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72 Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which ... Read More
It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which then just got worse. The ship looks fine from outside and a joy to look at. Day one emabarkation was excellent, however and accident on day one due to the poor handling of equipment of staff on borad injured my wife and myself. The cruise after this then got worse. The room is dated and needs a make over, curtains do not cover length of balcony window and therefore light penetrates early waking you up. The curtaind are hanging on threads and the blackout broken in so many places that anyone else would have replaced. The cabin steward was not very friendly and had to be reminded to fill up on basics. Main dining room was quite good and the best service in years thatnks to Jean and Allan on floor 4. The food was hit and miss with some really good and others mediocre. That said this was big improvement on past cruises. The Windjammer is as normal busy at certain times, but if avoided then there is plenty of room. The food was better than on normal european cruises but often hot food was cold. We never went hungry and there was plenty of choice. Annoying issue is ice cream. A staff member rolls a cart along the whole area, with absolutely no chance of serving people at the right ime for them, not his fault but is RCCLs fault. The shows in the main theatre were excellent to very poor. We liked Once Upon A Time, though we had seen it before. We liked Invitation To Dance performed with the cast from Grease, though we had seen that before. We also loved Grease though we had seen that on Harmony, the show still retained the magic. The only Ice Show was Freeze Frame which although we had seen before, still enjoyed it. RCCL need to bring in new shows and have two ice shows on a two week cruise. The support guest stars were excellent (David Copperfield) but others we walked out on, one being a violinist and the other a magician. We never walk out on a show, so this says it all. Diamond Lounge was packed due to volume of Diamond members, however we did not really use in the night due to the noise. You could not hear a conversation. In the day it was also manic due to the poor arrangement. The filter coffee machine is place right by the door effectively causing rael conjestion wehen entering, leaving or waiting to get yoursef a coffee. It then broke down for a few days, very poor. Boleros bar on deck 4 was fine for most of the cruise except the noise when music started, which spoiled any conversation. Wilbert was a great bar tender and remembered us every time. Howvere Boleros turned into a very cold area in the latter days of the cruise due to doors being opened. We could not sit there and other guests wore coats. The SPA and Rides added were not used by us due to the accident already suffered so we cannot evaluate. the ship was clean and orderly but we did notice that staff members would push trolleys towards you instead of waiting for us to pass which is unusual on RCCL. The staff were also very flat compared to RCCL normal cruises. Two issues really irritated us, the noise in the bars was excessive with music blasting out stopping conversation and the excessive charges for drinks. Bacardi $9.99 Coke $3-4, Sevice Charge 18% on top of this. Te cruise across the Atlantic was boring except for making new fantastic friends, Iain, Margaret, Carol, Shelly, Stan and Elizabeth. The ship coud have docked at the Azores to break up 8 days at sea, Would we cross the Atlantic agan, Never. Would we use RCCL again, very much in doubt as other lines are now better. A very disapponting cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only ... Read More
It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only half of my omelette had filling in it. We tried it again when we gave our review on the ship and they asked us to try breakfast again. The food was still cold. The windjammers breakfast was much better. We only ate dinner in the evening. We had great table mates and enjoyed there company. The food was just adequate. Some nights I couldn't find something to eat. When my husband ordered beef bourquinion he had 3 small chunks of beef. In the Centrum the chairs were ripped. My husband ordered an anniversary surprise for me and only half of what was supposed to come was missing. They did not have it aboard the ship. Our daily compass had incorrect information On the front it said casual dining and in the center it stated formal attire. Half the guests showed up formal and half casual. The activities schedule was the same activities at the same time. The activities were very one note. If you had early dining you missed activities. They also had last minute changes in the shows. Our tour guide on one of the cruises left passengers behind and we missed more than half of our tour Thank goodness one of the onboard next cruise employee was with us. She was appalled that we were left behind with the employee. They only refunded half of our tour money because they said we saw half of tour. The eating outside the windjammer was stained and dirty. Alot of chipped paint was noticed. We have been on Royal Caribbean ships before and enjoyed them. We did not enjoy the Brilliance of the Sea and would not recommend this ship and this experience left a bad impression for us to cruise again with Royal Caribbean. In the past we always enjoyed our experience. This cruise was for a special occasion and it spoiled our experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First night in Giovanni’s ordered filet medium well.. was medium rare and took 25 minutes for another. Too late. Tho the shrimp was good Chops Ok MDR service poor except for one evening. One night we sat for 20 minutes and finally asked for a server. Food poor. Buffet the same. Fresh Vegetables looking worse for wear within days of sailing. Jello for dessert! Public areas not clean. Restrooms dirty. Paper on floor. Men’s restroom not clean around toilets. We spoke with housekeeping but to no avail. The “canned” air in cabins debilitating in spite of our balcony. Too much smoking...can’t believe people allowed to smoke INSIDE the casino On a positive note...liked layout of the ship. The crew was fabulous! They truly cared about their passengers. They did a nice happy hour for diamond etc every night. Nice to have decent coffee in diamond club. Our cabin steward was terrific. Our cabin was nice. Officers were disengaged. When I saw an officer and spoke to him or her I usually got little or no response I’m sorry to say it was a terrible experience. We shall never use RCL again. We are back To Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Food was unimaginative and generally not particularly well prepared. Main dining room menus were repetitive and pushed filet mignon and lobster with expensive add-on prices. Theater screens/projectors were out of focus, old and ... Read More
Food was unimaginative and generally not particularly well prepared. Main dining room menus were repetitive and pushed filet mignon and lobster with expensive add-on prices. Theater screens/projectors were out of focus, old and inadequate. Schooner lounge space was completely inadequate for trivia while main lounge at the rear seemed to be underutilized. Internet was fast but greatly overpriced with no option to purchase minutes, just days for $30 or the entire cruise for over $300! Good lecturers hampered by poor screens and projectors making reading the charts difficult or (mostly) impossible. Casino had a 5% tax on any use of cruise cards when buying into a game. Chefs table was disappointing when compared to Princess: appetizers and dessert were good and wine selection interesting but entree followed the dining room trend of unimaginative selection and poor preparation. Embark and debark were excellent even with unplanned debark in Port Canaveral rather than Tampa. Most staff members did there best with what they had. Cabin was very good and service was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
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
Having sailed with RCCL many times I expected a great cruise on a grrat ship. Sailed out of Copenhagen. The Seranade of the Seas is in dire need of extensuve updating and repairs. Windows in the Safari Club lounge haf 1" of water ... Read More
Having sailed with RCCL many times I expected a great cruise on a grrat ship. Sailed out of Copenhagen. The Seranade of the Seas is in dire need of extensuve updating and repairs. Windows in the Safari Club lounge haf 1" of water between the panes. It had formed into algae. Water leaking in windows in the Windjammer. Casino tobacco smoke was not ventilated properly spilling in to public areas. Food in Reflections Diningroom was poor so after 5 attempts on a 21 day cruise the remaining meals were in the Windjammer. Cabin 8005 had broken brackets in bathroom cabinet. Cabin cabinets were scarred and scratched. Draws and doors did not open or close proprrly. Sofa had several stains on it. Carpet worn out and stained. Ports of call in Shetland Islans, Norway, Iceland and Nova Scotia had excursions that rrquired lengthy bus rides for a 45 minute toir. There was nothing in Greenland expect to walk around the small town. The ship went through the Prince Christian Sounx all dsy and waz being narrated by a Dr. Jacob. A monotone boring description of his opinion regarding as to how the rocks were formed. This guy also gave enrichment taljs which were equally boring but at least he put you to sleep. Debarkatiin in Port of Boston was horrible due to new Immigration process done on board. It was designed to expidite the process but delayed it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Royal Caribbean was very cheap this time around and I will never sail with them again. I felt I had to pay for everything if I wanted it. They didn’t heat the pool everyday, some days it was great and some the pool was so cold that ... Read More
Royal Caribbean was very cheap this time around and I will never sail with them again. I felt I had to pay for everything if I wanted it. They didn’t heat the pool everyday, some days it was great and some the pool was so cold that we couldn’t go in. We were told it was the same temperature everyday and that was not true. The internet service was inferior, some days we couldn’t sign in at all and it was not cheap. The food was sub-par, there was NO lobster night. Some nights the choices for dinner were not good. They kept on pushing “specialty dining”. The beds were old and hard and the pillows didn’t smell good and they needed replacing. You had to ask for shampoo and body wash. the rooms were old and creaking, the curtains were not blackout ...... I have never been on a cruise that didn’t serve lobster one night in the dining room. The entertainment was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My wife and I obtained our emerald level on this cruise which shows we have limited knowledge of expectations. All our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean and we have been satisfied with our previous cruises. This particular cruise ... Read More
My wife and I obtained our emerald level on this cruise which shows we have limited knowledge of expectations. All our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean and we have been satisfied with our previous cruises. This particular cruise became very unsatisfactory for me personally very early in the cruise when the staff froze all my insulin rather than just putting it in the refrigerator as I requested. I learned that medical supplies that need cooling should be given to house services and not to the customer service desk. The on board doctors did not know what happens to insulin if it is frozen and initially did not know if I should try using it when It was thawed or not. They finally decided that it was probably safe to use but they did not have any idea if it would be the same strength or not. They suggested I monitor my blood sugars and adjust the amount of insulin until I got the desired effect. When I revisited medical complaining of not being able to control my blood sugar levels after increasing the amount of insulin above where I was comfortable to increasing to they told me to watch what I was eating and continue monitoring the sugar levels. They did not seem worried about the levels I was experiencing and not very helpful in helping to resolve what I felt was a very serious situation. The only other issue was the noise made from the adjoin room 4045. Normal children noises are expected but kicking the walls after 10pm go beyond the acceptable. We were told the parents were not willing to help reduce the noise level nor limit the time period. We were happy with the interior stateroom and available activities. Meals were well prepared and had a satisfactory meal/diet choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We took the same cruise last year and had no complains but this year there are problems. We have a Junior Suite, every day the toilet is blocked, took a week for them to admit that the problem is in a whole block of cabins from 2 deck ... Read More
We took the same cruise last year and had no complains but this year there are problems. We have a Junior Suite, every day the toilet is blocked, took a week for them to admit that the problem is in a whole block of cabins from 2 deck to 10 deck. I was accused of using too much toilet paper! The balcony rail is in a dreadful state. The carpets on the stairways are threadbare. The ship is in dire need of a refit. The staff in the Windjammer are very unhelpful. My husband is disabled and nobody offers to help him carry his food to his seat - usually a passenger comes to his rescue. The sugar free drinks are not very often on offer and when we asked we were told they have run out - next meal there they were again. We requested the lights to be put on above where we were sitting in the evening and were told to move tables if we didn’t like it. We paid a lot of money for our cabin (our steward however is wonderful) we’ve been cruising for 32 years and have been on Royal Caribbean many times but this is the worst Cruise in a long while. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because it had port stops in Norway and Iceland prior to completing a trans-Atlantic crossing. We were very excited about the itinerary and we looked forward to enjoying the amenities the ship had to offer. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had port stops in Norway and Iceland prior to completing a trans-Atlantic crossing. We were very excited about the itinerary and we looked forward to enjoying the amenities the ship had to offer. Our cabin, 1104 was spacious, clean and had everything we needed. It was a little tired in appearance but overall we were very pleased with the cabin and with our stateroom attendant (Rafael), who did an exceptional job. The balcony was very large and sported two chairs, two loungers and two tables. It exceeded our expectations and spending time on the balcony was a pleasure and as the cruise went on, a necessity. The ship itself at first glance was impressive but it soon became apparent that it needed more staff for service and a really thorough cleaning. For example, walking up the stairs from the 10th floor to the 11th floor, the enclosed art display was visibly covered in dust. Dust permeated the ship and for those of us who have dust allergies, breathing became a challenge. By the 13th day of the cruise, I was spending more time on our balcony than inside the ship. The two worst areas were the dining room (my time dining area) and in the specialty dining restaurants. I will comment on the staffing issue further in this review. I reserve my harshest comments for the specialty dining restaurants. We always book specialty dining options as we find that they normally offer exceptional food and extraordinary service. Let me be very clear, there is nothing special about the two restaurants we visited. We gave Chops Grill and Giovanni's Table both second chances to ensure we were fair to them. In total we paid for four specialty dining experiences and found them to be average at best with lackadaisical service and mediocre food. Both restaurants are located off the Schooner Bar area so in the evening, the noise from the bar infiltrates the restaurants (particularly Chops Grill where we were treated to a musical war until someone complained and the Chops entrance door was shut. Even then every time the door was opened the noise level rose). The tables located within both restaurants are close together so there is little privacy and akin to eating in a crowded European cafe. The service in both restaurants was indifferent and in one case, the appetizer arrived before our drinks (Chops). At one point we were handed our menus and immediately asked what we wanted to order (Giovanni's). We asked for a moment to examine the menu options but it was clear, the goal was to feed us as quickly as possible and clear the room for more diners. The food in Chops was average at best with the Béarnaise sauce appearing to be rationed. A request for a little more sauce was met 20 minutes later when the meal was nearing completion and the sauce of little value at that point. Rather than plate the food you want, the Chops restaurant employs family style dining with little pots of food placed on the table for all the share. The food in Giovanni's Table was inconsistent. The scallops prepared one way on the first visit, were not prepared the same way on the second visit. The main course was served at the same time the appetizer was being eaten. There certainly was the feeling that there was a rush to get diners fed quickly and out of the restaurant. Our past experiences with specialty dining had raised our expectations for the food and service. We could not wait to enjoy our meals in those establishments. Unfortunately our Chops and Giovanni's experiences have ensured that we would not recommend either and we would not waste our time nor money in booking those venues again. We have been cruising on other cruise lines in the past several years and it has been some time since I cruised with Royal Caribbean. Consequently I am relying on my experiences with the services enjoyed on other cruise lines and on my memory of my previous experience with Royal Caribbean. The service seems to have gone downhill and fails to meet the level of service offered on other cruise lines. It is not just the failure to provide room service without a charge, it is the presence (or lack thereof), of staff in places such as the Windjammer or bars. Where once one could sit at a table and have staff circulate and ask if you wanted more coffee or a drink, now there is a lack of staff and it is incumbent upon the cruiser to self serve. Bar service is slow and in the main dining room, the slow service to offer a second glass of wine etc. (without being asked), was notable. Port stops: Copenhagen as a starting point was excellent. Oslo a great stop as was Kristiansand. Reykjavik was interesting and well worth the day and a half we spent there. Akureyri was a waste of time and we would have been better served with more time in Raykjavik or a stop in St. John's, NFLD. I would recommend that Akureyri be removed as a stop. Halifax was a great port and it would have been nice to spend more time there as well. Boston, as a final port, was excellent and we took advantage of the location by spending five days there following the cruise. The entertainment on board the ship varied from unremarkable to average. I remembered Royal Caribbean as having great entertainment but it was not in evidence on this cruise. Activities varied. Some were good (progressive trivia for example), while other activities were just odd. For example the Zen Art took place in the Schooner bar and consisted of participants being given a picture to colour with the use of some coloured pencils. Participants simply found a place to sit and colour. There was no designated area within the bar. Colouring on your own was the extent of that activity. The bar area was filled with people doing other activities and rock music was playing in the background. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Security was professional and seamless. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We knew what to expect when booking the 2017 edition of Royal. The food and service are now mediocre and bear no resemblance to the Royal of a bygone era. However, the itinerary was fabulous, including 4 days in Iceland. In fairness, ... Read More
We knew what to expect when booking the 2017 edition of Royal. The food and service are now mediocre and bear no resemblance to the Royal of a bygone era. However, the itinerary was fabulous, including 4 days in Iceland. In fairness, the Park Cafe staff was friendly and on the ball and some of the Aquarius restaurant staff were helpful in correcting errors. Unfortunately, the cabin attendants, and guest relations staff were out to lunch. The Windjammer was absolutely gross, forcing us to eat off the ship when in port. Royal only has one dinning venue when the ship ports, that being the Windjammer. Izumi Asian restaurant was a nice evening alternative to the dinning room. The on board entertainment was average with the exception of the rock cover band, Rookie. Rookie was the best cruise entertainment I've seen in 60-70 cruises. The balance of the shows were the usual; magicians, card tricks and diva singing. In my view, most of it wasn't worth the time. Our cabin attendant was nicknamed the invisible man. He was never around, so if something was needed, the attendant done the hall helped. Royal seems to suffer from under staffing. The food in Aquarius featured cold fish, poorly executed sauces and indifferent service. It was so bad that the sauces were often indistinguishable from one day to the next. Royal is a cheap ticket to travel, don't expect an upscale experience. Despite the on board problems I'd repeat the trip because of the ten ports featured in the itinerary. On board, Royal is challenging NCL and Carnival for the low rent bottom. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
You get what you pay for. Not great food. Staff was great but not much they can do about the quality of the food. Did complain about temperature of food and the staff did take care to bring us hot food. Had a few issues in the cabin ... Read More
You get what you pay for. Not great food. Staff was great but not much they can do about the quality of the food. Did complain about temperature of food and the staff did take care to bring us hot food. Had a few issues in the cabin and they were quickly taken care of. Only got conditioner, if you ask for it. Room service for anything other than continental breakfast is $7.95. Room is small with no room to move around the bed without hitting into some furniture. Took 2 hours standing to board the ship in a very hot area and that was for Diamond Club members. The best thing was the Chef's Table. Food and wine were GREAT and well worth the price especially getting a 40% discount helped. Would have gone more if there were menu changes. (Azamara has 3 different Chef's Tables menus.) I am Diamond Member because of Azamara. Should not compare but hard not too. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were disappointed by the way that we were treated from the first day to the next to the last. We were in an owners suite and were treated like we were in steerage. The only time that we were accorded the status that we paid for was ... Read More
We were disappointed by the way that we were treated from the first day to the next to the last. We were in an owners suite and were treated like we were in steerage. The only time that we were accorded the status that we paid for was the last day because we actually were escorted off the ship first without having to wait for everybody else. Out of 28 dinners served, 26 were warm or cold. Despite the fact that we ate breakfast in a specialty restaurant and had a special place for lunch, the only person on the ship who knew our name was the young woman who cleaned our room. The Concierge never visited our room, never stopped by our table at dinner, and never introduced himself to us, In short, if you pay for anything more than an inside cabin, you are wasting money. People who have accumulated points by taking lots of cruises are more important to RCCI than those of us who paid for suites and were largely ignored. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have been on several cruises with Royal and Celebrity and I must say this was the WORST. They were very disorganized and it seems that they have cut corners every which way they can. They have the crew doing at least three different ... Read More
We have been on several cruises with Royal and Celebrity and I must say this was the WORST. They were very disorganized and it seems that they have cut corners every which way they can. They have the crew doing at least three different "cultural shows" to cut back on entertainment costs. The food in the main dining room was awful and they offered PIZZA and QUICHE as a main dining room entree at dinner?? I can see for lunch but for dinner? Wow! We even ordered a steak from Chops a couple nights and even that meat just didn't seem right. The taste was ok but the texture was really strange. I think about the only thing we enjoyed was the ice skating show and the Diamond lounge. The waiters and staff there were excellent and the appetizers were great. Another thing we noticed was the huge difference between Diamond on RCL and Elite on Celebrity. The internet was incredibly expensive and on Celebrity we found it reasonable. On Celebrity we get a bag of free laundry during a 14 day cruise and on Royal all they offered was $10 off a bag for $35. Also the wine list in the main dining room leaves a lot to be desired. They have the Vintages on board, I don't understand why we can't order from that menu. That being said they are WAY over priced - I mean to the point of ridiculousness! I understand a markup but a 400% markup? Out of line. Also I know the ship is old but it was supposedly refurbished a few years ago but the air quality was awful. Perhaps it's because they put their crew and passengers at risk by allowing smoking in the casino and the cigar bar which permeates the entire ship. And I was told by a crew member that the reason that they allow it is because certain cultures love to smoke while they gamble and those individuals wager so much money that it isn't worth it for RCL to upset them when other people are not betting as much! Say what?? As another person posted...I will think long and hard before ever boarding another ship from RCL. I would say they are at the same level as Carnival was when I went on them years ago when my daughter was young. What a disappointment! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We wanted to go to Europe and on other ships we love sea days. Embarkation went smoothly. It was just before bed that we got our bags though. They weren't delivered, we hunted them down and brought them to our cabin ourselves. ... Read More
We wanted to go to Europe and on other ships we love sea days. Embarkation went smoothly. It was just before bed that we got our bags though. They weren't delivered, we hunted them down and brought them to our cabin ourselves. The ship is a mess. Automatic doors don't open- you have to stick your fingers in and heave to get out on deck. Good luck in an emergency evacuation. At least 5 doors were this way. Window calking was falling out of some windows. Entertainment was abysmal except for the fabulous ice show and there was one good speaker on board talking about astronomy. Charles Ennis was his name. He also did star gazing sessions several times. The ship pressed its staff into entertaining with little shows according to their nationality, like Bollywood extravaganzas or Thai dance tribute. It felt like RC was too cheap to hire real entertainers and pressed the crew into extra duty. The hired entertainers they did have were substandard. Our inside cabin was great. It got super dark and we slept very well in a king size bed. Our steward was excellent making us smile with his towel animal creations. I could have used a little step stool in the shower for leg shaving but aside from that, it was good. There was enough closet space and a nice wide chair/sofa thing. Shore excursions were few and only mildly interesting. Most people got off and walked around instead. One was really terrible. It was a tour of Vigo with a trip to the Borderlands. She couldn't speak English. If you asked her anything off the script she would say she doesn't speak English or try to cover with b.s. When she announced she would be the tour guide the next day the entire bus shouted "No!" I felt bad for her but she was dreadful. Service This is where the ship fell in my estimation. We would be at the buffet where they usually bring you drinks and coffee. There was one wait person working there at breakfast but instead of waiting on anyone she groggily wiped down already clean tables rather than help us. We had to go get our own drinks. Nowhere was the service worse than with the entertainment area. We were at a venue where that speaker was supposed to be giving a talk at 10:00 am. By 10:20 the doors were still shut. He was waiting outside with us. He finally went in to see if he could find someone, but there was no crew member there. He turned on the lights himself and opened the doors. His powerpoint was out of focus and when asked about it he told us the crew said that it was a really old projector and you can't focus it. No crew member ever showed up to run the lights for his talk. His talks were on tv where they were less fuzzy so I watched him on TV from then on. I felt sorry that such a good speaker didn't have crew backup. It always looked like he was standing in the dark on stage. Don't they have spotlights? Or someone to run them? Shore excursions were a mess to get to. With Princess you just exit the ship and find areas set up with tour signs and you simply go to your tour and present tickets at the bus. With RC they separated the families having only one person allowed to go through the line. The rest of us were supposed to be seated in numbered rows in the theater. The problem was the numbers were given to the one in line and the rest of us didn't know what they were so we wandered in the aisles and stairs. One person would tell us one thing and another would tell us something else. It was bedlam. And then your family member had to find you among the 3,000 people milling around. Meanwhile a guy on the microphone was shouting at us to not mill about. When someone complained about the terrible disorganisation a crew member disagreed saying it was a very efficient system, this was just happening because it was Monday. I still don't know what she meant by that. Further embarkations were handled differently, proving it was the system not the passengers. One hand never seemed to know what the other hand was doing. A passenger service desk crew told us our stamped passports would be with security at the ramp. The secuity people said they'd be up at the desk. We were all waiting in line for 45 minutes at the desk to get our passports, making disembarkation later and later and causing us to miss our train, when another crew member walked past and noticed we all had passport receipts. She asked how long we were waiting and huffed "They're just back behind the desk. One minute please." It took her exactly 2 minutes to be passing out our passports which the desk crew hadn't been able to figure out were right in front of them. The captain was distant and rude. Whenever a passenger waylaid him, he'd pretend to get a phone call and walk away even though his phone didn't ring or vibrate. I think the mess of crew disorganisation stemmed from his poor management and oversight. Food It was terrible by cruise ship standards. The main (beautiful) dining room had the same basic menu night after night. It was like eating at a cheap family restaurant at home. The food was marginally better in the buffet but still family restaurant quality. The speciality restaurants were good, but not as good as on other ships. I felt that they were trying to make the food bad to drive people to the expensive restaurants. That annoyed me. Attitude While crew members smiled maniacally at you, but you had the feeling it was more a "buy our crap" smiles than "have a great cruise" ones. They sold stuff at you constantly. We actually ducked away from certain crew members with an "Oh no, here he comes again." They pushed cigs, booze, souvenirs which was odd because it was a cruise to Portugal and they were selling Baltic viking stuff. They pushed their signature restaurants, photos. You couldn't stick your nose out the door without being sold something. We spent more onboard that cruise than on any other and felt like we didn't get our money's worth. I think RC squeezes every dime out of passengers, the result this time is I won't be back. Pound foolish. There was one book in the library, the 2017 US tax codes. Seriously. They can't buy a few paperbacks? People do read you know. Our eReader died and my husband was desperate for something to read, but not enough to learn about tax codes. On other cruises there were lots of classes, jewellery making, dance classes, pottery, cooking and venues to practice the dances you learned, just things always going on. But not on RC. In addition to the good speaker they had a terrible bore droning on about circumnavigation. They had the spa people giving talks like "Is botox right for you?" clearly thinly veiled sales pitches. No crafts, no ballroom classes. They did have learn to dance Michael Jackson's thriller. You don't want to see a line of 80 year olds doing Michael's hip thrusts. So we found our beloved sea days extremely boring. We napped. I read. Then repeat. The music was good, when it worked. Twice bands couldn't perform because of "technical difficulties". One such difficulty turned out to be they didn't plug it in. Seriously. A passenger saw the unplugged plug and asked, "Could this be the problem?" And it was. I can't wait to go back to Princess after this less than royal treatment on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a very crowded cruise and not much was done to make it feel less so. The spaces on the ship were not fully used. Even though it was in the 50's and windy the evening movies were still at the outside pool deck. Why not move ... Read More
This was a very crowded cruise and not much was done to make it feel less so. The spaces on the ship were not fully used. Even though it was in the 50's and windy the evening movies were still at the outside pool deck. Why not move them to the conference center area? While it was generally cold outside on the sea days the theater area could have been more fully used for entertainment. The speakers that were scheduled had limited, if any, audio visual support. The theater didn't work for these events. Entertainment was marginal. The only bright spot were the comedians, especially Kivi. The performance put on by the crew felt like forced labor, don't they work hard enough already. These were also a safety nightmare. The shows were so crowded by people looking for entertainment that all access points were blocked with people sitting on the steps. How a medical emergency would have been handled is hard to imagine. Also there was only seating for several hundred people on a ship carrying approximately 3400 people. Note; these Transatlantic cruise generally carry a high senior passenger headcount! Food was OK, much Indian cuisine. The dinning room on multiple occasions described meals that were not delivered as such. One of my table companions finally asked why he didn't get what was described, but there really was no answer. The waiter has no control on this, Our dinning room waiter was very good and professional, but aside from him I felt like I was on a training cruise, maybe I was. As an emerald member of Royal Caribbean I certainly was disappointed on the level of service. Oh I also was without water in my cabin for several hours on evening. This ship is old and tired and it shows! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Food and service were average with a few over cooked deserts and the same old fayre. The curries in the Windjammer were generally very good and authentic. Entertainment was the worst we've ever seen. RC are now resorting to using ... Read More
Food and service were average with a few over cooked deserts and the same old fayre. The curries in the Windjammer were generally very good and authentic. Entertainment was the worst we've ever seen. RC are now resorting to using their non professional staff to provide some of the evening entertainment. The ships professional performer shows lacked impact and the singers had poor vocal ability. The headliner acts were nothing special apart from the juggler who was amazing and extremely funny. The Queen tribute band were awful and relied on their visual likeness rather than any musical ability. The ship is tired and the sofa in our cabin was very worn and full of dust. My mattress had a massive dent which made sleeping impossible. This should have been picked up by the stateroom attendant rather than me after a terrible nights sleep. Maybe it's time to stop being loyal to Royal! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Birthday cruise turned out to be a big disappointment. A 14 night cruise started great but deteriorated throughout the journey. Small signs encountered along the way indicated something was wrong. - many typos and wrong scheduling in ... Read More
Birthday cruise turned out to be a big disappointment. A 14 night cruise started great but deteriorated throughout the journey. Small signs encountered along the way indicated something was wrong. - many typos and wrong scheduling in the cruise compass created communication confusion for guests and staff - ran out of chicken and turkey sausages on the first day - poor planning or tactic to try and use up pork approaching sell by date? we don't eat pork so no protein choice at breakfasts. What was worse the head chef was adamant there was chicken sausage on board and after coming to our table every night to check our breakfast was fine and then making calls whilst we tried to dine made things embarrassing worse. - salmon was not fresh and blanched and by last few days had turned green Chlorine levels were very high, eyes watered and swim clothing saturated with chlorine. Main issue was having a burst of sulphur dioxide gas coming through the shower drainage system. The shower had been blocked and no doubt chemicals thrown in to sort but unfortunately these were n't washed down and didn't realise at the time that poisonous odours were seeping into the cabin which explained the very poor sleeping and acid under the skin feeling. This ruined the last few days including my birthday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Low cost for Transatlantic and an invite from friends drove us to choose this cruise but 8 days crossing with mostly high winds and cloudy skies dampened our enthusiasm, Royal Caribbean did nothing to plan alternate indoor events for us. ... Read More
Low cost for Transatlantic and an invite from friends drove us to choose this cruise but 8 days crossing with mostly high winds and cloudy skies dampened our enthusiasm, Royal Caribbean did nothing to plan alternate indoor events for us. Trivia for up to 60 people is hardly an activity for a ship with this many passengers. Dining room staff was reduced so that waiters acted as order takers as well as bus staff. The menu was less than innovative in the main dining room and was close to boring. We even went to the hamburger special, Johnny Rockets, one night as it had a more exciting menu. That was until we found all burgers are done well, this from a ship that serves beef carpacio. They are so wasteful that, when they finally had a single lobster night and I ordered two tails, they actually did an entire dinner plate setup. After hearing the word "amazing" in at least every other sentence spoken by Cruise Director Michele and most of his staff, I hope that I never hear the word again. First time in a long time on an RC ship, and it will probably be a long time before we return. I understand they have even larger ships, our count was 3,700, but I will avoid those at all costs. Bigger is not better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The food was mediocre. Hope you like Indian food as at least 3 mains Indian daily for lunch at Windjammer. They can't save any more money on food- they have taken it to the lowest level.New room service menu is a bad joke- a ... Read More
The food was mediocre. Hope you like Indian food as at least 3 mains Indian daily for lunch at Windjammer. They can't save any more money on food- they have taken it to the lowest level.New room service menu is a bad joke- a lackluster regular menu with no spaghetti to avoid having dinner in dining room or Windjammer AND YOU PAY $7.98 FOR THIS SERVICE!!!!!! They will not accommodate people with wheelchairs to their cruise tour bus as their competition does. I only paid my gratuities to reward waiters in Windjammer and other low paid staff in background.Not a value at any cost.Ordered eggs and pancakes for breakfast one morning and was called to verify order- evidently not used to an order like this- and the pancakes were not edible and the eggs were overdone and we had to pay $7.98 for THIS! I have to say crew was never ugly to us. They know how to say no pleasantly and believe it or not, they have tremendous loyalty to cruise line- really good brain washing by company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Having cruised previously with P&O, NCL, and even Carnival, we had high expectation of RCS after reading so many good reviews of the line. While some aspects were very good there were a combination of things that only served to ... Read More
Having cruised previously with P&O, NCL, and even Carnival, we had high expectation of RCS after reading so many good reviews of the line. While some aspects were very good there were a combination of things that only served to confirm that we will think twice about booking again, though we tend to book on itinerary and date and not through blinkered loyalty to any line. Taken in isolation the issues might not be significant, but grouped together they took the shine off the cruise:- - Having to pay for room service. We often like to have lunch with a glass of wine on the balcony and have never had to pay for room service before. - Paying $30 each to get through the door of Chops Grill only to then be given a menu with only 4 available steaks, but with a much longer list of steaks that cost even extra. Unacceptable and blatant profiteering. In fact the filet mignon at Giovanni's, and the quality of service and other menu choice, was much better than Chops. - Buying the "ultimate" drinks package to then find that RCS have raised the price of many cocktails, champagne etc. above the top limit. Though good to see most cocktails, prosecco and Remy brandy etc. was still included. - No shower gel, only shampoo. We are told mid cruise that this could be requested at guest services, but again, this seems to be a cost saving exercise and is not publicised. I don't want to spend my holiday queueing at guest services to find out what I am entitled to that they have hidden from me! - Not having pool towels in the room and having to queue up for them with the threat of a $25 fine if they are not returned. They were of very poor quality anyway and at the end of the cruise we received a note accusing us of still having some towels. Guest services ensured we were not billed though. - Not having a choice of cooked to order eggs in Romeo & Juliet MDR at breakfast. It is a buffet so not much different to Windjammer which is not a pleasant place to have meals. It took until day 5 before we learned that we could ignore the "Diamond and above only" sign outside King Lear and get the full table service with poached egg option. Again, unacceptable that RCS either put the sign out to reduce footfall and therefore cost, or intend not to offer a full breakfast table service to the masses. - MDR organisation at dinner. The freestyle dining was good and we never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes for a table for 2, although they are so close together you may as well be on the same table as your neighbours, however, getting a glass of wine often took time to order and might not arrive until after your starter. We had to solve this by carrying our own wine in with us! - Entertainment was good. The ice show was excellent and the in-house dancers are very professional. The Grease show is of West End quality, so top marks for that. - Many of the bars were fairly lifeless and felt like they were really corridors. Vintages was an exception, but nothing of any lasting impression, e.g. to match the World bar on Azura. Despite the above, we enjoyed the Carribean islands and were particularly impressed with the organisation at Labadee, Haiti which is RCS' private area, but as per my title there was no real "wow" factor and too many reasons not to rush back to RCS. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We normally cross the pond on Celebrity but thought we would go on the Royal Caribbean (RC) Independence of the Seas as the itinerary went through the Caribbean. A big mistake! First the pluses: It is a lovely ship. The cabin was ... Read More
We normally cross the pond on Celebrity but thought we would go on the Royal Caribbean (RC) Independence of the Seas as the itinerary went through the Caribbean. A big mistake! First the pluses: It is a lovely ship. The cabin was excellent - plenty of space and a large balcony. The staff were great. Very friendly and worked hard. The dining room staff were superb so much so that we stayed on Table 240 every night even though we were on Any Time dining. The other people who joined us on the first night also continued to dine with us at the same time. We particularly liked the Centrum with its shops, pub and various eating places. Outside there were plenty of sun-beds for every one. Mini golf, surf simulator and climbing wall for the sporting types. Great promenade on deck 4 lets you walk right around the sip. (600m laps). The entertainment was not bad. Grease was excellent and the pianist Brooks Aehron was incredible. He gave two concerts and then he accompanied a young flautist from The Royal College of Music. Fantastic performances. There was also a Spanish singing quartette who were also excellent. They were on the ship for 8 days but only gave one 50 minute performance. We asked that they be allowed to give another performance but were told that it was not in their contract!! Now for the minuses: As Elite members on Celebrity we expected the same benefits as Diamond members on RC. Not to be. Instead of 90 minutes free wi-fi each RC now charge $12.99 a day! We did get one day free but on a 15 day cruise you cannot check on e-mails etc. The wi-fi reception was awful. Instead of free laundry we got $10 off a $35 small bag of undies washing. No where to get your shirts, dresses washed at all. No coupon booklet with free casino chips etc. No RC bag in the cabin. We have so many at home that we didn't bother to bring one as we expected another! Luckily Diamond International were distributing theirs as we came of the ship at St Thomas. No pencil pen or paper in the cabin anymore. No daily paper or puzzles any more. So no way to find out what was happening in the world as the news channel on the TV was blanked out by poor satellite reception for the 8 sea days. There was only one lecturer on board. Normally you expect at least three. Unfortunately he was very boring and so we only went to his first two lectures. The food generally was pretty poor. In the Windjammer it was the same food every day. There was no egg station and at lunch the Asian section was the same each day. The dining room menu was also poor. Very basic but we did have a surprise when the large prawns on the menu turned out to be lobster! We had to eat our soup with desert spoons as soup spoons are now non-existant. Finally we come to our pet hate. Why do cruise lines bother to have Formal Nights when they know that any Tom, Dick or Harry can go into a dining room on a Formal Night dressed how they want? I am sorry but an open necked shirt and jeans is not formal dress. When the ladies and gentlemen wear their long dresses and dinner jackets why should these scruffs be allowed to spoil the occasion? We are so disappointed that RC has cut everything to the bone. Needless to say we will be back on Celebrity in future. Perhaps RC should rename the ship The Nickel and Dime of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Sailing to MIami for my recently widowed friend to meet her son who lives in USA. So disappointed with the entertainment. I would like to know why we were crammed into and standing up for quizzes in the piano bar when this activity is ... Read More
Sailing to MIami for my recently widowed friend to meet her son who lives in USA. So disappointed with the entertainment. I would like to know why we were crammed into and standing up for quizzes in the piano bar when this activity is so popular, when the Star bar was empty and loads of seating. There was line dancing which was so popular it was full, but this was only offered once or twice, same with the Kareoke which was nightly at 9.45pm for 45 minutes but so popular again crammed, and poor, in house, Kareoke with not enough content why don't they afford ''Virtual DJ'' which you can purchase very cheap online. The ice show which I had seen before on another ship with fantastic costumes, was so disappointing almost hip hop in jeans and tee shirts I was disgusted having raved about it previously. The comedian on stage one night even commented ''oh someone in the audience laughed''. The only night it was great was when the Beatles tribute played but that was only once why didn't they use them somewhere else like the Star lounge as well. I could go on, but like Royal Caribbean I cant be bothered!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The disembarkation in Boston for non American guests was a fiasco, eventually got off the ship at 2.30 to return by 4.30. Needed more announcemnets. lots of passengers very disappointed as they had not been to Boston before. The ship ... Read More
The disembarkation in Boston for non American guests was a fiasco, eventually got off the ship at 2.30 to return by 4.30. Needed more announcemnets. lots of passengers very disappointed as they had not been to Boston before. The ship seemed to be rather dirty, all the soft furnishings (seating in public areas) needed a good clean. The linen and towels very thin. The food in the Windjammer was boring and mundane, even breakfast cereals tasted stale and choice poor. Reminded of school dinners, not enough seating and consequently got very crowded. The staff in the MDR were really excellent, very good service from all the staff. The food was presented well but cut backs over the years is showing with not as much choice in MDR. The service and food in the speciality restaurants was good with good service. Sabor was especially good, the guacamole made at the table was excellent Staff in bars were all friendly, choice of drinks was good although with the dollar exchange a bit expensive for non Americans. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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