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334 Royal Caribbean Europe Cruise Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised with Brilliance of the Seas. The ship is just the right size for my parents and I (with just about 2000 passengers). I can't speak about the reported issues with embarkation since our cruise line transfer ... Read More
I was pleasantly surprised with Brilliance of the Seas. The ship is just the right size for my parents and I (with just about 2000 passengers). I can't speak about the reported issues with embarkation since our cruise line transfer driver got lost and we only got to the ship a half hour before she sailed. But RCL acted accordingly with taking action against the driver and refunding us our transfer money. The ship is cozy and comfortable. Not too many venues as far as options...but we still enjoyed our time. The music in the Centrum tended to be played very loud to the point we had trouble talkong to each other, even though we were 5 decks up. Plenty of places to sit and relax. It's a slower-paced ship with few activities for children. Staff was great and we had no issues with them. I would definitely sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
cabin 6298 is opposite a main cleaning storage cupboard where all the room attendants congregate. It is extremely noisy here from early in the morning and in the afternoon. I wouldn't recommend this room. The room was clean and well ... Read More
cabin 6298 is opposite a main cleaning storage cupboard where all the room attendants congregate. It is extremely noisy here from early in the morning and in the afternoon. I wouldn't recommend this room. The room was clean and well maintained. The food in the main dining room for breakfast was chaos queues out the door waiting for a seat every morning for a good 15 mins. Then table staff moaning about how many people they had served that morning. Service was not good. We gave up after 2 mornings. Main dining room evenings food was hot and good choices. Windjammer was pot luck depending on what you chose whether it was barely warm or very hot. The food was tasty though when it was hot and we never had a problem getting seated. The ports of call were good and the beaches within walking distance were lovely. I was involved in an incident in the casino while playing roulette where the ball flew out of the roulette wheel at great seed and hit me in the face. The pain was excruciating and meant i couldnt enjoy the ship activities or drinks for a few days as it also effected my neck too. Rather and be supportive Royal Caribbean made me feel like a criminal refusing access to any reports either from the ships safety officer or the casino or access to the video. At a meeting in a tiny room i was surrounded by male officers standing over me behind and to the side in front of the exit doors while a male officer sat opposite me being very blunt and intimidating. When i asked if they had ever seen the ball fly out at such speed before he said arrogantly dozens of times! So my point is why are there no signs up warning of this. It was only about 4 inches from my eye. I have played in casinos for years and never seen it happen ever. When they refused to let me see the video i asked if they could tell me if i turned me neck quickly in a reflex action to stop the ball hitting me directly in the face and thats why it caught me right on the jaw line or whether the force of the ball hitting me is what made my head jerk back. They ignored my requests for this info so now i am back i have no idea what to say to any medical people if i need further treatment. I am a loyal cruiser with RCC and a VIP in the casino. I was given no point of contact for Miami nor did any staff call my room to check on me. Beware if you have an incident as it seems you are at fault and not them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had previously cruised on the Navigator in 2016 and enjoyed it (13 Nights), despite the ship looking a little jaded in places, but the shows and the itinerary made up for the condition of the ship. However in 2017 the ship looks a ... Read More
We had previously cruised on the Navigator in 2016 and enjoyed it (13 Nights), despite the ship looking a little jaded in places, but the shows and the itinerary made up for the condition of the ship. However in 2017 the ship looks a little rougher, but the shows are identical and the staff are just not interested in being polite and happy. The itinerary had been cut by 3 port days, which meant that there was 5 days at sea and 5 days in port, on the 5 days at sea, 2 of them where crossing the Bay of Biscay, so that wasn’t great, but we knew it would be so, however we were not prepared for such a worn out mattress on our bed, which made the crossing harder, due to the mattress being uncomfortable to start with. We asked for it to be changed, only to find it had been "padded" with towels, which made the hot nights unbearable. Overall this cruise had less days, a shorter itinerary, for more money! The bar service was very slow in some areas. Could have been much better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We are mostly independent travellers who have been using cruise ships over the past 4 years to see places we were curious to see but not necessarily for a lengthy stay. During this time we have taken 15 cruises - 4 Celebrity, 4 Disney, 3 ... Read More
We are mostly independent travellers who have been using cruise ships over the past 4 years to see places we were curious to see but not necessarily for a lengthy stay. During this time we have taken 15 cruises - 4 Celebrity, 4 Disney, 3 Royal Caribbean, 3 Princess and 1 Viking oceans. I have enjoyed them all for different reasons but this one will always stand out in my memory for the bawdiness of some of the passengers. Sad to say, this was also our first cruise out of Southampton and the offending passengers were fellow Brits. If you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it looked like a booze cruise on steroids, with bad language and behaviour to match. I am sure that the vast majority of passengers were absolutely fine, and I am guessing that it was possible to enjoy this cruise without seeing any of this. Certainly in the dining room (we eat early at breakfast and dinner) and on the ship's excursions, the passengers were as unremarkable as any we have encountered on other cruises, and we spoke to many pleasant people. The cruise itself was okay, and I have only given it an average score because it did not come up to the very high expectations we had based on previous cruises, although the main reason for booking was to see the Canary islands and this was accomplished to a degree. We were very disappointed that the stay in Lanzarote was so short - 7 am to 1 pm - we should have done more research before we booked on that one. We saw most of the performances in the theatre and rate them okay to good. Darren Day was very entertaining. The cruise director did her job well enough, but really, trying to force people to shout 'Hello Clo' in unison when she came on was cringe-worthy. The enrichment programme included a retired airline pilot who gave interesting (peppered with a bit of old-fashioned sexist banter) talks. The talks were not that well attended which was pity. We had cabin 9600, a regular balcony cabin in the centre of the ship and it was fine. No complaints at all. We had the same dining room staff each evening, James and Hannah and they were just great; efficient, informative and good humoured. Mostly the food was good but I did notice more items on the menu aimed at the British which were cheaper to make. I am guessing that their food budget for cruises out of Southampton may be less generous than elsewhere. We are not foodies but even my husband commented upon the lack of chicken in the curry he had. And we are not given to ordering two entrees each! We had pre-paid for 2 coffee cards since we like good espressos and cappuccinos and have purchased them successfully with Princess. Think twice before you bother on Royal Caribbean. Firstly, who serves good espressos in a paper cup? Royal Caribbean that's who! We did complain at Guest Services and it was followed up big time, so they would provide tiny espresso cups on request thereafter. The joke was when we first enquired why this was being done at the counter, one of the baristas told us it was for 'safety' reasons. We laughed because there were glasses and mugs galore within sight. The coffee card has 15 punches. I think the dollar price was $36. A standard cappuccino was $3, so okay, if you have 15 of those you are ahead. But here's the rub ..... a single espresso is $2 and a double is $3 .... and they want 2 punches for the double! That's right, you could get 7 double espressos and 1 single for your coffee card, but if you charged to your Sea Pass card, they would have cost $23 instead of the $36 for the coffee card! Explain why that one is a bargain? My attempt at explaining why it could not be right fell on deaf ears. By the way, these exchanges with the baristas were carried out pleasantly because they are only doing their jobs and appear to work non-stop. In the end, using the coffee card was more trouble than it was worth and we had punches left over and got a refund for the second card. Tipping. I wish that they would build the tips into the cruise price for the UK market because it embarrasses me to read of the numbers of guests who have them removed. Just build them into the cost of your cruise people. Needless to say we leave ours in place and tip extra for great service. Embarkation and disembarkation was quick and easy and we parked our car within 100 m or so of the ship, and kept the keys with us. I can see that is a big attraction of sailing from a UK port. Our last cruise was into Fort Lauderdale where we were in line for 1.5 hours - although we have breezed through in the past. We have 2 more cruises booked out of Southampton, albeit with other cruise lines, so I am really hoping that this was a one-off in terms of passenger behaviour. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
There is a definite decline of RCCL cruises out of Southampton. Without sounding a snob these cruises appear to becoming holiday centres like Butlins and Pontins on board a large cruise ship. We experienced smoking, very bad language and ... Read More
There is a definite decline of RCCL cruises out of Southampton. Without sounding a snob these cruises appear to becoming holiday centres like Butlins and Pontins on board a large cruise ship. We experienced smoking, very bad language and at times drunkenness in the casino and some bars. There were also charges put on our account that were incorrect, these were corrected when challenged, but continued for 3 days. When asked that if these hadn’t been questioned would we have been charged for them. The remarkable answer was a definite YES. The ship is very nice and found the waiters to be excellent, The cabin steward was 100% however the guest relation desk was somewhat questionable in their friendliness and manner. I have to say that I have been on several cruises mostly with Royal Caribbean and have noticed each time there appears to be a downward trend in the standard which I came to expect from this cruise line and therefore will be unlikely to cruise with them again especially as I reached their Diamond standard. I have filled in the comment questionnaire outlying the above comments however I’m confidently they will do nothing about it especially as some remarks are not very complimentary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had cruised with Royal Caribbean before and liked the friendly, relaxed atmosphere on board. I agree with another post that the food in the Main Dining Room was not as nice or varied as it was last year so we ate in the Windjammer ... Read More
We had cruised with Royal Caribbean before and liked the friendly, relaxed atmosphere on board. I agree with another post that the food in the Main Dining Room was not as nice or varied as it was last year so we ate in the Windjammer most nights and that was fine and always possible to find something we liked. We try and avoid School Holidays but still there were lots of children aboard. As much as I like children, our main moan is that there is no where to get away from them. The kids have their own club, as do the teenagers but none of the bars on board are adults only (even when a curfew of 10pm is given in the Cruise Compass) I do object to listen to tired children whining at 11 o'clock at night when I am trying to enjoy a quiet drink. The entertainment on the Main promenade was exactly the same as when we last cruised 18 months ago which was a little disappointing and some of the shows (Darren Day) was also the same.The ports were lovely and we found the sun and generally had a relaxing time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I had a wonderful time on Navigator of the Seas, it has been a few years since I sailed on her so it was nice to return. Embarkation was very smooth and very easy at Southampton as always. My cabin was 6209 an inside but kept very clean ... Read More
I had a wonderful time on Navigator of the Seas, it has been a few years since I sailed on her so it was nice to return. Embarkation was very smooth and very easy at Southampton as always. My cabin was 6209 an inside but kept very clean and tidy by Imade Muliana as all stateroom attendants he worked hard. All staff were amazing and all seemed happy and again worked hard. Kristina in the Schooner Romeo and Joel in the Cosmo lounge deck 14 Edward and Elvis in Vintages again all nice and kind thanks guys. Food everywhere on Navigator was very good I took advantage of eating in Chops for the first two nights. Chops as always never seems to change to me always a great dining choice. The main dining room food was again really good for Breakfast, Lunch (sea days) and Evening Meal, Wellington and Luyao worked very hard in the evenings. The Windjammer had a great variety of food and was very good, service in there was also good. Park Café offered some lovely snacks if you had room for them. The Diamond lounge had the usual Breakfast fair and evening snacks all were very nice and tasty. As always I never get to go to the main theatre but other entertainment was very good. Clo was great and did an amazing job keeping everyone entertained. Service throught I thought was excellent and the ship was kept very clean and tidy. I went to my first Cruise Critic meet and mingle hosted again by Clo it was really good. Also the itinerary was great I enjoyed every port of call but it was so nice to return to Vigo a lovely town I think. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Third cruise with RC, as a family including grandparents in their seventies. Superb facilities for young chilldren . A disco for small children was the only thing that we missed, half an hour 7.30 ish would have been great . Service from ... Read More
Third cruise with RC, as a family including grandparents in their seventies. Superb facilities for young chilldren . A disco for small children was the only thing that we missed, half an hour 7.30 ish would have been great . Service from all the staff was very good , dining room was lovely , food excellent with lots of choice. Seven and five year old ate with us in dining room and were very well looked after. We had two cabins with an adjoining door which worked very well for babysitting duties in the evening. The sound insulation between the cabins was very good. More cabins like this please.The standard of the Kids Club was high and the children loved it , Staff were superb. Lots of activities very well organised, not just putting kids infront of a screen! This was a great holiday for all of us highly recommend this ship Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Ship excellent and loads of activities for the kids to take part in, cabin nice and ok for space for a family of four (just). Dining was excellent in the main restaurant and love the dress evenings. Love the main atrium area, very ... Read More
Ship excellent and loads of activities for the kids to take part in, cabin nice and ok for space for a family of four (just). Dining was excellent in the main restaurant and love the dress evenings. Love the main atrium area, very impressive and the shopping, I don't like the fact however you are charged for certain types of coffee etc, can't they just stop being greedy and let you have a drink, let's face it we've all paid enough!! Overall I would recommend this ship and some of family have already ere booked to go away with them again. Like with many ships the pricing for the excursions could be lower, we found that in most cases we just did our own thing and it worked out much better value, i.e taxis, museums, boat trips. To end, I would come back on this ship as we had a lovely time with the family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From parking our car to getting on the ship took less than an hour, superb. We had an Ocean View cabin, plenty of room and spotless. The ship is very big and we did get lost at times, but all part of the fun. The ship was so clean ... Read More
From parking our car to getting on the ship took less than an hour, superb. We had an Ocean View cabin, plenty of room and spotless. The ship is very big and we did get lost at times, but all part of the fun. The ship was so clean and felt like it was brand new. The food was top class, and in The Windjammer you was spoilt for choice. We didn't see the point in using the speciality dining as the food was good enough elsewhere. The entertainment was top class and there were always something to do or see. The entertainments team worked so hard. Plenty of sunbeds, no matter what time you decided to sunbathe. Yes people did save them early, but if you mention it to staff they will remove the towels. So many bars to choose from and even though all the cabins were full it never felt rammed on the ship anywhere. We were spoilt for choice and had a job to decide which bar to go to. All the staff were so friendly and helpful. Organise your own excursions the ones on ship were far to expensive. We had the full drinks package and it was a big money saver. We would have no hesitation on returning for another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this 14 night cruise for the ports of call and it was when we boarded that we realised how happy we were to return to RCI. Everything was enjoyable and the quality of service met our expectations. The staff were happy and seemed ... Read More
We chose this 14 night cruise for the ports of call and it was when we boarded that we realised how happy we were to return to RCI. Everything was enjoyable and the quality of service met our expectations. The staff were happy and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Although there are some negatives below, our enjoyment wasn't spoiled. I hate the upsell on cruises and this one was no exception but we have developed a way of avoiding the traps so we kept within our budget. And no we didn't buy a drinks package. The Cruise Director was popular although I wondered if it was right to link everything back to this one person because the team work very hard. The evening entertainment was very good. One comment though is that we think that Internet should be free of charge, especially because the tv is always so rubbish and on sea days it can get a bit boring, There didn't seem to be enough staff in the Windjammer, and it took ages to clear the tables when they were vacated. Lastly, don't get caught out by the spa. Much pressure to buy things you don't need here, I had to tell one member of staff to back off because she was telling me how much she needed the money from the commission! And they do try to entice you in with a $50 spa voucher as a prize. Don't bother, You have to spend $100 to use it. All in all we had a fabulous time and our experience helped us to get the best out of it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
the restaurant services were excellent in all regards especially when dealing with allergies. even the bars had workarounds even though there were few of them though do remember for those who have severe allergies that "CC" ... Read More
the restaurant services were excellent in all regards especially when dealing with allergies. even the bars had workarounds even though there were few of them though do remember for those who have severe allergies that "CC" Cross contamination" is a thing and is hard to avoid especially under these conditions I'd suggest bringing a liquid variant to Piriton with your times. i mean i got CC once for gluten and had to spend the rest of he day in bed unable to do anything because of some pineapple or somebody did not wash there hand ect... and my joints aches for 3 days more on top of that. now on to the packages that they offered i suggest you stick to the water one as that should be enough they have many things to offer though stay away from the "arcade" they have there it is not very good and is a lot of hassle if anything goes wrong in there other than that the jacuzzis (whirlpools) were nice i would also suggest checking out the hot room next to the sauna in the gym section. or the flow rider surfing simulator they have available. The below section is a rebuttal against the one thing i found wrong with the ship i am only saying this so save you the same fate: WARNING I REPEAT DO NOT buy there over priced pictures packages advertised as "professional" they are a COMMERCIAL people with DSRL cameras no tri-pods and no idea how to use them . Confusing the zoom part of a lenses for the aperture (the bit with the numbers) leading to smiley faces and out dated poses along with massive warping of any pictures foreground and back ground as well as slightly above subtle over and under exposing on there photos exorbitant prices. I took better pictures on my phone camera you know the sad thing is i am not over exaggerating on this part (samsung 2016 modle) on manual. which has no precision compared with DSLR camera. my suggestion take you own camera if you know how to use one to save you self a lot of money. ------ over all 8/10 would go again would not pay form pictures or drink (alcohol package or wifi) to save money good ride had lots of fun and mostly good memories Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise as my son has always wanted to see Eastern Europe. We were told to embark at 1030am which i was suprised at because it seemed quite early but were happy to go along with it. When we checked in we were given an ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my son has always wanted to see Eastern Europe. We were told to embark at 1030am which i was suprised at because it seemed quite early but were happy to go along with it. When we checked in we were given an empty folder pocket which apparently should have had a wifi code in but didnt, we should have had 2 drinks package stickers which we didnt and we got our coffee card which nobody pointed out was worthless because we had the drinks packages. on embarking the ship we found nothing really open, pools were shut and the windjammer wasnt open yet. We ate then went to see the cabin (1090). the room seemed in really good condition tbh, and i honestly didnt see any signs of obvious wear and tear. the sofa folded out into a futon which my 6ft 4 son found uncomfortable. When we got on we found no clue about setting up the wifi so just logged in presuming as we had paid this was ok. we also went to guest services to enquire about the dinner mystery show i had paid for. i said when i booked and paid i was told it was the first night. the guy assured me it was in estonia and it later changed to st. petersburg. so it changed 3 times in date, i was told there was no record of my booking twice (had paperwork on me with what i'd paid for). same with the drinks packages. until my paperwork was produced they denied all knowledge of my inclusive packages. in my opinion you should sack the entire guest services department. they dont do their job. as far as the 'adults only calm oasis to relax and unwind' pool seriously false advertising at its finest. it ended up with marauding packs of children in all three pools (apparently due to inclement weather unless adults wanted to swim before 12 (ummm excursions) or after 7 you could forget about anywhere to unwind and have a pleasant swim. the temperature outside during the day wasnt inclement, it was in the mid to late 20's which means that children could have used the pools with no bother whatsoever. and whats with the kids get the pool all afternoon thing. this seriously was a deal breaker to me, but i did try to swim in the solarium a few times, but after being jumped on (pool attendants not reminding people not to jump or dive, just staring into space), headbutted in the stomach twice by the same child, had a spanish boy literally thrown at me by his dad, was regularly kicked by unaccompanied children hanging off bridge in there i literally gave up with the swimming for my own safety. i did complain a few times, but it was just ignored. what i found inexcusable was a pool attendant singling out british people to shower before they entered the pool, whilst ignoring those from other nations who hadnt showered. i felt humiliated by this but just went along with things. we were turned away from the windjammer one day after a trip because there was no room. they wouldnt even let us in there. this meant that we had to go to park cafe and for 2 meals that day just eat snacks. this is inexcusable when there is literally nowhere else to get a meal on board. what would have been the effort in getting some hot plates and putting things like burgers, fries and a couple of other things by the pool letting those of us that wanted hot food eat something. this is a ship that would seriously benefit from splitting the pool bar in half and putting casual dining in the other half. we did try the movies under the stars the night we couldnt get into beauty and the beast in the cinema. but at night it was chilly. i know other cruise lines have crew dispensiing blankets and hot chocolate on these sort of occasions but nope, not this time so gave up. the tv on the room is basicaly 8 shows on a loop unless you want to pay $11.99 to rent a movie. although we dont spend loads of time in a room an hour relaxing always means its good to have tv. on our last day at sea we were spoiled for choiice between a movie about the turkish/armenian genocide, getting the crap kicked out of me in the pool again or going into the main theatre to see the cruise directors holidiay snaps he took in panama. really. we did laugh about the choice of movie since we had just watched a proud parade of 61 onboard nations (although they couldnt produce one union jack, but passed off a scottish flag as representing the united kingdom. so a movie inciting hatred against a nation seemed an odd choice. when we got the onboard account we were charged yet again for our prepaid internet, had tips taken twice and although the first day i had been to guest services and stated that i didnt want gratuities taken off for the dining staff as i didnt intend to eat in the main dining room it was taken off so i had over £300 unbudgeted removed from my account. on going on their facebook page and accusing them of piracy they did amend things. as far as the entertainment side of things goes i found it distinctly lacking. in the main theatre we had a maths guy, a show called velocity about music which was awful, the worst abba tribute band i've ever seen (from the pictures it looked like a bee gee / abba crossover, the cruise director and his band one night (the balancing act had his luggage go missing) and a 46 year old gymnast. we found that if you fully utilise your drinks package it makes it easier. the tribute to the musicals was stunning though. although it cost me a weeks wages the highlight of our cruise was the mystery dinner show. for families with teenagers it was so good. copious wine, nice food and we were all laughing at the end of the night. the actors were cheesy, came out with one liners totally off the cuff and made the night. the shore excursions we did were all royal caribbean ones ranging from dreadful (sweden by land and sea - boat portion couldnt hear anything then once on the bus the only thing we saw was the town hall), to absolutely brilliant estonia highlights (lovely older lady who knew so much and was mothering us the whole way round) to mega efficient (hermitage museum with gold room). and the free time in 3 places bus driver in helsinki was a real character who honestly was just as good if not better than a tour guide. on last night we had made a reservation with guest services for giovannis and were told there would be 25% off because of all the confusion over the dinner show. turned up and (what a suprise) giovanni had no record of our reservation or discount. i had also left my cabin steward tip with guest services but when i told the steward he said that he was unlikely to get it ???? honestly i really wanted to like this cruise, i had paid a fortune for things and just felt it came up totally lacking. with a bit of imagination like more casual dining, blankets for movie nights, better all round entertainment and a totally revamped guest services department this could be so much more. i had to pay a weeks wages for the dinner show, so for the date to be changed 3 times and being denied i had a reservation twice it trigged my IBS and for 3 nights i had crippling stomach pains with all the added stress. this coupled together with being headbutted in the stomach twice by children in the adults only pool i just felt badly let down for the amount of money i had paid. i would suggest anyone going on there takes copious proof of what they have paid for because you will need it. 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Sail Date August 2017
This is 4th RCC cruise. This was one area we hadn't traveled before. Glad we did, but not one we'd repeat, as we would the Venice, Croatia, Santori cruise. I agree with those who say the Serenade of the Sea is a good but worn ... Read More
This is 4th RCC cruise. This was one area we hadn't traveled before. Glad we did, but not one we'd repeat, as we would the Venice, Croatia, Santori cruise. I agree with those who say the Serenade of the Sea is a good but worn ship. Guess it's because of the size of the ports but not as enjoyable as the larger ships we've cruised on in the past. I also agree that the food wasn't as good as on other cruises. That dining service was outstanding, as always, but there were a few nights, we just didn't care for any of the the starters or entrees and had to go to the "classics" grilled chicken which we knew was good, but tiring after 3 times. The deserts were also not as fun as on prior cruises. I'm not sure if this is due to cost cutting efforts or to lack of creativity. Did enjoy the waiters and the show they provided on day 3. I would like to mention the guides during the port excursions as I didn't see an area to comment on them on the official RCC survey. The ABSOLUTELY BEST GUIDE we've ever had in all 5 cruises we've taken was our guide "group 8, Stockholm"-- on Aug 14th. I really wish I had taken his name so he would receive credit due, but hopefully his company will note this reference. He was amazing! Informative, entertaining! Was no doubt working as a guide as a supplement to his acting jobs as he gave us descriptions and history of each site as if it was a play and he was the main character. We really felt we had gone back in time and were experiencing the event! On the other end, our guide in Tallin, Estonia was terrible, Siiri from Den Ensti tours. I took time to note her name in hopes of also letting her company know how we did not enjoy this cruise. We had earphones on. She walked ahead, with her back to us, talking in a chronic "sing song" voice, like she was reading from a book. No real interaction, no energy. Several of us just took out our earphones and followed her around, not really caring what she was saying. One recommendation to RCC is to consider offering one palace tour combined with a walk around the town with free time instead of 2 palace tours on one excursion. In both St. Petersberg and Copenhagen we had 2 palace or museum tours and no free time to actually see the town. We loved the tour of the palaces but as we saw nothing else, felt we really didn't see either of those cities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. We did not participate in every event as we don’t like to be over programmed. So, here is what we did find: The food overall was very good. The Windjammer buffet restaurant was always busy ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. We did not participate in every event as we don’t like to be over programmed. So, here is what we did find: The food overall was very good. The Windjammer buffet restaurant was always busy for breakfast and on the day of the first shore excursion, there was a huge backup. Their food was good. The one day we tried Room Service was a travesty because everyone else tried it that day due to a 6:30 am shore excursion. However, we really enjoyed dinners in Reflections, the main dining room. The food was very tasty- not an unusual selection if that is important to you. Our waiter and the asst. waiter were very attentive and had a great sense of humor. We tried Giavannis (sp?). The quality of the food was not worth the extra price. However, we got a wider range of more expensive options at Giavannis. The last nights Chef’s dance was a riot. The entertainment was incredible. Topi, the cruise director, was extremely talented (comedien, dancer and singer). We would sign up for another cruise just based on his being there. The other entertainers were very talented and we enjoyed each show. We couldn’t stay awake for the late night entertainment each evening but the one we did attend was energetic, fun and humorous. There was a wide range of shipboard activities. We enjoyed the dancing lessons, the various contests and last night’s presentations. There was bingo, the marriage game, a few lectures, and more – you could have been busy from the time you got up until you go to sleep. We only went on 2 of the St. Petersburg shore excursions (see the end of this review). They were mediocre. Our goal was to explore the cities on our own and that worked for us. However, it does take more planning and the willingness to get lost. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My son and I chose this cruise for the ports. We travelled overseas from Canada to the UK. We had high expectations and were mostly let down. We did do our best to make lemonade out of lemons, but that only goes so far. Ship: ... Read More
My son and I chose this cruise for the ports. We travelled overseas from Canada to the UK. We had high expectations and were mostly let down. We did do our best to make lemonade out of lemons, but that only goes so far. Ship: Overall in good shape. We liked the layout. Cabin: Inside, deck 6, aft. No complaints...the steward slacked off...simple things were not replenished as they should have been (tea, spoons, sugar etc). Dining: We mostly ate in the MDR and the food was fantastic. Some nights service was excellent, others it was not. Giovannis was incredible. Chops was excellent. The Galley Brunch was ok, we had hoped for more lunch options. Entertainment: Lacking. Cuddy (Cruise Director) was not our cup of tea. We enjoyed 3 evening shows out of 14 nights. yikes. We are used to nightly comedy shows, better movie choices and other activities to do at night. Outdoor movie screen was poorly planned. Kids movies at 10pm? Should have been at 7pm. Kids running around screaming during the movies causes a lack of enjoyment. Pool closure issues. Compass stated 9pm, lifeguards closed solarium at 8pm. the kids pool stayed open later...but no chance of any enjoyment there with all the screaming and splashing and jumping. Flowrider was a horrible lineup each time. It should have been opened more! Not much to do at night unless you had a drinks package and got smashed in the bars. Onboard Security/Safety: Lacking. Parents on this cruise chose to hang out in the bars and just let their kids run wild. Complaints to guest services did NOTHING to stop the horrible behaviours. Packs of these hooligans would push every button in the elevators, smear food in the elevators, put furniture in the elevators, crank call cabins, throw things overboard, take over staircases/walkways, run/jump all over the ship. Several even tried to take over the adults solarium, but we stopped that in a hurry. Royal should be very ashamed that they allowed this behaviour to occur. We will not sail Royal again because of this. Under 16's should not be allowed to sign themselves out of the kids club and run free. Clearly they had nothing better to do but to cause trouble for others. And worst of all the PARENTS should be ashamed. Mind your children!!! Guest Services: Initially had a nice meeting with a man who sincerely seemed upset and sorry for the issues. He corrected the pool issue for which we were thankful. However, he left the ship part way through and the people who took over were useless. Fake apologies. They did not seem to care about the kids running wild. Then I got a letter in my cabin offering a next cruise discount and reduced deposit. We decided we would give Royal another chance by choosing a different ship/location/time of year. Apparently Next Cruise knew nothing about this letter and told me the paper was useless?!?! What?? They refused to honor the discount and deposit. We walked away upset. Guest services had nothing to say about it either. Oh well. Good bye Royal. Ports: Gibraltar- booked Inside Out Rock Tours. Awesome 3 hour tour. Cartagena- walked the city. A nice day. Barcelona- overnight stop. HoHo bus tour, private cooking class Palma- Beach day. Used ship transfer. was ok. next time will choose another beach. Valencia- we stayed on board. Malaga- beach day. easy to walk to, near ship. Cadiz- beach day. used ship transfer. was AWFUL. they shortened the day without notice, made us walk almost 30 minutes to and from the beach. Sorry, but I booked the transfer to avoid walking that much in the heat. Only 1 restaurant in sight. Were told it would be 1-1.5 hours wait for food. Had to purchase food in order to use the restroom....remember that long wait?? I do NOT recommend this beach transfer. what a waste of a day. Lisbon- private Tuk Tuk tour (Tuk Tuk Fun Tours). Amazing 3 hour tour!! A highlight of our trip!!! This may sound like a totally negative review, but we had very high expectations and Royal really dropped the ball. Not a good impression for our first time overseas. We did enjoy our trip, and we have memories to last us a lifetime. We have just realized that this is not the cruiseline for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our 8th cruise with RC and we were excited for the many ports, especially three days in St. Petersburg. Really liked that the ship spent two days in Stockholm, three in St. Petersburg and two in Copenhagen at the end of the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with RC and we were excited for the many ports, especially three days in St. Petersburg. Really liked that the ship spent two days in Stockholm, three in St. Petersburg and two in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise. Royal Caribbean usually does a good job with embarkation but the first day, the Windjammer was a mess, totally packed, no seats for everyone. Getting a nice table for My Time Dining was difficult...the dining room hosts were harried and not easy to work with the first two days. It just seemed to be unsettled for a few days... then got better. The ship is tired and in need of refurbishing. It's also felt quite small and crowded for the number of passengers. The food was just okay. Two years ago, we were blown away by the specialty restaurants. This time, after eating at Giovanni's and Chops...we felt the dining room food was just as good. The staff has been reduced and those left work very had and are tired. We may try a more upscale cruise line for our next trip.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for the Baltic capitals itinerary, which exactly matched our requirements. Most things that you would expect on a ship with 2,400 passengers was as we expected. The dining options were good and varied, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Baltic capitals itinerary, which exactly matched our requirements. Most things that you would expect on a ship with 2,400 passengers was as we expected. The dining options were good and varied, entertainments were available most of the time and of a reasonable quality, our stateroom was well equipped and matched the description in the literature, and transfers to/from the ship were well organised. The only general problem we had was the noise levels. In the main dining room (supposedly a 'sophisticated' experience), the background music was so loud that my wife and I had to yell at each other to make ourselves heard. How large groups fared I shudder to think. Also, the bass player in the band that entertained in the Centrum until midnight could be heard in our cabin on Deck 7, at the far end of the ship. This was totally unnecessary, as their audience sat only 25/50 yards from where they were playing. If loud, unnecessary noise bothers you, avoid this ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Great cruise. All the stops in the Baltic were incredible. Riga is a very very nice city, that surprised us. St Petesburg is a huge city and the Hermitage was too crowded. Peterhof was a very entertaining and educational activity. In ... Read More
Great cruise. All the stops in the Baltic were incredible. Riga is a very very nice city, that surprised us. St Petesburg is a huge city and the Hermitage was too crowded. Peterhof was a very entertaining and educational activity. In Tallin we went to the mediaval castle and had a great time with my child. Very good for grownups and children. The food at the windjammer was very fresh and good. At the Reflections restaurant food every day had its highlights. At Schooners and the bars, they are not very frienndly when you dont ask for non alcoholic beverages, but nothing too bad! The stateroom (I was in an internal one for the first time in my cruiselife!) was good. We were 4 and found place for everyone. Bathroom had everything you needed. The adventure kids club was so good that my son wanted to be all day there! We had to go and pick him up! Great entertainment for kids. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Amazing staff, food and facilities on Serenade of the Seas. Myself and my wife and two children aged 14 & 16 had a fantastic time and the children especially met some very good similar aged friend from all parts of the globe and ... Read More
Amazing staff, food and facilities on Serenade of the Seas. Myself and my wife and two children aged 14 & 16 had a fantastic time and the children especially met some very good similar aged friend from all parts of the globe and will I am sure keep in touch with them for a very long time to come - one of the main reasons why we choose Royal Caribbean in fact as we know that great friendships are built up with the younger passengers as they form groups on board via the 'teenage club' area and do not get bored as there are plenty of activities and things to do around the ship all of the time. This is our third cruise in 4 years with Royal Caribbean and the same things has happened on the two previous cruises which is great. The entertainment is great of an evening and the shore excursions and choice are extensive from short 3/4 hour trips to entire day excursions. The specialty restaurants are just amazing with service to match and we honestly could not find fault with any of the cruise. The one small and regular gripe that seems to happen each time is in respect of the Tips that you can pay in advance when booking the cruise but which we decide not to as we tip dollars throughout the cruise at the various dining areas, specialty restaurants and bars and also leave a sizeable ‘last day tip’ for the room attendant and the main dining room staff who we see most days. Even though we choose not to pay these up front it seems to always be the case that they get added in anyway on board and within 48 hours of the cruise you start to see several $13.50's appear on your room statement (we had two adjacent rooms so I saw 8 of these on the second day!). You then have to visit the Customer Services desk and they will then email the central accounting department and adjustments will then appear within 48 hours. It seem that despite specifically choosing not to pay these in advance when the cruise is booked and choosing to tip the staff yourself in cash, this request seems to be ignored on board and you are automatically charged anyway. This is an easily resolved issue I would say but it should not really happen in the first place. Just be aware of this when you book a Royal Caribbean cruise. I would still 100% recommend Royal Caribbean for your cruise provider and will be looking to book up my families next cruise with them for 2018 very shortly. 5 starts! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The cruise was amaizing. We enjoyed the entertainment staff, shows, food and most of the ports of call. St, Petersburg was amaizing. We spent two days and also took the opportunity for a night tour to see the beatifull city at night anf ... Read More
The cruise was amaizing. We enjoyed the entertainment staff, shows, food and most of the ports of call. St, Petersburg was amaizing. We spent two days and also took the opportunity for a night tour to see the beatifull city at night anf the opened bridges. Tallin, Stockholm and Riga are also beatifull, but we found Helsonki as disappointment. We loved the ship althogh is it not one og the biggest or the newest. The maintanance of the ship is good, it is very clean and looks nice, although you can find a bit of signs of rust if you look for it. The ship crew was very comitted and friendly. The ship's crew provided music, shows and dancing every evenong until late hours. The performance level of the shows and music was really impressive. We also want t mention the food large variety and high quality, althugh the windjammer restaurant was sometimes very croudy. This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean (the former one was to the Caribbean witj Allure of the Seas) and it is certainly not the last one with RC. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We've chosen this cruise for the ports of call - Baltic cities, specially Saint Petersburg and we were limited with the departure dates. 7 Night Scandinavia and Russia cruise fitted perfectly and we were not sorry. We made perfect ... Read More
We've chosen this cruise for the ports of call - Baltic cities, specially Saint Petersburg and we were limited with the departure dates. 7 Night Scandinavia and Russia cruise fitted perfectly and we were not sorry. We made perfect choice. The ship is not recent but you don't see this. She is elegant, clean, well equipped. The crew members were helpful, present but descreet. Food is excellent - choice and quality. We were having diners in the main dining room and Windhjamer caffe.Windjhamer caffe can get crowded for the breakfast when ship arrives early at the ports. We had a cabin with the balcony at the 7th deck. It was not very modern, but very specious, clean(twice a day - interesting folded towels every night - nice touch!!) and well equipped, bathroom with a shower as well. There was a wide choice of shore excursions, but we only took 1,5 day + half day excursion in Saint Petersburg and the local guide was excellent. The rest of the cities we explored on our own, since they were much smaller. Very nice first cruise experience that gave us envy to do it again in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Chose the itinerary and school holidays unavoidable so got what we expected. Ship slightly old fashioned but no where near as run down as some previous reviews I had read suggested. Staff have been cut back compared to our previous ... Read More
Chose the itinerary and school holidays unavoidable so got what we expected. Ship slightly old fashioned but no where near as run down as some previous reviews I had read suggested. Staff have been cut back compared to our previous experiences but are all very friendly and working hard to ensure everyone looked after. Only ate in Windjammer as our own choice. Food ok, sometimes not hot enough but a reasonable choice and specials changed nightly. Could get busy at peak times but always able to find a table. Joined in with the daily activities but no other activities appealed. Very family orientated (as expected) and the families we met all had a great time. Did all the ports of call on our own very easily thanks to all the advice from cruise critic reviews before we left. Rome, Florence, Nice and Lisbon all outstanding. Gibraltar was a disappointment as didn't manage to get a minibus to visit the Apes so ended up staying in town which was a bit grotty. Genoa was interesting, we ended up straying into an unsavoury part of town by accident, very near to the port and no warnings picked up in my previous research of from the ship info. Luckily we escaped unscathed. Overall an enjoyable holiday which was pretty much as I expected given the company, school holidays and the family friendly itinerary. Felt rushed in some places, will go back next year and spend a few days enjoying the ambiance and sampling local delicacies. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this because we live within driving distance of Southampton. Embarkation went really smoothly. Heard some comments that the platinum / diamond / pinnacle lines weren't selective, but the queues were quick to get through and ... Read More
We chose this because we live within driving distance of Southampton. Embarkation went really smoothly. Heard some comments that the platinum / diamond / pinnacle lines weren't selective, but the queues were quick to get through and the staff very helpful. The ship took some exploring - the promenade area is a real visual treat. Our cabin was great for what we wanted and really appreciated the balcony for some space to sit. Dining was brilliant - we shared a table with 2 other families, one of whom left after the first evening for a table to themselves. We got on really well with the other family and it was a real pleasure to sit and chat each evening. The waiter and his assistant were amazing - the assistant waiter (Manuel) kept us entertained each night with tricks and puzzles. Our main waiter, Bapusaheb, was softly spoken but really attentive and we couldn't have asked for better staff. We tried the windjammer for a few meals but eventually, after struggling to find a table for 4 of us each time, decided that we would stick to the Sapphire (MDR) for all our meals - the a la carte breakfast was wonderful as was the buffet and many days we didn't end up needing lunch, but if we fancied something the salad selection in the MDR was perfect. The nightly entertainment was great - some real surprises. We had a Queen tribute band, singers, dancers, comedians, a ventriloquist and a hypnotist on different nights and then most evenings we ended up in the Cosmopolitan bar for karaoke each evening. Our shore excursions were through cruiseexcusions.com and they were really good. We tried one of the explorer buses in Genoa (the red hop-on, hop-off ones you see everywhere) but regretted it so after that did our own thing with taxis and walking - would really recommend the idea of a taxi up the hill to wander back down especially in Malaga and Lisbon. (Memo to self - don't walk up the rock in Gibraltar on your own; get a taxi next time!) Children's clubs - our 10 year old attended the relevant one for his age (9-11) on the first night but felt it was a little 'babyish' fr him so didn't go back. My 13 year old eventually made friends with some others and did some of the teen stuff - very selective and enjoyed what they did do. Overall we felt this was our best family holiday we had had and will definitely be back on the seas at some point in the future. Some tips: We didn't get the wifi packs and really didn't feel we missed the emails. Didn't get the drinks packs either - we would have never got through $65 a day in alcohol, coffee or soft drinks each, but we did have some occasional cocktails so didn't miss out. Speaking to others, what most people do is buy one full pack and another non-alcohol pack and share depending on who wants what when. I didn't take black tie for the formal evenings as I'd read on cruise critic that most people now don't dress up. I really regretted it as most people were in bow ties and dresses on the first formal night, so I hired a dress suit from the on-board tailor for the other 2 nights and t really made a difference. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This particular cruise included a couple of destinations we had previously not visited and we wished to visit Rome again as a family. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean on Independence of the Seas. By comparison the ship did ... Read More
This particular cruise included a couple of destinations we had previously not visited and we wished to visit Rome again as a family. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean on Independence of the Seas. By comparison the ship did appear a little dated and in need of refurbishment/modernisation. We attended a number of performances in the Theatre some of which were excellent. In particular Gareth Oliver (ventriloquist) and David Knight (hypnotist) were exceptionally funny. We only used one shore excursion to Rome by train. This was well organised, on time and our guide Georgia was excellent. The food throughout the cruise was excellent but it was the level of service by our main waiter Boney (Table 427 - 8.30 sitting) which impressed the most and will be one of our abiding memories of this cruise. Ably assisted by his colleague Oshando, Boney was always polite, informative, attentive and helpful going the extra mile throughout. A very solid 10 out of 10 performance by Boney which made the every evening meal thoroughly enjoyable. We would like to pass on our great appreciation for all his efforts. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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