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15 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did ... Read More
This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did My Dining, big mistake. I have done a similar dining on other cruise lines and it was a lot better than this ship. My advise do not do My Dining go for the set times of either 5.30 or 8.00. The food in the main dining was awful, it tended to be the same food every night with a couple of variations and it tasted like mass produced frozen food that you can get in frozen food shops. I have been on cruises before the food on those cruises were al a carte and was the best food I have had. Some of the waiters in the main dining room were awful, rude and pushy. The entertainment was diabolical, the production shows were really poor and unprofessional the worst I have seen on cruises. The cabin we had was on deck 7 and was lovely and our cabin woman Maria was lovely and nothing was too much trouble. The excursions were amazing this was the best part of the cruise. Embarkment was a nightmare, it took an hour to get on the ship which was surprising since everything is done online before hand. Once on the ship everything seemed disorganised, no clear instructions on where to go. Everyone just seem to congregate around the centrum and as everyone was sitting around with their hand luggage we assumed we could not get into our cabin as no one had instructed us otherwise. With other cruise lines this was made clear as we embarked the ship. On this ship I had to find someone and ask and this would have been nice to have found out this earlier. Our disembark was good as we had an excursion booked. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were ... Read More
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were allowed to run freely in the casino. One evening in the Champagne Bar children were playing football with a shoe. Besides the parents not doing anything I feel the crew members should have. The food in the Windjammer Café was consistently cold. Wait Staff in the Windjammer was slow. Bar Staff around the pools and in casino was non-existent. This was our 11th Royal Caribbean cruise and our 16th overall. Very disappointed with the ship and crew. I will sail with royal Caribbean again but not on this ship. We booked a 6 night excursion for after the cruise. We had NO DETAILS at all. I called in the spring and was told we would get that info on board. We got it the last night of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Called RC to book this cruise a year in advance. There were 3 couples going. Booked the flights through RC too. All three of our flights got changed before the cruise. I personally think I will book my own flights from now on. They ... Read More
Called RC to book this cruise a year in advance. There were 3 couples going. Booked the flights through RC too. All three of our flights got changed before the cruise. I personally think I will book my own flights from now on. They screwed up the return flight for my brother. 2 hours on the phone the last night to fix it. We flew into Vancouver. To go through customs was a nightmare. The lines were SUPER long. They even had the overflow lines filled up. Because we were going on a Cruise Tour to Alaska not only did we have to go through Canadian Customs were had to go through US Customs right after. Once we cleared both customs we were not sure where to go. Not enough people from Royal Caribbean to direct us. I have been on Radiance many times. We try to go to Alaska once a year. Every year the ship changes. NOT for the better. They keep changing the spaces to make room for their "new specialty restaurants and private clubs". Taking away from the places you can go and relax. There used to be a Martini Bar, gone now. There used to be a Bistro in the center, gone now. In the Stardust room on the 13th floor we used to sit and watch for whales. They took part of the area out for a private club. Now you can only see the ocean from one side looking for wild life. The buffet used to include the areas now turned into two different specialty restaurants. Less seating and less food selection spots. The dining room food had definitely gone down hill. Used to have a selection of appetizer, soup, salad, and main course. Now you have an appetizer and main course. If you order two appetizers they are frustrated. Sometimes you don't get both that you ordered. The choices are more limited and not real appetizing. My husband complained almost every night. On lobster night, he had sand in his lobster. Why they don't give you two lobster tails I don't know because they are so small they are like two shrimp. The quality of the steaks was SUB PAR. They were tough and full of fat. There were not enough bar staff for the dining room. I think we had two new guys. They tried but they need more experience. Someone needs to show they how to work more efficiently. We always get a balcony room. For some reason our room was much smaller than before, the balcony glass was hard to see through and they did not vacuum because I kept stepping on the same piece of plastic. We have always enjoyed the variety of shows they have on board. One of the reasons we go on RC. VERY disappointed this time. My husband could not get over the fact that the trumpet player could not hit the high notes. The quality of the entertainment was not good. They have had some FANTASTIC shows in the past. Cutting corners. They renovated the theater. Seats are smaller and the drink holders will not hold a martini glass without spilling. The space is so small you can not walk past anyone with stepping on their feet. RC spent a lot of time pushing their Art Shows. When we landed in Seward you have to get off the ship pretty early. In the past they have had muffins, donuts and other things to eat if you did not make it down to the very crowded dining room for breakfast. This time all they had was water, coffee and tea. I love the ports. 6 of us did the combo zip line, whale watching tour. Be careful on the zip line in Icy Strait. They tell you they will give you goggles if you wear glasses because lots of people have lost their glasses in the wind. Well they are so busy getting you strapped in and getting you going that my did not give them to my sister in law and she lost her glasses in the first few seconds. No she did not have a second pair. We had two very young men doing the whale watching tour and sorry to say they were terrible. I have gone many times and this was the worst one. They did not seem very interested in getting close enough for us to see them. I don't mean on top of them but not a mile away either. The jet boat in Skagway was a HOOT!! Loved it. But don't expect to see any wild life. You go fast and do wheelies but most of the shore is rock. You see several waterfalls up close but no real animals. That was a disappointment because that is why we booked it. I think it is false advertising. The trip to Mendenhall Glacier is well worth it. One hour is not enough time to see it. You need to have at least 2 or 21/2 hours to explore it. The walk to the glacier and waterfall is about 1 mile. Not a hard walk. My husband and brother went salmon fishing in Ketchikan. My brother caught two fish. The cost to send them home was more than the excursion. Remember that if you want to go fishing. We signed up for the Cruise Tour part of this Cruise. Won't do that again. No Communication. I believe RC passed us off the a private contractor. We were picked up in Seward by a motor coach. We had the same driver and tour guide for the three day land cruise. RC gave us very little information about the land part so it was really hard to plan financially for that part. You had to pay for your own meals, Alaska prices are high. No sales tax. You have to pay tips in cash. You didn't know what excursions were available or how much they cost until you got off the ship and got on the bus. We had a excursion into Denali National Park that came with the tour. If you wanted to go further into the park it cost you an extra $70 per person. I was not happy about that but we did pay the extra and go further into the park. It is 8 hours on a bus. It is a dirt and gravel road with spectacular views!! WELL WORTH IT. We saw 7 bears, caribou, dall sheep, and on the way back to our hotel, a mother moose and her two juvenile off spring. Best thing about our entire trip. I will not go on RC to Alaska again. I might go on RC to the Caribbean because they are newer ships that have been designed the space for all those extras. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Wanted to take MIL & SIL with us to Alaska and chose RCCL for the itinerary and cost. Wish we had chosen a route with Glacier Bay instead as there were hardly any talks at all and no rangers came aboard the ship during the couple of ... Read More
Wanted to take MIL & SIL with us to Alaska and chose RCCL for the itinerary and cost. Wish we had chosen a route with Glacier Bay instead as there were hardly any talks at all and no rangers came aboard the ship during the couple of hours we had cruising and seeing Hubbard. Hardly any humpback whale sightings from far off (only one announcement from the bridge) and a few porpoises were all we saw the whole week despite having a verandah and spending quite a bit of time looking for them. This would have been fine as animals are where they wish to be when they wish it, however the service on this cruise was even worse than the southern itinerary we took on RCCL back in January. I NEVER thought I would write such a negative post but here we are. We started off on the wrong foot upon embarkation - we were forced to go in the new cruisers line which was much longer with MIL & SIL even though we have sailed before and were on a separate reservation. Since the gentleman working the line had seen us talking to our family members he refused to let us in the gold line. The following things happened throughout the cruise as well, and having thought long and hard about it this was our second and last RCCL cruise. I apologize for the couple frivolous ones, but they added up with the biggies: 1) When we got into the stateroom several sodas and snacks were missing from the minibar so we called down to guest services to alert them to this since I was worried about being charged. They said the manager would be notified and would make sure to rectify it and not to worry. Well, I did worry, and sure enough on the VERY LAST night the charges appeared on my account. We called down and were told they would need to call us back. Waited about 20 minutes before my husband went down in person instead and had it removed. 2) There was a piece of beef on the bathroom floor when we entered for the first time. Cross my heart, it absolutely was a little piece of sliced beef right in the middle of the bathroom floor. It looked like it had been chewed on and then dropped. I chose to think it had simply stuck to our shoes rather than think about what else wasn't cleaned for us but what are the odds of that making it down a carpeted hallway to my bathroom from Windjammer? 3) The sheets had a hole in them by my husband's pillow and there was an orange stain over on "my" side of the bed. 4) Our suitcases were not left anywhere near our room, they were down the hall. We only realized this when a gentleman a couple rooms over wheeled his by and recommended we check the whole hall for them. 5) Was mostly through my shower the first morning when the cold water disappeared. I had just finished soaping up and had conditioner in my hair when it went to scalding. I yelped and turned it off which brought my husband running. He couldn't get cold water out the faucet sink either though it wasn't as hot as the water in the shower. We aren't talking a little north of hot, I mean scalding. I take 100+ degree baths at home and I couldn't handle this water. Husband called down and was told they would send someone up to check it. He went across the hall to see if my MIL & SIL had the same issue and she confirmed they did also, as it got her too but she was done anyway and had just turned it off. Whole time I'm still in the shower all soapy. We had to have my husband put water in a glass from the slightly less hot sink, wait a little and then dump it on my head to get the conditioner out. It took forever... they never did call back or send someone up that we know of but later that day we noticed a worker had a wall plate off and was welding something inside the wall on our deck. Later on we also overhead another couple saying they had a water leak in their room and were moved to another room just for the night, then they had to move back when it was fixed and cleaned up. I'm not sure why they couldn't just stay in the room they moved to... 6) Day two I finally met the stateroom host in the afternoon when he chided me for not using the little sign saying to make up the room when we left that morning. That was the entirety of his interaction with us the whole cruise - even though I made sure to say hi with smiles on anytime we saw him in the hall as we passed. My husband didn't know who our host even was until after we debarked and I told him it was the phone guy.... he was almost always on his cell phone which we assumed was his personal device as we saw him reloading a calling card frequently right there in the hall. I don't need a friendly guy, but it would have been nice to not be chided as my only interaction and even better if the room was actually clean. 7) Dining staff played the same game with dining in the main dining room as our first cruise - we chose 'My Time' again which we have now retitled 'Their Time' as we were goaded endlessly to make reservations for the following night or even better the entire cruise else suffer long waits. A waiter walked the line the first night reprimanding all groups for not having reservations, then we got it again at the podium, from the head waiter and even both servers! The line that first night was so long as we left that my terrified MIL ran back to make 5:30pm reservations for every single night thereafter right away. They need to can this idea since they can't follow through with it - we are 0 for 2 on using it. The first cruise we gave up and ate in Windjammer after the second night of being told we were coming at the 'wrong time' and they skipped the bread and plopped the appetizers and main course at the same time while dropping off the dessert menu so we could 'catch up'. 8) Despite coming at Their Time we had some issues with the drink server. They were all excellent at trying to get us to take a second roll at least FOUR TIMES every meal, but not once did they offer drinks aside from wine. "No, thank you but... drat there he went". We had to flag them down for it and either waited at least 15 minutes for tea (even iced) or didn't get it at all which happened on several evenings. The last night I requested coffee again from both the waiter (I really wanted it to show up this time) AND the assistant server (just in case) and it never came. That was the same night he gave my MIL & SIL their silverware for dessert and then was off to a different section - he skipped my husband and I. We tried to flag someone down again before the desserts came to no avail but instead we had to wait while it melted for them to find where the platter had got to. 9) Our stateroom bathroom reeked of pee from the first. There is no other way to say it. There was a loose square tile in the floor that we took out and left next to it the last morning in the hopes it is fixed for the next cruisers, and the plastic ring for the water glass had come off and kept sticking to that glass whenever I picked it up. A drawer kept sticking and was hard to open plus the door hinges were both broke. The bathroom one kept getting stuck if you opened it the whole way and we had to manually get it to release at the top and the room door had to be pulled all the way closed and pushed against to be certain it latched. Just badly maintained all around! 10) Discourteous staff. From the stateroom host to the bar tenders to the guest services staff no one seemed interested in doing more than the minimum. Bar service was especially slow and apathetic in the Schooner Bar and several locations were out of beer and ingredients before we even sailed. There were also options not on the menu, so we'd have been better off just asking what they had when we sat down. At one point we called to ask about the talks for our day at Hubbard and to see if we'd be able to get our National Parks Passport book stamped and were told absolutely, just come to guest services the next day after the speaker was onboard. Did so, just to have them say they had no idea what I was talking about which was disheartening. I tried with the speaker a little later on and he cut me off and snapped out his NO as well and I skulked away with my tail between my legs. His talk was pretty bad - he rambled little quips all over his powerpoint and clicked back and forth when he realized he wasn't staying on topic at all. He then got into it with a cruiser who took offense to a Sarah Palin joke while I waiting for him... 11) Solarium pool was 100% a kid pool. I know they say only in inclement weather when it is posted as such but please don't believe that as we never once saw a sign. In Alaska they will be in there 100% of the time and it is a LOUD place to have kids. I don't mind kids most of the time but we had looked forward to swimming/using those hot tubs and never got the chance. They were also constantly at the drink station making kid messes with cocoa and not being mindful of others who wanted something to drink - it was the only place we knew we could get cocoa and tea when windjammer was closed. 12) Very few talks on Alaska. I had thought they all had naturalists or rangers come aboard for some talks but that was not the case. A talk on the ports was just an excursion overview and another was just on shopping. They had a Canadian Mounty aboard who did talks but I wanted more info on Alaska and what we were seeing. I had REALLY expected some nature talks so I was pretty bummed. 13) We sent out a bag of laundry on the special offer day - all you can cram into a very small bag and they won't do larger items like jeans. One piece came back stained in the same orange way as our sheets. We think it is a rust stain - $35 to stain my clothing and leaving my jeans still dirty left a bad taste in my mouth. 14) Aside from endless trivia, late atrium dance parties and casino specials there wasn't much happening activity wise. We are both allergic to cigarette smoke and the atrium area and into the hallways were all really bad when people were in there gambling (almost always when the ship was in motion). It was worse air quality wise than on the Jewel of the Seas in January (which was already pretty bad). All that said, Alaska is gorgeous, our excursions were super fun (nothing booked through them) and no one got injured or sick, so RCCL did the bare minimum and I'll give them two stars. The captain did a FANTASTIC job, we got incredibly close to Hubbard and the weather cooperated when it needed to. Regardless, our next cruise will be with someone else. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have sailed with RC before, numerous times, and I have to say, I was truly disappointed in the level of service on this cruise. The trip itself was lovely, and Alaska was an amazing destination. But the cruise itself: Just ... Read More
We have sailed with RC before, numerous times, and I have to say, I was truly disappointed in the level of service on this cruise. The trip itself was lovely, and Alaska was an amazing destination. But the cruise itself: Just "meh". FIrst, the "good" stuff: ALASKA: This was an amazing destination, and each port of call was a fabulous experience. Despite the negative review I am giving of the ship, I will say that their shore excursions were flawless. We were delighted to have plenty of time in each port. While in Juneau, we met a couple who had to get back to their ship by 1pm for its departure, and were disappointed not to have more time in town. To RC's credit, we had plenty of time and space in every port we visited. We also had PRIME timing on the Hubbard Glacier on our last day at sea. We arrived at 7am, in time to see the sunrise over the glacier, and have PLENTY of viewing time before leaving the area. So kudos to RCI for excellent scheduling. Now, the more critical pieces: THE SHIP: The ship itself lacked some of the more modern features that other ships in the fleet have, such as automatic bathroom doors. Taking the midship elevators was like playing a game of "whack-a-mole". A door would open on one side of the bank, and by the time we sprinted to it, it had closed. And we were all disappointed that the ship did not have a self-service soft drink machine onboard, and those of us who count on our morning caffeine infusion by soda had to stand in line to wait for service at the bar. And yes, there were LOTS of lines. THE FOOD: The WIndjammer food was just barely edible. Most of it was over-salted, overcooked, and left under the heat lamps too long. I know that it's buffet style food, and that always presents a challenge to chefs and servers, but we've had much better on our other ships. The food and service in the main dining room was also sub-standard to what we've been used to.The individual servers were plenty courteous and helpful, but there seemed to be a disconnect between them and the kitchen. Food often arrived cold or under/overcooked. Sometimes, one person got served and then waited 5-10 minutes for the others at the table to get their food. Bar service was OK, but slow. GENERAL SERVICE: I can't quite put my finger on it, but, across the board, the service team on this cruise was not nearly as helpful, courteous or polite as we have previously experienced. Our room steward was nice, but did not go above and beyond. We had to ask for extra towels every day. I would have hoped that after the first two days he would have just done it automatically, especially upon seeing that our family of four used all the towels that were left for us. Guest services was particularly difficult this time around. There were several occasions that we had to pay a visit to the desk to resolve something, and each time, they acted as if they were "handling" us, rather than "helping" us. When we had a problem with our account (they neglected to apply a credit that we received the first day), the woman at guest services said she "couldn't" help us, but that someone from accounting would "call us back". Only when pushed did she eventually, and reluctantly, make the appropriate adjustment -- proving that her first answer was a complete lie. The education series on Alaska was truly disappointing. We were looking forward to learning as much as possible, and the lecturer that was onboard this cruise was about as dull as watching paint dry. I wish they'd had someone more vivacious. An overall observation on this cruise is that it seemed like there was some sort of underlying problem or issue with the entire staff on this cruise. Maybe something upsetting had happened prior to embarkation? Maybe the previous cruise was exceptionally difficult and they were burned out? I guess we'll never know, but there was definitely a decline in service from the last cruise we took (Bermuda on Anthem) to this one. The kids' club was just awful. On more than one occasion, they simply closed down and sent our kids back to the cabin, saying there weren't enough children there there to do any activities. Good heavens, people --- that's the whole purpose of booking a cruise with a kids club! I don't care whether there are 2 kids or 20... there should always be stuff you can do to keep the kids entertained! I would definitely take another cruise to Alaska, but would probably do so on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The cruise itself was very nice, but the state room we had was a real problem for noise and cigarette smoke. I recommend to take this cruise, but stay away from cabin 7504. I will put in a bit of detail since it was hard to understand ... Read More
The cruise itself was very nice, but the state room we had was a real problem for noise and cigarette smoke. I recommend to take this cruise, but stay away from cabin 7504. I will put in a bit of detail since it was hard to understand the details from the description given on the site. Vancouver - The cruise starts in Vancouver BC which is a great city with lots of fun stuff to do and tons of restaurants. It tends to be a bit expensive, but you can generally find something for every price range. Suggest spending some time there before the cruise. Inside Passage - This was pleasant enough, but far less dramatic than I was expecting. Living in the Northwest this was simply typical ocean and river views. Ketchikan - was not a very interesting place for me. It is a lot of tourist shops with high prices. I thought the people there were not very accommodating compared to other parts of Alaska. Icy Point Strait - Although there is not a lot to do here, it is a very nice walk from the docks over to Hoonah about 1.5 miles along the water. There is not much in Hoonah, although we did see a whale and a beautiful eagles nest. There was also a great place called the office bar there with fresh Dungeness Crab for $25 which was great. Juneau - This is where the trip really gets a bit more special. Juneau has lots of great things to do. We took a glacier flight which was spectacular. We also went up on the Mt Roberts Tram which has spectacular views and then took a bus to Mendenhall glacier (riding the blue bus over is much cheaper). Overall this was one of the better stops, but prices can add up quickly as nothing is cheap. Skagway - This is really a quite small town with nothing in particular to do except to ride the White Pass Train which is nice, but way too expensive in my opinion (may be cheaper to book outside of cruise ships). It has nice views here, but not much more. Hubbard Glacier - This was definitely a highlight of the trip. The ship spends several hours cruising around the glacier and going in circles so everyone gets a great view. It comes very close to the glacier so you can get some stunning photos. We were also lucky enough to have a bright sunny day while there and there was a lot of calving going on with the glacier which is spectacular to watch up close. Seward - This was actually a great place with lots of great restaurants and shops as well as a great walk along the shore. There is a very short bus ride to the sea life center which is included in the tour. They give about two hours to see the sea life center, and get some lunch and then leave around noon for Alyeska. Alyeska - They stopped along the way at exit glacier and gave us 45 minutes which was just enough time to do the .9 mile walk to the glacier and back. We then continued to Alyeska and arrived in the late afternoon. Included is a pass to ride the Alyeska tram which has some nice views. You stay at the Alyeska Lodge which is quite spectacular. It is about a 1.5 mile walk to Girdwood along a scenic trail on which we were just a few yards away from a young Buck Moose. There are a couple of good restaurants in Girdwood, but the hotel restaurants are good as well and highly recommend the Pond Cafe at the hotel for breakfast. Anchorage - From Alyeska you head out the next morning for Anchorage and they dropped us off at around 10 AM at 3rd and C street by the Saturday market. You get 2 hours to see the market (or whatever you choose) and get some lunch. There are a number of good restaurants in teh area, but you need to watch the time, or you can just munch at the Saturday Market booths. Denali - From Anchorage they head for Denali and put you up at the Denali Park Villiage for 2 nights. This was by far my least favorite place on the tour. If they put you up there insist that you do not stay in the 800 building as the road noise is terrible. Elsewhere it is OK. Also the prices for everything here are outrageous (sandwich for $9 as an example - lunch basket $16). Fortunately you can head for glitter gulch for a $5/person shuttle and eat there for much less, or walk across to the Thai food trailer. Denali is a spectacular park and they include a history tour for free, but if you look on line you can get the green bus in Denali for just $27.50 that takes you in 53 miles to the Toklat river. there is a free shuttle from the lodge to the WAC where you catch the green bus. We took the history tour which is free and goes in 18 miles, then took the green bus (need to reserve in advance) at 3PM to the Toklat river. Only downside was that the 3PM bus gets back at 9:30PM to the WAC so we had to walk 2.5 miles to glitter gulch to get a shuttle back to the Lodge. Need to do some planning, but this is a fun area. Talkeetna - The next morning you get up and they take you back to glitter gulch or the Deanli visitor center (your choice) and you can go on a trail or just hang out at the visitor center. You need to get some lunch before you leave there as the next stop at Talkeetna is in the late afternoon, but there are place at glitter gulch or the visitor center to get lunch to go and eat on the bus. Once you arrive at Talkeetna it is a spectacular Lodge (the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge) with beautiful views of mount Denali and spectacular grounds with lots of trails. They have a free shuttle to town, or you can choose to walk the 1.5 miles on a nice path to get there. There are plenty of restaurants and shops in town to look around in the afternoon, but the shuttle back to the lodge ends at around 6PM, so difficult to eat there unless you take a taxi back or do what we did and walk. Overall this was by far and away my favorite place on the cruise and tour and will go back if I get the chance. The next day you take the train back to Anchorage from Talkeetna which is the famous glass dome trains. This means you have most of the day to spend in Talkeetna - we went on a jet boat excursion, but in retrospect I would have rather saved my money and walked around town that spend $70/person to go a couple of miles on the river. Anchorage - the train to Anchorage is quite nice and they serve a good albeit expensive dinner on the train, but you arrive in the evening, so it is hard to avoid eating on the train. They put you up in the heart of town in Anchorage at the Marriott which is quite nice and an easy walk to see much of the city or take a tour around. The next morning you are free to go at your leisure and they transport you back to the airport irrespective of your flight time. We left at 11:59 PM so that we could see the city on our last day. The Marriott held all of our luggage so we could walk about easlily. Anchorage is a great city with lots of great restaurants and fun stuff to do. Highly recommend you take the opportunity to see everything you can while there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is our fifth cruise. Our room and the ship overall was just not up to par. Our room had several problems. The AC did not work. We needed it in Vancouver the first day and it was not working and it was very hot. The bed was ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise. Our room and the ship overall was just not up to par. Our room had several problems. The AC did not work. We needed it in Vancouver the first day and it was not working and it was very hot. The bed was terrible and very worn and the worst part of our experience. The mattress was obviously badly in need of replacement. The fridge was not working whatsoever. When we made note of this with the front desk, they sent someone to look and they said it was a "chiller," not a fridge, so things would not really get cold. Then really, what's the use? Room temperature beer in the fridge was not very enticing. There was no hot water two mornings in the shower. The water was not even a little warm. We set up room service three days in a row and received it two, and the third day, upon calling, we were told they didn't get the order. They just missed it we believe. We could not hear any announcements in our room. We would have to go into the hallway. Apparently the speaker in our room didn't work. As for service, it was good. The porter for our room was excellent and always responsive. The servers for our meals were absolutely outstanding, although they did bring me the wrong meal one night. The server caught it before I could mention it and left what she brought me and what I initially asked for and was very apologetic. We were very upset the first night because they could not find one of our bags. They finally find it about midnight the first night, although it was tagged correctly. They apparently just put it on the wrong floor. The ship is bad need of repainting and replacement of glass throughout. Hallways were nice and clean. There is rust all over the place on the outside. Shore excursions were okay, but incredibly expensive for what you got. Ketchikan was by far the most boring. There just wasn't anything to do in the town on a Sunday. Entertainment was mediocre at best. The dancers were okay, but were more like high school performances. It kept us entertained a couple of nights, but we avoided subsequent shows. Overall, I would recommend to never take a cruise on this ship. While RC might be a good line, this boat is badly in need of a serious refurb. The service and most of the people were great, but the boat is just not up to par and certainly not work the cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I have been a dedicated Loyal to Royal cruiser for over 10 years. I hope to NEVER cruise with them ever again. For starters, the entire on-line process was not user friendly. I am not some luddite and I am getting an MBA on-line. I know ... Read More
I have been a dedicated Loyal to Royal cruiser for over 10 years. I hope to NEVER cruise with them ever again. For starters, the entire on-line process was not user friendly. I am not some luddite and I am getting an MBA on-line. I know how to navigate websites, however, every single time I needed to do anything on line I had to call and have someone walk me through the process. I was never able to complete on-line check in, and RCCL refused to allow me to do anything with my minor child's check in. When I called to complain I was basically told,"sorry about your luck". And then I got on board. Our bathroom flooded every single time we took a shower. My daugher was staying in an adjacent cabin and had the same complaint. The bed was extremely uncomfortable, and I considered sleeping on the floor. The cabin smelled like mildew, and I am certain that had something to do with the flooding bathroom. The food was downright horrid. We actually LOST weight on this cruise the food was so bad. The food in the windjammer was always cold. If you wanted orange juice that wasn't watered down, it was an up charge. As a matter of fact, upcharge was the theme of the boat. We had gotten so many bad meals at the windjammer, we started going to the dining room for all meals. With every meal someone from the ship was trying to sell us something. It was like cruising with the strawmarket on board. I'm beginning to wonder if RCCL is having financial troubles. My daughter wanted to buy things from the ship's store. For whatever reason, her seapass was showing up invalid. The clerk said she would have to bring her actual credit card to complete the purchase, then charged her $50 to use it! RCCL is clearly spending all their money on their new mega ships and putting no dollars into upkeep of their other ships. The carpets were threadbare, decorative tiles were missing, the vinyl backing on dozens of chairs in the windjammmer were peeling. The ship looked shabby. Needless to say, I am done sailing with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were very excited about this cruise. My husband had been on cruises years ago when single, but for myself and our daughter, this was our first cruise. I was impressed with the check in procedure and although a little time ... Read More
We were very excited about this cruise. My husband had been on cruises years ago when single, but for myself and our daughter, this was our first cruise. I was impressed with the check in procedure and although a little time consuming, all ran smoothly. We were offered a buffet for lunch which we were told by one of the staff off the ship would be Japanese. There was no Japanese food to be seen, just normal "buffet" type food. The food itself was pretty ordinary but we didn't mind as we weren't planning on eating other meals in the Windjammer Cafe. We had arranged My Time dining. The food was fine but certainly nothing to rave about. The wait staff were friendly though. We ended up being too late for the dining room breakfast the next morning so we had to once again return to the Windjammer. The food was dreadful and we barely ate anything as most of it look horrible. We had been warned people would be trying to sell us stuff all over the place and they weren't wrong. If I wasn't expecting it to happen, I would have got quite cranky with the pushiness. We enjoyed playing trivia, the bingo was painfully slow and the mini golf was good fun. That's about all we got to do as our daughter became ill about 36 hours after getting on the ship. I won't go into too much detail, but it was at this point the staff were simply not capable. We had to cancel our tour in Ketchican, which they ended up trying to charge us for even though they had agreed not to. After our port stop in Ketchican where our daughter went downhill quickly, she was "confined" to the room. They assumed it was gastro or similar. I rang the nurse at one point to ask if I could bring her down to the medical room to get her temperature checked. I was told I couldn't do that as she was confined. I then asked if she would come up and check her temperature and was told they don't do that. I got very angry at this point. Where is their duty of care? They finally allowed me to take her down and her temperature was 40 degrees. Anything we requested was a problem for them. They couldn't understand why it was not suitable to have an incredibly sick child stuck in a room with no medical assistance. We were told "it's okay, you're not confined, you can still go out". Seriously? And leave our sick 11 year old to fend for herself? We were also unaware we could order room service as our room never had a room service menu or any other information. We were promised a room service menu at least 3 times, but never received one. We were in an interior room. It was very obvious our daughter needed fresh air. We asked if she could sit on a chair on deck 5 under the life boats (we had been there numerous times and no one goes there). We were told no. I asked if there was somewhere else we could go that would give her some air, but was told there wasn't. They eventually allowed us to use one of their spare balcony rooms for the day. It was very obvious to me that our daughter was very ill and getting worse. A doctor finally consented to see us and she was incredibly rude. They connected our daughter up to an IV (without wearing gloves which I found odd), and got some fluids into her for about an hour. They then told us to take her back to our room. I expressed concern about doing that as she was not improving, and was told by the doctor "well if you don't think you're capable of looking after your child, we can keep her here". Again, seriously? We then demanded to see the senior medical doctor, who after reviewing the situation, agreed our daughter should go to hospital. We then spent the next 5 days in Juneau hospital, where after numerous tests were conducted, it was found she had severe Salmonella. Our daughter was incredibly ill and it scares me what would have happened if I had accepted the ship's medical staff's opinion and just let her stay "confined". Thankfully we are home now and she is well on her way to recovery. From the time we disembarked from the ship, no one from RCL has been in contact with us to see how our daughter is. Their total lack of care is disgusting and I would never recommend RCL to anyone. It's possible we would go on another cruise, but certainly never with RCL. Make sure you investigate how the cruise line deals with serious medical situations before booking any cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were first time cruisers,older (62) and stayed in room 1532 ..grand suite. PRE-CRUISE As first time cruisers we had many questions about the ship,excursions etc IMPOSSIBLE to get thru to RC.After receiving multiple Emails from Our ... Read More
We were first time cruisers,older (62) and stayed in room 1532 ..grand suite. PRE-CRUISE As first time cruisers we had many questions about the ship,excursions etc IMPOSSIBLE to get thru to RC.After receiving multiple Emails from Our personnel trip consultant I spent 15 then 23 then 18 minutes on hold on three Different occasions over 4 wks trying to ask a few questions and book excursions. Finally,I chose the phone option of booking a cruise and RC answered in 30 seconds. My cruise consultant also did not respond to 2 emails and did not return my phone call after I left a message with someone in her department  GRADE F SHIP CABIN Our cabin looked great but when I booked this cruise almost 11 months in advance I asked for the best cabin that was quiet. We were under the pool deck and every night beginning around 10:30 pm to after Midnight we heard loud scratching from tables and deck chairs being moved as wee As similar noises around 6 am. We were offered another cabin...a downgrade... The cabin itself was beautiful BUT the TV channels were limited and the reception Was very poor on CNN,Golf channel and ESPN so in the evening after the days activities We couldn't watch TV. Two calls for help went unreturned and the third yielded a barrage of service...deck Supervisor,technician ......but the problem couldn't be fixed. Our shower yielded water that in a flash turned from a perfect temperature To scalding to cold...all within 30 seconds. If you were not "on guard" second degree burns were possible....not fixed. We were charged for chips and chocolate that was supposed to be free....taken Off at end of cruise but we didn't indulge after the first night as we thought We were being charged. View from deck inhibited by overhanging pool deck. Suite attendant was great. Grade (considering the cost $7400) F FOOD Windjammer...open for all meals...buffet...average to slightly above... Specialty....we dined twice at Chops Grille. I had a great steak the first time ...the second time overdone. My wife had chicken and crab cakes...two of the best meals she has ever had. Service slow ...we waited 25 minutes for our bill after we told our waiter we Were done. Cascades....main dining room...food similar to wedding/banquet ..slightly Above average. Service very slow...2 hours and 10 minutes the first time and 1 hour and 40 Minutes the second. Grade B EXCURSIONS We booked ourselves as I never got thru to RC to ask my questions. Don't hesitate to book on your own..save 10-20 percent.... The glacier/dog sledding excursions (especially to Mendenhall glacier) Are often cancelled do to weather so book the early time and hope to be Rescheduled later in the day if the am slot is postponed. Hoonah whale viewing in ICY STRAITS ...very nice..close to humpbacks GRADE A We did the helicopter ..glacier...dog sledding in Juneau....Grade A I believe all the different glacier/dog tours are very similar....all great Plane ride...land in lake....bear watching in Ketchikan...Alaska Seaplanes.....Only one bear Seen across lake from 200-300 yards..great scenery....Grade B minus Do Aman creek for bears if you can at around this time of year...book early..... Bus tour of town in Skagway...very entertaining....Grade B plus ON/OFF Easy and efficient but because of our suite status we bypassed a long line Getting on the ship..I felt guilty about it.... ENTERTAINMENT We saw 3 shows...2 singing shows average at best and one comedian...AL DUCHARME who was great but only lasted 45 minutes. GRADE C plus SCENERY Mountains with trees on shore....always in view of shore....beautiful but Not diverse and eventually monotonous. Glacier from ship....I was NOT impressed....small and just less than I expected After reading multiple reviews....I'm definitely in the minority as most people Were very taken TRAIN RIDE We took the train from Seward to Anchorage and booked the Goldstar service Where you go to a higher deck and have unobstructed views and a private but small Outdoor viewing area. Dinner not included and very Goldstar service pricey. Took 4 hours..scenery very nice but we had already seen this from the ship and on Our excursions. The chance of seeing great wildlife very small. We saw 2 moose from a distance and only for 2-3 seconds,2 eagles and some mountain Sheep. Not worth the price and delayed our getting home to Chicago by one day as only One trip per day to Anchorage arriving at 10:15 PM. ANCHORAGE We were there for one full day and rented a car and drove to the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center. We arrived at around 4 PM in time to see the feeding of 2.....1000 pound brown (grizzly) bears. Also saw elk from 3 feet away ...same with buffalo....but the best was the 2 adult Moose...almost 7 feet tall....not supposed to interact (feed or PET ) with them BUT there were Areas of tall vegetation adjacent to the fence and the moose know to hang Out there....they would put there long heads thru the fence about 9-10 inches and You know the rest...AMAZING!!!!!! $12.50 per person and was the highlight for me ( animal lover ) of the entire trip. GRADE A plus Our next cruise will not be with RC Hope this helps.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I have taken over 15 cruises so this was not a first time experience. First, the embarking the Radiance of the Seas at Canada Place was a nightmare. Three ships were sailing from the port on the same day so the shuttles ... Read More
My husband and I have taken over 15 cruises so this was not a first time experience. First, the embarking the Radiance of the Seas at Canada Place was a nightmare. Three ships were sailing from the port on the same day so the shuttles could not park in their usual places. My husband walks with a cane and needed wheelchair assistance, but all the chairs were in use. We were told that we would have to wait 45 minutes to an hour for help. We decided to walk which was over a quarter of a mile up and down stairs and pushing past huge lines of people. We finally got on board and headed for our cabin. The cabin was roomy, clean and had lots of storage space in the closet and drawers. The shower was small with only a flimsy shower curtain. Each time we showered, the water would run onto the floor. Our cabin steward, Hamden, was wonderful. He was pleasant, courteous, and kept our room spotless without intruding on our privacy. The food: this was a real disappointment. RC has definitely gone "on the cheap". We ate in the Windjammer most meals, and the food was tasteless and below par. Everything was made into a gloppy casserole with some kind of gravy. The chicken was dry and tasteless, and the pizza tasted like cardboard. We wondered who came up with the idea of a Hot Dog Grill area instead of cooking fresh hamburgers and chicken like other cruise lines. We guessed that hot dogs are cheap. The hamburgers were precooked and left in a tin for hours instead of being freshly grilled. RC should drop the Hot Dog area and install a hamburger station. One good area was the Cafe which served fresh, make your own salads. We started going there for lunch each day since it was the best meal we had. RC offers nothing special for its guests - no lotions, individual shampoo, or conditioner. They even have dropped the nightly candy on your pillow! We realized that if we wanted to eat a truly good meal, we would have to go to one of the "specialty" restaurants which are advertised all over the ship. Guests should be able to get a good meal without having to pay an extra $20-30 per person. RC costs more than many other lines, but gives less. We sailed with RC many years ago and decided to give them another try - what a differenced! Profit seems to have trumped giving good quality. We must add that the staff was very pleasant and friendly and the service was always with a smile. This made up for a lot of deficiencies. Entertainment was good overall. The singers and dancers were energetic and the shows were well choreographed. The special guest entertainers were also very entertaining. Overall, we will go back to Princess or Celebrity when cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We have recently returned from a Northbound Inside Passage Cruise to Alaska on the Radiance Of The Seas. Here are a few short notes: 1. Itinerary - The Itinerary was great. We had plenty of time in each port to do and see all that we ... Read More
We have recently returned from a Northbound Inside Passage Cruise to Alaska on the Radiance Of The Seas. Here are a few short notes: 1. Itinerary - The Itinerary was great. We had plenty of time in each port to do and see all that we wanted. We independently book excursions on our own and did not use the cruise line. In Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau we rented a car for the day. In Hoonah, we booked a whale watching trip with hoonahwhalewatching.com and this was a highlight of our trip. The Hubbard Glacier was incredible! Having talked with passengers of other ships who went into Glacier Bay, Hubbard seems to be the superior choice. The captain rotated the ship several times so all were able to enjoy the majestic views. 2. Ship - The Radiance of the Seas is very poorly laid out and the retrofit last year wasn't adequately thought through. 1. Casino - To get to the theater you have to go through the casino. I'm sure the cruise line loves this but I wasn't keen on my young teens walking through the casino. 2. Restaurants - The new "specialty" restaurants seemed to be randomly placed through out the ship. Samba, the Brazilian steak house, is at the rear of the ship behind the basketball court. There is no way to get to it without going outside(into the Cold Alaska Rain). And to get to the nearest restroom requires going outside and walking around or through the basketball court. Forget about having clean hands to eat your meal with. To get to several of the other restaurants required going through the Windjammer. 3. Room - We had a room on the Starboard side of Deck 9 (9598). The room had a balcony, a large queen bed (two twins pushed together), a sofa bed, and a sofa bed. I found the room to be more spacious than I had first imagined. The bathroom was small but adequate. A privacy curtain in the hallway would have proved very beneficial. I know many have a concern about which side of the ship they're on for the Alaska cruises. This is really irrelevant and I would be content with either side of the ship. 4. Entertainment - The nightly shows were amateurish and embarrassing. Our local high school does better theatrical performances. 5. Technology - The only reason I bring this up is RC has been making a big deal about their new technology. It seems to be state-of-the-art for 2001! Yes, I could order room service from my TV, but then again, I can order pizza from my TV at home. The system was very slow, restarted itself halfway through orders, and had a very clumsy GUI. For a "brand new" system, it was very unimpressive. 6. Restaurants - As someone who enjoys good food, who pretends to know how to cook (watch a lots of food network), and loves trying new restaurants - I was looking forward to sampling the food RC had to offer. We booked the Chef's Table package which included dinner at the Chef's Table and 4 of the specialty restaurants for $120.00. Below are quick reviews: 1. Chef's Table - Best meal of the cruise. The Chef and Sommelier were both entertaining and the food was excellent. 2. Chops Grill - I ordered a Porterhouse medium rare which arrived at the table well-done. The steak itself was thin and had not been trimmed. The next steak arrived medium-well. It was thicker and trimmed properly. I decided to not send it back for a third go. We had a long talk with our waitress who admitted Chops on the Royal wasn't up to par with the other ships of the fleet. A dining companion at the Chef's table meal who is a travel agent told us the same thing. 3. Samba - Skip it! 9 cuts of inedible meats. The best thing I had all night was an appetizer from the salad bar. The restaurant is at the rear of the ship and you must go outside to get to it. There are no nearby restrooms. The meats were all greasy and overly salted (and yes I know the saltiness level at Brazilian steakhouses is high). When the server was carving the flank steak he managed to spray everyone at the table with grease from the meat (he did this 3 times). At the end of the meal the chef came to our table and during our discussion he told us he did not enjoy working on this ship. I found it interesting the number of employees who volunteered this info to us. All I ever asked was, "How do you like working on a cruise ship?" Innocent enough question. 4. Giovanni's - HUGE Portions. Felt somewhat embarrassed about the amount of food we left on the table. All items were served family style. I am diabetic so I cannot eat any pastas (makes Italian interesting). I ordered for an entree the grilled shrimp which were tasty but nothing special. 5. Izumi - I enjoyed Izumi and thought the food was good. However, the restaurant only had 3 filled tables and it took over 3 hours for our meal to be served to the four of us. We typically waited 30 minutes between courses. 6. Rita's - To get to Rita's (and Izumi) requires walking through the Windjammer. All of Rita's food is cooked on a grill located in the Windjammer itself. We did not eat there but everyone who did said the food was sub-par. The Chef at Chef's table stated he was responsible for Rita's being added to the fleets restaurant choices but he wouldn't recommend eat there. Yikes! 7. Main Dining Room - I only ate one dinner and one breakfast in the main dining room. The quality of the food was very mediocre. 8. Solarium - Typically ate a snack/meal from the Solarium each day and found it to be tasty and fresh. 9. Windjammer - Typical buffet food. All the meats were tough and overdone. Enjoyed the salad and cheese bar. There was very little variety and the food became boring rapidly. I would equate it to a typical buffet (Old Country, etc.) on shore. 10. Room Service - Saving Grace of the ship. Nothing like having a pot of hot coffee while sitting on the balcony watching the beauty of Alaska. My kids loved the room service Pizza! Overall, I was extremely disappointed with the food quality of Royal Caribbean. Everyone I spoke with had bragged about how good the food was - I just don't see it. Service tended to be very pleasant and accommodating. I would rate this cruise with 4 out of 10 stars. If it weren't for the Itinerary of seeing the inside passage, I could not recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
BACKGROUND INFORMATION I am a 58 year old who has taken four cruises in my life. I travelled with my wife on this cruise and this was our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia. We did not choose this itinerary, just the ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION I am a 58 year old who has taken four cruises in my life. I travelled with my wife on this cruise and this was our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia. We did not choose this itinerary, just the ship as it was the perfect way for us to return to Australia from a Round-the-World trip. While this review may seem overly critical, I think it is important to report the good with the bad so that is what I have tried to do. The cruise concept was good, but it wasn't the sensation that I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. Overall, I don't think I can honestly recommend this ship. EMBARKATION Embarkation from Vancouver was smooth. We arrived at the pier around 12.00 noon and we were able to check in quickly. The process was organized but not as quick as previous cruises on which I've sailed. The staterooms were not ready until 2:00, but everyone was free to explore the ship. The Windjammer buffet was set up with a buffet lunch so most of the passengers were congregating there (it quickly became unpleasantly crowded as you can imagine). Luggage delivery was efficient; all of our bags had arrived at our cabin door by 2.15. CREW / SERVICE The crew was among the friendliest we have come across, with the exception of the Guest Services staff members. The majority were always cheerful and saying hello. Every crew member I encountered was smiling, friendly and displayed a genuine eagerness to help, with the exception of Guest Services who did nothing about genuine grievances, except to promise action - which never came! While the service was not quite as polished as, say, a Celebrity or a Holland America ship, we found it to be acceptable. Service in the dining room during dinner was slow and unprofessional at times (forgotten desserts, missing soup spoons, and very sluggish service) but overall it was average. Stateroom attendant service was excellent. Our steward quickly learned our schedule and accommodated us perfectly! ! STATEROOMS While the staterooms were dated, they were comfortable and ours was kept clean. We stayed in a Junior Suite, having been upgraded from deck seven. The stateroom itself was very spacious and met our expectation. That was until the ships engines stared and the stateroom began to severely vibrate. The cruise was for a period of thirty days and the stateroom vibrated severely for the majority of the cruise unless the ship was in port or moored. In total the ship vibrated for all the thirty days with the exception of three nights and eleven periods ranging from one to eleven hours. The vibration was so severe that we finally arranged for another cabin to sleep in as the bed was vibrating as much as two inches and sleep was almost impossible.., We took to sleeping while the ship was docked or anchored. The issue was reported to Cruiseco and to RCI Guest Services but between the two nothing was achieved until we were allocated a sleeping cabin after leaving Honolulu. Our Eighth Deck balcony suite was spacious, well laid out and very clean. We had plenty of storage space and there were lots of little cubby holes hidden all over the room. Beds had nice, crisp and fresh new bedding and were comfortable. A hair dryer was provided as was a pre-stocked mini refrigerator. The refrigerator had none of those "you touch it you bought it" sensors so you could put your own items in there without worry; this came in handy during the cruise. We also had a large fold-out couch and two sofa chairs. It was the nicest sofa I've ever had on any cruise. The balcony was adequate however there was a lot of rust and peeling paint. The balcony was equipped with two comfortable chairs and a small side table. The dividers between cabins weren't the most private either, as you can just be standing on your balcony and see your neighbors. If you peered around the side, you can see into other staterooms. I know this is an issue on most balcony cabins, but these seemed the least private of any ship. DINING Let me preface this by saying that the food on Royal Caribbean overall has vastly been improved since my last sailing with them. That being said, I still think it has some of the most average food of any major cruise line. The food in the dining room is much better presented than the food offered in the Windjammer Cafe, room service, or at the Solarium snack bar, however this was limited in choice if you were allergic to or did not like seafood. Edelweiss Main Dining Room menu in the main dining room at dinner was limited if you were not interested in seafood and duck! So much so that after the first leg of our cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii we ate in the Windjammer Cafe where the food was as good, just not presented on a plate, and the atmosphere more relaxed and friendly As others have reported, we also felt our chairs / table vibrating during dinner. We were seated on deck four and this happened on most nights while enroute to Hawaii. It didn't bother me, but it did feel like you were getting a nice massage with dinner! The cost of the wine was outrageous, with bottles of Australian wine cost as much as five times the price the are sold on a retail basis in Australia. While we all are adult enough to realize that cruise ships are there to make a profit the cost of wine was a blatant rip off, especially with all the sublime threats made concerning the bringing of your own wine or liquor on board! Windjammer Cafe: At dinner time, the Windjammer would serve some of the same items that were for dinner in the Edelweiss Dining Room. The quality was as good as that in the dining room, just not presented on a plate. Breakfast selections varied slightly each morning, but you could always find fruit, bacon, sausage, hot oatmeal, a good variety of cereal, a made to order omelette station, and a nice selection of breads and pastries. Juices were available at breakfast. ENTERTAINMENT Average! Some of the headline shows were good but overall it left a lot to be desired with repeat acts being presented that were far below average quality. While the showroom was really nice, the entertainment was on the whole the worst I have ever experienced on a supposedly First Class Cruise Ship.. There was no variety and most nights I just felt so bad for the ships entertainers. They were giving it their all, but it just wasn't very good. I guess when a ship is full of non-lively passengers; you'd expect the entertainment to be very, very low-key. SHIP The ship is really showing her age. We had a balcony cabin and the entire balcony had rust spots and chipped paint. The railing was worn and needed to be re-varnished. To their credit, Royal Caribbean did have painters and maintenance workers at work while during the cruise, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The rooms and common areas are dated. The showroom was well laid out with seats were reasonable. It wasn't a terrible ship, but it was probably the worst I've ever been on. I do not recommend choosing this ship for your trip. DISEMBARKING Very organized and reasonably quick! We were off the ship by 8.00 a.m. The color coded tag system worked great and they were very careful not to crowd the gangway, and it was fairly painless. As a nice touch, the ship had the main dining room open and the Windjammer Cafe open the morning of arrival, and it was much appreciated. We were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before our numbers were called. It was so much better than having to sit around and do nothing. Claiming our luggage was easy and fast. A taxi stand outside provides for quick travel. OVERALL This was the most disappointing cruise I have taken. Having paid almost A$17,000 for the thirty day cruise I was not pleased with the Cruiseco representative on board from Vancouver to Hawaii or the Royal Caribbean International Guest Services staff who did nothing to alleviate our stress and anxiety caused by a Junior Suite that severely vibrated for almost all of the cruise. We did receive some help from the second Cruiseco representative but the inside cabin allocated to sleep in was claustrophobic and the bed was very poor. Since returning to Australia we have raised the issue with RCI on two occasions and I must say they are consistent with their response to any grievance - THERE HASN"T BEEN ONE!!! My Wife and I honestly believe that the cruise was a waste of money and will certainly never sail with Royal Caribbean International again!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
We boarded Serenade of the Seas as Platinum members. We have been to Alaska many times, it will be our second cruise to Alaska, and we love it. Boarding was very quick. There was no one to show us to our cabin, but we found it quickly. ... Read More
We boarded Serenade of the Seas as Platinum members. We have been to Alaska many times, it will be our second cruise to Alaska, and we love it. Boarding was very quick. There was no one to show us to our cabin, but we found it quickly. The cabin was very nice and roomy with a deck. We met our stateroom attendant and he seemed very pleasant with a beautiful smile. On our first day out I went to the Spa and had a Hot Stone Massage. If you have never had one I would strongly recommend one. It was so fantastic I booked another one for later in the week. When we arrived at Icy Strait Point my husband took the Zip Line and loved it. It's very high and long so I would recommend it only for those people who don't mind heights. On the third day while we were cruising Hubbard Glacier, I fell and broke my ankle. It was no ones fault, just one of those crazy things. Our Cruise pretty much ended and a nightmare began. The ships Doctor took x-rays, taped my ankle and gave me crutches(which I never learned to use) and told my husband and I we needed to see an orthopedist or go the emergency room when we got to Juneau. We rented a wheel chair from Guest Services and talked to them about arranging transportation from the dock to the hospital or Dr. office. We were told they did not provide that service and I could not take the wheel chair off the ship. The Doctors office could not contact any of the appropriate offices in Juneau, so we were told to go the emergency room. The nurse told us she could arrange for someone to accompany us to the hospital. I said I would like that. She later called and said no one was available. The Doctor was to give us a referral letter, but it would not be ready before 9:00 on the morning we docked in Juneau. The Supervisor for Guest Services, who was very rude and condescending , finally relented and said we could take the chair off the ship but could not arrange transportation to the hospital. He said there would be plenty of taxies. We arrived in Juneau about 7:00 in the morning but could not pick up the letter until 9:00. We got to the dock about 10:00, there were no taxies. We met a gentleman, a resident of Juneau ,who was waiting with his van for crew members from our ship. The ship had arranged to have them taken to their Dr. appointments. He had to wait for the crew members and then he would take us to the hospital. This service was specifically for the numerous cruise ships that come into port every day. Our ship never called to arrange this service for us. Our ship had called a safety drill and the crew members were running late. A taxi finally came along , it was almost 11:00. When we got to emergency room we informed them we had to be back to our ship by 2:00, our ship was leaving at 3:00. We were able to see a nurse in about an hour, but there was only one Doctor working and he didn't think we would be seen and treated in time. We decided to go back to the ship and wait till we got home to have my ankle treated. We met another gentleman at the hospital that was waiting for some cruise passengers from another ship. That was his job, to escort cruise ship passengers to where they needed to go. I tried to enjoy what was left of our cruise, mostly that was eating. The menu for cabin service was very good for breakfast, we never used it for any other meals. We went to both specialty restaurants. The Italian restaurant ,with a mystery dinner theater was a disappointment, however the steak house was fantastic. The buffet area was not set up for wheel chairs, so my husband had to choose my food for me. We ate most of our dinners in the dining room, the food was very good and the service was always friendly. We went to several shows, they were okay but not great. I don't remember them so how good could they have been. Finally it was time to get ready to leave. We received three different announcements on where to go for the last morning. My husband had to go to the dreaded Guest Services again to find out where we should go. They informed him which announcement was correct then informed him they would be picking up my wheel chair the night before we were to leave. They would deliver another one when he called the next morning. On the last morning there is no service, and the chance of getting a hold of someone to bring another wheel chair would almost impossible. There was no cabin service on you last morning so how was I going to get my breakfast. My husband said he would not turn in my wheel chair, and someone in Guest Services said okay. Late on our last night someone came to pick up the wheel chair, my husband explained that Guest Services had said we did no need to. Not even five minutes later the head of housekeeping called to find out why we would not turn in the wheel chair. We are almost laughing at this point. On our last morning we went to have breakfast in the dining room, and then went to our appointed meeting place, it was not the right place. Finally we met a very nice lady, she showed us to the correct meeting room and she helped us leave the ship, get our luggage and she escorted us to the bus that would take us to the airport. There were some really pleasant crew on board. Our Stateroom steward was the greatest, the staff in the dining room, the bartender who make us our drinks and the lady who helped us get off the ship. Unfortunately the Guest Service Supervisor will always be the first person I remember when thinking about our cruise. I contacted Ms. Lisa Bauer, Sr. Vise President of Hotel Operations, when we returned home. I was contacted by two different people in her office. They were very sorry , that is as far as they would go. There is no other compensation for rude behavior by there crew. They sent a generic letter. I can’t imagine that I will ever travel with Royal Caribbean again. I was hoping they would give us a reason to try them again, a voucher for something on another cruise, or something that would be an incentive for us to try them again. They don’t stand behind what they say, so how can you trust them to care about YOU. I did find out why they kept such close tabs on their wheel chair, they were afraid we were going to steal it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
We were not very happy with our cruise. We have been on RCCL 8 times, as well as numerous cruises on Sea Dream Yachts, Windstar, Costa, Celebrity, Silverseas, Norwegian, and Princess, and this was the worst one we were on, and will ... Read More
We were not very happy with our cruise. We have been on RCCL 8 times, as well as numerous cruises on Sea Dream Yachts, Windstar, Costa, Celebrity, Silverseas, Norwegian, and Princess, and this was the worst one we were on, and will probably cause us to avoid RCCL in the future. We know things can go wrong, and we have a sense of humor, but this cruise just was too much to take. We booked a mini-suite, which was very nice, and the cabin steward was superb. We boarded in Vancouver, which went very well. The only problem is that to save RCCL money, RCCL books the distant piers (Balantyne in Vancouver). It costs us more in taxi fares. At every stop, we were the distant ship at the remote pier. Long walks or taxi fares. Other cruise lines were docked right downtown. At the poolside bar at sail away, we asked for the drink of the day WITHOUT the souvenir glass. Sure enough, we get the glass, and the extra charge for it. I asked for a refund and they said they couldn't do it. Dinner was a nightmare every night. They just couldn't do anything right. Although the quality of the food was very good, the service was very poor. We had a table for 8. We all arrived on time at the first seating. We didn't even get our main entree when the house lights came up and the staff was doing loud vacuuming around our table. They were pushing us out for the next sitting. The other tables around us, served by the same waiters had the same misfortune. We were not taking our time eating, as we wanted to see the production show. We had to skipped desert and got to the theater too late for seats to the show. When we complained to the head waiter, he kept saying he was sorry, but never did anything to help. The wait staff was pleasant - just incompetent. The same waiters did the wine. EVERY night the wine order was wrong. They would never bring us what we ordered. I would repeat the order 3 times. I'd say "White, White, White". Yes sir, White White White" the waiter replied. When we got our wine, it was Red, Red, Red. They even screwed up the charges. They couldn't comprehend that we were charged for an extra bottle of wine. I knew that they couldn't get that right, and rather than confuse them even more, we paid for a bottle of wine we didn't order. The cocktail server would take the order from our table of 8. We asked for 1 Absolute Vodka, and 3 house vodkas. They were charged for 4 Absolute Vodkas. No big deal, but it adds up. At the pier in Skagway there was supposed to be a shuttle to the end of the pier. There was none, and there was no RCCL rep at the bottom of the gangway to direct us. We found her at the end of the pier, staying dry in a shed. Most people on the cruise thought that we would see glaciers and icebergs on this trip. Every cruise has been to Tracy's Arm, but our cruise did not stop there. They said it wasn't in the itinerary. It sure was in their advertising. The production shows were excellent. One piano player in the Schooner Lounge was very entertaining. Another one was terrible - he played all songs, even slow ballads, at double to triple time, like he was trying to rush out early. When passengers complained, he was not very nice. Funny - the first player's tip jar was full, the second one was empty. Doesn't anybody on the senior staff monitor these people? We had fun trivia contests. One, however, had 30 people waiting for the posted starting time. Passengers made 4 phone calls, and were told they were on their way. After waiting for 25 minutes, we left. We later found out that the activities staff was having a meeting. They could have sent somebody there to let us know, or left a sign, so we didn't waste our time, but they didn't. We were not interested in the bingo and art auctions (Will cruise lines every get rid of art auctions?), but we heard many loud announcements about them. I realize other people like them, but it's not for us. We wanted to have a cocktail party in our room. Our head waiter (the one who apologized but did nothing) said that he would get with the chef and order appropriate hors dourves. Guess what - he didn't. We asked for a bottle of vodka from room service. They said we had to be charged $5 an ounce. That's $160 for a $10 bottle of vodka. I'll never forget the same head waiter, standing at the front door on the final dinner night, taking tip envelopes, all the time talking to his fellow head waiter, and not even acknowledging those who were stuffing his hands and pockets. Would you want him working for you? There were several other little things that were annoying, but not worth mentioning. The ironic thing is that all of the things that went wrong could have easily been fixed, and at no cost. I regret that we did not have as good a time we had hoped. I think RCCL is now going to homogenized cruising, with little or no oversight by senior staff. There are much better cruise lines out there, and I decided that those lines will get our money in the future, not RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
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