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5 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with ... Read More
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with small to no sitting. The 24 hour cafe is no bigger than a small stateroom. Selection is poor. Food quality is so-so. Breakfast foods like donuts, pastries, muffins are hard as rocks as ate the biscuits and rolls. If you are luckily and get a fresh baked item from the fresh baked station, that item is great. But the lines and people pushing to get the hottest foods is terrible. I’m in day 5 of a 11 day cruise and so disappointed. I won’t sail RC again. Food quality is so so. Some staff is friendly and fun. Spa person was nice but pushy and bad when I didn’t buy additional product. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
this was worst cruise out of 14 we have taken..when I read reviews I always say, o some people just like to complain, but regarding this ship I fully understand.first, check in was a nightmare, they took us in circles to sit us in ... Read More
this was worst cruise out of 14 we have taken..when I read reviews I always say, o some people just like to complain, but regarding this ship I fully understand.first, check in was a nightmare, they took us in circles to sit us in different places,it was the girls first day at check in desk, she was clueless what to do, took forever....got to our room, 7070 and was not what we wanted, had obstructed view balcony and when we put out the loveseat sized sofa bed, it went right into the dresser so when we wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, we either had to be long jumpers or step on my grandson, not to mention it was , I think, a safety issue, blocking the path to door. so we had the bed lowered above our heads, which made so so much noise it sounded like it would come down in the middle of the night..first night in dining room, girl paraded us around dining room because she couldn't find our table and finally said, o just sit here...never got drink we ordered or coffee..moved our table the next night and got excellent service after that. the nightmare at the pool with the chairs was horrible, I am 67 yrs old , and having spent thousands on a cruise, had to put a towel on the ground to lay and get sun....however, finally found roddericks, pool attendant, who was best thing about ship..he wound put post it notes with the times chairs were empty and took towels after 30 min,,was excellent at his job...all this within 4 days of our 11 day cruise..took concerns to front desk to carlos who just had blank look on his face and could only say, sorry....REALLY?... customs at the end was horrible, told us to be there by 6:15 a.m.and they never showed up until 7..so many angry people..no one I spoke with had anything good to say..entertainment was very lacking, had 1 good show out of 11. We met first time cruisers who were very unimpressed, I told them to try a bigger ship because they are a lot nicer..love RC but this was horrible..even little things, like getting a wake up call we never got...the final thing they said was....hope you have a better time next time...UGG this I suppose to be the royal treatment?i think not..i hope everyone who said they would write there experiences really does... only gave good review of dining because of second seating Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't ... Read More
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't work in the cabin. When the captain spoke we had to open the cabin door to hear him.The meals in the dinning room were disappointing for the portion of food was small but were very elaborate looking and very good tasting. The food in the food and services in the Windjammer Cafe was excellent.The service of the personal on the cruise were very friendly and their services were excellent.The ports and excursions were very good. The photographer in the dinning room did an awful job.I didn't buy many photos for they were poorly done. I bought the Cruise Review DVD and it was also poorly done. Some of the DVD didn't have sound and I was on the Cruise 7 days but there was only 5 days coverage. The DVD was not worth 29.99. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. ... Read More
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. (FYI-our platinum cruise with Carnival is this September, so we know what to expect when cruising.) The following commentary reflects our viewpoint and opinions organized by the “the Good,” “the Bad,” and “the Ugly.” THE GOOD Cost.The cruise was inexpensive comparatively, and it met our date requirements. We selected a balcony room (although we normally select suites), and the cost for three was somewhat less than that of our normal cruise line, Carnival, so we thought we would try RCI. Main Dining Room.Dinner was a pleasant experience in the main dining room. We selected the Carnival equivalent of “Your Time” dining, but the method involved actually coordinating the time either daily or for the entire cruise on the first day. The method was solid, because we did not queue for food. The staff was expecting us and had the table ready every evening. The main dining room wait staff was outstanding, as is typical of most (but not all) ships we have sailed. Compared to the typical Carnival food in the main dining rooms, I would suggest that they are about on par. Some of the food was (in our opinion) better (e.g., some of the meat selections..); some of it was worse (e.g., the deserts…no real equivalent of the warm chocolate melting cake…cold rolls…). Overall, our experience in the main dining room met expectations. Solarium. The Solarium was a nice place (pool, waterfall, etc.), and some of the lounges were (in our opinion), prettier than many of the Carnival equivalents. Pre-Paid Packages. RCI Pre-paid packages up front (Internet, pictures, drinks) are awesome. I appreciate not having to coordinate this on the ship. Pre-paying just makes it a done deal. Pool Table. The gyro-based pool tables were a hoot, even if they didn’t work all that well sometimes. Having a climbing wall is nice, but we did not take advantage of it. Excursion. We only selected one excursion, kayaking at Prince Rupert. Wow. It was one of our favorite excursions in all of our cruising. About three hours on the water with seals, fish, and wildlife…So much fun. Casino. The casino was not crowded. One-arm bandits were always available, and there was always room at the craps table. Drinks. The drink plan was outstanding. It included everything we needed, and there was no “counting,” which is kind of artificial with Carnival. THE BAD Herd Dining. The “buffet” was not what we expected. The breakfast food, in our opinion, was not nearly as good as the Carnival fare. The selection wasn’t totally terrible, but (in our opinion) they did not have the diversity of food types that we have seen on other ships. And coffee is “protected.” You have to queue to ask for a cup (probably due to fear of spreading germs.) We hadn’t seen this technique applied to Carnival. Specialty Dining. We didn’t try the steakhouse, because it was not as appealing to us as the Carnival steakhouse menus. It might have been just as good or even better, but we just didn’t try it. We did try the Samba Grill to do something new, and we were disappointed. The Samba Grill is supposed to be a Brazilian steakhouse. To us, the taste (perhaps quality?) of the meat was not what we have come to expect from our annual excursions to these steakhouses. Perhaps, we went on an “off night.” We don’t gorge ourselves, either, so taste is the most important factor. Pictures. We pre-paid the pictures; however, the quality was hit and miss in our opinion. During the formal night, I had my jacket open on some pictures, and my son has his closed. The prep prior to the pictures just wasn’t quite spot on. We would rather have paid more for better quality. Entertainment. We tried to stomach a show. In our opinion, the opening singer couldn’t sing. (We actually looked at each other and started laughing when he tried a rendition of Piano Man.) They also provided a former “Star Search” winner as an option. Carnival isn’t great, but it is better in our opinion. The demonstrations that we attended were silent (no commentary). For example, the fruit and vegetable carving was interesting, but it was not narrated. Some commentary would have been better in our opinion. Taste-Bar? Free Samples? On Carnival, we have always been able to sample the specialty dining at a taste-bar equivalent / demonstration. We attended demonstrations by the Samba Grill and the Asian specialty dining (name escapes me). Neither provided samples. Had we been able to sample the fare up front, I guarantee we would not have chosen the Samba Grill. THE UGLY On balance, we would have considered Royal Caribbean for another cruise if it were not for “the Ugly.” And here it is. Sewer Smell. The smell of sewer backed through the drains in the state room, an issue that we have never experienced in ~90 days at sea on cruise ships. This seems to be fairly well-documented issue for this class of ships. Here are three reviews I found that reference the issue, and there are more. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1128866 http://www.cruisecritic.com/radiance-of-the-seas-deck-plans/dp/deluxe-ocean-view-stateroom-with-balcony-e1/cc/ http://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/showthread.php?p=48422305&highlight=radiance Attempts to Resolve. The apparent “solution“ of the housekeeping and maintenance staff was to try to hide the smell with cleaner and to use “biogel.” (We were having this done routinely.) The small was sufficiently bad that we asked for a different room. None were available. We asked a maintenance staff, who came to place “biogel” into the drains. He indicated that they receive between 20-25 complaints every cruise. Wow. Customer Service. So we approached Customer Service. One of my family members has an auto-immune disease, and this was made clear to the staff. (Check out the International Medical Guide for Ships, 3d Edition by the World Health Organization for information on the toxic effects of Hydrogen Sulfide. Although I doubt the concentrations were sufficient to be of concern, why would I want to risk continued exposure of my family to elevated levels?). The Customer Service solution (which came quickly, perhaps due to the history of issues with this problem?) was to offer a 20% discount on a future cruise. We would never take a vacation again with a cruise line that has a commonly discussed smell issue and does not inform consumers about that issue in advance. Had this been a hotel, we would have checked out early. CONCLUSION I am quite sure that RCI would like to fix the issue with the sewer gas smells, but in my opinion, they have not been successful at all. Perhaps, some of their other ships do not have the same issues. That said, I would not have purchased our vacation through RCI had I known about the problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that ... Read More
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that we will cruise RC again. The following was first communicated in writing to the RC customer relations folks. However, all we got was the boiler plate, thanks for the comments, we've forwarded them to the appropriate people. Disembarkation. When disembarking at Seward, it was raining. There was an uncovered ramp made of metal that was very slippery. The staff person at the top of that gangway made no effort to warn us or assist us. As she went down that gangway, my wife slipped and fell. Hard. Two RC people saw us and no one came to see how my wife was or offer any assistance. In fact, a woman staffer at the bottom instead went to discuss the ramp with the man at the top. No effort to engage us. Pretty amazing. And when I pointed this out in my subsequent email to customer relations, there was no initial expression of concern or inquiry as to how my wife was doing. Embarkation. Our prior experience with boarding is to be greeted warmly by staff as we come on board. Welcome aboard. We are glad you are here. This time, we had to run a literal gauntlet of staff hocking various things - drink packages, dinner packages, etc. At least 4 different groups of RC staff trying to sell us something, all at extra cost. Welcome aboard indeed. IT Failures. I tried to print a fishing license from the business center. First time the printer was out of order meaning that the online charge was for nothing. Second time it printed on the 5th floor. I was on the 7th floor. But I didn't know that until I went down to the Customer Relations desk and insisted that someone come with me so they could see my problem. We went to the 5th floor business center and presto, fishing license. Another incident: when we set our alarm to get up in Ketchikan for an excursion, the alarm through the phone had not been set to Alaska time. So we got a call 1 hour early. This was a ship wide experience as all of our dinner party related the same experience. Aggressive photo team. The young woman who tried to corral you for pictures throughout the cruise was pushy and if you did not want one, she was rude and impolite, speaking in a mocking tone. Way too much marketing. We were constantly bombarded with staff trying to sell us one thing or another. Hot tubs. Yes, hot tubs. There are three on the ship. All small. And way not enough. Always packed unless you wanted to be the first one in at 7 AM. Luggage pick up. Also, when we went to pick up our luggage at the Anchorage hotel where it was delivered from Seward, we discovered it outdoors! Covered but outdoors. Dozens and dozens of suitcases. Anyone could have come by and picked it up. Completely unacceptable. As I said at the beginning, we've traveled on RC a number of times before and have been very happy. However, this was not the RC from before. The Alaska cruise is especially expensive and we spent north of $10K on this trip. At that price, it seems reasonable to expect a high quality trip. And we would not say we got that from RC. To the extent that we enjoyed the trip, it was largely in spite of RC, not because of RC. Also concerning is what appears to be a conscious business decision to flood passengers with add on options; that is with many, many sales pitches for additional cost items. We had seen this in the past but this time, it was, frankly, overwhelming and very offputting. If this is where RC is headed, well, we will move up a notch to a cruise line line Celebrity. If we are going to spend a lot of money, at least it will be an all inclusive package.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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