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258 Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, but turned out to be basically two cruises, back to back: A TransAtlantic out of Tampa, and then a week in the Mediterranean ending up in Venice. Another recent review called it "A Tale of Two Cruises" and I agree with that impression. We were interested to see that RCI treated it like two separate cruises although we've been on other b2b's before on other cruise lines that didn't do that. Anyway, I am aware that The Rhapsody is different from the mega ships in the RCI fleet, but it is similar in size to the other ships we've sailed with, and we basically liked the ship a lot. The public areas are beautiful, especially the "Centrum" and the theater. We really liked the layout of the Windjammer buffet (although it was often very crowded). But, O.K., here are my personal "complaints": Our ocean-view cabin was very small, with barely enough room to wedge our suitcases under the bed. We're used to small showers, having been on river cruises and traveling in an RV--but the shower is really, really small. And I missed having a nice place to relax and look out over the ocean. The best views are in the Windjammer at the front of the ship, but it isn't a place to "hang out". There are good views aft from the "Shall We Dance" lounge, but that space was underused except for the hundreds of "Diamond" level passengers who pretty much took it over. And I was really upset that the "Royal Crown Lounge" (a small but lovely venue overlooking the pool area) was pretty much off limits unless you were "Diamond Plus". In fact, the daily newsletter advertised a special price on Martinies in the Royal Crown Lounge, but we were informed that we were not allowed to sit down and enjoy our drinks there! Many activities were scheduled in the Schooner Bar which is a narrow, noisy hallway, basically. I just think there could be a better use of the various areas overall. We thought the food was very good, almost without exception. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants, but enjoyed the bounty of the Windjammer and the choices in the main dining room. My husband had a New York Strip Steak that was tough, one night. But everything I ordered was delicious. They did a good job of providing a lot of interesting things to do during the TransAtlantic sea days--almost to the point that we had to make some time for ourselves to just sit and read. My only complaint about the activities was that I would have enjoyed a lecture or two about the history of the areas we were going to visit. The "port talks" they did have were mostly about ship excursions and/or shopping. In fact, there was very little advice or help forthcoming for those who just wanted to get off at the ports and explore. We attended all the evening entertainment in the theater and thought it was all outstanding. Unfortunately many of the shows were repeated in the third week, but it was so port intensive that we didn't really care. Everyone comments about how friendly and accommodating the staff and crew are, and I agree. How all those hardworking people stay so cheerful and nice is amazing. And they are so good about getting to know you and making everyone feel special. But (I guess I always have a "but") we did have a little problem with someone's inefficiency. As I said, the two portions of the cruise were treated as two different cruises. And at the end of the TransAtlantic in Barcelona we were required to get off the ship and be issued new "Seapass" cards. When we booked the cruises we had to pre-register for each one separately and give all the usual info about passport numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Well, as we got ready to disembark in Venice we got a call in our room informing us that we needed to come to the desk to settle our account!?? I was politely but firmly informed that security would not allow us off the ship until we paid our bill in cash! What!? The bill for the first two weeks had been taken care of automatically--this was just for the third week. So, we had to stand in line with all the disgruntled passengers complaining about overcharges, etc., until our turn when the guy at customers service poked the computer for about 10 minutes and then remarked casually that this had happened to a couple of other people who did back to backs. Someone just forgot to re-register our credit card. While I'm talking about money, I do need to mention that RCI obviously tries valiantly to offset the original low cost of the cruise with "nickle and diming" everything else. The "specialty restaurants" charge outrageously high prices, I think. And wine, and cocktails--crazy prices! They did have that happy hour martini special ($9) in the Viking Crown Lounge (Where the only place you could drink it was at the bar) and a 2-fer price on Margaritas in the Schooner bar. We had most fantastic weather. It was balmy and smooth sailing all across the Atlantic. The only rough seas were one night in the Mediterranean and we slept right through it. We enjoyed all the ports. We booked ship tours in both Canary Island stops and the one in La Palma was especially good ("North Shore") with an overview of the island including a stop in a beautiful interior rain forest, and a visit to a rum distillery that included a tasting. One of the highlights of the trip was sailing through the Straits of Gilbralter at dawn. Several hundred passengers stood on the upper decks looking at the lights of Africa on one side and the famous Rock of Gilbralter on the other with the beautiful sunrise behind it. We did our own thing in Malaga.We made our way through the historic old town center past the cathedral to the Alcazaba. We purchased tickets and wandered through the gardens and and rooms of that ancient Moorish fortress. It reminded me a lot of a smaller Alhambra. Then we walked up (and up) the hill behind it to see the "castle" behind it. By then it was hot and sunny, and we wore ourselves out climbing that path. When we got to the top we discovered that there was a bus stop there, and the "Hop On Hop Off" could have taken us to the top! Oh well. Beautiful views! In Barcelona we got a taxi to Sagrada Familia where we had bought tour tickets on line to see the inside. Then we taxied back to Los Ramblas where we strolled down with all the crowds, and then detoured off into the Gothic quarter we had a light lunch at at sidewalk cafe. After Barcelona the whole ship had a different feel after the leisurely trip across the ocean. A lot of the "retirees" disembarked, and there were many more young people and family groups. And we had a different port every day. In Cannes we once again "did our own thing". We jumped on the little tourist train loading up right at the pier and got a good look at the seaside boulevard and all the beautiful yachts on the one side and fancy hotels on the other. We've been to Rome before, so we opted to take the only ship tour doing something different out of Civitavecchia: a visit to an olive farm in Tuscany. It was a pleasant bus ride through the countryside with a visit to the sleep mountaintop village of Tuscania before a light snack of bruschetta with various flavored olive oils as well as a glass of wine at the olive farm. Our last ship tour was to the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum which was buried in the same volcanic eruption as nearby Pompeii. Fascinating. In Catania, Sicily we looked out our cabin window to see Mt. Etna all covered with snow! We later learned how unusual it is to have snow on Mt. Etna in May. Gorgeous! Unfortunately we didn't get pictures because clouds rolled in and Mt. Etna disappeared. We took a smaller group tour arranged through our Cruise Critic roll call. It was a beautiful day making our way up to the little resort town of Taormina after a harrowing drive up switch-backs to the mountain medieval village of Castelmola. Amazing views! And we also did a Cruise Critic tour to Krka National Park in Croatia. On the way back to the ship our guide gave us a quick visit to Zadar and their "sea organ". This review is getting too long to gush on and on about the beauty of Krka--all the waterfalls and rivers and emerald pools. Truly a beautiful spot. And I also don't want to do a whole separate review of our time in Venice where we disembarked and spend two wonderful (although rainy) days. All in all it was another great cruise--small criticisms notwithstanding. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very good. One night was cruise director singing songs from early 1900, and a lot of people got up and left' Food was good, except for spare ribs in MDR. Couldn't even cut them off the bone. Wouldn't have served them to guests at my house. Windjammer food was good, but only thing hot was the soups. I like my food hot not tepid. Turn up the heat lamps. Shows in centrum were also very loud. Loud doesn't make it good. A lot of times you couldn't understand what they were saying. Ship was in good shape for its age, and staff was friendly. We had an ocean room cabin and it is just like any cabin on any other ship. We don't spend a lot of time in cabin, so we aren't hung up on cabin type. This is my opinion, and I am not trying to pursuade any one to choose this ship or not. I have never been on a bad cruise, even when we missed 2 days in Israel, or when we went around 2 hurricanes. We just enjoyed the new adventure. My take is we are all different in our expectations, God made us that way for a purpose, so get on board and enjoy the ride, Its a vacation, not a status. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could ... Read More
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could be improved was the lack of 24 hour food. The larger ships have a place where you can get some some savory and sweet snacks almost round-the-clock. One thing they added for the lunches in the dining room was some hot buffet and dessert. This combined with the tutti salad bar made the lunchtime much more enjoyable. Whoever thought of that gets a gold star. Otherwise the repeating lunch menu got tired real quick. As this was a repositioning cruise, the enrichment lectures were lacking. Could have done a little more. The port of Ponta Delgada is not as good a stop as Madeira or the Canary Islands. The service was excellent and the ship in good shape. Enjoyed the cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my first Transatlantic cruise and I'm so glad we chose this sailing. The weather was ideal and we only hit what could be considered rough water on our last sea day in the Mediterranean. There were many positives and some ... Read More
This was my first Transatlantic cruise and I'm so glad we chose this sailing. The weather was ideal and we only hit what could be considered rough water on our last sea day in the Mediterranean. There were many positives and some negatives and some of them may be deal breakers for some people so I will do my best to describe them. Embarkation in Miami: surprisingly slow. The security scan part was very quick, but the line upstairs took quite awhile. Overall ship: some wear and tear is evident. I like the navy blue and nautical themes. Jewel is classic Royal Caribbean style. There are places where the carpet is getting thin, with minor cosmetic damage to walls, trim, flooring. This didn't impact my cruise but it is noticeable. There is also a very occasional vague sewage smell we noted. I'm not sure what that's from. We both smelled it and commented when it reappeared. Fortunately it was not constant. Smoking is a problem, which I will describe later. Food and Service: We gave up on the main dining room and retreated to the Windjammer. It was comically slow dining room service. Our waiter just didn't seem to get certain things and the assistant waiter just disappeared. One glass of water is apparently all you can get at dinner. Coffee orders were taken after you were served dessert. I was on this cruise to relax and Windjammer was the answer. I've been on other ships where you struggled to find a table at WJ, but Jewel has wonderful seating options, both inside and outside. There was always something I was happy to eat and it didn't take 2 hours. The staff there was wonderful. The Solarium snack bar had some okay choices for later night snacks but Jewel is lacking in options if you are used to the bigger ships. Bars and lounges: I can't speak to the scene in the Diamond Lounge but the bars were quite sedate. This was not a party crowd lol. No problems with service. Things to do: we pretty much did out own thing. There seemed to be a decent amount of stuff in the cruise compass if you are looking for it. I was always happy to hear Rosario Strings playing as we passed through the Centrum. We really enjoyed the movie offerings, though the cinema is too small. Loved the evening movie by the pool option. Cabin: we were midship on deck 7 in a balcony, overlooking the lifeboat roofs. I actually didn't mind the roofs as it made it feel more private than being open to the promenade deck. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage, everything worked. I was glad I had brought a multiport charging plug extender thing. The ports: Awesome!! Each port was new to us and we loved them all. I had never heard of Alicante before this trip and I really hope to go back there for a longer stay sometime. We had fantastic weather in Spain. April in Valencia is not to be missed. We did an Airbnb experience there which was phenomenal. Uber is inexpensive in Valencia and very handy. The Problem With Jewel: The Centrum design, and smoking. I just don't understand the Centrum as an event space. The floor accommodates about 20 people max, and then people can look over from balconies. You have poor acoustics, with someone on a microphone hawking art auctions or whatever, it's not pleasant. The bigger problem is the smoke, which is sucked out of the casino and up the Centrum which acts as a chimney, spreading smoke up and out. Royal has no doubt crunched the numbers and decided they make more money out of smokers in the casino then they lose from people who don't come back. If you are a smoker, this is your ship. The rules are on your side. For me, it will make me think long and hard about going on Radiance class again. If you are allergic/asthmatic, stay away! I wish they would just add the sealed smoking rooms you see at airports. All in all though, this was a wonderful vacation. This ship is more for relaxing than exciting activities. There is no flowrider or sky diving simulator. It draws an older, quieter crowd of experienced cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Dining room this cruise far surpassed the specialty restaurants in food offered and service. Menus in the specialty restaurants had been cut down and the items Imost enjoyed in the past were no longer on the menu. This is a smaller ship, ... Read More
Dining room this cruise far surpassed the specialty restaurants in food offered and service. Menus in the specialty restaurants had been cut down and the items Imost enjoyed in the past were no longer on the menu. This is a smaller ship, does not have a promenade so shopping is limited. I prefer a more intimate cruise in order to interact with other passengers. Crew is very kind and very entertaining. Lots of fitness available outside of the gym to include zumba, live bands in the bars, comedy shows in the theatre all excellent. Embarkation was a breeze, very efficient. Disembarkation somewhat complicated by major storm requiring putting into a different port. Royal Carribean very helpful in making arrangements to get entire boat back to original departing port for those that airline reservations. Despite many storms most days were without much rocking of the boat. Did not avail myself of the excursions but did enjoy all the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First transatlantic. As a solo cruiser the ship size suited me perfectly enabling me to get to know a lot of fellow passengers. MDR wait staff were very good for early seating. Our table was for 8 people and it was a great mix, we were ... Read More
First transatlantic. As a solo cruiser the ship size suited me perfectly enabling me to get to know a lot of fellow passengers. MDR wait staff were very good for early seating. Our table was for 8 people and it was a great mix, we were very noisy due to the convivial nature of everyone at this table, lots of laughing. It was commented on that we seemed to be having a very good time every evening. Not a huge fan of Nassau but the day was sunny and warm, would have preferred the original Coco Cay port as have not been there. The biggest complaint was the disembarkation in Port Canaveral due to weather issues. The ship's staff were great but the wait times to get off the ship and in the terminal itself were much too long. Entertainment overall was very good but it's time they got rid of the Elton John impersonator, he is terrible. I've been exposed to his act on 3 occasions and it doesn't get better with age so I give it a miss. Other headliners were excellent and the RC singers and dancers were a great bunch. So many Diamond and Diamond Plus members meant the Shall We Dance lounge was very crowded. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
So, as they were offering this cruise with prices I last saw in 2007, I couldn't resist and booked an ocean view cabin for this transatlantic. Price covered both of us for what I normally pay for one person. Good start. We usually ... Read More
So, as they were offering this cruise with prices I last saw in 2007, I couldn't resist and booked an ocean view cabin for this transatlantic. Price covered both of us for what I normally pay for one person. Good start. We usually do balconies, but I figured we could live with a window. We flew into London a couple of days early and just to make sure we would join the ship, I booked the airport transfer WITH RCCL. Worth the extra cost (about 2x what a cab would have cost) to know they were waiting for us. As luck would have it, out of 40 flights on the Heathrow board that morning, only 2 were running late. Ours was one of them. In the end, the flight was only 5 minutes behind, but then, we spent over an hour getting through immigration, so I was still very happy to see the RCCL person waiting for us at baggage claim. He had our bags and off we went. The tip to buy our two bottles of wine to carry on AT the port was a good one. The two for one deal gave us 2 $9 bottles of wine that were the best ones of the cruise! Once on board and in our room, I wish it was easy to change the room layout so that the bed could be sideways and there would be room for a chair to sit by the window. Alas, its about a foot too short, so the bed is under the window and you have to sit on it to look out the window. Not a deal breaker. Lots of places to store stuff, but a downside to the lowest ocean view cabins is that they don't have a mini fridge. I was expecting a rather rundown appearance, as the ship goes to drydock for a refurb in 2019, but was pleasantly surprised to find only some nicks and scrapes to reduce the pristine appearance of the room. Everything worked. We were happy to find the Windjammer buffet well laid out, easy to navigate and rarely so crowded it was impossible to find seating. The food was also better than expected with a great mix of dishes, including some rather spicy stuff, a lovely change from the tendency to bland. Despite that fact that the ship was full, it never seemed crowded and line queues were 3 people, not 30. The shows were quite good. There was a pair of professional dancers onboard, teaching the ballroom classes, but we only saw them in one production show. I would have liked to see them more often. We are not big on Bingo or Trivia, so we tend to hang out and do whatever makes us most relaxed. Plenty of places to do that on the ship and never overwhelmed with people. The most amazing thing was the service. Outstanding! Our room attendent had our names down as we walked in the door and checked with us daily to fulfill our every need. I had purchased coffee cards (if you are a coffee snob, they are well worth it, as the coffee in the cafe is just ok.) By day two, everyone in the coffee cafe knew my name and my order and would say hello before I got to the station! They were chatty and personable and made awesome cappuccinos. Our restaurant waiters were the same. On anytime dining, we expect a new waiter each night, but by day two, Adriana our hostess had us assigned to the same wait staff and always managed to get us a table, even when we screwed with her and found new friends to turn us into a 4 top from a 2 top. Our waiters had the food selections pegged and made great recommendations as to what would be best each night. All in all it was a great cruise! If I would change anything, it would be to schedule enrichment stuff in the afternoons as well as the mornings. Some of us don't get up early! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did the back 2 back Venice to Barcelona because of the ports then Barcelona to Tampa because we like transatlantics. The Rhapsody is an older ship that doesn’t have any of the updated features we’ve become accustomed to on newer ... Read More
We did the back 2 back Venice to Barcelona because of the ports then Barcelona to Tampa because we like transatlantics. The Rhapsody is an older ship that doesn’t have any of the updated features we’ve become accustomed to on newer ships. Can’t view your account from the TV, no selection of movies in your room, can’t hear announcements. So if you don’t like all the bells and whistles this is the ship for you. First time doing a crossing this late in the year December and the weather was pretty good. The entertainment was below par although there was a couple of really good performers the rest was not so good including the ship entertainers. The enrichment topics were not to my liking so we didn’t attend. The food in the dining room although nicely presented was just okay, the food in the Windjammer didn’t look good nor did it taste good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This reminded me of my first cruise many years ago when the crew was happy and new your name. The Captain was a hoot, and would come on each day announcements with a cheerful and positive attitude. This was a very long trip so we spent 3 days in Rome before leaving, and was in our eyes the highlight of the trip (all the rest was extra cake). Two day before leaving we had gotten contacted by KLM that our flight had been canceled due to Air2sea booking a year ago on a Bump flight? We had to call Air2Sea and tell them about the cancelation. They did not have any idea that it had happened. I insisted that KLM had canceled the flight and I had called them and confirmed that it was, and that I should contact RC for any information. First observation of RC is the disconnect between the travel and the customer. They should have this information first before me. They then told me that it was a good thing that I had Air2Sea and they could fix this. They rebooked on Delta and my 2 stops turned into 3. The Delta Flight was very good and we had and additional hour with a very uncomfortable flight on Italy Airlines (not recommended no leg room). While in Rome they then sent another email that said all the Jewels itinerary stops had been changed due to weather (changed to Canary Islands and St. Martin). This is probably a good call but other ships had been reported going to the places that we had just been changed from. Most of the ship was looking forward to Lisbon as we had, and for this was disappointed. Getting on the ship was a very quick event and waited for our rooms to get prepared. Luggage delivery was very good. I felt sorry for the couple that we met that lived in the Canary Islands (and just had flown out of) and joked that they could maybe do some laundry while off the ship at island (they lived at) they had just left. We had been spoiled a bit on Princess Cruises so the rest is observations of what could be improved for the RC Brand. We loved the food and lots of it, but not much variety. Having theme food nights lets us have a taste of other countries. We did not eat in the dining room at all but ended up in the windjammer when open. The Café (latte tudes?) was very limited on food selection and while the windjammer has such limited hour 7am till 11 something could be expanded to a light snack early in the morning. We had been gaining hours each night coming back from Italy and we would wake up at 4 am and feeling hungry. All the restaurants had been closed, and the only one that opens at 6:30 is the Solarium Café that again is very limited to light snacks. Internet was puffed up as fastest at sea. Nobody I talked with thought much of it. It’s took about 5 to 10 min to load the RC page. They should have a backup system that when not by land can use satellite feeds from deep space to fill the low altitude satellite system currently used. We loved the Movie Theater and would love to see this added to other ships. The movies generally run one a day and then repeated on the big screen on deck. We had to leave early on one of our favorite movies, and expected to finish it later but this was not replayed on the in room TV. Suggestion is to run your played movies on the TV in the room as the kids shows currently are (in room TV is pay preview if you want a another movie). What is up with the “cooler” in the room??? No Hotel room uses a cooler. They use small refrigerators. Coffee Lava azza! One word Nasty (you need to switch out to instant or McCaffee brand! You can bring two bottles of wine but no Water or Soda onto the ship? We don’t drink so water is important to me. I spent over 50 dollars on the 12 liter bottles of water provided by the cruise line with 18% added on. Other cruise lines do this for about 7 us dollars a case. Smoking all over the ship. Deck 5 had ashtrays all down the walking deck. What about the kids that walk on that deck. What about me that does not smoke, but is exposed by trying to get some exercise. The smoking room is next to the Windjammer??. The smoke drifts down the pool deck while trying to watch a movie. Improve the daily activity that happens around the ship. We felt a port expert would have been nice along with other information like education lectures (Paying passenger did volunteer for lectures giving in Geology that was appreciate). This may have been slow because of the change of ports but thought that we should do more than just read, watch movies, cards, and shop in a very limited shopping area. Long itineraries require the Brand to make extra personnel for this lull in long days. We appreciated the extra personnel that were provided for future cruise desk. Princess only supplies one, and is never at the desk. Cruise excursions should be explained better. One paragraph of the excursion should be expanded, and explained about mode of transportation and amount of stops for toilet breaks, and how much time spent at stops. This was not explained until on the tour. Overall the cruise was very nice, but have decided that this cruise line in present state is not for us. We did have a great mix of people our own age, but just think it should be better. Overall price of the trip was Great value. We thank the excellent crew for success of our second crossing of the big pond. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we ... Read More
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. Ship was old, mid-size, but had more offerings and character than some larger ships. Inside cabin was spacious enough. Dining options in the main dining room and buffet were better than Celebrity, especially the lunches! Entertainment and activities were standard for this class. The live entertainment was very good with lots of dance music available. Some of the games were fun too, even if we'd seen them before. Service was excellent throughout. Dining room staff including head waiter and maitre'd were exceptional. We never felt harassed to buy drink or dinner packages. This was a major annoyance on Celebrity. Diamond benefits are excellent. Would definitely do another Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our third consecutive transatlantic cruise on Indy. We were really looking forward to seeing all the new additions to the ship following the amplification (thats what RCI call it). We were astonished to discover that the ... Read More
This was our third consecutive transatlantic cruise on Indy. We were really looking forward to seeing all the new additions to the ship following the amplification (thats what RCI call it). We were astonished to discover that the cabins had not been touched as they are looking extremely tired and dated. Our cabin was kept excepiinally clean by our wonderful cabin steward V. He was brilliant. Unlike previous reviews we didn't find the ship overcrowded. We always found somewhere to sit and never waited long to be served in the bars or to be seated in the main dining room. There were always sunbeds available although we preferred to sunbathe on our balcony. The standard of food in the windjammer and main dining room was much better than last year. We ate in both Chops Grill and Giovannis Table and were completely underwhelmed by both. Johnny Rockets as always was very good. The service we received throughout the ship was outstanding. The new additons are aimed at families and not surprisingly you have to pay for most of them. We noticed a huge difference in the dress standards on board. It appears that anything goes even in formal nighrs. This was really different to previous years. We really enjoyed our cruise. The weather was good as were the ports of call. The entertainment was poor compared to previous years. Fourever were outstanding, Darren Day was superb and the ice show as always was amazing. The rest of the acts were pretty poor. We gave Grease a miss this year as we've seen it on our 2 previous transatlantic crossings. There was also a comedian who was very funny, I think his name was Steve Wommack. Our favourite addition was Sugar Beach. It had excellent sweets ay a reasonible price. Although our next 2 cruises aren't with RCI we'll definitely sail with them again and we still love Indy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special ... Read More
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special care and is not medically fragile but is mentally very young 12 year old. He would have enjoyed meeting the teens and participating in some of their activities. He needs no supervision though I do not let him leave the floor I am on except to go take a nap. I do like to know where he is so that I can get him to shows, meal, etc on time. There was also no option for leaving him on the ship during excursions. I would have liked to do some of the more strenuous walks such as Pompeii but I knew they would be too difficult walking for my son. When I travel with you to Aruba this coming February there are activities I would like to do but are unable to do so because there is no care for him. Again he has no medical needs he is just mentally young and can't walk long distances. I saw several people with developmental problems, down syndrome, etc on the cruise whom I am sure parents would have liked a break themselves. This is an area you need to address. Most disabled adults are very social and love games, movies, and arts and crafts. Most of all these travelers love to meet and talk to new people and make friends. It would be a great selling point for your cruise line if you would offer some alternative for people with special needs. I do understand the training for medically fragile is extensive and would make it difficult to supply services for those individuals but for high functioning special needs the only training needed is first aid and CPR which I am sure all your child care people are required to have anyways. My son would have loved to watch movies, play table tennis, do games, go to karaoke with the younger crowd. As you examine and revamp your cruises please consider these suggestions. Part two: Traveling with a special needs person can be difficult. You seem to have made every effort to make accessible facilities available.These are my observations. During rough waters my son used a rollator (a walker with a seat) to help him keep his balance. The cabin doors are extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver when using a walker. Some of the new hotels now have if you are in an accessible room when you swipe your key card the door automatically opens so you can enter. I would love to see that feature. The doors in the bathrooms for the handicapped stalls stays open WAY too long. There is no way to manually pull these doors shut. There should be a manual closing feature or swipe control. In the women's restroom on the Boardwalk when you open the handicap stall door it blocks all the other stalls and you must wait for it to close to go past it to the other stalls. Also seating is ridiculously close in the Solarium making it difficult for HC and typical cruisers to maneuver. I understand you want every square inch utilized but it was extremely difficult. Other than those minor things I feel you did an excellent job making the boat accessible in all areas. Eric enjoyed being in the pop choir and was able to get up on stage with everyone and all of the entertainment staff was extremely kind to him making him feel special. Part 3 the food: The food was extremely inconstant. Breakfast in the main dinning it was the hard poached eggs even when asked for them soft and runny. Eggs Benedict came with hard cooked eggs. By contrast the scrambled eggs on the buffet were perfect. Dinner the Chicken cor don Blue was so over cooked I was afraid to order the Chicken Kiev the next night again by contrast the steaks were always perfectly cooked. The duck and lamb were both served over cooked. The service was general fantastic a couple of nights it was slow. A few nights we had to skip desert so we could get to our show. The presentation was always on point. Portion sizes were fantastic though I do wish you had an option of ordering 1/2 size portions. I enjoyed the soup bar in the main dinning room and the pasta bar in the solarium Also the omelet bar was wonderful...I would have like a Mongolian Barbecue as I got hungry for Chinese takeout. You seemed to have all other take out food covered. Service and food at Johnny Rockets was great...Great waitress that sang with my son and made his day. She deserves lots of praise. Wish I had had more time I would have done Wonderland I heard lots of rave reviews. Many complaints about the food constancy in the main dinning. Though I will say that the staff was very accommodating and willing to fix things or get you another meal. Presentation was always beautiful. Also many complaints that the main dinning should be open earlier than 8 am. Also there should be seating available in the morning for people who get there early as you do for people who arrive early for lunch and dinner. Also would be nice to have some kind of seating in the waiting area of the theaters for the handicapped and elderly who get to the theaters early for the shows or in the stand by area for seating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! ... Read More
I want start of by saying I suffer from alot of chronic illness, Fibromyalgia being one so I'm hoping this review will help anyone else who has similar issues! We arrived at the port at 11 and we were on the ship within 20 mins! We were surprised when we first arrived to find we had Ken Jones as our CD as we were supposed to have Tim Connor. Considering Ken had been brought on only a week before at last minute and he didn't know the ship he didn't a brilliant job! The 9 sea days were good but long. This is our 3rd transatlantic but we've never had so many sea days in a row. I made alot of use of the library on the first few days. I love that it is now in a room of its own as it is quieter although so passengers used it as a general place to chat which was annoying. There were a few activities on board, scavenger hunts, napkin folding ect, I've done these on previous cruises so didn't feel the need to attend. We did go to Rock Britannia which was led but our Activities Manager Elizabeth and I really enjoyed that aswell as the 70s night which was also really good (this was led by Ken!) They also did an Olympus Rocks parade and an 80s night but I didn't go to these. Grease was amazing and I highly recommend seeing it, the girl who played Rizzo blew me away! We also saw Once Upon a Time, it's my favourite show on Indy but I must have seen it around 7 times now and it is getting a little stale! Darren Day was another headliner and he was incredible! We saw both his evening show and his matinee! I personally couldn't do any of the sports activities but my family did the rockwall and the trampolines and loved them! We are in the windjammer every night and the food was always lovely, hot and there was so much choice! We tried Johnny Rockets for the first time, the staff were very accommodating and changed my meal when I found the first one too spicy but I don't think it's something I'd go back and try. Fish and Ships was really good, the cod was the best cod I've had in a long time! Our first port was St Marteen, we walked round to the town and had a little look around, it's so amazing how quickly theyve managed to get back on their feet after the hurricane. I took the waterbus back to the ship after a couple of hours as it was getting too hot for me but my family stayed and swam in the sea. Next we went to St Thomas where we booked an excursion so we could get through immigration quicker! Our immigration time was 6:20am, and we were through within an hour! Our excursion was a boat trip into the main town. The boat trip itself was worth the money but I wasn't impressed with the town, I'm guessing if you like diamonds ect it's good but it wasn't our sort of thing. We only spent 2 hours there before getting the boat back. We had a look around the shops at the port and picked up a few suvioners. I then got back on the boat while my family headed to Megan's bay. Next was San Juan. Again we only stayed near the port, we walked up to Marshalls and a little further on we found a street that was full of colourful umbrellas above it, it was gorgeous and totally worth seeing! We again didn't stay long after that, went to a few shops and then headed back. We have done these 3 ports before (some twice!) So we didn't feel the need to spend to much time on land! Our last port was Labadee, which is basically paradise! I've never seen anywhere so beautiful! It's always been on my bucket list to swim in the Caribbean sea and I achieved that here. The water was perfect, just the right temperature! That's pretty much all I did in Labadee, I like to think the salt of the sea helped my joint pains. My Mum who is braver than me did the zip wire and she loved every second of it! A couple more things of the ship, we had an aft balcony cabin on deck 6. It was still roomy with 3 of us and the balcony was huge! Joseph our state room attendant couldn't do enough for us! The escape room is a must, absolutely loved doing that, I love anything that makes me brain think/work. The only small issue we had on board was with the photographers. They lost a few of our photos and then we had a photo taken at the Labadee sign, it was the one photo we all wanted but the only one which was perfectly lined up with the whole sign in ect had someone else in it who wasn't in our party and the photographers couldn't seem to grasp this. Sadly we didn't end up buying any photos because the only one we really wanted was spoilt. The departure process was a mess! They were letting the next cruise on in the same place as we were all queing up to get on coaches ect, the port was rammed! We had a transfer with Royal to our hotel but noone seemed to know where we were meant to go to get this transfer! We asked one member of the Intercruise staff who was at the port, she mumbled something and when we asked her to repeat it she told us she wasn't going to as we must be stupid!! 2 hours we waited at the port being told to go in all different places, all which were wrong! In the end we gave up and ended up paying $70 for a taxi to our hotel in Miami! Overall though we had a fantastic time, we love Royal Caribbean and we love how the staff treat you like family when you are on board! We have decided though we wouldn't do a transatlantic this way again though. It's alot easier to fly out and cruise back than it is to cruise out and fly back! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you ... Read More
This is the first time we went T/A and at the price we found it great value. I booked through Cruise 1st and i had not one problem. Embarkation at Southampton was no problem. Busy but only to be expected.The Indy has a wow factor when you board and is a very nice ship. We had an outside cabin on deck 2 cabin 6260 and it was very nice and also very quite.D.D. our cabin stewart was excellent. Food on board was very good in all the restaurants and Chops Grill speciality dining was out of this world. Plenty of food and plenty to drink and the service was excellent.Service throughout this cruise was 10 out of 10. Ship was spotlessly clean. Just a couple of gripes. The ship was pretty could for the first few days. It was cold outside but you could have hung beef in side. When the weather improved it was too busy outside. They actually had too many sunbeds together and it was difficult to walk about. We new the ship would be busy on ship days. The entertainment was the biggest downfall. It was really poor. The headline acts were terrible and also there was no booking system to get in. It was a free for all. The bands playing around the ship were poor. Same songs every night. A good piano player how would be better to play and not sing. The parties on the promenade were good fun but packed. I think the cruise director Ken was to blame as he did not seem to be listening to any of these acts. The ice skating was good. Still a very good cruise and a great experience on a T/A cruise. I would do it again no problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I ... Read More
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I was in stateroom 3042 (outside view). I was happy with it. I also elected Anytime Dining. I usually ate late, as I hate fighting crowds for either dinner or the showroom. I made a reservation a few times, but was seated without a wait after 8:00 p.m. Mike, the cruise director, and his staff were excellent. The number of sea days meant a number of activities were scheduled. I especially enjoyed The Brilliance Race and the morning game shows. There were lots of trivia sessions, as well as some traditional party game activities. Music on the ship was great, coming from a duo, a guitar player, and a trio of string instrument players (violins and piano). The quality of the shows varied from fantastic (hand shadows, AbbaMax, pickpocket) to weak (the first production show, the comedy magician). I found all three production shows lacking to some degree. This was not the fault of the singers and dancers; the blame goes to whoever created it. Food quality was mixed. The Windjammer breakfast and lunch selections had a minimum of variation from day to day. Breakfast pastries were limited to sticky buns, and even they vanished during the crossing. I heard rumors that the shipment of yeast the ship expected to take on in the Azores did not arrive (thus forcing the bakery to make cuts) but I can't verify that situation. Dinner was generally good, though some nights it wasn't exciting. The menu overdosed on items available at all dinners with fewer daily selections than I was used to. The food was fine, with some dishes being better than others. I went to the mystery dinner one night. The cast needed work in learning the script. They also resorted to shouting. The food quality that night at Giovanni's was fantastic. This was my first sailing as a Diamond member. Due to the large number of Diamond and above passengers, events were held in both the Diamond lounge and the Colony Club. Lines formed an hour before opening. I went a few nights, but cocktail parties are not really my thing. Weather was mixed, from cold in Ireland to warm / hot in the Azores and during the crossing. However, it did not rain anywhere I went. I would do this trip again. The price was good, and the Air2Sea price of a flight from my home of Las Vegas to Amsterdam was an astonishingly low $290.85. The length was a bit long, but I had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are Diamond members with RCI so have quite a few cruises under our belts. The service on ALL RCI cruises are beyond expectations. They really go out of their way to earn your loyalty. Have to say that the food quality and variety ... Read More
We are Diamond members with RCI so have quite a few cruises under our belts. The service on ALL RCI cruises are beyond expectations. They really go out of their way to earn your loyalty. Have to say that the food quality and variety have greatly improved over time - thanks to honest and vocal guests. We've also enjoyed their entertainment immensely on this particular cruise. However, the background music on the casual dining area can be improved. Would be nice if some of the background music played is representative of the itineraries or ports being visited i.e. this itinerary should play some Spanish/Irish/Celtic music. There was a Irish band & dancers on the port however with the cooler/windy weather, most passengers just walked by them. The disembarkation process was unpleasant in that the port is still not up to efficiency standards required for processing 2,000+ passengers. Recognize this is not the cruise line's responsibility, however the port infrastructure is just not there to have a more organized process i.e. process wheelchair passengers separately, etc. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We just finished 3 B2B cruises that started in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. We crossed the Atlantic and the first segment terminated in Copenhagen. From there we did a Norwegian fjords cruise taking us back to Copenhagen. Followed by a Dave Koz ... Read More
We just finished 3 B2B cruises that started in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. We crossed the Atlantic and the first segment terminated in Copenhagen. From there we did a Norwegian fjords cruise taking us back to Copenhagen. Followed by a Dave Koz charter cruise to the Balkans. This was 31 days onboard the Serenade of the Seas. We changed cabins with every segment. That's the background, here's my impressions. The crew was fantastic, they were friendly, attentive to our needs and requests. And by the end of the 3rd cruise, they were treating us like family. The meals in the restaurant were better prepared that those we've experienced on Princess. We used anytime dining with a reservation. Because of this we typically got the same waiters. When we missed our reservation and they had to put us at another table, we typically got a different waiter. Because of this we did experience different waiters and I've got to say that there's a wide range in abilities in the wait staff. Some waiters were very good at getting things done efficiently and getting the correct plate to the right diner. Other waiters were slow and frequently confused dishes. The cabins were nicely appointed. We had superior balcony rooms. My only complaint would be the shower. And who doesn't complain about the shower. It's a tube shaped appliance that doesn't give you much room to bend over and scrub your toes. There's one more thing, make sure you pack some shampoo and conditioner. These items are no longer provided unless you're in a suite. Had I known, I would have grabbed them from the hotel we stayed in the night before departing on the cruise. We only booked excursions through Royal Caribbean. We booked when the excursions went on sale and at that point the prices were as good or better than any of the 3rd party excursion companies. All of the excursions we took were well done. Feedback from other cruisers that took some of the other excursions were similar. One note about one of our stops in the Baltic, we spent a day in St. Petersburg Russia. Near the end of the excursion we stopped at a shopping mall for the opportunity to purchase some souvenirs. Here's my advice, stay on the bus. The prices are ridiculous. There are several shops at the cruise terminal with much better prices and some of the vendors are quite willing to bargain. One item we were hoping to pickup was a stacking Christmas tree. Thankfully, they had some of these on the ship so we already knew what a reasonable price was. We couldn't find anything on shore that even came close. Guess what, we bought ours onboard. In the end, we had a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my 26th cruise, 4th TA, and first cruise with RC. We departed from Puerto Rico without incident, boarding and checking in was a breeze. The Jewel is one Royals older ships but still has allot of life in her. Some of the ... Read More
This was my 26th cruise, 4th TA, and first cruise with RC. We departed from Puerto Rico without incident, boarding and checking in was a breeze. The Jewel is one Royals older ships but still has allot of life in her. Some of the public rooms seemed a bit dated and worn. The dining room is a classic beauty. We mostly dined in the main dining room and buffet. Our waiters in the Main Dining Room were excellent. We were a table of 10 friends. Quality of food and selection was very good. We ate one night at "Chops Grill." The food was classic steakhouse! I would highly recommend. The only negative about dining is that after 9 PM offerings are very limited. One can get a piece a pizza, hot dog or cookie in the Solarium. The desserts overall were not great. My last 5 cruises were on Celebrity. The Jewel had some of the best entertainment and performers. This was by far one of the most liveliest TA's I have been on, people partied late. What struck me most about this cruise was how friendly the staff and crew was and how approachable the ships officers were on the Jewel. The only negative thing that occurred was I got the "Cold from Hell" 10 days into the trip. I was not alone. I would definitely go back on Royal. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
If you are stopping in Lisbon on your cruise, do not select the tour by Tuk Tuk. We paid almost $100 apiece for what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour. We got barely 2 hours of touring and much of that time was spent sitting and waiting ... Read More
If you are stopping in Lisbon on your cruise, do not select the tour by Tuk Tuk. We paid almost $100 apiece for what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour. We got barely 2 hours of touring and much of that time was spent sitting and waiting to move from one place to another. Total rip-off! Overall, this transatlantic cruise is a good deal. The stops before reaching Southampton were great even though the Lisbon tour was terrible. Some of the entertainment was great but a lot of it was not appealing (ex. a juggler). Singer in the Schooner bar (Anthony Michael is the name, I think) was fantastic as was the Beatles Celebration band. Also the Whitney Houston tribute singer (forgot her name but can still hear the voice). Food is decent overall but had a couple of bad experiences (inedible entrees) in the main dining room and heard about a couple of others (outrageously slow service included) from fellow passengers. Our stateroom attendant was wonderful and made us different towel animals each evening! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Wanted to return to Europe in a slow fashion, enjoying meals and entertainment on route.Cabin was very small and today’s style of larger cases are extremely difficult to fit under the beds - very little room and had to leave a case near ... Read More
Wanted to return to Europe in a slow fashion, enjoying meals and entertainment on route.Cabin was very small and today’s style of larger cases are extremely difficult to fit under the beds - very little room and had to leave a case near bathroom. The sofa was tiny and barely held two people. The cabin was very tired looking and in need of refurbishment. Food on board was excellent and Windjammer self service always had piping hot food. Service in the dining room was rather slow, with too many people on my time dining which overwhelmed the waiters at times. Entertainment on board was good and of a good variety during the crossing. Activities were also varied and the staff worked really hard all the time. Excellent variety of excursions at the various ports of call although some were quite expensive ( eg costs of outings to Paris ) Enjoyed the Atlantic crossing with only a small rough patch at the Bay of Biscay ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. The weather in Lauderdale was beautiful but that quickly changed after the first day at sea. Unfortunately we were unable to get much time on deck unless we were bundled up in winter gear. By the third sea day the winds continued to increase and we were experiencing high swells. The doors to the deck were sealed and the "white" bags were strategically placed around the ships. Fortunately none of us got sick thanks to Bonine, no nausea at all and we continued to enjoy the food and dining venues. After six days at sea, we were happy to reach land (Punta del Gada, Azores) and from there on, we were kept very busy moving from port to port. Except for a very cold, windy and rainy day at the beaches of Normandy, all other port days were gloriously beautiful. We had two private tours (Azores and Cork, Ireland) arranged through our CC thread; and due to time constraints, we felt more secure taking two ship's tours (Beaches of Normandy and the Keukenhoff Tulip Festival in Amsterdam). We did DIY in Brugge, Brussels and Copenhagen. Again, what wonderful ports they all were. We had My Time Dining and never had a wait since I had previously made reservations on line. Food in the Dining Room was great some nights, other nights it was just fair. To be honest, I'm not that fussy as long as I don't have to cook and serve a meal. We pretty much had the same two waiters depending on which table we were at. Both were very attentive; no complaints there. The food in the Windjammer was good, varied and plentiful. Didn't know what to choose each day. We had lunch in the dining room a few days, which we really enjoyed. We at at Giovanni's Table one night and while my cruise mates raved about it, I thought it was just okay and not really worth the up charge. Speaking of up charges, RCI was relentless in hawking the pay dining venues. Could have done without that. Speaking of up charges, that is why I did not rate this cruise a 5. It seems as though everything that used to be included in the price of your cruise, now has a charge and doesn't come cheap. You want to learn to make cupcakes - you pay $25 for that class. You want to take a wine tasting class - another up charge. Pilates, Yoga, Spinning - more charges. The ship was very clean and well kept. She is holding her age well. The "free" activities during sea days could have been better and more of a variety . There was plenty of trivia, dance classes and karaoke. The cruise director, Carly, and her staff were wonderful and tried really hard to be accessible and available to everyone. The enrichment classes were not to our liking and we had little interest in them. Debarkation in Copenhagen was just as smooth as embarkation and were were at our hotel by 8:30 AM! I wouldn't hesitate to do another Transatlantic in the future. All in all, it was a great cruise with very few disappointments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times ... Read More
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times with the last sailing in 2014. Oh, how times have changed. We noticed a definite decline in service due to a reduction in staff in every department. Our stateroom attendant had no assistant, there wasn't a constant bathroom attendant in any of the "public" bathrooms, therefore the floors were always a mess especially under the men's urinals. I understand talking to my wife that the women's bathrooms were just as bad. You are asked to save water by using the same bath towel, but the attendant can use several towels to make animals that are placed on your bed at night (How much sense does that make?) And, no more chocolate on your pillow. Bar service could be extremely slow depending on where you were at. Our first night in the Main Dining Room, my wine was served in a dirty wine glass by a server who blamed the bartender for pouring it into a dirty glass (In my restaurant, they both would have been in trouble. The bartender for pouring it and the server for serving it.) There are no longer suggestions of what wines to pair with the nightly entrees, there are no vintages listed on the Wine List and no more sommeliers roaming the floor offering their expertise. My suggestion if you are to eat at the Windjammer Buffet and desire a cocktail, wine or beer, stop at a bar on the way before you get there. The staff in the buffet has been decreased greatly and consequently has forced each of them to do double and triple duties, therefore you may not get your drink until after you have eaten. By the way, if you have missed a particular dinner in the Main Dining Room, no worries, it will be served eventually in the buffet. Drink prices we noticed have also doubled in price. Also, be aware that drink packages have to be bought in tandem. If one of you buys a package,(and to avoid any shenanigans) the other person in your stateroom has to buy a package of their choice as well. The theatre is not used as much as it should be for large extracurricular shows and demonstrations, instead, the Cruise Director has chosen to use the Centrum Bar on Deck 4 which does not have the capability of hosting large numbers of guests which forces a great many of us to view what's going on by leaning over the railings on Deck 5 thru Deck 10. What an inconvenience that is. The nightly newsletter called the "Compass," that was delivered to each stateroom always showed the casino winnings up to that point. No more. Nobody was winning. On a 16 night cruise, that's ridiculous. The slots were tight, tight, tight. We also noticed a difference in the staff's attitudes on board. Not as many friendly and smiling faces as we remembered. Let us hope that this isn't contagious throughout the Royal Caribbean brand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage ... Read More
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage arrived later in the afternoon. We did MTD. We are Diamond and they offered the Colony as the overflow lounge. We went around 6,after the early eaters left, so we could find a seat. Cocktails and appetizers, then we would go to the show or movie at 7, dinner to follow. We meet some very nice people at cocktails and dinner. Service was very good at both places also. Enjoyed dinner every night but 2 in the dinning room, once in the Windjammer and once at Chops. The first 8 days were sea days and the weather was wonderful. We had a cloudy day in the Azores where we took a private tour arranged with other cruise critic followers. The weather got cool, windy, rainy and the boat rocked! The captain told us we would miss East Dunsmore/Waterford, have an extra sea day and to to Dublin before Cobh/Cork. The winds were hurricane range! Lots of broken dishes that night in the dining room! We rocked and rolled! Then the next day the Captain said we would be skipping Dublin and staying in Cohn/Cork where it was a protected harbor for 2 days to keep everyone safe. Oh well.....it happens-and you go with the flow. Because it was a 15 day transatlantic, there were only 18 kids on board. All the staff were friendly and helpful! The ship was going into dry dock after our cruise, but we enjoyed her. Spent a couple of afternoons in the hot tubs, walked the outside track on 12 a lot, used the work out room, watch a movie in the theater, saw most of the shows, read lots of books and had a very relaxing cruise. Meet a lot of veteran transatlantic cruises and we can see why-would definitely do this again! Had our last breakfast in the MDR because we weren’t scheduled to leave until 8:30. We took the ship’s transfer to the airport where we found the luggage there before checking in. Our flight was after 2PM and it was an easy way to go. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean ... Read More
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean view with balcony never got fixed the whole cruise even though we let the stateroom attendant know about it. Schooner bar was staffed with two competent bartenders, Oldemar and Meliza. They kept us lubricated under the Deluxe Beverage Package. The revamped menus were okay, nothing special. The food tasted okay, nothing special. Only one Tarantella that I could recall. Although, we did the Chef's Table one night which was superb! The Azores shore excursion in Ponta Gorda was a bust. The whole island was fogged in. The tour guide was kind enough to show the picture on her phone as we made each stop to see Sete Cidades and tell us that was what we would have seen. The orchestra onboard was outstanding, especially the drummer. We left Ponta Gorda and enroute to Ireland, the Captain made the decision not to put into Waterford or Dublin because of a winter storm kicking up waves of 15 meters or more. Darn, that's why we came. To his credit, he put together an informative PowerPoint presentation in the theater to explain his reasoning with weather charts, navigation charts, meteorological forecasts and the like. Everyone in attendance applauded. As a token, he offered to overnight in Cork so we could have two days there. I commend his decision in the interest of safety. We left Cork and in two days we arrived in Amsterdam. We took the shore excursion to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens with airport drop-off. Beautiful gardens at their peak, only so for a short window in the spring. But we weren't departing, so at the airport, we grabbed a taxi to the hotel where we spent two nights in Amsterdam before heading home. This was the first time in 17 RCCL cruises I've used Air2Sea to make flight arrangements. I'll just say, I am going to do so from now on with the deal we got for the trip home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was ... Read More
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was not "quite" hot in the room, and varied in temperature during the shower; the tv was mounted in such a way that it had to be moved every time we wanted to open one of the cabinets; and the hallway to our cabin smelled of urine for most of the trip. The dining experiences in the specialty restaurants were good. SERVICE in the main dining room was excellent, but the atmosphere was "off". The lights were bright, there was much hustle and bustle and noise and rushing around ... NOT the "elegant dining experience" promised throughout the marketing materials. It felt very much like being in any casual dining restaurant in the states ... even on "formal" nights. That was sad. This being transatlantic, we were looking forward to what lectures and learning opportunities would be on board. We were hugely disappointed. The "destination lectures" were all about Spain ... after the fact ... and the speaker was less than professional. There was a doctor who did a couple of presentations on aging (a very popular topic!), but he was in a conference room that was over-filled, so we were not able to actually listen to him. There was an excellent speaker on thieving ... although his presentation needed a bit more organization. With a few really outstanding exceptions, the staff on this cruise just didn't seem to have their hearts in it. The shops were never re-ordered in two weeks, so once you had been through them, there was nothing new to see ... and things stayed in the same spots throughout the cruise so it didn't even generate any interest in wandering through to see new displays. The merchandise, for the most part, is just "ordinary dollar store" stuff ... and even then they didn't have some useful items ... We were especially disappointed that my husband's "Crown & Anchor Society" status was incorrect on his SeaPass ... which meant that none of the "perks" were available to him ... and no one could fix that. It also seemed that no one really knew what was going on. For example, I went to redeem one of my free drinks ... and was told by the bartender that what I wanted was not available on the program. I argued, he looked it up ... and gave me a drink. ;-) Another example; we pre-purchased a dining package, and found that there was a wine discount after we had been there two days. Sometimes they applied it, sometime they didn't ... and no one could explain why ... There was also not enough information about the ports ... admittedly, the port stops happened very early in the cruise, so there was not too much time, but the map/handout about the port did not offer any USEFUL information, if you were not shopping for jewelry. Which we were not. We will cruise RCCL again, and hope that this cruise was just an anomaly ... Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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