Year Started: 1969
Ships in Fleet: 23
Summary: The largest and most technically impressive cruise ships in the world. Great for kids, families and adventurous adults. A large fleet, but Oasis and Brilliance are often cited as favorites
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Mediterranean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Caribbean, Canada, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Families. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Teens.
Good for: Teens. Group. Families.
Regions:Eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Families. Overall Service.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.
Regions:China (as of May 2015)
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Suez Canal, Bahamas, Dubai
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Brazil, Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles
Good for: Seniors. Families. Singles.
Regions:Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Scan Russia, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:UK, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda
Good for: Disabled Travelers. Group. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.
Regions:Western Mediterranean, Panama Canal
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket & Port Kelang,
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Hawaii, Alaska, South Pacific
Good for: Families. Group. Overall Service.
Regions:Toyko To Taipei, Australia, Asia
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
This was our sixth cruise overall with this one being our second with Royal Caribbean. At our travel agent's insistence our group flew to San Juan a day before our cruise sailed. We flew on Southwest Airlines. There is no baggage fee on Southwest but their boarding procedure is strange. There are no assigned seats. You are given a number in a Section A, B, or C. It is my understanding that the A section pays more since they board first and pick whatever seats they want. We were in the middle of the B group which boarded next. Your numbers seem to run alphabetically and fortunately for us there were still some seats left toward the rear of the plane so my wife and I could sit together. Others in our group were not so lucky and ended up at the end of the B group or in the C group. By the time they boarded there were only single seats usually in the middle of the three seats on either side of the plane. The return flight was the exact same with the same boarding order somany of the couples in our group never sat together. I absolutely don't get why Southwest does it that way.
We spent the night at the Condado Hilton in San Juan. It was a nice place but it was two buildings on each side of the street with a walkway bridge over the road joining the two sides. We were on the opposite side of the road from the main part of the hotel which required a lot of walking. Dining options where the hotel was located were limited. We ate a place called the Waikiki on Oceanfront. The service was very slow, the portion sizes small, and the meals expensive.
We were unable to take advantage of the hotel amenities due to late check in and early checkout. The hotel beach looked small. We had a voucher for breakfast in the dining room but it was a small breakfast.
Before my daily breakdown of the cruise, I will give some general comments. We found the staff on the Adventure of the Seas to be extremely friendly, cooperative, and efficient. This was especially true for out cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter. The ship's itinerary suited us well as we had stops every day but the last one. We took an excursion at every stop. We had booked excursions a few months before our cruise and we were glad we did as some of the excursions were booked up and many had a price increase after the first of the year. Our stateroom was small but adequate. The small bathroom was a little more problematic. Our balcony was small and the table was too big. We felt the food offerings in the complimentary dining room were substandard. The portion sizes were small. The chef seems to have a propensity for rice and mash potatoes as these two sides seem to be a part of many dishes. What I really didn't like was that often the main entry was placed on top of the mashed potatoes. This was even true of a breaded fish dish that I ordered. I had to scrape off mash potatoes from three pieces of breaded fish and two shrimp. Interestingly, the night they offered a turkey dinner they had red skinned potatoes cut in quarters not the traditional mashed potatoes. On the last night one of our party asked if there was any way he could have get a baked potato. They gave him one. I wish I would have known that earlier in the week. Another issue with the dining room is the dress code (or should I say the lack of one). The ship was very explicit that casual attire was permitted but not shorts. There were people all over the place in shirts. On formal night, many of the male dinners had no sport coat, much less a tie. I say why have a dress code if you are not going to enforce it. The Windjammer Cafe which is the buffet restaurant was okay. My complaint is that the full breakfast choices don't open until 7:00 AM. With the ship in port every day passengers all needed to eat early. By 7:15 the place was packed. I say open the buffet at 6:00 AM when passengers are getting off the ship. The last two days of the cruise you could have a sit down breakfast in the complimentary dining room. That was a far superior breakfast experience. Also, on the day at sea the restaurant was open for lunch and that also was excellent. The evening shows in the theater were also a disappointment. I will give details of that later. The ship's muster drill was the most ridiculous I have ever experienced. We had to stand out on the deck in straight lines bunched closely together. It was hot on the deck and very uncomfortable packed like sardines. I felt like I was in the crowd waiting for a rock concert to open its doors. The other muster drills I have done usually involved sitting in a theater or some other location on the ship.
Day 1: Since we had time before we could board the Adventure of the Seas, our group booked a tour of Old San Juan. We toured the fort and then had two hours for shopping. The tour was worth the $20 cost. The tour bus took us and our luggage to the pier. Our group decided to pay the $2 per bag fee to the porters and it was more than worth it. We avoided the long line of people lugging their suitcases behind them. The check-in went smoothly. The show offered in the theater was a comedian at 10:30. We were way too tired to see it. It would be the only performance by a comedian all week.
Day 2: (St. Thomas) In the morning we went into town to shop. If jewelry is your thing, this is the place for you. We went back to the ship for lunch and then went on our afternoon excursion. We did the Legendary Kon-Tiki Sightseeing & Beach Cruise. It lasted 3 hours. It was just okay and our least favorite excursion of the week. It was billed as a catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat, and beach stop. They had a live band and offered free water and fruit punch. Everything else in food or drink was a charge. The glass bottom boat was in the center of the catamaran when they lifted up the boards. You were supposed to see coral but I couldn't see it. The beach stop was only an hour. We were told we would get a beach chair but the beach chairs were first come first serve. Since it was mid afternoon when we arrived no one on the catamaran got a chair. My wife was not happy. They sold food and drinks on the beach. In the evening we went to the theater. It was a song and dance performance by the ships troupe that lasted only 45 minutes. That would be the length of all the performance each night in the theater.
Day3: (St. Croix) We took the Cuzan Rum & West End Highlights tour. The tour lasted 4 hours. This tour was a tale of two cities. The stops were great and the guides at the stops were great as well. The bad parts involved the driver and the van. The driver didn't seem to know much and his microphone didn't work requiring a women in the front to yell to the back everything he said. Also, the air condition was malfunctioning. We along with four friends were sitting in the rear seats. The air conditioner was leaking water on us. When we got back to the ship we complained and they gave us 15% of our fee back, which I thought was fair. The three stops were great. The first was where a former sugar cane plantation was located and included several of the original buildings. The staff was dressed in the attire of the time period and was very knowledgeable. Next, we visited a botanical garden that included the island plants and trees. Finally, we visited the Cuzan Run Factory and got a tour. At the conclusion of the tour we were offered a free rum drink and visited the factory store. Overall, it was a good tour. We had lunch on the ship and then went back into the town to shop. The shopping was very poor at this stop. In the evening the entertainment in the theater was a piano player with the ship orchestra. It was okay.
Day 4: (St. John, Antigua) We took Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch. The tour was 6 hours long. We boarded the catamaran and sailed for about an hour while seeing many of the sights of Antigua from the water. In between the captain who was also the guide played music. Our first stop was a beach for about an hour. The crew brought us several drink choices on to the beach. We did have to rent a beach chair for $4. We then got back on the catamaran to head to our next beach. From this point on it was open bar. After docking at the next beach we had about 20 minutes on the beach. They then called us back for the lobster lunch. The lobster was larger than we expected which they grilled on the boat. It was a little dry without melted butter but quite good anyway. There was an assortment of sides to choose from. We then had about an hour on the beach. We headed back to the ship and they raised the sails and took the scenic route. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing, and people were singing and dancing. It was the best excursion of the week and I would recommend it. Unfortunately, after the excursion we only had about an hour to shop before we had to get back on the ship. There was no show in the theater at night. Instead, they had an ice show in the skating rink on the ship. We didn't go because you had to go about an hour early just to get a seat in the small theater and we didn't want to wait.
Day 5: (St. Lucia) We took the Island Delights tour. It lasted 7 hours. It was a long day but we saw a lot of neat stuff. We toured the island and had a few stops in small villages where there were vendors. We toured another botanical garden and saw a place where people pay to take a mineral bath. The highlight of the day for me was when we got to go to the only drive-in volcano in the world. There was boiling pools, steam, and a very strong sulfur smell. It will probably be the only time I am ever in the crater of a volcano. The day ended with a late lunch provided at a mountainside resort. The lunch was okay but nothing special. Overall, it was a good tour. That evening the entertainment in the theater was four singers who are an re-incarnation of the singing group The Platters from the 50's and 60's. The show was good but nothing spectacular.
Day 6: (Grenada) We took the Tropical Beach Tour. It lasted 4 hours. The first stop was at Fort George for a quick tour. We got to see much of the island as we headed to a private beach. The beach and the water were beautiful. However, the surf was rough making it hard to go out very far in the water. We spent two hours on the beach. The tour stated a drink and a snack. We got more than a snack as they gave us two small sandwiches and a drink from several different choices. We had to pay $7 to rent a beach chair. When we got back we did some shopping in the local markets. My wife bought some spices which Grenada is famous for. It was lobster night in the dining room and we each had two. The entertainment was the singers and dancers that we saw on the second night with a different program.
Day 7: (At Sea) We went to the gym in the morning. It was well equipped with a lot of machines and some free weights. After lunch we went to the pool. I went in the adult's only pool. He had salt water in it which I am not crazy about. There are plenty of hot tubs on the ship. We were hoping to use the miniature golf on the top deck but it was too crowded. The evening's entertainment was a guy who juggled and then did hand balancing. He was a better balancer than juggler.
Day 8 (Dismemberment) After a good breakfast in the dining room, we disembarked without any problems.
Overall, we enjoyed our cruise. However, I have been hearing for many years that Royal Caribbean is a superior cruise line to the others we have traveled on (Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, and Celebrity). We have now done two Royal Caribbean cruise in the last year and I have not found that it is superior to any of the others.
I cruised the Western Caribbean and was disappointed in a lot of ways. The food was mediocre as compared to other cruises I've taken on other lines.
I left my phone on the ship and it was found shortly after I disembarked. We verified they had the phone by calling it and they assured me it would be sent to the Miami office and then to my home. Three weeks later no one seems to know where the phone might be - although it was last in the possession of one of the ship's employees.
Immediately upon leaving the ship I and other travel companions became sick with what I can only believe was the "flu" that seems to spread on ships. This was reported but no one seemed to care.
I should add the nightly entertainment was fantastic but there were too many kids.
You notice it most when you’re in port. Oasis is big. It commands attention. And it dwarfs every other ship.
But what does big do for the cruiser?
Big means better entertainment. Like its sibling, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas has top-flight entertainment, starting with the full version of the musical Cats (see tip below). It has a colorful and lively ice show with former championship skaters. An extensive DreamWorks parade. In short, it has shows and events you just won’t see on any other ship. And some productions, like the aqua show with its mesmerizing high divers, you won’t see on land, either.
Big means more activities. Only a ship that’s 1,800 feet long (five football fields!) can have a full-sized carousel (rides are free), wave-making machine for surfing and boogie-boarding, 82-foot long zip line, and two rock-climbing walls with multiple levels of difficulty.
Big means more places to call your own. Of the three “neighborhoods” (Promenade, Boardwalk and Central Park), Central Park was the most underutilized and thus, became our favorite. Nighttime, you pretty much have the place to yourself. A glass of wine at the Trellis Bar, surrounded bythe (real) tropical foliage and sparkling restaurant lights, is a great way to get away from the bustle.
Big means more food choices. There are 25 restaurants%u2014some will cost you, but others will not. The complimentary venues begin with three main dining rooms, where the entrees are adequate (thankfully, lobster tails still grace the menu on the second formal night), desserts are good and the rolls are superb (try the pumpkin seed ones). Along with the usual fare, the Windjammer buffet at night has some interesting Asian dishes, such tandoori chicken and curry specialties; brie; and an occasional surprise or two.
Among the other free options are Park Café for breakfast and lunch (paninis and salads assembled to order); Sorrento’s, where pizzas can also be made to your taste; and the 24-hour Café Promenade with sandwiches and desserts (try the wonderful cheesecake pops).
Big means more space to walk off your meals. The covered jogging track on Deck 5 spans the length of the ship and has one lane dedicated to runners and another to walkers. Be sure to check out the cute sayings overhead. One mile is just 2.4 laps. And aside from the occasional crew member using the track as a short cut, you won’t have much competition for foot space.
Ironically, even with its vast size, Oasis still runs out of room. Comedy is relegated to a small theater, forcing the comedians to do show, after show, after show on a seven-day cruise%u2014a fact they never fail to mention. Our Crown and Anchor event was held on the helipad, in the sun, on a hot day.
When big is not the best. Big doesn’t necessarily mean better food. While the food on Oasis is okay, it doesn’t get the same emphasis that you’ll see on some other cruise lines. Royal Caribbean focuses on activities and entertainment and for that reason, perhaps, the crowd on Oasis was decidedly younger than on other cruise line ships.
And big means more people and longer lines. For the most part, Oasis has crowd control down to a science. Getting back onboard after a port visit always involved some kind of line, but it moved swiftly. Amazingly, disembarkation took significantly less time than it did when we sailed on Celebrity’s Constellation, a ship half of Oasis’ size.
Despite the occasional inconveniences and unremarkable food, what you can count on is that Oasis of the Seas is big on fun.
Musing’s Top Tip: The Oasis production of Cats is fabulous and shouldn’t be missed. However, it’s not as easy to follow as traditional musicals like “Oklahoma” or “West Side Story.” To ensure you enjoy the show, consider doing some homework before you leave home. We did and it made all the difference:
See the movie version. We rented the 1998 version of Cats with Elaine Paige and John Mills for free at our library. You can also check out movie clips on YouTube. Once you get familiar with the music, you’ll really be looking forward to seeing it on the ship.
Read the plot summary. You can find it on catsthemusical.com or read the story line in Wikipedia.
Download the lyrics. Some of the lyrics are quite clever but it can be hard to make them out at times during the singing. You can download the lyrics for free at metrolyrics.com or songlyrics.com.
--Musing About Cruising
I'm just coming back home from my three days cruise to the Bahamas. For my surprise, once back I received an e-mail from Royal Caribbean to let me know that they are working with the Center for the Disease Control and Prevention at Atlanta regarding two confirmed and one possible case of Legionnaires' disease (a serious type of pneumonia) associated with travel aboard in July and October 2015. They also informed that in recently water samples the bacteria was present!!
My goodness!! These guys having the information in advance, waited until we finish our cruise to let us know. This was an ABUSE since they put in risk our most valuable possession; our life!!! These guys manipulated the information in favor of their business. They need to inform about this type of situation upfront and let the guest to take the decision if he/she wants to take the risk or not. I'll be consulting my lawyers about this abuse from Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean Is a big ripoff. Just did a New England/Canada cruise and the cruise line canceled one of the ports for a trumped up reason, which I found out later. Then, they did not find another port in its place, there was at least one available. Then, although they told me and my travel agent that the port fees and taxes would be added to our onboard account, that did not happen. The fees and taxes came to somewhere around $96 or more, times 3000 is a nice profit.
The ship we were on was to sail to the Caribbean for its next cruise. All customers were informed, two days prior to departure, that due to the weather they were heading to New England instead. I have seen where, because of the weather, they could not go to ANY port, so they sailed at sea for seven days, then returned to home port. And one instance they sat in port for the cruise.
Royal Caribbean is known for nickel and diming (more like $500 and $1000) you to death. While other cruise lines are starting to offer reduced or freeWiFi, they have one of the highest rates. While other cruise lines offer free or low cost water, juice and soda, Royal Caribbean charges one of the highest rates. And from the look of it, the alcohol packages (I am not a drinker) are also very high. Do not expect a good payout in the casino, from what I read the cruise line is committed to the 85% or better that U.S. casinos are held to. But all land casinos pay out much higher, up to 99%, while RCCI payout is closer to the 85%.
The cruise had plenty to do as long as you had $$$ in your pocket. I counted one day and there were 72 activities, only 27 of which did not have a fee or were an advertisement for one of their paid services. With four of those 27 happened twice or three times that day.
RC was my first cruise where I was unable to see two of the nightly shows because there were no seats left.
I did, however, enjoy most of the food on board with the exception of the powdered eggs.
Overpriced, disappointing experience. This was an economy experience a at luxury cruise price. The ship was not in good condition; not totally clean, sparse, shabby furnishings in the cabin (including a large, worn hole in the seat of a chair). The toilet was loose and had to be reattached to the floor by a plumber. The toilet roll holder had fallen off the wall. There were never any face cloths in the bathroom unless requested.
The service in the dining room was inefficient (no coffee service at the table at breakfast unless one caught the attention of a server and requested coffee, and rarely was a second cup offered). The food was disappointing because a choice of lunch and dinner had to be made at breakfast, and there was a very limited choice for each meal. There were no buffets, and the choice was between a soup and a salad and also a choice between two entrees for each of those two meals.
One of the entrees was usually a pasta, which I rarely eat, which left me no choice at all. One evening we had to choose between a pasta dishand pork bellies. For the first time I did not enjoy the food on the cruise. Since we were cruising the Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard area I had expected a lobster meal to be on at least one menu, but it was not. (A lobster tail was offered on the last evening.) Each time we went ashore I saw lobster for sale at very inexpensive prices, and offered to purchase my own if the cook would prepare it. This was not allowed.
The ship was not equipped with maps or helpful advice on the towns we would visit each day, and the passengers were advised to "find a visitors' center" to obtain maps and helpful advice. The service overall left much to be desired. My husband and I have cruised at least sixteen times: Crystal, Holland America, Princess, The Illyria, the World Explorer, gulettes on the Turkish Coast, and small sailing boats in Alaska and the Virgin Islands (9 to 12 passengers), and have never had cause to complain until now. I would urge travelers to avoid American Cruise Lines.
Nelson H Torres/Luz N Torres
953 Whetstone Place
Rockledge, Florida 32955
321-684-1402 or 321-684-1401
February 23, 2016
We have cruise a total of eight times (RCCL 4, Celebrity 3 and Princess 1). We love cruising and getting proper information regarding package deals on board and proper accommodations are extremely important to us. We have always had either a balcony or a window and when we retired we were upgraded to the Royal Suite accommodation with the Celebrity Ship. What a treat!
We booked with Freedom of the Seas Voyage 27504 through our AAA Agent for the exclusive theme group Rocky and the Rollers event sailing February 14, 2016 for an eight day cruise. We invited two more couples to join us on this special cruise. How excited we were%u2026
We had had a chance to stay in all different room accommodations so we selected the so call Central Park which is the lookout to shops below. We were informed that the rooms were spacious and would meet our needs so we packed all different outfits for the events (lots of luggage’s (6)). Our room number was 7297 and when we entered we were in for asurprise. The room was very small and the shower was extremely small%u2026what disappointment so we went down to Customer Relation Services with the hope of changing rooms to a more specious accommodation.
First disappointment, we had luggage’s everywhere in that tiny room%u2026we had to make it work%u2026the ship was fully booked%u2026we thank Joanna B. Lopez Senior Guest Service Officer for her assistance and to our surprise later on she had a bottle of Reserve St Martin Cabernet Sauvignon Wine delivered to our room. We love Royal Caribbean as this was our very first exposure to cruising when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary many moons ago and we are planning within 3 years to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on a cruise along with friends/family if God permits.
While on the cruise ship on February 16, 2016 we were approached by one of the crew members on deck (11) informing us of special Beverage package deals that seems too good to be true so we listen%u2026He gave us a light copy of the Beverage Package deals and stated that the Ultimate deal would cost us $59.00 USD which included several deals and the gratuity charge of 18% would be added to the bill one time deal. My wife does not drink alcohol%u2026so for just $59.00 for me was a bargain. Around the 18 of February we were watching the Rocky and the Rollers perform so I ordered a drink and the server delivered the drink and the Sea Pass Card. To my surprise when I went to my state room the (Sea Pass Card) did not work and then I noticed that the server gave me the wrong card. I immediately went to Guess Relations Services and reported what had transpired and I received a new Sea Pass Card. She did check to see if any additional transactions were made%u2026according to her there were no further transaction made so I turned in the wrong Sea Pass card and received a new one. Anyone can make an error%u2026so I moved on. The Stateroom as well as the dining room staff was just fantastic and very caring.
On the day before departure I received a telephone call from our friends (Wayne Kee) (Couple) and then later from (Thomas Cutti) (Couple) indicating that they received a big bill for the Beverage Package deals and them along with me we were very angry so I informed them to go to the Guess Relation Desk and resolve the issue.
Guess Relation Desk took out a Clear sheet with the heading below the Beverage Packages Deal indicating all packages offering read per person per day. To us this was a deception on the part of Royal Caribbean staff selling a package deal not fully explaining and nothing showing on the page given the true facts and the enormous cost on us. Again, our copy of the Beverage Packages was extremely light and not showing anything about per day per person%u2026We are not highly drinkers that drink gallons of liquor daily (night and day).
I received the invoice the night before departure off the ship and we were so upset that we were charged such high amount of money which cannot compare or even match the alcohol intake. Amount charged for liquor was $487.34. Even if you charge for this so call alcohol intake from 2/16/16 – 2/20/16 is only 5 days which the amount showing is overcharged and consumption of alcohol was very little.
The following day once we returned home we checked our USAA account and found more charges applied on the account of $70.97 dated 2/21/16 for what I don’t know and on 2/20/16 a charge for $2.00 again%u2026and on 2/21/16 a charge for $3.11 Category Transportation (what transportation?)%u2026
We have never had any problems regarding any on board charges with our (7) cruises before%u2026The misrepresentation and the carefree usage of the our Sea Pass card in the Freedom of the Sea has put a soar dent in the trust and reliability that makes us not want to cruise again and possibly settle for an all-inclusive resort%u2026
Disappointed Cruise Guests – Nelson H Torres/Luz N Torres/Wayne and Susie Kee/Thomas and Migdalia Cutti%u2026and many other cruise guests%u2026
Nelson H. Torres
Luz N. Torres
The Journey Begins!
My last cruise on Royal Caribbean was approximately 10 years ago. I had the pleasure of sailing on Serenade of the Seas in an Owners Suite. Prior to the Serenade, I had sailed with the cruise line on two previous occasions.
Like so many families facing budget constraints parenthood and additional family members traveling with us caused us to seek a more affordable cruise line. We were no longer a single couple flying solo.
We set our sights on Carnival. 'The funship' After a few years we made it up to one of the highest levels 'Platinum'. Additionally, we always stayed in a suite on Carnival. After our cruise this past year in August,2015, We begin to compare the perks of staying in a suite on Carnival verses Royal Caribbean.
A few of Carnival Perks are as follows: Dedicated telephone line, one free drink, three bags of laundry,
depending on the cruise length)and priority boarding, a welcome aboard gift. A pin. Last, but not least, fighting in the buffet line to get breakfast every morning.(not a perk) Wishing the novel thought would reach Carnival's corporate office to add suite amenities. Applying greaterperks to suite and Platinum and above guest on the fun ship would be a welcomed gift. A place were suite guest could call home away from the crowd. A dedicated restaurant and lounge.
While sailing with Carnival I enjoyed exquisite food and timely in their dining services. Great evening fun for adults and the kids. The adults comedy shows were fabulous. Guest what? The ship is not dead at 10pm. My only my only complaint was the suite amenities/perks.
Now we come to my present day drama. I left the funship for a familiar place that I had enjoyed in the past. My cruise line from 10 years ago. My expectations were ready to be overwhelmed by excellent food and service as compared to my (old cruise line). Remember! I am paying greater prices. The old saying... 'You get what you pay for' wrong!
My Christmas gift of 'Sleepless of the Seas'. Also Known As 'Serenade of the Seas'
Instead of 'Twelve Days of Christmas', I had twelve sleepless nights in my ghost sounding 596 sq. feet haunted mansion. The sad part of this noisy vacation is the following: the layout of the room is beautiful. It's a well appointed large two bedroom and two bathrooms visual dream with open windows that host a breathtaking view of the ocean. Overshadowed by the echoing loud bone chilling, nerve piecing sounds of loud clatter. The room sounds were the epitome of the perfect storm. 'The noise monster.
The sounds included an array of creeks, pipes knocking, the sound of what sounded like little feet running from every inch of the room. I recorded the sounds on my cell telephone to prove I was not crazy. I played the cell recording for the housekeeping supervisor. (Julia)
The supervisor attempted to act surprised by my recording . As we stood in the noise filled room, we begin walking to the many areas that the sounds were coming from. She are I observed rolls of wood-chips stuck in between the ceiling and the walls(a makeshift solution to fix a poorly structured room). The maintenance supervisor was called into render his professional opinion. He added additional wood-chips. I had to get photos because I was in totally disbelief) additionally, I had an extra bonus of a broken television in the main room. They fixed the broken television for five minutes and it remained broken for the entire twelve days. The sounds were continuous. All day and night. On a brighter side I was provided with earplugs. The earplugs did not drown out the noise. After a few days my ears were raw and irritated. I realize that cruising is big business but truth and choice(the right to know and make an informed decision to stay in a room that will severely impact one's rest and relaxation. Try playing fair. Creating life long loyalty in consumers. A few years ago I selected a last
minute cruise on Carnival during my birthday weekend
(January,15) there were limited rooms left due to the long holiday weekend. The website listed a room called 'the night owl room. I advised that the room I was purchasing was called ' the night owl room' it was located on top of the nightclub. They provided me with 'truth and the greatest gift 'choice'. Cruise in a discounted 'night owl room or select another sailing. When there are issues is it fair and decent to advise customers that the room has issues. I paid for my cruise, this was not a free charity event. I had every right to be advised that the room was structurally defective. The wood-chips were evident that they were aware of the issues and attempted to create a makeshift solution long before I boarded the vessel. I was advised that the issues would be resolved once the ship goes into dry dock in 2017. Thanks.
The next adventure was the poor service in the dining and the disappointing quality of the food in the main dining room and the buffet. The lengthy wait for the food was two hours each night. The food quality was inconsistent . My greatest hope is that this was a rare fluke.
On a positive note: I am a Social Worker who is always hoping for a lesson learned, perhaps the message was the Shining Stars I met along this journey: the kindness of my room attendant Carlos. Mario and Melody in the
Concierge Service and the awesome Adventure Ocean staff. Finally, the warm smile and professional care Mary in guest services showed my family.
Sleepless, but not forgotten
We scheduled a cruise on the Freedom of The Sea out of Cape Canaveral Dec. 6, 2015 & were quite happy with the overall trip.
Our staterooms were very adequate & orderly, however no hair conditioner or body lotion were offered in the room, this is different than on other cruises.
The buffet was not all that good for breakfast or lunch (carved meats were tough & poor selection of food) compared to other cruises we've been on. The high light of the experience was the dining room. We took the MyTime dining & were totally happy with the experience. Our waiter was Jovanny Orallo & waitress Maria De Jesus. The two of them made up for any imperfections in the cruise. They are absolutely the best we've encountered in any restaurant we've dined at. The food was superb, tasty & very appealing. Our team of waiter & waitress accommodated our every need & made sure we got a taste of everything they suggested, even if we didn't order it, they made sure we tried it. What a treat to be pampered by such professionals.
The entertainment was superb, very smokey in the casino which was a big turnoffto the 4 of us. I would sale again on the Freedom of the Seas if I knew they were there to serve us. We elected to dine each night at their table to enjoy the very best service could offer.
But if you love Carnival then you probably will not like this cruise experience on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas. It does not matter what I liked or did not like. What matters is you getting the relaxing vacation you have invested. Hope this review helps you plan a great vacation. Navigator of the Seas is not like any Carnival ship. The attitude of Navigator of the Seas is not at all like Carnival. In some ways Navigator of the Seas out performs Carnival Magic which was its competition at the Port of Galveston, Texas.
Navigator of the Seas has better Embarkation procedures that allow passengers to check in fairly quickly. Navigator of the Seas is strict about check in documents and will leave you and your child behind if birth certificates are hospital issued instead of state/county issued. Expired passports or passports that are about to expire are not accepted. If you are divorced, try not to go off on a cruise with your new girlfriend/boyfriend but expect your ex to provide your documents at the last minute. All birth certificates must be notorized at the state/county level. I hopeI helped prevent some situations passengers complained about.
Once on the ship, the safety briefing must be given before the ship can sail. Please don't give the staff grief. Just go. Get there early if you want a seat. Late comers must stand and it gets super crowded - more people crushed against one another on cruises when the ship is full. To their credit - at least this safety briefing is inside and air conditioned.
Cabin 7230 - a balcony was our home for 7 days to Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. The room was very clean. The attendant always asked about or satisfaction. passing through halls, attendants in general seemed - not friendly. Not meAn. Maybe tired of saying "good morning" to people who would not tip them or tired in general. Some cultures speak a greeting while others do not. My culture speaks a greeting out of politeness, and I always received a polite greeting in return.
Windjammer buffet was always full of great choices. Carnival has a better selection, but the taste was better on Navigator of the Seas for basic buffet items with Indian food available upon request.it is easy to be gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian or vegan on Navigator of the Seas. Carnival had better omlets and stir frys. The Windjammer seemed small compared to Carnival Magic Lido buffet.
The main dining room called MDR was lovely. The service was very good but the staff seemed stressed compared to Carnival Magic where the wait staff seemed to be truly happy providing wait staff services. Maybe Magic wait staff were better actors. I selected gluten free options and always had excellent choices and foods. Even if a person is not required to eat gluten free, I recommend it for those who experience sea sickness. After my doctor recommended a gluten free diet and dietary supplements, I can now sail without seasickness.
Movement at seas was barely felt. On a previous cruise on Navigator of the Seas we went through a storm and the ship movement was noticeable. On this cruise with mostly calm seas, the was barely any movement in the cabin or other parts of the ship. Most of the movement is felt in the rear aft part of the ship.
Flow rider - I observed people using the flow rider. Because people fell hard, I chose not to try, but those who did seemed to enjoy it.
Skating rink - I cannot skate but for My partner's sake I got on the ice. It was not fun but My partner enjoyed it. The skating area is small but sufficient. No ship movement was felt. I enjoyed watching others skate, remember how to skate, and teach others to skate.
Shows - I only attended one show. Compared to Carnival Magic, Magic serves a younger crowd for sure. A whole lot of fully grey heads, walkers, canes, wheel chairs loved the show. Most young adults would not be impressed. The singing and dancing was elegant but not multigenerational. The previous navigator of the Seas cruise had a young group of A Capella singers that all ages could enjoy.
Free gym was small and busy. A large whirlpool is in the gym and a sauna. Gym faces the ship's bridge with obstructions blocking the view.
I did not uses beauty and spa services.
Adult area - some polite people quietly relaxing. Two hot tubs that were hot. Carnival Magic had more hot tubs on the ship if I remember correctly but some were cold. One swimming pool in the adult area. Here I pause to comment on the attude of the adults in the pool. A few were kinda snobbish with one old lady taking charge of the pool and took the opportunity to speak ugly about another passenger who went to the pool to actually swim. No one was in the pool early that morning when the swimming began. When the over 60 went to do her walking exercise in the pool, she was offended by the swimmer because "she was a heavyset lady and splashed me with water. I thought I was going to drown." Hum. She was in a pool early in the morning and wouldn't let a swimmer do laps then leave? She stayed in the pool all day and whenever someone went to the empty pool, she would go start her walking exercises. I noticed she would start complaining about other passengers to the middle aged Anglo Americans whenever someone she didn't like entered the pool. Then I noticed zero non Anglos in the adult pool. By day 6i understood why. I don't know if this woman lives on Navigator of the Seas or she is elitist or racist but be alert for her if you use the adult pool. Everyone else was nice but by day 6 she had poisoned the minds of those who listened. The men would drink alcohol all day and stay in the adult pool. The top of the pool was soaked with a layer of sunscreen probably from that one lady. The southern ladies have a way of being sugar sweet with their sharp tongues. Be alert. Most passengers were nice but there was plenty of snobbishness and elitism that surprised me. Royal Caribbean cost a couple hundred more than Carnival but there was a pervasive hatred of Carnival on Navigator of the Seas among passengers and some crew. At least Carnival people are down to earth. On Carnival I have sat in the MDR with a physician, dentist, nurse, teacher, and retired police chief. On Navigator of the Seas, they seemed to have trouble seating us among the racist snobs. But that's okay because how thy live is how they will die - angry bitter sad people. I learned that no matter how much education we have - and we have a lot, no matter our socio economic level, racism is alive and well on Navigator. On an upscale ship, I could have understood the elitism - but not on Navigator. Most of the 3000 passengers were nice folks, but the few I met who were racist in that sickly sweet southern way let us know that we did not fit in on Navigator of the Seas and Royal Caribbean in general. My partner told me that whenever he went into the pool, all the Anglo women would leave. So of course, that meant we needed to desegregate the pool on this cruise - and we did though the water was nasty with all that scum floating in it. You decide if I am talking about the people or the sunscreen.
The family pool area had two hot tubs and two large salt water pools. We liked to go floating in the salt water pools. My partner thought the Anglo women would leave when he arrived but they did not. Everyone got along. Everyone gave room for anyone who wanted to float. Just a totally different environment than the racist adult pool. If the people were elitist or racist, they were well-bred enough not to show it openly. No hate. Just people of all ages relaxing. Families teaching their kids how to swim. No overt touching. Carnival Magic being a fun ship had more open romances among all gender identities. Some people did not like the live music at the family pool area but I did. Vybzs 4 I believe was the name of the primary Reggae group but the lead singer could perform any genre. Very good singing that some did not appreciate because all they know is country music. Some people don't want to learn anything beyond their comfort zone.
Children activities. The little children seemed to have fun and so did the young teens. The older teens and young adult teens struggled to connect with their age groups. Passengers were either young or old on this cruise with a sprinkling of middle aged. The young adult 20s and early 30s did not seem to be traveling solo but with very large family groups. By the end of day 5, young people were connecting which was great to see. I encouraged one to try and I guess I made an impression because I was invited to the club. The imitation was an honor,but these old bones were too tired to attend. It was great for the ship to recognize the social needs of the young adults.
Chapel - nice chapel for wedding, religious services, or reflections - or photos. One night a ship wide announcement for Sabbeth services was announced.
Other activities - one night was a picnic in the family pool area with live music and dancing. It was the best all ages event.
Buying aboard the ship - no general store. I guess the cabin attendant can get supplies. Mostly very expensive jewelry and branding items. Those $10 ship deals were few on this cruise. Guess they ran out before the sale.
Other restaurants - there are several restaurants that cost extra. I ate Indian food at the Grille and it was very good. The Indian food at the Windjamer was okay but not as good as at the restaurant. Book early if you want to eat at the restaurant.
24 hour cafe is free but tiny. Carnival Magic had more 24 hour food choices.
Hamburger restaurant had a cover charge. Did not eat there.
Room service free food was surprisingly good.
Cleanliness - very clean ship. Hand sanitation was mostly enforced in the Windjammer buffet entrance which angered some passengers who did not like the taste of alcohol when they ate. Sometimes I wonder how these people would feel if nurses took that attitude before proving their care. One passenger was elitist because she did not believe her hands could possible carry germs, she washed her hands and said she did'nt touch anything - but how would we know?
Ships officers - I only saw them on Elegant night. I am sure they were present. On Carnival Magic, I saw ships officers more often.
Quiet places to rest or read, on this cruise, a few people including a cewmember scoffed because I carried either an iPad or book with me as if that's a big taboo on Navigator of the Seas. This was my second cruise so I knew that I wanted to read. One man in an electric wheelchair interrupted me to joke about me reading the excursion material. Why would he care? Why do these people care? Oh yes, I forgot, people of our type are not supposed to read or use iPads. That's the type of cruise this was. The first cruise was not like this one or I would not have returned to Navigator of the Seas for this particular cruise.
Disembarkation was a bit lengthy. The trick is to be the first or wait til last to disembark quickly.
Side note: these were new officers to the ship and the crew did not have the same joy as those under th previous officers