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118 Royal Caribbean Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

Excellent time on the Explorer doing a 7 night run from Seattle and back. We came very close to cancelling this booking based on a series of bad no, scary terrible reviews on here. By happenstance some folks I know had just come back ... Read More
Excellent time on the Explorer doing a 7 night run from Seattle and back. We came very close to cancelling this booking based on a series of bad no, scary terrible reviews on here. By happenstance some folks I know had just come back from a trans-Pacific crossing on this ship, they had nothing but good things to say about it, That soothed our concerns. I found the ship to be very well designed with interesting public areas, easy elevator/stair access, and good traffic flow. The decor is pretty hip and interesting.Embarkation was a breeze, the easiest I've encounter over 6 cruises. Showing up at 2 instead of 12 probably helped make that so. We explored the ship for a bit, had something to eat and went to our cabin to find our luggage already in the room waiting for us. (Thanks Putau!) The ship is interesting enough that 5-6 days in we were still discovering new cool nooks and crannies. We had one night of active seas where we lurched around to the point where the officers closed the outer decks, but the ship's stabilizers did a great job smoothing the ride. No one I spoke with mentioned being sea sick. . We seem to be hot tub /spa people when on a cruise. We found the facilities well up to the task of keeping us warm and well soaked. We appreciated the spa tub, sauna and steam room being open to all guests, as well as the showers and dressing rooms. That alone saved us $500 off a similar Norwegian cruise. We selected the early seating for dinner at a group table. We were seated at a table of 12. This was a mistake we won't make again. A table for 12 is just too much for a random collection of strangers to get know on another and include everybody. I think 6-10 would be a more ideal number. I any event we enjoyed the dining room with the folks we could hear, and we smiled a lot at those we couldn't. Food in the dining room was consistently good to quite good. A few dishes were off the mark, and a couple were excellent (Chicken Kiev), most were just fine. They had reasonable offering for vegetarians, but could probably do a bit more in this regard. The buffet was excellent in terms of variety, taste and presentation. Service everywhere was friendly and attentive. The entertainment was pretty standard, with exception of the ice show "Seasons" which was outstanding and the best show I've seen on a cruise ship. If you have a chance to see it, don't miss it. Juggler Randy Cabral was also very funny and entertaining. As for complaints: the beer selection sucks. But it also sucks on Norwegian, Carnival and Celebrity. They can stock 300 wines and 40 tequilas, but only Bud Light or Heineken on draft. Wake up cruise industry, you're missing out on a fair bit of my money. Also the piano bar guy who probably has a nice singing voice was amped up louder than an AC/DC concert. We wanted to hang out and listen, but I couldn't risk the permanent hearing loss. Disembarkation was smooth and well organized. And sad. This was our first RCL experience and it was a good one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were delighted to be able to drive to a cruise instead of flying several hours and the itinerary was great. Embarkation was the easiest ever in 9 cruises; it was under 30 minutes from the first door to walking onto the Explorer. We ... Read More
We were delighted to be able to drive to a cruise instead of flying several hours and the itinerary was great. Embarkation was the easiest ever in 9 cruises; it was under 30 minutes from the first door to walking onto the Explorer. We parked at Seattle Cruise Parking (the Armory), arriving about 10 a.m. and shuttled to the port within minutes. Lunch was available at the Windjammer buffet and Cafe Promenade on level 5, which combined Starbucks, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and various sandwich and bakery offerings (complimentary). In the morning, there were egg & sausage English muffins, an assortment of pastries, and free coffee (regular but good), teas, and hot chocolate. Chocolate croissants were very popular. A good assortment of cold sandwiches (and cold pizza) later in the day. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on the port side, done in restful blue shades and light cabinetry, very nice and clean. Cabin attendant Henry was wonderful and prompt, even finding us some mattress toppers for their EXTREMELY FIRM MATTRESSES. If I didn't sail Royal again it would be because of the overly-firm mattresses, even with the toppers. A nice round shower with doors, very user-friendly. The dining service was superior (Igusti and Oomkar) but the food items were hit and miss. Salads were good, every soup was meh, the lobster was cooked properly. We also ordered filet mignons twice in the MDR, both times perfect. A satisfactory experience though not outstanding. We loved the ice show, not to miss! If you don't make your assigned time, show up at the open seating at least 20 minutes early (long line). Listened to some of the pub musicians but no comedy or juggling shows. Really enjoyed the quiet areas, including the library. Bring a couple of good books and leave them to build their inventory! We had super friendly, helpful, and professional service throughout the ship, from the MDR to guest services. Only saw one grumpy face and he might have been having a really bad day. Felt like we were treated Royally! We did a jet boat ride in San Francisco and had a good pizza at Pier 39 (free shuttle here from the pier) and wandered Fisherman's Wharf. Will have to go to Chinatown another time; my hip gave out. Also had a ball in Victoria, a gorgeous city. We went to Chinatown on our own and ate there, a good luncheon special at $10.95. Taxis seemed pretty reasonable as well. Also did the Hippo 90-minute ride combining a land tour of the city and an awesome Inner Harbor water tour. Very interesting with great photo ops and able to get off very close to the pier. Beautiful weather for most of the trip: bring some layers for the cooler days but S.F. was 90, NINETY and humid, so we didn't even need jackets out in the bay. The jet boat ride was way fun and got some good shots of the ship from the Oakland side. One of best excursions ever at a nominal cost. We did not travel with children; I was surprised at how many school-age children were aboard but they were quite well behaved and I'm sure that there were some proud parents on our cruise. We'd love to go on a Pacific Coastal again but will probably try Celebrity next time. The beds were a real detriment for me and the dining overall wasn't comparable to Carnival last year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Driving up to the Explorer of the Seas at Smith Cove in Seattle, you see how large this ship is. We arrived at 11:00. Which was perfect timing. Not too busy yet. Check in was smooth and well organized. Cabins were not ready until 1 pm. We ... Read More
Driving up to the Explorer of the Seas at Smith Cove in Seattle, you see how large this ship is. We arrived at 11:00. Which was perfect timing. Not too busy yet. Check in was smooth and well organized. Cabins were not ready until 1 pm. We went to the only restaurant open to us. Except maybe the Café Promenade? Here is where you realize what it means to have 3800 passengers on a ship. There were NO tables available to eat lunch! And it was early. I am sure it got more crowded later. We waited and stalked people like you do in the Costco parking lot trying to park. Finally someone finished eating and we were right there to grab the dirty table. Not a great first impression. The staff in the Windjammer are really good at clearing tables fast though. Sometimes too fast. One morning the gal sitting next to us was eating breakfast and turned to say something to her husband and her plate disappeared! The cabins were all ready by 1 pm. Nice little cabin. I liked the shower. No shower curtain. The loved the color scheme and everything was new looking. The bed turned out to be VERY uncomfortable. My pillows were all lumpy too. So not very good night’s sleep all week. Our cabin steward said they no longer had the egg crates, but would put an extra pad on it for us. We got an Ocean view Cabin on deck 2, by the center of the ship. I thought it would be good in rough seas. We had dinner in the Sapphire dining room. Two other couples were at the table with us. Our waiter was good. Max. Our assistant waiter was nice and did a good job. He told us he was only there a few days and wasn’t happy. He liked working on Holland America better. Dinner was good. We got back to our cabin and the cabin steward had not made up our room for the night! I thought with all the cut backs RCCL has made, that maybe they just did it once a day now? My husband asked the cabin steward, Chris, why was it not done? He said he was just too busy with the luggage to do it. I asked our table mates and they all said their cains were cleaned. So I was not happy. Not happy to not have clean towels to take a shower the next morning. But Chris was excellent the rest of the week. We had some really rough seas that night. Our cabin was so bouncy, I could not get to sleep for two hours after I went to bed. That and the lumpy pillows and hard bed. Astoria. We took the four hour shopping to Seaside and Cannon Beach tour. The school bus they used was very tight fit for adult size people with long legs. The tour guide was great. He was very proud of his town and had a lot of info. about the area and it’s history. Especially about Lewis and Clark. He owned a local business. We had some time in each town. We chose to go to the beach. It was a perfect sunny day. I didn’t want to leave. Cannon Beach is a favorite vacation spot for my husband and I. We went to the bakery in town and got a Ham and Cheese croissant. We had a sea day after Astoria. Nice relaxing day. I love swimming and the main pool was warm and salty. Even though they have two main pools. They always had one netted and only had one open . The highlight of the day was the Seahawks Game being played on the big screen by the pool. My husband got some Nachos from the Windjammer and we watched the game. Seahawks won! Lots of Hawks fans on the ship. San Francisco was HOT! Sunny and highs of 89 and 88. We had a tour that went to the Muir woods and Sausalito. The tour bus was very warm. I think there was something wrong with the air conditioning. But it never cooled off. One of the tour guides didn’t show up. So we had a part time tour guide . He went from our bus and then went onto the other bus. His microphone kept cutting in and out so we couldn’t hear him half the time. I don’t blame him. He was doing the best he could. The drive up to Muir Woods was very steep and winding. The woods were nice. Easy walking paths. Very hot . They have a little shop that sold food and things to drink. It was very crowded. Had to wait a long time in line to buy water. We didn’t care much for Sausalito. We didn’t have enough time here to do much of anything. I got and Ice Cream cone. We had an early night when we got back. They had hardly anything to do on the ship. No shows. I guess they figured people would be getting off the ship at night. Since it was an overnight port. Second day in San Francisco. We took the FREE shuttle to Pier 39. We waited in line for about a half an hour waiting for a bus. But it finally came and drove us. We walked around and looked through some shops. My husband wanted to try and In and Out burger. Since we never had. So that is what we had for lunch. He liked his burger. But I think Dick’s Burgers in the Seattle area is better. Victoria…We took the shuttle to the Inner Harbor area. Walked down to China Town and back to buy Rogers Chocolates and had lunch at the Irish Pub. I had Poutine. Basically fries with cheese curds, bacon and gravy on top of all of it. It was good. Hubby had to help me eat it. Large serving. The shows on the ship were pretty good. I liked the Ice show, the Ventriloquist, and the Juggler the best. Didn’t see the comedian. His show wasn’t until 11 pm. The food on the ship was hit and miss. Windjammer had some food that was just nasty. Crunchy pancakes, hard bacon, burnt toast. Some strange flavors. The filling for the tacos was just odd. Hubby said they have the worst pizza on any cruise line. And of course bad coffee. But we also had some good things there as well. When they had it the Eggs Benedict was good. I like the fruit cups. The Sapphire dining room was generally good. One night the waiter asked how my husband liked the duck. He said it was very dry. You could see the bones were exposed because it was so over cooked. And normally when you order duck it is sliced duck breast. This was the leg and thigh. The chef came out and asked Jim questions about the duck and I thought they made too big a deal about the whole thing. They make you feel like you have done something wrong! I heard the chef say something about a special entrée for another night. The next night. We all had our dinner. I was on my last bite of dinner and the waiter brought ME another dinner. This was the tenderloin from the night before warmed up. So now it was like pot roast. I told him I just finished dinner and didn’t want another one. That I was full! The other woman at my table was also served the same thing. She told them she didn’t want it. But he kept insisting that we have it. I think what MAY have happened. The chef may have told him to give it to us for dinner and they forgot until later, after we had already eaten. So , being a nice person, I felt my waiter would get in trouble if he had to take the entree back. So we tried to eat some of it. Got our husband to try a few bites. I felt like we were being punished for my husband saying he didn’t like the duck! I wasn’t even the one who said something! I told our waiter the next night NOT to do that to me again. That the next time I will send it back to the kitchen. A woman at our table didn’t like something she got a couple of nights later. The chef came out again and they made a BIG deal about it. One thing we found out. They don’t have shrimp cocktail on the menu. You have to request it to your waiter. We had it every night after that. I really liked Amy the cruise director. She was funny and did a great job. All in all a good cruise. Not our best. But nice. Our cruise videos for this cruise… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88xy33p9CeU Pt 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDnIHcZaWWg Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We enjoyed the ports very much and the ship is quite beautiful. We visited Astoria, San Francisco (overnight) and Victoria. Everything from embarkation to ports to disembarkation was smooth and organized. We did a Seattle tour after our ... Read More
We enjoyed the ports very much and the ship is quite beautiful. We visited Astoria, San Francisco (overnight) and Victoria. Everything from embarkation to ports to disembarkation was smooth and organized. We did a Seattle tour after our cruise visiting the Space Needle and Chiluly Gardens. it was really enjoyable and the driver gave us a great tour of the city as well since we all had time before our flights - this was not originally included, but we had a great driver. The food in the MDY was ok, some dishes better than others as always, but our dining team (Oka and Igede) were the best and we looked forward to dining there just because of them. We didn't realize Johnny Rockett's is only open while at sea. Giovanni's Table was delicious as usual! We were on Deck 10 and enjoyed a delightful cabin steward (Ravi) as well. Our only issue is one that is very difficult to resolve. There were a large number of Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members on board ( over 400) as well as Suite customers. While we are Diamond, we were fortunate to be in the Royal Suite but getting a seat in the Concierge or Diamond Lounge was almost impossible. People were going in before 4:00 even though they don't open until 4:30 and saving seats. Yes, we did get 3 drinks per day loaded onto our Sea Pass cards as Royal is doing this to compensate for the overcrowding, but we still enjoy going to the Concierge Lounge. It is now so overrun with Diamond members that Suite customers are literally shut out. this lounge was originally intended for Suites only. We are not complainers, so just worked around it, but some Diamond members feel so entitled as though all other passengers should be excluded. Yes, they are true Loyalists and should receive perks, of course. We just feel that Suite passengers deserve them as well. The week of Sept. 30th, they were expecting 900 Diamond members! We still enjoyed our cruise very much! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I flew into Seattle on Wednesday with my 16 year old son. I was with a group of cross stitches. Spent Wednesday evening at the Chihuly museum, it was nice. I had seen some of his works in my home state. We ate at a local restaurant, 5 ... Read More
I flew into Seattle on Wednesday with my 16 year old son. I was with a group of cross stitches. Spent Wednesday evening at the Chihuly museum, it was nice. I had seen some of his works in my home state. We ate at a local restaurant, 5 Point Cafe, open 24hours. Good food. Thursday we rode the monorail and then the light rail to Pike's Market. You could spend days here and never see everything. Did see the flying fish, big piggy bank, and the awesome flower stands. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express , Aurora Ave N, it is very close to Space Needle. Friday time to head to the ship, embarked went went smoothly, FYI if you want a lanyard I suggest you buy it at the stand, just before you get on the ship. They had a big selection. We got there about 12:20 and did not really wait much at any point getting on the ship. We did head right to the room and dropped off our carry on and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. This is the one place that I would not give high marks. The food was not as good as I expected. I will give you a hint, always walk all the way around the food lines before choosing what to eat. There are 3 bars for food in the back, one a fruit station, one for desserts. My complaint was that some of the food choices didn't seem to go together. I ate dinner in the main dining room every night and was very pleased with the food. You got plenty, one night I ordered two appetizers plus my main dish and dessert. Loved the duck, lamb, lobster, roast beef. If you want to know what is for dinner, there is a touch screen in the lobby area of the dining room and shows the menus for supper. Breakfast time I ate 1/2 in the dining room and 1/2 in Windjammer. Dining room was ok, only complaint was toast was cold by the time it got to us. That is why I went to Windjammer, to get the warm toast and bagels. I did stop in for snacks at Promenade Cafe, loved the round sugar coated donuts and the shrimp roll. I did not attend any shows but my son went to the magician and thought the show was wonderful. I did play bingo and won the second pot, $771. It cost $38 for 3 sets of 6 cards or $49 for 3 sets of 9 cards. Or buy 2 sets get one free which means I bought the $49 set and split it with my friend so each game we had 27 cards to check. They sell daubers for $2 each but you can use a pen to mark the squares off. HINT get there early and sit at the railing seats so you have a place to lay your boards. It was well paced calling and not real hard to play for those of us that don't play often. All service across the ship was wonderful, I have no complains what so ever, all staff was friendly and smiles. Especially the dining room staff, if you order tea the first night, every night after that, there was tea at your place. Side note - I was sitting with people from the group I was with, not strangers. I was in room 7598, not too far from elevators, in the back side so going to dinner was just a quick ride down from 7 to 3. Room had a balcony, and a third sleeping bed that came down from the ceiling. That is where my son slept. I did have to store a suitcase under each bed but that was ok. Room had a 2 seater couch which most of the time we had stuff on it. Excursions: we did the Mount St Helen tour out of Astoria OR, 2 1/2 bus ride there, less than 1 1/2 at the viewing and then 2 1/2 ride back to the ship. I didn't really think it was worth the cost. We would have had more fun in Astoria walking around. Muir Woods and Sausalito tour - totally loved the Muir Woods, only had time to eat in Sausalito but that is ok, not really into shopping. HINT if you want to do your own Alcatraz tour, tickets go on sale exactly 90 days out, evening tours sell out early. It was a good trip, ship wise I have no complaints. I would cruise again. Disembarkation went mostly smoothly. 2 of our bags were in the wrong row but we finally found them. My son spent some time with teen Center, he found a couple of kids to run around with. Sometimes he just wanted to hang in the room and get room service. Internet- I got the streaming package for 2 devices, $156, we used an app KIK to communicate. That worked well. Occasionally I would have to log back in on my device. All in all it was a good cruise with great ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I recently cruised on the Pacific Coastal Sep 23 - 30th out of Seattle on this ship. Our overall impression is that this ship is nothing special. It feels small, the crew wasn't particularly friendly, there were no ... Read More
My wife and I recently cruised on the Pacific Coastal Sep 23 - 30th out of Seattle on this ship. Our overall impression is that this ship is nothing special. It feels small, the crew wasn't particularly friendly, there were no examples of outstanding service, the amenities were a bit less than we are accustomed to and the decor wasn't our style (how many pieces of art detailing topless women do you need?) Our experience in the dining room was fine. The food was generally cooked well and tasted good. There were a few exceptions to that, but mainly they involved the servicing staff bringing you the wrong food or the food not being cooked anything close to how it was ordered (well done vs medium). The only example of bad food I can think of was the Lobster bisque - no one at our table liked it the slightest. The only other highlight was the Chocolate breakfast on the 25th - which they didn't actually serve after advertising it the night before... lol. I'm not joking. Specialty restaurants - we heard lots of good things about the steakhouse. Nothing good about Giovanni's the Italian place - and after seeing staff use the restroom and not wash their hands while wearing the aprons for Giovanni's I wouldn't want to eat there anyways. Cafe on deck 5 - this is the only place outside of the buffet and the dining room you can get food. The variety sucked - they had the same sandwiches/snacks every day. They did rotate the 3rd pizza daily - you can get personal size pizzas here. None of them were very good. This is also the only place besides the buffet were you can get free drinks (water, lemonade, ice tea, coffee, hot tea, etc) outside the buffet on your own. You can't have ice though because it's added to the help yourself pour thing - where it melts and everything is extremely watered down. Buffet - the buffet is on deck 11. It's not open as much as we're used to on other ships. I mean, they literally close and lock the doors once they clear you at... after 9 pm. During the day this is the only place besides deck 5 where you can get your own watered down drinks. They also are ready to close at 9, by which I mean they start taking food away at 8:30 so you have no reason to linger. The food is cooked fairly well, it should be. They put the same food out for 4 of the 5 sections - and in one of those sections the food is the same for every lunch and dinner. They have the Worst orange juice I've had on a cruise ship for breakfast. They have a single ice cream machine on the whole ship, also located on deck 11. They don't keep it up well. Some days there is a single flavor option - if you want dark berry vs light berry get in the line early. :( The singing / dancing shows in the theater were average at best. The comedians were pretty good. The ice skating show on deck 3 though was spectacular. The spa/exercise room is a good size. Room cabins are small like normal, though they have a circular shower door which provides more room than normal. On the downside they don't provide basics like lotion, moisturizer, or even chocolate mints when they make up your room for the night. Nor do they pick up dirty dishes unless you stack them outside your door in the hallway. They did towel animals most nights. As far as activities go, the mini-golf was fun. They advertise the Flow rider and rock climbing walls a lot. What they don't say is those are open from 5:30 - 7 in the evening. The availability often conflicted with our dinner or show plans. Why they schedule it like that was beyond me. They massively underutilize the ice skating rink. As a passenger you get to use it if you want a couple hours a day. You get to go to 1 show there and they have one event there. They should utilize Studio B a lot more. Why not have the Zumba classes there? Or the dance class? or any of the exercise classes there in the morning instead of on deck subjected to inclement weather? Why not simply have it ready to use as a Backup plan for the exercise classes? The pools and spas are nice, though they were intermittently closed for no reason we could discern. Also, the ship says the pool in the adult area can be covered - well i don't believe that since it was never covered and cruising the north Pacific meant it was Cold out there. They offer movies by the pool at night, but all they do it put on the movie. Again it's cold outside when the top outdoor temp is only in the 60s, it'd be nice if they offered blankets, etc like Princess Cruises does. They have at least 3 areas of the ship closed off and only available to Diamond or above level, that includes the Dizzy's lounge area during the day (which sucks cause deck 14 would give you a nice view), the best seats in the theater, and the Lounge on deck 9. The Royal Promenade is nothing special - it reminds me of the shopping mall at Caesar's in Vegas. It looks cool for 10 minutes then I wish they'd done something with the space that mattered. The parades were a joke, which we found out quickly because we asked the dining room concierge about changing our reservation so we could watch the first one. He laughed and told us to keep them telling us the show was short and not that special, he was right. We made it to dinner no problem that night. The other parade was worse the last night. I won't recommend this ship. It was nothing special, but it's perfectly functional and if it's going where you want to go then there's no reason not to book your cruise on it. Ports - Astoria, San Francisco, Victoria. Astoria - boring, boring, boring. Nice weather and the walk along the waterfront was nice. Nothing to do in town. Some people did walk to the Observation tower and said the view was pretty nice, but we had done the Space Needle in Seattle and we were going to Coit in SF so we skipped it. SF - two busy days here. We had fun being tourists even though we live fairly close by. We toured the SF Giants baseball stadium, hit Pier 39, went to Coit Tower, walked on the Golden Gate, and had a sundae at Ghirardelli Square. Also, we got a Muni pass to travel around the city vs. the $60 hop on/hop off bus (note they always say that bus is $50 but it's $60 if you want to access the full line. They pretend the full line is a 2nd day pass, but that's a joke. The red line only takes an hour.) Victoria - we went on the Enchanting Butchart Gardens tour via Royal. We'd have been better off doing it ourselves. They only allow 1 hour 45 minutes to tour Butchart. We're pretty young but we had to haul @$$ to get thru all 3 garden areas and run back to the bus. As it was we were 10 minutes late and lucky they didn't leave us. It was $100/person. You can shuttle from town for $30/person and buy your own tickets and have time to souvenir shop so I'd recommend you do that instead. All the excursions seemed more overpriced than what we've seen when cruising with NCL, Carnival, or Princess in the past. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Pacific Coastal itinerary is one of our favorites, especially when it involves sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. We cruised last year on RCL's Jewel of the Seas and vowed to try to do this cruise every year if the price was ... Read More
The Pacific Coastal itinerary is one of our favorites, especially when it involves sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. We cruised last year on RCL's Jewel of the Seas and vowed to try to do this cruise every year if the price was right. We booked a D1 aft after final payment at a great price and were so looking forward to another great time on the west coast. Since we like to take public transportation, the trip from the SEATAC to downtown, to the port, was quite the adventure but very doable if you pack light and are not afraid of stairs and a little bit of walking. The embarkation went quickly and we were in our room unpacking by 1:30pm. Our cabin was large but sparse with a big gap between the bed and couch and no table in front of the couch. Our steward explained the ship had recently been refurbished and RCL decided not to furnish tables in front of the couch. We especially enjoyed the large aft balcony which had a table and chairs and two loungers. The view was amazing. The menu and food in the dining room was very good but we found the buffet lacking most of the times we ate in there for lunch or dinner. The entertainment was just ok, with the exception of the ice show which should not be missed. There was really no live music during the sea days until the evening hours and no movies except for those shown poolside which may be great on a caribbean cruise but not on a west coast cruise where most nights are way too cold to be outside. We love the ports of the west coast and spending two full days in San Francisco is the best thing about this cruise. Not much to do in Astoria but it's a cute little town for wandering around and Victoria is always a special place. Everything about this cruise was nice, staff was friendly, cabin steward excellent, and great ports but the Explorer did not measure up to the Radiance class ships which are by far our favorites. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I cruised on EXPLORER on the Pacific Northwest Itinerary from 9/23-9/30. Our prior cruise had been last summer on NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS, a near twin to EXPLORER, so we knew the layout quite well from Day 1. For the first ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on EXPLORER on the Pacific Northwest Itinerary from 9/23-9/30. Our prior cruise had been last summer on NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS, a near twin to EXPLORER, so we knew the layout quite well from Day 1. For the first time in my cruising experience, I bought the unlimited drink package. Unfortunately, I signed up for it just after the rates went up (and package choices dropped), but I went for it anyway. We have also in the past only sailed in balcony rooms, but this cruise enticed me because we got a good rate for an interior promenade room (on 7th deck). The price jump to oceanview or balcony was more than I wanted to pay. So the first lesson we learned was that for us, an interior room (even with the promenade window) is just not that fun. I know others don’t care, and that’s fine. But for US…not waking up to natural light and not being able to see the ocean and step onto the balcony was a big, BIG loss. We still enjoyed our cruise very much indeed, but interior rooms are NOT for us, it turns out. So we may find ourselves having more time between cruises because we need to make sure we can afford the balcony. The promenade cabin is about the same size as the balcony stateroom we had on the Navigator last year (maybe a smidge smaller), and we did enjoy the window seat…but people watching from the window didn’t end up being very fulfilling. We had a very good stateroom attendant, the bathroom worked great and we slept very comfortably. No issues there. (I always sleep well on cruises…I have to scratch my head at those who complain. Putting the severe stress of work behind me for a few days makes it so easy to sleep, especially after action-packed days in port.) The ship itself was clean and tidy. The layout is pretty simple, really. From the promenade deck, you can reach the theater, the dining room and most “interior” stuff very quickly. There are several bars around (which I enjoyed…try the ridiculously sweet/tart Caramel Daiquiri at the R-Bar), and with the drink package, service is so much faster. Most bartenders poured with a heavy hand, which I liked, but keep an eye out. A few were stingy, so I avoided them going forward. This was the first cruise I’ve been on where I finally begin to understand some of the complaints I read about food in the MDR. (We’ve sailed NCL once, and this was our third time on Royal). In the past, the food has always been pretty nice for us. Not every single dish was a home run, but we seldom left the table disappointed. On EXPLORER (we did My Time Dining as always), there were several nights where the food left me wanting. First night I had Prime Rib. It was a generous portion, but quite tasteless. Big disappointment. Few desserts were remarkable, and on several nights, we saw very few appetizers that appealed. On the 2nd formal night, we had lobster, but there was no steak & lobster option. The lobster plate came with some shrimp, and it was all tasty. My wife and I both ordered that…and I ordered the “always on the menu” strip steak entrée so we could split the steak. TERRIBLE steak. Terrible cut of meat, overcooked and really pretty dreadful. Also, our service was spotty. The first couple of nights, we were over in one corner, not a very nice location, and our waiter was a bit smarmy. So we asked for seating near the “balcony” (looking down on decks 3 & 4). We were accommodated with our seating choices each night, but had differing wait staff every night thereafter. Some were perfectly fine, others were just okay. I missed the experience of having the same wait team each night and getting to know them…but where they first seated us was simply NOT exciting at all. We still never went to Windjammer for dinner…just too chaotic. But by the end of the trip, our usual enthusiasm for dinner (“oh boy, it’s dinner time”) was quite dampened. In the past, we always spend a night in CHOPS, but decided to pass this time. However, we did do the “pasta making demonstration” lunch at Giovanni’s. It was $20 and VERY well worth that charge. It was a delightful two hours. The food was excellent…very, very tasty. The chef who presented on pasta making was humorous, and even though I didn’t learn too much about making pasta, it was still fun. Then we got a quick tour of the galley, which was great. $20 really well spent. I highly recommend this little treat on a sea day. On embarkation, we lunched at Windjammer. The usual chaos with getting a seat, and the extra clutter with everyone pulling luggage with them. But the food was fine. One morning, we had room service, but the food was disappointing enough that we then breakfasted regularly in the Windjammer. Again, getting a seat was tough, but the food was generally nice. Lots of selection. The omelet bar was always packed, so I never bothered, but I noted the adjoining fried egg station, where each morning I got a couple of eggs over easy in about 30 seconds. Never a wait…tasty treat. My drink card allowed me to get fresh squeezed OJ, which I certainly enjoyed. Especially compared to the regular “juice” they serve. If you have that package, take the extra time to get real juice! On our last sea day (seas were rough, and most outdoor areas were closed), we had lunch at Johnny Rocket’s. Enjoyed the decadent treat. The vanilla malts were excellent. My disappointment with the EXPLORER (as with the NAVIGATOR) is in Café Promenade. This is the little place where you can pick up food any time of day (pretty much), but it’s just little sandwiches and terrible pizza. I miss my experiences on other ships (smaller ones, ironically) that had 24 hours sit-down “comfort food” places. A ship as big as this could surely have found a place for such a restaurant. One day, we did the wine tasting (about an hour after we did the great lunch package with Giovanni’s) . It was $25, ($20 for me because of my package). We are not wine snobs in the least, so we enjoyed learning about the different wines. I think there were 5 glasses, if memory serves. We enjoyed the camaraderie at our table almost more than the tasting. I wouldn’t do this activity EVERY time, but it was something new for us, and lots of fun. Also new to us…we skipped some of the shows! Usually, dinner & a show is great for us. We work our entire dinner schedule to accommodate. But this time, we skipped the “Production shows.” They were really quite bland on NAVIGATOR, so we passed this time. We saw the guest stars, so we enjoyed the comedian, the juggler and yes, even the ventriloquist. And of course, we enjoyed The Quest. The time of year and itinerary made this cruise one with very few kids. My wife and I are in our early 50s, and we felt we were on the young end of the range for this cruise. So some of the usual “fun” events like Battle of the Sexes or Love & Marriage Game show were VERY sparcely attended, and when we went, we noticed that many of the same handful of folks were contestants. Same people who “led” groups in The Quest also competed in everything else. In general, the whole cruise was just a bit low key in atmosphere. Of course, the weather was very fall-like and often chilly, so the outside spaces were quite subdued. Very little party atmosphere. Even disco night was understated from what I’ve seen before. Those cruise director staff had to work really hard to drum up enthusiasm. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the port (via Uber) at 11:30. Bags were whisked away. We had our documents ready, and were shown right to the Gold line. Immediately called up to a desk. On board, sipping my first drink, by 11:45. Yay! Debarkation was also pretty simple. We walked right off the ship, found our bags and took all of 3 minutes getting through the VERY non-thorough customs line. No questions of anyone. Just show your passport, hand your form, and go on your way. Waited 10 minutes for our Uber driver to find us, and off we went. Really smooth. As far as the itinerary, we had a GREAT time. Seattle was fun to visit before and after (and we had a B&B that essentially overlooked the port, so when we woke up in the morning, there was our ship!). Astoria, OR was a delight to discover. We walked for miles, rented bikes (BIKES & BEYOND, $20 for the whole day), visited breweries, walked some scenic trails and just had a delightful time in this little, scenic town. Lots to do here, actually. Spending two days in San Francisco was great…I had been there all of one day in my life, so we rented a car and ventured out to Muir Woods & Napa Valley on day one, plus a great dinner in town. The next day, we hoofed it to Coit Tower and to Chinatown, and had a terrific lunch before visiting the Museum of Modern Art. Such fun. Victoria was delightful as well. I ended up enjoying this itinerary even more than I had hoped I would. I highly recommend it. (Kids probably would be tougher to thrill with it, though.) There were certainly bumps as described above. Since we have become jaded veterans (after only 3 prior cruises), perhaps the flaws are a little harder to ignore. But we still had a GREAT time, and I have few regrets. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The good: 1. Lunch and dinner buffet, the best we've had in 10 cruises. Large variety, very good vegetables, food is hot, very nice selection of curries at lunch and dinner, some of which were outstanding. There is always cut fruit ... Read More
The good: 1. Lunch and dinner buffet, the best we've had in 10 cruises. Large variety, very good vegetables, food is hot, very nice selection of curries at lunch and dinner, some of which were outstanding. There is always cut fruit that is very good like it was just cut up. 2. Comedy and magic shows were outstanding. 3. Pool plenty warm enough, maybe 88-89F. Plenty of hot tubs, there was always space available. 4. Good itinerary. 5. Mini golf course was nice. I love it when a ship has this feature. It's a fun ship activity. The bad: 1. Overall feeling that the cruise season was over and that there was no need to provide 100% to us passengers. Here's why: A. Movie screen at pool had large square area blackened for 4 of the 7 days, most of the cruise. So even though they showed movies, they weren't really viewable. Passengers complained about this but it was not fixed until the last night of the cruise. It was probably an easy fix, but staff didn't seem to care about fixing it. B. Even though there are 2 beautiful pools in the pool area. Only one was ever opened at a time. Even though it was 90F in San Francisco and the pool was packed. Passengers asked why the other pool wasn't opened the staff said it was broken. This seemed unlikely because they swapped the open pool every other day. 2. No sushi ever on the buffet. Even lowly Carnival has sushi on the buffet. If you want sushi you must eat at the pay restaurant. 3. As I report in the cabin review. Worst mattresses at sea.....by far. The Allure has the 2nd worst. 4. Ice skating rink only open 1x for public skating for a 7 day cruise, and 1 ice skating show for the 7 day cruise. What's the point of putting in the rink for so little use. 5. Buffet has short hours. Only open until 9pm for dinner. 6. After 9pm the only place to eat is the promenade café, room service, or pay restaurant, Johnny Rockets. 7. Not enough variety at promenade café for 7 days. Sandwich appeal has worn off by day 3 or 4. My son and I stay up late and like to eat after 9pm. They could add a daily soup to the promenade café. We found this was the case on the Allure also. 8. Pizza, mediocre. 9. Breakfast-mediocre and pales in comparison to Holland America. Food isn't very hot at the breakfast buffet, and looks like it was prepared many hours earlier. We ate one breakfast in the dining room to get eggs benedict and it was cold and disappointing as well. 10. Cruise line doesn't let you bring your own bottled water on board. The only place to get water is the buffet or promenade café, unless you buy bottled or drink the tap in the room. 11. Always a line every night at dinner for my time dining. I heard many people complain about this. 12. Ship is more crowded than most other ships we've been on, except the Allure. It is the most crowded. More lines at buffet, and at shows. Magic Show in small venue was standing room only. 13. Room stewards are overworked. Our room steward missed making up our room once he told us RCCL changed the staffing and they now do 15 rooms and used to do 12. I told him to just give us towels quite a few times. I think he only made up our room about 3-4x instead of twice a day for 6 days. That was ok with us but RCCL overworks it's employees. 14. Video arcade games are too expensive. These should just be complimentary. I really liked the itinerary on this cruise and if Princess or Holland America had this itinerary I would much preferred to have been on either of them. They both are more service oriented with attention to details. We felt the attitude at Rccl was since there is more to do on the ship everything doesn't need to be up to par, because passengers can just pick something else to do. RCCL has a much better reputation than Carnival but I don't know why? The service is on par with Carnival. There is an overall "we don't give a hoot" or "we hate our jobs" attitude from the staff. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Intinary was awesome, service and staff wasn't. We had never experienced such indifference from the crew, especially being close to Diamond Plus status. We loved Royal Caribbean because of the friendly staff, most of the staff were ... Read More
Intinary was awesome, service and staff wasn't. We had never experienced such indifference from the crew, especially being close to Diamond Plus status. We loved Royal Caribbean because of the friendly staff, most of the staff were not engaged. We were used to "Good Morning", or a simple smile, or atleast make eye contact. We had several concerns that never got addressed. We were very disappointed and now are looking into leaving Royal Caribbean because of this. The ship is beautiful and we did meet fellow cruisers that made our trip special. But overall we are extremely disappointed at Royal Caribbean after cruising with them close to 20 times. The food was also substandard, very salty. Quality continues to go down, loyalty program has less perks. We tried to meet with the loyalty ambassador 3 times, with no success. We feel less valued than we did on our first cruises, feeling more like a McDonald's experience, low quality. Whereas before it felt unique and more like In and Out experience for my California friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Loved the virtual balcony. The shows were not compelling with the exception of Mike Price, the juggler. Embark/disembark were smooth. The cabin was ok, but there was a lot of banging in the cabin because of the rough seas. Not sure why it ... Read More
Loved the virtual balcony. The shows were not compelling with the exception of Mike Price, the juggler. Embark/disembark were smooth. The cabin was ok, but there was a lot of banging in the cabin because of the rough seas. Not sure why it was so rough. I thought fall would be calmer on the pacific. Rained in Astoria, live close to San Francisco, so we didn't get off until Victoria. Need more time there. My time dining is very difficult to get a table. Ate in Sapphire Dining room only 3 meals, the rest in the buffet. Can't complain. It is quite a task for what they do all day long. Enjoyed Johnny Rockets. Entertainment/Activities: Shows ok, not great except for juggler (Mike Price) who was amazing. Not impressed with cruise director. Very canned. Lots to do but also a lot of upsell! Do not understand why they play "Angry Birds" by the pool at night in the freezing cold!! There never seemed to be anyone watching the movie because of the weather. Also, the ship is supposed to be upgraded to 3D movie capable which doesn't help much if they don't show 3D movies. Cabin Steward-great, Buffet service- great Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Probably one of our least favorite cruises. A real disappointment. Cabin attendant had no eye for detail. For example, missing or the wrong daily planners. Came back to our cabin to find another guest standing in our foyer area with ... Read More
Probably one of our least favorite cruises. A real disappointment. Cabin attendant had no eye for detail. For example, missing or the wrong daily planners. Came back to our cabin to find another guest standing in our foyer area with the floor supervisor standing there too. It seems that the guest wanted to see an Owner's Suite. Creepy having them show our cabin while we were staying in it. Internet was expensive and very slow or non existent. Main dinning room food was the worse we've ever had in our 41 cruises. Specialty dining was okay. Entertainment was marginally enjoyable. For the most part rather boring. Casino was horrible, cigarette smoke was just too much. You could actually smell the smoke in the Tavern and Schooner lounges as well. Shops were disappointing. Customer service was forced, always felt like we were imposing and not much eye contact when you were talking to them. We never plan to sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a great cruise along the coast of North America. I enjoyed all 3 ports of call. The ice show was top notch. One of the best I've seen. The dance shows were so much fun to watch The music was great and I'd have bought ... Read More
This was a great cruise along the coast of North America. I enjoyed all 3 ports of call. The ice show was top notch. One of the best I've seen. The dance shows were so much fun to watch The music was great and I'd have bought a cd of the songs. The food was good and there were lots of choices in the buffet. The my time dining was excellent also. Service was fantastic in all areas. Our room attendant JoAnn was very nice our room was kept clean and ready for us at all times. The only thing was there was only one area for snacks and drinks when the dining areas were closed. It was not big enough for all the people on the ship. The pizza here was always cold. That is my complaint about the cruise The pools and hot tubs were great. I went every day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Great service both in the cabin and the dining room. Waiter and assistant waiter left us wanting for nothing. The main issue was not enough and poorly programmed elevators so it took a long time to get to some places on the ship for those ... Read More
Great service both in the cabin and the dining room. Waiter and assistant waiter left us wanting for nothing. The main issue was not enough and poorly programmed elevators so it took a long time to get to some places on the ship for those who can't climb stairs. There could be up to a 10-15 minute wait for elevators when first arriving in port and following meals/shows, etc.. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with only a mild issue with customs between cruises (we did 2 back to back). Ports were very interesting. Great low cost shuttles available if you aren't taking shore excursions and lots of good info available on things to do in port. Shows were all very well done and entertaining. Top notch headliners and the ship's singers, dancers and band were also extremely good. Overall cruise staff was quite helpful as was NextCruise desk. Already booked our next cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was truly the worst travel experience of my long life. We were traveling with 2 other couples, old friends who had not seen each other in several years and we thought we would enjoy a short trip together. One couple had taken 16 ... Read More
This was truly the worst travel experience of my long life. We were traveling with 2 other couples, old friends who had not seen each other in several years and we thought we would enjoy a short trip together. One couple had taken 16 cruises and the other 2, me included, had never taken a cruise. We stood in line for over 2 hours to board, when we arrived on the ship, we were given no direction as to where to get lunch. Turns out only one place was open, the cafeteria, for 3400 passengers! The food was of extremely poor quality, and the ship was very understaffed. The public areas are way too small for the number of passengers, with only the cafeteria and sit down restaurants available for food, not even peanuts in the bar with their expensive drinks! I felt that RCCI was really pinching pennies with everything very poor quality. Our friend's cabin had rust and smelled bad, and they said they never saw their cabin steward. We paid $50 for a shore excursion that was lead by a woman who said she did not know the tour and read from a book at each stop. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Good things: Staff was excellent, friendly, helpful, courteous. Cabin with balcony was just fine and room steward was fabulous. Ice show. Mediocre things: Food, entertainment by "headliners". Specialty coffee bar which ... Read More
Good things: Staff was excellent, friendly, helpful, courteous. Cabin with balcony was just fine and room steward was fabulous. Ice show. Mediocre things: Food, entertainment by "headliners". Specialty coffee bar which never did figure out how to make a short, dry cappuccino on 4 tries. Things I will avoid next cruise: Big ship with too many passengers to board efficiently, allow space to roam, sit, eat, etc; room service that was promised at one hour and took two hours on two different occasions and once never arrived at all (and calls to the room service number went completely unanswered). This was our second trip on RCI (first was many years ago in the Caribbean). I think we made a mistake in sailing on this ship which was filled to the brim, every seat in the library was often taken, never found a quiet spot to sit and read or chat. And the port of Seattle is such a hassle for getting in and out of. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The embarkation was very easy.. everything at the port was handled well.. our cabin was a handicap cabin (which I very much needed,) but we had signed up for 3 people and only had one bed... they did remedy it by bringing in a rollaway.. ... Read More
The embarkation was very easy.. everything at the port was handled well.. our cabin was a handicap cabin (which I very much needed,) but we had signed up for 3 people and only had one bed... they did remedy it by bringing in a rollaway.. but that was a little of a hassle to get my motorized cart in and around and it limited us using the desk/ safe area... the windjammer the first day was a bit of a disappointment.. but it did get better as time went on... Dinner in the Sapphire was very spotty.. we had a new waiter that couldn't seem to get things correct... didn't seem to know which steaks were rare and which were well done.. the first night we had an incident at the table behind us that none of us were aware of at first... (A woman got sick) Instead of just covering it up, all of a sudden two guys in masks and full body suits came in with a huge vacuum..... well they parked it right behind two people at out table and then the waiter came by and was attempting to step over it to serve our dessert... well he accidentally turned it on... wow.. it blew a terrible smell right up in our faces.. that incident cleared out 4 tables around us with fresh desserts still sitting on the table... Also at the windjammer on time we were sitting there enjoying our food and one of the busboy type people kept standing there staring at our plates... it was creepy.. finally one girl sitting across from me told him to move on... it was strange... Having sailed on the Explorer a couple times before, I realize this was not a common cruise, in fact we heard many times that much of the crew were new when they hit Seattle.. Our cabin attendant told us it was his first day, But I must say it seemed as though he had been doing that job forever... he was FANTASTIC.... The entertainment seemed spotty also.. but we did very much enjoy the Ice Show... I was on this cruise with 25 friends and family and overall we enjoyed it.. I just felt bad that I talked many of those 25 people to join us as first time cruisers and they didn't see the best service in the world as I had sold it... We all had a great time.. and even greater time meeting up with the Cruise Critic friends... Lets fix this ship and move on.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of port close to home and allowed for a quick mini vacation. This was a repositing cruise for Royal Caribbean sailing out of Seatle, WA for 4 nights. The ship itself was very nice. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of port close to home and allowed for a quick mini vacation. This was a repositing cruise for Royal Caribbean sailing out of Seatle, WA for 4 nights. The ship itself was very nice. However, the service was very poor. There was often a wait to get into the main dining room. And the Windjammer Café where it is buffet style dining was closed 9:00pm sharp every night. It was hard to have fun on this trip and balance meal times. There were also very long waits for bartending service as well. And the drinks were very noticeably watered down the last 2 nights of the trip. What got me the most was the staff. Not all, but most were not friendly and you could tell the ship was understaffed for the amount of people aboard the ship. I blame all this on Royal Caribbean. I really feel sorry for first time cruisers (this was our third cruise) because they got a very bad experience from this cruise. I'm not sure I would go on another Royal Carribean cruise after this one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I chose this cruise for two reasons: one, because it was a short cruise to places that I wanted to see, and two, because it was perfect for getting me to my next rewards tier. Getting on board was a process; it wasn't horrible, ... Read More
I chose this cruise for two reasons: one, because it was a short cruise to places that I wanted to see, and two, because it was perfect for getting me to my next rewards tier. Getting on board was a process; it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't quick, either. Lots of folks on this cruise were folks who'd been on many other Royal Caribbean cruises, and the lines at registration were long. Of course, that was NOTHING compared to the lines to the buffet. These lines were EXCEPTIONALLY LONG. And what you were waiting for was awful; the layout of the buffet was awful, and you quite often could not find things like ketchup. On that first day, there were two bottles of ketchup for everyone - not packets, but bottles. Horrible. Once you got past that, however, the experience was entirely different. Royal Caribbean has stepped up their game in terms of service in the dining room. I take the traditional dining, due to the fact I really appreciate the better service I get that way. And while the service was great, the cooks getting the food to the servers was SLOW. It was worth it, in some ways; banana rum soup; watermelon raspberry soup - WOW. I'm not an adventurous eater - I stuck to the steaks at supper - but the appetizers were tempting and AMAZING. Easily the best food I've ever had on Royal Caribbean. Can't say that about breakfast, though. The horrible layout was just as bad at breakfast; the food was worse. There are only two ways you can ruin bacon - you can overcook it to the point it's burned - which was for the first two breakfasts - or you can undercook it - which was for the second two breakfasts. Thank God for Fruit Loops. Bar service was wonderful. The bartenders were friendly and fast. I had a drink pass, and spent most of the cruise downing virgin strawberry daiquiris; I had one in my hand pretty much all the time. I adored my cabin. I stayed on the 12th floor, in cabin 1876. It's kind of a corner balcony, and not necessarily what some might want, but I liked it. The room was quite spacious, and I never felt cramped. The stops were amazing. I did the Butchart Gardens tour in Vancouver, and the Steam Powered adventure in Nanaimo. While I thoroughly enjoyed both, I was surprised that I enjoyd the Nanaimo stop more. If you're going on Royal Caribbean, you're going for the entertainment. Entertainment on this ship was WONDERFUL. I felt the on-board show went well, and was particularly impressed by a trumpet player they had the first night. There was an illusionist one night who I felt wasn't quite up to par, but the quality of the other shows just made the whole experience amazing. The ship is an older ship, and there are a few things the newer ships have that you may miss. I usually consider the ship itself a part of the destination, but this time, I was underwhelmed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
As a seasoned cruiser (over 20+) this by far was the worst cruising experience that I have had. It starts with a lack of feeling safe - muster drill was disorganized and a joke. The promenade is overcrowded and difficult to maneuver, ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser (over 20+) this by far was the worst cruising experience that I have had. It starts with a lack of feeling safe - muster drill was disorganized and a joke. The promenade is overcrowded and difficult to maneuver, especially with music and the long lines at Starbucks. The ship has no provisions for disabled individuals if there was a disaster. The dining room seating experience created Long- Long-Lines with the impossibility of passage. Shopping on a ship of this size was horrific! The fact is that it was so bad that we bought nothing. This has never happened before. Worst of all was the buffet and dining room. Food Awful!!! You must eat at a specialty restaurant if you want a decent meal. Entertainment was excellent, especially the ice show. This is a must see. The worst part is that RCCL is very unresponsive to cruisers complaints and don't really care. I would suggest you take another ship or cruiseline Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was a prime example of a cruise line, in this case Royal Caribbean, sending an unprepared ship on a cruise just for whatever money they could collect. Horrible boarding experience in Seattle, and was just the start. There did not ... Read More
This was a prime example of a cruise line, in this case Royal Caribbean, sending an unprepared ship on a cruise just for whatever money they could collect. Horrible boarding experience in Seattle, and was just the start. There did not seem to be one person associated with this ship that wanted to be there, and it showed. I have to amend that, our meal at Giovani's Table was excellent, the rest of the food wasn't fit for condemned prisoners. And the service could not have been worse. This was our 9th cruise and positively the worst buffet of them all. No selection, and no continuity. Again, nobody working in the buffet wanted to be there. I do have to get to the sleeping quarters, they called a stateroom. The mattress was just about as soft as a brick slab on Skid Row in any city. Now for the safety issues. Each and every cruise we have been on has a MANIDORY safety drill before leaving port. I believe this is world wide maritime law. This was so disorganized, my wife and I, along with some friends knew if something bad happened, we would grab our life jackets and jump overboard, because the crew DID NOT have a clue on safety, nor did they care. Also, there was nothing told to passengers with mobility issues, how they would get to their muster stations, with no elevators. With this cruise being only 4 1/2 days, we found out once we on the ship that there no formal night, and therefore the ship did not serve lobster. Unless you wanted to pay and extra $39.95, and with the quality of the dinning room food, that was not even considered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We were so happy to finally have a west coast cruise with the opportunity to sail under Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the one really great thing on this cruise was the weather. Oct 3. The check-in process was a fiasco!! We knew ... Read More
We were so happy to finally have a west coast cruise with the opportunity to sail under Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the one really great thing on this cruise was the weather. Oct 3. The check-in process was a fiasco!! We knew since late August that the Jewel was going to be docked at pier 42, so obviously the port authorities knew, the ships' crew knew, so why oh why were passengers subjected to three hours waiting while standing in line, some even outside in the hot sun!!! Reasons and rumors abounded but no apology whatsoever, until Wednesday evening from the captain himself. Too little, too late, was the subject at the dinner table that night. The ports were lovely, but many disabled passengers were not able to leave the ship due to the tendering system. Then in San Francisco, the long walk down and back the ramp was exhausting. People had long waits for wheelchair assistance that often never came. The food quality and service certainly didn't measure up to our past cruises with Royal Caribbean. Often the Windjammer food was lukewarm, and bland. The dining room food was better, but service was often very slow and neglectful. Overall, the ship is beautiful, but not enough elevators. Our cabin was toward the back and we had to walk a great distance to the Centrum elevators or stairs every time. First ship we've been on that didn't have aft elevators. Our room attendant was very, very good. No complaints there. We loved our room. bed was the best ever, closet space quite adequate, and the balcony spacious. There wasn't many planned activities especially for those who stayed on the ship on port days. Only information about the ports was available to view on stateroom tv's. No live conversation. We saw one towel folding demo, one napkin folding class and a couple of card making class. What happened to the food carving and ice sculptures? We heard several accusations about how the Diamond and Diamond Plus passengers get far better treatment than those in lower classes. Today's disembark was so much better, I guess because we were in the usual cruise port terminal. As much as we loved Royal Caribbean, (platinum members) I'm afraid that we'll be looking elsewhere for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This cruise started off on the bad side, the port of Los Angles/San Pedro, had the ship way away from all normal docking slips and had 4 cruise ships in that morning. LA Port is the worst ran port we have ever seen, lucky Royal had some ... Read More
This cruise started off on the bad side, the port of Los Angles/San Pedro, had the ship way away from all normal docking slips and had 4 cruise ships in that morning. LA Port is the worst ran port we have ever seen, lucky Royal had some tents installed to keep us out of direct sunlight on a very warm day they offered free water to the people waiting to embark. The normal process of going to the port and getting to your ship was stalled very badly by the port traffic. If this is the normal I now know why this was the last cruise Royal is having out of LA. Once aboard and all thing in control of Royal it was smooth sailing. The Jewel is behind the Radiance on upgrades she is due to be upgraded this spring, small things, old rounded televisions, no big screen pool side, only 2 choice restaurants, and to me the big one no shades that lower in the main dinning room to block the sun. Other wise a very clean and beautiful ship. As always the crew is amazing and did everything asked of them. Ports ranged from very nice to somewhat boring in my opinion. Santa Barbara nice little town but nothing really great about it, did the tour of Santa Barbara excursion the old mission is the highlight of the tour. San Francisco WOW loved this port so glad we spent 1 and half day there, so much to see and do. Did the 2 day Hop on Hop off bus tour with night tour HIGHLY recommend this excursion (get on the upper level if possible). They take you around town and give good information on the history of San Francisco the night tour is not to be missed. We then walked the pier area and saw Pier 39 with its shops and sea lions, went to fisherman's wharf, visited the major sight seeing attractions around the pier, the highlight for us east coasters was a burger from In and Out, best fast food burger ever. Monterrey was very nice we did the 17 mile Monterrey excursion. Being a golfer and getting to visit Pebble Beach Golf Course was the highlight our the trip fro me!!! VERY beautiful coastal scenery and information provided by the tour guide. Since all cruise ships must make a stop in a foreign country Ensenada Mexico was this stop. Did not do any excursions here just went to the town and looked around cost $2 to get to town $1 back to the ship normal Mexican shopping being haggled to stop here stop here. Dinning was very good in the Main Dinning Room we enjoyed every meal. The Windjammer Cafe was good buffet food but still a buffet it also seems to be closing much earlier than in the past. Cruise Director John Blair was outstanding very good entertainer himself, he is full of energy you can tell he loves his job. A side note about John he was on the port at disembarkation telling everyone goodbye, have never seen anyone except the mandatory personnel at disembarkation. In summary we had an Excellent cruise abroad the Jewel, and after the fiasco at the port it was truly smooth sailing waters included. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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