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327 Royal Caribbean Europe Cruise Reviews

Worse ship I've sailed on yet. We booked this for the amazing itinerary - lots of port days and only one at sea day. We booked private excursions on most of the ports - did "on our own" in Riga, Klaipeda and Fredericia. ... Read More
Worse ship I've sailed on yet. We booked this for the amazing itinerary - lots of port days and only one at sea day. We booked private excursions on most of the ports - did "on our own" in Riga, Klaipeda and Fredericia. The ship gets the 2 star rating. I found it old & out dated ( with a few exceptions in the public bars and lobby) We had a balcony on level 7. The teak railing was warped, varnish peeling, the hatch on the life boat awning was so warped and rusted that it would not close, dirt and rust and dirty or stained glass panels. Deck chairs were old, paint peeling in shower, old furniture in the Safari club. Food in windjammer was mediocre at best - better in MDR but nothing special - did have mostly good service. Had 2 servers with terrible problems understanding English. No ice machines in WJ and no self serve coffee - had to wait in line for both. No minute plan for internet - only $10 per day and up pricing. Worse stateroom attendant I've had - said hello but no other personal attention. The three shows we saw were great but other choices were not interesting - maybe because of the itinerary - Our Celebrity transatlantic had wonder entertainment every night. It felt very low budget - - this was my first and last cruise on S. of the S.! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful itinerary, and this never disappointed. However, Let me say this was not the usual Royal experience. We purchased the beer/wine/soft drink package but really was rarely able to use as pool ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful itinerary, and this never disappointed. However, Let me say this was not the usual Royal experience. We purchased the beer/wine/soft drink package but really was rarely able to use as pool bars were not opened. Had to hike over to one of the other bars to fill a soda. Didn't bother. The Adult pool was always filled with families and their children. There were scheduled hours for children but never enforced so had to endure at all times. Never any sail away music, or fun activities. Never any piano or guitar music in any of the dining rooms. Meals were average, nothing special. Dinner staff was above average as always. These men work way above and beyond what should be expected. We had the "B" team of entertainment, if you can call it that. Don't know why, but kept going to the shows, however, never improved! Imagine that! Our cabin was adequate but very small. View was unobstructed so able to enjoy. Bed was saggy and hard with 4 - 1" hard foam pillows. Couldn't move neck by day 9, so asked cabin attendant for a soft pillow. Said pillow arrived that night and was bliss! Guess my fault, should have asked sooner, however, should not have been necessary to ask! We could not get "My Time" dining so stuck with 6:00 seating, really? Tried to change but no luck. This was horrible since many nights we were not even back on the ship by that time. The lunch salad buffet on the windjammer was so sad. Never any change. No blue cheese, spinach, sunflower seeds, artichokes, olives. . .you get the picture. Ended up skipping lunch due to lack of salad bar and time of early dinner, since who needs that much to eat in such a short time. Also, never found the frozen yogurt machine Hidden well. Later, found out they actually had one. Can't figure out why all of the dinning rooms aren't "My Time"? Any way, very disappointed in Royal. Shame on you. We have recommended you to so many people and are now embarrassed. We are a few points away from the coveted "Diamond category", however, not sure we will pursue this. Looking at river cruising! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This should have been the cruise of a life time - visiting Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic states. Instead, it was an average cruise with reasonable on board comforts and good food BUT a shore excursion department probably controlled by ... Read More
This should have been the cruise of a life time - visiting Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic states. Instead, it was an average cruise with reasonable on board comforts and good food BUT a shore excursion department probably controlled by faceless folk at head office that ruined the experience. It all went down hill before the cruise left port. Having unfortunately been robbed on the Paris subway two days before the cruise started, we needed a 'local' address for replacement credit cards to be sent. Two staff members at the USA call centre told us that the contact details of the ship's Port Agent could not be determined. An email asking again for the Port Agent remains unanswered. On arriving dockside, a staff member didn't bother following up, and the Guest Services folk were determined to type up an enormous report instead of looking up the information that is published on the ships daily newsletter. It took the intervention a senior manager (who we fortunately 'stubbled' across) only minutes to provide the information and his kindness to smooth our tensions by providing a telephone to recontact MasterCard International for an emergency card. BUT - whilst we worked on replacing our credit card, we found that Royal Caribbean had cancelled the second Shore Excursion from St Petersburg to Moscow without notification and certainly no time to organise an alternative provider. Initially, we could not even find out if the money ($2000 AUD) had been refunded. We evidently were not the only ones to suffer the cancellation - just the only ones to initally pay for it and not to know about the cancellation. Others were told to book the second excursion once on board - but Royal Caribbean had no intention of running a second tour. With enormous pressure from other guests and our insistence, a second tour was indeed arranged but at a premium price. Moscow is an amazing place - we loved it! My wife and I try wherever possible to organise our own independent shore travel, but watch out for the supposed port of Riga. Riga is a beautiful city but the ship docked 15km from the city at a timber yard with no facilities (not exactly true - the port agent worked from the timber warehouse just down the road from the Liquid Petroleum Gas facility). Independent travellers had no alternative than pay for the overpriced charter buses (5km walk to the closest bus stop and there were no taxis hovering at security) Anyone returning in a taxi had to walk some distance from the security point. Of course, let's not forget the change in port at Rostock (Germany) that folk who booked direct with the cruise line had been duly notified, but if you booked via a travel agent - bad luck, no communication particularly if you had already departed from your home country (thanks a lot Cruisepilot in AU who just guessed we would find out - pity we had prebooked a rental car). The saving grace for this cruise was the hard work of the senior guest services manager mentioned above who recognised the poor situation Royal Caribbean had created and reversed the charge for the shuttle bus in Riga, and charged us only one fare for the hastily organised Moscow excursion. Royal Caribbean ran a poor show - first cruise with them, last cruise with them. I suggest that if you are an independent traveller, you should think very carefully before cruising with this company. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. The overnight in Stockholm, our embarkation city, allowed us to fly in on the day of the cruise, rather than fly in early to assure we did not miss the ship due to air travel delays. There were also ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. The overnight in Stockholm, our embarkation city, allowed us to fly in on the day of the cruise, rather than fly in early to assure we did not miss the ship due to air travel delays. There were also three full days in St. Petersburg, and an overnight in Copenhagen before disembarkation. We stayed in an inside cabin located on deck 9 forward. I found the cabin in generally good repair, clean ,and quiet. There were no creaks and rattles in the cabin, mechanical noises, or noise from public spaces above us. I could, however, hear noise from adjacent cabins. I did not feel the movement of the ship, but the seas were very calm. Our cabin steward was excellent. He made himself known to us, but conducted his daily tasks in an unobtrusive manner. He met our requests quickly - wash and fold laundry service was returned within 24 hours, toiletries were replenished when he saw they were getting low (we didn't have to request them past our initial request). I didn't partake of much of the entertainment on board the ship. I did enjoy the classical guitar player in the Centrum. And, I did pop into the theater after dinner to listen to a couple of the headliner acts - I stayed to the end of the show just once. In all, I found myself tired and ready for sleep after the day in port, cocktails, and dinner. I enjoyed playing trivia with the cruise staff. Given the port intensive itinerary there was no progressive trivia game. I used the gym every morning. Of all the RCCL ships, this gym configuration is my favorite. There is plenty of equipment on which to get a workout, there is enough space, and I like its location on deck 12 forward. Additionally, there is a locker room with proper showers, a sauna, and a steam room available without extra charge. We selected My Time Dining with a table for four. We had poor service the first night of the cruise and requested a more seasoned team to serve us the next night. This team became our wait staff for the remainder of the cruise. The strength of our wait staff could not, however, make up for the lackluster menu selection and poor execution of many of the dishes I tried. There were two nights when I requested a curry (which is always available on the ship) because I didn't see an entree that I wanted. I ate an appetizer as an entree twice. I don't want the waiter to bring me another dish - I want the dish I ordered to be delightful. The variety of menu selections and quality of their preparation is an area where I think RCCL can step up its game. Of course, I didn't go hungry! Our concierge was wonderful. He recognized us during our check-in and came over to welcome us back home (we have sailed with him before). He made us feel special and welcome aboard the ship. I like the Concierge Lounge on this class of ship because of its sit down bar. I guess I'm old fashioned that way - I like to sit at the bar with my foot on the rail. I did pick this cruise for the itinerary, but I'm not sure I liked being at a port every day. I could have used a sea day to rest after three days touring in St. Petersburg! I did not use the ship's shore excursions. I went with TJ Travel in St. Petersburg and toured independently in every other port. I appreciated the shuttles into town when the ship is docked to far away to walk into town, but think they shouldn't cost so much. I think the cruise line should provide better information about the ports to those of us that don't select the ship's shore excursions. And, I think they should be more forthright about the availability of taxis and public transportation, rather than trying to scare passengers into buying the ship's transfers to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is our 5th time sailing with Royal Caribbean and third time on the Independence, unfortunately for me the standards have deteriorated since our other cruises. I used to feel the RC cruise give a 5 star service but I would say 3 ... Read More
This is our 5th time sailing with Royal Caribbean and third time on the Independence, unfortunately for me the standards have deteriorated since our other cruises. I used to feel the RC cruise give a 5 star service but I would say 3 star is more realistic. The whole experience feels like a cheap package holiday now, yes naturally upgrades to drink packages can make it feel this way but the whole atmosphere felt cheap. The toilet system was suffering problems and the smells from the toilets in the public toilets and cabins was awful. They did say they were dealing with it but the smells did not go away. The main dining rooms are very elegant to look at but the food being served is like school dinners, it just does not feel like A La Carte, each meal comes in the same portioned out measure looking quite plastic and tasting average. The service in the main dining room was poor if only two eating, they tend to see to the larger tables. I choose the My Time dining, not sure what the use of this service is. I would go to the desk at my designated time and had to wait, whilst the opposite queue which was non bookings walked past and got seated before me ! The upgraded drinks package offered me Evian water, Budweiser and other brands however the water was a non brand Id never heard off and the choice of drinks available were not what were sold. Each time we were told they were sold out of the premium drinks that we had paid for! Then in addition to this they charge a drinks service charge , this is outrageous bearing in mind most of the drinks you walk to a bar for and not exactly waiter service. The food in the windjammer was not as good as it used to be, very repetitive and barely any themed nights like they used to have. Used to have late night barbecues, outside functions - not any more. RC has always been a little greedy on the shuttle bus charges , you dont actually get anywhere near most of the places listed. However the charges for transportation to the actual destination is shocking. We selected a water park trip at 89 dollars per person, when we got to the water park it was jammed packed with people in a queue. The tour guide spoke very little English and we asked her how we get in as surely as a shore excursion we did not have to queue and tickets were paid for. She did not know and left us stood outside in the boiling heat for 20 minutes, she eventually got us in but every time I asked her a question she did not understand. Why send her on a shore excursion to help if she cannot help. The charge into the water park was in fact 29 euro's so the price RB charge was shocking. To make matters worse when we got into the water park we had to pay for the locker, sun bed and you had to pay extra to fast tack the queues, the standard queues were horrendous and it took an age to get on a slide. Bearing in mind RB had just charges 89 dollars I would of expected the facilities in side to be part of the price. The coach trip to the water park off the ship was only 20 minutes so it is not as if the travel cost the difference.To add salt into our wounds when the spanish tour operator could not help we spotted a RC member of staff with a badge named tour guide, so we asked him the same questions he responded that he was only there to observe and could not help, he was later splashing around in the water so we must of paid for him to come in our rip off charges. I took 3 teenagers , aged 14-15. With RB you must pay adult prices for over 12's - okay I get this however the sports court organised facilities where shocking. They only arrange football tournaments for adults - strictly over 18 only. They did not arrange anything for younger age group meaning the daytime activities were poor, surely if I am paying for an adult price for a teenager the least they can do is entertain this age group. I am sorry to say I will not go RB again, the standards are not what they used to be and If I had wanted the cheap package holiday feels with pints or lagers being drunk from 9.00am in the morning I would of chosen a cheap holiday package to an all inclusive resort. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
7 of us from NJ really enjoyed HOS. We are diamond members. I did not enjoy the 2 port boarding process. It was overwhelming when the passengers boarded at the Barcelona port and it was quite annoying to have the ship essentially ... Read More
7 of us from NJ really enjoyed HOS. We are diamond members. I did not enjoy the 2 port boarding process. It was overwhelming when the passengers boarded at the Barcelona port and it was quite annoying to have the ship essentially "shut down" during their muster drill. The staff was incredibly friendly and went above and beyond to ensure we were happy. We loved the clear rounded doors in the shower which made the shower feel much larger. We had plenty of room to store all of our "stuff"-we did ask for extra hangers and robes. We missed the granola bar for breakfast in the main dining room. My son missed the chocolate chip cookies at Park Cafe (they had scones/lemon cookies). They did have the tutti-salad on the cruise day which I LOVE! I asked them to chop my salad extra which they happily did. I loved the iskate show and the aqua show (although I thought the entertainers were daring/nuts!) The 1887 ice show was enjoyable but I have no idea what the plot was. Grease was cute/fun to sing along! The comedians were funny. We did enjoy the coffee from the diamond lounge and were appreciative of their "to go" cups. We had no time to get our usual couples massage since the trip was so port intensive. We used Rome Cabs to get from the airport to the port which I highly recommend. Very professional and timely. No texting and driving and very clean vehicle. In Naples we used All Around Italy. Our tour guide was Fabrizio and I LOVE him. He had all 7 of us smiling, laughing and learning. His love of his country is infectious. He is a wonderful driver and entertained us for the entire 9 hours. He recommended a wonderful restaurant with a beautiful view. We did get a private tour guide in Pompeii which was great! In Barcelona we had a 4 hour tour with Barcelona Day Tours. I did not like this tour guide. She arrived late apparently going to the wrong port which got me nervous especially since we had to prepay a deposit. She took us to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. The day was very hot/maybe that was part of it...but I didn't find her engaging and felt like she and the driver were new and/or disorganized. In Mallorca we used Mallorca Private tour guides, booking with Alex Fraille. Cecelia was great! We loved Mallorca and she suggested a great little wine bar for lunch which had very good Sangria! Mallorca was my favorite port which was not what I anticipated. In Provence we used Provence Connection, Christoph was our tour guide. We enjoyed the provencal market but I felt we didn't have any time to walk around Cassis since the restaurant for crepes he recommended took too long. In Florence we used Joe Banana Limos. Our tour guide was Claudio. He was more of a driver than a tour guide. The day involved a lot of driving-so be prepared! We saw Pisa and stopped at a leather factory and then had lunch and walked around Florence briefly. Upon arrival in Rome we again used Fabrizio, who was by far my favorite! I am so glad we booked him twice! We stayed in Best Western, Canada which was great! I loved that the rooms were larger than your typical European hotels, having a little sitting area with a desk/couch and a great lobby with lots of room for the 7 of us to sit! We again used Rome Cabs to get back to the airport-they were early!! The Rome airport is quite inefficient and by the time we checked our luggage/dealt with VAT tax/took the bus to the terminal/ got a quick breakfast we had only 20 minutes until boarding! Trip was wonderful and we already booked our next cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Great trip and entertainment on board, we had a balcony stateroom on deck 9 which was clean and spacious enough for a ship but a little dated. Beds were comfortable and Balcony while furniture while dated was adequate for our needs. Our ... Read More
Great trip and entertainment on board, we had a balcony stateroom on deck 9 which was clean and spacious enough for a ship but a little dated. Beds were comfortable and Balcony while furniture while dated was adequate for our needs. Our room was situated half way down the corridor which was perfect location as away from noise and elevators which I was glad as if you were close to either you would experience quite a level of noise. The ship has plenty of good bars and restaurants and entertainment was very good, Food and service was excellent in all areas. We took two shore excursions with RC and they were quite a let down as too many in the group and it felt rushed. Our first stop was Helsinki and excursion was a city tour with RC and to be honest poor value for money. Our stopover in St. Petersburg we had book two day tour with SPS Tours and I could not recommend highly enough. I Contacted them by email, picked my tour that suited us, excellent communication, paid on completion of tour on second day, 14 people on our air-conditioned/Wi-Fi new mini van, excellent tour guides who ensured we were looked after in every way, supplied us with rain ponchos, water and this tour was highlight of our cruise. We ended up saving for 3 people €400 and having way better experience than other cruisers on their tours in St. Petersburg as a lot of Cruisers complained by the amount of people in their groups and the time wasted in counting and managing large groups. We were back to our ship on time scheduled each evening and had a great experience. We spent the day in Riga and did not choose an excursion as the walk to town was only 10 minutes and beautiful town to walk around and great restaurants. We took a RC Tour to resort town in Latvia and to be honest it was a pretty poor tour as the guide was extremely difficult to understand, the bus was ancient and was so sorry had not organised tour with SPS. We decided on our arrival in port to organise city tour with RC around Stockholm which took you straight to airport at end, this was 3 hour tour which included about 45 minutes hanging around waiting for passengers to get on bus and hour of driving around city, One 5 minute stop for photos and drive to Airport. Overall Cruise was a fabulous experience and would certainly repeat the experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have sailed RCI several times and absolutely love the ships, service, food, the works. We planned this cruise for a 10 year wedding anniversary trip so we splurged on a Grand Suite. We absolutely LOVED the suite and plan to stay in that ... Read More
We have sailed RCI several times and absolutely love the ships, service, food, the works. We planned this cruise for a 10 year wedding anniversary trip so we splurged on a Grand Suite. We absolutely LOVED the suite and plan to stay in that category again. However, the one drawback for this ship and others of it's size is the lack of dedicated space for suite guests on the deck in sun loungers. This was an expectation that we would have dedicated space and wouldn't have to play the game of getting up at the crack of dawn to save chairs. We leisurely went to breakfast then a meet and mingle on our first day which was our day at sea and when we went to find a chair forget it. Not a chair in sight. This really made me annoyed given the expectation of having dedicated space for suite guests that larger ships have. So basically our first day at sea we were unable to sit on the deck by the pool because we didn't grab a chair by 11am. We enjoyed the ship very very much. Our cabin looked brand new since the ship had been in dry dock with new carpeting and new furniture and nicer deck chairs on the balcony. The service was fantastic with the exception of very delayed room service one morning when we needed to disembark for a shore excursion and too early room service another morning before we even got up! I only mention it so that feedback can be given to the kitchen on timely delivery. But the food quality for room service, dinner in Tides, our meal in Giovannis table (exceptional), Windjammer and everywhere else we went was very good. Service was great in Tides every night except for one night we got a waiter who was really rude which was a stunner to all of us. Have never experienced that before for any meal with RCI so I'll chalk it up to the guy having a bad night. Abby, the bartender at the pool bar makes absolutely the BEST mojitos ever! And I can't remember the gentleman's name in Vintages who was a regular bartender but he remembered the wine I liked every single night and poured it before I had to ask. Terrific service. Our concierge Diego Tripaldi was one in a million! His exceptional dedicated service to us and our needs went above and beyond. From dinner reservations for us and friends to personal escorts off the ship to tenders in Santorini and Mykonos and on the last day of our cruise, we felt like royalty. The inconvenience of not having a dedicated sun lounge space on deck for suite guests was more than made up for by the personal escorts off the ship on port days with tenders. We had heard stories of 2 hour waits for a tender... My only other "complaint" (which is why I didn't give the cruise a 5 star rating) is with the spa. I am a regular spa person and get regular massages at home as does my husband. The spa here, while decent with the level of service, is so bent on sales that it becomes distracting, annoying and downright insulting. My husband got roped into a $75 bottle of some sort of muscle relaxant body lotion which I wasn't happy about. A month later and it still sits on our counter unopened as I knew it would. During my 80 minute massage, my therapist kept talking and talking and pointing out certain areas of my body that needed "detoxing" or cellulite treatment. I was embarrassed, uncomfortable and rather than feeling relaxed felt very self-conscious and exposed. I've been to massage therapists for years and years and no one has ever made me feel like this. RCI you really need to train your therapists to just give the treatment we pay BIG BUCKS for and lay off of the sales pitch during the treatment!!! She did that throughout the entire 80 minutes. I nearly asked her to leave in the middle to I could leave. Needless to say I did not go back and I will not go back to the spa (a favorite place of mine on the ship) ever again on an RCI cruise. Be warned. It's a full on sales pitch from the time you walk in until you leave. The final straw was we had spa treatments on the day of disembarkation because they offered a special. We entered the raffle for spa giveaways and was told that despite the form saying you had to be present to win, they had a list of people getting treatments and we did not need to be present. Afterwards when I asked if we had won I was told NO - you had to be present to win and they called 4 different people's names that weren't there before finally calling a winner that was there. Again, bad form from the spa employees. Looking to just sell sell sell and even be dishonest to get people in for treatments. Bottom line, spa experience aside, we had a great time and loved the cruise and the ship. We have another cruise planned for next year to Europe, this time with our older teenage kids. We would cruise on the Jewel again or another one in the same category or higher. We sailed on Liberty twice before and loved the ship! The itinerary was fantastic and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I decided to go on this cruise because I have been on the sister ships, Oasis and Allure. Even though I was looking forward to the cruise it did not start off well and things went from bad to worse. I booked a Balcony cabin on ... Read More
I decided to go on this cruise because I have been on the sister ships, Oasis and Allure. Even though I was looking forward to the cruise it did not start off well and things went from bad to worse. I booked a Balcony cabin on deck 8 but when I arrived at the port they told me that my cabin had been sold and I would have to go into a different cabin. They put me in one on deck 14. Little did I know that it was underneath the children's water park. The noise was unbearable. Kids running around all day and adults walking backwards and forwards at night. I asked to be moved but they had to cabins available. After 4 days they managed to move me into a Balcony Cabin on deck 6. This cabins air conditioner did not work (new ship!). It took 2 days to fix by replacing the thermostat. Without the air con it was impossible to sleep properly. The food on board was mediocre and I only went into the dining room twice. Mainly because the tables were too close to each other and the noise was unbearable. The only restaurant I really enjoyed was chops grill. The service and food was excellent. The stateroom attendants were excellent as usual. They were apologising for the problems when it was totally out of their control. After 23 cruises with Royal Caribbean this has become my last. I think my next one will be with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The ship was old. We had a room in the 3rd desk, in the room 3596 and we could not sleep at night because of the noise from the propellers, Also the air conditioner wasn´t working. They went twice to the room to try to fix it, and finally ... Read More
The ship was old. We had a room in the 3rd desk, in the room 3596 and we could not sleep at night because of the noise from the propellers, Also the air conditioner wasn´t working. They went twice to the room to try to fix it, and finally they had to turn it off because it was making a terrible noise. So we were like in a 2 star hotel. They offer a credit certificate for next cruise, but did not accomplish what they offered neither in the amount and the date of expiration. I had to call 3 times and wait on line a long time, and they still do not send me the certificate with the conditions of the one they gave me aboard. I do not like when people offer something and do not accomplish, so I decided I am not going to cruise RC again Also the coach was visible very dirty when we arrived, I had to ask them to clean it, and they took 2 days to do it Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I had wanted to try an Oasis class ship for some time and this was a perfect opportunity as it was departing from my local port.I would normally avoid brand new ships,until the teething problems are sorted out,but this was a one off as it ... Read More
I had wanted to try an Oasis class ship for some time and this was a perfect opportunity as it was departing from my local port.I would normally avoid brand new ships,until the teething problems are sorted out,but this was a one off as it is unlikely that Harmony will return to Southampton. The boarding process was the fastest and easiest I have ever experienced,as soon as we got out of the taxi there was a porter waiting to take the cases away,a short walk into reception,lots of people with I Pads waiting to check your paperwork/passports take your photograph,and that was it,from getting out of the cab to being on the ship,about 15 minutes,brilliant. We had a nice cabin ( junior suite deck 9 ) spacious,shower over bath,walk in closet , good sized balcony.Although we had a sofa and 2 chairs,if we had wanted to eat in the cabin,the table was too small for 2 people to sit at.The coffee machine in the cabin had a faulty switch, in order to make it work I had to hold it down all the time,as it was it didn't matter,because the filters were the wrong size for the machine,and leaked water everywhere.I would have thought this problem would have been noticed on the 'shakedown' cruises, and the correct size filters obtained.Only other minor gripe,small safe,big enough for money/passports etc,but no good for laptops or large cameras. We prefer to eat in the self service restaurants so I can't comment on the other dining options as we never used them.We used the windjammer most of the time,very impressed with the choice and quality,no complaints. The entertainment was very good,something for all tastes,the ice show was excellent,the sound levels in the main theatre need a bit of tweaking,I'm a bit deaf and could not hear some of the talking,but when the singers hit the high notes it was painfully loud,I wasn't the only one with my fingers in my ears. For those with children there seemed to be plenty to keep them occupied. There were 2 stops ,Vigo and Malaga on the way to Barcelona and we did not take any of the excursions,did our thing,hop on hop off buses etc. If you like to read a book on holiday,bring your own,or an e reader ,as the choice of books is tiny,(we have at least twice as many at home). The only other (usual) gripe with RCI is the over priced drinks,you don't have to buy them,and I didn't buy any,but looking round the ship it was noticeably how few people were buying drinks. The so called ' ultimate drinks package' at $67 per day, doesn't cover everything ,in contrast Fred Olsen cruise line charge little more than that per week. To sum up it was enjoyable ,would I go on one again? maybe,I prefer cruises of 2 weeks or more. The disembarking process was slow ,not because of any fault of RCI,but the port staff need to sort out a way getting people into taxis quicker,no shortage of cabs,(there are more than 10000 in Barcelona) but we had to queue for more than an hour to get in a cab,not good enough. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the innagural cruise for the Harmony of the Seas from Southampton England to Barcelona Spain. We have been on the Oasis of the Seas so there was a familiarity with the ship. The Harmony was nothing less than amazing all around. ... Read More
This was the innagural cruise for the Harmony of the Seas from Southampton England to Barcelona Spain. We have been on the Oasis of the Seas so there was a familiarity with the ship. The Harmony was nothing less than amazing all around. We had no issues whatsoever. Service was top notch all around. Our cabin steward was awesome as was our MDR waiter and beverage waitress. We really loved the new cabins, especially the layout and built in USB ports. The cabin layout was substantially more functional than the Oasis and a bit larger too. The Royal IQ app was good, but has potential to be great. I do miss the printed coupon books at our level vs the promotions being on the Sea card. We did buy the RFID bracelets only to find that in too many places on the ship you take to take it off to be scanned. We are from the US and the ship was tailored to customers from the UK. What that means is that cream or 1/2 n 1/2 for the coffee was only available in the dining room. Sorry, cant drink coffee with milk. The food in the MDR was quite good and we did dine at Chops and Jaime Oliver's. Chops was disappointing. Jaime Olivers was excellent, but still not has good as Portofino's on the Oasis. We also did a French wine tasting that was very good. Entertainment was good, especially loved the 80's night and the band was amazing. I believe that we had 5200-5400 people onboard but never really felt crowded, Ports of call included Vigo and Malaga Spain and we enjoyed both. I still give the ship, cruise, entertainment and crew 5 stars because they truly went out of the way for the guests. This was a winner. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first ever cruise. What appealed to us was the mix of days at sea, together with the variety of ports. We also did not want one of the very large ships. Embarkation went very smoothly, getting on around 11.30 in the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. What appealed to us was the mix of days at sea, together with the variety of ports. We also did not want one of the very large ships. Embarkation went very smoothly, getting on around 11.30 in the morning. Our cabin (deluxe balcony) was available at 1pm and we quickly unpacked. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Cases fitted easily under the bed. We had taken two bottles of wine on board and were able to store them in the mini-bar. With no preconceptions we were very impressed by the ship. It was absolutely full but yet did not seem overcrowded. We had chosen My Time Dining and just turned up whenever we felt like it, although it eventually ended up with a drink in the Schooner Bar at around 8pm and then onto the dining room. This way we were not on the same table with the same people for 12 nights. We ate only one breakfast in the Minstrel dining room which was fine and all the other times in the Windjammer – whilst it was very crowded we always managed to find somewhere to sit and the food was fine. I also enjoyed the Park Cafe which was great for a snack in the afternoon. We had not taken a drinks package and don’t drink that much – just a beer before dinner and a bottle of wine at dinner between the two of us. No point taking the drinks package for both of us and a 2 for 1 offer was not available. The wine prices were exorbitant. We attended most of the shows and most were great. The Tango dancers, visual comedy and magician. The only dud was the solo singer. The back street Beatles were just about ok. Internet prices were also exorbitant and we just logged on in port. I did quite a bit of sunbathing and i always found somewhere to lie. Best was on deck 12 away from the noise around the main pool and easy to slip into the solarium for a quick dip to cool off. Ports: Nice – we had spent a week in Nice a few years back so hired a car and went to have lunch with some friends in Provence. Had to take the train service from Villefranche into Nice – poor service and we lost 40 minutes by just missing a train so worth checking timetables. Athens – All we wished to see was the Acropolis. Caught the X80 from just outside the port entrance and this worked very well, although the instructions given as to where to stand to catch the bus were contradictory and had us crossing the road several times! In the end the bus stops at the stops on both sides of the road so it doesn’t matter. You’d think the guy who spends hours in the booth selling the bus tickets would know this. If you are over 65 you get a discount entrance ticket to the Acropolis. Kushadasi – this was the only time we took a ship’s excursion as we thought they were way overpriced. Tour took us to Ephesus which was great, to Sirince which was a waste of time (fruit wine tasting and shopping bizarre and carpet weaving which was great other than the hard sell.) Mykonos – took the sea bus for 2 euros and went to Delos which was interesting. For 10 euros each we had a guide. Salerno – took the train to Pompeii and a local guide. Rome – we had both been there before so just went to the town. Livorno – did not want to do Florence in a day so took the train to Lucca, a walled Tuscan town. Excellent. Royal Carribbean lives up to its reputation for the value initial price coupled with expensive drinks, shore excursions, internet, spa etc and lots of hard sell of shop stuff. If you can show discipline then fine but costs could easily run away and then you may as well go 6 star. Biggest downside was the dress code – guided by the instructions online, I packed a jacket, pants, shoes, shirt and tie for the so called 2 semi –formal nights which did not occur. Enough people had brought a dinner jacket for the two formal nights to make it worthwhile. Dress code for casual nights was way too informal with guests wearing shorts and slops into the main dining room – dumbed down for sure. Lectures: The lecturer was inspiring and very fluent and good. I asked her whether it was being recorded as I would have liked to have watched it again. But it had not been recorded, and one can’t help but wonder whether this was because there’s no money in it for Royal Caribbean! Lastly we met some very nice people with whom we shared several dinners. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We have been wanting to go on Oasis of the Seas and hand to got round to it, so when The Harmony of the Seas released it was sailing from Southampton we couldn't wait to book it. Prior to going we had booked the drinks packages ... Read More
We have been wanting to go on Oasis of the Seas and hand to got round to it, so when The Harmony of the Seas released it was sailing from Southampton we couldn't wait to book it. Prior to going we had booked the drinks packages for our family but was unable to book for our son who was 20 and Royal Caribbean usually make you sign a waver for people under 21, this proved very difficult as the web site wouldn't allow us to so I rang them to be told we would have to organise this when we got onto the ship. When we arrived at Southampton we embarked the ship very quickly and soon realised as we boarded that the ship had not been fully finished. We had taken a group of non cruisers and had raved about how good this cruise was going to be. So you can imagine our disappointment. We went straight to Guest Relations to sort out the waiver to be told that Royal Caribbean has stopped doing waivers over 3 years ago on Europian hols. I explained that that wasn't what R C said on there website and when I phoned. The lady just dist us and went to move onto next person, which I thought was rude. We then went to the Windjammer cafe for Lunch and it wasn't open, when it did open there wasn't many staff to clear tables and help, so tables loaded with plates and not very clean. The Windjammer isn't as big as on other ships and the choice not as good. Food tepid so not an enjoyable experience. The room was deck 12 and was very comfortable and clean , the room assistant very helpful. Toilet was a bit temperamental but worked not like some of the guests rooms. We ate in the American Icon which was very cramped and our waiter was very helpful , food not as good as on other RC ships. One of our group had a bit of elastic string which ties the chicken legs in his food X waiter and head waiter very apologetic, took our room no but nothing else done about it. Food again tepid warm. But of good standard. Drinks waiter was brilliant and drinks flowed throughout the trip. Al a carte breakfast very slow , things forgotten and some things didn't arrive, day 2 breakfast took 1 1/2 and we gave up. There were lots of iPads around the ship allowing you to check out ship activities and entertainment, prior to coming we had tried to book shows but again website would allow us, and on checking on th first night realised we could pre book the shows but unfortunately some had already been filled, the ice show and comedy club, and as our group was 14 of us it took ages to keep adding next guest. When I approached a RC Helper he just said that's how it is a you just have to get on with it, again not very helpful. I suggest anyone doing it try to pre book before cruise or do it as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. There were not enough drink waiters around the ship to fulfill you needs and some of the bar staff and very miserable and not happy and friendly, so long waits for drink and on one occasion no drink. Really not a good advert when you have a drinks package. The ship had lots of areas that were unfinished and paint and glue marks all over the new floors, some floors not even finished especially around the jogging track. On day 3 at sea workmen were working to repair and put up things and areas shut off, the ship was full so again not satisfactory. Boxes of parts and bits of equipment dotted about needing to be put up. Work in progress. Grease was fantastic and worth the hassle of trying to book it. The silent disco was great fun highly recommend that. The Abys slide was cool, only 1 water slide was working , and the aqua theatre show was cancelled. I think once the ship has tweaked it's problems and got everything working it should be a great ship. But for us going on a ship with work in progress was not on and RC should of made people aware of it prior to arriving at the port Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
When booking this cruise it was advertised as a ' 3 Night Short Getaway' to Cherbourg and back, we were aware it was one of the ship's first ever cruises but at no point were we told that this cruise was 'pre ... Read More
When booking this cruise it was advertised as a ' 3 Night Short Getaway' to Cherbourg and back, we were aware it was one of the ship's first ever cruises but at no point were we told that this cruise was 'pre inaugural' and we were never advised that there may not be all facilities available and that their was a possibility of building work still going on. We got off lucky with the building works and had nothing like the poor guests on the cruise before us. Staff were mainly doing what I would describe as 'touch up' jobs and seemed to be working non stop until these were finished. The Aqua Theatre was closed due to the performers not being able to rehearse due to the weather (fair enough) but the waterslides were also closed for part of the cruise and every time we got into a Jacuzzi after about 15 minutes staff asked you to get out and they closed it to do maintenance. I did not see many cables across the floor and certainly didn't see anything that would cause concern in regards to health and safety. I can only assume these issues from the Rotterdam cruise had been fixed before we got on board. We had no problems with toilets or hot water - our stateroom was on deck 8. One morning we were awoken at 7am by someone hammering from the deck above, I heard another guest go onto their balcony and tell them to stop. The ship itself was enormous - I can see the attraction to it and think in the Caribbean climate it would be well suited. I prefer the Quantum and Freedom class ships personally ( I am 25 and my boyfriend is 27). We found the layout to be a little confusing and that although their were lots of venues, each was quite small and it was very hard to find a seat. Most of the time we ended up giving up as it was just taking too long. The windjammer seemed much smaller than usual, so couldn't get a seat at breakfast or lunch. We went to Park Café which was great and we could always get a seat. Sorrentos also served breakfast. The main dining room seemed very busy on the first night and the service wasn't great, the next two nights were excellent, couldn't fault the food on this cruise everything was great. We ordered room service breakfast one morning and this came an hour late, we were advised the kitchen were running behind (maybe everyone had the same idea as they could not find a seat anywhere!). Waited 35 mins to get a drink at the pool bar with lots of other angry guests, not the staffs fault, just not enough of them for the amount of guests on board. The Grease Musical was outstanding - couldn't have been better. Dazzles seemed like the place to be at night but again the venue wasn't big enough so you could never get a seat. Overall I wouldn't sail on Oasis class again as I think they are missing a large lounge type bar ( like pyramid lounge on Indy or the Olive or Twist bar at the top of the ship) and the Windjammer is just way too small for so many passengers. As I have been on other RC ships it is hard for me not to compare. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and ... Read More
We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and cheerful.......customer service desk not so much. Our room attendant called us by our names immediately and did an excellent job keeping the stateroom clean. We had dinner at the early seating in the main dining room, and all waiters and assistants were quite attentive and very efficient. Windjammer was crazy as always, but we learned to go at off times or as soon as they opened the doors to avoid the pushing, rude fellow passengers. Those fellow passengers are my main complaint, and I think Royal Caribbean could do a couple things to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Send out an instruction sheet via email or travel agents which tell the rules for being a good passenger. This includes waiting your turn in line and not barging through as though you are the only person trying to get somewhere. Staff seemed proud of the fact that there were guests from 55 different countries on board, but I think everyone just needs a reminder about what waiting in line means. Also, the shore excursions were nice, but at $149 - $179 per excursion it was a shame to not be able to hear the guide on the bus above the roar of all the people carrying on private conversations. Have a sign at the shore excursion desk with rules for considerate travel for all to read. I know the guides had much info to pass along, but who knew what they were saying over all the inconsiderate voices drowning them out. Also, if the guides cannot keep the passengers quiet so those of us who want to listen can hear, at least tell them to use a microphone on the bus. A tiny Russian girl with a little voice and a lot of knowledge to share could not do so due to conversations going on in 9 different languages. Very disappointing to pay that kind of vacation money and not get the benefit of a good tour due to rude, inconsiderate fellow guests who think only of themselves! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
A totally un-pleasant experience, ship was not fit for paying passengers, workmen were everywhere, drilling, welding, floors being prepared and repaired, cables everywhere, ladders everywhere, there seemed no area on board that was not ... Read More
A totally un-pleasant experience, ship was not fit for paying passengers, workmen were everywhere, drilling, welding, floors being prepared and repaired, cables everywhere, ladders everywhere, there seemed no area on board that was not receiving some sort of work, hot tubs not working, childrens water area not working, aqua theatre not finished, ceilings being fitted, we had one crew member tell us we were guinea pigs for proper passengers, we brought this cruise sold as a maiden voyage back in Sept 2015 only to be told the real maiden voyage is from Spain on 29th May. We were totally miss sold this trip, if it had been appropriately priced and we had been aware it was a shakedown cruise then we would have known what to expect, but we paid full price for this and were told by passenger services on board we could have 20% off our next booking, we have no intention of ever booking another Royal Caribbean cruise, we will be sticking to the more professional P+O. A complete waste of money and valuable holiday time, if you want to holiday aboard a floating shopping center, save money and book into a cheap hotel near a large shopping complex and visit each day for the duration of your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Well where do I start. Check in at Southampton was fantastic, quickest ever. Once aboard we went to the Windjammer for a bite of lunch, well for a ship that holds over 6000 guests seemed much smaller than i thought, in fact it was a ... Read More
Well where do I start. Check in at Southampton was fantastic, quickest ever. Once aboard we went to the Windjammer for a bite of lunch, well for a ship that holds over 6000 guests seemed much smaller than i thought, in fact it was a struggle to get a table. Food quality was not as good as on my last RCCL cruise. Afterwards had a wander on the open decks, seemed all the Jacuzzis were closed for cleaning, looked to me like they wernt even finshed, childrens play area pools had construction materials in and were roped off. The more we saw of the ship the more and more unfinished it was. The muster drill was done in the aqua theatre but the wait to start was so long it strarted to rain and I am sure not all guests heard the staffs instructions. Main dinning was ok but the vegetarian options are getting poore from RCCL not better! Day 2 was Formal and me and the wife like to dress for pictures and dinner, well jumped in the shower around 4.30 pm, not working, NO hot water, a visit to Guest services to be told sorry pipe burst and they were not sure where so they shut the wole ship down, other guests from different floors confirmed it was wide spread. I never imagined I would be on a cruise with around 1000 construction workers, this is not how it was sold to me. I paid the full price set down by RCCL, was never informed by the next cruise sales team it would be an unfinished unsafe ship! I understand there are always teething problems, but so many areas were unfinished or poorly finished, I suppose you buy a cheaper french ship and this is what you get, all of the other ships we have cruised on were built in Fnland by a german owned company and the difference in quality is clear to see. To sum it up feel cheated and ripped off by RCCL, shame really because we usually enjoy our cruises on RCCL ships. Was offered a small percentage but declined, will have to take it up with customer relations in the UK and Miami. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of ... Read More
The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of being completed, with work men being everywhere. The Aqua Theatre not being ready was a big disappointment. The main dining room was a major let down due to the calibre of the food and the service. We ended up having to use the supplementary restaurants in order to get a decent level of food, spending another £200 in the process. On the first morning we had a sit-down a la carte breakfast in the main dining room. After waiting an hour for our order, random dishes arrived for our table in place of what was ordered and they were lukewarm. We left shortly after, hungry. The quality of food at dinner was mediocre at best, with service being very patchy. There were very few places to sit when it rained, due to the amount of outside public space. This drove people in to the limited seating in the Royal Promenade, even into areas that they had no intent of using, such as Sorrento's. This then made use of those places harder. I appreciate the ship is intended for more warmer climes, but rain is still likely in the Caribbean. An enclosed lounge area looking out to see was sorely missed - even the Solarium is unusual in that it is open to the elements. It seems you can sit inside or outside, but not inside looking out. You end up being forced to your balcony in order to get adequate seating and have some peace and quiet. The food in Windjammer was poor in areas of choice and quality. I don't see why the buffet cannot be the same calibre as that on Celebrity. The Coke lifestyle machine in the Windjammer had no ice leading to the drinks it dispensed being warm and unpalatable. There were very few hand-gel dispensers and people enforcing their use. The supplementary restaurants didn't seem to have them, and the main dining room was certainly not enforcing their use. They were notably absent from the frozen yoghurt area on the Lido deck. Given the high profile of Noro virus on cruise ships and how it can spread, this is a problem waiting to happen. We were woken at 1 am on the last evening by the people collecting the suitcases laughing, joking and being very loud. Given the time of the morning, this should be done as quietly as possible. The emergency drill was quite chaotic with people not quite knowing what they should be doing and people just standing around. There could be more structure to this. Johnny Rockets had a number of issues. There were 8 tables in the building, but the lack of covered outside seating meant there was a large queue. It was not easily apparent how people should queue for take away food over sitting in. The staff would suddenly break into a dance whilst food sat gradually going cold on the counter, which just exacerbated the length of queue growing outside. For some reason on a port day Johnny Rockets doesn't open for lunch, choosing instead to open at 2pm. There were also bolts emanating from the floor where the stools were clearly meant to be. The aircon in the stateroom started at a reasonable temperature, but after some maintenance one day the aircon only provided cool temperatures even after being turned up to maximum. The ladies toilets had large round bins in the cubicle instead of proper sanitary bins. My Crown and Anchor status did not appear on my card for some reason. Getting off the ship was an unusual experience with having to get off a deck that was below the pier line. This necessitated a steep metal ramp up and then down, with lots of people assisting with the needlessly difficult traversal. My wife and I are quite able bodied and could manage it, but I feel sorry for more elderly passengers. Given both the dimensions of the ship and tidal patterns in Southampton are known, I'm not sure how this came to be. It was clearly not the correct deck to have to disembark from. When we sailed on Anthem of the Seas last year on its second public sailing, we were impressed at both the finished state of the ship and quality of service offered. It does seem that it was pushed out to paying customers too soon. My overall feeling is a lack of consideration to paying passengers. We had been looking forward to the cruise due to it being advertised as a Maiden voyage as well as it being rare quality time for us to have as a couple. To not meet our reasonable expectations after the expenditure of time and money was a huge disappointment. The ship has been massively promoted in the media, but who cares about big slides and a robotic bar if the the basics such as food and seating are just not adequate? The promise of a new revolutionary ship was not delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Harmony of the Seas – 22-26/05/2016 I'm not able to attach here, but I have photographic evidence of raw chicken that was served in the Windjammer buffet on the Harmony of the Seas and video footage of the ongoing construction, ... Read More
Harmony of the Seas – 22-26/05/2016 I'm not able to attach here, but I have photographic evidence of raw chicken that was served in the Windjammer buffet on the Harmony of the Seas and video footage of the ongoing construction, which will be put on Twitter. The cruise was sold to us as the ship’s maiden/debut/inaugural voyage, however when it became apparent that the ship would not be ready, Royal Caribbean began referring to it as a ‘pre-inaugural’ cruise. Either it was mis-sold or RCI changed their minds - either way it is unacceptable. Harmony of the Seas is an absolutely beautiful ship and I am certain that it will come into its own when it is finished, however this was not our experience. Of course you expect teething problems but there were hundreds of construction workers, working around the clock and staying in the cabins next to ours. Our cabin attendant told us that ours was the only cabin in the vicinity that wasn't occupied by contractors! Venues were incomplete, entertainment and activities cancelled, deck 15 and 16 windows shattered and missing, staff were not fully trained and the iPad systems did not work - the same issues brought up by others. But not only this, the ship was so unprepared for this sailing, that basic health and safety standards could not be met. There was no hand sanitizer near the main dining areas and on the penultimate day, we were told by a staff member that the ship had no hot water (?). On may 24th, in the Windjammer buffet, the guests were served a tray of breaded chicken that was completely raw. Being breaded, it only became apparent after I had begun to eat it. This issue was so severe that the Food and Beverage Manager immediately removed it from service and we spent the following hour in the onboard medical facility. I believe other passengers have reported food poisoning, but we actually have photos of the chicken. In response to Royal Caribbean’s claim that "As always, Royal Caribbean's highest priority is to ensure the safety of all its guests and crew members", we are bringing this issue to light. We contacted Royal Caribbean and gave them the chance to resolve the matter privately, but were told that although our complaint had been acknowledged, due to the number of complaints, it wouldn't be dealt with for up to 3 weeks... Regardless of what label you attach to this voyage, the passengers and crew were put at risk and the ship was just not ready to sail. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Awful cruise! Dreadful staff and ship not finished. Since our return we've emailed RCCL twice to complain but still haven't received a reply. Ship was dirty and we had to change drinking glasses and cutlery several times ... Read More
Awful cruise! Dreadful staff and ship not finished. Since our return we've emailed RCCL twice to complain but still haven't received a reply. Ship was dirty and we had to change drinking glasses and cutlery several times because they weren't clean. Hand sanitiser was rarely available. Loved the shows on Anthem but the entertainment has definitely taken a step back on Harmony. Food was less than average unless you wanted pay extra. Even 150 which we've dined at before on the Oasis was a mess. The 10 deck slide was fun but not worth the hype. Cabin and steward were lovely. To make matters worse I had a dreadful stomach virus for the last 2 days of the cruise...a coincidence that hand sanitiser was no where to be seen?! We will never cruise with RCCL again and fear that they have lost a lot of loyal cruisers after this dreadful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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