drruthb

drruthb
Third Mate

Joined: 05/12/2015
2
Cruises
2
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4
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About drruthb



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drruthb's Past Cruises

Navigator of the Seas

September 2015 - Navigator of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Good, but not great

We had a good,  not great, time. Food was okay; desserts were fair. Entertainment was okay, except for Ice Show, which was great. Carl Banks, comedian, was very funny. Things to watch out for:1) transfer cost from Houston Airport to Galveston Port was $47, for an hour and a half ride. I travel to Boston (5 hours) for a lot less than that. Real rip off. Shame on Royal Caribbean for starting the cruise that way; 2) RC tours promise, but don't always deliver. Case in point: tour of historical Galveston and Houston Space Center: no tour of historic Galveston, a tour guide who shared personal stories, rather than information about Galveston, Houston, etc.; and a tour that ended much earlier than we expected.

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Serenade of the Seas

April 2015 - Serenade of the Seas to Transatlantic

Good, but not great

Well, perhaps my expectations were beyond realistic for this cruise. Six days of sailing, then seven fabulous ports. What could be bad? Nothing. Except this cruise was just a little "off." For starters and, of course, not Royal Caribbean's fault, the weather was awful. Cold, windy, all the way across and in every port. We never had an opportunity to sit on deck, to enjoy the sun, to swim, to rock wall climb, and the like. For another, the ship was unprepared to offer its guests critical information we needed about the ports themselves. For example, maps were not provided consistently that showed where the ship docked, what transportation was available from those docks to the city, and the cost and frequency of that transportation. When guest services was asked, we were told that maps were available when we got off the ship. Well, I like to plan my day in port the night before. That was very difficult to do. Such an inconvenience did not seem to bother guest services, who remained aloof from guest distress. Another example--guest services could not tell us the Swedish currency equivalency to the dollar. Come on, now. Nor could they provide us with Danish currency, even though our last port was Copenhagen. Guest service personnel really needed a course in extraordinary customer service.

Food was good, not great. Food service personnel were very attentive and helpful, though. Entertainment was good, not great, except for the orchestra, which was excellent, and a guitar player named Segundo, who was brilliant. We saw two good comedians the first two nights out, and then never saw them again. What happened to the adult comedy show they could have performed on those nights? There was little activity going on in the evenings. Five movies shown over and over again on a fifteen day cruise. Really?

So, the cruise did not live up to my expectations.

 

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drruthb's Tips

Copenhagen, Denmark - We docked in a container port, far from the city. Taxis are very expensive.
Cherbourg, France - If you are looking to buy an umbrella from Cherbourg (see movie), be prepared to spend $165 or more! If you debark on a Monday, the shops are mostly closed. Bigger stores open in the afternoon, something guest services should have told us, but they didn't.
Amsterdam, Netherlands - You can spend 2-3 hours or more at any one museum (Riks, Van Gogh, etc.), but you probably can't do more than one for the amount of time you have in Amsterdam. Use your time wisely.
Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium - Gorgeous city. Take the canal ride, but save your tour money and book the ride when you get into the city.
Serenade of the Seas Serenade of the Seas - Research the ports yourself. Bring copies of the research with you, or prepare for a substantial additional charge for internet connection. Bring a lot of warm clothes. Average on deck temperature for this crossing was 39-46 degrees and very windy. Bring a small sturdy umbrella.

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added Sep 6, 2015 cruise on Navigator of the Seas to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Navigator of the Seas and gave it 3 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Good, but not great

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Good, but not great

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Good, but not great

received a helpful vote on their Serenade of the Seas cruise review - Good, but not great

shared a quick tip for Serenade of the Seas"Research the ports yourself. Bring copies of the research with you, or prepare for a substantial additional charge for internet connection. Bring a lot of warm clothes. Average on deck temperature for this crossing was 39-46 degrees and very windy. Bring a small sturdy umbrella."

reviewed their Transatlantic cruise on Serenade of the Seas and gave it 3 stars!

added Apr 24, 2015 cruise on Serenade of the Seas to their profile.