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Posts posted by ksawyercruiser

  1. On Royal it's hard to over spend as a rule. Holidays are of course more expensive. When we go on boutique lines like Lindblad's national geographic the $500 PP per day is usual, or $3500 per person for a week. Azamara runs $300-$350 PP per day and is all inclusive. Our Viking River cruise next year to China is running over $10,000 with air for 2 people. It is dependant upon the style you take. On mass market lines you can sail for peanuts.



    Your China cruise sounds amazing! Something I would love to do one day. :)



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  2. With all the chatter about the recent deals, and the fact that the crown loft suites are going for $30,000 on our 2014 thanksgiving Allure cruise, I was curious how much you've ever paid for that cruise of a lifetime.


    No judgment at all. We all have special cruises where we've splurged, and I think that's great. Life is short. Enjoy it while you can! :)


    For us, it was our 20th wedding anniversary. Almost $8000 for a July sailing on the Allure for four of us. And worth every penny.



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  3. Not doubting you at all, things do vary from one ship to another, but the only time this happened to me the moment the obviously way past drunk guy yelled his first obscenity he was quickly escorted out of the area by 4 RC crew members. I think it was my only 3 day cruise that this happened, so I never saw him again. It was obvious that crew had been trained for exactly that situation and reacted quickly. This was back in the days when you stood out out in the hot sun wearing the life jackets and delays like that were almost unbearable!



    I'm glad the situation was handled in this case. I actually thought about seeking out a crew member but I didn't want to get out of line during muster. During the announcements, I didn't see any crewmembers. But one came to our section afterward to do the life vest thing. But we were a very large group. And we were in the middle. Crew could have been on either end.



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  4. You mentioned watching a movie in the theatre. I didn't think the vision had a theatre. Does anyone know where I can get specific details of what the ship offers. The RC website doesn't give all the ships details, or at least none that I could find.




    Also, does anyone have any Compasses from the 4 nite Cozumel Cruise that they could post?




    The movies were shown in the regular theater where the shows are. Besides the one we saw, they also played Chicago. Movies were also shown by the pool from time to time. They played the One Direction concert movie a couple times. Plus the NBA playoffs.



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  5. Okay ... Let's wrap this up.



    We went to the welcome show. It was "Boogie Wonderland," a compilation of 70s songs. The show was entertaining. The dancing was very good. Unfortunately, there were serious sound issues ... at least on the side of the stage where we were sitting. We could only hear about every fifth word from some of the singers. It was distracting.


    The Farewell Show featured the comedian. He was average.


    We tried to go to Quest. We got their 15 minutes early but there were no seats. Standing room only. So we went back to the Schooner.


    The piano player there was very good. But the Schooner was pretty rowdy and much more crowded than usual. At times, it was very difficult to hear the entertainer.


    I thought the bands by the pool were excellent. Really fun and got people up and dancing.


    We missed the aerial show, darn it. I heard it was outstanding.




    With the pools at capacity, we were always on the lookout for other things to do. We went to the wine tasting which was very fun. We saw "The Ride Along" n the movie theater. Pretty funny.


    We did a little trivia. And we went to the casino for about an hour each day. There is one craps table in the casino. I had heard that there was no craps on the Vision. It was always jam packed. (Sidenote: I really liked how their was a straight shot through the casino so you didn't have to wander around looking for the exit. Very handy when you have kids with you.)


    Interestingly, I saw lots of "vaping" in the casino. Definitely a trend. It seemed to me that folks vaping were sticking to the smoking areas. Which makes sense.


    Overall, I found the activities a little lacking. At times, there just wasn't much going on.



    I think I covered everything. This cruise wasn't horrible. But it wasn't great. It was crowded, and service could be very slow. We still enjoyed ourselves, and there were some definite highlights.


    This was the first cruise where we didn't tip any extra. Just the automatic gratuities. Well, actually we did over tip a couple bartenders who were really hustling .... trying to serve everyone.


    Hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading along!

  6. We were on this sailing as well. Three couples, all have sailed with Royal Caribbean before as well as Carnival and Norwegian. This was by far the worst cruise we've been on.

    Morale is horrible and I'm sure it is due to cut-backs (as a matter of fact one our group's stateroom attendants confirmed this). Many of the staff were downright rude.

    Staterooms don't even have shampoo bottles or dispensers. Yes, only 1 towel animal. No turn-down service. No cute little chocolates. You have to ask for ice bucket and ice. No refrigerator. Saw our attendant once.

    Dining room seemed totally unorganized. No real introduction to who your dining team would be. Bartenders seemed to be running back and forth and noone seemed to know who was assigned to which table. Food was good for the most part until the last night where the seafood was cooked to death. No lobster (unless you pay for it). Didn't appreciate the "upgrades" posted on the menu for additional pcharge. If I pay extra, I'll go to one of the specialty restaurants. Bright spot was a server from Albania. He went above and beyond.

    Pool area - very crowded and certainly NOT PG rated.

    Solarium/spa pool area - beautiful!

    Centrum aerial show - amazing!

    Masquerade Theater: Only saw 2 shows, one was a comedian/dancer/singer who was probably the best entertainer I have ever seen on a ship. The other was the late night comedy and he wasn't bad, but not that great either.

    Bar/Drink Service/Beverage package: Where to start? NOT ENOUGH STAFF! Waiting for 30-45 minutes for a drink is unacceptable. Like someone else posted, you had to roam from bar to bar to try and get your drinks. Bartenders are being worked to death - I felt bad for them. Not until one time on the last day, did someone come around and take our drink order on the pool deck. You have to get your own! Terrible service.

    Windjammer - good food and service was also good. I miss the cut up, peeled oranges and grapefruit. Look forward to that little healthy luxury on every cruise. Asked for it and the chef in charge of that buffet area pointed me to cut-up peaches. I asked for cut-up citrus and he pointed to half a grapefruit. Ok.......? Guess they cut that off the menu too.

    All in all, I don't think I would go on this ship again. It's a cruise, and we still had a great time, but if you are used to a certain level of service, friendliness and amenities, it makes you think hard about coming back.


    I agree. I felt bad for the staff but also came across a few pretty rude crewmembers. Many of the crew looked exhausted like they just wanted to get this cruise over with.


    We got a good deal on this cruise but we still paid for it with our hard-earned money. We had a good time. But if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have booked this cruise.

  7. Interesting report.


    Thanks! :)


    We were on the previous sailing and our experience was similar. We are sailing again on this ship in November and I hope the personnel issues are addressed. Not all servers were bad but, overall, much worse than our previous Royal cruises. Bartenders could not keep up with crowds and MDR service was horrible. Ours was not a Holiday weekend but it certainly had a higher ratio of crazies. It reminded us of a 3 day Carnival weekend cruise.



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    Yes, there were several times I thought I must have gotten on the wrong ship. The crowds and lack of service (or time needed to get service) were nothing like any of our previous RCI cruises.


    Sorry you also had a challenging cruise. Better luck to us both next time! :D

  8. We were also just on this sailing and wow....what a disappointment. Drink service was a joke, the staff seemed miserable, and the deck was constantly cluttered with empty glasses (apparently someone was able to get a drink from a bar).


    All in all, we still had fun being away for the weekend, however we are sailing on this ship again in October with some much pickier cruisers. If the service is this bad again in October, I am going to find it very difficult to continue cruising with Royal.


    I agree. We have two more cruises booked on Royal Caribbean. I'm hopeful they will be better. I will NEVER, EVER book a short cruise over a holiday weekend again.


    Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you guys managed to have fun. We did, too. But this cruise definitely fell short of expectations.

  9. Well, my review is still here. I guess I corrected the issue. Hooray! No fun being on the CC "naughty list." :D


    So here's a bit more of my review. I probably have final thoughts after this and then I'll post a few pics. I didn't take many but I do have a few good ones worth sharing.



    This was our first time doing the Chef's Table five-course dinner with wine pairings. And WOW! What a treat. After a welcome glass of champagne, we moved into a private dining room with four or five other couples.


    The chef came out and described each dish, and the sommelier explained each wine pairing. It was so much fun! The wine was flowing, the food was delicious and the conversation was delightful. We were fortunate to be with a great group of passengers who really made this event fun.


    Definitely the highlight of my cruise. It was $65/pp and worth every penny. Each couple got a RCI cookbook autographed by the chef -- as well as an invite to a mini galley tour the following day.


    Chef's table will be a new cruise tradition for me and Tom. We thoroughly enjoyed.


    IZUMI: B+

    Yum. We did this one night instead of the MDR. Complimentary edamame and miso soup. Both very good. Then ala carte pricing for everything else. We had sushi rolls and then cooked our own meat on the hot rocks. Kind of fun and definitely worth doing once. But I found the rock to be more of a gimmick. I will go back to Izumi but skip the hot rock this time and instead have more sushi and some of their other dishes … like dumplings perhaps.


    Service was excellent. And the restaurant is very pretty. Interestingly, it's above the Viking Lounge.


    It’s nice that they have specialty restaurant pricing for kids under the age of 12. It was only $8 for Marissa, and she could order whatever she wanted off the kids' menu (NOT adult). She ordered an appetizer and chicken teriyaki. She really enjoyed it.


    The only reason this isn't an A is because it was $70 for the three of us -- not including alcohol. A little pricey. I wasn't keen on the ala carte pricing structure.



    Good food here. Tom and I ended each evening here for a slice of pizza. Some of the slices were pretty good. Others were meh.


    We ate here for lunch one day and had the famous roast beef sandwiches. As good as I remember. But when I asked for mine to be a little more on the well-done side, the crewmember said to me, "We only make them one way." And then I got medium rare. Much different than our experiences in Park Café on the Allure.


    In addition to the pizza and roast beef, we also had the three-cheese Panini and mini ham-and-cheese croissants. All good.

  10. Let's try this again. My original review got deleted from the forum. I checked the rules, and I definitely violated one by using curse words with *** to describe offensive language by some passengers. I'm a rule follower ... so I'm a bit embarrassed I broke a rule. I apologize!! I deleted those sections.


    I hope this thread will stay because I love sharing information on the boards. But just in case, read quickly. :)




    Now that we have the important stuff out of the way ...


    Rather than doing a full review this time, I thought I'd give you my overall ratings for various aspects of the cruise. A little background, we are PLATINUM cruisers with RCI. Just reached that level after this cruise. WOOHOO!


    This is our fifth RCI cruise and our ninth overall. We've also cruised Disney (3x) and Celebrity once.


    We booked this Memorial weekend cruise during the Kids Sail Free promo. As a bonus, we were able to secure an aft Junior Suite.


    Sailing were me, my husband, our 16yo DS Tommy and our 10yo DD Marissa.


    Overall, we enjoyed ourselves on this cruise. But there is definitely room for improvement.



    Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 2 p.m. after working a half day. Kids also went to school for a half day. There were hardly any lines, and we were able to check in and get on the ship in about 30 minutes. We had a slight hiccup because my husband and son have the same name. So there was some confusion around that. But other than that, no issues. We were in the suite line but all the other lines were also minimal.


    (Funny story -- the guy at the counter told us the Liberty terminal is considered "the red-headed step child" at the port. Interesting after our recent embarkation debacle. He said it just isn't set up well for that many passengers. Don't we know it!!)



    Our Junior Suite #8090 was lovely. The balcony is soooooo huge!! So nice with a table, two chairs AND two loungers. We really enjoyed looking at the wake of the ship. It was a great room for the four of us. Plenty of storage. And the bathtub was heavenly.


    Room overall was in good condition. Cabinet to the cool box was coming off the hinges. Needed repair.


    The balcony got VERY hot during the day. Very little breeze. And you definitely heard the rumble of the engine. Sounded kind of like being on an airplane. Fortunately, we got used to it very quickly. But something you should be aware of if you book this cabin. Also, you look down on balconies that jut out further than yours ... so many times, you were looking down at other passengers when enjoying the views.


    We had zero problems with soot or ash on the balcony.


    This was not Royal's fault at all. But the JS next to us was booked by a bachelorette party. On day one, we are all resting on the balcony, when suddenly, the balcony door next to us opens and we hear someone shriek [iNSERT OFFENSIVE PROFANITY HERE]. Followed by girls screaming, "SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!" We ushered our kids inside. Sigh.



    Our attendant was friendly but several things were missed. One night we didn't get a Compass. One night we were only left with two towels for the four of us. One night we didn't get a room service door hanger. One morning, the couch bed was freshly made but the bed was left out.


    We were constantly having to ask for things.


    Just a sidenote: We got one towel animal on this sailing. Towel animals aren't a big deal for us but I know some folks are interested in this.



    The Vision is a beautiful ship. I thought the common areas looked new. The Solarium is very pretty. And the Centrum sparkles.



    Can't grade this one. Muster is muster. But this cruise definitely had its share of hard partiers ... our first experience being the bachelorette party next door.


    But muster was a nightmare for us because of one particular passenger who came to the drill already intoxicated.


    He staggered up to the line, and said to his buddies, "Why the [OFFENSIVE 4-LETTER WORD] are we here?” Of course, my daughter was standing right there. I asked him to watch his language. His friends were also trying to calm him down ... to no avail.


    Each time they translated the announcement into Spanish, he would shout, "Aren't we still in [OFFENSIVE 4-LETTER WORD] America?" Followed by other racial insensitive comments.


    His behavior was deplorable. I kept asking him to lower his voice, and his friends tried to intervene but he was just too drunk to listen. The RCI staff didn't do anything. I'm not sure they noticed because our muster group was so large.


    I was so surprised to find this kind of behavior on the ship. Maybe my fault because we booked a holiday weekend cruise. But we've been fortunate on previous cruises to not encounter this type of drunken stupidity before.


    I did hear later in the cruise that a couple passengers were confined to their stateroom for drunken fighting. They had guards outside and could only order room service. Not sure if it was this gentleman or not.



    As is expected, the WJ was very busy on embarkation. I thought the food selections were very limited. And many chafing dishes were emptied as soon as the staff refilled them. It was hard to get the more popular items.


    No honeystung as has been previously reported.


    We ate in the WJ the last night. And it was much better. More variety and the staff was very helpful and friendly. Of course, it was much less hectic.




    Our first night in the MDR was horrible. Not a great start to the cruise. This has nothing to do with our service, but here is how our dinner began ...


    We were seated at a table for four in the front of the dining room. Very nice location, nice table.


    As we're looking over the menu, I had draped my arm over the back of my chair. I had pushed my chair in as far as possible because of all the servers walking around.


    Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain in my arm. It's being pinched -- HARD -- by something. I looked over my shoulder to try to figure out what's happening, and I see a waiter in a scooter who has pinned my arm against the chair. A passenger had driven the scooter to his table, and the server was trying to drive it out to the MDR entrance so it wouldn't block the aisles. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to drive it.


    I was in pain; he was mortified. He tried moving forward which only made it worse. I tried to push my chair in further but couldn't. Finally, he got it in reverse and -- scraping my arm along the way -- got us free.


    He was extremely apologetic. And I accepted his apology immediately. My arm was hurt ... and I ended up getting a nice bruise ... but it was an accident.


    Then he tried to reverse the scooter and accidently put it in "drive." It rammed right into me and shook our table. Again, more apologies. And no, I'm not making this up.


    With a start like that, it had to get better, right?


    Well ... not really. Our server team had no communication whatsoever. We placed our order. My husband and I each ordered a glass of wine and my daughter asked for her one-allotted coke per day. We received our wine but no coke. We asked again. No coke. When her dinner finally arrived, we asked for the coke a third time and finally received it.


    When the assistant waiter brought out the bread selection, I asked for the delicious cheese bread I enjoyed on the Liberty. The assistant waiter didn't have any but said he would be right back with it. Never got it.


    Our entrees came out staggered. My daughter received hers, I got mine 20 minutes later, and my husband and son got theirs 20 minutes after that.


    I asked for fresh pepper for my salad. Never got it.


    My husband and I ordered coffees after dinner. We didn't receive them. We had to ask a second time when we finally got our desserts after a 30-minute wait.


    This service was the worst I've ever received on any cruise. May be due to understaffing but absolutely no excuse.


    We were one of the first tables in the MDR and one of the last to leave. We were there for more than two hours.


    That was our last dinner in the MDR this cruise. Looking back, I probably should have simply asked to move to a different section. But it was such a negative experience, we decided to explore other dinner options.




    Even with the scooter and service fiasco, food was decent. My husband had the escargot which he said was good, except for the fact it was lukewarm. He had the mojo pork which he said was good, not great


    My son had the Caesar salad which was just okay. He also ordered the pork which he thought was good.


    I had the spinach salad appetizer which was awesome. One of the best apps I've had on RCI. Just perfect. My daughter had the watermelon/raspberry chilled soup. She loved it.


    She and I both ordered the roasted chicken breast with mashed potatoes. Very good. No complaints.


    We did have lunch in the MDR on our first sea day. Service was a little slow but not too bad.


    Lunch was absolutely delicious. The tutti salad bar was sooo good. You choose your ingredients and they chop them for you with the dressing. I loved it. Now I see what all the fuss is about. The other dishes we had were also very good. I highly recommend the MDR for lunch.




    I'm being a little harsh here. I feel like the actual service should be graded higher because those bartenders were working their tales off. We never did get a sailaway drink even after going to three different bars. The lines were three people deep. But the wait for a drink at sailaway -- and at the pool bar in general -- was way too long.


    We had slightly better luck later in the cruise. But getting a cocktail consistently seemed like a chore on this sailing.


    We heard complaints throughout the cruise. Not the bartenders' fault. But the drinking establishments were inadequate for this particular cruise IMHO.



    I got a great tip from the Cozumel boards. We took a taxi to the Money Bar. Very close to the pier. It was a $10 cab ride for the four of us.


    This is a beachfront restaurant with snorkeling equipment for rent. No pool.


    We got there and were greeted immediately. We were seated at a nice table overlooking the water. We all ordered drinks and some chips/salsa/guac to start our day. Very good and reasonably priced.


    We then rented snorkel equipment ($15pp) and three lockers ($5/each). We then headed into the water for some AWESOME snorkeling.


    The reason we chose this place was because the poster said it was some of the best snorkeling in Cozumel. And they were right. Interestingly, we saw several snorkeling boats right offshore. So it was obviously a good spot.


    We followed the recommended snorkeling "trail." And it was great. Easy enough for my 10yo with enough stuff to see for my 16 yo. We saw tons of fish ... some cool coral ... and even two eels. Water was crystal clear.


    After snorkeling, we dried off and used the complimentary changing rooms. We then went back to the restaurant for lunch. My daughter and I split the chicken fajitas, my son had the chicken&bean nachos and my husband opted for the shrimp tacos. All delicious. Service was top-notch.


    We then took a cab back and did a little shopping. Perfect day!

  11. Hi Jon...sorry we missed you at sail-away, but with that crowd at the pool bar, it was maddening.


    We had a Jr suite on deck 8 and did not notice the vibration, but the chair shuffling from deck 9 made us use our earplugs every night.


    My opinion of this cruise was, there was good and bad, but no ugly, but still a lot of bad.


    On Friday, the first sea day, I literally tried to get a beer at every bar, started at the casino, R Bar, Schooner, pool, Solarium, lines were way too thick, I gave up and made a hard drink from my bootlegged stash.


    I really wanted a beer. :(


    The pool area were nuts at sea days, we hid in the Solarium.


    MDR food just plain sucked.

    Windjammer was better, but we ate in the MDR 3 nights. We had early seating and were at a 6 top and it was just the 2 of us so the service was good, just the food was bad.

    Our waiter even apologized on the last night.


    We did notice the chandelier in the MDR shaking pretty good.


    As Jon said, very relaxed dress code, but I wore a white dinner jacket on formal night. Saw about 3 tuxes, including me.


    Our room, other than the noise, which we expected, was great, our steward was the best.


    I will say that the entertainment was the best of any short cruise we ever took.


    In the gift shop during the infamous 10 dollar tee shirt sale and we started talking to the shoppie working the register, and she asked us if this was our first RCI cruise, we said no.

    She asked what line was our favorite and we said Celebrity, and then asked if we had ever cruised Carnival, I said yes, and said they were not that bad.

    This was her first contract with RCI after three with Carnival and she was wondering if she made a mistake, she came on after the ship repo'd to FLL...


    Something was off on this cruise and I just can't pin point it.


    We have sailed RCI many times, this one just was not the best.



    Agree wholeheartedly. Sorry we missed meeting up with you guys! Next time hopefully. :)




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  12. I can't remember his name, but he was a young (early 20's) Irish pianist/guitarist and was quite entertaining. I have some pictures and videos which I took (not with me right now). This was on the April 21-26 cruise last month.


    I was on the 4/26 sailing. This singer was really talented and there was a packed house in the Schooner every night. He was the most popular singer I've seen on any RCI cruise.


    We spent a couple nights in the Hoof & Claw, and the singer there (also amazing) told us this was his first U.S.-based job. She said she had to teach him Sweet Caroline, Piano Man and other cruise staples. He had never heard them before. :)

  13. Thank you both!

    Just curious...did your kids go to the clubs at all? My girls are really close, but 4 years apart and they don't want to be separated. I read there are some times when the groups are mixed ages - do you know if that's true on the Enchantment?

    Also, are they special things just for the kids on Coco Cay?


    Thanks again!!



    They do mix ages. It is one of the reasons I think my daughter is over the kids clubs. She thinks hanging out with 7 year olds is beneath her. :)


    Go to the open house when you board and check everything out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The staff is very accommodating.


    I would not hesitate to book the enchantment again for a four night cruise. I love that ship!! :)



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  14. I agree! Enchantment is great for a short cruise for all ages. My kids loved going to movies in the theater, playing in the arcade and swimming. They were never bored.


    I have a review you can access in my signature if you'd like to read about our experiences.


    Happy sailing! :)



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  15. On our Liberty cruise, there were special classes for kids. My 10yo daughter did the class and made two cupcakes ... A lion and a frog. I thought it was a bargain for $15. She had a great time, and the crewmember who conducted the class was great with the kids.


    My husband and I snapped a few pics, then watched her from a table at sorrento's.



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  16. We are going on our first cruise ever next week on the vision of the seas so I was excited to see posted information about her. Do you happen to know if you are taking a bottle of wine on board if it goes in your carry on or does it go in your checked luggage?



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    We are leaving on the Vision in 5 short days! You are allowed two bottles of wine per cabin in your carry on luggage. Do not pack in your checked luggage. Those bottles are fragile. :)


    Happy cruising!






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  17. Congrats on winning the cruise! And thank you for taking the time to do the review. We will be sailing on the Liberty when she comes here to NJ in 2015. The info of Marissa's feelings are much apprecaited too as our granddaughter will be 10 at the time of the sailing and our grandson will be 7. While he may enjoy some of the AO activities, she may be growing out of them. Always good to have a Plan B just in case.




    Thoroughly enjoyed your detail of the trip and the photos. Thank you!



    Thank you so much for your kind words! Marissa really enjoyed herself this cruise. She absolutely loved the shows. She really liked the promenade area and all the food options. But as a tween, she isn't interested in decorating a bandana for a pirate party. She would be happier with movies or computer games. Breaks my heart my little one isn't so little anymore. But I will tell you she had a fantastic voyage on the Liberty.


    Now I know why they allow kids to have check in/checkout privileges in the AO club at age 10. Although we declined that privilege. She's still our baby. :)


    Thanks again!




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