November 2014 - Freedom of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
I booked this cruise for my daughter's birthday. We were not informed when making our reservation that we would be traveling with what is called the High Seas Rally (if you don't know what that means, it was 2,400 Harley Davidson Bikers). I would NOT choose to take my daughter on a cruise with a ship full of bikers and believe I should have been given this information before making my decision. The bikers took over the pool decks during the day, however at night they had private functions that the rest of the passengers were not invited to. With 3,600 total passengers and 2,400 of them being bikers, that left very few people participating in the planned activities. I heard cruise director's staff talk about how they have never seen so few people at the different activities. It was not fair to the guests that paid to be on the cruise, but not part of the biker group. Also, the crew seemed to be on edge all week; I am not sure if that was because of the bikers or a previous issue with complaints. I did witness one crew member being verbally assaulted by one of the bikers. I am used to the crew being able to interact with the guests, but they seemed afraid to do that on this cruise (with the exception of a few). To add to all this, we totally missed the first stop due to bad weather and then had to return to port after cruising for a few hours due to a medical emergency, which made us 2 hours late getting into St. Thomas (3 days later). I understand things happen that cannot be controlled, however most people only get a few weeks of vacation time. We plan and pay for our time away from our jobs and it does affect our experience when the cruise is different from what we expected. There was absolutely no compensation for the inconvenience; it would have gone a long way to offer a free drink or a credit for something (even a free t-shirt). It would not have cost Royal Caribbean much, but would have given the passengers a better feeling about the cruise line. I will not book with Royal Caribbean again and feel that Norwegian provides much better customer service and the food choices are much better on both Norwegian and Carnival.