The closet had a lot of storage. Our cabin steward Ellliott did a great job and we gave him some extra money on the last day. The cruise director, John Blair, and his wife, Katrina, the cruise activities director were very upbeat and fun. The entertainment we saw in the theater once it was up and running was top notch. The seats were comfortable. My only complaint is that the beverage holders only held a wine glass and not a mixed drink. The barista in the coffee area was great with a lot of energy and usually knew what we wanted to order as soon as we got there. He knew my husband's name right away. We also gave him something extra. On the last day, getting off was well organized and smooth. The best we have seen so far. CONS While we tried to like the food, we were very disappointed in this area. Besides the first night, service in the main dining room was patchy and very slow. The tray of rolls they bring out and the desserts were the highlights. We found that the menu was quite boring and did not change from day-to-day. We only ended up eating dinner in the main dining room twice. We ate in all the specialty restaurants and were especially disappointed in Chops and Giovanni's. Chops was the most disappointed. For appetizers, I had the scallops and my husband had the bacon. My scallops were cooked perfectly but were overwhelmed by the onion flavor on top and my husband's bacon tasted like a fatty piece of pastrami. We both ordered the filet and I wanted Bernaise sauce - the waitress aid it comes out with 4 sauces to choose. It comes out with a heavy au jus sauce that makes the other sauces not worth having. Mine was cooked medium rate but had little taste and my husband had to send his back. Definitely disappointing. We ate at Giovanni's and it was a touch above Chop's but not by much. Sorry to say, but I have had better meals at Olive Garden. The service was outstanding. On our last night at sea, we ate at Izumi which was the best out of the 3 but we each had the hot rock experience and cooked our own food. We did enjoy Rita's Cantina which we paid $6.50 to have fajitas. We ate there 3 times. We ate the rest of the meals in the Windjammer. We like the cooked to order eggs, the rolls, and the desserts but did not finding anything that was outstanding. POOL TABLE They had 2 beautiful pool tables but no chalk the whole time. SERENITY POOL Supposed to be heated but it was cold. It is not Royal Caribbean's fault what happened, but, they had very poor communication and offered a $200 obc the second to last night which did not really make up for all of the troubles. My husband said he may go one another Royal Caribbean cruise but it would take a lot of convincing for me. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Our last cruise with RCI was 5 years ago and since then we've done another 8 with Celebrity. We thought we would try RCI again as the itinerary was new to us. Our first impressions were that this is quite an old ship and the decor is ... Read More
Our last cruise with RCI was 5 years ago and since then we've done another 8 with Celebrity. We thought we would try RCI again as the itinerary was new to us. Our first impressions were that this is quite an old ship and the decor is a little old fashioned. Our cabin , 9520, was the smallest balcony cabin we have ever had, including others on P&O and Cunard. Our biggest gripe was that neither of our two suitcases would fit under the bed despite the fact that they fit the standard airline size and we have never experienced this before. Because the cabin is so small the tiny sofa is very close to the bed which in turn is close to the balcony door so it is impossible to push a suitcase underneath. We ended up with one on the floor of the wardrobe and one just standing in the cabin in the way all the time. It was a good job the cruise was only for 7 nights as all our clothes then had to squeeze into one side of the wardrobe. Despite this our stateroom attendant kept the cabin pristine and forgot nothing. Our Elite status with Celebrity gave us Diamond status and the Diamond lounge was great. I would even say it was better than the Sky lounge on Celebrity. We ate in the main dining room on 4 nights and the food was really quite good. We bought the 3 night dining package and would rate Giovanni's as the best. We thought Chops Grille was good but the deserts were poor. Izumi is really not worth the bother. We had the $5 cover charge and $20 credit each covered by the package but it was not worth the money. We had a problem finding information on how to get our free internet minutes and were given wrong information by Guest services and we ended up being charged over $20 for our first session and even after complaining and getting the free minutes the charge was still on our bill at the end. RCI really need to up their game on this as the staff are not being properly trained. Key West and Nassau were okay and Coco Cay was cancelled because it was a bit windy so not impressed with having all those sea days. Embarkation and disembarkation were the best we have ever had. No wait at all even though they warned that sequestration could lead to delays there were one. Would we use RCI again ? I doubt it. Unless we were sure the ship was better I think we will stick with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
To start I should tell you that this is my sixth voyage on a commercial cruise liner in my 46 year life. I have been on Princess, Carnival and one other RCI cruise besides this one and so far the serenade of the seas is my "happy ... Read More
To start I should tell you that this is my sixth voyage on a commercial cruise liner in my 46 year life. I have been on Princess, Carnival and one other RCI cruise besides this one and so far the serenade of the seas is my "happy medium" sized ship that shines in so many ways. To start the size if the decks and the layout of the public areas is so easy to navigate it had to have been engineered that way so people could enjoy all areas with out walking up and down stairs constantly to get to the front to the back of the ship. The drinks stations are strategically placed so you're never very far from the free drinks no matter where you are located. My favorite place to be on the ship was in the solarium pool area free from kids and rowdy music. The air conditioned atmosphere and heated pool is perfect on most days rain or shine. Another positive on the serenade was the excellent food. I would say it was even tastier than the las RCI we took in the Mediterranean sea. The chefs sure have the food figured out. Even the Park ave. grill was delicious if you didn't feel like buffet or getting dressed for the dining room. All in all I can recommend this cruise ship with 100% confidence. In fact I a, already planning to take another trip on it next year. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Our cruise had electrical issues in the engine on the last night, and we are 3 hours late into New Orleans, so I figured that I would take the time to write a cruise review while it is fresh in my mind. The ship itself is probably one of ... Read More
Our cruise had electrical issues in the engine on the last night, and we are 3 hours late into New Orleans, so I figured that I would take the time to write a cruise review while it is fresh in my mind. The ship itself is probably one of the prettiest we have seen. The shape is interesting, with the glass elevators protruding. The room was small, especially the shower, but there was plenty of storage. Our cabin steward was terrific, and we had towel animals left most evenings. The bed was comfortable. The best feature of the ship IMO was the Solarium. It was especially nice to enjoy during the cooler weather. However, it was very busy. The food was excellent. We are not picky, and could always find something fun and new to try. We started trying more than one of the appetizers later in the week. There was lobster tail and shrimp on the second formal night (Day 6). My very favorite food was, strangely enough, the rolls with the pumpkin seeds on top. Our asst. waiter learned quickly to bring extra pumpkin seed rolls for our table, as everyone loved them. We tried Chops and Rita’s Cantina as well as the MDR. They were both good. I had low expectations for Rita’s, after reading such negative comments. We just got quesadillas $3.50, guacamole and chips $~3, and margaritas. I thought it was definitely better than Taco Bell, as some commented. Not excellent, but good. The chips were fresh, but not warm. It was a fun change. Chops costs $30/person extra. We went there because it was a perk from our TA. The steak was good, green beans even better, and the mudslide yummy. The best dessert, however, in my opinion, was in the MDR on the last evening (Portobello menu). It was a walnut tart. It was candied walnuts in a flaky crust with a smidgen of vanilla ice cream. Too bad it wasn’t served warm, but it was excellent as it was. My other favorite thing, foodwise, was the Tutti Frutti salad bar in the MDR at lunch. The salad bar has so many options to choose from, many that I wouldn’t pay for myself (prosciutto, shrimp, olives, roasted peppers, many cheeses, etc.) The shows- we saw all of the main shows, and appreciated each of them. The comedians were especially good. We also liked to listen to the different musicians. My favorite was the guitar player. However, he was not playing the last two days, so he may have left the ship. There was one band, called Island something, that was not nearly up to par with the other musicians on board. There are two aerial shows in the centrum. They are short, and you have to get there early to get a good seat. The first one is best seen from decks 4-6. The second can be seen from higher decks also. If you find a chair, make sure that you can see the upper part of the atrium from where you are sitting. Toby, the cruise director was good. There were slide shows with funny pictures before each main show. Another evening they showed a film of behind the scenes with the dancers-very interesting. There was a nice variety of offerings from dance classes to karaoke, belly flop contest, love and marriage, etc. If you are planning a cruise on Serenade of the Seas and like to dress for the theme nights, they had 70’s, country & western, The weather was beautiful for the most part, and we loved Coco Cay! The hammocks are wonderful! Would love to bottle a couple of hours there and save it for a week or so after we get back home! The snorkeling was decent on Coco Cay, but you have to swim out to find the reef. I saw 3 huge stingrays and a lot of ship. The coral itself was not that great. An observation that we made on this trip that I haven’t seen commented on before was the age of the passengers. This ship does not have some of the options that the bigger ships offer for children. There were very few children onboard. This was a plus from my perspective. Many older people, more on par with Holland America. Just an observation, not sure if it’s usually like this or more this particular sailing. Overall it was a great cruise. Everyone in our group agreed that they would sail on the Serenade of the Seas again.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
You can never blame the cruise line for the weather. That being said I will probably not sail out of New Orleans again. We have always sailed out of Florida ports and Florida is always warm...even in February. But New Orleans was cold ... Read More
You can never blame the cruise line for the weather. That being said I will probably not sail out of New Orleans again. We have always sailed out of Florida ports and Florida is always warm...even in February. But New Orleans was cold and drizzly. Just yucky. We were in NOLA 2 days before to take in some sites and enjoy the local flavor. It is a great fun and historic city, I would have enjoyed it more if it was warmer. But like I said, no one's fault. We arrived at port around noon and were on the boat by 12:15. They had an awful lot of stations to get you processed quickly. I counted roughly 35 attendants. The boat is beautiful. We were on the Independence a few years ago and they are both very similar. It was shorts weather the day we left though. I was anxious for the boat to get moving to a warmer climate. The itinerary called for 2 days at sea, 3 days in port and 1 day at sea going back to New Orleans. Sunday, the first day at sea, it was a bit warmer, but the winds on the pool deck were ferocious and I probably got more windburn than sunburn. The weather didnt really start to warm up until Monday though, the 2nd day at sea. Once we got to the Caribbean the weather was wonderful. The 3 ports are all fine and I think what you do while in port is a matter of personal preference. The first port was Falmouth Jamacia and it really is a nice little port, but it appears to be new and there was a lot of contruction still going on. And the area just outside the port is non-exisitent, so you really needed transportation to get around if you wanted to leave the little port area. Grand Cayman is an awesome port and so is Cozumel. The thing with Cozumel though is that they have a few different cruise terminals and it seems as though the Disney ships get the better terminal. Punta Langosta. Thats really where you want to be when you go to Cozumel. I had to take a taxi to get there from the International Pier. Regarding the ship and the food and the service. The service on the ship is awesome, you cannot complain about that. But the food. We didnt go to any of the specialty restaurants. We ate in the main dining room every night. The food is good. Not great, not memorable, not stupendous. The idea of going on a cruise to get amazing food is long gone I think. UNLESS! UNLESS you want to pay the extra money and go to a specialty restaurant. There was a time when you could go on a cruise and every dinner would be the top quality amazing memorable meal that now you can only get if you pay for dinner. That saddens me quite a bit. And I get it too....I mean how can they justify giving the same amazing meal to the ones that are paying extra in the specialty restaurants to the people who are not paying in the main dining room. So the food in the dining room while it is certainly better than any meal i might cook for myself at home is not amazing and memorable like you want oon a cruise. None of it. The last cruise I took that had amazing memorable food was on the Disney Magic in 2003. Since then if you want a memorable meal, you should plan to pay extra and go to one onf the specialty restaurants on board. One more note about food, and I made a point of talking about this in my review about the Independence of the Seas. The juice they serve in the morning at the Windjammer should not be called juice. In fact it should not even be consumed by anyone. It is truly horrid and not only is it different every day, it is different from glass to glass. If you grab 3 glasses of OJ from the serving area in the Windjammer each one will taste differently and all 3 should be thrown away. They give you these horrible juices because if you want something really good, you have to pay $3.95 per glass to get it....I didnt do that, but I would bet it would be real good if I did. We lost pool day on the last at sea day because it was so cold as we sailed back to New Orleans. No one was at the pool. No one. Not a soul, when usually on an at sea day you cant get a chair by the pool. It was in the 50s. and in New Orleans when we got back is was 48°. So like others who also reviewed this cruise, it was okay. Nothing great. We may also try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Have just returned from a great cruise-Left from the Port of New Orleans and embarkation was a breeze. Have cruised many times in the past and this was by far the easiest and quickest-no waiting-just signed in and off we were to the ship. ... Read More
Have just returned from a great cruise-Left from the Port of New Orleans and embarkation was a breeze. Have cruised many times in the past and this was by far the easiest and quickest-no waiting-just signed in and off we were to the ship. Just slightly disappointed with the room-had an inside cabin which was standard but the drawers had not been wiped out-actually hair inside some of the drawers. Also the carpet did not appear to have been swept. Two pills were left on the floor and purposely left them to see if they would be swept up. They were on the 2nd day of cruise. After that the room was kept very clean. Have to request ice in room or you will not receive it. I have to comment there was a sulphur like odor the entire length of cruise inside and outside of our cabin as we walked down the halls. Was a little disappointed that many on the slots in the casino were not in service the entire length of the cruise. Dinner in main dining room was very good-Windjammer Cafe was OK-nothing outstanding however the pastries in the coffee shop on the Promenade were very tasty! Enjoyed many of the evening shows but the ice show was outstanding! Ports of call were Falmouth, Jamaica(we did not get off the ship), Grand Caymen(7 ships were all in port the same time and shopping in town was a mess-hard to move there were so many people. Last port was Cozumel(did a taxi tour)This was wonderful-about 2 hours and saw a great deal of the island. Last but not least was disembarkation-VERY EASY. This port of New Orleans and RCCL have really done a great job of simplifying what used to be the worst part of cruising. I would definitely recommend this cruiseline and port. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We flew to New Orleans and got there around 1:30 to meet a huge group of people. I didn't like going through 3 rooms of wait lists. Went to eat at Jade and didn't realize there was a better restaurant at the Windjammer just ... Read More
We flew to New Orleans and got there around 1:30 to meet a huge group of people. I didn't like going through 3 rooms of wait lists. Went to eat at Jade and didn't realize there was a better restaurant at the Windjammer just behind it. Hot dogs and greasy chicken was not very good for our first meal. We got a great price on a room on the 3rd floor. It did have a bad odor getting to it in the hallway, but our room was fine. I was worried about noise from the nightclub, but we heard nothing. Toilets and shower worked fine. Carpeting on all floors to cabins needs replaced. Main areas of the ship were very nice and well maintained. I got to thinking at the last minute, that perhaps what we saved, we could get a drink package. The price was $630 for two for the week for wine and beer. Each cabin member had to get the package. It was nice to not have to worry about the money and perhaps we did drink more than we would have normally. The wine was bottom of the barrel cheap. Ironically, the merlot tasted okay, but by the end of the week, my body didn't like it. In hindsight, buying a better glass of wine may have been better. Hubby liked his beer package. Then on the last day of the cruise, I got the norovirus. I was up all night long, and very worried about the double plane ride home. Fortunately that went well, and the $10 extra per flight was worth advanced seating on Southwest. Very weak the next day. Laundry had to wait. The food was adequate. I can't say we had bad food but nothing to write home about. Breakfast on Celebrity's buffet was always an adventure. Very creative every morning! The food was the same every day on RC. Lunches were okay. Lots of salt though, as my face and fingers were swollen from the start. Dinners in the main dining room were okay. Steaks were tough, fish was fine, lobster was small. I guess we just got spoiled on previous cruises, and I know the ships have to cut somewhere with the price of fuel. Now the good: I liked the ship layout, service was good. There was more entertainment aboard ship than Celebrity, which I liked. A crazy mardi gras night dancing to oldies in the Promenade was a lot of fun. We were close to the Seattle coffee shop so that was great. I would have to say it was more of a fun ship. The entertainment musical groups were pretty good. The weather got very hot in Jamaica, cloudy in Grand Cayman, very windy in Cozumel, and down right cold and windy on last sea day. So our weather was not the best, and very little tan for me. We did the river raft in Jamaica which was good, and Passion Island would have been better had it not been so windy. But they did a nice buffet on Passion Island and guacamole & mahi was great. The beach was nice to walk on barefoot. I was disappointed in the little things you got on Celebrity that was missing here: No beach bag, no Q-tips & cotton, no cream rinse, no lotions, no midnight chocolate, no water pitcher. Also, on Celebrity you didn't need to lug your towels all week so you didn't get charged. So, I had to buy a beach bag. I probably shouldn't compare, but being the same parent company, I thought it would be the same. But looking back on our photos, yes, we did have fun. It was a nice getaway, but we spent too much. Sigh, I guess that is to be expected. Bottom line, you should try Celebrity as the captains club points are combined. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We so looked forward to cruising over the New Years. One of the big selling features of this boat was the golf simulator for my husband. Well it was broken. They had no idea when it would be fixed. We absolutley loved our dinner staff! ... Read More
We so looked forward to cruising over the New Years. One of the big selling features of this boat was the golf simulator for my husband. Well it was broken. They had no idea when it would be fixed. We absolutley loved our dinner staff! Carolina, Galen, Custudio and Rohan. Top notch! Sincerely lovely people. My husband bought the alcohol package and was frustrated because he couldn't get the same drinks at different bars. They didn't know how to make them, or didn't have the right ingredients. My kids loved the Windjammer. The guy doing the "sanitize sanitize" dance was a little too much for me before my coffee, but an effective addition to ensure that extra layer of contamination safety. So Id rather he keep up his good work. There were some big issues with language barrier, which suprised me because Id think most of the workers would know just a little English. Our excursions were wonderful! In all honesty I think some of our disappointments were our travel agents fault. She misrepresented the boat. My kids were expecting the Flo Rida, Zip Lining, and a big outdoor screen. She also did not give us accurate info about the general weather in New Orleans which effected the beginning of our trip in a huge way. I honestly felt like I had to really seek out the kids programs, and pry for information. My kids request Carnival next time. The Navigator could clearly use a little sprucing up. If I could take our dinner staff with us, I'd agree. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We did RCL's New Year's Trip RT out of New Orleans. We live in the area right now, so we drove to the port. We have left out of 3 other ports including 1 outside the US and this port was the worst the leave out of. It took us a ... Read More
We did RCL's New Year's Trip RT out of New Orleans. We live in the area right now, so we drove to the port. We have left out of 3 other ports including 1 outside the US and this port was the worst the leave out of. It took us a long time to get to the parking lot, we then had to wait in a very long line (even as Gold members), and it took nearly 1.5 hours just to get on the ship. We spoke with other travelers who have experienced other ports and shared the same frustration at embarkation in NOLA. It seemed they had much fewer guest service people checking everyone in, since we sailed thru security rather quickly (once we got to that point!). The ship was decked out in holiday regalia. We absolutely hate the holidays and often try to escape to a non-christian country to avoid the cold, Christmas caroling, and what not. We were pleased that even though the ship was dressed to impress for the holidays, we did not hear any Christmas music and it was toned down the further we got into the cruise. The 3rd night, the main dining room was free of Christmas stuff entirely, and by the end of the trip the only item left visible was the tree in the Promenade. We were so grateful for that!All our days at sea were crappy weather. I know the cruise lines cannot do anything about this. They moved the majority of events from the outside into the inside or cancelled them all together. We never had a lack of something to do onboard, but would have appreciated 1 day sitting by the pool, but alas it was beautiful once we were down in the Caribbean! Our cruise directors were hilarious, personable, and we had a great time on 70's night, NYE party, and a few sail away parties camped out in the outdoor hot tubs watching the sunset. We did go see several of the shows, the Platters brought down the house! Not a dry eye in the place! The juggler was okay, the comedian was mostly funny (we were both sober, so maybe some alcohol helped). Formal nights were fun and orderly. I took 1 of the photography classes while onboard and the staff down there were wonderful. Two of the photographers were very gifted and we bought all the photos these 2 took, with the rest being rather lack luster. We really enjoy the portraits as they are framed fun memories of our adventures. The people onboard were by far the friendliest we have encountered. We met many people from all over the US. I met a fellow photographer onboard and we spent an hour on the pool deck showing me how to work my new fancy camera. We met another couple NYE night in Boleros bar near midnight and had great conversation, laughs and dancing. The celebrations on the Promenade were fun to be had by all and even though it was insanely crowded and loud, people were still nice and willing. We tolerate the Windjammer when we are too tired or don't want to think about where to round up food. (Isn't the point of a cruise to not think for a week?). Some things in the Windjammer were good, others awful, you just kind of learned what to avoid. The hand santizer guy at the Windjammer won employee of the month for his insane amount of enthusiasm in the morning getting everyone to sanitize their hands. He was awesome to wake up to every morning! We buy the soda package on these cruises and between him and the caffeine, you were moving in the morning! We did eat at Johnny Rockets 1 day for lunch, we didn't need to eat anything till our 8pm dinner and even then we weren't really hungry. Johnny Rockets is so much fun, loud, and food is good for diner food. Love the cheese fries and chocolate milk shakes. I would eat there every day just for those two things, but I would have gained 10 pounds on a weeklong cruise doing that! Lol. We also ate at Chops Grille on NYE night. We had a 6:30pm seating, and the place was empty when we got there with a few couples wandering in by 8pm when we rolled ourselves out of there. Our steaks were good, dessert phenonmenal, and we even got funky hats for NYE celebrations later. Our waitress was nice but not super informative. The very first time we had Chops on an RCL line (Serenade of the Seas in 8/09), we got "the steak talk" from our waiter. They went over the kinds of cuts, how best to cook them, etc. We have not been able to get "the steak talk" since then, and only for that reason would not rate it as the best Chops experience we have had. I would have enjoyed more interaction with our server, the host was very friendly and pleasant and spoke with us several times throughout our meal.Now the main dining room. We had the best waiter we have ever had on any ship, ever. Volcun (seriously, that's his name), was happy, energetic, happy to talk to us, polite, joked with us, and overall just a wonderful person. We never wanted for anything. We were in a back room from the main dining room, which we were initially upset about, but he more than made up for it. After we found out that RCL no longer does the Caribbean dance through the main dining room with the waiters dressed in kitchen accutreman, it didn't matter we were not in the main dining room. Our table only had 1 other couple at it, and they too helped make dinner very enjoyable each evening. We had so much fun talking to them and learning about each other. We made friends with them, and took them to the airport when we disembarked. Again, total blast for the dining room. The food on average was ok. I feel the quality and most certainly the proportions have declined. But if we didn't like something, our waiter quickly brought us something else. We would order different desserts and our waiter would bring us everything on the list just to truly each night since we had an 8 person table with only 4 people at it. I was very unhappy to find out RCL no longer prints the Gratuity Coupons to go into your envelopes on the last night onboard. We have always prepaid gratuities and If we got special attention we would throw some extra cash in there. We always enjoyed passing around the envelopes on the last night, but since we got ho-hum service from everyone except our waiter, he was the only one who got additional cash. I asked the guest services desk if the employees are told who did pre-paid gratuities, and she said no. So we wrote on our envelopes that we did not put cash in "We prepaid your tip and RCL will not print a coupon". So we were rather disappointed at that. Knowing that in the future, we will not prepay our gratuities and do strictly cash for everyone. I don't know if that was RCL's goal or not, but that is what it resulted in.Please DO NOT book excursions through Royal in Grand Cayman. We routinely buy excursions thru the cruise line and pay the higher price largely for the "idiot factor" of not having to think or worry on our trip. Grand cayman is beautiful, civilized, and the port is built to have ample opportunity to get a tour from a vendor there on site or even take a taxi to a local beach w/o a fuss. Our guide here was half an hour late, literally read road signs of local businesses to us for our tour, then rushed us through places to get back on schedule because the boat left at 3pm. Our travel agent warned us against doing a cruise ship sponsored trip and she was totally right. We loved Grand Cayman and cannot wait to go back and "do it right". In Jamaica (our first port day on New Years Day), we signed up to do Dunn River's Falls and Green Grotto Caves. First off, that was a mistake to sign up for 2 very physical activites right after New Years night. We don't drink, but we were still up late and had to be off the ship by 8am for this tour. We were dragging all day. Dunn River's Fall was ok, not sure I would do it again. The perpetual hounding to buy something got very old very quickly. The Green Grotto caves were very neat to see. In Cozumel we chose to go mudding in a dune buggy to the Jade Caverns. Fun, but again not what we expected. We spent a lot of time broken down and only got about 5 minutes at the caverns. They try for these corny photo ops holding an alligator, next to parrots and hawks and the like, but they are far from good photos. Half of them didn't even show up on the screen at the end of the tour anyway. I believe it was termed an X-rails adventure. Bring a bandana, wrap around sunglasses, towel, and a change of clothes. You will get COATED in mud (which is what we wanted). We would do this tour again if given the chance. The facility was nice, the people friendly, and they provided taxis back to the pier (about a 10 minute drive). The pier in cozumel is great for shopping. We went back to the ship, grabbed a quick shower, and went back off to go have lunch at Senor Frogs along the water at the pier. I recommend Senor Frogs! Fun party atmosphere, all their drinks come in tall obnoxious plastic glasses, and the food was really good. I bought a tanzanite ring from Tanzanite International on the pier here, they love to haggle, so never pay the first price they say!After Cozumel we cruised back to New Orleans. We had a wonderful trip even though the weather was awful (cloudy, 70 knot winds on deck, all outdoor activities this day were cancelled including the dodge ball tournament we were looking forward to watching). Next year the ship will be something else and it will go to different ports out of NOLA. We are seriously considering doing another New Years trip out of this city, and would happily return to this port to do more in the future once we are platinum or higher guests because they got on very quickly. The people onboard this cruise were super friendly and we had a great time doing a wide variety of activities! Our room attendant was good, not great, but he did his job. We enjoy inside rooms because they get totally dark, have always been very quiet for us, and we are hardly in the room if we are awake! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
This was the first cruise for my wife and I. After booking the cruise with a local travel agent, we did much research on the boards of Cruise Critic and it was well worth. Embarkation was a snap. From the time we got to the terminal ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my wife and I. After booking the cruise with a local travel agent, we did much research on the boards of Cruise Critic and it was well worth. Embarkation was a snap. From the time we got to the terminal until we got into our room was maybe 20 minutes. Even though it was extremely foggy as we left New Orleans and started down the Mississippi River, we had nothing but fun with some people we met via the Cruise Critic Boards. Dining: I had so many things about the dining from the good to the bad. We never had a bad meal, and we are a couple that eat out quite often at home. Our waiter, Rodrigo (from Chile), was simply the best. Not only did we enjoy our meals with the people from our table, but from the 2 tables next to us as well. We all had a ball. We had breakfast several time in the Windjammer and enjoyed the food, with one exception. The scrambled eggs were too watery. After the second day, I just made the adjustment and had a fresh omelette made,. Wise choice. The Grand Buffet was just spectacular. It is hard to imagine how much work goes into preparing such a sumptuous feast. All public rooms were clean and well kept. This had to be a bit more difficult, since we were cruising during Spring Break and there were many children on the cruise. We occasionally got a whiff of something foul when we went below Deck 4, but it was not constant and was not of consequence. Entertainment: We did not go to every show, but the ones we did go to were top notch. This was only the 2nd cruise for the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers and they were well rehearsed and put on great shows. As I said above this was our first cruise and we always stayed busy. We gambled a little and lost. Who cares!! WE partook in some of the pool games, including me entering the men's belly flop. Not only did I participate, I WON!!!!!!!!! We went to the pool party and the disco party. No matter what we did, we had a great time. Cabin: we had wonderful cabin steward. It seems as if they knew exactly when we would leave our room and they would go in and straighten everything. The towel animals were one of my wife's favorite things. She looked to to getting back to the room late at night to see what animal was on the bed. Service: No where and I mean no where did we have anything but the good service. It didn't matter if it was it the Great Gatsby for breakfast of the Viking Lounge late at night. Someone was always willing and able to serve you. My hat's off to Kevin, the bartender at the Champagne Bar. Prior to dinner each evening, my wife and I would head to there to have drink before dinner. After the first evening, he always had my drink waiting for me and suggested different martinis for my wife. My only complaint of the whole cruise was the wait to get a tender for the Caymans. This process seems to take forever. I think RCCL needs to reevaluate this area. In conclusion, as you can see from above we had a wonderful time and have already booked a 3 night cruise on the Sovereign for November. We are looking towards the future to cruise again on the Grandeur and will definitely book more cruise with Royal Caribbean. It WAS GREAT!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2003
We sailed on the Grandeur on April 26, 2003. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. The Captain and crew could not have been more helpful during this cruise. We had recently, March 9th, sailed on the Conquest so it was easy to make ... Read More
We sailed on the Grandeur on April 26, 2003. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. The Captain and crew could not have been more helpful during this cruise. We had recently, March 9th, sailed on the Conquest so it was easy to make comparisons. While the Conquest is brand new and so huge, we liked the Grandeur better. It is much easier to get around on the RC ships than Carnival. The layout of the ship is much more compatible with getting from place to place. We had smooth sailing the entire week. When we arrived in Key West we were met with thunderstorms. It rained the entire time we were there. I wonder why we were not allowed to stay in port till noon on the day of sailing to make up for the bad weather. It surely does not take two days to come back from Key West to New Orleans. This would have pleased the passengers so much. One comment I would like to make is the purchase of the Romance Package. My husband purchased this without telling me about it. It was a wonderful addition to our cruise. We were greeted in our balcony cabin with appetizers, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries. On the first formal night we again received appetizers and chocolates. On the morning of our choice we were served mimosas, bloody Marys and omelets with caviar, sweet rolls, cheese and fruit, etc. One night we took our formal portrait and were presented with it and a silver commorative frame. This package was well worth the $99 that he paid for it. They never needed to be reminded of what was included. The meals and gifts just automatically arrived at the cabin. I was very impressed. I found Royal C. had more things to do during the day. The meals were excellent and the service can not be beat. The Cruise Critic party was a lot of fun and a first for us. The repeat passengers party was so impressive. Each server wore white gloves and served us champagne. Even though the captain had other obligations, he took the time to speak to the passengers privately over the loud speaker. I think he went out of his way all week to connect with his passengers. As for ports, I think Progresso is a waste of time. And arriving in Key West earlier would be better than spending the entire night there. This was a waste, as far as I can see, except that the crew seems to like it. All in all, our anniversary cruise was a huge success and we can't wait to sail again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2003
April 19, 2003..time to cruise OH YEA! Departed from Dulles at 8:00AM, painless, this airport has all the kinks worked out, best airport around. We flew into New Orleans which is where we sailed from. We took a motorcoach to the dock, ... Read More
April 19, 2003..time to cruise OH YEA! Departed from Dulles at 8:00AM, painless, this airport has all the kinks worked out, best airport around. We flew into New Orleans which is where we sailed from. We took a motorcoach to the dock, checked the bags with a seacap and took off to pick up a couple of forgotten items (hair spray) and get a look at Bourbon Street. I had been to the French Quarter several years ago but my husband had never experienced it. The music was as fabulous as ever. You just cannot beat New Orleans jazz. The smells were hard to take, trash on the sidewalk (stacked up)and plenty of empty alcohol bottles to be stepped over. They need more cleaning crews. Back to the ship to wait with the masses for the "embarkation process." For the amount of people they deal with it moves pretty quickly. It is so great to see and talk to people from all over the country. We got onboard at 3:45 and immediately went to check the cabin and check in with the boss, my mother in law. She worries. We had cabins next to each other with my sister and brother in law on the other side of Mom. It was perfect planning. The cabin was great - 4510, a little too close to the front for my taste but had all the necessities and then some. Loads of drawers and cubbies to keep stuff in. Closet is large to hang all the formal clothes and stack all the shoes. A trick- if you hold up the end of the bed you can slide your suitcase under for storage. Our first day on board was Easter Sunday-at sea, we went to an interfaith service led by Fiona, held in the South Pacific Lounge, it was interesting. This was the only morning we ate in the formal dining room. It was delicious and always nice to be waited on! We spent the day by the pool and exploring the ship. Monday at sea-worked out, try the circuit training class, it is a killer. I was just proud to make it out alive! You have to be on top of things to get a lounge chair by either of the pools.. People get very territorial about their chairs. The outdoor pool had lots of kids, the solarium is for adults only and was very quiet. We hung out at both, depending on the day. How wonderful to have another day to fill with whatever you want to do, and nothing you HAVE to do. No phone, no fax and no boss...life is grand. Tuesday-Grand Cayman-Tendered in, took a long walk, checked out 7 mile beach, bought those cool T-shirts from Del Sol that look black and white and then turn to color in the sun. Of course we got some rum cake..delicious. The water is the most spectacular color, I have never seen anything like it. Wednesday -Cozumel-Docked at 10:00AM, boarded a ferry to LaPlaya Del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula to Xcaret Park. What a phenomenal place. Underground rivers you can float down, turtle ponds, baby turtle ponds, Manatees, snorkeling in the bay and lots more. The only draw back was there just wasn't enough time. We may have seen one quarter of what there was to see. Guess we'll have to go back!! Thursday-Progreso Mexico-Incredible day. We boarded a motorcoach to go to Chichen Itza but as we drove through Progreso they were having a little protest. Something to do with the cab drivers and the cruise ships, there were about 100 people standing in the intersection so we could not get across. The police were there (with their oozis) and then the Mayor came and dispersed the crowd. It made for the beginning of a truly exciting day. They were peaceful and the bus driver was telling us what was going on the whole time. Things got even more interesting when the AC on the bus did not work. People get so grumpy when they start to sweat!!! I felt so bad for our guide and the driver, we finally got the whiners off the bus and kept on going! Best of all, my husband and I climbed the pyramid!! I have a little issue with heights so this did it for me. It is fabulous. You can see for miles. Learning about the Mayan culture was fascinating and they have the best deals on souvenirs outside the ruins. Friday-At sea-oh no, on the way back to the mainland. Spent the day relaxing and believe it or not, signing up for another cruise! Brand new ship-April 2004. Saturday-the dreaded ending to a great trip. An interesting development, customs found some things they did not appreciate in the luggage I guess. (Not ours, of course.) They really do not care to discuss specifics when they can't let anyone off the ship. We got off the ship at 11:20 and our flight was at 12:05. Needless to say, we did not make it. Another tip-book your airline tickets through the cruise ship or get the insurance. We called the Royal Caribbean 800 number and they had us on another flight at 6:00 and it cost us nothing. Our flights were booked through RC. Not too painful, the way I see it,we got another few hours of vacation. The service on board was top notch, we always got excited on our way back to the cabins after dinner to see what towel animal would be waiting for us. The bed was turned down with a different touch every night. Always ice in the ice bucket and coffee at our door every morning on time. The food was good, the chocolate buffet is worth waiting for. Pace yourself if you don't want to waddle off the ship. There seemed to be some issues with the water and strange smells. We bought lots of bottled water in Grand Caymen. Like I said, we had such a great time, we are cruising again, and again and.... Cruisin On- Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was so excited about Royal Caribbean bringing a cruise ship back to New Orleans that I booked 3 cruises for the short time the ship will be here. I want Royal to do well so they will bring a better ship here in the future. On this first ... Read More
I was so excited about Royal Caribbean bringing a cruise ship back to New Orleans that I booked 3 cruises for the short time the ship will be here. I want Royal to do well so they will bring a better ship here in the future. On this first cruise out of New Orleans, I sailed with a friend. If this had been my first cruise on Royal, I would never come back. Fortunately for Royal, this was my 24th cruise with Royal so I know they can do better. Vision of the Seas is a small, 20 year old ship. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the larger, newer ships. But that wasn’t the issue with this cruise. On Day 3 of the cruise, we came back from a shore excursion to see blowers in the hall and a card in the door from the floor supervisor. Our junior suite #8546 was in total disarray with a huge blower in the cabin. A pipe had broken in the wall and flooded the carpet in our cabin. They said they needed us to move to another junior suite on the other side of the ship for one night. They couldn’t move us for the rest of the cruise because someone had booked it and might show up in the next port!!! They would rather inconvenience us than a no show who may or may not show up! So we moved everything we needed to get ready for dinner and to sleep and cancelled our shore excursion for the next day since we needed to move back to our original cabin early in the day in case the mystery guests arrived in Roatan. In turns out we would not have wanted to stay in junior suite 8044 anyway because it was hot and located right under the ping pong tables. We ended up wasting the entire day. A day later, we came back into our cabin to wet carpet again. The floor supervisor claimed it was a different pipe this time. They decided to replace the carpet this time and were supposed to do it while we were at dinner. We came back after dinner to find the suite in total disarray again. Another call to the floor supervisor revealed that the carpet team was so busy cleaning carpets from seasick passengers that they didn’t have time to finish the job in our suite. At this point, we were just done! They eventually replaced the carpet and put the beds back in place. With much back and forth with the guest relations manager, we negotiated for a future cruise credit equal to what we paid for the cruise. At least Royal will get a do over for this disaster. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
The night of 22 January, 2015, the Serenade of the Seas experienced an electrical malfunction and subsequent flooding of 199 cabins. The damage was not repairable in time for our sailing on 24 January. (Later, 119 more cabins were added to ... Read More
The night of 22 January, 2015, the Serenade of the Seas experienced an electrical malfunction and subsequent flooding of 199 cabins. The damage was not repairable in time for our sailing on 24 January. (Later, 119 more cabins were added to the unavailable list.) What we experienced on January 24, 2015 We faced locked doors when we arrived at the New Orleans RCI terminal for a 7 day cruise on the Serenade of the Seas. No official from Royal Caribbean was telling us what was going on. One person who directed car traffic told us to go to Door Three. There we found no chairs, no representative. We found no help. We have been on over fifty cruises. Eleven have been with Royal Caribbean. We arrived before 11:00 AM. We were denied any communication. We waited and waited. There were no chairs, no food, no water, and no help. We were promised help with wheelchairs when we booked our cruise. I have arthritis and so does my husband. My husband also has diabetes. We needed wheel chairs. We needed something to drink. My husband fortunately brought some energy bars. With diabetes you can get into health problems when you do not eat regularly. We got on the ship at 5:30 PM. It took hours before we found out if we were affected by electrical problems. This is not acceptable. We were never shown a complete list of rooms affected. Even when we finally got our Sea Passes; we knew very little about what would happen. All of this left us in a poor, exhausted condition. I never was able to feel less stressed and able to ease my arthritic pain the entire cruise. I know I felt a lot better before we got to the cruise terminal on Saturday where I stood and waited and waited. I also should mention the bathroom facilities were extremely poor. We felt sorry for newly weds and families who traveled to New Orleans to make this cruise. We saw children and other people upset and crying. We would have gladly given up our place to one of these travelers. We are retired and we were making this cruise to rest after the Christmas holidays and to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I gave him a cruise because he loves to sail. His birthday celebration on the ship was not done on the day stated on our booking. Our table guest made our waiter arrange a song and a candle on a small desert. On other RCI we received a small cake or I have arranged for him to get his favorite ice cream. RCI apparently had no plan to deal with the over 800 passengers who were denied boarding. I talked to one couple who were prepared to yield their cabin to one of the displaced couples. They were told they would be charged for cancellation. One of the desk representatives, told a guest the cruise was free. The next day the same statement was made. Later that day a different desk representative told guest the home office was still evaluating the situation. Finally we were told each cabin would get $200.00. We did not. We got $125.00. Was my discomfort any less than guests in other cabins? I saw champagne delivered to many other guests on our deck at 7:30 PM. on the last night. Travel agents usually give their clients this on the first day of the cruise. Was this another benefit for some guests but not all? I like quiet times. Deck 5 should have been the place I could go to read, enjoy the ocean and meditate. There were no chairs out at times you would expect them out. No adjustments were made to enable the guests to have an enjoyable time. The deck had to be washed at a time you would be outside, enjoying the fresh air. On Deck 11 no service was readily available. You had to get up and look for a waiter. I had little purchases on this cruise because they were not readily available. Our Room Stewart Evert was very nice and efficient. When we asked; he did provide. I asked for a room mini bar price list, he provided it. I asked for lotion and he provided it. I asked for Kleenex and he provided it. He kept ice in our room which we really did appreciate. Evert told me only upper decks got lotion. RCI’s decision to remove this from the cabins is a shame since the comfort of guests should always be considered. Guests often get dry skin when they cruise. I have been on cruises delayed by fog causing delays in boarding in Galveston. I thought that was bad because I found myself sitting on a concrete floor. I could not do that this time because I could not get up by myself. My husband has the same problem. RCI blamed the problem on the port. I have been on cruises out of Long Beach where the Noro virus was present on the cruise before ours and the ship had to be disinfected. Departure was delayed for six hours. Food and drink were provided for lunch and buses took us to a variety of restaurants where vouchers were honored for dinner. A plan was in effect. RCI had no plan. We were treated terribly. RCI showed no respect particularly to the children, disabled and elderly passengers. On previous cruises the TV when working showed entertainment on the ship continually. RCI only showed a few programs in English and you had to be lucky enough to find one. The Library was poor, almost non-existent. We always donate our read books or exchange them for others. I saw no plan for this. Breakfast was a disaster. The coffee was not good. I asked for half and half; I received coffee artificial creamer. Again, I asked for real cream - half and half. I got artificial creamer. Even the pitcher labeled half and half in the Windjammer was not HALF AND HALF. I asked for tea. I received no tea pot to brew it. I asked for English Breakfast Tea and I got Tetley Black tea. I had to go to the Windjammer to get tea and bring it back to my cabin. I received cantaloupe on my fruit plate smaller than my little finger and no wider. I did not know that was possible. The breakfast rolls were often the less desirable ones. Misshaped or crushed. One time our breakfast was delivered much earlier than we indicated on our breakfast order. I was awakened by a faint knock on my door. Another time we did not indicate a time and when I called the room service, they were very nice and delivered our breakfast in a short period of time. That was very nice. We appreciated this kindness. We could not get our intercom to work to get announcements. The only time we heard an announcement was by opening our door. One time the Captain came on and began “I have more bad news.” This really frightened me for a few seconds. I felt a disaster was coming. He did say we would not be able to go ashore at Coco Cay because of the windy conditions. We found out other ships could not go there because of windy conditions. RCI knows this and continues to put this as a stop. Perhaps they should only advertise two stops and not three. There is a possibility that RCI knew weather was a factor and we went to Belize instead of the port affected. A survey of previous guests suggests that the Coco Cay sop is not made half the time. The Casino was not staffed with enough waiters. Not once did I have a waiter ask me if I needed something. I am a person who enjoys the slot machines. I was told by one waiter they did not have what I wanted. Since I knew it was available on the ship, I suggested he get someone to go and get it. I did get it eventually. He was very nice and I appreciated that he did go for me. When the casino was not operating it remained open to pass through. I could also go and sit down there. On the last night it was sealed off. I would have to go outside on deck 11 to find a chair. The Deck 5 had chairs out only sometimes. It was also less populated and I felt more secure with people around me so the Deck 11 was where I would have had to go. Instead I went again to my cabin. I understand why the casino was closed and it was announced but I did not expect it to be locked and blocked. I also would have enjoyed a person to explain the messages on the slot machines. I got two tee shirts but believe I could have gotten something else but was to late dining to get back to the casino that last night to ask. I also played a machine that was off centered and I did not know this until the next day when I found the machine very readable. One man from the casino saw me playing the machine and never told me it was off centered. It was the boogie dance by the two steps down by the tables. The Dining Room was hard to get through. We were the last table in the dinning room on the right, against the back wall. Our waiter wasn’t able to get my order correct on several occasions. I missed some courses and other courses were placed before me stacked up in front of me. I was rushed. We took no longer than other passengers. Our assistant waiter was good in his job and rally tried to please us. He tried to anticipate our needs. The wine steward never came to our table. We had to ask for a wine list every night. One time we were asked if we wanted the same wine. My husband and I enjoy wine and felt we were not given the time we wanted or needed to make decisions. As a result, we drank less wine than we usually do. Unfortunately we were not able to experience this joy on this cruise. This became less attractive to me and others at our table. One lady said nothing appealed to her that night. Our dinning experience was not as good as it has been on other RCI cruises. I a can remember in l999 the delightful salad dressings RCI developed and a recipe book published. I experienced this on a cruise to Alaska. At our first lunch in the dinning room, our waitress thought we wanted a 30 minute lunch. This is not my idea of dinning on a cruise. I felt as if it were on a fast lunch break from work. The Loyalty Advantages were not easy to be used. Our waiter told us he had to go someplace else to get the two for one wine and we only managed to use the 10% discount on wine once. We were surprised this could not be automatically dome by the Serenade computer system. A flyer in or cabin said all discounts were on the Sea Pass. One night I had steak and it was delicious. Two nights after the steak was full of ligaments, hard fat and was uneatable. I was also served cold onion soup once. The ice cream which is usually delicious was full of ice chunks. Our waiter never knew what ice cream was available. He always thought we would not order it. Our desserts were mostly chiffon like and not particularly good. They were pretty. As a person who enjoys good food, I thought they were poor. Even in the Windjammer my husband went to get me apple pie (a special treat at the entrance) and it was gone. As I waited in line, the servers told us to get dessert first but I thought they were kidding. They were not. The RCI previous passenger loyalty party at 10:30 AM was unusual. I do not drink much wine, champagne, or alcohol at 10:30 AM. I can see this cut RCI’s budget because many people are like me and much less alcohol would be consumed. An afternoon party or cocktail party would have been much better. I wonder if RCI really showed appreciation to as many loyalty members as possible. We did not attend. We did get feedback from others and it was not positive. Usually you are offered champagne or a mimosa upon entering the ship. There was nothing. One glass half filled with champagne on the first night was not enough. It is too bad RCI did not have a band come out to the waiting room before we got our Sea Passes to help elevate the mood. A glass of wine or champagne or a soft drink would have help smooth a lot of ruffled feathers. It would have shown good faith. Where were the officers? No one in authority was to be found that day. Even the guest relations table was left unmanned. We had one RCI staff member low on the totem pole shouting at us to behave and wait until a list would come out. I never did see a second list and therefore did not know if we were getting on the ship. One couple was told they already checked in and, of course, they were not. The RCI person did not know what to do. Another family had one room given away and one not. The Cruise Director was personable. He was able to get out of everyone a good laugh or and enjoyable experience. He had 3 assistants to do all that work when the ship usually has 5. Cutbacks that affect passengers negatively should be reevaluated. If a change is made in a venue, someone should always be there to direct you to the revised place. Trivia was moved more than once and we did not know where. Once it was announced but my husband was not where he heard the announcement. Our cabin had to have the hall door open to hear the announcements. RCI did not have experts or the same kind of lecturers in enrichment lectures. It looks like RCI put their own personnel on to give abbreviated lectures. We loved the enrichment lectures. We did appreciate the Compass daily program. It was delivered in a timely manner. I did not see the revised editions that were promised on at least one occasion. Again I think the entertainment should have been better. I know RCI added two more performers after the catastrophe but they were still single acts more like a lounge show. Smaller ships have better entertainment and better lecturers than this cruise had. I am aware the theatre was not usable in the first part of the cruise but I still think alternative plans still should have been in place if needed. There were more foreign movies than English ones. Yes I know you have many nationalities but more English films should have been provided in a New Orleans departure city. Movies in the theatre were limited. You only had a few. We purchased a tour from RCI representative. We asked her several times if this train were the tour train. She assured us it was. It was not. We had to walk over a block in downtown Key West to get to the correct train. We were last to get the train and I had to sit backwards. I missed half of the sights. The walk back to the tram to the ship was not as bad. Our departure was not smooth. We were directed by guest services the night before to go to the Safari Lounge. The Compass had the Reflection Dinning Room. People in the Safari Lounge told us to go to Deck 4 to get a wheel chair. We finally got there but should have been with the loyalty passengers. The man there did get us a chair after a 30 minute wait. He was very nice and helpful.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We have taken 8 cruises out of New Orleans,4 of them on Royal Carribean,we got there a little early,checked our luggage,parked our car.We stopped and talked to a family that were just getting off of the ship,they had sailed the previous ... Read More
We have taken 8 cruises out of New Orleans,4 of them on Royal Carribean,we got there a little early,checked our luggage,parked our car.We stopped and talked to a family that were just getting off of the ship,they had sailed the previous week. They told us there had been a rain storm,that had shorted out some wiring,that had started a fire and set off the sprinklers from the front of the ship ,top to bottom.Of course,you never know how accurate this info is,because no one on any of these ships will ever give you a straight answer. We started getting recorded messages on our phone to delay embarkation first to 12pm,then 1pm,3pm,there was a list of staterooms that had been cut,we were not on the 1st list,about 4pm the list was revised,our cabin was not on that list either.There were people standing everywhere,a lot of them with luggage,people in wheelchairs. What a MESS!!! The idiots at the port II guess they worked for RC,They treated all of us like we were inmates at a prison,waiting for transport.We were finally able to board around 5pm,we waited in long lines and walked past a room full of people,whose cruise had been canceled,they were waiting to find out there fate. We did not sail until 12 pm the next day. We were told that they had worked on the mechanical breakdown for 36 hours.The crew never stopped patting themselves on the back,the entire cruise.No one ever mentioned the hardship the passengers endured. The fitness room was not open for 2 days,The main stage was not open for 2 days,We were not able to go to Coco Cay,due to rough water, this by the way happens a lot,we were told & was the only reason we booked this particular cruise.The stop at Key West was rearranged and cut short. The Ship is very nice,the food was good,the entertainment is good,the casino was tight,I liked the Captain,inspite of it all. This was our 22nd cruise,and it has changed my entire attitude about cruising. You think these people have your back,they don't They put thousands of people out on the ocean,and when something goes wrong,you are on your own. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
The customer service (or lack thereof) was horrendous! Staff members were rude and at any question would say "that's not my job, go find someone else". The was a total lack of accountability. I got the third degree when ... Read More
The customer service (or lack thereof) was horrendous! Staff members were rude and at any question would say "that's not my job, go find someone else". The was a total lack of accountability. I got the third degree when ordering room service and the woman questioned me on who it was for and how many people. What does it matter?? My son was quarantined for a day for getting sea sick and the medical staff were rude and angry. They must keep these people on board for too long because they all seemed to hate their jobs. The primary reason we went on this ship was for the kiddie pool. Don't be fooled!! The slide is only open for 4 hours a day and there was a mushroom growing out of the pool edge when we went. The food was sub par. Not much variety at the Wind Jammer and the dining room food was hit or miss. To top it all off our power went out completely on our second to last day and stayed that way until we got off. No power, no lights, no AC: horrible! And not one word of apology from Royal Caribbean. I have sailed on other cruise lines and will never go back to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
I could go into a lot of detail, but that would be a book.  Bottom line is, their web site is horrible, caused me to lose our stateroom, ended up paying $300 more per person just to go on this cruise. My time dining still requires a ... Read More
I could go into a lot of detail, but that would be a book.  Bottom line is, their web site is horrible, caused me to lose our stateroom, ended up paying $300 more per person just to go on this cruise. My time dining still requires a reservation, why bother if I still have to make a reservation, not something I want to have to worry about when I am on vacation. Good steak and lobster.....EXTRA....like almost everything else with this cruise line. Way too may up sells, to get anything other than bland cold food, you have to pay more. The entire cruise seemed focused on the guests spending a lot more money, not on whether we have a fun relaxing time. Just not the great time I was expecting, and that I got on previous cruises with other cruise lines. Our "large ocean view stateroom" had a large porthole type window, which you could only see straight out, nothing to the sides at all. The tv was at small at best, maybe 19 inch, old, terrible picture. Bed was two twins pushed together (which I know is typical) but on our other cruises, it felt like a high quality king bed, on this cruise it felt like a cheap set of twins, pushed together. My husband or I one would get caught in the seam every night. Cabin staff was great, Windjammer staff was great, main dining staff was very rude. Most of the staff at the shoppes were very helpful. Cruise director was less than entertaining, as were most of the activities and shows. The Centrum aerial show was amazing as was the final night show. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our 7th Cruise with Royal Caribbean. I have never left a review before as it's just not my thing. First, let me say our previous 6 cruises with RCI have been great. However, I just couldn't let our recent experience on ... Read More
This was our 7th Cruise with Royal Caribbean. I have never left a review before as it's just not my thing. First, let me say our previous 6 cruises with RCI have been great. However, I just couldn't let our recent experience on Serenade of the Seas pass without a review. Short and sweet of it..... SERENADE OF THIS SEAS has endless PROBLEMS! We could have overlooked the lack of activities and terrible shows along with the rude ship staff. But when the FOOD IS TERRIBLE it is impossible to make the best of it and rack it up to just a bad week. However we we did a 9 day with a consecutive 7 day Christmas cruise back-to-back on this ship, and .... We couldn't get off this ship fast enough! Even the staff told us this ship had problems, so this review should not be a surprise to Royal Caribbean. It's hard to find a fault with a cruise, as its a cruise for goodness sake - make the best of it, right? Well, we failed miserably at trying to make the best of this debacle of a ship. I guess it helped by us overhearing many, many, many other cruisers during our 16 days on board complaining about the bad quality of food, shows, and activities in that we new we not alone and big complainers. Wow, did I just have the put that in a review for a cruise? Long complaint short - Choose a different Royal Caribbean ship for your next cruise other than Serenade of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
My husband and I were first time cruisers with Royal Caribbean. We were truly looking forward to cruising with Royal Caribbean. We were scheduled to depart New Orleans on April 23, 2005, at 6:pm. for a 7-day cruise to Grand Cayman, ... Read More
My husband and I were first time cruisers with Royal Caribbean. We were truly looking forward to cruising with Royal Caribbean. We were scheduled to depart New Orleans on April 23, 2005, at 6:pm. for a 7-day cruise to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. Our cruise with the Grandeur of the Seas did not leave New Orleans port until 8:30pm on April 25, 2005, due to the Grandeur of Seas docking accident in Costa Maya. Because of this docking accident, our cruise was cut short by one port and two days. We were told that our ports of calls would be Key West and Cozumel. Why did we have to pay port charges for three ports when we only visited two? Also, due to the scheduling conflict, we were only allowed a short time in Key West (9am to 2pm - which actually turned into 10am to 1:30pm. We had such a short stay in Key West that we were unable to see many of the sights that Key West had to offer, not to mention that we didn't get the opportunity to visit the well-known "Mallory Dock" festivities. The day that Royal Caribbean promised us in Cozumel was fine, except that because of scheduling conflicts, we had to be tendered "like cattle" onto the island - really overstuffing the "poor little tender" to full capacity that there was no place to move. In fact, we were stuck on the tender on our return to the ship due to some kind of problem the Grandeur of the Seas had with their anchor. The tender kept going around the ship in a circle getting close to the side only periodically and then would pull away and proceed to circle the ship again. We stayed onboard the tender for approximately 2-1/2 hours waiting to board the ship. The next morning, at 9:15am we were awakened by the Captain of the Grandeur of the Seas apologizing over the PA system for the inconvenience we had experienced the night before. What we experienced with Royal Caribbean: 1) We were originally booked on the cruise that was to depart on April 30, 2005 for the Western Caribbean. Shortly thereafter, we were told that the ports of call had been changed and the Grandeur of the Seas was scheduled for "Repositioning" and would be touring the Eastern Caribbean and its final destination would be Puerto Rico. To compensate us for the inconvenience of rescheduling, Royal Caribbean informed our travel agency that we would receive $100 per stateroom shipboard credit. To date, we still have not received that credit. 2) We lost 28.57% of our cruise, yet we paid the full fare. Yes, we know we were offered a total refund (minus the $100 stateroom credit mentioned in #1). Royal Caribbean had that take it or leave it attitude. Canceling might have worked for some of the passengers, especially for those out of town, but for my husband, this was his one shot at vacation. Due to work constraints, rescheduling his vacation would not be received well by his boss and his clients. 3) Because of the docking accident and departure delay, we were given a $300 per cabin Guest Satisfaction shipboard credit and were told it was a "use or lose" credit. So, in order not to lose the shipboard credit, my husband and I decided to use the credit to upgrade to a balcony. We arrived early (1:30pm), and after boarding the ship we proceeded to wait in an extremely long line at the Purser's/Guest Relations desk to see if we could upgrade to a balcony. After trying to communicate with a clerk at the Purser's desk who didn't speak English very well, we did upgrade for $200 to a balcony. We arrived in the room and the room was hot and the covers for the air conditioning vents were on the floor. We called the Purser's desk and they sent a repairman. The repairman said they had problems from the previous cruise and were trying to fix the problem. We then went back to the Purser's desk and told them of our concern and after a long wait we were moved to another cabin with a balcony. When we arrived and were finally settling in and checking out our cabin, I found a black pair of women's worn panties stuffed in one of the cabinets. This was rather disgusting. I proceeded to remove the panties with a hand towel and placed them in the hall and informed one of the Stewards that I saw in the hall of the incident. The time was now 7:30pm. We were concerned about our luggage but were assured by our Room Steward and the Purser that our luggage would be delivered to our new room. At 11:pm we went to our cabin, no luggage. We went searching for our luggage and found them placed outside our original cabin door. With no one in sight to help us, we moved our bags on our own. We also did not receive our initiation to the "Meet and Mingle" which we were told by the Purser's desk that - any mail that was sent to our original room would be forwarded to our new room. I would like Royal Caribbean to explain: why the previous week's cruise received such "royal" treatment for their troubles and we were treated like "take it or leave it": They received 2 more days onboard the ship (free) - or you might say on us., 2 days of complimentary liquor or soft drinks., 2 days free internet., 2 more days in Costa Maya with paid shore excursions., and $250 shipboard credit, plus a choice to fly home instead of staying in Costa Maya. For us, there were no slot tournaments because it wasn't a 7-day cruise - what difference did that make? We were bored on Tuesday (it was raining) and we were looking for something to do. Finally, the last day onboard - after we had passed out all of our gratuity vouchers the night before, our breakfast server was extremely rude or maybe tired. My husband got up from his seat to get the table some coffee - because after sitting there patiently for our server (any server) we finally all decided to do it for ourselves. When our server finally showed up, she seemed extremely upset with us and was rude in accepting our breakfast request - we were told we could only get one type of omelet - and that was it - ham and cheese or plain eggs. No rolls, breads, pastries, etc. were offered to our table. I don't mean to be petty, but these things should be a given not a request - especially since we paid for 7 days of food and only received 5. So there you go, that's my experience with Royal Caribbean. I would like to plan another cruise to Hawaii and one to Alaska within the next two years. Can anyone give me one good reason I should plan to book these cruises with Royal Caribbean? Sincerely and thanks for caring. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
My wife and I were part of the cruise that started from hell and went down. Our ship was delayed over 2 days from arriving in port(accident at sea) and we waited for 48 hours before anyone with the company could give us a day and time of ... Read More
My wife and I were part of the cruise that started from hell and went down. Our ship was delayed over 2 days from arriving in port(accident at sea) and we waited for 48 hours before anyone with the company could give us a day and time of departure. The time to embark went quick but only because we had to pre-board at the Hyatt on Sunday afternoon. Once we were in the building it took less than 5 minutes to get on the ship. Now the fun starts, due to some cancelations we knew we could upgrade from a outside cabin to a balcony(just ask as in past cruises). Nope, they wanted to charge us $200 or essentially take back some of the ship board credit they gave us for the up front disaster. CLASS-LESS. the food and service was excellent. To say the least, we were surprised as to this point everything was going down the toilet fast. The entertainment was good not great but the CD was the best I've seen in my years of cruising Our ports of call were messed up and we went to Key West and Cozumel rather than Grand Caymans and Costa Maya. Once again a disaster, in Cozumel we had to tender in and that was awful. It took 1 hour in line to travel less than 150 yards. Due to us arriving at an unscheduled time the pier was full and the tenders were used by local merchants who allowed their vendors to come on board and peddle their crap. CLASSLESS. Key West was fair to poor(rained the entire 5 hours we were there) The Captain would of been better off going south at sea and got us in an additional day of sun. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. Royal Caribbean as yet to answer a 12 day e-mail or a letter trying to get me a refund. This was my 6th cruise with them and by far the biggest rip-off I've ever had. Future travelers with RC need to be aware that issued like mind are nightmares and If given the chance in the future, you need to cancel if a ship has a delay or change in itinerary. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our original cruise itinerary was changed via Royal Caribbean cuz they decided to take our boat out of service for maintenance. Left with no choice due to the dates we had locked in we were forced to pick this boat. The crew and staff ... Read More
Our original cruise itinerary was changed via Royal Caribbean cuz they decided to take our boat out of service for maintenance. Left with no choice due to the dates we had locked in we were forced to pick this boat. The crew and staff were beyond great!! BUT the boat needs to be gutted and completely overhauled. Its old and stinky. Everything smelled like pee. The boat only has 2 bars inside and both of them had "entertainment" after dinner. A piano in the schooner bar that played boring lounge music. It was so dull and dreary the place felt like a funeral. The centrum had the R bar with a live band that played the same dull and boring music. The musicians looked like they wanted to throw themselves off the ship. You know its bad when the only good music you can find to dance to is during karaoke and most of the singers are horrible. I'm 43 yrs old. I don't want to have to wait till 11 to go to the club to dance. i want live upbeat music all the time. Royal Caribbean needs to change their music and entertainment on the boat. Get with the times its not 1940 anymore!!!! After 7 nights i couldn't wait to get end the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This cruise was a severe disappointment. The ship itself is ill designed, with no place that is peaceful or quiet. The food in Aquarius ran from mediocre most of the time to a few nearly inedible desserts. Trying Izumi for a change just ... Read More
This cruise was a severe disappointment. The ship itself is ill designed, with no place that is peaceful or quiet. The food in Aquarius ran from mediocre most of the time to a few nearly inedible desserts. Trying Izumi for a change just netted us mediocre sushi at top tier prices. The entertainment in the Masquerade theatre was clearly going through the motions for the paycheck. Further since construction ( done by them on their own island) wasn’t finished in time for cruise season our ‘Bahamas’ cruise consisted of one stop in Nassau ( which left at 3:30 in the afternoon) and substituted a half planned stop in Miami, which only had 4 shore excursions available at all, one of which was cancelled the night before we got there. All in all Royal Caribbean made it very clear that once they had your money they didn’t care at all if you were happy or not, I will not be cruising with them again Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the port of departure, New Orleans, and ports of call. New Orleans is always a great city to enjoy and explore before or after a cruise. We had sailed on her four years before and were pleased. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the port of departure, New Orleans, and ports of call. New Orleans is always a great city to enjoy and explore before or after a cruise. We had sailed on her four years before and were pleased. The embarkation/self assist disembarkation was smooth and organized. We did not view any live entertainment since theater shows are not our first choice. We were very disappointed in the lack of movies, but those viewed were to our liking. Our interior cabin was clean. We were disappointed that we were unable to have a kettle in our room. We have Diamond status and have always been able to have a kettle for hot water in our room. The biggest disappointment was the food. We enjoy the self service in the buffet due to the large number of choices for vegan and ethnic choices. Basically, this was nonexistent on this cruise, no variety, no spice. I know we could have asked for special treatment and meals, but I would rather others enjoy a variety also. In fact, many people I heard also were discussing the lack of this feature. I would go on this cruise again if they departed from New Orleans, but not on the Vision of the Seas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign. The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, ... Read More
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign. The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, the carpet... It all just seems styled in the 90s. Even though I'm sure the vision has had a refit since. I'm not a huge participant in cruise activities, and I'm not complaining about that, it just struck me as mediocre. The food was ok, not amazing. The bars were stocked with decent top shelf spirits, not the best. The service was ok to poor until we started hanging out with a diamond member. Then it got better. Over all, I had a good time, but it's not what I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. It just seemed to be the bare minimum required. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The boat was smaller and much older than expected, ceiling ripped around the pool sitting area, can lights falling out in the dining room, most windows in the adult pool area are all corroded with salt buildup and rusted shut. Older carpet ... Read More
The boat was smaller and much older than expected, ceiling ripped around the pool sitting area, can lights falling out in the dining room, most windows in the adult pool area are all corroded with salt buildup and rusted shut. Older carpet and furniture in staterooms in need of a refresh. We had metal bits poking through our carpet. The Casino located inside the boat's interior allows smoking but does not have sufficient ventilation, resulting in most of the surrounding common areas and stateroom hallways smelling quite smoky. The volume of band music was uncomfortably loud in both the main pool area and also in the lobby of the ships open central area located near the Concierge desks. Such that every time we went to speak to the Concierge to book an excursion, dinner, talk to Next Cruise, or the Loyalty Ambassador, the overly loud volume was obnoxious and very difficult to hear what employees at their desks were saying. Employees also had difficulty communicating with guests over the high volume as well. Several of the food staff were coughing and sneezing directly on and around the guests and food, including servers at the formal restaurants we went to. Buffet food was okay, however the same items were provided each day with little variety. It seemed like some foods were 'recycled', for example if all the fish fillets were not consumed, the next meal we would see 'fish cakes', that looked like the same fillets chopped up and pressed into a patty and fried. Dining in the main seated dining room was fairly well serviced but most of our food arrived quite cold, soggy and fairly unappetizing. We enjoyed the Chef's Table experience which was by far the best food we had onboard. Embarkation and disembarkation process seemed to be well organized. Given our experience we would not recommend this cruise to friends. Read Less
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