Royal Caribbean International Reviews

Year Started: 1969
Ships in Fleet: 22
Category: Mainstream

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

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

50 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.

8 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.

45 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Canada, Transatlantic

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

48 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Seniors.

68 Reviews

Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

17 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

47 Reviews

Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

3 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

28 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.

21 Reviews

Regions:Western Mediterranean, Panama Canal

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.

15 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Group.

47 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas

Good for: Teens. Group. Families.

37 Reviews

Regions:Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket & Port Kelang,

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

46 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic

Good for: Seniors. Families. Overall Service.

15 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

2 Reviews

Good for: Value for Money. Teens. Group.

43 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania

Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.

41 Reviews

Regions:Hawaii, Alaska, South Pacific

Good for: Families. Group. Overall Service.

23 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Suez Canal, Bahamas, Dubai

Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.

28 Reviews

Regions:Brazil, Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles

Good for: Seniors. Families. Singles.

33 Reviews

Regions:Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Scan Russia, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

73 Reviews

Regions:Toyko To Taipei, Australia, Asia

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
4.18
from 732 reviews

Cuisine

Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms

Staterooms

Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities

Nightlife

Shore Tours

Itinerary

Alternative Dining

User Reviews

732 User Reviews of Royal Caribbean Ships
Best out of 10 so far
Publication Date: January 13, 2015

This was our first cruise on RCI Jewel of the seas. We have cruised other lines in the past .This one rang the bell. The ship was great lots of sea views. very good service by all staff and very friendly , the food was also very good definitely no complaints at all. There was lots of entertainment throughout the ship. The stage shows and acts were good to okay (not into adult comedy).The Islands were the best for us . We are certainly looking at going back again. Everything about this cruise just fell into place. We love the Solarium our favourite place on the ship to just relax., with Champagne bar next .We also met some other cruisers, who we will keep in touch . For perhaps another cruise together in planning stage. We looked for a change, we certainly found one . So far the JEWEL of SEAS shines the brightest.

challon

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We expected some Hic-ups
Publication Date: January 10, 2015

We have done 27 cruises and 20 with Royal Caribbean. This is our 4th cruise on a ship in it's inaugural year. We've done the Freedom, the Oasis, the Allure, and now the Quantum,all in their first year. Our cruise on the Quantum we expected for there to be some things that will have to be worked out as time progresses. Yes, there are some things that needed to be adjusted with the Dynamic Dining, and the long lines for activities and entertainment. We expected that so the cruise for us was great. I believe some people just like to complain. We decided to, instead of complaining about everything (as most people did) to just roll with it and enjoy our cruise.

New ships have new ship issues. Because we had our attitude in check before we got on board, the food was good, the shows were good especially Starwater. I did the rip cord, what an adventure and the Eye was just awesome. The Diamond lounge and the Concierge club were both packed every night but that was OK too because of our Diamond Plus status RCI gave us 33

free drinks each for the 11 day cruise which could be redeemed at any bar on the ship,not too shabby! We didn't get on-board to criticize we got on board to enjoy and to have fun. When you're paying that kind of money you have to find enjoyment most things.

I could go on and on about how much my wife and I enjoyed this ship but I will end my review by just saying that we had an excellent time and we look forward to booking the Anthem and having ourselves a ball!

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My first cruise might be my last...here are the ups and downs
Publication Date: December 23, 2014

I'd like to preface my review with some context. This was my first cruise, as cruising is not personally my ideal type of vacation. I prefer going somewhere and having time to explore -- maybe city- or country-hop if I can. But I'm not typically into tours or rigid itineraries. Still, I love tropical environs, water and sailing, and am ok with resorts in general even though they're not as authentic as the places surrounding them. So I tried to go into the cruise with a fairly open mind. In the end, I have decided that cruising is not for me. On the other hand, there are some people that love cruises. So the things that bothered me might not apply to everyone else. But I will try to be thorough and specific, so at least others can get a sense of what I experienced during 6-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Independence of the Seas with Royal Caribbean.

As a quick summary, I found that there wasn’t enough time to spend in the better port stops (Grand Cayman and especially Falmouth, Jamaica) and the other was completely artificial and run by

the cruise line (Labadee, Haiti). Even in the stops that had some authentic culture, sights, and activities, Royal Caribbean tried to dissuade people from leaving the port area complexes where they take a cut of sales from vendors and luxury shops. They claim the towns and countries can be dangerous. If that was the case, why bother going? Why get off the ship? It’s just a money grab. On that note, there were LOTS of upcharges from the alcohol packages to the souvenir cups and the added-fee restaurants that were totally generic and not much better quality than the regular dining hall. The food quality and preparation in the dining hall and buffet were pretty atrocious – most dishes were mediocre at best, and some were appalling. There was also a lack of variety in foods, with one exception being the Singapore-Style Curry Noodles%u2026unfortunately, while they tried to offer an ethnic taste, they were comically bad (they tasted like ketchup, French dressing, and sadness). In general, the foods were bland, drab, and not particularly fresh. Exceptions were some of the pastas and the steak. The ship, while large, felt confining. It was like we were confined to what Royal Caribbean felt like giving us as a vacation, rather than getting to enjoy ourselves and make the most of the time and the places we visited.

Now to get more specific%u2026

I'll start with the positive:

*The staff members on the ship were incredibly friendly, warm, interested, and caring. They were the absolute best part of the trip. Whether in the dining hall, bars, lounges, or pools, they made us feel welcomed and taken-care of. They helped us enjoy the cruise as much as possible, and are a huge credit to Royal Caribbean for hiring and training them. They’re truly outstanding.

*The ship was well-maintained, clean, modern, and generally had a nice feel to its layout and in its venues.

*There was one night with a stand-up coming guest performer – the show was great, although she might not have thought the crowd was into it due to rough seas at the time. I wish there were more established artists with some broad appeal.

*Grand Cayman, while small, had some deliciously fresh seafood and lots of outdoor activities like snorkeling.

*Falmouth, Jamaica was a very vibrant place. The produce was so incredibly fresh and diverse. The people were friendly and hospitable. The mountains and sea were beautiful. The history was interesting and complex. The foods were tasty (we went on a culinary walking tour). Plus it’s close to Montego Bay and Ochos Rios. I wish we could’ve stayed at port for a night so we had more time to enjoy this stop.

*Onboard activities were fun, and facilities were nice – this applies to pools, hot tubs, the surf simulator, rock wall, etc. The time on the boat was generally enjoyable when we weren’t in rough seas or having a mediocre meal.

*The alcohol package made things that much better – we got the ultimate package, which paid for itself after 4 or 5 drinks a day. That was a good call for us.

And now for the negative:

*Most importantly, Labadee was horrible, inauthentic, and a waste of a day. The entire complex was set up by Royal Caribbean, and is fenced-in from the rest of Haiti. If you were to judge from Labadee, Haitian food must be burgers, hot dogs, and the “Labadoozie” frozen drink. True story: one guy tossed part of a burger to one of the stray dogs on the beach – the dog sniffed the burger and wouldn’t eat it! The beaches were crowded, and most of them were rocky with coral chunks. The ones that had nicer sand were near the boat, and smelled like fuel. We were not allowed to experience any of what actual Haiti had to offer in terms of culture and sights. Yet from the beaches at Labadee, we could only be teased by the beautiful rolling hills that lay beyond the resort area’s fence. And as a resort, it was poor – everything had an upcharge whether it was a floating mat or a cabana. And the facilities were dirty and run-down (stank bathrooms). They do let some Haitian residents work in the complex, which I guess is a decent job. But it’s not a good experience for tourists. Except for the landscape, there’s no reason to bother leaving the boat here.

*Premium amenities and services were very expensive, for example massages and spa services. Royal Caribbean tried to squeeze more money out of passengers every chance they got.

*The "cold" water in the stateroom was tepid and undrinkable. Of course, even with a drink package you could only get one bottle of water at a time.

*The mini fridge was barely cool. So you kindof need a beverage package for a cool drink.

*The curtains in the promenade stateroom were see-through and provided no privacy unless we used the blackout ones, which eliminated the view and any light from outside. They should’ve been sheer to let in light, but not prying eyes. It basically defeated the purpose of having the promenade window.

*The food quality was very poor, and dining options were few and unsatisfying. I actually touched on this more specifically above. Everything tasted frozen (ok, it’s the best way to get food to last for 6 days), but was not prepared in a way that brought out any of its flavor. Things were bland, and drab. There were only a few ethnic foods, most of which were terrible. The sushi bar at the buffet was very disappointing (they had a variety of bad rolls, when they probably should’ve just had a decent California roll and called it a day). Everything was soggy. When we got off the boat, we’d always crave veggies and fresh foods. They should probably simplify the menu to more reliable things, and consider cheap foods that can hold up well and make people happy%u2026why not have a decent lo mein or burrito bar? And the two premium restaurants were totally not worth it -- $25 per person for generic “Italian” food or $35 for a lousy steakhouse. They should consider getting a chain or established chef to set up a restaurant – if they can source some decent-quality food that a real chef would accept.

*The drinks were a price gouge%u2026but they have you by the balls. You can bring on wine, but not even a large-format beer. Basically if you enjoy drinking, you have to pay out the nose.

*WiFi was expensive and unreliable – if you expect dial-up speeds, you will be sorely disappointed.

*There were incessant announcements on the PA loudspeaker system to announce “important” information like longitude/latitude, pre-scheduled port stops we already knew about, and opportunities to spend money at the overpriced duty-free and jewelry shops. These woke us up if we dared to relax during our “vacation,” and were obnoxious in content and volume. They woke us up at 6am on debarkation day even though many of us were not allowed off the ship until 10. Awesome!

*The island stops were too short, and Royal Caribbean tried to mislead passengers that the only safe areas were the ports, where all shopping basically went back to the cruise line. I don’t see the point of taking a ship somewhere beautiful in the Caribbean, but not getting time to actually experience these places. For people who enjoy the cruising experience aboard the ship, why bother stopping? It seemed like a lose-lose proposition for me.

*Finally, while they’re truly amazing people, the cruise staff are overworked, and abused by Royal Caribbean. While the option to work with a cruise line might be a better career choice than staying in their home countries, they should be treated fairly on par with American employment laws and not treated so horribly. It is depressing to see, and I felt ashamed that my family did business with Royal Caribbean. It was typical to learn that some staff members worked 15-17 hour days with no days off. And they are penalized without-pay if they happen to get sick. Sure, it’s just business. But I think a company should be judged not only by how profitable they are, but also by how decently they treat the people who work with them to help them succeed. For the absolute best part of this company, the staff was not properly appreciated by Royal Caribbean.

I hope some of this might help people make their cruise related decisions in the future – the bottom line is that if you already like cruising, you probably will enjoy this ship and itinerary with a few exceptions. And if you’re not sure about the cruise experience, there are some downsides that are probably worth being warned about in advance.

Overall, the most important thing I can say that should apply to everyone is that Labadee was, in my opinion, the absolute worst part of the trip--and a waste of time and money. Even if you’re gung-ho about taking a cruise with Royal Caribbean, I’d urge you to check out an itinerary that avoids this lame excuse for either a resort or a genuine port stop. I looked through their port brochure, and am intrigued by some other places they serve such as Puerto Rico and St. Maarten.

Happy travels!

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Poor Food, Poor Customer Service
Publication Date: December 23, 2014

I want to start my review on a positive note. The ship was clean and well kept. The crew was professional and very friendly and helpful. The entertainment was very good, and the Legend of the Seas singers and dancers were awesome. The Legend of the Seas singers and dancers put on some spectacular shows. The best part of the cruise.

The reason for my poor experience and the reason I cannot recommend the cruise is the Windjammer Cafe Buffet. We suffered with pancakes that made noise when they hit your plate, with scrambled eggs so loose they were swimming in water, and spare ribs so dried out and over cooked that they literally broke my dental bridge.

I didn't know whom to report to when I discovered that the dried out meat had broken my bridge so I didn't say anything until I was asked to fill out a mid-cruise survey. The only response I got from customer service was that I didn't report it at the time of the incident and I never showed my broken bridge to any of the crew. They didn't believe me!! They might just as

well have called me a liar to my face! I don't think that is how you treat a 3 time customer who is retired with plenty of time to do more cruises. I decided to write my story in a review on the RCCL web site. RCCL pulled my review and refused to print it and suggested I contact customer service. I was provided with an email link and sent my story to customer service again. That was over a week ago, and I am still waiting to hear from RCCL.

Bad buffet in the Windjammer Cafe, bad treatment of longtime customer, bad follow-up by cutomer service makes me give this cruise a poor experience.

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Big on hype, short on delivery
Publication Date: December 19, 2014

My cruising background includes 35 cruises of which 23 were with RCI. The Quantum of the Seas is not ready for passengers and needs a lot of work. It seemed to me that RCI was focused more on maximizing their bottom line than catering to their passengers. I had the sense that the the ship was "Stuffed" with venues much like trying to fit 10 lbs. of goods into a 5 lb. bag.

DINING

Dynamic dining was frustrating and stressful at times. After weeks of trying to link 8 people for dinner at various restaurants, we were told no reservations existed by Customer Service. Their reply (Which we heard frequently, was "There's nothing we can do") They suggested we go to every restaurant we reserved and confirm reservations.

The service was very slow since assistant waiters were eliminated and the waiter fumbled around trying to enter our orders into an ipad.Some meals took 2 hours or more and we missed several shows because of it. Virtually every restaurant we visited was missing one or more of their menu items. There are 4 complimentary restaurants and at least 7 that you had to pay

for. The coastal Kitchen is reserved for Pinnacle & suite guests.Izumi and Jamies were my favorites.

The menus were small and never changed and if there were 5 meal choices and they were out of stock for 2 meals, you were given a choice of 3. When showing up for our reservation on time we stood in a line and at times were given a light up pager like you would get in a highway chain restaurant. We then would wait an additional 20 minutes to 1/2 hr. to be seated.

The food was OK, but nothing really stood out. Some cuts of meat were not up to the old RCI standards. The Windjammer would constantly have empty tables not cleared off and omelet lines were non existent due to the light up pagers we were give. If I knew it would take 1/2 hr. to get an omelet I wouldn't have ordered it.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Was pretty much useless and seemed overwhelmed. There were frequently long lines. "There's nothing we can do" is a phrase I never want to hear again when paying in excess of $3000.00 for an 11 day cruise.

Entertainment

The Rip cord, Waver runner, Bumper cars, and North star were very good. The downside was waiting in line to make reservations. The robot bartenders were boring after 3 minutes and a waste of space due to the limited hours they worked and the breakdowns.

Mamma Mia was the highlight of the cruise and rivaled the Broadway version. The other shows left me confused. Starwater reminded me of Cirque Du Soliel with a floating Cellist and a singer who floated in the air. She sang a song that lasted at least 20 minutes while the dancers waved her dress up & down for lighting effects ??? The show had to be cancelled twice due to rough seas in the Caribbean.

Activities

Many usual shipboard activities were missing. Mostly because the venues were too small. Trivia as usual was won by back to back cruisers who had the answers to all the questions. No parties on the pool deck, Quest, Belly flop contests Etc because the venues were too small.

There were limited venues for dancing. The music hall and Boleros which were usually standing room only and the 270 was beautiful but only seemed to play what I'll refer to as "Elevator music".

The diamond lounge was standing room only and we were redirected to other bars and had to wait up to 1/2 hour for a drink due to being understaffed.

SUMMARY

The ship is beautiful but the design emphasis seems to have been in technology and ignored practicality and common sense. (It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize a children's pool doesn't belong next to the smoking section. And I'm a smoker )

I am sure many first time cruisers tech people and young people will enjoy this ship, but if you like interaction with the same waiter every night and the smooth flow of getting in & out of a restaurant in a reasonable time, you would be better off sticking to ships with traditional dining.

We go on vacation to relax and unwind, but this vacation was WORK and caused stress when the technology went awry. In 35 cruises this is the first negative review i have written It by far was my worst cruise. I felt like I was in Disneyland with all the standing in line and reservations. If Dynamic Dining is the future of RCI, I will sadly have to choose other Cruise lines.

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Worst Day of My Life
Publication Date: December 10, 2014

I never got on board to see the ship. After the hour wait to check in, my wife made the fatal mistake about being honest that she had a cold. On the health declaration form, she checked "yes" to having a runny nose and coughs. We were ushered to the side of the check-in room and waited over an hour for a nurse to arrive. All the nurse did was check her temperature. She registered 99.7F.

Despite the form saying explicitly that you would not be denied boarding unless you are proven to be communicable, we were refused boarding. I am a scientist and an academic writer. In no respected scientific way would you prove communicable causation by showing someone to be one degree Fahrenheit higher than normal. In fact, the norm of 98.6F is just an average. Depending upon the surrounding conditions and the state of the individual, the norm could vary by as much as one degree. Again, 98.6F is not a fact; it is an average. Some people run normally at 99F or higher.

When we pleaded with the medical staff that she was only one degree over the

accepted norm, they said that they don't deal in "only." I'm sorry but half the people would fail the test because their norm is higher than 98.6F.

The moral of this story is that honesty does not pay. Among the 2000 in line, we witnessed dozens of people sniffling and hacking--and yet only two people, including us, answered "yes" to their question. Now doing a brief review online, I see that everyone lies about their health conditions--and I see why.

THIS ISN'T THE WORST PART!

After being told that we would not be permitted to board, we had to wait THREE HOURS for them to retrieve our luggage. After three hours, they only apologised that they could not retrieve them.

THEY LEFT US ABANDONED AND TOOK ALL OF OUR CLOTHES AND BELONGINGS.

Here we were stranded in Baltimore under freezing rain with nothing but the clothes on our backs. For me, this included a t-shirt, shorts, sandals and a light windbreaker. They were kind enough to let us stand in the lobby, with the doors wide open, while they called us a cab.

To recap, we arrived at the port just after noon. By the time the ordeal was over, it's close to 5 pm. Expecting a rich meal on board, we had nothing to eat all day and we were left hungry, cold, and stripped of all our belongings.

After booking and adjusting our flight itinerary, this debacle cost us $1500.

Thanks Royal Caribbean for ruining our vacation, putting us through five hours of torture, and leaving us in the cold. This must be the basis of some sort of lawsuit and I'll search for a lawyer soon.

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Staff recognition for excellent service
Publication Date: November 29, 2014
We were a party of 4 on a cruise from Sydney to Fiji on 11 night cruise. We had cruised before on Celebrity Cruises and decided to take our parents along with us this time. Our holiday started off in the worst possible way with the airline losing all our luggage. Literally, we had nothing except the clothes which we were wearing. (tee shirts and shorts).

However all staff on "Rhapsody of the Seas" were fantastic from everyone in Guest Relations department to F&B to Housekeeping to all the great shows on board. But I would like to point out 2 crew members who were exceptional and delivered the highest quality of service I have ever encountered. They tried their best for us with the loss of our luggage and we were never neglected. Most importantly they empathized with our situation and therefore made our misery much more manageable. The 2 crew member were Baris Beyosmanoglu and Bhiri  Ramsarup from Guest Relations. They gave us things to get by such as laundry service, formal hire, toiletry pack and helped track down our
luggages. These kind gestures has made such a big impact on all of us. It has made our cruise holiday from a stressful one to an unforgettable one. We will always remember the highest level of service that Royal Caribbean or more specifically Rhapsody of the Seas staff has. Thank you Baris and Bhiri and every other crew member. 

We will cruise again and Royal Caribbean will be our first choice from now on.
 
Kind Regards
davidlo3109
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Great Ship but More days needed
Publication Date: September 21, 2014

We got on the Liberty of the seas December 26, 2013 and we had fun. It would be nice if it was a 7-day cruise but, it was a 4-night cruise. Here is how it was like.

Hotel/Embarking: We stayed at a hotel. It was the Comfort inn. The hotel was okay but the food wasn't okay. My parents told me not to eat the boiled eggs because they were rubbery. Embarking was okay but the lines were long.

Activities: We had alot of fun. The hzo zone and pool was fun. The pools were freshwater. The promenade was pretty nice to see. The florider was amazing. We didn't do the flowrider but, we watched.

Children's Club: My sister had alot of fun. She met some friends. We brought other kids and they had fun.

Cozumel: We did an island tour. We loved it. We visited the ruins, did the Tequila tour, and more. We had two vans. The problems are on one van, it had the "B-word" on the back.

Cabin: We booked a balcony and we loved it. The doors were okay and the bathroom was great.

Service: The service was

great. The dining room treated our cousins 3-year old (now 4) really nice. The staff in cafe promenade was nice.

Food: The food was good. Nothing went wrong in the dining room. The fries tasted good. I was not sure about the cheese plate but, I will try it again.

The entertainment was good. We did the Micheal Jackson experience and it was the best. The 70s party was good. We had alot of fun.

Overall: We will recommend this ship to our friends because it was the best ship we been on. It would be good for a B2B cruise.

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Western Caribbean Cruise
Publication Date: July 28, 2014

Our 11th cruise, 2nd on Royal Caribbean, was a great cruise. We were impressed with the ship which had a recent refurbishment, and the ease of getting around the ship. Our cabin was a balcony on Deck 8, Mid-Ship, # 8336 which was very smooth when sailing and very quite. We left out of Galveston as we are able to drive to the port in about 1 1/2 hours from our home in S/W Louisiana. We have booked this same ship for another cruise in November, 2014.

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Nice Ship!
Publication Date: July 27, 2014

We sailed the Eastern Caribbean 2 years ago and this was the largest, best entertainment, best food, we've had on any cruise. I don't have any complaints at all. We sailed on Carnival, and 4 other RCCL ships before this cruise, and then Disney with the family, and I recently got back from Carnival's Fantasy out of Charleston. I've enjoyed every cruise! But, for the first time, we've decided to go back on the Freedom of the Seas and do the Western Caribbean next month. We loved the Promenade Stateroom to people watch and see what was happening on the Promenade. We spend very little time in any cabin on any ship, but the Promenade cabin was greatly enjoyed by my wife. So when picking out a cruise, I want to make sure she's happy, because as we all know, when someone isn't happy, that someone can make you unhappy!

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