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27 Royal Caribbean Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly ... Read More
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly 15 months before the embarkation date. From meeting lots of people and talking, we found out that those lots of people all got upgraded. Especially the two ladies in cabin 3016, who got upgraded to an ocean view cabin. Why is it good enough for some to get upgraded, and not good enough for some others to not get upgraded. I would think that if you booked over 12 months ahead that those people would be the first to get chosen. Sadly and very unfortunately on our part we didn’t get upgraded. We think this is very unfair. Please tell me how the system works and which people you choose to upgrade first. The entertainment of the artists was fantastic. I was disappointed with the organising of the venues. We had early dining and late show, and when you went to other venues you just could not get in due to the amount of people.The dining menu hardly changed and some people sent meals back as they weren’t cooked properly. If you happened to go for a late night feed, all there was to offer was hotdogs and pizzas.We have travelled other cruise lines and you can just about get anything to eat till early hours of the morning.The staff in the dining room were polite and very, very helpful, they were great. When it came to the activity programs delivered to your cabin each night,there should be more clear information.It showed a sushi class and my wife went and later next day she was charged something like $33, so for people with poor eyesight you couldn’t see the little $ sign. When complained about it my wife was told she should have booked, but we said where does it say to book. They could not answer that question. One last complaint, I did not like crew members coming around trying to sell you food or drink packages while you are having your meal, and also in foyers, it was annoying. I am sorry to say but I don’t think we will return to Royal Caribbean cruising in the future, unless better deals are made. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico ... Read More
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico destinations. PROs: By far the best thing about the cruise was the Great shows, incrideble they have an ice show. Lots of different activities. Rooms are clean and our States Room attendant was pleasant. Johnny Rockets makes great burgers, fries, onion rings and shakes. CONs: ice rink only available twice the whole trip. Food was extremely disappointing; lunch and dinner buffet was subpar, the complimentary cafe has school grade cafeteria cardboard pizza, the speciality steakhouse steaks were obviously frozen steaks. The complimentary dining is average, had a couple decent dishes. Johnny Rockets cost 10 bucks. Complimentary foods are very limited on this cruise. There’s an eight dollar room service fees. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Have traveled with Celebrity (Solstice) and Holland America..First Cruise for awhile and booked with a friend. She cancelled, thank goodness as the inside Cabin was soo small, The cost of this cruise was low priced though, and ... Read More
Have traveled with Celebrity (Solstice) and Holland America..First Cruise for awhile and booked with a friend. She cancelled, thank goodness as the inside Cabin was soo small, The cost of this cruise was low priced though, and through Travel with Alan group. Spoke to some cruisers who paid $199.00 (for two) the same cabin and cruise through Royal Caribbean lines, and another woman who paid 600.00 through Costco. The embarkation was quite easy and friendly people. Then the fire drill outside. I seemed to mix up the directions, as to where the restaurants were. I thought I was in the middle of the ship, and depending where the elevators started, your restaurant could be at the other end of the ship (aft or forward) and then one had to walk outside by the pool to get there. Walk thru the inside to take another elevator! Advice. Dining: 1. If you like buffets, go to the windjammer. (I saw undercooked bacon, and not palatable food, bluntly dogfood) Did not eat in the dining room, as I read previous reviews, not great, other people said it was average and below. Promenade restaurant open all the time. Bread could be alittle fresher, other than that, handy, nice people and manager there! Luckily I chose the package of specialty restaurants. Purchased on ship from Smiling "Raul"! (same waiter in Chops! ) Very reasonably priced too. Save almost half with the packages. One is for 4 nights, another for 3 nights. First was the Italian Giovanni's Restaurant. Excellent food and service. Waiters name was EUTEMIO, even tho they were very busy, he was attentive and helpful! I like separate courses, as in Italy. Caprice Salad, pasta(crepe with warm Mozzarella, spinach with sauce of chunky tomato) then Lamb, nice presentation 3 perfectly cook lamb chops. Desert was to go! Mixture of 5, including panna Cotta! Great presentation on plates being served. No.2: Japanese IZUMI Asian Cuisine, Spider Roll, Seafood cooked on hotplate, Saki and a lovely plate of 3 fried icecream rounds, mango, lime. The server was the best part JOHN CABRERA , always smiling, happy and helpful in suggestions. Also, very nice presentation of plates served. No.3: Chops, best reputation of all I was told. Our server RAUL, was gracious, superior in service, helpfulness, friendly, always smiling. Goat Cheese Salad, Shrimp Cocktail (large, fresh tasting) (friend loved Mushroom soup the sides were fresh asparagus, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms,) and the very tender petite filet mignon . Desert a warm chocolate cake, similar to Chocolate Fondant/lava cake, vanilla ice cream, lace chocolate wafer floating on top. Superb. All plates, a beautiful presentation. A very positive organized restaurant crew. Sometimes saw same waiters in different areas and in different restaurants. As you can see from above, Foodie here writing. Dining ratings refer to Special restaurants! The Mixture of Entertainment and shows were pleasant enough. One complaint, from a DJ (Dizzy's?) who was self absorbed, into the only rap music he was playing. It seemed we totally bothered him with request to change the venue. Very few people were dancing at all. People in Guest Services were helpful and especially our man "Pratik Tamhankar" from India. A happy smiling young man ever soo talkative and helpful He needs to watch the series of Mozart on Netflix, main actor, he sounds just like him! Other girls there said they didnt want to be his girlfriend. The woman that worked in guest services with Pratik were very kind and helpful. Very sympathetic to a small lost boy on board. Nanimo, spent day with friend who lives there. High Tea at the Empress was a delight! Well worth the experience. Raining in Victoria. This is the first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. And it was a N.W. Pacific Cruise with many Northwest People. A mixture of dressed and not appropriately dressed people. I met some very nice, fun people. Not sure I would like to take a cruise for longer length of days on here, and overall it was quite a bargain for what people paid. As one person reported, 3 or more nights hotel in Seattle would cost more than this cruise! A nice adventure to Canada. Travel with Alan company, delivered lovely bottle of Washington State , Domaine Ste MICHELLE, Brut, 2 fluted glasses, on ice and Fruit Plate, upon arrival. Departure, a delicious box of Truffles! Thank you Travel with Alan, Lynnwood, Washington! And thank you to the Crew of Explorer of the seas. (Cabin info: Inside Cabin was soo small, only one chair. A definite ONE person Cabin! (If with a spouse it may be ok) A lighted scene of water with curtain! A friend said she did not have the lighted scene on wall, ha ha. Maybe the location of my cabin? Or a single person cabin? The cabin was clean, attendant Rolando Azucena was kind, polite always asking if I needed anything, which I did not. Except I had to ask someone for Lotion. The cabin is very dated compared to other ships, experienced. I found this on someones review which I thought was a perfect description of the Bath and Shower. "Beam me up Scotty, Star Trek Transporter (round with sliding doors) water pressure fine, slow with hot water. Inside cabins receive nothing but Towels which seemed strange. At times it felt like I was in our past Motorhome bedroom and bath. This was the only cabin available on this cruise when I booked with Travel with Alan group.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Royal Caribbean Explorer I might have originally put this under “you get what you pay for”, but on reflection it’s more complicated. My wife and I have sailed Princess four times and Regent Seven Seas Explorer most recently. ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Explorer I might have originally put this under “you get what you pay for”, but on reflection it’s more complicated. My wife and I have sailed Princess four times and Regent Seven Seas Explorer most recently. That said, we left our last spoiled. A two week all inclusive on one of their newest boats can do that to someone. Yes... we paid for it. But in fairness it was our 25th wedding anniversary and THAT should date us for those younger readers whom may be checking my/our compass. We found an amazing deal via email for a four day three night Seattle to Victoria B.C. on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer mid September (‘18). Basically $200 (x2). You can’t find a hotel in Seattle for two nights for that price. I got the ok from “management” and we booked a month before. Doing the usual specialty restaurant reservations and single excursion to Butchart Gardens. Really, how could it go wrong?. Well, like it sometimes does in the Northwest (we live in Oregon), fall came in all at once. Our record number of ninety degree days dropped to our first rain filled fifty degree week. We took the train to Seattle the night before, and bought umbrellas the day of departure. Getting to the port (pier 91) was painless. Boarding was easy and we were very surprised that we could carry our luggage onboard ourselves. No matter the ship, I just LOVE boarding. Ships are just amazing and mysterious (initially) to me and always inspire a feeling of awe. However once onboard Explorer, I felt a bit more of a feeling of “oh dear”. In a word, old. Though her last referb was 2015, she looks a bit tired. Faded pink pastels and tired carpets. We grabbed a late lunch up at the buffet and I must say - which using Princess as a comparison - was horrible. But again, for what I paid.. ok fine. I felt like I was at a cheap all you can eat American buffet: limp French fries, well done sausage size burgers, pasta pasta pasta and of course all the sweets you can stuff your plate with. For September, the fruit looked more like March - pale and flavorless. Like most chow wagons, the mood was “get and go people... get and go!”. I would be in trouble with “management” at this point if I didn’t mention the awful “stink” the linen napkins all seem to have (to be fair, I don’t smell my napkins much, but full disclosure at this point will make future sailing... um happier). There are “chow” lines on both sides of the dining area as you enter - but - the “different” food is all the way in the back. Go there first. Less crowded and an over all better mix of food. And expect some diversity.. imagine what appears to be a sweet little old lady (85ish?) turning and growling at you as she cuts in and grabs the last piece of ham. Back girl back!. Inspired to look beyond, I decided to round up a couple drinks after lunch and before we sailed. The pool side bar (but not the recently rained on pool) was full. The hot tubs looked like large “tail gater cocktail cups – filled with drink package warriors loudly arguing about upcoming football games. I ponied up to an available spot and ordered two drinks of the day (no idea what they were, but knew they had vodka and allot more of other stuff – per the menu - aka weak cocktail. What came back was two three inch narrow clear plastic cups and a bill for $34. OMG!!!!!. “Where’s your gun?!”. $34 for a combined total of 6oz of liquid?! No, the only thing pointed at my face was a nice kids smile (from Uganda) and a very genuine “thank you sir”. I pointed my invisible gun to my own head and shot a “buyer beware” bullet into my brain. Remember, the server is only the messenger. This may also be another consequence of sailing all inclusive last time... but still, COME ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN.. REALLY??!!. Those that know need no further explanation of why some cruise lines do this.. it (and the casinos) feed the beast. But, you could buy - as was heavily pushed by the bar staff - a $200 drink package. Four days (which really is three since you arrive at 6am on the fourth) to drink as much as you can.. hmmm, maybe the food improves?.. Moving on. The balcony room really wasn’t too bad. Dated yes (no USB ports and old cabinetry etc..) but not bad. Bed was stiff, but linens clean (no napkin stink per management.. sleep was allowed .. The shower is more like a “beam me up Scotty” Star Trek transporter - but the water pressure and volume of nice hot water was amazing. Cabin steward was warm and attentive. Balcony on this class of ship is very old school. Alcove style with half steel wall with a small glass lip in front. If it were sunny (god forbid) we’d never feel it on our balcony until mid morning or afternoon depending on the position of the ship. Neither a positive or a negative, just an observation compared to other ships. Television had a few stations, but nothing to hang out for. Decent over all room storage. The mini fridge was barely below room temp and clearly was part of the original “mini bar” era it was built for. Two power outlets and a small vanity had barely enough room to charge our electronics and still have room for managements hair “tools”. A small hair dryer was provided as well as a small room safe. Management & I like an early gym workout. Here we were not disappointed. Nice space, good equipment. We did not get to use the steam or sauna, but they looked great. Being such a short cruise no spa for “management” was attempted either.. but they looked ok. In an environment like this (unlike the slightly snootier class ships) we have no problem walking through the morning buffet in our workout clothes. In fact, at no time was “dress code” an issue. I would say as long as you had clothes on in the morning, the general meal areas were open to what ever you choose to wear. The specialty restaurants had some breakfast options that had a few more restrictions, but not many. No change here on food quality (general dining -= never did a specialty breakfast other than the kitchen tour brunch), but so be it. If we were bringing young kids along (as we did once on Princess) it would be just fine. We took the galley/brunch tour as well. Again, tour documents say closed toes shoes required, but upon arrival a few had flip flops and were told “no problem” (really!? Why print it?!). Here again, a tad disappointing. We’ve done one on every ship and while the actual galley tour was great, here the food was a total let down. Hard boiled eggs benedict and runny bland “something sauce”. The table was graced with nacho chips and guacamole (but no salsa), sushi (but no soy sauce or ginger/wasabi), charcuterie meats, cheese but just sliced bread, Oh well. Fun company at our table and champagne flowed freely (about $40 each I think). Ok - the MAJOR bummer spoiler alert - the smoking sections are basically wide open and flow everywhere. Up on the pool deck it’s on one side, in the casino it’s on one side. Basically all the smoke wafts freely all over the place. HEY ROYAL CARIBBEAN!! STOP IT!!!. STOP THE POISON!. STOP THE STINK!. Put those that can’t quit in a boxed off area to stink peacefully and get cancer to themselves. Really, they don’t care where they smoke, just that they can. We air lovers however DO care that our air not give us cancer or stink. DO YOU HEAR ME?!. Go ahead smokers.. dig in if you must, but really you shouldn’t. This addiction affects all those around you as well... and second hand smoke is just not fair. And I guess in this case that’s not really enough said.. but that’s for you all to realize and enough for me to have said. No No... move on smokers!. We wish it were warm and dry enough for us to try out the many outdoor activities available on this ship. Flow rider surfing, wall climbing were out of our reach -because of weather-. But when the weather allowed we got in some putting on the golf greens and almost got some shuffle board in. Indoors the video arcade was great (had to pay :( ) but it was a nice option during the rain. The ping pong tables (three) were a great diversion. The casino has lots of options, but as I mentioned you’d better like the STINK and have a change of clothes available afterwards. By accident while waiting to get a table on our first night we stumbled into the ice rink and watched part of the show going on there. AMAZING!. Likewise after dinner that night we stood in the back and watched part of the comedy show in the main theater. But we’re not night folks anymore, so I’ll leave reviews of the night life to those that partook. We watched a great match of dodge ball and heard fun stories of the ping pong tourney. In these areas the ship crew were (and actually have been through out) GREAT!. Asian theme restaurant Izumi was ok. But ala-carte adds up quick. But over all nice food. Did Chops steak house last night on board. GREAT views and really decent food. Service was over the top wonderful. We never had time to try the burger place, though it seemed at least themed nicely. Never got to try the pub fair on deck 5 but heard ok things. On the whole, food for 3800 guests is surely a task. The overall size of your ship will obviously dictate the quality of your food - at least if this cruise showed us anything. And actually, this is one of their smaller ships. AND... AND please understand as a culinary school instructor I realize what makes food “good” is subjective to each individual. I preach only to those who find some common ground in what I’ve laid down here. Some of my best friends find equal happiness in a bag of Doritos and a cheap beer just as equally with a perfectly cooked steak. Neither is better than the other in their eyes. It often revolves around those they share the meal with. I get that, I truly do. And I also am very versed in the economics of large production meals. But the truly best apples are often highest up on the tree. Those that take the challenge to reach those deserve my finest critiques. Little bits: coffee- free if you look for it (deck 5) behind the pay for espresso coffee shop - bring a large insulated cup. Coffee itself is really never been great on any cruise so far. For gods sake don’t pay for it - because they will let you. Water- bring your own bottles... fill at buffet restaurant or in gym. All tips are by default added to your bill...add or not accordingly but look at your tab!. Bring a usb hub or plug bar... there are two (maybe) plugs U.S. . There are a million YouTube videos giving suggestions on “what to bring on a cruise”... many have great ideas and therefore worth checking out. Bringing booze on the cruise.. hmmm, well we’ve done it in the past and I will say there is a comfort knowing you’re not paying $11 for a Dixie cup worth of watered down liquor. A two inch pour of wine for $14 leaves me grumpy. That said, ethically NO, don’t “rob” the cruise line of their margin. They make their money back (after all the other costs of running a ship) on booze and the casino. In most cases you’re allowed to bring one unopened bottle of wine on board. However, if you feel a tad righteous about being ripped off related to your ROI (return on investment) on adult beverages, than I say it’s probably worth the risk. But you must be sneaky and you don’t want to be obvious... just pretend you’re a teenager again and don’t want to get grounded. “ No car for a week!”. The bottom line on a 4 day 3 night Royal Caribbean Explorer cruise from Seattle to Victoria B.C.: A long weekend in a hotel that moves to different locations and feeds you for (in our case) far cheaper than a two night stay in a hotel in Seattle without food or entertainment is by itself a reason to go for it. There is most likely no one reading this that is in a class of folks that wouldn’t consider it in the first place (those guys are over on the Regent or Silver Seas boards). There are issues to be sure, but overall our “long weekend” was great. In and out of Seattle was easy and worth an extra day on either side… so much to do. Would I want to be on this ship for a week or more, sadly probably no. However to be fair, we never got to experience her on a sunny fully functional cruise (meaning all the outdoor amenities were useable). Nor have we ever not been on a warm sunny cruise. If choosing Alaska or a cruise like this, look for the interior reviews. There ARE ships that do it right. There are obviously thousands more critiques on this ship out there. Please Please Please look at least a few more before making a decision one way or the other. Getting off the ship was a piece of cake. As when we boarded, they allowed us to carry off our own luggage allowing for an immediate and crowd free departure, and almost no slowing or questions at customs. Probably because of it being Canada and such a short cruise. We found 13 Coins restaurant (newly built under a Embassy Suites next to the train station and stadium) was (is) open 24/7. GREAT FOOD !..GREAT PRICES!. Just say’n. I love cruising. I take each new cruise (never have done the same ship or cruise twice) as an adventure and an investment. I use this venue as a way to express to myself what I think or thought of it as I went. I hope all that read along found it useful or at least.... Not Boring. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a 60th Birthday cruise consisting of 5 women, 3 whom have known each other for 57 years! We were treated to a suite by the birthday girl (can't go wrong there) and while it was a great room and we loved our room steward ... Read More
This was a 60th Birthday cruise consisting of 5 women, 3 whom have known each other for 57 years! We were treated to a suite by the birthday girl (can't go wrong there) and while it was a great room and we loved our room steward Nyomon (spelling?) and the ice show was terrific...everything else was sadly mediocre at best. Boarding was okay, a little confusing... Carnival Cruises from Long Beach were much smoother whether a suite passenger or regular. Our suite was Aft which meant we took the elevator from mid-ship to aft. This in itself was not bad, but the horrible musty smell from the elevator to aft to get to our rooms was horrible and I could only feel sorry for those who were staying in those rooms! Food was mediocre for the most part. The best tasting item in at the buffet at the time we boarded was the butter chicken, which was very tasty. Sadly, I was the only one in the group that selected that dish. The "prime rib" looked good under that light but was not rare and juicy once it was put on the plate. In fact it was like leather and not eaten. We did an upsale restaurant, Chops which was very good with excellent service. Everyone had filet mignon, except for me. I chose the lamb chops and they were amazing! The one show I attended (I don't care for shows for the most part) was the Ice Skating and it was very entertaining and well done. We enjoyed our excursion to Buchert Gardens and we finished with a lovely tea at the Empress Hotel and I highly recommend both! We were fortunate to get the special pricing for Buchert Gardens and the tea at the Empress was well priced if you know the cost of going to a tea of that caliber. My biggest gripe is the drink package and the requirements that go along with them. EVERYONE must purchase if you are sharing a single cabin. For a virtual non-drinker like myself, this was a rip off. I get that they don't want you to "buy" drinks for other's using the package, but when you realize that you paid a fortune each day, and you are limited in the number of drinks per day, you really are not taking any money from their pockets. This is where the ripoff is. As it was, since we were Suite guests, we had access to the Concierge Lounge (very nice...I wish Carnival would do this) and there it appears drinks are included! I had a single drink each day at the concierge lounge when we sat in there to relax. Now my girlfriends were a bunch of lushes and they certainly got their money's worth with the drink package, some more than others, but I rather resented the fact that I too had to have one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Me & My husband and my husbands brother and his wife did this cruise as a Nice get away close to home (our 33rd cruise their 1st Cruise) this cruise was close to home coming out of Seattle we are in Vancouver WA, We have sailed ... Read More
Me & My husband and my husbands brother and his wife did this cruise as a Nice get away close to home (our 33rd cruise their 1st Cruise) this cruise was close to home coming out of Seattle we are in Vancouver WA, We have sailed with many cruise lines and we really enjoy Royal Caribbean but just coming off in the Last year the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure this Explorer was a Big change some good and some not so good, of course the ship is alot smaller than the last 2 we had been on but it was still a good size we have been on smaller Our Cabin was perfect we always do mid ship low which we like our Room steward Bobby did the best he could with how many rooms he had we have been cruising for many years and when we first started cruising I swear when you woke up and went to breakfast the cabin Ferry was in there and had it spotless if you sat on the bed and left and came back the cabin ferry had been back in and it was spotless Now they have to many cabins to attend when we would go to breakfast and maybe hang out for a while we would come back around noon and our cabin was still not made up it seemed to be he didn't get to ours until about 2pm, each day then turn down at night not really any extras but at least we got clean towels and bed made. Dining our first night Dinner was Awesome....after that it was ok we ate 3 times in the dining room but seemed to be extra slow service so we opted for the windjammer the rest of the time, Room service now has a charge at all times so our Traditional night time cake and milk to the room we did not do better for the waist line anyway but that was always a nice perk, Casino...This is a Huge part of our Cruise so this Casino on the Explorer is TINY I was so sad this is the first ship I have been on that does not have Let it Ride! that's my game so I had to play 3 card poker I did have a great time however that's not my game my husband plays Craps, The Dealers I have to give a Big shout out to Kevin he was the Bomb! excellent fun Guy Fireball!! also the Casino Host Mihaela was Awesome and the Casino manager Chad was Excellent! we had one bad Dealer that was probably the biggest jerk I have ever dealt with and sadly he cost his fellow dealers alot of money while he dealt at the 3 card poker table because of his attitude I always 100% of the time have a bet out for the dealer while I'm playing and also there was other people doing the same thing however while this dealer was on the table that did not happen because he was so rude we did talk this over with the Casino manager so hopefully this problem has been taken care of not just for his staff but for future cruisers, because of the size of this casino it was very hard to get on a table you had to go 45 minutes prior to opening and sit at the empty table otherwise you did not get to play they had a wait list at each table just to be able to play,...the Bar Staff in Casino is Awesome a shout out to Ashley and Winston bit these guys took care of us very well all week long! we met some awesome people while playing and at the end of the week it is sad to say goodbye but at the 3 card poker we all had a great time, me and my husband both earned a free cruise off our playing so hopefully we will see some of these people again Ports: Astoria Oregon we didnt get off the ship because its so close to Home, San Fransisco we had a blast the cruise ship docks right by the warf for easy walking and or the hop on hop off bus, we bought online the 2 day Go Pass for San Fran and we got to do a ton of things since we were there for 2 days, Victoria BC love this city since we have been so many times we took the bus into town Cost $10 pp round trip as many times as you want We have already booked this for next September 2018 they have such great deals its cheaper than going to the cost for 7 nights! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I've cruised on several other cruise lines, and liked this one the least. Reasons: charging $8 for room service(!) and $20 per day for WiFi; few shops for shopping; some venues, such as trivial pursuits and karaoke, were so crowded ... Read More
I've cruised on several other cruise lines, and liked this one the least. Reasons: charging $8 for room service(!) and $20 per day for WiFi; few shops for shopping; some venues, such as trivial pursuits and karaoke, were so crowded you couldn't get near them; library/card room only had about 8 tables, so we had to hunt for place to play cards in a comfortable place; nightly shows were pretty lame, with exception of terrific ice skating show and comic on last night. PLUSES: excellent food with wonderful service in both the buffet area and dining room, and several places to find food day and night; wonderful stateroom assistant (room cleaned twice daily); great assistance with shore excursions (BUT DON'T BOTHER WITH BEHIND THE SCENE TOUR OF SHIP...cost too high, difficult to understand speakers in departments visited, real bare-bones and frankly boring tour, and did not include promised visit to crew member cabin). All-in-all, will not cruise this line in future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It was leaving from Seattle during our birthdays. Zuni was a treat! Other food had lots of quantity but too little quality with main dish meat. I let the dining staff know I was allergic to onions, most food was dull. I did get sick ... Read More
It was leaving from Seattle during our birthdays. Zuni was a treat! Other food had lots of quantity but too little quality with main dish meat. I let the dining staff know I was allergic to onions, most food was dull. I did get sick on the final dinner, possibly with the soup. I tasted it and then had to leave the table. We were on RC cruise in Baltic- June 2017, Vision of the Seas. Dinners were delicious accommodate my onion allergies perfectly with no fuss. My husband said quality of the lunch and dinner was too salty not tender nor tasty. Maintenance was lacking, rust spots obvious in many places outside. One of the Hot tubs in Solarium was very hot and did not have all nozzles working. We have had a continuous problem with my status as a Diamond member, first not on my ship card two trips to Anchor staff then guest services still had to go back to get a separate entry key for Diamond Room on 14 th floor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The dinner menu is not impressive, had to rely on the standing items several nights. Also very disappointment in the wine selection. All the bars listed a wine on the menu that I was interested in - but it was only available one evening ... Read More
The dinner menu is not impressive, had to rely on the standing items several nights. Also very disappointment in the wine selection. All the bars listed a wine on the menu that I was interested in - but it was only available one evening at one bar and in the dining room. The wine choices for the price of a glass was not aligned. The service overall was good. Condition of the ship was also good. I especially appreciate being able to purchase the specialty coffee card so that I can have a latte every morning. The staff was generally nice, and we made sure to recognize those that did a great job with extra gratuities. I recommend this cruise but think that it would have been better to have more time in Victoria rather than sailing so slowly back to Seattle. Wish more of the RC ships had this cabin in the location that our cabin was in - it was awesome! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I haven't been on a Royal Caribbean cruise in a while. I am not a major fan of RCI but we chose this cruise because we were travelling with friends and family and wanted an affordable cruise that all could enjoy. Explorer of the Seas ... Read More
I haven't been on a Royal Caribbean cruise in a while. I am not a major fan of RCI but we chose this cruise because we were travelling with friends and family and wanted an affordable cruise that all could enjoy. Explorer of the Seas provided that for us. The Ship: Well maintained, very clean, but Explorer is in need of a major refurbishment. Some upgrades have been made along the way but those have just postponed the inevitable. There really is no theme to the ship anymore. We had inside cabins. Not terrible. But very small. The showers are quite cramped. The beds are below average. Somewhat springy. The refrigerator didn't work very well. You wont spend much time in your cabin anyway. The TV is quite bad. There's no DVD player. The same shows play over and over again. I think they were showing the same Fixer Upper episode every night. Crazy. But like I said, you won't be spending much time there. They should have a live channel or two. CNBC or Bloomberg at least. I like ships with a full promenade around the whole ship. This was on Deck 4. A lot of times we would be among the few people out there, so that was nice. Deck 11 had the pools, hot tubs, the buffet, etc. This deck probably got the most use. Very functional, but nothing special. Deck 12 was the running track. Nice. The Passengers: Good mix. People were polite and generally respectful. Dress code is very casual during the day. In the main dining room most guests dressed up for the two "Formal" nights on the sea days. But you don't have to do that. We did and didn't feel out of place. But otherwise, nice casual for the MDR, and regular casual everywhere else. Ages of the passengers varied. We didn't have that many kids on board but there were some. I think Explorer does a good job keeping the kids occupied and their activities separated from the more adult activities. Good job. The Good: Service in the MDR for dinner was excellent. The meals were above average. However, quality seemed to slip later in the week. We did have a couple very good dinners and overall we agreed that Royal Caribbean had upped their game on the food. We did not try the restaurants this trip. The ports were great. We chose some of the shore excursions that were offered and we enjoyed them all. We really liked Astoria, Oregon. We took a bus tour that stopped at the Astoria Column. We climbed all the way to the top and it turned out to be a fun day. San Francisco. What needs to be said? Victoria, BC. Cool city. Definitely will go back. Embarkation, de-embarkation. Very good. The Seattle cruise port seems to have its act together. Very smooth. The casino was large, and had a good variety of games and slot machines. If you want a cruise where theres some nightlife, here you go. There were many people out and about in the evenings into the night. There were a lot of different places to go. Fitness classes - the new stretching class was very good! Yoga was fair. Good Ice Show. I've seen a lot of cruise entertainment over the years. The ice show was actually pretty good. The Bad: As mentioned, the ship needs to be updated. The cabins are small and the bathrooms are tiny. This is no small thing. The fitness center is way too hot. We asked about getting some fresh air in there and we were told that there was nothing the staff could do. The center was busy the first morning but people came once, almost died from the heat, and didnt come back. The spa is over-priced and they push too much product and add-ons. I am used to paying, but this was ridiculous. Now if they offered a true spa experience, maybe the $200 for a 75 minute massage would be worth it. But its an assembly line. The spa itself really needs upgrading. The waiting room needs a sea view. The treatment rooms need to be a hair bigger. The masseuse was okay, but the whole experience could have been better. Lots of people there, though, so people obviously like it okay the way it is. Main Dining Room breakfast. Either get the food out there within an hour or just tell people you cant do it and have them go up to the buffet. They had the same menu every day. They also tried to help things along by setting up a small buffet in the center of the floor. We were traveling with some older folks and they like to be waited on, so we ate there every morning. But I would choose to just go up to the Windjammer where there's more variety and you can get what you want when you want it. The Cruise Director seemed to be AWOL. Lots of people smoking. Too many designated smoking areas. Frankly, I was surprised so many people still smoke. Summary: Overall, I rate this cruise a B, with value for the money being part of that grade. Large ships are not my preference, so I am somewhat biased. But I did have an enjoyable cruise aboard Explorer of the Seas. If someone in the family chose Explorer for a future cruise, I would certainly go again. Royal Caribbean seems to be firing on all cylinders these days. Much better than my last cruise on RCI in 2009. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
RCL has good reputation, have used before, and a group was going. The food in the main dining room was very good. The entertainment in the main theater was kind a hit or miss, Aa couple of shows were very good and have several shows ... Read More
RCL has good reputation, have used before, and a group was going. The food in the main dining room was very good. The entertainment in the main theater was kind a hit or miss, Aa couple of shows were very good and have several shows lacked spark of high entertainment value. They were nearly always vacant Seats at the 8:30 show. The cabin Stewart was very attentive to my special-needs as a handicap Trevor. The dining room staff was very professional. Sitting on the promenade watching people was very enjoyable. The cruise again on September 14, 2017. There are no Royal Caribbean wheelchair accessible excursions on this cruise. Our ports of call were in Astoria Oregon, San Francisco, and Victoria British Columbia. The entertainment in the piano bar and on the royal promenade was very good. This is an actual time of year to cruise the Northwest Pacific coast. I will not try to carry my own luggage off in the future as the staging area was very overcrowded with little space for all the people and their luggage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was definitely NOT a "WOW" c ruise. I went on the Explorer of the Seas on her Best of British Columbia 4 night cruise with my mother. As she doesn't cruise much [this was her 6th cruise] tended to think everything was ... Read More
This was definitely NOT a "WOW" c ruise. I went on the Explorer of the Seas on her Best of British Columbia 4 night cruise with my mother. As she doesn't cruise much [this was her 6th cruise] tended to think everything was GREAT & I should automatically know everything as this was my 19th cruise. Before the cruise RCI had 2 issues that were not what they would’ve liked: 1., My passport expired 1 month or more after cruiser was back; they would prefer an expiration 6 months or more after cruise was back. However that was a recommendation rather than a requirement. 2. They prefer inbound flights to arrive before 12:00 [that is a requirement & they don't allow a setsail pass to be printed without flights being in time range], Southwest allowed us to change our flights {it actually was cheaper}. We got into Seattle @ 10:30. The outbound flight left @ 11:00, they would like people to leave 1:00 PM or later. The ship got back to port @ 6:00 AM. We put in fake flight information (we also could have said flights were on the next day). We took a Speedee Shuttle to the pier rather than sitting to wait for RCI's transportation. They had a rep waiting for us @ baggage claim. Not far away was the cruise line's person. In our shuttle were couples going to a downtown hotel & 6 others who were also on the Explorer. At the pier building was the long lines to check in; since we both were C&A members we could go to a separate line but general boarding was about just as long. I would say it may have been about an hour to get onboard ship after entering the building. When we finally got on the ship, we couldn't go to our stateroom because they weren't ready yet. We went to the Windjammer to eat. In contrast to what was reported, food was ready even though Explorer had to go through a health inspection. They apparently boarded passengers later than originally planned. Our room was ready shortly after getting our food. Food was nothing special but I did try 'Honey Strung Chicken'. I had made all of our My Time Dining arrangements weeks before boarding. That worked out well however we did skip one night. The first we got a table to ourselves. They didn't ask but assumed as the last name was the same. It was the not asking what would be our preference the other night.The bed originally was together even though it was requested months in advance to be two separate. When we got back from the lifeboat drill, he was in the process of changing them & we had to give him ten more minutes. I also noted that they have their carts positioned more for their convience. As you are aware hallways on ships are not very big to begin with. The room & halls weren't as clean as they should have been. The staff seemed to me to be tired as the ship just got back from a 24 day cruise with many sea days. Mother gave the stateroom attendant & his assistant an extra $5/day when what they got from the daily charge was sufficient. In contrast to other ships, people were not cleaning brass & very little carpet sweeping & mopping. I adapted my style. Back to the food, people will be disappointed to learn that they no longer have 'Savory Bites' and the escargot was not as good as before. I found the food to be rather bland and service to be poor. Food in the Windjammer was also bland & cold by the time you sat down. There also was no one taking care of cleaning spills. For example @ one breakfast, a elderly man dropped sausage link on the floor. At least 3 staff went by it including uniformed staff. They are quick to remove plates. The Explorer has a 3 level dining and MTD is on the lowest, they did seem to be more organised with have 2 lines, one for those who already had reservations. The other time we went to the dining room for dinner on the third night, we were seated @ a larger table. The waiter "Ravi" according to his nametag was extremely slow. I did what is called 'Twiddling my thumbs' several times. One couple after seeing the menu got up & left, At no time did the waiter make any recommendations. They didn't inquire about your food being to your liking. This night, service took over 2 hours, the waiter got the wrong orders to the wrong person. The first full day was at sea, even though this was a short cruise; they had ice shows. They gave guests a show timed based on their assembly station. Ours not until the third day. They open the doors 30 minutes before showtime for designated guests and 5 minutes for anyone else. Since everyone was onboard, it is advisable to wait for your designated show. That is if you want a guaranteed seat. Other things they had on ship miniature golf, casino, rock climbing wall, trivia, scavenger hunts, shuffle board, flow rider, wine tasting, bingo, dancing lessons,shopping, Scattegories, and movies. I won $140 on slots & we won trivia once.The movies they had were: A Monster Calls, Collateral Beauty,Fantastic Beasts, Inferno, Hacksaw Ridge, The Founder, Arrival, and Allied. They also had a shore excursion talk, which was good as one of the ports Nanaimo is not visited often. The night before, you had to fill out Canadian customs form. They wanted to know when you got into their country, same information asked on USA custom forms, how long you planned to spend, and if you planned to spend more than $60 Canadian. The ship had to give officials the forms for clearance. Since while the ship may have gotten into port & tied down @ 7:00 AM, no one was allowed off until 8:00. It is also possible that some didn't turn in their forms as we were delayed in being cleared. We ended up taking the free shuttle which had stops & Jill gave a great talk about the village. We also did a city tour the next day in Victoria. We had visited this city earlier at the end of a 7 day Alaskan cruise. That ship was Celebrity Infinity & as it was smaller, it didn't get into port until 5 pm, it got dark about an hour later. Because of distance, the Gardens [main attraction] is about 45 minutes away. We learned more about Victoria this time. They have about 15 different governments, real estate sells quick (many houses cost over .5 million), and some older buildings like the Empress Hotel were built on land that used to be the ocean floor. We didn't feel like shopping, he allowed people to get off the bus @ the Empress Hotel & the waterfront. He suggested people taking a taxi versus the shuttle. We went back to the ship & were able to play miniature golf. After lunch went to the movie, the first 15-20 ways sound only until they fixed the problem. We went to the ice show, that was good as always. If your ship has one, I recommend not missing it. We packed as were doing self checkout. We got off the ship with no incident. We did have to wait outside for our Speedee Shuttle to the airport. Even though we didn't check in for flights until the airport, the positions were not bad. Because of an incident in the Las Vegas airport, South West let us preboard. Be warned SEA-TAC airports' waiting areas are very dirty. The incident in the Las Vegas airport jetway was I tripped and fell down shortly after getting off the plane. South West fully documented the incident & had me checked out for fitness to fly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this particular cruise as it took us to a different location and fit our vacation schedule. We have been on many cruises on other cruise lines but not Royal Caribbean Lines. We had heard that the service was incredible and that ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise as it took us to a different location and fit our vacation schedule. We have been on many cruises on other cruise lines but not Royal Caribbean Lines. We had heard that the service was incredible and that the food was fantastic. Getting on board was simple and quick. The staff upon check-in were friendly and welcoming. We were anxious for the dining experience and chose a 5:30pm seating. When we arrived at the dining room, we found the staff to be confused and disorganized. The cruise guests were also confused and frustrated as we waited in long lines to be seated. Once seated, our waitstaff was friendly, however the service was slow and there was confusion as to who was suppose to take care of our table. Once our food came, it was tasty and delicious. Our diner experience lasted between 1 1/2 - 2 hours. - a bit long for cruise dining. The ship was beautiful and well appointed. Our standard cabin was clean and perfect for 2 guests. Housekeeping services were excellent. we had never seen a "virtual balcony" - that was an outstanding feature! Although overall the staff and crew were very friendly and accommodating, there was nothing outstanding that made us want to re-book another cruise on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We choose this cruise for the convenience and location to the house. The ship itself is amazing. It is very nice. However, it goes down hill from there. The customer service agents look like they are held at gun point to work there. They ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the convenience and location to the house. The ship itself is amazing. It is very nice. However, it goes down hill from there. The customer service agents look like they are held at gun point to work there. They are not friendly by any means. Never participate in small talk and there faces are frozen in the frown position. However, we had two cabins in two locations and both of our cabin stewards were amazing. They were friendly, attentive, and even ran to open the door when our hands were full. The main dining room food was ok. Nothing to write home about but edible. Our team of waiters were fantistic. The head waiter was Vivitek (not sure of spelling) and I can't remember the assistant waiter that worked along side him but they were both top notch. That being said, the buffet left much to be desired. While we always found something to eat, the selections and taste were way below what one would consider good. Worse, they close at 9 p.m. so if you get hungry after that, you have to get a snack at the cafe located on the promenade. Not much to choose from but when your hungry, it will make do. The coffee......THE COFFEE IS HORRIBLE! I have yet to find a cruise line that has great coffee but Royal Caribbean's coffee should be against the law it is so bad! The only show worth seeing is the ice show. It is wonderful and the skaters are great. Very entertaining. However, the Explorer of the Seas dance/singing crew were nothing to write home about. The white head male singer's voice is not strong enough to be the lead singer. While he was great on a couple of numbers, most of the time, he was just ok. The black head singer's voice is just plain bad. He has no business taking the lead on any number. As for the two females, while the young blond with long hair was easy on the eyes, her voice could not compare to the other lead female singer. Her voice was amazing yet they featured the other singer more often. A big mistake in my opinion. Overall, the cruise was ok. The cruise director will not go out of his way to talk to anyone but he was funny. The other guy they call Big Mac, acted like he could not wait until the game he was hosting was over. We even ran into him on the elevator and he just ignored everyone. We never seen the captain walking about but he did update us on the weather and when it was too rough to port in Victoria, he anchored right outside Victoria until the weather subsided a bit and we were able to port later that day. I never had a captain do that before so cudoos to him. Overall, the cruise was fine. Not the best, not the worse. I can say that while I will be cruising again in the near future, I have no plans to sail with Royal Caribbean again. It is just not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
i wanted to see the West Coast, mainly San Francisco, Seattle, Oregon and other parts of California. The ship was beautiful and the cabin was excellent. My cabin was an outside cabin. I was in cabin 3608. The Anytime Dining was not ... Read More
i wanted to see the West Coast, mainly San Francisco, Seattle, Oregon and other parts of California. The ship was beautiful and the cabin was excellent. My cabin was an outside cabin. I was in cabin 3608. The Anytime Dining was not organized. You could not get a table for 2 unless you wanted to eat at 7:30 P.M. or later. Anyone who ate at 5:30 P.M. for dinner had to share a table. The staff seemed that they were in training. They kept getting passengers ordered mixed up. The food was sometimes cold. The entertainment was good, however, it was better on the Anthem of the Seas. The shore excursions were okay, however, nothing great. I did enjoy the Din Sum tour and luncheon in San Francisco. The Captain's Cocktail party did not honor any outstanding cruisers whom had cruised an extra amount of time as the other Captain's function did. I had to ask my cabin steward for a bathrobe and I should have had it in the cabin since I am a Diamond Member. I had ordered Cholocate Covered Strawberries for my friend whom was in cabin 3606 to be in her cabin on arrival. The strawberries arrived to her cabin at 11:00 P.M. after I made an inquiry. I did not get my Welcome Back gift until the next day. It took 3 days to get my laundry back from being pressed. I gave the cabin steward the laundry on the first morning after arrival and received the laundry back 3 days later. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I chose this cruise because of the cost. Inside cabin was ok. No coffee table any more so I had the cabin steward move on the bedside tables in front of the loveseat. Food was for the most part so-so. Only a few dishes to rave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the cost. Inside cabin was ok. No coffee table any more so I had the cabin steward move on the bedside tables in front of the loveseat. Food was for the most part so-so. Only a few dishes to rave about(lamb was excellent and Drunken Kalhua cake fantastic). Royal promenade interesting,and nice having Cafe Promenade to have a bite to eat whenever I wanted to. Parades-so so. Disco party and Brit party on the promenade were a lot of fun. Some of the entertainment staff really good-especially Kacy,Big Mac and Zarek. Lots of trivia. Bands ok,but not great. Weather was mostly cool. Overall,an ok cruise but I probably would not go on another pacific coastal cruise again. Some hot tubs were really hot,especially in the solarium. Wish RCCL would trust passengers with returning pool/hot tub towels as other cruise lines do. I thought alcohol drinks were extremely expensive. I only had the wine that I brought in my cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our first cruise. We thought we were getting a great price for the 8 day cruise on the Explorer of the Seas from SEATTLE - CALIF - Victoria BC - Seattle. I will pick a warmer time of year next time as the weather in early October was very ... Read More
Our first cruise. We thought we were getting a great price for the 8 day cruise on the Explorer of the Seas from SEATTLE - CALIF - Victoria BC - Seattle. I will pick a warmer time of year next time as the weather in early October was very rainy and waters were rough. The ship service was excellent (usually) but the food was at best "average". Many times the meat was over-cooked even when ordered medium. The desserts were usually poorly prepared and was not very tasty. The salads were good. I did book a Caribbean Cruise for spring on a different ship (still Royal Caribbean) with the hopes that the food improves and the weather is better. Some of the other passengers stated that the food has been better on other cruises so I'm holding out hope. The soft serve ice cream was probably the best tasting food group. 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
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 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
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 process was smooth, less than one hour. The ship staff for the main dining room were very good and our room steward too was quite good. The food was the same as the Serenade of the Seas we were on in December 2014. The ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, less than one hour. The ship staff for the main dining room were very good and our room steward too was quite good. The food was the same as the Serenade of the Seas we were on in December 2014. The quality of the food was pretty good overall and the service was very good to excellent. The first port of Santa Barbara was a tender port. The ship's tender service was putrid. They recognized problems early in the morning and attempted to solve some of the problems by hiring private fishing and tour boats for as far away as Long Beach. it still took over 90 minutes to get to the pier in Santa Barbara. The community was great and I will return, but not with this cruise line. We waited close to 3 hours to return to the ship and hundreds of people were forced to wait in the hot sun with temps @ 84+. The ship left this port over an hour later than scheduled or they would have left hundreds in Santa Barbara. San Francisco is a great town. The shore excursion staff were ignorant to the bus tours and provided false information that we thankfully did not follow. Monterrey was a tender port too. This time, the Jewel did a much better job or organizing and responding to the cruisers. The only negative was riding in a stinky fishing boat getting back to the ship. At least there was no waiting this time. Back in the port of Los Angeles (San Pedro), there were more problems with the ship resulting in leaving over 95 minutes late for an excursion. The ship staff forced us to wait 34 minutes in 88 degree heat in the hot sun waiting for our luggage. Once we got our bags and feeling ill, we finally found our tour bus. The tour left late. This forced us to get a cab from Santa Monica to LAX ad pay an additional $50 to get to the airport. I notified the cruise line by email and US mail and as of 10/15/2015, we are still waiting for a reply. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver. Embarkation: We ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier rather late, so there was zero wait for embarkation. Luggage was also delivered well before dinner on departure day. We did find the muster drill to be less serious than is typical. Disembarkation was also efficient, although we had been assigned a 9:30 time and were getting the final warning all call at 9:15 (but I assume this would be a plus for most people, so no harm). Getting on and off the ship in ports was easy. There was a bit of a back-up to board tenders at Catalina, but the water was choppy so very understandable. Also beware that the security folks (port not RCCL) in San Francisco were being exceptionally strict with respect to any food (they had to discuss weather I was permitted to bring on Pringles in a sealed pack). We saw lots and lots of sourdough in the trash. Public Spaces: We found the public spaces on the ship to be very nice, clean, and generally well apportioned. The Schooner Lounge was an especially nice spot. On the two sea days (one scheduled plus most of the next day - which I will explain below), we spent a significant amount of time in the solarium. We were shocked to be able to find deck chairs so easily, especially since weather precluded using any of the outdoor pool areas (save for a few brave polar bears!!). One drawback, the deck chairs (wooden slatted with cushions) were exceptionally uncomfortable. We brought out pillows to use. All-in-all, the public spaces certainly were the best part of the ship. Dining: The food on the ship was decent. It wasn't great, it wasn't poor, it was what you expect. BUT, the availability of food was absolutely ridiculous. Obviously the days of huge midnight buffets every night are over (probably just as well). And I am not one to pig out constantly during a cruise, but I do expect to be able to sit down and eat a meal anytime I want (excluding the middle of the night). We had a 6:30p tour to Alcatraz. We went to the Windjammer (the Lido/Pool deck cafe) at 5:30 - CLOSED. We returned from the excursion at 10 and went to the Windjammer - CLOSED. In fact, at 10pm there is no food available anywhere on the ship. At 11pm you can go to a little cafe that serves hamburgers for a $10 surcharge. A hot dog was available for free....just as long as you had paid 10$ for a hamburger first. The food in the main dining room was fine, the service good. I was surprised that the premium cuts of beef were extra, even on formal night. I have been served beef wellington on a Carnival ship on formal night - but not here. Even in the premium steakhouse ( $35 surcharge) you will only get a 6oz filet - a nicer cut of meat is another 20$. 10$ surcharge for a hamburger 55$ surcharge for the steakhouse with a ribeye. That tells you what is being spent on the food available elsewhere. Enrichment Activities: "Enrichment" was nonexistent (the only port talk took place prior to us even boarding the ship. There were typical pool activities, most of which were canceled due to inclement weather (news flash: overcast, 55, and windy while on the pacific in May is not inclement - it's normal). Entertainment: The music around the ship was good. Very basic, but the vocalists and musicians were high quality. We saw one show with the singers and dancers, it was nicely done. We heard the comedian during the welcome show, and that was all we needed to hear of him. Bowzer also did a performance, and that was entertaining to the older folks on board. Service: We found the service to be fine. There were very few, if any crew members who stood out as being either poor or spectacular. Dining room service was a little rushed the first night but was very solid after that. Requests were met, and dish temperatures, sides, dressings were all brought as ordered. The one thing that I did not like was the lack of bar service in the Windjammer, theater and pool deck. My guess is, now that RCCL is talking folks into the drink packages, they have lost the incentive to come around a sell drinks. This is not the case in the dining room, but is the case elsewhere. Mechanical Issue: We did have a mechanical problem on the ship. Obviously these things happen, and we ended up leaving San Francisco some 9 hours late. We were not notified of the new arrival time in Victoria until Noon the next day. We ended up having a few hours less in Victoria (6:30 - 10:30 instead of 12 - 7), which was unfortunate. The biggest problem here was that when everyone got back to the boat, again, all the restaurants were closed. People at the windjammer were very upset. We finally went back to our cabin and from our balcony we could see all the activity at the cafe on Solstice (which was docked adjacent to us); that was as close to a meal as we would get. All-in-all, the time we spent on the cruise was very enjoyable. We loved the ports, and the ship's public spaces; staff and our fellow cruisers were warm and friendly. That being said, RCCL is not for us. Too many corners cut, too little attention to detail, and too small a cabin. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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