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2,891 Royal Caribbean Senior Cruise Reviews

Wanted to try the Mariner again after 11 years. Booked an Owners Suite # 1628. Overall found the ship in fair condition. The balcony for our room was not in good shape. Furniture in our room was very old. Looks like the only thing ... Read More
Wanted to try the Mariner again after 11 years. Booked an Owners Suite # 1628. Overall found the ship in fair condition. The balcony for our room was not in good shape. Furniture in our room was very old. Looks like the only thing replaced during the refurb was the carpet. As we send a lot of time in our room, will stick to sailing in full suites on an Oasis Class ship. Room attendant had a total of 15 Suites and Balcony Cabins. Our cabin was never completely straightened or cleaned. Royal needs to cut back on the number of cabins for their attendants. Suite Lounge was very nice and never over crowded. As we were in port everyday, 2 days at COCOCAY, had to eat lunch in the windjammer as the dining room was never open. Breakfast in Chops was nice. However, the room was drab and windows were very dirty. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We picked this cruise due to its leaving from Baltimore. I went with my sister, who lives in Baltimore. Boarding was easy, luggage showed up quickly, got into room at 1:00. Food: Main dining room excellent for dinner. Didnt really ... Read More
We picked this cruise due to its leaving from Baltimore. I went with my sister, who lives in Baltimore. Boarding was easy, luggage showed up quickly, got into room at 1:00. Food: Main dining room excellent for dinner. Didnt really spend much time there for breakfast or lunch Windjammer - this is where we had most breakfast and lunch. Buffett wasnt bad except beware the buffet eggs!! Probably worth the line for fresh omletts, but we didnt. Park Caffe- tried 1st night with munchies, NOT GOOD Service... Excellent thru out ship. Bartenders, hosts, waiters, room service, room steward, all outstanding! Room: We were in 3558 a oceanview. Room was spotless, roomy enough, bathroom tight. Hard not to get the floor wet when showering. We spent most of time in the Centrum, band was excellent, other shows good however we never made it to the theatre. Too busy!! Good time. would do again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Serenade of the Seas Cabin 1050 suite I was concerned about the food as many reviews indicated that the food was not good. We did not find that to be true at all. I travelled with 3 other family members (all adults) and the suite ... Read More
Serenade of the Seas Cabin 1050 suite I was concerned about the food as many reviews indicated that the food was not good. We did not find that to be true at all. I travelled with 3 other family members (all adults) and the suite was comfortable for 4. The tub is quite high for elderly travelers but, we knew that before we travelled and we were able to adjust. The juggler and comedians were very funny. The other ship entertainment was quite good as well. Unfortunately, the singers fell short of what I have come to expect. I feel bad as I know they train hard but, their voices were not as polished or professional as I expected or heard on other cruises.That is what brings down my entertainment rating. The other entertainment and games and shows were very good. The dining staff and food and chef and wait staff and head waiters and maitre d etc were unbelievably great and we felt like we were the only group in the room. They went way over and above for my 90 year old mother and showered her with attention and helped her with her wheelchair. They also spoiled my 24 year old daughter who is vegan. It was as if she had a private chef with the amount of attention she received and they went way over and above to accommodate her needs. We ate in Chops Grille for breakfast as that was a suite perk. It was very good and hardly any other travelers were there. We ate in the main dining room or Windjammer buffet for lunch. Both were great and plentiful with a good variety of options. We had appetizers and drinks in the concierge lounge and ate in the anytime main dining room for dinner. The excursion we did was the Devils Island Snorkel. The crew was great but, the kayaking was quite limited as to where you could go and you could only use it for 10 minutes at a time. People who snorkeled enjoyed it. We would just ask about how far and how long we could go in the kayaks next time. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out ... Read More
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out while I was out caring for my cabin and seeing that my ice bucket was always full as I had requested. On the first night In the main dining room I discovered I was seated with a lovely family from Germany. I am a solo traveller. Two of this group of 5 spoke english, but not with limited comfort. the others, did not. I don't speak German. Not ideal for me or them. Second night I spoke with the Maitre D who promptly sat me at a table of women, 3 friends traveling together, another solo and a woman traveling with her elderly mother. What a great group and we all enjoyed each others company, Our servers, Michael and Carlo were GREAT. Food was good. though there were a couple of disappointing creme brulee and an slightly overdone chocolate molten lava cake, The Royal Cheese cake was a hit with all at my table and was orderd several times by many. We also decided this was a healthier choice :) . The entrees were quite good, I particularly liked the lamb chops, and a couple of fish dishes (Talapia, salmon) I had earlier in the cruise. At the Windjammer, food was abundant. I was particularly drawn to and enjoyed the stews, perhaps because I don'y make it at home often. Servers at Windjammer were circulating with cold beverages (water, tea, and a very good strawberry-kiwi punch) and coffee. Most at my dinner table seemed to head for the carving station for lunch at the Windjammer. I did also try the dining room on level 3, for one lunch and one dinner. Here you had the option of a smaller, but very nice buffet, or table service from menu. Nice, simpler and more relaxed for lunch I jusd had soup and salad. Breakfast was fine but I think I needed the activity of the Windjammer to wake ne up. Entertainment was great, Lead Female Singer, I believe a recent graduate on New York Academy of Performing Arts, was SPECTACULAR.. All entertainment was good. Unfortunately, scheduling of Ice Show either conflicted with early dining, or Variety show for second performance, and was sold our for first performance, so I missed it. The service deask and tour desk, was extremely helpful arranging change to departure transportation, I had misread description of arrangements (with tour of Old San Juan) I had prebooked and would have arrived at airport too late for my flight. By the way cabin (inside, deck 8, overloooking promenade was great. I was thinking about changing it, but had read a positive review of this type cabin on message board and so stayed where I was assigned. So glad I did. Only problem was embarcation, long lines, outside in heat not acceptable. One more thought, I really liked the solarium pool area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was going where I wanted to go. My stateroom was right above the Dog pub so it kept me awake till midnight, however, did enjoy looking out over the promenade. Room wasn’t as clean as I hoped. Carpet stained, cigarette burns on ... Read More
It was going where I wanted to go. My stateroom was right above the Dog pub so it kept me awake till midnight, however, did enjoy looking out over the promenade. Room wasn’t as clean as I hoped. Carpet stained, cigarette burns on bathroom sink, shelves not clean. Not much activity going on during the day. Twice I went to watch activity but no one showed up. Not ships fault, think more weather related and port call. Not happy with 2 immigration days nor was it for most passengers from what I heard. Should have done all Canadian ports at one time. This was my 15th cruise on RCCL and as always, the crew and service people were great. I ate most of my meals in Windjammer as I spent too much time at happy hour and missed my designated meal time. My first time dining basically in Windjammer and found it favorable. Always a nice selection of food and all you can eat. Come and go as I please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time on mega ship, and came away very happy. A lot of people, but somehow we hardly encountered any long lines. Lots to do on a ship this size, so we kept busy. Our only issues would be that a few (very few) employees did not put on ... Read More
First time on mega ship, and came away very happy. A lot of people, but somehow we hardly encountered any long lines. Lots to do on a ship this size, so we kept busy. Our only issues would be that a few (very few) employees did not put on a happy face. It's as if they do not want to be there, but you can encounter that anywhere you go. My biggest complaint is the they have 12 elevators on each floor, and with that many people, why are not all of them operating at the same time? It appeared that only 6 were working at all times. But if that is my only beef, seems trivial. Foul weather made up most of our 7 days at sea, but you cannot fault Allure for that. Also, kudos to the Captain and Crew for their parking job in Nassau. Quite a feat with the wind and all. Cabin was a bit small, but comfortable. Specialty dining was pretty good, with 150 Central Park being by far our favorite, as we tried 4 of the restaurants. All in all, I would suggest this ship, just be careful of doing so in September. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is ... Read More
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is based on double occupancy. The only benefit is my drink package was based on one traveler and two. I would really think hard about booking a single cruise with Royal Caribbean again, This cruise turned out to be a humanity cruise and not a pleasure cruise. Due to the massive destruction in the Bahama, Mariner of the Sea changed it sailing itinerary and we lost our day at sea. The original itinerary was leave Port Canaveral, day at sea, Nassau, then Coco Cay. What we got was Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau where we spent overnight and two days then we went to Coco Cay. The reason why was, Mariner stopped at Freeport and dropped off several thousand of meals and supplies and then loaded several hundred refuges and then we went directly to Nassau to allow the refuges to disembark there. I like to commend Royal Caribbean on there efforts in helping the victims of the hurricane. My only complaint is no one knew about the changes until 30 minutes before departure. My travel agent got the memo after we left. I miss my day at sea, to me this is very peaceful but giving the big picture I understand. By the way, all of the refuges were restricted to the auditorium and was not allowed to mingle with the passengers. The refuges were taken care of. I enjoyed the Mariner of the Sea and this is the third trip on her. The staff were great and my room attended went above and beyond what he was required to do. He later received a nice reward. The food is still the same and there was not changes there. I had to laugh, when I went into the Windjammer and one of the staff I have seen before was not singing “Please wash your hands”. He recognized me and we had a good laugh when he pointed to his guitar and said that he needed a break. If you have ever traveled on the Mariner of the Seas you will know what I am talking about. The jingle is one of those songs that plague your mind and you keep repeating if over and over almost as bad as Disney “it’s a small world”. Despite the changes I am booking another cruise I just hope I get my day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were so anxious to sail on this refurbished ship since we had sailed on her before many times & loved her Sadly we were the first sailing on her after the hurricane Dorian. But on the brighter side we experienced her delivering ... Read More
We were so anxious to sail on this refurbished ship since we had sailed on her before many times & loved her Sadly we were the first sailing on her after the hurricane Dorian. But on the brighter side we experienced her delivering food & supplies to the Bahamas. It was a great experience to even bring some refugees from Freeport to Nassau. The food on this ship was average & plentiful. No reason to go hungry Luckily Nassau was not too affected by the hurricane. However, we were looking forward to Coco Cay since we also have this ship booked for a Christmas Cruise where we are taking our whole family of 14 with 6 cabins booked. Coco Cay in our opinion was not ready for visitors. The island smelled like sewage & the ocean was disgusting. After about an hour we returned to the ship as I felt sick. We just could not eat there. Our outside window cabin was very nice & our attendant was average Our dinner server was fabulous & kept us entertained. We were disappointed in the quality of the coffee in the coffee shop on deck 5. We remembered it for having excellent coffee. I guess they wanted you to use Starbucks Embarking & Disembarking went great & smooth. All told it was a relaxing getaway but nothing above average. Gjginparadise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port ... Read More
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port although we were scheduled for pier assistance, we had to walk a LOOOONG way to get there, you don't get to the wheelchairs till you are almost on the ramps! They checked our passports and set sail passes on the first floor of the pier and sent us up the elevator to check in. There were people just off the elevator who again looked at our set sail passes and told us to see a pier administrator. I asked why and where do I go. They did not say why but just said go straight ahead someone will help you. We went straight ahead, talked to yet another person who told us to go to the wheelchair area, who then sent us back to one of the check in desks. Long story short, after at least 6 different people who kept saying they didn't know what was going on, one lady said, "Oh, you can't get on the ship because you owe money!!!" She said we owed $179.62. Not only a strange amt but how could I have printed my set sail pass if I still owed money? Luckily, I had printed all my Paid in full receipts ...cruise, excursions and amenities After repeatedly saying we owed the money but having no idea why, they allowed us on the ship only after I signed papers that said I would settle this on the ship. They also copied all my paid in full receipts. then we went to wait for wheelchairs. When we finally got on the ship, we went directly to guest services to get this taken care of and no one knew what the amount "owed" was for, only that we owed it. They said they'd check it out and get back to me and leave a message on my phone....never happened. This went on for three days, each day a promised call never happened...finally one person at guest services, on the third day said I guarantee you will not be charged for this ...she signed a receipt and the charge did not appear on my bill. Not only was all this a pain, but we were unable to sign up for the escape room and Ifly on boarding because they were gone since we took so long checking in....total time checking in....we were at the pier at 1030a and rooms were open by the time we left GS...so it was after 130p. We got to our room and it was a very nice quiet room, about 15 ft off the elevators, . After unpacking, I went to wash my hands and heard a deep gurgling sound. The hubs thought it sounded like a clogged or blocked pipe. I didn't pay much attention since the toilet and sink worked the rest of the day. The next morning while I was taking a shower I realized the water wasn't going down and before I could get out, the water level had risen to the height of the bathroom door! Luckily it did not go into the room. They sent someone up to rod out the drains, followed by a team to clean and disinfect the bathroom. After that we had no problem with the room. The balcony was large, and comfortable...with 2 chairs and footrests and a small table. The blackout shades worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our room steward "V" (his name was very long and difficult to pronounce so he said just call me V) was great. Replaced the ice as needed, cleaned the room, even when we said don't bother and kept us supplied with towels and some towel animals. We did not use the MDR as we ate whenever we felt hungry. We used the Windjammer and the food was actually very good. Loved the soups but they were loaded with salt! Finding a seat however was another story. We also ate at Sorrento's Pizza...which was very good. They had antipasto type dishes and pizza. Cafe Promenade was not as good as on the Oasis class ships. Desserts, pastries and cakes on the whole, were not very good. But this was expected since they were no better on any other RCI ship I have been on. The casino was drab and smoke filled. It seemed that there were very few slot machines and the only ones paying or interesting enough to play were in the smoking section. I did hit a jackpot for $1180 and was very happy it was $20 under the taxable limit...they have signs all over the casino stating that there is a 30% tax on wins of $1200 or more!!! 30%...that's HUGE! As far as the excursions/ports....Loved Juneau and Skagway but transportation in Skagway left a lot to be desired. Whale watching and wild life excursion in Juneau was a big disappointment ...seeing only the water blow and a whale's back was not very exciting. We saw about 5 sea lions on one bouy ...the extent of the wildlife. The captain said he saw an eagle fly by. The excursion boat was old, smelly and the stairs were so steep they were very difficult to maneuver even for able bodied persons. Skagway was beautiful and the White Mountain Pass Railway is a must do. We used luggage valet through RCI and it was great! It was easy and free. We left our luggage outside our door on Friday night and never saw it again till we landed in Chicago. Disembarkation and airport transport was a joke really. We bought and paid for 2 ...then got an instruction sheet very late...after 8pm with instructions for everyone but those with transfers...all it said was Transfers booked with us? Please see below...but the "below" was not there...many people were in line at GS just after 8pm on Friday for help trying to figure out what to do. The next morning, we found our way to the wheel chair assistance area, I needed to use the restrooms and tried to go to the one near the W/C area..I was told I'd have to walk up or down one floor or take an elevator (you know how crowded they are when everyone is leaving the ship).They said the restroom was closed due to security reasons! WHY would they make the restroom close to the handicapped area unavailable?!?!?!? Stupidest thing ever!! Continuing on.....although our flight wasn't until 330pm...we were put on an early bus and had to wait at the airport for 6 hours!!!! They also, wanted to put us on a different bus but the bus driver was nowhere to be found...so they loaded us all up on yet another bus. Also there was no manifest of names for people who paid nor did anyone have a physical ticket. Honestly, anyone could have gotten in the transport line and boarded one of the buses for free. Where the buses leave you at the airport was VERY far from the check in area....a good 4 blocks...there were however, wheelchairs for those that needed them. The ship, on the whole, is beautiful and yes, I would go on it again. The hallways are very twisty, turny and not in a straight line like the Oasis class...this makes walking thru those hallways seem very long and for the first time ever I always had difficulty figuring out which direction was the front or back. Also, when the MDR, Windjammer and 270 are closed (they all seemed to be closed at the same time) , there is only free pizza or what is available in the cafe promenade (premade shrimp salad or ham & cheese sandwiches, the same everyday) available. They really need something else. They do have a hot dog hut but it was never opened when we went there. Fish & Ships, by the outdoor pool was never busy. I only saw one or two people there the whole cruise and it was not free. We LOVED both indoor pools but the hot tubs in the solarium were very tiny...and really WHY do people traveling in Alaska open the windows??? Makes for a rather cold indoor pool. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Walt Okon =Review of GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS on 5- 14 September 2019 in room Grand Suite #8016 Grand Suite # 8016 is located on the eighth deck, port side (Left Side) of the ship. 1/3 of the way from the bow of the ship. Stateroom ... Read More
Walt Okon =Review of GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS on 5- 14 September 2019 in room Grand Suite #8016 Grand Suite # 8016 is located on the eighth deck, port side (Left Side) of the ship. 1/3 of the way from the bow of the ship. Stateroom Attendant was Dominic Moses. He was excellent in all respects. This room was perfectly clean and set up for us. We use sanitizer wipes on everything and inside every drawer. There was no dust anywhere. Temperature control: the system worked perfectly, best control of any room I every had. The mini refrigerator keeps everything very cold. Lighting: Excellent on the complete lighting system and controls. Balcony: Large with table and four chairs and two excellent lounge chairs. Bed: King size with luxurious bedding. The mattress was good but did have the middle high point. We had good sleep every night. Storage: Three large hanging closets and 16 drawers. Lots of storage. The only concern was noise from the ninth deck (pool deck) when they moved furniture, the noise was unbearable. Crew Staff: All very friendly and all were excellent. I cannot say enough excellent things about them. Food: Royal Caribbean food quality has diminished in the past five years because Royal in buying bulk frozen foods that are just cook. Example; hash brown potatoes come in the perfect size and portion that are just fried and served. These and many others are not fresh, but frozen stock. Now York stake and prime rib is so thin the quality taste is not possible. Frozen prepackaged items are served with excellent presentation; but the fresh taste is not there. Royal food quality had been diminished over the years. This is due to Royal Caribbean corporation doing mass food buys/contracts. The corporation is buying food in mass like McDonalds. Cooks can only do their best with the food supplies provided by the corporation. Clam Chowder was soupy and tasteless – worst clam chowder ever. Crab Cake tasted more of bread consistency than crab. Minestrone soup at lunch in Gatsby served with the soup spilled over the cup and down into the serving dish -poor presentation. Dining Room: Great Gatsby main dining is on deck 4 and 5. The staff of head waiters, waiter, and assistant waiters have maintained this restaurant with grandeur and excellence. Dress is formal on formal nights and Smart casual at all other times. Head waiters, waiter, and assistant waiters were all excellent to outstanding. Food quality is only fair to good (3 stars at best). Again, this is due to Royal Caribbean corporation doing mass food buys/contracts. Cooks can only do their best with the food supplies provided by the corporation. Specialty Restaurant: Chop Grill. We had an excellent and very pleasant breakfast in the Chop Grill every morning. Fine dining, perfectly clean lining and dining setting every time. Waiters all excellent. They were very attentive and receptive to all special dining request. Excellent food preparation and presentation. Some frozen prepackaged items are served with excellent presentation; but the fresh taste is not there. Crown & Anchor: Diane Megumi, Loyalty Ambassador Miss Diane Megumi was the Loyalty Ambassador on this cruise. She made herself available and attentive to every question and need. She is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the Royal programs and knows how to provide solutions quickly. I personally brought a new first-time cruiser couple to her and she quickly enabled them as Crown & Anchor members. Concierge Lounge: Dudley Jean, Concierge Concierge Club Lounge is on Deck 11 is a private club lounge with a very advantageous view is the ship and ocean. It is a sound proof room enabling quiet conversations. It is managed by Concierge Dudley Jean and two attentive bar waiters. The ambience is excellent. Continental breakfast and special coffee were not always set up and ready in the lounge daily at 7:00 AM. Diamond Lounge: Ilona Tsyhaniuk, Diamond Concierge The Diamond Lounge is open to Royal Diamond member only and on this Grandeur of the Seas trip 5-14 Sep2019 is managed by Concierge Ilona Tsyhaniuk. She is excellent and is the best concierge I have had on Royal. She has been the most responsive to all needs and questions. The presentation of snacks and refreshments is very well done always looking fresh and inviting. The only and big problem is that the Diamond lounge is not a room that is quiet. It is only a participation space. The wall does not reach the ceiling and the noise from the South Pacific Lounge is unbelievable loud some time making conversation impossible. Guest Services: Adelaida Contreras, Senior Guest Services Officer provided service quickly and efficiently. Her personality and smile made us comfortable as she fixed a problem on the first hour we were on the ship. Salon & Spa appointments: On 12 September 2019, Mrs Go-Okon had a spa appointment for 11:15 AM. Mrs. Go-Okon arrived at 11:10 AM early for the appointment. The Spa front desk person told her to sit down and wait even though there were no other customers. But, the desk receptionist, services two other white woman while ignoring her and not calling her back after she finished with the white customers. Was Mrs Go-Okon being ignored because she is Asian? After being ignored and waiting twenty minutes, Mrs Go-Okon went to the desk again explained she has an appointment at 11:15 AM. The new receptionist said she would get some one. She cam back in five minutes and brought Mrs Go-Okon into a treatment room. The Spa treatment started at 11:50 AM which is 35 minutes scheduled appointment of 11:15 AM. Mrs Go-Okon is stating, “I felt DISCRIMINATED upon because of the way I was TREATED!!” Special Staff Recognition: Becknar Bermudes, Royal Caribbean Dance Instructor is an excellent dance teacher. She is always smiling, friendly before and after sessions with guests. She is genial, kind, and patient in all things and a shining star representing Royal Caribbean. She is one of the hardest working staff personnel I have seen. She is everywhere, helping everyone. Sarah Jane Ete, Windjammer Attendant is outstanding in serving her guests. She is quick to server the needs of the guests as she constantly observing their needs and how she can be helpful. She has a maturity about her in the Hotel management and serving field. She has excellent communications skills and is easy to talk sharing thoughts and ideas. Dickerson Lacsamana, Assistant Maitre d’ is an outstanding leader and manager. We have observed him for nine days and it is evident the entire restaurant staff look to him for leadership and guidance. Resolving problems and guiding staff with a gentile smile is an attribute that is in high demand. Recommend Royal Caribbean consider him for promotion into leadership position with complexity. Keith Sepulveda, Receptionist and hand sanitizer at the entry of the Windjammer Café’. This lady was an outstanding smiling welcome to the Windjammer. She brought smiles to our face every day. In fact, we looked forward to seeing her. She deserves recognition. Over-All Rating Outstanding. It is the friendlest Royal ship. I recommend it Walt Okon, Springfield, Virginia Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall, we had a great cruise out of Venice on 8/31/19. We had a great itinerary including Kotor, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, and Keflonia. Unfortunately we were not able to get into Mykonos due to high winds and seas, but the crew was able ... Read More
Overall, we had a great cruise out of Venice on 8/31/19. We had a great itinerary including Kotor, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, and Keflonia. Unfortunately we were not able to get into Mykonos due to high winds and seas, but the crew was able to turn the day around to a nice day at sea, scrambling to fill in our recreation and entertainment needs. All the other stops were as advertised, offering many different things to do and see. We only availed ourselves of one of the tours on Argostoli to the beach. We were able to find plenty to do on our own and ended up having a great time and seeing some great places in a beautiful country. The ship is old, and shows some of it, though the crew does an outstanding job of keeping it clean and up to date. The food was for the most part good, and plenty was offered. The dining rooms were very nice, well run, and staffed by professionals who worked hard and long to make us happy. The show lounges were fair to middling, and while my wife enjoyed the shows, I made my escape to the casino to try my luck. Entertainment on board was varied and plentiful with lots to do and see, so if you were bored, it had to be your own fault. The entertainment director was all over and made sure we had fun. We especially enjoyed the Diamond lounge with their attentive staff with plentiful drinks and goodies. The only major complaints we had were with the schooner lounge and the centrum area. For some reason, the entertainers there mistake volume for quality in music. The piano player in the schooner was quite good, but not at 120dB. Same goes for the centrum. It's too loud to enjoy yourself or to converse with anyone near. I realize that "if the music's too loud, you're too old", but i love music as much as anyone, but I also enjoy a good conversation without blowing out my throat. Bad music is bad, either loud or soft, good music does not need to be broadcast at earsplitting levels. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. I missed the welcome drink that we are given on embarkation by Celebrity. The room was ready just after 1.15. We were in 7314, which was starboard side. I was delighted to see that there was no lifeboat blocking our view. We unpacked our trolley bags and it was already obvious that storage space was going to be tight, no overhead locker as we have been used to on the Celebrity S class ships. Our main cases had not turned up by the time we went to Muster. We went in good time, so that we could get a seat. Not so on Royal, you queue up on an outside deck like school children waiting to go into class. The Captain made an announcement at the end of the proceedings and had to be prompted by someone as to which ship he was on. In fact we were led away as he was part way through his announcement. Really? As 5 pm was not far away, we went up on to deck 11 for Sail Away, which was delayed, so we enquired as to the whereabouts of the Diamond Lounge, so we could avail ourselves of the free drinks. These were constantly filled up and this remained so throughout the cruise. In fact we were one week into the cruise before we realised that we could ask for bottled water during Diamond hours. A fantastic perk for me as I use it to boil for my early morning cup of tea. We had booked Anytime dining and I had pre arranged 7 pm as our dining time. We were able to use our 3 free drinks loaded on to our card in the dining room until 20.30. A fantastic perk. We were seated at the same table every night except the first, as I am Dairy Intolerant, so this makes it easier for the waiter. Handy really looked after at table 321A. After our meal we found a seat in the Starlight Lounge, where we would spend 2 hours listening to Perry Grant. This was the one and only time that we were able to get a seat, as many passengers were still in the Theatre. We listened to him playing for 2 hours, but then I was weary of him asking guests the same questions, Do you have walk in wardrobes, do you have Formica in your kitchen, what colour is it etc.etc. We returned to our cabin to find that our cases had at last been delivered, but we left the unpacking until the next morning. I could certainly have done with the delivery being before the guaranteed 8 pm. We ate breakfasts in the Sapphire dining room on Deck 4 as it was waiter service. On the first morning we asked to be seated in the Diamond area. I was so pleased that we did this, as someone from our Roll Call group was also seated with us. We ‘hit it off’ and came across each other multiple times. We saw each other at the Meet & Mingle, where I was lucky enough to win the second raffle prize, which was a drinks container. Our new friend asked the CD why the ship was overbooked; they had been asked to give up their cabin by Royal, but as they had come over from Spain for the cruise and had an actual cabin, Royal told them they were OK to travel. Apparently there were 500 less guests than the previous week, which had still been the school holidays, where families had shared cabins. This week, most travellers were couples, and Royal had booked too many Guarantee cabins and I suspect not many guests had requested Royal Up ( we were still being sent e mails just one week before the cruise inviting us to apply). One feature of this cruise was the number of Alpha calls, ambulances met the ship at every port, even when the cruise ended someone fell down the escalators and had to be taken to hospital. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. The Barricade Boys, and Beatles Celebration were outstanding. The Starlight Lounge was overfull every night, so I was pleased that Perry Grant was invited to perform in 2 shows on stage, We also saw 2 Ice shows, one especially for Diamond members and Seasons which was performed for all guests. On the final evening the Guest Choir performed at 9 am in the Star Lounge. We just managed to get there on time, which was a good job, as my husband and our new friends had spent every Sea day rehearsing in Dizzy’s at lunch time. We were lucky with the weather, even the Bay if Biscay was calm and too soon we were back in Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our ... Read More
This was our second time on the Majesty of the Seas , so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was 2 FREE days added to the back end of our cruise, Because of hurricane Dorian 2 extra days were added to the back end of our five day cruise, I have to say the the captain was on the P A system sometimes twice a day letting us know that because of the hurricane RCCL would stay out 2 days longer than planned and there would be NO added cost to passengers and Drink packages and internet packages would also be extended at NO extra charge. The only thing I wondered was the room attendants and waitstaff would be shafted on 2 days of gratuities because of our FREE days?? The ship is small and compact with easy access to everything, There are literally No steps so mobility issues are no problem, Food was good and drinks were a bit expensive if you don't have the drink package ($17 for a Mojito at the pool bar) Shows and entertainment were typical for a cruise ship and even the extra days there were production shows and performers. Overall Nice cruise , the only downside was downtime in the cabin the TV was TERRIBLE There were almost NO movies or TV shows , Everything was taped loops and cartoons or sports that most people don't follow. Royal you really need to improve your stateroom entertainment.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were there under bad circumstances! Hurricane Dorian was hitting the ports we were to go to. We were going to the Bahamas. Of course Dorian was to hit there. Our Captain informed us immediately our ports had been changed! I was so ... Read More
We were there under bad circumstances! Hurricane Dorian was hitting the ports we were to go to. We were going to the Bahamas. Of course Dorian was to hit there. Our Captain informed us immediately our ports had been changed! I was so thankful that he did! As a matter of fact we had wonderful weather the whole time. There were people upset! I couldn't understand why they would be upset. Did they want to go through a hurricane? Then when the Captain told us we were going from a 7 day cruise to a 10 day cruise. We were so pleased, but lots of people were upset. I want to thank the Captain for saving us from a hurricane. He gave us a great cruise without bad weather! We didn't have to pay anything extra for the 3 days of the beverage package or for the tips. But the crew was absolutely fantastic, so we did the tips. Mimi and Ibrahim were our Waiter and assistant in the dining room. They went above and beyond in taking care of us. They became our friends! Arlene in the English pub was great! Our cabin Stewart, Abu was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San ... Read More
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San Maartin, and that were we going to CoCoCay as an alternate stop, then when that island was threatened, we were going to stop at Nassau, Bahamas. We made it back to Miami at 1:30am Saturday morning. For the inconvenience they did refund one day costs for each passenger. Embarkation: The terminal in Miami is a brand new terminal and there are videos out on the web showing how easy it was to get in. I don't know what time they arrived at the port but we arrived at 10:30am and not only was the traffic horrendous but the first 5 levels of the parking garage were filled to capacity. Speaking of the garage, you had to go up to level 4 to drop off your luggage and then park your car, take an elevator down to the main level then once inside the terminal take an escalator back up to the ship's gangway. For those who need handicapped parking spots, they have them in the vicinity of the elevators on each level. Most ports we sailed out of, we dropped of the luggage on the ground floor and take an escalator up once. This up and down flow didn't make any sense. Once inside the terminal there seem to be confusion as to where to check in. One person told us to go to one area, another told us to go to another area. They now take your picture with hand held devices like an iPad. There was no order as to waiting on a line, people were just jumping to the next available agent. There are some things that still need to be worked out with the check in process. By the way, NCL is building a new terminal right next to Royal's. With just one single lane going by both terminals, it is going to be a nightmare getting to them. This was the opinion of the people who work there. SHIP: There are some changes to this ship that are different from the other Oasis ships. First, the Park Cafe on Deck 8 was expanded to accommodate more people. The biggest change we saw was to the Solarium. They made the area on Deck 14 smaller and there are no longer pools there, only seating. On deck 15 there are two hot tubs and one small pool. The pool was much smaller than the other Oasis ships have. The only way to get into the Solarium Bistro is via the inside lobby. There are doors to get out but you are told to enter thru the lobby area. Speaking of the Solarium, they needed to do a better job keeping children out of the area. There were several times people were asked to leave the area. Overall, the ship was the same as the other Oasis ships so there wasn't any new WOW factor. In fact this ship was the same as the Harmony except for the Park Cafe and Solarium areas. They added a new seafood restaurant on deck 16. As for the pools on deck 15, they are really small. if 25-30 people are in them it will seem crowded. There are three such pools on this deck. Definitely not enough pool capacity for over 5,000 passengers. They could have made larger pools by eliminating some of the hot tubs. Another feature which was eliminated was the information you can obtain in your cabin like the dinner menus, your itinerary from the cabin TV. You could only obtain this info from your phone. The dinner menus usually are displayed outside the dining rooms but this ship did not have any displays to show them. Entertainment : They had two excellent comedians that were very funny. Shows that are a must see are 1977 (ice show) and Flight Dare to Dream. This was a musical of the history of aviation throughout time. The ending will WOW you but I will not spoil it by saying what is was. As for the diving show in the Aqua Theatre, it was boring and repetitive to what we saw on the other Oasis ships. If it is the first time you will see it, then then go but if you've seen it before don't bother. As usual they had entertainment in the Promenade that is worth seeing. If you have children, they Adventure Ocean for different age groups was a wonderful area for your children to enjoy. Unfortunately, this area wasn't utilized as it should have been. There were a lot of foreign guests who seem not to use this venue. They had Laser Tag in Studio B, but you must have reservations. Dining: The food in the Windjammer was average at best. It seems the variety of the food did not change from day to day. Only the meat they served changed. They was one day they closed the second serving stations when we were at sea. We couldn't understand that logic since the place was very crowded. Except when we were in port, it was always a challenge to find seating. The Park Cafe was a very popular spot to get away from the crowds. If you will be looking for omelets, you find not find them in the Windjammer. You will have to go to either the Main Dining room, Johnny Rockets or El Loco Fresh on deck 15 by the sports complex. On other ships this was called "Wipeout". We had My Time dining and at 8:00pm seemed to be the busiest hour. Lines were almost out the door trying to get seating. You may want to book your time earlier than 7:30 to be on the safe side. We actually had the same waiter we had on the Harmony. He played his guitar and sang for the guest near the area where he serviced people. That's the first time in all our cruises that has happened. In speaking to some people who were long time Royal cruiser, we all felt the quality of the food and service have diminished in the dining rooms. It seems we are being forced to go to the restaurants that you have to pay for. Ports of Call: We were supposed to visit St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. However, due to the storm we visited San Juan, Labadee and Nassau, Bahamas. Been to all three several times so we didn't get off the ship. Royal Caribbean should do something with Labadee. It's boring and you have to listen for HOURS to these so called "musicians" banging away on their "drums". At one point one of the local restaurants turned up the music to drown out the drums. We were really looking forward to visiting CoCoCay but the storm prevented us from doing so. Debarkation: We took our own luggage and walked off the ship which occurred at 6:15 am. People were actually on line at 5:00am. They do not require to fill out the Declaration of items you may have bought and they now have many stations with cameras to confirm your identity. The process was well organized and the staff was informative, unlike the ones during the Embarkation process. However, you needed to take an elevator up the the level you were parked at. When there are hundreds or thousands of passengers in the need of an elevator, that could cause quite a wait for one. Luckily we were one of the first ones off the ship so it wasn't bad. Overall impression: It seems Royal Caribbean is attracting a lot for foreigners. At times it was a little difficult finding guests who spoke English. The ship is very similar to the Harmony of the Seas and there were some differences but not enough to impress you if you sailed on the other Oasis class ships. If you choose My Time dining, it would be best to reserve a time before 7:30pm. The crew on board was very friendly. The ship was very clean except for some of the bathrooms. One observation over the past couple of cruises is that Royal’s clientele seems to be changing and it shows. We originally cruised with Carnival and switched to Royal to get away from the clientele they had. It used to be that Royal attracted middle aged people now it seems to be the same crowd Carnival attracts. People were hanging their belongings on the interior balconies of the ship and it looked like a ghetto. These same people were rude and didn’t control their children from running around the ship. We have one more cruise planned on Royal later this year, if we run into the same type of crowd, we will be seeking other cruise lines in the future. This will be unfortunate since we are close to being Diamond Plus members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We just got off this excellent ship after a six day cruise. Both my husband and I have physical limitations, he used a scooter the entire time, and I used a cane. This was the first cruise I can remember where when you went to get on the ... Read More
We just got off this excellent ship after a six day cruise. Both my husband and I have physical limitations, he used a scooter the entire time, and I used a cane. This was the first cruise I can remember where when you went to get on the elevators, people held the door for you, stepped off to let you on, and helped you in ever way they could. No pushing and rushing in front of you to get on! A much different attitude. In the Windjammer, people were polite, and the crew always tried to help you in carrying your food to your table, and then even once you were seated they came over to see it they could go and get you anything. I can't remember a nicer, caring crew. When I spoke to one of the supervisors about the attitude, he told me that because it is a small ship, the crew is like family and like working together. You could tell! Yes, the cabins are small and do not have a lot of storage. Lacked a refrigerator,but would supply ice if you asked. There were a lot of hangers in the cabinet, but wished there were more drawers, also the handles to open the drawers were on the bottom, so in order to open the bottom drawer, the handle was on the floor. The bed was very hard, and was a problem after a couple of days. The bathroom was small, and the shower was the smallest ever, but the shower curtain was heaver so it did not stick to you. The entertainment was good, a nice variety with two comics, a magician, and one night of a variety show of dancers and singers. i did like that Royal Caribbean on this ship did not hound you to buy things. In fact there was never any announcement of BINGO, the only thing was a listing in the activity paper, also there are NO Art auctions! We cant wait to go back on this ship, and would book the same cabin, we were on the 4th floor, right at the elevators, but did not hear much noise. Also the only time I smelled anything smelly, was when we had to go out on deck six for the life boat drill. and then there was a sewerage smell. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did both itineraries the Jewel offered:: Aug 4 was the Greek Isles (4 ports) & Aug 11 was 5 ports in the Western Mediterranean. Larger balcony rooms were sold out when we booked. We usually do Jr Suites or Larger Balcony rooms, ... Read More
We did both itineraries the Jewel offered:: Aug 4 was the Greek Isles (4 ports) & Aug 11 was 5 ports in the Western Mediterranean. Larger balcony rooms were sold out when we booked. We usually do Jr Suites or Larger Balcony rooms, so this room was tight, but adequate. The balcony was fine. First week we were forward starboard side. The forward elevators were easy access to the Fitness Center/Spa, the Solarium (which had Grab & Go breakfast if you didn’t want Windjammer crowds), the shops and the theater. Overall, the food was very good to excellent. We did Chefs Table the first night which was discounted—so fabulous! Dinner all other nights was in the Dining Room & it was a pleasure—varied menu, excellent service by waiters, delicious. If we were back from excursions, Lunch was in Windjammer, I’d give it a B—if you like Indian & Asian dishes you’re in luck. Breakfast was very good In Windjammer, just a little harried with the masses trying to eat quickly to get to meeting places for excursions. The Dining Room offered Brunch one morning approx 9:30-12:30–do it if you can. It was excellent! Excursions were mostly terrific. In Santorini, highly recommend RCCL Excursion: Wine Tasting (Santo Winery) & Oia. In Athens, we made arrangements on our own for a private tour/taxi with a great guy, Leonidas Abenakis & it was a fabulous day. Here’s his information: mobile phone +30 6972 112.468; email: tour@rideathens.com or www.rideathens.com Leo was very knowledgeable, gave us almost 2 hours at the Acropolis Museum (don’t miss it); city highlights; panoramic view from Lycabettus Hill; changing of the guard at Presidential Palace; Hadrian’s Arch; 2004 Olympic Stadium and more. He will tailor the tour to your wants. We had a blast with him! During week 2, I would also recommend RCCL Excursion in Ajaccio, Corsica—the Prunelli Gorges. It was a wonderful tour of the island, taking us into the mountains—beautiful country, lush hillsides, gorgeous lakes, quaint villages & Susanne was a wonderful guide full of history & anecdotes. Barcelona RCCL Excursion recommendation would be Gaudi’s Barcelona which includes the amazing Sagrada La Familia Cathedral, other Gaudi structures & city tour. Staff on the ship were so friendly, helpful—can’t say enough good things about everyone we encountered. It was a wonderful trip!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad at all. We had 7:45pm reservations every night and we waited maybe 15 to 20 mins tops. We sailed from Port Canaveral. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze! We drove and tipped a porter on the sidewalk to take our bags. We then practically walked right onto the ship with no lines or problems whatsoever! The ship was amazing. It was so clean and there was plenty to do as far as entertainment and activities. We did see Grease and the Fine Line Aqua show. Both were wonderful although Grease was a bit long. My only complaint is that they charged for popcorn for the show. I thought that was a bit cheap but the entertainment was excellent. We also caught the Love and Marriage show, which was quite funny and a couple of pool contests like sexy man and belly flop. These are always fun and entertaining. Our children are 18 and 20 so we really enjoyed the solarium in the late afternoons. It would have been nice to have a pool in the solarium but the hot tubs were wonderful and plentiful with cooling stations. There always seemed to be plenty of pool chairs and we never felt like the ship was over the top crowded. For dining, we did the my time dining because there were no reservations left. This was our first time doing that. It was nice to be able to go whenever if we didn’t show up right on time for our reservation but we missed not getting to know a specific group of servers. We had a different set of servers every night. The service was good but not as good as what we have experienced when we had regular times and the same set of servers. We did not choose any specialty dining as we have done this on past cruises and do not find the food to be that much better. The windjammer was the best windjammer we have eaten at so far with a large variety of quality good food available. The solarium restaurant had a nice salad bar. The park cafe had a wonderful selection of paninis for lunch and breakfast. Sorrentos Pizza was good. There was always a nice selection of pizza. Small bites was the only place to get chips and cheese unless you pay at Sabor, which we did not. They were just ok. We had nice chips and salsa off the boat but it would be nice if they would bring this back in the windjammer with Guacomole and some chunk cheese and crackers. We did not get a chance to try the dog house. We did order coffee and basic fruit as room service but the options are limited for breakfast and we enjoyed main dining and park cafe for our breakfast options. Overall the food was very good. The bars were great! We really enjoyed the Mimosas and Bloody Mary bar in the pub. The schooner bar is always a fav and their lavender daquari is amazing! Boleros has a coconut mojito that is wonderful. Wonderland is fun to pop into for a nice drink and to check out the scenery. Vintages had a nice wine selection. All the pool bars were great with very little wait time and the solarium was the best. All staff were polite and quick. The customer service on this ship is top notch! Our cabin was on the 7th floor. We had an extended balcony. It was wonderful. The rooms on this ship are laid out so nice with lots of storage space and drawers for clothes. We each had our own closet on either side of the room. The bathroom was roomier than any of the other royal ships we have been on. Our stateroom attendant was our favorite so far. She went out of her way to make sure we had a wonderful experience. The excursions were great. Coco Cay is wonderful and it is so nice that Royal honors your drink package and food on the island. The lunch was wonderful. We stayed on Chill Island for most of the day and did go to the pool with swim up bar for a bit. It was busy but so fun. We ended up spending $40 on 2 lounge mats for the day for the beach. I’m not sure that was worth it. I noticed some people brought their own small blow up loungers with netting and I would probably pack something easy like that for next time but the loungers were nice. Next we went to Cozumel and ended up booking an excursion at Mr. Sanchos all Inclusive. It was awesome and we cant wait to go back. I reviewed that on Trip Advisor and that is where I found them. Next, we went to Honduras. I booked Little French Key all island access pass. This was amazing!!! I booked directly online and have also reviewed them on Trip Advisor as this is where I found this excursion. Last we went to Costa Maya. We just got off the ship and shopped around the port. It was a lot of aggressive vendors on the inside that were willing to cut the prices if you started to walk away and a lot of expensive vendors in stores surrounding this. I probably would not get off the ship next time. They did have a pool and swim up bar people seemed to be enjoying. Overall this is our 7th cruise and the best yet! We would love to go back on Harmony of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining ... Read More
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining service great, Food a bit down in my humble estimation but lots of it. (unfortunately for the waist line) Buffet crowded while at sea. (Actually asked to leave the buffet via pa broadcast if you were finished on sea days) Not cool. Too many people. That’s the lowdown. Still had a PRETTY GOOD cruise with friends family but the experience was not what I would call a holiday anymore. I won't be on this vessel again unless the new Flow Rider King my grandson pays at least half. lol Bit of a grind and RCI has got themselves in a bit of a pickle with the size of the ship and the staff they wish to pay number wise in scheduling activities on their Flow rider/Bumper car/Wall climbing/North Star etc. etc. Same guys do all of these sites and more as activities staff, and they can not be at all locations at once obviously. Two banks of elevators times two sides just not enough and the walking from one end to other seemed longer this year. But of course I’m getting on too. So it may not be an issue for you. The elevator frequency is another issue however. I do not remember coming to an elevator so often and found them all UP or All down from where I was at. I was roomed on deck 7 and all the restaurants as usual down several floors or the buffet on 14/topish. Pools on top and the shops and guest services on 4 and 5. They just seemed out of sync and or not enough for the mass of people on board. Wait times were long compared to any ship I have been on. Passengers... 5 G I was told .... and 1000 kids..did I mention that. The lines to activities of course can be defeated with a pay extra benefit called “The Key”. My teenage GS was not impressed by the privileged kids that budged. He learned another life lesson. Rooms on this ship really workable. I didn’t manage a suite but if the space in the regular rooms out side/window and Balcony … Inside with Virtual window any indication I’m sure they would be fine. Storage is better than the M and S class on Celebrity for sure. (No life jackets in the room helps). Although I think maybe the showers are a bit smaller. Or was it me again. Somebody else thought that too so I think I’m right. Room attendant very pleasant and did her job really really well. (Thanks Mardol.) Note: Do not pay extra for a virtual Balcony. I asked them to check mine and it was no better after they did. Lots of breakup and the picture was just OK when in bright sunlight and close to objects. Shore and dock area’s only and not great at that. Pretty useless at sea. The fake balcony rail on screen was nice and bright though. Just not worth it at all as far as I’m concerned. The ship is big and beautiful for sure. Dining was early for us and main seating was early//Seated by 5:15. We did this because we wanted to be with kids and friends who had kids as we thought that it would be better to feed the bears and then turn them loose. In hind-site it may have been better to go anytime somewhere and book a fixed time a bit later with a maitre D. for all week. Early dining conflicted with a lot of open times for activities. Late would have also. Avoided upcharged restaurants. No charge items at Fish and Ships. were great for lunch. Believe it or not didn't get to the doghouse . Saw it but I was never ready for lunch when I was there. 270 Lunch was sad. (although the roast beef on embarkation day was great). Solarium Breakfast and Lunch OK. Windjammer was and always is the Windjammer. As I mentioned the shows were great. Pixels … Is a great show in 270, with dancers etc. Interacting with great music and 4 robotic screens with pixels and the entire back half of the stern viewing windows that also turn into screens. Separate venue from the main theatre. You need reservations and you can get them online before you cruise sometime. Main shows were very Vegas Like and better than I remember onboard as I have not been doing shows for a while on X as they tended to be all the same. Maybe the girls just looked better. Juggler and Comedian (not the same guy) were super. Juggler was a comic too. Had no problem getting great seats by arriving 10-20 mins early . A Mountie was aboard and gave three great lectures about "The Force." The Old, New and training. Young fellow…. trained 10 yrs after me. Made a few rookie mistakes lol. There was a Wildlife guy too..missed him. Oh and they had a “Real” Orchestra/Band onboard and THEY COULD PLAY. Seattle : Embarkation was a zoo . Two things. One we had been assured that we could use our Nexus cards to board. But this was not going to work so as we did have our passports with us we were only held up for a bit while we fished them out. Friends who had checked on this and had sent their passports in to be renewed were shunted around until the shore people actually had a Ship’s Person come down and put them straight. Believe it or not. The shore staff didn’t know they could use a Nexus card. There was another issue with friends that had actually paid for two parties when the paid for party checked in and claimed the credit card on account and then the Person that actually paid arrived and were told their card had been compromised as it was used already. Really this SHIP happens. But by far was the zoo on the pre-board floor. I understand that departure and ship clearing was held up. Really not all that unusual right, it happens all the time. But when there was no (not enough) seating, organization or persons that cared about telling us what was happening you can imagine the mess. Not enough area for us all. Announcements could not be heard over the crowd and the announcements for the other ship in port going on for half the same floor we were all on. I think/hope that this was unusual and that normally the flow worked. But it sure didn’t for us and when the doors opened in was a minor, Plus ok ok major stampede . They needed to have some plan to keep control with temp barricades. Not a great way to meet your 4998 other guests. Ok not that many but there were lots cause we all want to be there a bit early..right? Go later if you board this big vessel. But you will find getting a place to be comfortable and get food a bit hard to find. Getting off went smoothly for everyone as far as I could see. We were at our shuttle a half hour earlier than we were timed for. Bet that didn’t happen the week before when we boarded. Now the glacier...Dawes was on the schedule. Some folks had paid for a special view from the “North Star” a observation pod hoisted high up on an imitation Nasa like Canada Arm. I had been there before and it’s quite a sight. We didn’t make it for an ice issue and I understand that this ship hasn’t made it all season. I have been disappointed in this area before but still charging folks to see no glacier seemed harsh. The issue with the glacier is the narrowness of the “Arm” and there is little flow to take the ice away from the front of the glacier. Want to see a glacier with way better odds take a ship that goes to Hubbard or Glacier Bay. But understand it’s no guarantee either. Ports: Juneau has all the tourista stuff right at your gangway. You can stumble to the Red Dog saloon right across the street. Lots of tours to be had and a gondola right up the dock a bit. City bus... the best priced tour of the valley. Even get to see the State prison. Victoria : Some nice tours of the city. Whale watching usually for the 3 local Orca pods (which this year have gone outside (out west of Vancouver Island) a lot looking for food warming is an issue. And of course Butchart Gardens . A must see for any gardener at least once..... even I have done it twice and I’m no gardener. Because of the Ovation’s schedule (two ports) you get a full day stop here vs. the few hours normal on a return 7 day from Seattle.... a stop needed to comply with US law to eliminate steep tax issues and way higher cruise fares. Skagway: The White Pass and Yukon Railway. There are other tours of course but this is the reason to go to Alaska beside the obvious scenery and glaciers. More than a few ways to do the ride but it’s a must for history and the sites. Those gold rushers did some wild things. The town itself has kept to an old school feel and the locals rule the stores mostly and the “Park” regulations keep the buildings in check also. The diamonds and Caribbean stuff is there but not so noticeable. Lol. I even found a shop where the resident artist owner winters in South Eastern BC as she paints while hubby ski’s So I think that’s it. For this ship and my whatever # cruise to Alaska. The key to this ship is…. got kids or grandkids over the age of say 10-13 this ship is for you but do your homework in what they can and can’t do without paying extra. There is a great area called the solarium with a restaurant for Adults only. It also has big relaxing hot tubs and quite a bit of viewing area with lounges. Small pools actually. Open Buffet for breakfast and Lunch but need reservations for supper. Contact me at BSeaBob at gmail com if you have comments, suggestions or any question you may have. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation ... Read More
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation in Hong Kong is not great. Kai Tak Terminal is very busy because this ship and Dream Cruises are both embarking on the same day. The queues are very long. Fortunately because we have two elderly people among us we could join the special elderly queue for check-in. Then the worst thing was the zig-zag bridge that connect the terminal with the ship. I completely fail to understand why this winding zig-zag bridge is necessary when a direct birdge (airport jet bridge) can do the same job! The ship is in good condition. It does not immediately feel like it is in need of dry dock work. (But it is going to dry dock in September.) The staterooms were not yet ready and we were told we could take lunch in the Sapphire Dining Room, so we made our way there. Lunch was buffet style and it was fine. After lunch we went to our rooms. We had a promenade view room and it was rather roomy for a cruise ship with two sofas. Our stateroom attendant was Iwayan, he was very good and he opened the connecting door between our room and my in-laws room for us as soon as we requested. The dining on the ship is okay. It is nothing to write about. Some of the food in the dining room can be found again in the Windjammer at late night snack time. The ship is consisted of a majority Hong Kong and China people and some of them seemed determined to eat back their cruise fare. Well, given the food served I think they had a hard time achieving that goal. For the ports, Chan May is really far away from Da Nang. We hired a driver for a day trip to Hoi An but he could not come into the port because our tour company is not "sponsored" by RCCL. We had to pay another driver to drive us out of the port gates to meet him. But he was not a very good driver as he could not speak much English and he took us back from Hoi An 1.5 hours earlier than agreed. The worst thing was he would not enter the gates of the port as promised. So we did not tip him and made a complaint to his company. Many RCCL "sponsored" tours came back late from their tours and the ship did not sail until 17:40, as opposed to 17:00. We were still approaching Nha Trang when we took our breakfasts. As this is a tender port we had to wait for our tender time. RCCL "sponsored" tours and group tours all went ashore before us. We only got ashore at 11am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. The entertainment on board were only so-so. One night we had an American singer who performed as many Chinese songs as English songs. He was okay but I saw a Caucasian family of four looking rather bored as we boarded the lift outside the theater. The Ice Skating show Ice Odyssey was fantastic. We watched it and then strongly recommended my mother-in-law to go. She went and she was amazed as well. We had a plain sailing back to Hong Kong after Nha Trang. Nothing to report. We also got back before the Dream Cruises ship so we got away okay. Some of the things we really couldn't get our heads around were the lack of technology on the ship. I could not believe they had to write a number on our Sea Pass cards to indicate we had watched Ice Odyssey. Also in the dining room we had a waiter come to us to write down our room number every night. I mean, aren't we in the 21st century? Can you not just scan my Sea Pass card for that? Also, the in-room television had so little choice of channels. When I was on Quantum of the Seas it could receive a TVB J2 channel but here there is only one Chinese channel which recurred the same content all through the cruise. There are loads of Chinese satellite channels in the region and that's the best they can tune their tv sets to? Once again RCCL, we are in the 21st century! I wish I had downloaded a Samsung remote control app to my phone so I can plug in my mobile hard disk to the tv and watch the movies I have in it. The service provided by all the waiters, servers and room attendants were very good. They worked really hard to keep the ship clean and the service going. I applaud them because with 3,000+ guests (many are children and elderly people) on board it was no easy thing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a married couple in early 60's. We booked this because we prefer Royal Caribbean for it's informal yet not too rowdy atmosphere. The cruise ticked all the boxes. There were over 900 kids running around which noised ... Read More
We are a married couple in early 60's. We booked this because we prefer Royal Caribbean for it's informal yet not too rowdy atmosphere. The cruise ticked all the boxes. There were over 900 kids running around which noised things up a bit but what do you expect when you book a cruise during the school holidays. Big shout out to Hello Clo, the best cruise director RC have in my opinion. She was always visible about the ship and such a cheery person We did notice a few slight issues. First is the lack of bar staff and waiters, particularly in the Schooner bar. Poor guys there were run off their feet. Again I noticed that the numbers attending the main dining room seem to be getting ever lower and the Windjammer is always mobbed. Is anyone at RC seeing this ? Perhaps it is time to convert the 3 MDR floors to a buffet and put the MDR on deck 11 - only a suggestion. We are Diamond plus members and as such have access to the Diamond and Concierge lounges. If RC are going to provide these lounges for 24 hour access, can they please ensure the coffee machine is always stocked. We regularly went up for a late night coffee only to find out the kitchen was closed and told if we wanted coffee to go downstairs to the Promenade cafe. Sort of defeats the purpose of having 24 hour lounges. Also, with regard to the music guy Perry singing in the Schooner bar at night. It was always mobbed right into the corridor and you simply couldn't move or get past. While upstairs, the much larger Star lounge was empty. Again I ask, is anyone at RC paying attention to things like this ? And we know people don't do trivia for the prizes. But to give out the same prize ( yellow highlighters ) again and again got a bit boring. Surely it wouldn't cost too much to give out the odd cap, T-shirt, pen, key ring, etc Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was originally a cruise to Cuba which was the only reason we chose this ship. When the Cuba ports were cancelled we decided to take their offer of 50% off but didn't expect much from this "old" and "small" ... Read More
This was originally a cruise to Cuba which was the only reason we chose this ship. When the Cuba ports were cancelled we decided to take their offer of 50% off but didn't expect much from this "old" and "small" ship. We had a wonderful time. No way did the ship seem old. All of the public areas and our cabin were very clean and just lovely. We loved that the ship was smaller since it was so easy to get around and there were no crowds anywhere. You could walk into the buffet area, the showroom or the pool area and always get seats. We have been on many cruises where getting seats anywhere is always a hassle. The entertainment was top notch. We especially enjoyed the many beautiful costumes. The food was very good and our wait staff friendly and very efficient. In fact every service person we encountered was super friendly. Since we always take a balcony room and there are no regular balconies on this ship we opted for a junior suite which in actuality was the same as a regular balcony on any other ship. If you are thinking of going on the Empress, don't even hesitate. You will enjoy it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride ... Read More
Embarkation : The worst check in experience so far . No queue control n poor signage leading to lot of confusion . No enough RCL in hand to direct queue . Food quality : MDR food was served cold n service so so Rides : most ride were chargeable n why should we pay so much n get charged for all these rides . Guest services : poor , advised that we don’t need arrival card upon arrival to shanghai ( she claimed she checked with immigration . Very crowded n rowdy especially eating area ,sailing in this region . Unhygienic practices by passenger . Spitting n hand handling of fruits RCL must have also cut budget on fruits selection . Apple and grapes were the lowest quality selected , resulting in lot of wastage . Only plus point of this ship : NEW I will still cruise but not in this region anymore . Guess is an eye opener for me Note : wonder why the gym was given such a mini area Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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