1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
Sail Date: August 2005
Overall, the cruise was a success. There were some dreadful experiences, as well as some exceptional ones. I will highlight the good and the bad. First, the bad: Do not cruise with Royal Caribbean if you are not completely able-bodied. ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was a success. There were some dreadful experiences, as well as some exceptional ones. I will highlight the good and the bad. First, the bad: Do not cruise with Royal Caribbean if you are not completely able-bodied. We cruised with my parents, and my father has difficulty standing and walking for long periods of time. Two weeks before departure, I contacted a Royal Caribbean "Special Needs" person, and requested a wheelchair for embarkation and debarkation. She informed me they would have a manifest with my father's name on it at the pier, and that a wheelchair would be waiting for him. We ended up waiting in the overheated terminal for over an hour and a half for a wheelchair. There was no one at the pier with any list, nor were they able to explain why the wheelchairs were not available. For debarkation, I approached Guest Relations the day before, and was informed to come to the gangway at 8:00 a.m., and that wheelchair assistance would be available at that time. We arrived at 8:00 a.m., only to be informed that we had to wait until our color was called, and that only then would he be assisted off the ship. We were not called until 10:45 a.m. If we had not been wrongly advised that we would be departing the ship at 8:00 a.m., we could have slept a little later and had a leisurely breakfast before making our way down to the gangway at the time our color was called. My husband asked me to paste this in on Royal Caribbean's part pertaining to gambling: "I expect and account for some overdone hype, but they go overboard (no pun intended). With Bingo, the cruise director implored people to spend $50 for a $5000 jackpot game in the morning because the prize "usually" goes then, and would be awarded in an afternoon session only if by chance it was not awarded in the morning. After we paid for our morning cards, and as the game began, the crowd was told that only 50 of 75 numbers would be drawn and that a full card was needed (24 numbers) to win. If you know some probability, you will immediately realize that NOBODY is winning a full card in 50 numbers; it is possible and may have happened once or twice by fluke, but the cruise director said it was "usual." In essence, we all paid $50 for virtually NO chance, at least in my case in reliance on fraudulent information provided to me by the cruise director. As for blackjack, I was not the only one who noticed that far less than 4 out of 13 cards dealt were tens and faces while I was there -- and I was there a lot. I therefore believe (from that circumstantial evidence, not from direct proof) that someone removed tens and face cards (or added low cards) to slant the odds slightly more toward the house. I actually won a little anyway, but I was very lucky." Now, the good: Our dining room staff, Raj (head waiter), Rowan (waiter), and Hugo (assistant waiter) were exceptional. We have been on three cruises, and dine in some of NYC's best restaurants on a regular basis, and these guys were up there with the best. Despite the fact that the cruise was sold out, and the dining room was full every night, they made us feel as if we were the only table they were serving, and were very accommodating and friendly. I can't say enough good things about them. Similarly, the staff in the Windjammer was always there to refill your drink or clean up your table. Similarly, our stateroom attendant, Karen, kept our room spotless, and made the famous towel animals for us each night -- this was a special treat for my parents, who had not experienced that on previous cruises on other lines. We went to Chops one night for dinner. This was also an excellent experience. The meat was some of the best we've had. The guest entertainment was great -- The Platters and Bobby Arvon were amazing entertainers, and we couldn't help but join in the standing ovations. The new additions, especially the suspension bridges, are beautiful, and the bungee trampoline was good fun. But, in my opinion, the ships are just getting too big to really enjoy everything they have to offer, and trying to do all the activities they offer in the limited amount of time available does not leave enough time for relaxation. I suppose that is my fault for trying to join in on everything, but a lot of the activities conflict with one another, too. Minor notes (from Bean's picky hubby again): - The cabins are nothing to write home about, and at least some of them (i.e., ours!) are so close to mechanical stuff that you are shocked out of sleep at 6 a.m. by deafening noise whenever the ship is docking (which was five out of seven nights on this cruise). That's the non-monetary price you pay for getting a good monetary price by not picking your room, I guess. - The shore excursions are too expensive for what you get; in most cases you can actually get the exact same (exact) excursion for a lot less by just going ashore and booking it yourself. - Royal Caribbean nickels and dimes you too much about pennies when you are spending mucho dollars. Example: frequent cruisers get a coupon booklet that is supposedly worth this and that. Well, one coupon was for 10 free minutes of internet ($5 value) -- I had to go three times to get them to credit it. Another was for 25% off a "coffee product." So I bought a latte (almost $4) with hazelnut flavor (50 cents extra) and they tried to take the 25% off the 50 cents for the flavor. We dropped $4000 on this cruise and I didn't give a crap about the difference of 25% on $4 or on 50 cents, but I made them fix it just because they are so ridiculous about the pennies. I know they are there to make money -- but they miss the forest for the trees; they will always try to skim a few more pennies from you where they can, even if it means they lose ten times as much in good will as they make in pennies. - We were treated to some amazing entertainment (Platters and Bobby Arvon); the other shows were nothing special, but still passable. Our prognosis is that Royal Caribbean is a decent value for the money, but it has annoyances that we plan to avoid in the future by paying more for a better cruise line. We will still consider Royal Caribbean on occasions when the price and destination are right. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
Except for a couple of negatives, our August 14th cruise was very good and would rate it overall as a solid "5 of 6." A brief comment on those areas we participated. DINING - The food was basically good but the main selections ... Read More
Except for a couple of negatives, our August 14th cruise was very good and would rate it overall as a solid "5 of 6." A brief comment on those areas we participated. DINING - The food was basically good but the main selections for dinner are more limited than several years ago, however they do have alternative selections if nothing catches your eye. The few times we might have had lunch at My Fair Lady their menu did not have anything appealing. You will do better at the Windjammer where they have a pretty good selection of hot and cold entrees. Burgers, pizza and fries were good in the Solarium. On the second formal night they served Maine lobster tails but there were quite small. SERVICE - Our waiter Robert was excellent and his assistant Nestor (Brenda) good. We agree with another cruiser that for some reason the time gaps between appetizers, soup, entree and dessert were unusually long, however Robert had us out before 8:00 on the main seating. Sylvia our statement attendant did the standard service expected during a cruise. ENTERTAINMENT - Probably the best overall entertainment on our 10 cruises with RCI. Matt Baker is hands down the best Cruise Director on the RCI ships. After seven years with RCI, this was his last cruise and he is leaving for bigger opportunities (perhaps TV or Hollywood). His Assistant Cruise Director and Bingo Mgr. "D.D." also is leaving after the August 21 cruise so there is going to be a huge hole to file in these areas. Herb Reed and the Platters were great - don't miss them! Bobby Arvon was good also. Although the RCI dancers and singers were energetic, their program of songs were terrible. As another person on an earlier cruise mentioned the Orpheum Theatre has not been enlarged to handle the additional 200+ passengers. Get there 30 minutes before the show starts if you want a good view. CASINO - Although we won at Craps and the Slots the place is way too small to handle the players and the obligatory traffic coming through from the Orpheum Theatre. Staff were cordial. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS - We found the tour guide for Martha's Vineyard to be so bad it spoiled our impression of the place. If you get "Karen" get off the bus and get another one immediately. Portland and Bar Harbor were great. The people there are very friendly. Lobsters are great there but expect to spend between $20-$26 for a 1 1/4 pounder. Because of the short stay at Halifax, we think RCI should discontinue this port on future cruises and add maybe Cape Cod or Boston instead. Avoid the Historic Tour as you can do it on your own and save the $. Also parts of Halifax are very hilly and this may be a problem for those with a walking disability. By the way, if you have an outside room on the starboard side in Halifax you will be awaken by a small bagpipe band upon arrival at the dock. DISEMBARKATION - We were a priority 1 (not express) and got off at about 8:35 AM. Customs is a breeze (if you are U.S.). You claim your bags and can have a porter take you directly to your car. Departed at 9:00 for the drive to Maryland.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2005
This cruise was nice in the fact that we didn't have to fly to the initial port. The only problem was that when we arrived at the Naval Business Center in Philly, I thought the luggage crew was very slow in unloading cars and keeping ... Read More
This cruise was nice in the fact that we didn't have to fly to the initial port. The only problem was that when we arrived at the Naval Business Center in Philly, I thought the luggage crew was very slow in unloading cars and keeping the traffic moving. We waited at least 45 minutes if not longer in sweltering heat. Embarkation went quite smooth after this though. The cabin was what we expected. We have cruised before and know that the rooms are small. It was clean and had many storage areas for our belongings. Let's face it, you don't spend much time in your cabin so it was great for what I needed it for. The beds however, were not very comfortable and were a bit on the low side...a little difficult for a tall or elderly person to get in and out of. Our cabin steward was fantastic and always kept our cabin neat and tidy and was quite adept at making those towel animals (a different one each night I might add). The meals onboard were nothing short of amazing. We ate dinner in the dining room each night and our waiter and his assistant met our needs quickly and efficiently. The entire dining room staff were friendly. The dining room itself was a lovely sight, very elegant. I was most impressed with the Windjammer buffet. The crew went to great lengths to make sure it was well stocked with a variety of foods to please all. This was possibly the neatest and best buffet I have ever seen! We were really not into the shows onboard. Those we did see we enjoyed. The comedians were great, however, their material at times was not appropriate for families who brought young children. The magic show was fantastic and we enjoyed this one very much. The singers and dancers were talented but we left this show as we didn't enjoy the material much...kind of cheesy. We enjoyed the ports of call on the cruise. The only one we didn't really like was Martha's Vineyard. We chose not to do any excursions on this cruise and we found there wasn't much to do here. We also felt that the inhabitants of this island really were trying to gyp the tourists. We thought we might like to rent a jeep to see more of the island itself only to find they were charging $139.00 a day. In Portland we rented a car for $40 including taxes and were fortunate enough to drive to Kennabunkport. This picturesque town was well worth the drive and we would recommend that anyone who is able to get there to do so. Bar Harbor was also lovely and we felt that if we were to miss the boat it wouldn't be such a bad thing to spend more time here. Being Canadian we really enjoyed Halifax. Time was short here which was a real shame. It would almost be worth dumping Martha's Vineyard from the ports of call to spend more time in Halifax. All in all we had a fantastic time. The weather really co operated with no rain in sight. The last day at sea was spent whale and dolphin watching from the deck. I do believe the crew deserve special attention on these ships as it is these special people who really make cruise vacations special so I say to them....WELL DONE!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
This was our fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean and my eleventh overall. This was also the first seven day cruise since the ship was stretched. Overall we had a great time and the ship was very nice with many new carpets, a lot of new ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean and my eleventh overall. This was also the first seven day cruise since the ship was stretched. Overall we had a great time and the ship was very nice with many new carpets, a lot of new furniture, and very little signs of age. We arrive at 12:30 and got to our room about 1:00-which was ready. Our cabin was an outside way forward on deck four. It was in good shape with not signs of wear. Our attendant Joseph was quiet, but did an excellent job. We had been to Martha's Vineyard before, but enjoyed it again. I would suggest going to Edgartown, rather than staying too long in Oak Bluffs. They did have a problem with tendering off the ship there with a one hour+ wait in the hot sun. This was there first time stopping there and need to arrange for some independent vessels to speed up the process. Hope they heard all the complaints and correct this. Did an independent Harbor Tour in Portland, much cheaper than through the ship and you pick the times. We look for this in most of our stops. Gilberts Chowder House is a great stop for lunch, right by the pier. Hired a private "taxi-car" in Bar Harbor, they had a representative right outside the building where you get off the tender. $60 an hour, but you could split this with another couple. We say all the sights, got a history of the Island and learned all about lobster fishing in one and a half hours. Stop in Halifax was too short. We road a "duck" for an hour which you can arrange right by the Maritime Museum. Tour of the whole city with narration was $22.50 each-Canadian. Charge things here as your credit card company will give you a good exchange rate. Only went to a couple shows, but they were pretty good. Heard good reviews on all the others except the first comedian. Heard his material was a bit dated. Food was good, not great, but good; and no problem ordering extras. This was needed by many due to small portions. We still prefer the more imaginative meals on Celebrity. Windjammer buffet food was good also, but the new set up of small service Kiosks caused a bit of a traffic jam at peak times. Their specialty restaurant, Chops, got great reviews from those I spoke with. We did it on Brilliance of the Seas last year and enjoyed it. Overall the Cruise was great, and no problems from the 73' stretch done back in June. No plumbing issues as reported in one of the first cruises after the stretch. They were working on some of the Teak decking, but did not cause any issues. Taxi to airport, or from I assume is $20.00 plus a tip. Ride takes about 20 minutes. Philly is still working out the bugs on how they handle arrivals and departures, but it was not too bad for us. Some who arrive later, had more problems and longer waits. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
Just back today from a wonderful cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas. Thought I would put together a quick review before getting back to work and too busy and also while everything is still fresh. First, some background. This was our ... Read More
Just back today from a wonderful cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas. Thought I would put together a quick review before getting back to work and too busy and also while everything is still fresh. First, some background. This was our 17th cruise, 5th on RCL, first on Enchantment (although we were on the Grandeur which is VERY similar). We most generally book an inside cabin as we did this time. My wife is a teacher and I work for Homeland Security. Early (ok middle) 50s. We love dancing and spend part of every evening on the dance floor. Moving on............ Overall we had a great cruise. The things that my wife and I look for in a cruise were provided; lots of great music for dancing, the food was good (not great) the service overall was excellent, and as always we met many wonderful people. We have done this itinerary before so we didn't look for much from the ports of call. We stayed on the ship at Martha's Vineyard and everyone we talked to said it was very hot and very crowded. Portland and Halifax we have done before; we got off for a walk at each and back on to enjoy the ship. In Bar Harbor we got off, took the free bus to a Lobster Hatchery and museum which was rather quaint, but we liked it. Back on the ship by 1:30. I can probably offer suggestions for things to do in these ports if any one needs it from past sailings, but this time our goal besides dancing was relaxing and that is what we did! They also provided several lounge groups who were wonderful and played great music. The Evergreen Trio drew a crowd nightly in the Centrum, the Czech Mates provided a wide range of music for dancing, the Azucar's performed often in the Bolero which had a decent dance floor and the Dreamscapes were also very good. The main show orchestra also played a couple of Big Band gigs. There were a couple other venues also that we didn't get to see or hear. I had read that there has been problems on this ship with children in the Solarium pool and Jacuzzi, but I can tell you I saw the pool attendant tell several children who attempted such that they were not allowed and never once did I see children in either, and we spent many hours in the Solarium. On the subject of children, we were told there was over 300 on board and never once did we see a problem with either a young child or a teenager. I met several who were wonderful and saw no problems. As always the lounge chair fairies were out and about reserving chairs, but not to the extent we have seen before. At times the pool areas were very busy, but we always found a lounge chair and I think most people who wanted one were able to find one. As far as the new section goes, since I was not on this ship before, it is difficult to compare. It has some new attractive design features, and I guess the Bungee jumping thing and the climbing wall were added. I tried both for the first time and can now say been there done that. No big deal. One problem that the stretch has developed is that they have added staterooms, but facilities like the theater, and the Windjammer have not been increased in capacity and can get very busy. In fact early dining guests going to the theater had to get there early (about 30 minutes prior) to get a seat and I saw many late comers (arrived 5-10 minutes before showtime) turned away. This needs to be resolved, perhaps with tickets or something. Also the Windjammer could get very busy during peak times. This really didn't bother us because we have learned to work around peak times to avoid severe crowding. On the subject of shows: I really didn't think the production shows were the best I've seen, although they had 4 very strong singers. The shows themselves (2) were OK but not great. A Magician that I thought was in training (not very good). They did however have three other mainline acts that I thought to be very good. A female vocalist/comedian (sorry I'm bad on names), the singer of the Happy Days theme song who had a great act, and a juggler/comedian who I also thought was very good. We ate every dinner in the Dining Room, didn't try Chops, all breakfasts in the windjammer and split lunches between the windjammer and the dining room. This is going to sound contradictory but here goes! I felt we had an excellent waiter, but yet I felt the dining room service to be a little below the standard we have experienced in the past. Our waiter and assistant worked their butts off to give us good service, but we always seemed to be waiting (for dishes to be cleared, or water refills, or the next course to be served or what ever, and then when they came in a flourish to try and get things done we then felt rushed). I believe a couple of things could have been the cause. He had two table besides ours, one a 4 top and one a 10 top and both tables had people who were always late for dinner; most generally 6:30 when it was supposed to be at 6:00. The other is that he seemed to have more people to wait on then we have seen before. I can't be sure of this and perhaps someone else knows the average # a waiter would have at a seating. Anyway, I was a little annoyed at this but we still enjoyed the meals and I truly liked our waiter "Daniel" who was serving us at table 482; if anyone runs into him say Hi. The Head Waiter for our designated area stepped in a lot to assist whatever needed to be done. This is a first and also noted this during lunchtime in the dining room. We had a meet and mingle but very few showed up. This happens sometimes, I think some people are timid about the whole thing. The cruise line provided tea and lemonade and hors d'oeuvres. They also raffled off a couple of small prizes, I believe they were RCL computer Mice. The people who went were as usual very nice and we enjoyed bumping into them on the cruise. We found Philadelphia very easy to cruise out of, parking was simple, drop your bags, park, catch the shuttle, sign in and get on board. We were there around 11:00, on board by 11:45. All rooms were cordoned off till 1:00. So we went to lunch walked around a bit and then to our room at 1:00. We did express debarkation, off by 7:40 and on the freeway headed home by 8:00. I'm sure our experience was not matched by all. But I can say this was as good or better a cruise than any of our prior 16. As always I or Mrs. Boomboom will try an answer any questions. :) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
We went on the Enchantment three weeks after its stretching in July, 2005. My husband and I shared a cabin with our two children ages 5 and 10. My Mom and Dad joined us on this voyage. This was our fourth cruise but our first time to New ... Read More
We went on the Enchantment three weeks after its stretching in July, 2005. My husband and I shared a cabin with our two children ages 5 and 10. My Mom and Dad joined us on this voyage. This was our fourth cruise but our first time to New England. We are Floridians and wanted to experience new ports of call. We arrived at the port in Philly about noon. Upon arriving at the port in Philadelphia we experienced a back up of cars and ended up sitting in our cars in line for over an hour. It was awful, there was no one around to tell us what the wait was and no bathrooms in sight. Once the car line started to move the rest of the boarding process went smoothly. The overall appearance of the ship was nice. I have previously been on the Mariner and Disney's Wonder so I wasn't very impressed by the Enchantment. However, I went on the Enchantment for the ports of call, and I was expecting a smaller older ship than I had been on before. I was actually pleasantly surprised by a few of the Enchantments common areas. I particularly loved the Boleros Bar. Two young women in their twenties ran the bar and seemed to work around the clock. They were so delightful!! My mother and I fell in love with the bar's signature drink the Mojito. The Mariner has a Boleros but I preferred the Boleros on the Enchantment. The food on the ship was ok but not great. They were constantly running out of food in the dining room. How can you run out of ketchup, chocolate chip cookies, and tea on a cruise ship? Dining room staff was very efficient and seemed to be embarrassed by the food shortage. Entertainment was just ok also. The cruise director was funnier than any of the comedians. He was a great cruise director. Ports of call were all beautiful and made the vacation well worth it. The only problem we had was in Martha's Vineyard. The tendering was just awful. We waited in the halls for an hour to get off the ship and than waited an hour and half in the hot hot sun to get back on. It was the hottest I had ever been and I am from Florida. They offered us no shade and no drink until you got to the end of the line an 1 1/2 later. There were elderly people sitting in the street. My favorite ports were Portland and Bar Harbor. I had never been to Maine and I just fell in love. The kids club was a joke. The crew never stuck to the compass and my kids were often disappointed because they would go for specific activities and they wouldn't get to do them. Kids club BIG disappointment. All in All I am glad I went because I loved the scenery but if you cruise for the ship go on the Mariner. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise