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939 Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. ... Read More
Oh, Mr Porter, what shall I do? I wanted to go to Boston and New York and they've taken me on to the Canary Isles....OK, it doesn't rhyme or fit the tune, but it sums up what happened to us on our first experience of cruising. My wife and I decided two years ago to blow our savings on a cruise down the Eastern Seabord of the USA. Royal Caribbean International were advertising a 13 night cruise leaving from Southampton in early November, calling at Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami - all places we had never visited, but would very much like to see. We took a deep breath and booked, then waited as the months crawled by, getting excited at the prospect of the Big Adventure ahead. Two weeks before departure, I went in to hospital and we had to miss the sailing. Insurance paid for most of the financial loss, so when an identical cruise was advertised last February, we decided to tempt fate and book up again. This time we were both fit and well as the day of departure arrived. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the ship wasn't in quite such great shape. Newspapers carried the story of a catastrophic failure of one of the stabilsers which caused hull damage and resulted in the cruise before ours being curtailed for emergency repairs. Then came the storm warnings. Late on the Friday before Monday's sailing our travel agents contacted us to say that because of adverse weather conditions in the Atlantic, the ship would not be calling into Boston, New York or Port Canaveral, but instead would spend time in Belgium and French ports before taking a southerly route to Miami. With someone else booked to move into our house the next day to dog-sit, and goodness knows how much already spent on return air-travel, overnight stays and car-hire, we felt we had no choice but to continue with the cruise, even though we had zero interest in spending time in Bruges or LeHavre. (No offence, Belgium and France, but we have visited you lots of times before.) Our disappointment was utter, and there was little excitement left when we went on board The Navigator for our first cruising experience. Things appeared to look up when, just before sailing, the Captain came on the Tannoy to say that - reponding again to weather changes - we would now be sailing direct to the Canary Isles, then crossing the Atlantic to the Bahamas for a day's water sports and sunbathing on a tropical island before going to Port Canaveral. (Back on the list). Nine happy days at sea allowed us to work up an appetite for the day of snorkling and coral reef exploration we were promised on Coco Cay, the RCI's private island paradise in the Bahamas. Crossing the Bay of Biscay was pretty choppy as the broken stabiliser was still not working, but the seas soon calmed down to a light swell. The crew were magnificent, the onboard entertainment excellent, and because so many people had cancelled at the last minute, we virtually had a waiter each. Life on board was relaxing and fun-packed, and our spirits rose. Sure, we had missed meeting our old friends in New York, and we never got to see Boston, but the sun was shining, the southern breezes were balmy, and there was that delicious day of water sports in the Bahamas to look forward to. The Day arrived, and the whole ship's complement lined up to disembark, larded in sun cream and already dressed in swimming gear. Announcement over the Tannoy: "Because of the swell, tenders are not prepared to put out from the island. We will not now be spending the day on Coco Cay but will divert to Freeport for a few hours on Grand Bahama." More dashed hopes. More cancelled excursions. But still, there was a guided tour of the Everglades at Port Canaveral to look forward to tomorrow, wasn't there? Well, no, actually, becuase later that day, after a rather uninteresting few hours on the quayside at Freeport, we had the message that all guided tours booked for the next day were off because of "immigration difficulties." So far, of the four excursions we had booked, none had or would now take place. As a last ditch effort to have some fun somewhere, we booked a shuttle ride to Magic Kingdom. Been there before, and it costs an arm and a leg, but, hey, we're on holiday. The ship docked in Port Canaveral. The shuttle bus made it to the Magic Kingdom. We had five hours in the park - just time for two rides and a ten-minute show - then back to the ship. Or so we thought. The coach broke down on the way back. We waited forty minutes in a gas station for a replacement bus, and ended up back at the ship seconds before it sailed, missing half of our last meal on board because we were so late back, and having to wear the same clothes we had worn for a sweaty day in the seething Disney park. Short of actually sinking mid-Atlantic, it is difficult to see how anything else could have gone wrong on this voyage. We have never cruised before - is our experience typical? Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were supposed to sail from Southampton to Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami. However, we were called on th Friday afternoon before the Monday cruise and told that due to storms in the Atlantic we would now go to Le Havre, ... Read More
We were supposed to sail from Southampton to Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami. However, we were called on th Friday afternoon before the Monday cruise and told that due to storms in the Atlantic we would now go to Le Havre, Brugges and then Miami. Not quite the same appeal! We were offered a full refund if we cancelled but as booked the flights ourselves and non refundable hotel rooms in Miami we would have had to claim through our travel agent so we had no choice but to go. Having been to France and Belguim on numerous RC cruises, we were really not looking forward to the cruise even with the $200 OBC for the changes and 20% off what we paid for this cruise towards another. I did ask if there were really storms in the Atlantic or whether it was an excuse to have further repairs to the Ship after last weeks accident with the stabiliser making a large hole in the hull. I was told it was fully repaired. When we checked in on the Monday, I was told it was actually repaired this morning after people had disembarked. However, at the lifeboat drill the Captain said due to a gap in the storm we would now go to Gran Canria, Coco Cay, Port Canaveral and Miami so things looked better. 3 rough days at sea, due to storms was not too bad, have had worse in Iceland! Gran Canaria was ok, then it got warmer as we cruised towards Perfect Day Coco Cay (RC's private island). That morning the sea turned choppy and I had a feeling the tenders wouldn't be able to get us ashore. Unfortunately the captain soon came on and told us the same. We promptly turned around and left what looked like a building site (lots of work going on for next year) and went to Freeport Bahamas. Lots of shops but not much else. Worth noting that RC were charging whatever they could for excursions on Coco Cay, even for floating mat which seemed a rip off. I guess they want us to pay for the island for them. At this point it became a case of guess which port we are going to next. Then we went to Port Canaveral which was great. We had originally booked a tour of the space centre but was then told that due to immigration it would not be possible to have a guided tour and instead they would just take us there and we had to get around ourselves. At this point we were so used to changes we didn't care. So, we spent the day at the Space Centre at our leisure before heading to Miami. Cabin was good, central location which helped make the rough seas feel not as bad. We had to ask for bath robes and toiletries. Surprisingly our crown and anchor free gifts were in the cabin - normally I spend 2 days chasing. I was due a free gift for reaching 240 points on my June cruise so asked the diamond concierge about it. Was told I would receive it later in the cruise but did not. There was no sign of him the last few mornings in the lounge and he ignored the note I left for him. Thanks Ken! Emailed when I returned and it was posted out to me but not a good example of how to treat loyal customers. Food was very good. Slow setting up in the Windjammer for lunch and sometimes food was cold as had been left out whilst setting up. Staff very friendly and helpful. Was disappointed they only had the UHTmilk which tasted awful. Shops were the usual overpriced expensive items and the usual $10 tat sales. Lots to do during the day and evening though. Lessons learnt - never assume where you book is where you are going. Book refundable rooms if making your own plans for the start or end of your cruise Pack a mixture of clothes as some people were caught up with the change if destination and climate. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank ... Read More
Was due to sale to Boston/New York/Florida but with big seas in the North Atlantic the captain decided to change the itinerary(twice).There was a lot of people who decided not to travel,it was mentioned 1000 and i would just like to thank them all.The latest itinerary took us from Southampton to The canaries and on to the Bahamas and Florida with flat seas and clear sky’s 75/80 degrees for the six days at sea across the Atlantic.With only 2200 guests there was no need to change nationality to get a bed and all the bars and restaurants were easy to use.The food was fantastic and the level of service throughout the cruise was superb and on top of clear sky’s,flat seas,stunning food and fantastic service we received £250.00 from cruise 1st,$310.00 dollars on board spend and 25% off our next cruise and missed spending a fortune in Boston and New York.The staff in all departments were properly the best I’ve encountered with a special mention to Sweden and Benjamin our two excellent waiters where nothing was to much trouble.So i would just like to say what a fantastic cruise and thank you to all the people that cancelled which made it such a great crossing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This reminded me of my first cruise many years ago when the crew was happy and new your name. The Captain was a hoot, and would come on each day announcements with a cheerful and positive attitude. This was a very long trip so we spent 3 days in Rome before leaving, and was in our eyes the highlight of the trip (all the rest was extra cake). Two day before leaving we had gotten contacted by KLM that our flight had been canceled due to Air2sea booking a year ago on a Bump flight? We had to call Air2Sea and tell them about the cancelation. They did not have any idea that it had happened. I insisted that KLM had canceled the flight and I had called them and confirmed that it was, and that I should contact RC for any information. First observation of RC is the disconnect between the travel and the customer. They should have this information first before me. They then told me that it was a good thing that I had Air2Sea and they could fix this. They rebooked on Delta and my 2 stops turned into 3. The Delta Flight was very good and we had and additional hour with a very uncomfortable flight on Italy Airlines (not recommended no leg room). While in Rome they then sent another email that said all the Jewels itinerary stops had been changed due to weather (changed to Canary Islands and St. Martin). This is probably a good call but other ships had been reported going to the places that we had just been changed from. Most of the ship was looking forward to Lisbon as we had, and for this was disappointed. Getting on the ship was a very quick event and waited for our rooms to get prepared. Luggage delivery was very good. I felt sorry for the couple that we met that lived in the Canary Islands (and just had flown out of) and joked that they could maybe do some laundry while off the ship at island (they lived at) they had just left. We had been spoiled a bit on Princess Cruises so the rest is observations of what could be improved for the RC Brand. We loved the food and lots of it, but not much variety. Having theme food nights lets us have a taste of other countries. We did not eat in the dining room at all but ended up in the windjammer when open. The Café (latte tudes?) was very limited on food selection and while the windjammer has such limited hour 7am till 11 something could be expanded to a light snack early in the morning. We had been gaining hours each night coming back from Italy and we would wake up at 4 am and feeling hungry. All the restaurants had been closed, and the only one that opens at 6:30 is the Solarium Café that again is very limited to light snacks. Internet was puffed up as fastest at sea. Nobody I talked with thought much of it. It’s took about 5 to 10 min to load the RC page. They should have a backup system that when not by land can use satellite feeds from deep space to fill the low altitude satellite system currently used. We loved the Movie Theater and would love to see this added to other ships. The movies generally run one a day and then repeated on the big screen on deck. We had to leave early on one of our favorite movies, and expected to finish it later but this was not replayed on the in room TV. Suggestion is to run your played movies on the TV in the room as the kids shows currently are (in room TV is pay preview if you want a another movie). What is up with the “cooler” in the room??? No Hotel room uses a cooler. They use small refrigerators. Coffee Lava azza! One word Nasty (you need to switch out to instant or McCaffee brand! You can bring two bottles of wine but no Water or Soda onto the ship? We don’t drink so water is important to me. I spent over 50 dollars on the 12 liter bottles of water provided by the cruise line with 18% added on. Other cruise lines do this for about 7 us dollars a case. Smoking all over the ship. Deck 5 had ashtrays all down the walking deck. What about the kids that walk on that deck. What about me that does not smoke, but is exposed by trying to get some exercise. The smoking room is next to the Windjammer??. The smoke drifts down the pool deck while trying to watch a movie. Improve the daily activity that happens around the ship. We felt a port expert would have been nice along with other information like education lectures (Paying passenger did volunteer for lectures giving in Geology that was appreciate). This may have been slow because of the change of ports but thought that we should do more than just read, watch movies, cards, and shop in a very limited shopping area. Long itineraries require the Brand to make extra personnel for this lull in long days. We appreciated the extra personnel that were provided for future cruise desk. Princess only supplies one, and is never at the desk. Cruise excursions should be explained better. One paragraph of the excursion should be expanded, and explained about mode of transportation and amount of stops for toilet breaks, and how much time spent at stops. This was not explained until on the tour. Overall the cruise was very nice, but have decided that this cruise line in present state is not for us. We did have a great mix of people our own age, but just think it should be better. Overall price of the trip was Great value. We thank the excellent crew for success of our second crossing of the big pond. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we ... Read More
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. Ship was old, mid-size, but had more offerings and character than some larger ships. Inside cabin was spacious enough. Dining options in the main dining room and buffet were better than Celebrity, especially the lunches! Entertainment and activities were standard for this class. The live entertainment was very good with lots of dance music available. Some of the games were fun too, even if we'd seen them before. Service was excellent throughout. Dining room staff including head waiter and maitre'd were exceptional. We never felt harassed to buy drink or dinner packages. This was a major annoyance on Celebrity. Diamond benefits are excellent. Would definitely do another Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
In the past five years we have done two transatlantic cruises per year on the Navigator of the Seas. It was not available (supposedly being refurbished - hopefully better than the supposed refurbishment they just completed on the ... Read More
In the past five years we have done two transatlantic cruises per year on the Navigator of the Seas. It was not available (supposedly being refurbished - hopefully better than the supposed refurbishment they just completed on the Independence of the Seas). 1. The food in the main Dining room was mediocre at best. Length of time for overall service resulted in missing some of the evening entertainment. Much of the time the food was barely warm. 2. Our cabin attendant – took two days to get tissues after they had been requested, we had to ask for soap to use by the sink to wash our hands (never got any but fortunately I did have some in my toilet articles), we were in a disabled cabin and so asked for a wedge for the door for us to use but each time he gave us one it would disappear the next time he came. 3. Despite being told that this ship had been recently refurbished it was obvious that the carpet in our cabin had been patched together. Our last night on board my toe caught in one of the areas where the carpet was coming apart causing me to fall injuring my shoulder. 4. The trivia’s were held in the Schooner Bar which has very limited access for people in wheelchairs or scooters. 5. Only one shore excursion was available for disabled people. Inexcusable! 6. We never could get a run down of our charges on our TV screen so we had to wait in line at Customer Service (very long lines most of the time because of the number of people onboard). 7. Space for the disabled in the Theatre were reserved only on deck 3 rather than on 3 and 4 like on the Navigator. Lots of disabled people on board. 8. Trying to get through the Royal Promenade was extremely difficult with all of the tables for the different shops selling things and with the amount of people it became even more of a bottleneck. The definition of Promenade is a leisurely walk taken for pleasure, to display one’s finery, etc; a public place for such a walk as an avenue, the deck of a ship, etc. There was no chance of a relaxing or leisurely walk along the “Promenade” as busy as it was most of the morning, afternoon and evening. Zumba on the Promenade – seriously! I / We feel that Royal Caribbean was ill equipped to deal with the amount of people on board. This includes the wait for the elevators – same amount of elevators as on the Navigator but substantially more people on board and a considerable number of people on board were disabled. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship because we wanted to be in the USA in plenty of time to visit our son for Thanksgiving and we had sailed with this line before on Navigator of the seas and enjoyed it - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to be in the USA in plenty of time to visit our son for Thanksgiving and we had sailed with this line before on Navigator of the seas and enjoyed it - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to avoid the long haul flights. For a disabled cabin 6324 was a lovely size and plenty of room with a roll in shower. It was easy to get out on to the balcony and it was well situated for the lifts. I used my small electric scooter on the ship and there was plenty of room to bring it into the cabin. The whole ship was just too busy. Trying to get into lifts that were full every time it was meal time or show time was a nightmare. People would not move to let you into the lifts, and do not go there with the amount of kids on the ship during school term time. The only time l could get into the adults only pool was when everyone else went on shore excursions and we stayed on the ship. Those extra new 100 cabins have made it way to busy to get a sun bed or just move about with ease if you are disabled. The entertainment was good but even though we booked anytime eating in the restaurant we were asked to pick a time to eat because it was so busy and we would have to stand for ages otherwise.....what is the point in anytime dining? We found the staff were sadly not as good as on other cruises and the whole ship seems to be geared to families and children now. In school hols l am sure it is great for them but l did not expect so many children on a trans Atlantic cruise in November!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our third consecutive transatlantic cruise on Indy. We were really looking forward to seeing all the new additions to the ship following the amplification (thats what RCI call it). We were astonished to discover that the ... Read More
This was our third consecutive transatlantic cruise on Indy. We were really looking forward to seeing all the new additions to the ship following the amplification (thats what RCI call it). We were astonished to discover that the cabins had not been touched as they are looking extremely tired and dated. Our cabin was kept excepiinally clean by our wonderful cabin steward V. He was brilliant. Unlike previous reviews we didn't find the ship overcrowded. We always found somewhere to sit and never waited long to be served in the bars or to be seated in the main dining room. There were always sunbeds available although we preferred to sunbathe on our balcony. The standard of food in the windjammer and main dining room was much better than last year. We ate in both Chops Grill and Giovannis Table and were completely underwhelmed by both. Johnny Rockets as always was very good. The service we received throughout the ship was outstanding. The new additons are aimed at families and not surprisingly you have to pay for most of them. We noticed a huge difference in the dress standards on board. It appears that anything goes even in formal nighrs. This was really different to previous years. We really enjoyed our cruise. The weather was good as were the ports of call. The entertainment was poor compared to previous years. Fourever were outstanding, Darren Day was superb and the ice show as always was amazing. The rest of the acts were pretty poor. We gave Grease a miss this year as we've seen it on our 2 previous transatlantic crossings. There was also a comedian who was very funny, I think his name was Steve Wommack. Our favourite addition was Sugar Beach. It had excellent sweets ay a reasonible price. Although our next 2 cruises aren't with RCI we'll definitely sail with them again and we still love Indy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! ... Read More
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! We were surprised when we first arrived to find we had Ken Jones as our CD as we were supposed to have Tim Connor. Considering Ken had been brought on only a week before at last minute and he didn't know the ship he didn't a brilliant job! The 9 sea days were good but long. This is our 3rd transatlantic but we've never had so many sea days in a row. I made alot of use of the library on the first few days. I love that it is now in a room of its own as it is quieter although so passengers used it as a general place to chat which was annoying. There were a few activities on board, scavenger hunts, napkin folding ect, I've done these on previous cruises so didn't feel the need to attend. We did go to Rock Britannia which was led but our Activities Manager Elizabeth and I really enjoyed that aswell as the 70s night which was also really good (this was led by Ken!) They also did an Olympus Rocks parade and an 80s night but I didn't go to these. Grease was amazing and I highly recommend seeing it, the girl who played Rizzo blew me away! We also saw Once Upon a Time, it's my favourite show on Indy but I must have seen it around 7 times now and it is getting a little stale! Darren Day was another headliner and he was incredible! We saw both his evening show and his matinee! I personally couldn't do any of the sports activities but my family did the rockwall and the trampolines and loved them! We are in the windjammer every night and the food was always lovely, hot and there was so much choice! We tried Johnny Rockets for the first time, the staff were very accommodating and changed my meal when I found the first one too spicy but I don't think it's something I'd go back and try. Fish and Ships was really good, the cod was the best cod I've had in a long time! Our first port was St Marteen, we walked round to the town and had a little look around, it's so amazing how quickly theyve managed to get back on their feet after the hurricane. I took the waterbus back to the ship after a couple of hours as it was getting too hot for me but my family stayed and swam in the sea. Next we went to St Thomas where we booked an excursion so we could get through immigration quicker! Our immigration time was 6:20am, and we were through within an hour! Our excursion was a boat trip into the main town. The boat trip itself was worth the money but I wasn't impressed with the town, I'm guessing if you like diamonds ect it's good but it wasn't our sort of thing. We only spent 2 hours there before getting the boat back. We had a look around the shops at the port and picked up a few suvioners. I then got back on the boat while my family headed to Megan's bay. Next was San Juan. Again we only stayed near the port, we walked up to Marshalls and a little further on we found a street that was full of colourful umbrellas above it, it was gorgeous and totally worth seeing! We again didn't stay long after that, went to a few shops and then headed back. We have done these 3 ports before (some twice!) So we didn't feel the need to spend to much time on land! Our last port was Labadee, which is basically paradise! I've never seen anywhere so beautiful! It's always been on my bucket list to swim in the Caribbean sea and I achieved that here. The water was perfect, just the right temperature! That's pretty much all I did in Labadee, I like to think the salt of the sea helped my joint pains. My Mum who is braver than me did the zip wire and she loved every second of it! A couple more things of the ship, we had an aft balcony cabin on deck 6. It was still roomy with 3 of us and the balcony was huge! Joseph our state room attendant couldn't do enough for us! The escape room is a must, absolutely loved doing that, I love anything that makes me brain think/work. The only small issue we had on board was with the photographers. They lost a few of our photos and then we had a photo taken at the Labadee sign, it was the one photo we all wanted but the only one which was perfectly lined up with the whole sign in ect had someone else in it who wasn't in our party and the photographers couldn't seem to grasp this. Sadly we didn't end up buying any photos because the only one we really wanted was spoilt. The departure process was a mess! They were letting the next cruise on in the same place as we were all queing up to get on coaches ect, the port was rammed! We had a transfer with Royal to our hotel but noone seemed to know where we were meant to go to get this transfer! We asked one member of the Intercruise staff who was at the port, she mumbled something and when we asked her to repeat it she told us she wasn't going to as we must be stupid!! 2 hours we waited at the port being told to go in all different places, all which were wrong! In the end we gave up and ended up paying $70 for a taxi to our hotel in Miami! Overall though we had a fantastic time, we love Royal Caribbean and we love how the staff treat you like family when you are on board! We have decided though we wouldn't do a transatlantic this way again though. It's alot easier to fly out and cruise back than it is to cruise out and fly back! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you ... Read More
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you board and is a very nice ship. We had an outside cabin on deck 2 cabin 6260 and it was very nice and also very quite.D.D. our cabin stewart was excellent. Food on board was very good in all the restaurants and Chops Grill speciality dining was out of this world. Plenty of food and plenty to drink and the service was excellent.Service throughout this cruise was 10 out of 10. Ship was spotlessly clean. Just a couple of gripes. The ship was pretty could for the first few days. It was cold outside but you could have hung beef in side. When the weather improved it was too busy outside. They actually had too many sunbeds together and it was difficult to walk about. We new the ship would be busy on ship days. The entertainment was the biggest downfall. It was really poor. The headline acts were terrible and also there was no booking system to get in. It was a free for all. The bands playing around the ship were poor. Same songs every night. A good piano player how would be better to play and not sing. The parties on the promenade were good fun but packed. I think the cruise director Ken was to blame as he did not seem to be listening to any of these acts. The ice skating was good. Still a very good cruise and a great experience on a T/A cruise. I would do it again no problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat. Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently ... Read More
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat. Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently don't realise that the crew have a hard job getting the ship ready for pax. We actually saw from our hotel room, people arriving, expecting to board the ship at 09.15 ! The ship was very clean & well maintained. The additions will obviously appeal to families, but it was easy to avoid the top area. Being a TA cruise, we didn't expect to see any school aged children, but as usual, we were wrong. Captain Iv runs a very good ship, & the ambiance proved that the crew like him as much as the passengers do ! He is a very affable person, who interacts with people very well. Orlando, F&B Manager on our cruise, was very approachable & we gladly congratulated him, & his team, on the food presentation & quality. Regardless where, or when we ate, the food was consistently good. Our stateroom was maintained very well by Bhisom, who was aware from the start, that we are early risers, so the room was cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. The first few days proved challenging, weather wise, but the Captain deviated from the usual course, to avoid the main part of the adverse weather, but the conditions were still quite rough. The health lectures were very interesting, conducted by an American Cardiologist, Dr K Sheikh, who was entertaining as well as being very informative. We were delighted that the casino was smoke free for the entire cruise, but smoking is still allowed on one side of deck 11, although we could avoid it, if we remembered ! The food in both Chops Grille & Giovanni's was as usual, excellent, but as I stated earlier, the food was good, regardless where we ate, including Barefoot beach club on Labadee. The only downside.....the vast numbers of Diamond & Diamond Plus members onboard. It meant that the Olive or Twist Lounge was filled to overflowing every evening, long before 5pm when the event commenced. Suites & Pinnacle guests could use the lovely airy Suite lounge, but as there is no bar set up in there, the servers had to prepare drinks either in the pantry, or at the bar in the main lounge. Wine was easy for them to serve, but mixed drinks took a while to get. We think that the C&A society will have to rethink their policy as it's too easy to reach D & DP status. It used to be that D's had an event consisting of wine, beer & Cava, now, those who have 70 points enjoy almost the same as those who have 700 !! Janice, lead bartender in the Crows Nest, Olive or Twist Lounge is delightful. She was always upbeat, friendly & eager to please. She ran an excellent bar, & was constantly aware people were waiting to be served. All crew we encountered were delightful, & those with whom we have cruised before, remembered us....for whatever reason, but we didn't ask !! We like the ID, but like the itineraries of other ships within the fleet, so it will be a while before we are back on her. Our experience on RCCL ships has always been enjoyable, & whenever we hear people complain about food, or the standard of cleanliness onboard, we have to shake our heads & wonder what kind of lifestyle they lead. It's easy to opt for healthy, nutritious food. On our return home, we weigh ourselves, & find that we have not gained weight. It's not because we haven't eaten or drunk anything, but have chosen wisely, exercised, & followed a regime which is sustainable, no matter where we are. Waste of food is abhorrent to us, but many plates we saw being removed from tables had food untouched by the person who had put it there. In a buffet situation, it's easy to opt for small portions, then return if more food is required. Some of the crew come from countries where food is not easy to obtain, so it must be depressing / annoying for them to see such unnecessary waste. Much media advertising coverage is given to plastic waste, but surely food waste should also be highlighted. Here endeth my rant !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having booked this cruise with friends I didn't look at the reviews until after. Well I can tell you that initially myself and another in our party started to get bad vibes from the reviews. However, seriously I found the whole ... Read More
Having booked this cruise with friends I didn't look at the reviews until after. Well I can tell you that initially myself and another in our party started to get bad vibes from the reviews. However, seriously I found the whole experience to be amazing and often reflected on how any little things were done to exceed expectations. ALL the staff were so friendly and genuinely helpful, they would go out of their way often to help. We always found a table to eat in Windjammer and the food here was exceptional. My wife and her friends often find it difficult to find food they like as being originally from China, they like to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and these were in abundance. We initially had concerns as to 'how many standard drinks were included on the standard package' but they were plenty and free 24hrs. Each evening we had a meal in the main dining room. 2 waiters for 3 tables with a total of 14 guest to look after, the service and food quality was amazing. All the staff took a real delight in talking to you and taking an interest but not to a point of intrusion. Each day we received our copy of 'Compass' a guide to the many activities going on each and everyday, it truly was jam packed. From dance lessons, french lessons, Bingo many health things including chinese herbs and too many to mention and so diverse. I saw mention of 'not enough sunbeds' yet I found dozens spare all the time, Ok maybe not right up to the pool edge but certainly plenty. Plenty of pool towels too and my wife certainly put the walking track to good use as did another of our party. Everything was immaculately clean too, so far beyond many of the hotels I've stayed in and the room made up twice a day. In the evenings different folded towel animals were left in the room made up by the room attendants. I can honestly say what a credit all the staff were and we are looking to book our next cruise. Don't be put off by reviews as we nearly were find out like us for yourself. We also enjoyed some top class shows that were of London show quality with top acts. If there was a negative, and I'm sure this is outside RC control was the onward transfer where we had to queue for far too long with no organization as to where to go. Recovering from an accident and having a few mobility problems my wife had to fetch me a wheelchair before I collapsed. I'm sure this was not Royal Caribbean but this was a real problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As a family of 7 we had 3 separate cabins with balcony. It was great to have the balcony rooms to experience the ship saying into towards the islands/locations we were visiting. The cabins were comfortable for sleeping. We could have done ... Read More
As a family of 7 we had 3 separate cabins with balcony. It was great to have the balcony rooms to experience the ship saying into towards the islands/locations we were visiting. The cabins were comfortable for sleeping. We could have done with more storage space for our 2 weeks work of clothes. The dining experience was fantastic thanks to the 2 at tentative waiters in the Main Dining room. In fact it was so good we didn't bother booking any speciality restaurants. Quality and variety of the food was superb. Our friendly waiters who must be mention Tri, and Neftali made our cruise special. We were entertained every evening after our meal by Tri who would have us trying to work out table tricks using all kinds of dining objects like cutlery, napkins cocktail sticks and glasses. I cannot find anytjing negative to say about the main dining room experience. The shows in the theatre were very good particularly Grease and Darren Day. The facilities on the ship were also excellent great splash area and pool for kids. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
A transatlantic cruise on a new ship, a very large one, without a lot of children on board seemed like a good idea. In many ways, it was a fine experience, except for dining. It is unclear to me how meals could be so bad, how service ... Read More
A transatlantic cruise on a new ship, a very large one, without a lot of children on board seemed like a good idea. In many ways, it was a fine experience, except for dining. It is unclear to me how meals could be so bad, how service could be so sloppy to non existent to unconnected. There were lots of pluses on the ship. Entertainment was top notch, including a great production of the musical Hairspray. Public spaces and cabins are well fitted and mostly comfortable. Housekeeping and cleanliness were highlights of the ship. And there were lots of deck chairs and lounge chairs available on sunny days. The solarium, at the front of the ship, on decks 14 and 15 is a great space, but it turns into a heat trap on hot sunny days. There are lots of spapools spread around and they were always clean, despite being well used. But, beware the inconsistent food service. So many examples, I am not sure where to begin. There was a lunch at the Park Cafe where we ordered two sandwiches, which were delivered to the table on one plate. We asked for a second plate, but were told they were running out of plates. Another day they ran out of forks. In the Solarium cafe, one could order an omelette, made to order, but we were told they did not provide fresh toast of bagel to go with it. And the tables in this space were jammed so close to each other that you could not get out of your chair without bumping into other guests. Then there was the main dining room. It was consistently inconsistent in service, but the food was consistently mediocre to bad. I complained to guest services, Diamon Club concierge and dining room managers, the cruise director and many other staff. The reply was always the same, You must remember Symphony is a very large ship. Duh, Royal built it and has been operating it since April. They should know how to run a big ship. Strange thing is, they know how to service the cabins, they know how to keep the ship immaculely clean, and they know how to move crowds of people around the ship. Despite the poor dining experiences, we had a good time on this transatlantic voyage. But I doubt I would ever travel on a mega ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sail frequently mostly on Celebrity, are Elite+, and wanted a big ship with lots to do for our transatlantic crossing. Symphony of the Seas was amazing with lots of venues and activities. Btw/ We loved the newly designed cabin ... Read More
We sail frequently mostly on Celebrity, are Elite+, and wanted a big ship with lots to do for our transatlantic crossing. Symphony of the Seas was amazing with lots of venues and activities. Btw/ We loved the newly designed cabin layout, colour palatte and spacious showe. The crew below Officers/Managers were friendly, engaging and often exceeded our expectations. Wonderful to experience this great service and teamwork on such a big ship. Food quality was generally poor in the free venues. Speciality food and service was EXCELLENT but came with extra costs. Not many deals once on-board so pre-purchasing before departure is recommended. Other than Captain Rob, the Officers/Managers were not very present or engaging throughout the cruise. Loved Captain Rob. At our stop in Port Canaveral the ship’s Officers/Managers made a mistake by not completely exiting excursion passengers ahead of general departures like normal and promised but didn’t take ownership for their mistake and instead blamed the usual immigration processing delays that often plague sailings returning to America, particularly transatlantic crossings. Oddly, neither the ship nor port personelle made any effort to remedy their mistake as it unfolded. Everyone that day had reason to be upset by the immigration delays but excursion passengers were particularly hard hit. We then hit another round of delays getting off at our final stop in Miami as the transportation facilities and process was a disaster. Organization by Royal on the ground was non-existent and the brand new terminal seemed poorly designed to handle busses efficiently and queue taxis and Uber’s. A terrible final 2 days getting off the ship. Thankfully the 10 days prior were great once we started paying for quality food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special ... Read More
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special care and is not medically fragile but is mentally very young 12 year old. He would have enjoyed meeting the teens and participating in some of their activities. He needs no supervision though I do not let him leave the floor I am on except to go take a nap. I do like to know where he is so that I can get him to shows, meal, etc on time. There was also no option for leaving him on the ship during excursions. I would have liked to do some of the more strenuous walks such as Pompeii but I knew they would be too difficult walking for my son. When I travel with you to Aruba this coming February there are activities I would like to do but are unable to do so because there is no care for him. Again he has no medical needs he is just mentally young and can't walk long distances. I saw several people with developmental problems, down syndrome, etc on the cruise whom I am sure parents would have liked a break themselves. This is an area you need to address. Most disabled adults are very social and love games, movies, and arts and crafts. Most of all these travelers love to meet and talk to new people and make friends. It would be a great selling point for your cruise line if you would offer some alternative for people with special needs. I do understand the training for medically fragile is extensive and would make it difficult to supply services for those individuals but for high functioning special needs the only training needed is first aid and CPR which I am sure all your child care people are required to have anyways. My son would have loved to watch movies, play table tennis, do games, go to karaoke with the younger crowd. As you examine and revamp your cruises please consider these suggestions. Part two: Traveling with a special needs person can be difficult. You seem to have made every effort to make accessible facilities available.These are my observations. During rough waters my son used a rollator (a walker with a seat) to help him keep his balance. The cabin doors are extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver when using a walker. Some of the new hotels now have if you are in an accessible room when you swipe your key card the door automatically opens so you can enter. I would love to see that feature. The doors in the bathrooms for the handicapped stalls stays open WAY too long. There is no way to manually pull these doors shut. There should be a manual closing feature or swipe control. In the women's restroom on the Boardwalk when you open the handicap stall door it blocks all the other stalls and you must wait for it to close to go past it to the other stalls. Also seating is ridiculously close in the Solarium making it difficult for HC and typical cruisers to maneuver. I understand you want every square inch utilized but it was extremely difficult. Other than those minor things I feel you did an excellent job making the boat accessible in all areas. Eric enjoyed being in the pop choir and was able to get up on stage with everyone and all of the entertainment staff was extremely kind to him making him feel special. Part 3 the food: The food was extremely inconstant. Breakfast in the main dinning it was the hard poached eggs even when asked for them soft and runny. Eggs Benedict came with hard cooked eggs. By contrast the scrambled eggs on the buffet were perfect. Dinner the Chicken cor don Blue was so over cooked I was afraid to order the Chicken Kiev the next night again by contrast the steaks were always perfectly cooked. The duck and lamb were both served over cooked. The service was general fantastic a couple of nights it was slow. A few nights we had to skip desert so we could get to our show. The presentation was always on point. Portion sizes were fantastic though I do wish you had an option of ordering 1/2 size portions. I enjoyed the soup bar in the main dinning room and the pasta bar in the solarium Also the omelet bar was wonderful...I would have like a Mongolian Barbecue as I got hungry for Chinese takeout. You seemed to have all other take out food covered. Service and food at Johnny Rockets was great...Great waitress that sang with my son and made his day. She deserves lots of praise. Wish I had had more time I would have done Wonderland I heard lots of rave reviews. Many complaints about the food constancy in the main dinning. Though I will say that the staff was very accommodating and willing to fix things or get you another meal. Presentation was always beautiful. Also many complaints that the main dinning should be open earlier than 8 am. Also there should be seating available in the morning for people who get there early as you do for people who arrive early for lunch and dinner. Also would be nice to have some kind of seating in the waiting area of the theaters for the handicapped and elderly who get to the theaters early for the shows or in the stand by area for seating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just completed the Symphony's inaugural transatlantic crossing in Nov 2018. We have done many of these voyages and are seasoned transatlantickers. This voyage far exceeded our expectations in every aspect including the cuisine ... Read More
We just completed the Symphony's inaugural transatlantic crossing in Nov 2018. We have done many of these voyages and are seasoned transatlantickers. This voyage far exceeded our expectations in every aspect including the cuisine (fresh bowls of berries!), the chocolate, butterscotch and white chocolate fountains, the lobster entrees - all just excellent. All of the shows were outstanding - the Broadway production, Hairspray, the Ice shows and the Aqua theatre - the athletes were stupendous. The tightrope walkers across the high seas while the ship was in motion - don't know how they pulled it off. The bionic bar was immensely entertaining, with robotic arms that make your martinis by plucking liquor bottles that were hanging upside-down off the ceiling. Oh so cool. The entertainment was robust for this type of cruise - always something fun and musical along the promenade. Zumba classes were high energy and actually too well-attended due to the great instructor. Thanks for the experience - this ship and its glory was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were just on the maiden voyage across the pond of The Symphony of the seas. I don’t know where to start. The ship is gorgeous. The murals, the hanging art in the elevator shafts, the public rooms, the restaurants, all the art work. ... Read More
We were just on the maiden voyage across the pond of The Symphony of the seas. I don’t know where to start. The ship is gorgeous. The murals, the hanging art in the elevator shafts, the public rooms, the restaurants, all the art work. The ship is a feast for the eyes. The cabins were decorated very nicely and had loads of places to store your clothing. The staff was amazing. Always smiling and always asking what they could do for you. The food was actually the best we had ever experienced on a ship. The meats were so tender and flavorful, and every night things were varied. The lunch display in the main dining room, whether a la carte or buffet was different everyday, and almost too beautiful to eat. The theatre venues were as always, spectacular. The shows were broadway worthy and the new world of computer generated scenery during the productions left us with amazement.. It’s so nice to not have to open a restroom door with a handle. All restrooms on the ship have panels on the wall you wave your hand in front of and the door opens automatically. That is a wonderful thing for all. The pool areas were brightly colored and the new slides from the top of the ship down to the pool areas were amazing. The children’s pool was delightful and looked like a Rube Goldberg contraption, making old and young smile. As usual there is an ice skating rink, flow rider, rock climbing ,carousel and anything else you would want on this fabulous ship. Once in a while there was a line of passengers waiting to get into a show, but that really wasn’t much of a problem..with more then 6000 passengers it was never too crowded to enjoy yourself. You could be busy all day and night and never get bored. This ship makes you smile. We had recently been on an Oceania cruise what a difference like night and day. The food here was so much more superb and the entertainment couldn’t be compared. We can’t wait to go on the ship again. A+ for this new wonder..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and ... Read More
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and upgraded to a Junior Suite and then to a Grand Suite. It was a good a deal, so we went for it. PRE-CRUISE: One night in Barcelona, stayed in the Acta Mimic Hotel, close to the port, good for a one night sleep. EMBARKATION: Fastest embarkation ever. we did the online thing, uploaded pictures and at the port they just scanned our sailing passes and Boom... om board in less than five. SHIP: Symphony is just Amazing... the amount of art pieces around is just incredible. Layout is perfect, that you dodn't feel the crowd around. Loved the ship overall. CABIN: we ended up upgrading ourselves to a Grand Suite slowly slowly, cabin 7254; just Amazing... loved the layout. Incredible amounts of storage space. Bathrom size perfect. Location was just perfection... close to elevators, close the the entertainment decks. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Grand Suite Cabin gives you Sky Suite Class perks: Concierge Service, All Day Access to Coastal Kitchen with reservations, Specialty Bottled Water (upon arrival), Complimentary VOOM, Priority Boarding and Departure, Priority Dining Reservations, Reserved Seating Area in Select Entertainment Venues, Suite Lounge Access (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening), Access to Suite Sun Deck, Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard, Luxury Pillow Top Mattress, Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane. The concierge (Rahul) was amazing and fixed everything we needed in a very efficient way, the first day we just brought him a plan we wanted for our dining reservations (specialty and Coastal kitchen) and he took care of that in just few hours. The suite lounge is really a place to enjoy and relax, in our sailing there were a lot of Pinnacles (around 250) and therefore it was always crowded during the day and it kinf of annoyed us, but whatever that was not going to disturb our holiday. The only thing we missed in this suite class is having a buttler or kind of an upgraded Stateroom attendant but we managed well. Suite Sun deck with a bar and jacuzzi: perfection. DINING: • Coastal kitchen: As part of the Suite perks, we had access to CK as our main restaurant. In general we loved CK, the dinner menu changes everyday (at least for the first seven days), breakfast and lunch menus didnt change daily but t it was great we loved every single meal. The staff made its best to make us feel welcome and at home. • Windjammer: Very good and varied selection for lunch (when we were there), good quality and tastes, also good service from the waiters. • 150 Central Park: This was our choice for the first night and it was a train wreck, dinner for the two of us took around 2,5 hours and we waited almost an hour between started and main without having contact with the waiter at all, like if we were forgotten... then the waiter shows up and gives up a excuse aboput some problems in the kitchen and asked us to wait a little bit more... we did, the food came and the steaks were raw, even if Iasked a medium -raw it was still cold inside... whatever we decided to not make a problem of it, eated some of it and hqad dessert and that was it. • Chops Grille: It was good, good steaks, good service but nothing to brag about. being this the most "signature" restaurant from RCCL, they should do better. • Jamies's Italian: One of our favorites, so good at every level that we visited it twice during the cruise. The menu, the quality of the food and the service were some of the best during all the cruise. • Hooked: one of the new kids in town of the RCCL restaurants... perfection at every level... The food, service, the design of the restaurant... Just do yourself a favor if you liek seafood and eat there. • Wonderland: Incredible dinner, good service and amazing entertainment now with a mad hatter going around interacting with the tables while you enjoy dinner. • Solarium Bistro: loved the concept and easy delicious buffet dinner. • Johnny Rockets: easy going dinner but it was slowly with an almost empty restaurant. • Playmaker's (for dining): BEST BURGERS EVER. period. • El Loco Fresh: if you like (or love) Mexican food just go there, easy lunch and delicous and fresh and and and and.... Guacamole... burritos... Carnitas... BARS: as said, we bought the premium drinking package and we found it is still worth it. In general we found the service around all bars to be good with no long waiting. Best bar for us as the English pub... ENTERTAINMENT: NO SPOILERS: just go and enjoy and the shows... everything... Symphony entertainment team does a great job overall and the shows are some of the best productions we have ever seen on a ship SERVICE: I would say the service all around the ship was great. SHORE EXCURSIONS DESK: we didn´t use this so will not comment on that. CRUISE NEXT OFFICE: they did their job and we booked two future cruises with very good deals and promos DEPARTURE: VERY CAOTHIC PERIOD, the shuffle to the airport was kind of crazy and not organized at all. CONCLUSSION: we would definitely and easily sail again in the Symphony but not in Suite Class, it was great, and we loved it but comparing with other suite programs (Celebrity and NCL) you get less for your money... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First time we did a trans Atlantic cruise. For our 40th anniversary. We did numerous specialty restaurants. Most favorite was Wonderland. Very special. Even if you are picky eater (like me) you should try it. We thought all the ... Read More
First time we did a trans Atlantic cruise. For our 40th anniversary. We did numerous specialty restaurants. Most favorite was Wonderland. Very special. Even if you are picky eater (like me) you should try it. We thought all the dining was great. We had lamb for our first several dinners at different restaurants. The best was at the Solarium (slightly extra cost) but worth it. We did My Time dining . We liked it. We had duck one night and thought is was great. We did not purchase any of the drink options, but we did purchase wine by the bottle at many of our specialty diners. We somehow had some discount. Entertainment was good. We did get bored after so many days at sea. We probably will not do a trans-Atlantic cruse again. Not the fault of Royal Caribbean. We did really enjoy the cruise. We t got off in Miami. Had our luggage. We got in line at 6am. Off the ship at 635am. We were at the gate in Miami airport at 705am. Yes, just 35 minutes. Amazing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the timing. We were in Europe for 6 weeks and wanted to cruise back home at this time. This was the second cruise we took on RCCL. We thought it was just ok the first time. We find other cruise lines ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the timing. We were in Europe for 6 weeks and wanted to cruise back home at this time. This was the second cruise we took on RCCL. We thought it was just ok the first time. We find other cruise lines better. We were not impressed with RCCL at all with this cruise. The ship needs a lot of work. Most of the furniture is old, chipped and needs to be replaced. And get rid of those hideous artificial plants! The food is mediocre at best. The dinner service was excellent though. The breakfast service in the dining room was so bad that most days we didn’t eat there. We had to wait a long time for a table even though there were empty tables and it took a long time to get our food. The whole breakfast service was very chaotic and disorganized. The only thing good about eating breakfast in the dining room was Hans. He is a delight! The cruise director, Steve was very good and worked hard, as was his staff. Orlando was very personable and funny. He would make an excellent cruise director. We also enjoyed Talita very much. She is funny but at times difficult to understand. We enjoyed laying out by the pool most sea days, but found the music annoying. They should take into consideration that the average age of their cruisers is 60+. We don’t enjoy techno, teenie bopper music. Same with the movies the showed on the outdoor screen. They were mostly kids’ movies and no one was watching them but you couldn’t get away from the sound. The evening shows were a mix, some very good and others not so much. We really enjoyed the Beatles show, the pianist, the ship’s orchestra, David Nestor, and James Stephens. We didn’t really care for the 2 production numbers, they seemed to drag. Also didn’t like Neal Austin. He should be doing children’s parties. We also enjoyed the enrichment forensics talks very much. They were very interesting. The shows in the Centrum were good and enjoyable, but too crowded and hard to see. Late comers squeeze in in front of those in seats so people that were there and seated coulddn’t see. The ship seemed clean, and the cabins were also clean. The room attendants worked very hard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Following a wonderful family trip across Europe we enjoyed a 13 day transatlantic cruise. I was very concerned that there might not be enough activities for my wife. Luckily the activities director was a non stop activity machine. The ... Read More
Following a wonderful family trip across Europe we enjoyed a 13 day transatlantic cruise. I was very concerned that there might not be enough activities for my wife. Luckily the activities director was a non stop activity machine. The lovely Talita Leone taught Zumba and stretching and Brazilian dancing classes daily in the centrum and pool side. Fantastic. The evening events included parties and the quest. The crew was excellent. Food was very good in MDR and service excellent. Breakfast and lunch were good. The ship is nice and very easy to get around. Music by Vicky and band were good. Fellow passengers were amazing fun. One of our best trips ever. The entire staff was friendly and service was excellent. The ship is headed for a refurbishment that’s needed. But we’ve found some great things in small ships like this Visions and the Grandeur. Maybe they try harder. Diamond lounge was available from 4:30 to 8 pm every day including day we got on. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Vision of the Seas Officers, Cruise Staff and Crew were very friendly and highly visible. This TA offered new, fun, free activities that we had never experienced before - the egg drop, cake decorating, scavenger hunt, debates, Neptune ... Read More
The Vision of the Seas Officers, Cruise Staff and Crew were very friendly and highly visible. This TA offered new, fun, free activities that we had never experienced before - the egg drop, cake decorating, scavenger hunt, debates, Neptune ceremony, escape room puzzle, Crew talent show, many different game shows, to name a few. This was our first time on a Vision Class ship and while not as “kid friendly” as many RCI ships, it was perfect for us. The flow in the Windjammer, Shops, Lounge and Theater area was excellent; especially compared to the Radiance Class (Jewel of the Seas) that we just sailed. The stairways and aisles seemed wider and were easy to navigate. The ship does show some wear, but not as much as the Jewel and Vision is headed into a 14 day dry dock as we disembarked. This is only our third TA, but, though a smaller ship, the Vision offered the most and most varied activities. It was a great trip. Main Dining Room: Food and service were excellent. Very flexible in adjusting to our group’s staggered arrival times. We were booked for MyTime dining but when we arrived were advised we had been assigned early sitting at a table for 10. MyTime was overbooked and they could not / refused to accommodate another party of two. We were offered a table for two in the MDR on night 2 but we declined. RCI needs to get a handle on scheduling MyTime; we had a poor experience on the Jewel, also. Compliments to the Chef for the Beef Wellington - it was extraordinary! Specialty Dining: Giovanni’s was outstanding - service, food, atmosphere was excellent. The staff was very friendly and all of the food - from bread to dessert was great. While they didn’t have a window seat, they graciously sat the two of us at a table for four with a view. Izumi was also very good. The server explained the menu and offered suggestions. The hot rocks are a fun cooking / eating experience. Unfortunately, at Chops, usually our favorite, the server and maitre’d were not friendly / almost rude from the start. The steaks, appetizers and desserts were very good but the accompanying sides were all cold (potatoes, spinach and mushrooms). For some reason in our section of the dining room, the lights were never dimmed and our table was so close to the party next to us that we could hear all of their complaints to the server. The server never asked if we wanted more wine (we did) and did not clean up the table (crumb catcher) between courses. It was a really poor experience. Masquerade Theater: Entertainment had it’s highs and lows - James Stephens III, Mark Preston, Brooks Aehron (pianist), the Beatles and Gary Williams are not to be missed. Comedian David Naster was good but Neal Austin and Steve Rawlings were not. The Duo Artmotion (aerial performance) was good, but a little long and repetitive, especially for the first night. The Production Show cast members were very good, talented singers and dancers; the costumes and sets interesting; but the material was boring and old. I think the production shows are past their prime. On long voyages, it would be nice to see the production cast more. We enjoyed the matinee performances and the classical music was a different, welcome addition. Eunsely Park (violinist) was remarkable. FYI: the theater is way too warm - need more A/C. Customer Service: Very helpful and friendly. Needed to have my SeaPass replaced - no problem! The ship really needs to be upgraded so you can view your bill on the room TV; it would save many trips to Customer Service. Next Cruise: Only dropped in once. Very abrupt and did not seem especially interested in selling me a cruise. Photographers: Always a great, friendly group, the Vision was no exception. Especially enjoyed the young man from India and the married couple from Mauritius. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more ... Read More
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more variety. Food was mediocre. Some of the entertainment was good, other so-so. I had a good time, but I began to feel like I was in steerage, no amenities in the stateroom. No lotion in the bathroom, no pen and paper in the desk. But what I did like was the amount of storage. Large closet with shelves for shoes, etc. Vanity had six nice sized drawers. The bathroom had one mirror that opened so one could see the back of their hair. The mirrors over the vanity opened up for storage. The stewards, waiters, all the folks serving our needs were excellent and wanted to please. Ports were excellent. The captain plotted course to avoid hurricane Florence entirely. The overall feeling was that Royal Caribbean is cutting expenses to the bone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I ... Read More
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I was in stateroom 3042 (outside view). I was happy with it. I also elected Anytime Dining. I usually ate late, as I hate fighting crowds for either dinner or the showroom. I made a reservation a few times, but was seated without a wait after 8:00 p.m. Mike, the cruise director, and his staff were excellent. The number of sea days meant a number of activities were scheduled. I especially enjoyed The Brilliance Race and the morning game shows. There were lots of trivia sessions, as well as some traditional party game activities. Music on the ship was great, coming from a duo, a guitar player, and a trio of string instrument players (violins and piano). The quality of the shows varied from fantastic (hand shadows, AbbaMax, pickpocket) to weak (the first production show, the comedy magician). I found all three production shows lacking to some degree. This was not the fault of the singers and dancers; the blame goes to whoever created it. Food quality was mixed. The Windjammer breakfast and lunch selections had a minimum of variation from day to day. Breakfast pastries were limited to sticky buns, and even they vanished during the crossing. I heard rumors that the shipment of yeast the ship expected to take on in the Azores did not arrive (thus forcing the bakery to make cuts) but I can't verify that situation. Dinner was generally good, though some nights it wasn't exciting. The menu overdosed on items available at all dinners with fewer daily selections than I was used to. The food was fine, with some dishes being better than others. I went to the mystery dinner one night. The cast needed work in learning the script. They also resorted to shouting. The food quality that night at Giovanni's was fantastic. This was my first sailing as a Diamond member. Due to the large number of Diamond and above passengers, events were held in both the Diamond lounge and the Colony Club. Lines formed an hour before opening. I went a few nights, but cocktail parties are not really my thing. Weather was mixed, from cold in Ireland to warm / hot in the Azores and during the crossing. However, it did not rain anywhere I went. I would do this trip again. The price was good, and the Air2Sea price of a flight from my home of Las Vegas to Amsterdam was an astonishingly low $290.85. The length was a bit long, but I had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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