1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews

939 Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing and some of the ports. Having been on Rhapsody before the ship is in need of some TLC however the overall experience of the ship was good. Embarkation was a little slow with the girl ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing and some of the ports. Having been on Rhapsody before the ship is in need of some TLC however the overall experience of the ship was good. Embarkation was a little slow with the girl behind the counter more interested in joking and carrying on with a fellow worker than serving us and getting the job done. As soon as you got on the ship you realised that it was not set up for english speaking passengers and as we were in a minority a lot of information was not forthcoming. After some time consuming phone calls and attending the front desk we managed to get information in english. The cabin was not up to the normal RCL cabin standard which was a bit of a let down when we found a sticky substance all over the bench and also some form of tablets in a cupboard. The usual welcome gifts were not there and they turned up hours later. Our cabin steward was great and worked very hard and thanks go to him. As with most cruises nowadays dining is a very hit and miss thing. Some meals were good whilse some were not to a good standard. The fish on most days was overcooked and dry and also the meat even if you wanted medium rare. The wait staff are well and truely overworked but they try hard to keep a happy face on. The entertainment was at times good but again the english speaking passengers were kept in the dark as to what is being said during most shows. The PA system around the ship was way too loud which ruined the relaxation times especially if some thing going on at the pool and the PA blasted your ear drums. Only had the one shore excursion booked, done on the internet many months earlier, only to find a card with our tickets telling us that all the tours were in either Portugese or Spanish and that if we wanted any tours in english we had to go and join the long line of unhappy passengers who were trying to get their tours in english. Most of the staff were sympathetic as to the problem however the acting managers attitude was that it was too bad and you had to go on a waiting list to see if enough english speakers were wanting a tour then they would look at it. This was a huge mistake on RCLs side. All ports were great and despite what we felt was a lack of english speaking activities we had a great time and thank all the crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our travel agent got us a good deal, to include extra nights in Brazil and Barcelona. Never been to Brazil before, and the itinerary suited us with 7 days at sea, the cruise ended in Barcelona and we only live 1 hour flight away. We ... Read More
Our travel agent got us a good deal, to include extra nights in Brazil and Barcelona. Never been to Brazil before, and the itinerary suited us with 7 days at sea, the cruise ended in Barcelona and we only live 1 hour flight away. We were mid ship deck 2 with a window, the cabin was big enough and clean, the windows were rusty and needed renewing. We had booked a table for 2, after many calls to the desk we were given a table for 2. Meals were OK, many times I had a main course as a starter, I just didn't see I anything I particularly liked. We enjoyed the entertainment both in the theatre and in the Centrum. All the staff we met were very friendly and professional. Went on the Rio trip to Sugar Loaf and Jesus the Redeemer commentary in English it was great. Would go on Rhapsody again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Fantastic cruise, As a solo cruiser it was the best ever, I met lots of solo women my age group, someone to dine with every night. There was more than enough activities to keep me occupied even the eight days at sea there was plenty ... Read More
Fantastic cruise, As a solo cruiser it was the best ever, I met lots of solo women my age group, someone to dine with every night. There was more than enough activities to keep me occupied even the eight days at sea there was plenty to do, lots of fantastic people from all over. The food and crew were also terrific, I think it was great value for money. The smaller ship was also an advantage being solo the bigger ships can be very lonely. I loved Tampa, great city to cruise out of, I spent two days there after a long flight from Australia. Combining the western Caribbean and the Transatlantic cruises together was also a plus giving me twenty one nights sailing and two different passenger groups, the younger and party mode on the first seven nights to the older more reserved on the Transatlantic. overall a fantastic trip can't wait to do it again Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My trip was a triple back to back to back 28 day. Did cruise at same time as popcorn52 and totally agree with her comments. Best Capt. (Merak) ever. Food was so-so but that's the standard with Royal Caribbean now. But plenty of it. ... Read More
My trip was a triple back to back to back 28 day. Did cruise at same time as popcorn52 and totally agree with her comments. Best Capt. (Merak) ever. Food was so-so but that's the standard with Royal Caribbean now. But plenty of it. Too bad you have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a decent steak. Probably on purpose. Prefer Princess overall however RCL's dining rooms are laid out better. Now that I've reached Diamond level I'm told RCL is playing games. Seems the Pinnacle's don't want to associate with us commoners. Putting a rope between us. Give me a break!!! We will be Elite with Princess after our next cruise so most of our future cruises will probably be with them. Princess will also stack on-board credits, Military, Shareholder, etc. Where RCL will just give you the best credit. Just my observation. Hope this helps you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Overall experience on the cruise was excellent. The Captain and crew were very personable and helpful. The Cruise Director (Carly B.) was fun and energetic, and overall the entertainment was a step above what we have experienced on other ... Read More
Overall experience on the cruise was excellent. The Captain and crew were very personable and helpful. The Cruise Director (Carly B.) was fun and energetic, and overall the entertainment was a step above what we have experienced on other cruises. The shows in the main theater were very good, and the ship's pop band was exceptional, playing everything from easy listening to rock and roll and even threw in some jazz and show tunes. Made for great music in the Centrum and the Schooner Bar where there was more dancing and fun times with karaoake. We dined in the main dining room every evening of the 16-day cruise, and found the food, service and cocktails exceptional. Our dining room servers (Jerome, Pablo, and Octavio) attended to our every need and made for a very personal experience accommodating all special requests without hesitation. We had a group of 12 traveling together, and they were able to seat us all together at one table each night and the service was comparable to that of any upscale restaurant. Our beverage server (Marco) was excellent, and prepared cocktails to perfection, and had a surprise after- dinner specialty drink available every night. We did the buffet for breakfasts and lunches. The buffet had plenty of variety, and the quality was very good. Had cooked-to-order eggs and omelets every day, and the pastries and breads were excellent for breakfast. Lunch included everything from main dishes to sandwiches, burgers, soups and pizza. As with most cruise ships, the 24-hour a day buffet is gone. Most food was done by 9:00 pm, but there was always light sandwiches and a few desserts at the atrium pool til midnight, and room service was available at no charge until midnight, and room service at a small charge all night. The indoor and outdoor pools and Jacuzzis were clean and well-maintained. Jacuzzi was only about 100 deg. F, so it was comfortably warm but not a "hot tub". I found this understandable for health concerns trying to accommodate such a wide range of passenger ages. Steam rooms were plenty hot. Fitness center was well-equipped, with plenty of classes available for a fee. Zumba type class available poolside every morning at no charge. We booked most of our excursions through Royal Caribbean, but had mixed experiences. Our first excursion was in the Azores Islands and was a terrible experience. Our time in the Azores was cut short because the Captain made the decision to leave 3 hours early due to a storm brewing. This was a good decision as we avoided some pretty rough seas. However, we paid for an excursion that was to include a tour of a pineapple plantation and a view of Fire Lake (a main attraction on the island). The tour of of the pineapple plantation consisted of a short narrative about pineapples while we were on the bus, and then being dropped off for 20 minutes in the gift shop of the pineapple plantation. We were then hurried onto the bus for a drive up a very narrow and winding road to the top of the mountain to view Fire Lake. The problem was that about two thirds of the way up the fog was so thick that the visibility was so bad you could not even see the sides of the road. The bus driver had to go so slow that by the time we got back down to the bottom, there was no time left to go into town or shop. Several passengers on the bus were concerned for their safety because the visibility was so bad on the bus. This excursion should have been cancelled. Certainly the bus driver knew, or should have known, that the fog was so bad on the top of the mountain before we went up. We believe it was poor judgement to take a bus full of people up that narrow winding road with visibility so bad. Even though we expressed our concerns, Royal Caribbean refused to issue any credit or refund. We also experienced a problem on our excursion to Bruges, Belgium. We scheduled a Walking Tour of Bruges through Royal Carribbean. The guide that was assigned to us had such a weak voice that you could not hear her among the group of 20 people that was on our tour, and she had no amplification system. Our group consisted of all people over 60 years old, and many of them had a hard time walking as fast as the tour guide. The tour guide would start talking about points of interest before the majority of the group arrived at each point of interest which meant that we learned nothing from her presentation. The tour was very long, and several people had requested bathroom breaks along the way, but the guide never directed anyone to a bathroom. The guide finally told us that there would be bathrooms at the Market Place, but this was the very last stop on the tour, and all of the bathrooms were in restaurants and only available to paying customers of the restaurants. The canal ride was the highlight of the tour, and you should try to schedule a boat ride on your own. Bruges, Belgium is a beautiful little historic town and is well worth exploring, but can easily be done on your own. Our son and his wife were there 3 days after we were, but not on a cruise ship. They toured Bruges on their own and had a delightful time exploring the the intimacies of Bruges. Transportation from the port to the center of Bruges is available for around 5 Euros. Our Walking Tour of Bruges through Royal Caribbean was a total waste of time, and worse than that, denied us the ability to explore this beautiful European village. We did have good experiences on our excursions of Blarney Castle and a Lunch Cruise of Paris, both organized through Royal Caribbean. Both of these excursions lived up to how they were presented, and were well worth taking. In spite of our problems with two of the excursions outlined above, the cruise itself was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We boarded in Barcelona on a Transatlantic to Brazil. To start applying for the Brazilian Visa was a big hassle which took over 3 weeks to finalize. Boarding process was not too bad but there were a lot of confusion at the beginning. ... Read More
We boarded in Barcelona on a Transatlantic to Brazil. To start applying for the Brazilian Visa was a big hassle which took over 3 weeks to finalize. Boarding process was not too bad but there were a lot of confusion at the beginning. Once on-board, the ship is showing its age but appears clean and staff is friendly. Our Jr. Suite was quite spacious but the TV was very small and dated. Our room attendant was very good but he never smiles. Our room was kept clean and all request was met promptly. The Dinning room is not up to par with other cruises. On the first day we waited for 20 minutes after being seated before we were finally handed a menu. No one came to introduce themselves or take our order until we flagged someone down. The food was always only lukewarm and quite tasteless and on one occasion was cold in the center. When we requested to have hot food and not just warm, the next day our plates were hot to touch but the food was still lukewarm. There seems to be a language problem between our waiters and the kitchen staff. Apparently, there were many complaints that our Waiter and Assistant did not speak Brazilian or Portuguese. A couple of his tables seldom came to the dinning room. There were many inexperience staff who apparently just joined the cruise ship and was still being trained each day. Some of the dining room staff told us that this is the first time on the cruise ship but they were restaurant workers in Brazil. We were told that the Brazilian Government requires the cruise line to hired at least 80 % Brazilian workers but it feels like there were at least 85-90%. If you did not speak Portuguese, some of the Portuguese speaking passenger did not want to speak to you. At one time our friends requested to be seated with a Portuguese speaking table for lunch and when she sat down to say her greetings in English all 8 people just stopped talking and not a word was spoken or attempted to communicate with her and her husband during the whole meal. The smoking in the Casino was so intense that smoke rafted from the Casino to the Centrum and up to all floors around the open Centrum. They used the casino smoking area as the smoking room. Guest where they put the casino smoking area - right at the only entrance to casino just off of the Centrum on deck 5. My eyes and throat was irritated and there was nothing they could do as the venting system was not strong enough to get rid of the smoke. They tried added some extra fans but it was not enough to make a difference. Passenger Service is located on the 5th floor next to the Casino and lining up there was a big problem and on top of this, there was a lot confusion as no one seem to know what is going on so long lineups all the time. It was impossible to speak with anyone in charge as they were always UNAVAILABLE. We finally did manage to speak with the manager of passenger services who really was not that interested but at the end admitted that the smoke is a problem but there was nothing she could do. She offered us dinning at the Chef's Table but never send us the official invitation. After tracking down several departments we found out that we were to meet at the "R" bar in the Centrum. Not my favorite place. This Chef's Table took a painful 4hr and 25 minutes for a set 5 course dinner with wine paring. The Chef would come out and tell you how he prepared the dishes right down to how long it took him to do this. It was very difficult understanding him and he spoke in a mono tone which did not help. By the time he finished talking and when we got our food, over 30 minutes has lapsed and the food was all lukewarm. The little potatoes and carrots were cold. The 5 course meal are basically a tasting menu. All sample size dishes. The best was the cream of celery soup served in a small 2 oz cup and when I asked if I could have some more was told they only make enough for the 14 of us at the table. I have a nut allergy and the dessert contain nuts so I was not able to try it out. A couple did not eat Beef which they were made aware right at the start so they were served Raw Tuna coated in some black and White coating. They were never given any choices of an alternative main course. Finally after everyone was finished they were served the Salmon dish which they have had from the Main Dining room. The cost of the Chef's table is $70 per person. For the first time we found the Buffet very acceptable and we ate there more than we ever did on other cruises. We really wanted to learn some Portuguese phases but unfortunately this did not happen as the scheduled times were always in conflict with other activities. The Crew Staff really tried hard to include everyone but the ratio of English to Portuguese and Brazilian is so overbearing that this did not happen. The billing system had many many errors. The communication between departments does not exist. We are Diamond members and apparently, most of our benefits are embedded into our room card. It definitely is NOT. Every few days we had to go down and have our account adjusted. We had all the supplies in our mini bar removed the first day but every 3-4 days we would be charged for all the drinks they already removed and new ones put in. Each time we had to phone them to remove the drinks and call passenger service to remove the charges. The English Compass and the Portuguese Compass is totally different. There were many activities on the Portuguese Compass that are not in the English version. Even on a listed English speaking activity it would be spoken 50/50 between English and Portuguese/Brazilian. On one occasion the Top Tier Event was scheduled at the same time as the Special talk on Rio. They finally agreed to schedule a second talk on Rio for the next day. This took over an hour of trying to find someone and convince them that the English speaking passengers really would like to hear the Speaker and also be able to attend the Top Tier Event. Workers in the shops are mainly Brazilian who does not speak that much English. Sales etc listed in the English Version of the Compass was not passed on to the Staff. What entertainment we attended was really good but because we tried to stay away from the Theater due to all the smoke from the Casino we did not get to see as many of the shows as we would have like to see. The D'Grooveline Band was great and we enjoyed many hours of dancing to their music. They were the only band that played a wide variety of dance music and not just Salsa. All the other bands mostly plays Brazilian type music and sang mostly in Brazilian. We did enjoyed learning many Brazilian dances from the Crew Staff in the Centrum. They really worked hard trying to please all the passengers. They were fabulous. There were a lot of hustling constantly to sell Specialty Dinning. There was not a day without being approach by someone trying to convince you to go to one of them. The Ports in Brazil is really not ready to receive tourist. There are a lot of construction every where especially around Rio where we had to walk for blocks on uneven broken up grounds. There were no directions on where to go and even people on the tours from the cruise ships were wandering everywhere not knowing where to go.Thank goodness we had arranged a private tour and our tour guide found us at the pier and guided us through all the Chaos. We were told by our tour guides that it is unsafe to go shopping in the downtown area hence we were not allowed to stop in the Market Place in downtown Rio. A big disappointment! We bought our flights from RC when we booked our cruise and the itinerary which I printed one week prior to the cruise did not show we had a stop in New York. We found this out at the airport in Sao Paulos. We rechecked our 3 bags in New York for Toronto and two of our bags went missing and it took 4 days to get them back. In summary, we really did not enjoy this cruise and this is our 63rd cruise. I feel totally drained and it will be a while before I would consider any other RC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was the 3rd RCI cruise of the year for my wife and I, the others were on the Allure and the Explorer. We were concerned that this Vision class ship might be too small in comparison to the others and we were a bit concerned as to how ... Read More
This was the 3rd RCI cruise of the year for my wife and I, the others were on the Allure and the Explorer. We were concerned that this Vision class ship might be too small in comparison to the others and we were a bit concerned as to how stable it would be crossing the Atlantic to Brazil as my wife suffers if the seas are rough. It was actually fine. The worst bit turned out to be between Barcelona and Madeira (we were due to land in Madeira by tender but the wind/seas were too strong) and then on to Gran Canaria. A little rocky for a day or two but no real problems. Once we sailed South from Gran Canaria the seas settled and as we crossed the Equator the seas were like glass! It took a while to grow into this ship, it does suffer from engine vibrations on the upper pool decks, but our inside cabin on deck 3 was fine and we slept well. Comparisons are inevitable and this ship does not compare with the might of the Allure and other more modern RCI ships, however, it does have a charm of its own. The Solarium is a great area on cloudy sea days as it is totally indoors and warm, and serves great salads and soups from its Park Cafe. The entertainment team worked their socks off to keep everyone entertained during the 16 day cruise, catering for the English speaking and Portuguese speaking 50/50 split. There was a great fiesta culture on board with lots of pool side dancing by the Brazilians and others on board and lots of quizzes, etc indoors, we enjoyed it thoroughly. The evening entertainment was overall the best we've seen on this our 6th RCI cruise. No, it doesn't have big production shows like the newer ships but we enjoyed what was on offer just as much. This is the first RCI ship we've sailed without a central Promenade and we wondered how this Centrum idea on the Vision class might compare. In the end we loved it as it was the hub of the ship and full of music most of the day and evening and the entertainment staff worked the area a treat with game shows and competitions. Overall a very enjoyable cruise and our two visits to Chops Grill were a delight as ever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Four years ago my husband and I took a repositioning cruise on RCCL's Vision of the Seas, from Rio to Lisbon. We had such a relaxing, wonderful time that this year we decided to repeat the experience, and take the repositioning ... Read More
Four years ago my husband and I took a repositioning cruise on RCCL's Vision of the Seas, from Rio to Lisbon. We had such a relaxing, wonderful time that this year we decided to repeat the experience, and take the repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Rio on RCCL's Rhapsody of the Seas. Overall, we had a good time — we were lucky to have been assigned a cabin in a quiet part of the ship, and our cabin attendant (Marly) was wonderful. But we should have had a better time. Our biggest beef — forgive the pun — was with the Main Dining Room. We were quite taken aback at being made to feel like criminals every day because we requested a table for two. We were met with frowns, made to wait, told that the tables for two were "like gold," and asked if we wouldn't mind sharing a table for ten. Every day we had to go through this conversation, until finally we began eating in the Windjammer at night, just to get away from the uncomfortable way we were made to feel by the dining room's keeper of the gate. These repositioning cruises are bargains, and I've read many reviews from people complaining about being nickled-and-dimed once on board. But it's not the nickle-and-diming that rankled my husband and me, it was the aggressive hustling, either by representatives of the specialty restaurants who interrupted our meals in the main dining room to try and get us to reserve with them, or the guy who interrupted our lunch with a breezy, "I see you're drinking wine, we have a wine-tasting today, it's just a small fee . . ." It was hustle, hustle, hustle, everywhere we turned, and I don't remember that from Vision of the Seas. Since the Main Dining Room on Vision of the Seas was able to serve very high-caliber, flavorful food, we were disappointed at how bland the Rhapsody's MDR food was. When the menu says harissa, the result shouldn't taste like barbecue sauce. Too much sugar, too little spice. Our advice is to go up to the Windjammer where they were much less afraid of herbs and spices. My husband and I are Americans, but we live in Brazil. We speak both English and Portuguese, as did many of our fellow passengers, so we were surprised at the separation of Portuguese speakers from English speakers. For example, the English Cruise Compass never listed the activities that were to be held in Portuguese only, and visa versa. But there were activities in Portuguese that we would have enjoyed participating in, and didn't learn about until after the fact. Sorry we didn't catch on until very late in the cruise. Finally, I want to address some of the contradictions I read both in other reviews and on the RCC website as to what actually is the norm on board the Rhapsody: My Time Dining — our booking agent said the Rhapsody didn't have MTD, so we didn't sign up for it. But it turns out that they did offer it. There was no big problem signing up, but it would have been easier had we been signed up for MTD prior to embarkation. No reason this information should not have been known. Wine & Dine package — We read all over the Internet that the W&D package had been discontinued on all RCC ships, and this was confirmed by an RCC customer service person with whom we spoke by phone prior to embarkation. NOT TRUE. Rhapsody offered two wine packages: you can buy five bottles at $140 or seven bottles at $190. Why should this have been such a secret? In addition, you CAN bring two bottles of wine on board at embarkation only, they can be drunk anywhere on the ship, and there is NO corkage fee to open them. You can bring bottles of water on board at any time during the cruise. Why is this information not readily available? Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 8th TA with RCL/Celebrity and with the exception of what can only be described as the most diabolical Wi Wi system and very poor immigration arrangements in Tampa, my wife and I had a great cruise, if not quite, an exceptional ... Read More
This was our 8th TA with RCL/Celebrity and with the exception of what can only be described as the most diabolical Wi Wi system and very poor immigration arrangements in Tampa, my wife and I had a great cruise, if not quite, an exceptional one. As independent travellers we booked our own flights with BA from Edinburgh to Barcelona with an overnight stay in the Hotel Acta Mimic, which is very conveniently close to the cruise terminal. Boarding at 11:00 hrs was a breeze, straight through the required joining administration and on board and settled in the Solarium for a light lunch, until the staterooms were opened at 13:00hrs. Our balcony stateroom No. 7128 on the port side was slightly larger than some we have experienced and had recently been refurbished as had the vessel during the previous docking period. Our stateroom attendant Sara was a star and looked after us throughout the cruise, attending to our minor requests with a charming smile and a very pleasant manner. The mandatory safety drill at 16:30 was well carried out and thankfully only lasted some 20 minutes. We were quite surprised to find that main dinning was set at 17:30hrs? We prefer the main seating to the late dinning option but found 17:30 to be a tad too early. 18:00 or even 18:30 would have been more preferable. Our table waiters were both efficient and friendly without being over gushing with fake friendliness! The meals provided throughout the cruise were of a very good 3 star standard, with more than ample variance of selection and definitely more than ample quantity. We generally ate breakfast in the Solarium cafe with lunch in the Windjammer and found both outlets to provide good nourishing food to a 2-3 star standard. We never found the Windjammer to be too busy and always managed to find a table, the staff in the WJ we found to be most helpful. The ship was looking in good condition, very clean and tidy and there were many obvious signs of the recent refurbishment around the vessel. We were advised on the 2nd day, that the weather in Malaga our first port of call would be deteriorating from the mid-afternoon onwards. When we arrived back to the ship at around 14:00hrs there was a fairly strong wind blowing and the vessel was moving by around 1-2m fore and aft on the jetty and I also noted that at least two of the ships polyprop mooring ropes forward had parted, being replaced by new lines. The ship’s bow thruster and azipods were both being used continually in an attempt to hold the vessel steady on the jetty. By late afternoon in addition to the ships power units, 2 local tugs were being employed to assist in the attempts to hold the vessel steady in position. The weather continued to deteriorate into the late afternoon and the loading of the ship’s store on pallets and the returning passengers had to deal with the vessel moving some 3 meters up and down the jetty. A further number of mooring lines had now parted and had also been replaced. We were subsequently informed by the master that a total of 8 mooing lines had parted in Malaga. By 18:00hrs the vessel was now in a rather poor situation ranging some 4-5 meters as could be seen from the movement of the gangway on the jetty. Departure was delayed until around 20:00hrs, after clearing the berth and making a turn prior to departing the port, the vessel was struggling somewhat to hold a straight course and again required the services of a tug to push full on the port side of the vessel to stop the drift caused by the high winds onto a moored passenger ship and the outer breakwater on the port side. The pilot and captain are to be praised for manoeuvring the vessel out of a rather nasty situation and possibly hazardous situation. By the time we reached Gibraltar the weather had improved considerably and we had a fantastic day in a very easy to access port where the duty free alcohol are at rock bottom prices. Our departure from Gibraltar was also delayed by an hour or so this time due to an appetent squabble between the Chief Engineer and the bunker barge master. The differential between the ship and barge bunker delivery figures was obviously too high and negotiations were taking place to come to an amicable agreement. (This is not an uncommon occurrence with some bunker fuel oil supply companies) Departure from Gibraltar was uneventful as was the transit of the Straits of Gibraltar. However around 24:00hrs when some 70 miles west off the North African coast, the vessel suffered a blackout and total loss of power. This situation lasted for some 10 minutes before partial power and lighting was retuned. It took a further 50 minutes get the vessel back up to full power and to resume the passage to Madeira. During this period the vessel was NUC (Not Under Command) and as required by international law displayed the appropriate night time signal of two all-round red lights on the mast. The vessel lost speed and stopped fairly rapidly in the gale force winds and for some 40 minutes was drifting at a rate of some 3kts, in an easterly direction towards the African coast. Thankfully the Engineering Officers restored power and the vessel resume passage without further incident. Our call in Funchal was blessed with clear fine clear weather and we took the opportunity to visit the village of Camara de Lobos a place visited by the late Sir Winston Churchill. A great place to spend a couple of tranquil hours strolling around. On the 7 day sea passage the Master and Hotel Director arranged for additional entertainment to be provided on a daily basis by members of the staff and crew from various nationalities. These short 30 minute activities of singing dancing and playing music, were held in the centrum. These were fantastic and added greatly to the voyage experience, all were very well attended by both passengers and large numbers of the ships compliment lead on each occasion by the master. The scheduled evening entertainment was OK with quite a few high points but there were also a couple of not so great entertainers. Regrettably this situation was not helped by the cruise director who in our opinion was one of the worst we have encountered. He was simply neither funny entertaining nor informative and that was the view of quite a number of our fellow passengers. “Towel war” broke on one lazy afternoon around the pool but this was not to be unexpected. As an early riser, I quite often noted many many sunbeds draped in towels from 06:00hrs onwards. I regret that unlike common belief, the bulk of this craziness was being caused by Brits. RCL pool attendants do not do a good job in clearing deserted sunbeds draped in towels for hours on end. Having just reached the “dizzy heights” of Diamond plus we were looking forward to using the Concierge lounge. What a big disappointment…. The arrangement of seats in not conducive to chatting to fellow passengers it is way too small for the number of users and we actually witnessed a squabble/fight in the room between two passengers. We stopped using the lounge after this occurrence. Having visited Nassau on many previous occasions we simply took the opportunity to stretch our legs and walked around the town in the morning and had a good lunch in a local restaurant. Regrettably for the 3rd. time in the last 18 months sailing with RCL, the on board immigration checks for non US citizens deteriorated into absolute chaos. When oh when will RCL shore management inform all ships arriving in the US from Europe at non-standard ports that when immigration is to be completed on board, ESTA’s are of no use as they cannot be electronically checked for validity hence in addition to the required customs forms either a green or white immigration form must be completed. The que of some 1,500 passengers was stationary for 60 minutes from 06:15 and wound from the back of the vessel through and around and out the back of theatre on the other side. This situation was obviously beyond the ships control however the instructions given by customer relations prior to arrival in Tampa only allowed some 10 minutes each of the decks 6,7 and 8 to pass through immigration, a totally unrealistic estimate even if ESTA’s could be confirmed. We finally managed off the vessel about 1.5 hours behind schedule but as we were staying in Florida for a further few days, it was of no great concern to us. Overall we had a very good cruise. Special mention has to be made of the master of the vessel he was an absolute star. He was extremely approachable, highly visible, most informative and had the obvious support of the entire ships compliment, which helped in running an efficient and very happy ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We sailed twice on Celebrity Reflection from Rome to Miami so we were ready to explore a new ship. This was our first Oasis class, and we were not disappointed with the ship as a destination on our Westbound Transatlantic from Barcelona on ... Read More
We sailed twice on Celebrity Reflection from Rome to Miami so we were ready to explore a new ship. This was our first Oasis class, and we were not disappointed with the ship as a destination on our Westbound Transatlantic from Barcelona on October 25th with many days at sea. With only one port en route (Malaga), we decided to spend 7 nights in Barcelona pre-cruise and enjoyed our stay at the Four Points Sheraton on Diagonal. We shared a taxi from our hotel on Sunday at 11:00 am, checked in after a stop at the duty-free to purchase 2 bottles of wine, and by noon we were at the Windjammer where the second section had just opened up. No crowds at all. Cabins were ready at 1:00pm. I selected our cabin with care. We usually get an Oceanview Balcony, but selected 8727, Boardwalk Balcony to give us an experience not found on other ships. The bed was by the door, and we had a great view of the water, the Aqua Theatre and movie screens. Our door did not lock properly, so our efficient cabin attendant Ary called a technician who adjusted the door mechanism perfectly and all outside noise was eliminated when the balcony door was shut. We had sun in our balcony from sunrise to about 3:30pm. Ary also emptied the mini bar and provided 10 additional wood hangers as requested. We found the cabin layout and furnishing very comfortable. We brought our own shampoo and soap, while the hair-dryer was good and the lighting was sufficient. We had the 8:30 seating for dinner on Deck 4 of the Main Dining Room (The Grande). Our waiter Alfredo and his assistant Pedro were very good, providing menu suggestions and quickly attending to all our needs. Food quality was good to very good. There were some minor disappointments but there were always alternatives. Eating at the other dining venues was not as enjoyable. For example, the continental breakfast buffet at the Diamond lounge was crowded and the line for the self-serve specialty coffee machine was long, so they allowed people to have specialty coffee at other locations as well. (Tip: You can only get Splenda or Half-and-half at the Starbucks stand). French Toast at Johnny Rockets was tasteless. If you wanted grapefruit juice you’d have to squeeze a half-grapefruit yourself. Buffet service option for lunch at American Icon was somewhat better. We really liked this large ship with all the wide spaces. The walking track (3 laps = 2 km) on Deck 5 is perfect. The waiting areas by the dining rooms means no crowds on the staircases before the doors open like on other ships. There were lots of activities including enrichment speaker David Kirkpatrick who did a series on Hollywood movies. Our Cruise Critic roll call also organized mini golf, cabin crawl and scavenger hunt, book club, celebration luncheon (and more in which we did not participate). At the Meet and Mingle party (Studio B) lots of good prizes were raffled off (alas, we came out empty handed). The public address system was not clear in many areas of the ship (and not audible in the cabin or on the television set). Satellite TV signals were not available for most of the days in the Atlantic. The weather was on the cooler side for the first three days, including a rainy morning in Malaga. Once in the Atlantic, a storm north of our location created waves that closed the pools after water overflowed on to Central Park dining areas. It didn’t last long, and the rest of the crossing was sunny days and calm waters. The Solarium area was uncrowded after 5 pm. Perfect to watch beautiful sunsets. We had two 24-hour free wi-fi with our Diamond status. Internet speed was the best we experienced at sea. However, if you have a Blackberry, there are connection issues with some models. Entertainment was very good, and for many people, that’s what this ship is all about. “Forget the food – just go to as many shows as you can” they claimed. The full Broadway production of Mamma Mia was excellent (the theatre was freezing cold, but it was much warmer the next day). The other shows were unlike standard variety on other ships. For a more intimate ambience we enjoyed the music in the Jazz club. Entertainment continued late at numerous venues. Nine days at sea passed and we were not getting bored at all. The Boardwalk balcony location gave us constantly changing scenes like the rock climbing and zip line above. We opted for self-disembarkation at 7:20am. Moving along with our luggage through U.S. immigration was smooth, on to a shuttle outside. By 8:00am we were in our rented car and off to visit Key West. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I live by the adage any cruise is better than none and nothing beats a transatlantic. I cruise with my best friend on a 15 night transatlantic on Vision. Vision is an older ship and small. Our flight booked through ChoiceAir was great ... Read More
I live by the adage any cruise is better than none and nothing beats a transatlantic. I cruise with my best friend on a 15 night transatlantic on Vision. Vision is an older ship and small. Our flight booked through ChoiceAir was great and we were met immediately after getting our bags by RCCL representatives. We did have a wait for the shuttle to ship but that was expected due to our early arrival time. Check in was well organized and efficient...it was a breeze and we got on the ship early. Straight to the Solarium we went for a rest after the all night flight. We were in our cabin by 1pm. We had a large interior cabin but it sure seemed small. Don't think it was the 151 sq ft advertised. The room was very clean and it was quiet throughout our cruise. Our cabin steward was invisible but boy was he professional, thorough and our room was always perfect. He remembered the little things like ice each day. Anthony was great. The food was ok. It was not what I have come to expect from RCCL but it was average. Our waiter and assistant were excellent in the main dining room at dinner. We had a table of 9 and it was great. Main dining room for breakfast and lunch were a disappointment. Food was ok but service was very slow and inefficient. The dining room seemed understaffed at lunch and dinner. I rarely go to the buffet but the lunch at the Solarium Park Cafe was great. Getting a snack at Cafe Latitudes was unpleasant...the server only wanted to give you snack if you ordered coffee or tea. If you didn't want coffee you got attitude and third degree. Activities were in short supple for my liking. Went to jewelry making and there were far more participants than supplies. Went to other activities and there were far more participants than seats. The activities director was very good...personable, fun and seemed to genuinely love his job. There seemed to be air of understaffing....tables took forever to be bussed and wiped clean around the pool and in the Solarium. Bathrooms didn't seem to be straightened as often. The piano in the Schooner Bar was in desperate need of dusting. My friend and I loved the ports. We did excursions in each port! All through Royal and all were good. In Malaga, the excursion to Mijos was far more strenuous than advertised but the Excursion desk was great when we voiced our concern. Entertainment was mixed bag...from some talented singers to horrible plate spinner and juggler. Too few production shows for a 15 night cruise. If all the empty seats were an indication, the guests were disappointed in the entertainment in the theater. The crew put on shows also...the first 1 or two were cute but it wore thin after the fourth or fifth. Enrichment lectures was on subject of health found them not to my liking. Would have loved more line dancing, not class, just dancing. Internet was beyond awful and price was outrageous. Heard so many complaints. Captain was very visible and very relaxed. Disembarking in Tampa was a little slow due to customs but it was pretty hassle free. Very easy to get taxi outside of cruise terminal ($25 per couple to airport) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Like others, we were also NOT "WOWed" by this cruise.Embarkation was the high point of the trip! Once on-board, the front-line service personnel (from waiters to bar tenders to cabin stewards) were very nice & seemed quite ... Read More
Like others, we were also NOT "WOWed" by this cruise.Embarkation was the high point of the trip! Once on-board, the front-line service personnel (from waiters to bar tenders to cabin stewards) were very nice & seemed quite hard working. However, I don't think upper management was paying attention. Often there seemed to be insufficient wait staff, bar tenders, etc., for the number of passengers. As a result, service was slow & clean up delayed. As one example, at the Park Cafe one day, there was only one waiter behind the counter & one assistant waiter trying to keep up with putting out plates, silverware, napkins, coffee, juice & clean-up. This made for long lines, great delays in getting food & quite annoyed passengers. A day or two later, after many complaints, suddenly there were 2 chefs, a couple of waiters & assistant waiters working during peak times. In the Main Dining Room, the waiters not infrequently would take orders & then come from the kitchen saying the menu item wasn't available (and we were eating 1st sitting) or the food item was not prepared properly as on the menu, for example "rice pilaf" that was just a scoop of white rice. I gave up on trying to get the ice cream on any "a la mode" dessert, because it never showed up. Two other examples-I pre-ordered a bottle of sparkling wine for delivery on departure day. A bottle of HOT sparkling wine in an ice bucket with NO ice was left in our cabin while we out to dinner! I also pre-ordered a bottle of Chardonnay & a fruit & cheese platter for the midpoint of the cruise. The fruit & cheese platter arrived early while we were on a shore excursion, not on the day requested. The "platter consisted of several whole pieces of fruit & one small slice of cheese. I contacted ship's personnel about this who acknowledged the error & assured me that the order would be delivered correctly on the requested day. Come the day, an identical "plate" showed up with a bottle of RED wine. Embarkation was another example -1/2 the ship's passengers were suddenly released at once, instead of in smaller groups as we were told, leading to a huge crush of people trying to get to the pier at once. I personally saw at least 2 elderly folks knocked to the ground by the crush of people before some one more senior started to try to get order out of the chaotic mess. I was told later by several "Pinnacle" passengers that recently many of the officers & crew had been pulled to crew newer ships. Their replacements supposedly had been on board only for a few weeks up to a couple of months. I don't know if that's true or not, but it would certainly go a long way to explain things if the mid & upper managers were all learning their jobs as well as trying to come together as a team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are avid RC cruisers, only 3 of our last 12 (2013- present) have been on a different line. Pretty new ship but after only 6 months the cabins are pretty dirty already. Hallway carpeting looks 3 years old. Bad weather that is no ... Read More
We are avid RC cruisers, only 3 of our last 12 (2013- present) have been on a different line. Pretty new ship but after only 6 months the cabins are pretty dirty already. Hallway carpeting looks 3 years old. Bad weather that is no one's fault HOWEVER the cruise director, Luke, has done nothing to create extra things to do while pools and hot tubs are closed. Limited live music, shows being rescheduled and nothing to take their place. Movies are on the outside screen and yet that deck is not usable due to cold and wind. Internet doesn't work properly, TV stations aren't working and when they do the Captain forgets how to turn off the PA properly and leaves it on mute so there is no TV sound. Now, I will says that the "We will rock you" show was fabulous even though the theater was like a sauna. Dining is ok. New venues but the food is only decent not great. And the staff is ridiculously rude because you have new people each and every meal. They have no reason to invest in you as you don't tip them. Room service menu is a joke and the few decent things are all at a COST now. The Seaplex Dog House is horrid. Like the worst 7-11 hotdog you can imagine. Johnny Rockets has only 2 booths for seating and is open air. Very poor planning. To add insult to injury it's a la carte and tiny cold stale portions. Sorrentos pizza is ok but bland. No spices just plain tomato sauce. Two70 grill is good but it's hard to find a seat to eat after you get your food. :( Overall I think RC's new ship is a dud. The Agony of the Seas is what I will call it. Will never sail the Quantum class again and will avoid all transatlantic crossings on RC. They just do not know how to adapt when weather changes their schedule. So many truly miserable people on board. Griping everywhere you turn. Also, adult solarium is beautiful 3 level area BUT it's all enclosed so it's hot as hades! No where to enjoy sun or get a breath of fresh air. And no more cruises with Cruise Dud / Direcor Luke ever again either. Never knew a cruise director could ruin a cruise but they sure can. Done with RC for the foreseeable future as well and we have 60+ nights sailing with them. Sad that they just don't care anymore. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Where do i begin? From the chaos of not organising the coaches effectively taking us to / from the ship, to failing to top up the soft drinks for days on certain machines, to failing to clean slippery spills in a restaurant completely when ... Read More
Where do i begin? From the chaos of not organising the coaches effectively taking us to / from the ship, to failing to top up the soft drinks for days on certain machines, to failing to clean slippery spills in a restaurant completely when the ship was about to enter severe weather (and causing at least one serious avoidable fall), to the captain not caring / understanding that food should either be served hot or chilled (not luke warm), the basic standards simply aren't there! Which is such a shame, because the vast majority of the ships crew that interact with the passengers are friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and willing to go above and beyond to make your trip excellent. Let me clarify the food issue. Myself and many passengers were grumbling that food items were not hot (despite being under heat lamps. If it's veg not an issue, however this was happening with chicken! I noticed that a particular chicken dish was luke warm. I mentioned it to the manager. He tested the temperature with his finger on a piece of chicken, and agreed that it was not hot, and hence couldn't be served. However, they did not remove the tray with all the other pieces of chicken which were also unfit! This is unforgivable, especially as they mention everywhere in the restaurants, that the food should be hot to be served! I also confirmed this with a chef in one of the other onboard restaurants, so the staff do know that it shouldn't be like this! I asked to discuss my fall and the food issues with the captain on eight attempts, however each time, whilst they stated i was allowed to speak to the captain, they refused to arrange a meet! Indeed it was only by pure chance that i caught the captain and spoke to him! I was staggered that the captain showed no concern that the food may well be served against food safety standards, and stated to me that "chicken can be served luke warm as long as it was cooked previously"!!! Considering the captain is responsible for the welfare of all passengers and crew under his command, i would have thought he should be aware of basic food safety standards - i am and i am not involved in the food industry - and a chef onboard confirmed i was right! For a captain to show no real concern for food safety, even if you accept he doesn't have to be aware of basic food safety standards, again it is unforgivable to not care about the food safety! But perhaps it is more important for the captain to stand for pictures, and cosy up to the expensive cabin passengers, than care for passengers he knew suffered a physical injury cause by his staff's incompetence! Avoid like the plague. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Sad
My husband and I have been on 60 plus cruises. We have been on several cruise lines and Diamond Plus members on RCL. We will never go on this class of Ship again. Please RCL get some more staff because it's a beautiful ship. ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 60 plus cruises. We have been on several cruise lines and Diamond Plus members on RCL. We will never go on this class of Ship again. Please RCL get some more staff because it's a beautiful ship. Embarkation went good and we went at our requested appointment time. There was not any seats available hardly ever in the buffet. Food in all the no charge restaurants was not up to standards. Awful food We did not try any of the specialty restaurants because the price was too much. We had a wonderful stateroom attendant. Wait staff was not good and not very happy. We did not blame them, RCL needs to beef up it's staff. Bartenders were so unhappy and they usually only had one bartender for one bar trying to serve 50-100 people. Diamond Lounge and Concierge Lounge was really fantastic. Television was awful. There was nothing on but shows about RCL touting their horn. Not any free movie channels. Only pay per view at $11.00 each. Movies were shown outdoors and too cold to go outside. They only showed children's movies anyway. TV ran the same shows everyday which were sitcoms. Lines were long for everything. Cruise Director was fabulous. $12 for a cocktail ...that does not WOW me. Captain and staff excellent. Cabin was excellent. Entertainment was good. Disembarkation was a mess. Waited 2 hours for a taxi. We agree with previous review that it should be called "Agony of the Seas"." Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a frequent cruiser, we have come to expect certain niceties when we board a ship. We took the maiden voyage across the Atlantic on this ship and were very disappointed. So much so that we will never cruise Royal Caribbean again. To ... Read More
As a frequent cruiser, we have come to expect certain niceties when we board a ship. We took the maiden voyage across the Atlantic on this ship and were very disappointed. So much so that we will never cruise Royal Caribbean again. To begin with, we waited over two hours to board. Just too many people. They could not handle us. We reserved our entertainment and restaurants before we left- on line as requested. We did not get what we requested. When we complained we did not get the Spectra show we reserved they just replied, "too bad! Everyone wants to see that show" Our room steward was fine but it stops there. To get someone to bring you a drink or iced tea was impossible. If you wanted something in the buffet, get it yourself. I like lemon in my tea. They were usually out of lemons. And to find a seat in the buffet for breakfast or lunch was impossible. By the time you walked around waiting for someone to leave your eggs were cold. Same for lunch. We finally settled for the restaurant but your choices were limited there. We were scheduled to leave the boat at 8:30. We did not get off the boat till noon. They put us all in central locations and said it was a customs problem. That may well be but couldn't RCCL have alerted customs that there were 5000 people coming into port? We were shut in for most of the 8 days. Now RCCL could not control the weather but beware! All this rock climbing, bumper car, aerial stuff is totally contingent on the weather. We never got to use it. The ship is new so the restrooms were lovely and the rooms very pretty. But for an 8 day cruise with no port stops, I would have liked more than a nice state room and OK restroom. I repeat. We will never be cruising with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are Diamond members and stockholders, however will not go on this cruise ship again! Pros: 1. Very good food. 2. Room service good. Diamond Lounge was good. Cons: 1. Supposed to leave ship on debarkation at 8:15 a.m. finally got ... Read More
We are Diamond members and stockholders, however will not go on this cruise ship again! Pros: 1. Very good food. 2. Room service good. Diamond Lounge was good. Cons: 1. Supposed to leave ship on debarkation at 8:15 a.m. finally got off at approx. 4 hours later. Stood in line to disembark for approx 2 of those hours! Many people had canes and a few wheelchairs, however, no assistance to help (water,etc.. At the gate checkout, a lady (in her 50s) was rude to all, telling us to "hurry - hurry" and waved her hands to indicate this. I felt like a member of a cattle herd! 2. No newspaper on ship. 3. Laundry charge (none before for Diamond members on other ships of RCL(1-bag). 4. Internet instructions were not clear ( needed help from friend who used a diff. method to get on the internet. 5. Charged for hamburgers at poolside area (none before on other RCL ships). 6. Problems getting their people on room phone. 7, $14.95 to print a boarding pass for returning airline (too expensive). 8. Confiscated a small tool in my check on baggage which had a small knife on it. (Later at dinner they gave me a big streak knife-----go figure!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are very disappointed with Royal Caribbean. First the checkin was a mess too many people not enough help. The cabin was very nice with the split bathroom,shower was wonderful. Dining The windjammer was a joke not enough ... Read More
We are very disappointed with Royal Caribbean. First the checkin was a mess too many people not enough help. The cabin was very nice with the split bathroom,shower was wonderful. Dining The windjammer was a joke not enough tables,when you found a table they were covered with dirty dishes and not enough help to clean up, never went there again. Once was enough. The restaurants were decorated beautifully. The food was okay not great. My meal was never hot only warm. We loved the Coastal kitchen. Internet. We paid for Internet only to discover we couldn't access in the room like they said, so that was a dud as well. The entertainment was lacking, nothing on in the afternoons, never saw the cruise staff. We only saw Luke probably 4 times, where does he hide. The shows were the highlight, but on a 8 night cruise we only had 3 shows. The music hall was too small for the amount of people on board, you couldn't get near the place in the evening. Disembarkation was the biggest mess I have encountered we were to get off at 9:30 am got off at 12:30pm, then had to stand in line with 500 people to get a cab. The ship was beautiful, but it is too big and RCCL need to hire more people to have it run more smoothly. You have lost a valued client. Princess is for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise having only ever cruised with Cunard on numerous trips. We have done the Transatlantic cruise on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary so have two comparisons. Our first impressions were indeed wow and our ... Read More
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise having only ever cruised with Cunard on numerous trips. We have done the Transatlantic cruise on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary so have two comparisons. Our first impressions were indeed wow and our inside cabin with virtual balcony was fantastic as was our steward Alpheus. We had pre booked all our dining and shows and to be honest we liked meeting different people each evening even though we always asked for a table for 2 but the tables were so close you may as well have been on a larger table. We actually found the food of a good standard but limited choice and the service was terrible. It was slow and twice we were not offered croissants for breakfast or drinks. The majority of the waiting staff were lovely but woefully short on numbers and we heard staff arguing on several occasions. All the shows were amazing although very little was scheduled when we were confined indoors for a couple of days dues to stormy weather. For safety the indoor pools and sea plex events were cancelled which was totally understandable but surely there should be a back up plan for this. The only decent waiting staff we found were in the Schooner Bar if you could ever get a seat. Maria especially worked her socks off and deserves congratulations for her upbeat attitude. The rest of the venues were hopeless and it was a case of go to the bar else you would have died of thirst. La Patisseria staff were also exceptional. My main gripe of the cruise was the heat. It was as hot everywhere and any infections etc will spread like wildfire in that heat. Washing facilities at Windjammer were good although we only went twice as never could find a seat. Dress code is an absolute joke. Day time is fine to dress casually but even on Dress your Best nights some people looked ready to start weeding the garden. The other passengers on board made this cruise as we met some lovely people. We had a full day tour booked in New York. To cut a long story short we should have had 9 hours and got 4 due to stupid passengers booking on a full day then saying their flight was at 5.30 so had to leave NYC at 3.30. We spent more time at the airport than we did on our so called full day tour as our flight was 10.30. Even if compensated you cannot get this time back. I doubt I will return to New York so am bitterly disappointed with the final day. In conclusion it's a fun ship that is great for all ages but needs the heating sorting and the dress code adhered to. also needs many more waiting staff. On Cunard you practically have your own waiter and the dress code is brilliantly adhered to. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Despite having taken many cruises this was my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Anthem of the Seas is a lovely ship, but I personally feel that it lacks something! (Fur coat and no knickers springs to mind). I'll start my ... Read More
Despite having taken many cruises this was my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Anthem of the Seas is a lovely ship, but I personally feel that it lacks something! (Fur coat and no knickers springs to mind). I'll start my review on a positive note. All the restaurants were lovely, and I particularly enjoyed the choice of dining venues, coffee shops etc. The food was also very good. The shops were also very good but there wasn't anywhere to buy, toothpaste, paracetamol, small items that may not have been packed. The pools when open were lovely and the shows were good. Now for the not so positive aspects. Embarkation was a very long process, I'm sure this could have been speeded up, despite downloading a fast pass it took quite a long time, in fact many people without the fast pass were on board quicker. Disembarkation was a shambles, but this has already been mentioned by other reviewers, our disembarkation time was 7.30 am, we finally got off the ship and through everything at 13.30 pm....not good enough. There didn't seem to be enough staff for the amount of people on board, we waited for 2 hours for our table to be cleared of glasses in The Music Hall. Getting a seat and table in The Windjammer for breakfast and lunch was also another problem, we often ended up clearing away the crockery left by the previous occupants of the table. I asked for twin beds on booking, and also again from customer service when on board, these never materialised. The cabin was large, but until I ran my finger through the thick dust on the lamps they weren't dusted. All in all would we cruise with Royal Caribbean again? If we could get the cruise at the reduced price many people apparently paid we would, but otherwise probably no. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our first cruise with RCCL and likely our last as there were too many disappointments. A trans-Atlantic itinerary with no port calls so the ship was the destination. We chose this sailing as it fit the rest of our schedule or a European ... Read More
Our first cruise with RCCL and likely our last as there were too many disappointments. A trans-Atlantic itinerary with no port calls so the ship was the destination. We chose this sailing as it fit the rest of our schedule or a European holiday. On the positive side, embarkation was a breeze. Our cabin, D5 superior balcony category, was wonderful with lots of storage space, a really nice bed, a big bathroom with a shower door instead of a curtain and a cabin attendant Waverney Lovelace, who was aces across the board. Some of the bells and whistles were good as well and I am referring to the North Star and the I-Fly skydiving simulator. We booked rides on the front end of the sailing and were glad we did as those venues were closed for 4 days due to heavy seas and high winds. When they finally opened up again the lines to get in were quite long. The North Star and I-Fly were fun but these are one time activities so the novelty wears off quickly. Due to the weather cancellations the North Star experience was limited to the introductory mode (8-10 minutes basically up and down with maybe a 15 degree swing) and nobody got a full demonstration mode (22 minute) ride with the gondola going perpendicular to the ships course. We did not do the flowrider surfing simulator as it was shut down a lot for weather and we had no desire to wait on a line. Skipped the notion of going on the bumper cars as well. The production shows "We Will Rock You" and "Spectra's Caberet" were well done and entertaining. "The Gift" was a tad confusing and about halfway through it we figured it out. It was difficult to understand some of the lyrics in all 3 shows as the volume of the performances was quite loud. Headliner shows in the Royal Theatre were good with the hypnotist, Chris Caress, and the juggler/comic, Pete Matthews being the most memorable. Another comic whose name escapes me gave a good clean show with some familiar old gags reminiscent of Rodney Dangerfield. Two70, a 27 million dollar entertainment venue was spectacular with its two deck screen covering 270 degrees at the aft end of the ship. The virtual symphony made me feel as if we were in Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Other shows throughout the ship were often in crowded venues or run at times when we were doing other things. On the not so positive side, dining was by and large ho-hum with a few exceptions. We chose to dine early and had no difficulty getting a table but we saw waiting lines later in the evening. The Windjammer served up many breakfast options but it sure was crowded and a lot of passengers were not very polite. The wait staff looked to be a bit understaffed. We picked up some lunch items and took them to our balcony. For dinners, the surf and turf entrée choices in Devinly Decadence were good and Chic provided two good meals. Jaime's Italian was the best but it cost $39 each. American Icon and The Grande were not so good and Silk had some tasty food but was crowded and loud. In fact, all of the dining venues were loud and tables were placed too close together. It was generally impossible to have a quiet conversation with my wife while we dined. We actually moved our table in one restaurant when we were seated next to a very objectionable woman. Had we stayed where we were initially seated our meal would have been ruined by her constant loud and complaining chatter filled with too much personal information. Also, piped in music was very annoying and excessively loud. Why was "Disco Inferno" and "This Girl is on Fire" playing everywhere we went? The shops onboard were all very high end (shirts $209) so we strolled through and never purchased anything. I thought the watches and jewelry were quite expensive but the clerks were friendly (probably glad they had someone to talk to). We noted very few people inside looking at items for sale. The daily flash sales in the center of the ship were mob scenes and the merchandise was pretty much junk. People were like buzzards on a carcass so I suppose it appealed to some bargain hunters. A big detractor I had with RCCL was their reneging on our "Wine and Dine" promotion that supposedly was included in our booking. We had it in writing but Guest Services stood firm in their statement that the promotion was no longer offered. After 3 hours on the phone over a three day period with our travel agent RCCL coughed up $175 cabin credit to offset the loss of the wine package. That was some consolation but it did not cover what 5 bottles of wine would have cost in the restaurants and we may have lost a $25 onboard credit from our booking in the process. The shipboard guest services people and RCCL stateside were on two different sheets of music. Drinks onboard were very expensive. The mark up on bottles of wine approached 600% over what we can purchase them for in our hometown. We wanted to take refuge in our cabin from the crowds and the noise and watch movies on TV but RCCL was charging for movies and the selection was not good. We had a nice TV but most of the stations were merely advertising for RCCL or cartoons for kids. CNN was out for most of the crossing so we had the BBC as our only outlet to the world. Some stations had American TV shows but they were dubbed into Spanish, French, Portuguese and perhaps German. Saw some NFL football games on a Sunday. Internet packages were expensive and we heard the service was quite slow so we shied away from that. With over 4100 passengers onboard perhaps 600-900 more that we've ever sailed with we thought the ship was overcrowded and there was an overall lack of quiet space. Also a lot of folks chose to camp out in areas like the Solarium and the pool decks and sleep in public places making the ship look like a giant flop-house. Not very classy. Disembarkation was a disaster as the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. We were directed to meet a group that had chosen to take a "Manhattan Highlights" excursion (to kill some time before our flight left at 5:30pm) at 7:30am. We did not get off the ship until close to 9:30am and didn't leave the pier on our bus until close to 10:30am. US Customs and Immigration was understaffed and backed up and we heard some folks did not make it through the long lines until noon. The excursion was a waste of time and money as we spent most of the time stuck in traffic and we didn't get to see more than a glimpse of the sights in the city. Sadly, this was not a good overall introduction to RCCL. We'll stick with our favorite cruise line and try to coordinate our trans-Atlantic sailings with them when we travel to Europe in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Embarkation was a breeze, but only because we were in a Jr. Suite and were able to skip the long lines. I believe being a US citizen (despite leaving from the UK), also made check-in faster. Since we completed everything online prior to ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze, but only because we were in a Jr. Suite and were able to skip the long lines. I believe being a US citizen (despite leaving from the UK), also made check-in faster. Since we completed everything online prior to departure, we spent only 2 minutes at the counter (no staff with iPads as previously described). Curb side to our cabin in 30 minutes.. the security line was long. Once onboard we were immediately impressed by the updated decor, technology and artwork. Our excited was immediately let down upon meeting our stateroom attendant. This was our first time in a Junior Suite, but certainly not our first cruise. He was the worst attendant we have had yet. We brought a bottle of champagne for sail-away, and when we asked for an ice bucket we were told he was "busy with a whole hallway and would get it eventually." We were also told in our first encounter that "just because we didn't see him, didn't mean he wasn't working." My friend and I both have blue collar jobs, we certainly understand the high demands placed on employees, however, I thought that was completely inappropriate for our first meeting. Junior suites pay higher gratuities, but we barely received minimum service. We never received our ice bucket for sail away, despite there being 3 hours between our request and the event. We never received a true "turn down" service. Our cruise compass was left on our bed with nothing else; no towel animals or anything. One night we even returned from dinner to find our door completely open after dropping off the papers. Finally, on day 4, we were asked if we took a bottle of gin from our mini-bar, which we did not. We were never charged or anything, but were told "maybe it was the previous guests." Seemed a bit odd to have not check that 4 days into a cruise. Stateroom attendant aside, the junior suite was great. Well laid out, plenty of storage, and large balcony. However, the continuous, loud noises from toilets flushing was less than ideal. There was also an intermittent, but strong smell of sewage from the toilet room. Wifi was almost not existent in the room, despite having a strong, fast signal in the main areas of the ship. The weather was less than ideal for this crossing. We received multiple (and I do mean multiple, long winded updates) from Captain Claus. He kept ensuring the weather would improve, but with each passing hour, it was apparent we were in it for the long hall. We drove right into the heart of a "pressure system." Think giant red blob on a radar map. I have been diverted to sunny skies in the Caribbean, but no attempt was made to do so this trip, despite having the entire Atlantic Ocean to work with. Cruise staff so kindly referred to the ship as the "vomit comet." Awesome. Shows and entertainment options were cancelled (understandably so), however, no replacements were provided. Movies were only shown outside on the pool screen even though it was raining, with hurricane force winds and 40 degrees temps outside. We were very disappointed with the entertainment staff. The weather undoubtable lowered everyone's spirits, and by the time the weather improved on day 6, many passengers shameless flaunted their "diamond status" to attract the few waiters and waitresses back to their table. When available, iFly was awesome, north star was as expected, and bumper cars were awesome! One thing not to be missed was the puzzle break room: so fun! Dining was average to excellent. Windjammer was good with plenty of options, but was always crowed except for late dinners. Cafe 270 was great for a small breakfast or lunch, and had great desserts. Only went to Divinely Decadence once for breakfast; it was okay. American Icon was great with the exception of front door staff and officers who were witnessed on more than occasion berating staff for not being fast enough, yet offering no help to fix the matter. Grande was nice, didn't have the best waiter, but food was good. Coastal Kitchen was awesome. So happy we were able to go there. We chose to self disembark. The disembark line started forming at 0500. This was not surprising since the only thing done to celebrate this "inaugural sailing" was a 0200 deck party the last night. It took customs over an hour to clear the ship, but left the ship at 0620 and were in a taxi by 0640. In summary, we were disappointed with the activities selection and average service. I don't think we will be doing a northern transatlantic in the near future, however it was an affordable option to travel on Royal's newest ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were very excited about our transatlantic cruise when we arrived at check in we were asked to sit in a section with no explanation. I asked some staff and they did not know it was a very long wait and not the best start. Once on board ... Read More
We were very excited about our transatlantic cruise when we arrived at check in we were asked to sit in a section with no explanation. I asked some staff and they did not know it was a very long wait and not the best start. Once on board our stateroom on deck 9 was nice with a small balcony. The ship's art work is lovely and interesting. The shops are very expensive but only stock a small range of everyday items. The pool areas etc are nice and clean. The signage on the ship could be better to find the spa etc can be confusing and depends on which set of lifts you use. The ship feels rather over crowded and it can be difficult to find some where nice to sit and read. The food was good in the restaurants but never hot. In the Windjammer there was a lot of variety but never hot and a bit like school dinners. How ever the meat from the carvery was very nice and melted in your mouth. The Windjammer was also very crowded so tried different places for breakfast which were better but still very busy. The weather was not good so a lot of the shows and activities were cancelled due to the weather which was understandable but I would have thought that the Cruise Director could have arranged something else. The shows were very good when they were rescheduled. The staff Mohammed our stateroom attendant was very nice, polite and understanding and the stateroom was keep very clean and tidy. The staff seemed very tired and in some areas like the Windjammer there were never enough staff to ask for a glass of wine or coffee. Some staff can be very short I asked for a bottle of water and the reply I received was I can only give you one I replied that's all I have asked for. Reception staff are very helpful but again there was a very long wait as the queue was so long. Due to the bad weather when activities like the bumper cars and northern star opened again we had two hours queues. I was very surprised that the movies were still being shown outside as the wind and the cold made them impossible to watch. The fitness and swimming areas were very good but again the gym was very crowded. There were quite a lot of people ill on the voyage due to the bad weather and the ship moving about so much. The captain gave frequent updates as a lot of people were worried especially when the power was lost and there were no lights in the cabin. All in all first cruise with the R.C. and think it will be my last as I prefer the service, food etc I receive from the other operator I normally sail with. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a Loyal to Royal Cruiser having sailed all the classes of their ship, the Anthem is a cut above. The venues, were all top shelf. The food, especially at the Windjammer and four no added costs restaurants, Chic, Grande, Silk and ... Read More
As a Loyal to Royal Cruiser having sailed all the classes of their ship, the Anthem is a cut above. The venues, were all top shelf. The food, especially at the Windjammer and four no added costs restaurants, Chic, Grande, Silk and American Icon was simply outstanding. The entertainment; We Will Rock You, The Gift, Spectra and the Music Hall were spectacular. Things to do were off the charts, North Star, Two70, Bumper Cars, SeaPlex, Rip Cord, Flow rider and list goes on and on. Bottom Line, The ship is FIVE STAR plus; but, the embarkation and specially disembarkation tarnishes this great ship, wonderful food, outstanding service and crew. Read all you can on Cape Liberty, don't take one cruisers experience. I have read already, some Pinnacle cruises with luggage tag #1 were off in a flash, others had 2 to 5 hour adventures from the ding to being in a taxi. We scheduled, The Manhattan Highlights and Transfer Tour, which was very nice, scheduled for a 7:30 DING, left the ship DING at 9:15, then the customs adventure begins. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I have never written a cruise review before but there seems to be some huge variations in what people experienced i felt it only fair to forward our experiences. Our party consisted of my wife and I who have done about 10 cruises over ... Read More
I have never written a cruise review before but there seems to be some huge variations in what people experienced i felt it only fair to forward our experiences. Our party consisted of my wife and I who have done about 10 cruises over the last 10 years (5 previously with RC), my step daughter and 7 year old grandaughter (no previous cruise experience). Embarkation was reasonably quick as my grandaughter needed a wheelchair to get onboard, she has a disability which limits her mobility but she does not use a wheelchair continually. I had previously entered all details on the computer and pre printed the sea passes. It was about 1.30pm when we got on the ship and we were told our rooms were ready and our cards and wristbands (used on the ship to open staterooms and access some services) were in our rooms. On arrival at our rooms, they were connected, there were no cards for my stepdaughters room and the interconnecting door was locked, our steward Dodi, had gone for break and would not be back until 3pm so we made a trip to customer services and joined the queue, there was a queue there most of the time. We were issued with a replacement card and got into the room. There was no luggage so we all went exploring, our first impression was fantastic and I often heard a WOW! from my Step daughter and Grandaughter. We sorted out our drinks packages, You can now have different packages for each passenger which I thought was useful, my stepdaughter and grandaughter had the Royal replenish packs, (soft drinks, non alcoholic cocktails, water and speciality coffees. my wife and I had the Premium package which included all the spirits, beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks. I found out later that this included top shelf drinks including Malt whisky and wines and beers of a higher value than the select package. As for value for money it probably worked out better to have the package than not but this will vary according to what you drink and how much? I will mention here the lack of waiters in the bars and public rooms and more often than I have experienced before I found myself queuing for the drinks! This is a problem most reviewers have highlighted and they need to resolve it soon. Dining We dined in Chic on the first night and thoroughly enjoyed it, good food and good service, staff were very good with my grandaughter, in fact we found that every where we went, staff were excellent with her and us. Other dining venues were not as good as Chic and in particular American Icon and Silk were both a let down for food and service. We had purchased a deal for $80 per person where we could dine in Jamies, Chops grille and Wonderland and all three were very good for food and service, the best for me was Wonderland where if you allow yourself to go with the flow you experience some wonderful dishes selected by the table staff with more than enough food being served for everyones taste. The windjammer was always busy, rarely finding an empty cleared table, the food offered was varied but as the cruise progressed one or two items began disappearing, Alpen went after day 4 ?? On Disembarkation morning we walked in at about 7am and turned around and walked out, sheer chaos, no tables, no breakfast!!! Childrens Menu All complimentary dining venues had a childrens menu but they all lacked variety and imagination, chicken nuggets again mum??? Childrens clubs My Grandaughter used the club for 7 year olds and enjoyed the activities, we did have some movement due to weather on a few days and as the club is situated on deck 12 forward, there were a lot of children feeling ill! We also felt that the team were unable to respond to changing weather conditions that restricted the use of some activities Entertainment We saw all three shows, We will rock you, The Gift and Spectras all were first class, technically, visually and musically, well done. Spectras was in delivered in 270, this area is amazing, with a huge backdrop, moving screens and moving stage platforms people were appearing and disappearing from all over the stage, brilliant. On the subject of entertainment I think I should mention Luke the cruise director, he was mostly seen on TV in our stateroom, rarely putting in an appearance around the ship. we did see him at one or two of the shows but we are use to the cruise director and his team being highly visible around the ship, this was not our experience. When there was a quiz for example a member of the team would appear 5 mins before it started and would disappear 5 minutes after the quiz never to be seen again. Shops The usual shops were on the ship, jewelry, watches and clothes, all expensive ($180 for a shirt?) they did do the usual sale type stalls for the cheaper goods and there was a shop selling RC promotion items and daily consumables like toothpaste, plasters etc. there was also cigarettes, which you could take away and smoke, and alcohol which you could buy but not get until the end of the cruise??? The ship Is fantastic, its huge, its awesome, its different. worth a mention, 270 brilliant place for shows, relaxing and food, breakfast and lunch. North star, due to cancellation through bad weather when it was open there was a queue, our queue was two and a half hours but it was worth it, excellent views of the ship, will be better in destination ports. Seaplex a multipurpose activity area, we went on the bumper cars, reliving my childhood, great. I-fly is fantastic, my step daughter and grandaughter both tried and enjoyed it, whilst there appears to be no upper age limit some of the older people I saw try it struggled and one was badly injured! Bionic bar, fantastic great fun to watch as it doesnt always go to plan, brilliant idea. Johnny Rockets has been reduced to a tiny open fronted burger bar, no dancing staff as seen on other cruise ships. Schooner bar was often my haven, good music, good waitress (Maria) and Malt whisky, ideal. The Captain, Captain Claus gave regular reports over the tannoy and give a weather and progress report on the TV every day, during the bad weather he gave regular updates and reassured passengers who were worrying about our situation, we met him once and he had a picture with my grandaughter. Summary We all enjoyed the cruise, we did not let the shortcomings we found spoil our cruise and enjoyed as many amenities as possible. Its not a ship I think I will go on again, but never say never. NOTE TO ROYAL CARRIBEAN Sort out staffing of public areas and reduce queues everywhere, I dont go on holiday to queue! Disembarkation This was a fiasco, whether this was the ships fault or the custom and immigration staff, or both I dont know. We were treated like cattle and queued for four hours finally getting through immigration at 12.30. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click