Wife and I are avid cruisers with RCL. Native to Marshfield MA, but live in FL. Retired Air Force, 22 years.
Cruise Lines: Royal Caribbean
Destinations: Caribbean - Eastern
Overall it was a great relaxing cruise. As I've been on this ship three other times I can see some wear and tear which can be expected considering the ship is seven years old. What I didn't expect to see was over 1/2 the seat cushions missing in the Adult Solarium. I noticed a few missing last year and figured they were being repaired or cleaned. I asked where all the cushions were to three different officers and got three different answers, being cleaned, being repaired, all will be back tomorrow. Then I asked a crew member and he said as they wear and tear they are thrown out and RC hasn't replaced them yet. He said it's been a year and he didn't think they would be replaced until the ship went back into dry dock. Shame on you RC, this is a billion dollar ship and you must be making money because you have three in service and another coming. It's supposed to be about the passenger's comfort, not your bottom line. Also, drinks have sky rocketed and gratuity has increased from 15% to 18%, so two drinks cost around $23.00. Even the drink package was not worth the money. So instead of having 4-5 drinks during the day I had three for the entire cruise. As the price increases the demand decreases. Don't think they get that. Lastly, I'm still pissed about changing the Crown Lounge at the top of the ship into a restaurant and lounge for SUITE members only. That was the signature lounge of RC and they took it away from the public in order to squeeze out a few more dollars. You are going to reach that point where your loyalty customers start seeking other cruises. I have just cruised on Princess and am trying Norwegian in May, that's $10k that RC lost out on.
Overall it was a nice cruise. This was our first on Princess. Although I thought Princess was nice, I like RC better. Much older crowd on Princess. Could be due to this being a 15 day cruise. Ports were ok, Canal was awesome. We had a Junior Suite and it was very nice. Large Tub with Shower is a must. Service in Dinning Room and Horizon Buffet was lacking. Dinner's were stretched out for 2.5 hours and trying to get someone to give you a drink or silverware in buffet was always a problem. Some days they ran out of clean dishes which caused long back ups. Bar service was very good, especially around the pools. I liked the free ship WIFI that allowed you to message anyone aboard and provided a schedule of activities as well as ship board expenses right on your phone. On board activities were somewhat lacking and this could be because of the age group. Lots of wheel chairs which caused long lines on excursions. No offense, but they really need to separate the excursions into two groups, those that have mobility and those that do not.
Shows were good, room was excellent, overall service was excellent. Capt Jonny is the best. Was disappointed that RC has decided to cater to the Gold Card Suites and remove the Viking Crown Lounge and make it a private area for Suite guest only. Best place on the ship and they took it away. Also had a problem with our early dining. We requested a 8-10 top table a year ago and was given a 2 top table right in the middle of a high traffic area. Ended up walking out the first night and eating at the Coastal Kitchen 3 nights and Windjammer the rest of the time. Asked for another table but they said they couldn't accommodate us due to spring break. I was a little surprised to find that even though the ship was full and the weather was perfect, there were plenty of chairs available in the Adult Solarium. Usually that is not the case.
First let me say, The Adventure of the Seas is a wonderful ship for her age. Crew, Staff and Facilities were outstanding. Couldn't have asked for a better cruise while on board. Now if you are expecting to go ashore on St Johns Antigua, Castries St Lucia or Bridgetown Barbados and find those perfect postcard beaches, forget it. The local population on those islands have exceeded the sustainability of the islands resources. We did three excursions, one on each island. Trash is everywhere, in some cases, raw sewage flowed down the streets. Every stream or water source we saw was polluted. On one 4 X 4 Jeep excursion up into the mountains we saw trash just thrown off the side of the dirt roads, miles from any town. We had a hard time taking pictures while at the beach that excluded the trash. It's sad to think these people are destroying the very thing that draws the tourism to them. It won't be long before these places look worst than Hati.
Second time on this ship so we decided to upgrade to a Jr. Suite a week before the cruise. We were assigned Room 14232. As soon as we sailed we noticed a knocking sound that seemed to come from behind the wall as the ship rocked and rolled. I checked everything within the room and balcony to make sure it wasn't coming from something loose. The first night it kept us up all night. I complained to the Stateroom Attendant and the front desk. They sent a supervisor up to the room while we were in port and he didn't hear anything. That night I recorded it on my phone and brought it down to the front desk. They offered me another room then found the ship was full. After the third night of no sleep I went down to the front desk to talk to a manger. He looked in the computer and said he showed we were offered another room and we refused to move. The discussion went downhill from there. When I went back to the cabin I overheard the stateroom attendant and his supervisor having a heated discussion about how his tip is always affected by that room and why does RC keep selling it. Apparently the noise is behind the wall and can only be fixed at the next dry dock. RC continues to sell this room knowing there is a problem. Another case where the dollar out weights customers vacation. I really had to fight while on the ship to get any type of compensation so I wrote directly to RC after the cruise and was promised a better compensation package would be applied to my next cruise. It's mid December and I still don't have anything, however, we've experienced small problems in the past with RC and they always live up to their word. We'll just chalk this up as a bad experience that doesn't happen very often with RC. We did arrive late to St Thomas and RC gave everyone on board $150 dollar onboard credit. Other than that, the cruise was great.
(Pros) Second time on this ship and it's still the best deal for the money. Good size balony cabins, many restaurants to choose from. Our favorite is the little Cafe in Central Park. Awesome salads made in front of you along with carved Roast Beef sandwiches. Booked two more cruises, one on the Allure over Thanksgiving (second time) and one on Freedom next March.
(Cons) Not to impressed with their loyality program, 8 cruises and all I get is priority check-in. Also not impressed with their WOW promotional ads. Seems once you try booking one of these discounted sailings there is always a reason it doesn't apply to you.
Went on the Freedom in 2009 and we liked the lay out, so I figured IOS would be the same. Well the ship was the same, but the crew service was not up to par. Felt like the crew was going through the motions to help you but their was no spirit or emotion in it. Made for a long cruise.
(Pros) We did the Mystery Dinner Theater and it was fantastic. Highly recommend this dinner. Show starts in the forward lounge and ends in Portofino Italian restaurant. Lots of fun
(Cons) Parking was on the north side of the port and the ship was on the southend of the port. Buses ran back and forth but they had people directing who could get aboard what bus and it was a cluster xxxx in 85 degree heat. Not good planning on RCL part.
Very nice ship. Not exactly like the Oasis. This ship had some different restaurants and also had some small differences.
(Pros) - Samba Brazilian restaurant was excellent as was the Central Park cafe. Service was great.
(Cons) - Didn't have the nice comfortable wicker chairs in the adult solarium. Crown Viking Lounge (Olive & Twist) didn't have the nice couches, it has these high back chairs that were extremely uncomfortable. Cozmel gets dirtier and dirtier ever time we visit. Will stay away from the Western Route for this reason.
We were actually on the Monarch of the Seas but it wasn't listed on the drop down menue. Short 3 day Bahama cruise. Very small and old ship. I believe we were the last to cruise on her before RC sold her off. No need to comment further.
Good cruise, ship was a little old but well maintained. Western Route is ok, but prefer Eastern as Cozmel is a dump.
(Pros) - Nothing stood out
(Cons) - Cozmel should be taken off the route as it is very dirty
Great Ship! Will be booking this ship again and we try her sister.
(Pros) - Loved the Viking Crown Lounge, what a view with nice comfortable couches. Nice place to meet people and have a relaxing drink. Tried all the restaurants, no complaints on the food
(Cons) - RC allowed people to book online for shows. Many people booked same shows multipule times and then only went to one. This caused all the shows to be fulled booked, yet only half the seats were taken. The crew wouldn't let anyone take any emplty seat for fear the people who reservsed the seats would show up. Complained to RC management at the end of the cruise and they comped us for it.
This was our second cruise and we decided to take the family. Had a wonderful time. The ship was excellent and we'll probably book this one again.
"Mariner of the Seas"
This was our first cruise. The ship and crew were excellent. St Maartin and St Thomas were charming. My wife went shopping and found a beautiful blue diamond ring.
(Pros) - Ate at Chops restaurant. Food and Service outstanding. Adult solarium was very relaxing. Loved the view and the nice comfortable couches in the Viking Crown Lounge.
(Cons) - Hard to get a chair in the adult solarium as everyone "saves" a chaise lounges by putting their towel on it and then going about the ship. Caught on to that scam by day two. Pool attendant told us to find an emply chaise lounge with just a towel and wait 15 minutes, if the people didn't come back, turn the towel into him and take the chaise lounge. The people showed up two hours after we took the chaise lounges and the pool attendant came right over and told the couple he gave us the deck chairs because they were gone over 2 hours and there is a sign on both sides of the ship that state no saving of deck chairs
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