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Great Cruise on Oasis
Posted by on
A couple months ago we took a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. I figured I’d share a few things for those who are considering taking her, or her sister Allure of the Seas, as their cruise choice. In a word, do. Unless you just don’t like large boat cruising, you can’t help but marvel at the sheer size of the vessel and all it has to offer. As the largest passenger boat ever built, (5 times larger than Titanic), you do get an experience..

We are Crown and Anchor members and cruise RC the majority of the time. I have never felt their service was anything less than excellent. No exception this time around either.

Because of its novelty, we chose a Crown loft suite. A unique room only found on this boat and her sister, Allure. A two floor suite located at the very top of the ship on deck 17 with the bedroom loft overlooking the lower main suite deck level. The unit also has two full baths. It is a bit pricey for the limited amount of these lofts, and there are many great cabins on the boat, so it’s a personal choice. The suites do have fringe benefits such as Concierge service and lounge usage, a private sun deck at the front of the ship, and priority reserved seating for shows and events, which there are many.

Beyond any standard cruise ship activities, this ship has many unique options. Flow rider surf machines, a zip line, rock climbing wall, ice rink, 5 pools, 27 Jacuzzis, including two cantilevered ones that actually hang over the edge of the top decks, a comedy club, jazz club, and much more. They even have an oval bar that rises and lowers all day between three decks.

If I had any tips for anyone going on board, I would suggest a few things only.

1. Don’t bother with the “my time” dining and just pick one of the two standard sitting times. Lines actually can form and it seemed just as easy to plan around dinner as anything backwards.
2. If you don’t have a suite, you won’t get priority seating at events so book those online before you even sail. Their headliner “Hairspray” in the main theater, the dive and swimming show in their Aquatic theater, Comedy gigs, and even the ice shows all can fill quickly on a ship carrying 5500 passengers
3. Don’t bother bringing a computer or Ipad to get on the internet. It is too confusing to get them online and more risky you won’t log them off properly, hence losing all your pre-paid minutes. Their in room web TV remote is even worse. Use terminals set up around the ship.

In closing, a great ship that any cruiser should experience. Nothing has ever been built like it before. Even with the extra passengers it carries; it never felt any more crowed than other ships we have been on with less people. Another great cruise for us with Royal Caribbean

     
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Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
Nice review! Great tips, too. I want to go!!!
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
So ballpark how much is one of these suites with their private sun decks and priority seating? Ya know special treatment and being a step above the masses sounds so like me.

As always excellent review!
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
Nice!!
Slim, would it be safe to assume that you didn't have to encounter some Vodka swilling buffoon in a white terry cloth robe on your cruise?
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
If I wasn't terrified of water, this review would prompt me to book a cruise.
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
Slim, great review. Sounds like a good time. The info you gave could be a very big help to someone planning a trip.
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
The comedy and jazz clubs alone would prompt me to book. I have never had a bad experience with RC cruises, and this sounds like it would be no exception.
Skye on 2011-04-01:
Sounds so fabulous Slim. Looking forward to my first cruise one of these days.
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
This sounds nice! Thanks for the review.
Alain on 2011-04-02:
Good review and good information, Slim!
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Beware of cell phone use while on a cruise ship
Posted by on
My wife and I took a 12 day cruise out of Baltimore last month to The Caribbean (San Juan, St Thomas, St Maarten, etc) on the Enchantment Of The Seas of Royal Caribbean. The cruise had a bad start because of the terrible boarding procedures. This was our sixth cruise and on every prior cruise, as soon as we finished with the agents who checked our papers and gave us our cabin keys we walked up the ramp and onto the ship. This time however, we were herded into a large room and told to take seats. Royal Caribbean then began boarding people who had cruised with them before. The more prior cruises, the quicker you were allowed to board. We waited about an hour for permission to board.
Our biggest single problem didn't surface until about 4 days into the cruise. My wife got a message from Verizon Wireless that she had exceeded $50.00 in data charges on her cell phone. She had not used her phone at all but had kept it on to use as a camera. Naturally I was not happy about these charges and began to try to get to the bottom of it. Here is what I found:
All cruise ships have recently installed equipment on board to create a cell phone tower on the ship that is connected to the satellite network. When a passenger turns on their cell phone it connects with the ship's tower and the phone shows strong signal strength. Many people think they can make and receive calls just as they did at home, and in fact they can. The difference is that in this case, a charge of $1.49 per minute is billed by their cell phone provider and is paid by the provider to the cruise line. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing but I feel that the cruise line has an obligation to inform passengers of this situation BEFORE they incur unexpected charges. In our case my wife's IPhone had updated itself several times a day resulting in the data charges. Once we discovered what was happening we switched her phone to airplane mode so it could not send or receive signals. The Guest Services Manager initially denied that the ship had anything to do with it and was not receiving the money for the charges but when I presented him with a statement from Verizon Wireless (which I had obtained while ashore in San Juan) he agreed to help with the charges. My single problem here is that I did not know about these procedures and I feel that Royal Caribbean is disingenuous in not telling guests about it on their first day on board.
Other than that problem we enjoyed the cruise. Our toilet failed to flush several times and I had to call maintenance about four times but by and large, the crew did a great job and I would highly recommend cruising on The Enchantment Of The Seas.
     
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ktisnumeroUNO on 2012-01-14:
If you are on a cruise, you are traveling most likely out of the country which would cause you to experience roaming charges for text and voice services. The phone updating itself, however, would only make sense if it had been an android run phone. Apple has barred the iPhone from doing any updates over the air, any and all iPhones must be updated through an usb connection to iTunes. So I would ask Verizon for another explanation as to why your charges are so high. The reason I say this is because I had an iPhone on AT&T.. And they were running up my data usage as I slept, at like 3 am. Granted I wasn't traveling, but it was still causing me to have overages because I was on the minimum data plan. When I called them to ask about the charges, they told me my phone was updating itself over the air, which is what I presume they told you. I told them that I was a RadioShack employee who sold their product and was very familiar and informed on its capabilities. They then connected us to Apple who confirmed that I was indeed correct, which left AT&T speechless because they had no other excuses to not waive those fees!
Southern Gentleman on 2012-01-15:
In typical Apple fashion they say one thing and do another. My wife had an IPhone (the latest version at the time) which IS NOT an Android type phone. Apple may SAY they have barred it from updating over the air but I know for a fact that over the air updates occur frequently.
ktisnumeroUNO on 2012-01-16:
OK, I was unaware that with new iOS5 they began allowing OTA updates, so with that I was ill informed. However, if your wife DID have an iPhone 4 or 4s with iOS5 installed, she would have needed to confirm OTA updates prior to this update occurring. Your phone doesn't "update itself" to avoid running up charges on an account with has a limited data plan. OTA software updates are large files that depending on the file could max out your while data allotment for the month and cause overages. Is it possible that when you were using your iPhone as a camera, you didn't go into the settings and turn on airplane mode, disabling cellular service from connecting to the phone and therefore also disabling data services? Because I'm presuming you have email set up on the phone, which would be getting updated through the network while data roaming, causing your data charges to skyrocket..
ktisnumeroUNO on 2012-01-16:
I also didn't say that I thought iPhones were android run. I was under the impression that android was one of the only operating systems that allow large OTA updates to come through. But no matter the OS, you still have to confirm an incoming update.
Anonymous on 2012-01-16:
The app itself may not update, but the app may connect to the network to gather/send info and will acquire data charges. I verified this with both AT&T and Verizon before my last cell contract.
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Avoid Royal Caribbean Christmas Cruise
Posted by on
Royal Caribbean Christmas Cruise


I’ve been fortunate to enjoy many fine traveling experiences in my lifetime, but my experience aboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas during this past Christmas is not among them. I will never cruise again on ANY ship; I do not have any animosity toward Royal Caribbean; I do not want to be contacted by anyone affiliated with RC to compensate or apologize to me; I simply wish to warn others about making the mistake of booking this trip. You really need to accept giving up your freedom if you cruise.

My wife and I are in our forties and we travelled with our 17 and twenty-year-old daughters. I speak for all of them by saying this was hands-down the worst family vacation we ever planned. If you are considering taking the Royal Caribbean Christmas Cruise out of Galveston and you have teenage children, I strongly recommend you consider our experience. Here is the good and the bad:

Boarding in Galveston: Extremely efficient process. We stayed at the Hilton the night before and enjoyed a complimentary shuttle to the pier. Hilton parked our vehicle free.

Stateroom: Room was hospital-clean; however, there was a distinct sewage odor upon opening the door to the stateroom. The room attendant did his best to correct it, and his efforts seemed to help initially. By midweek, we realized the odor was not emanating from the bath but from the ventilation system and it was affecting the adjoining room occupied by my children. RC was very courteous about the problem, but could not repair it and could not relocate us on the ship because there were no available rooms.

Luggage: Everyone in my family received their luggage except me. I finally got mine at 11 P.M. and would have had it sooner if the staffer who called me could actually speak reasonable English. By the time I got to sleep Sunday night, buyer’s remorse was setting in and never really ended for me.

Food: We live in the Dallas area and are certainly spoiled by great restaurants. The food on board was not bad, but certainly lackluster. Aside from the nice presentation and the opportunity to replace any dish you did not like, it is definitely not remarkable unless you appreciate quantity. The ship faces a daunting task trying to feed 3,000 people in short time periods, so make your mind up before you go to expect somewhat bland food for an entire week. Plan ahead to pay for the upgraded meals occasionally to break the monotony. We could not wait to eat something with some spice in it when we got off the ship. I know we are spoiled; it’s just that I would never plan a trip where I eat hotel food for seven days.

Staff: Very friendly and genuinely engaged all of us. Unfortunately, my stateroom attendant seemed to be in fear of me since I repeatedly told customer service about the odor in our cabins. It was not his fault but apparently he was blamed. I did see a technician working on the air handler in the hallway but the problem never went away.

Weather: Probably the most compelling reason you should reconsider this trip. It was 47 degrees in Galveston upon departure and still too cold on Monday to be on deck. We had good weather in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica, but a storm appeared on Friday after lunch and it quickly became too cold or windy to enjoy the deck. My teenagers had a misconception that they would be in deck chairs for most of the trip, but with the exception of Friday morning, it was too cold.

Age of children: Royal Caribbean can’t help this, but there is very little for a 17 and 20 year –old to do aboard this boat. If you have small children, perhaps pre-middle school age, I think it would be fine.

Excursions: Without getting too lengthy here, the excursions are fine but the mechanics of getting so many people off the ship and onto shuttles takes up too much of the days ashore. Yet another compelling reason to take your dollars and fly to a resort of your choice and not have to deal with lines and transfers. It isn’t that RC isn’t well organized, it’s just a time consuming process to get 3,000 people where they wish to go. I cannot imagine what it would be like on their newest, even larger craft. In Jamaica, I hired a cab to take us to a private beach just so we could avoid the shuttle herds. I regretted doing so on the return trip back to the ship because beggars were tapping on the windows of the cab and my daughters were justifiably frightened. I really cannot imagine why RC stops there.

Communication: I own my own business and unfortunately I always travel with the laptop and cell phone. I’m used to paying some high fees, but the rates aboard the ship are the worst I’ve encountered anywhere. I did make arrangements with AT&T before the trip so I could concentrate my cell use while ashore and not on the boat where it’s $6.95 per minute. The web speed onboard was excellent and I had no email issues.

Departure: My bill came to my room as promised on Sunday morning, but not without an overcharge. I got to wait in line at customer service only to be told the computers were down but they would correct my bill. I told him a final time about the odor in our room and he said he would make a note of it. He made no such note and some other poor souls spent a week the same way we did. I know that computers fail everywhere, but it did disappoint me again when my Visa bill arrived without the correct charges and I had to call RC and write a letter to Visa to protest the charge. RC did agree to correct it.

In summary, we just don’t get it. My family felt trapped in a hotel for a week with the exception of the three days of excursions where more time is spent on the transfers than on the activity itself. If I had flown to a destination and had the sewer odor problem, I would have cut my losses and returned home early. I realize many people enjoy cruises, but my family got a good lesson in making the best of a disappointing situation and we learned how much fun we’ve had on our other vacations enjoying our FREEDOM. For my family, we enjoy doing what we want, when we want and eating when and wherever we wish while on vacation. Other than the Disney trips when the kids were little, we don’t go places where we stand in lines. I backpacked across Europe after college and stayed in my share of unpleasant accommodations, but I would never consider putting my family in those conditions, especially not when trapped aboard a ship. My last thought before drifting off to sleep each night was wondering if Legionnaires disease had an odor.

A final humorous note: we took advantage of the early departure offer and carried our own luggage from the ship. The Hilton shuttle greeted us at the dock and we were quickly transferred back to the hotel parking area. You could sense the relief as we closed the doors on the Suburban to make the drive back to Dallas. We had only travelled a few blocks before my wife asked “My gosh, do you smell that? It’s following us!”

The unpleasant odor of the staterooms had permeated our luggage. We pulled into a Starbucks and drank coffee while watching the open windows of the Suburban!
     
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Inat on 2010-02-08:
good review; your review is the reason I could never go on a cruise. Mass produced food, expensive beverages, trapped accommodations. Sometimes, home is better than vacation, no? :)
Inat on 2010-02-08:
I'm looking at a SilverSea cruise... I think I could handle that.
Starlord on 2010-02-09:
Your post is a bit difficult to understand, as if you aren't sure whether it is a complaint of a compliment. As to the odor, they tried, but were unable to fix it, and your constant harping at them did not help. As far as food goes, you say you live in Dallas and missed spicy food, that the food your were served was too bland. You couldn't doctor it? I dislike very spicy food, and wonder why, all of a sudden, food has to be painful to be good. I can understand your complaint about the lack of activities for late teens, but what about all the activities they show on their commercials? Have you ever read a book called 'The Love Boats?' It is an expose of the cruise industry. We have friends whom it seems spend over half their time on cruises, and rave about them. Our son and daughter-in-law went on a cruise recently, and he said it was no great shakes. It is a bit dificult for people on SSID and a pension to go on cruises, so we just have to take your word for stuff, as we have no means of comparison.
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Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas - A Right Royal Cock Up
Posted by on
CRUISE WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN OUT OF SOUTHAMPTON 13th MAY 2009 ON VOYAGER OF THE SEAS. MISREPRESENTATION WITH A CAPITAL “M”.

We set sail on RCCL's Voyager of the seas with high hopes for a luxury holiday of a lifetime, on 13 May 2009 from Southampton, looking forward to a well-earned, well advertised, brochure stunning, luxury holiday cruising the Med.

Sadly, it was not going to be. Every day major maintenance work was being done with severely limited access on the top decks.

Of the two upper decks around the pool areas not only was the area roped off, so no access could be obtained from either end but they started resurfacing areas up top and around the pool area, ripping up the older surface and laying down dangerous irritant chemical based resin, sand to resurface major areas and then renew all the paintwork (blue) and varnish handrails. Without any warning signs we got covered in varnish from the rails that were still wet. We weren't warned or told anything about limited facilities or limited access for major and minor maintenance works prior to, or during sailing.

We were perturbed on the very first day to find the crew ripping up the surface of the running track that went the whole way around the top deck. We noticed that the staff all wore p. p.e. and face masks, the chloromethane volatile solvents being used were marked with irritant labels that we could see and photograph, and in an area where the stacked tins were on public view. There was red two inch thick sticky tape around cordoned off areas but not barricaded off enough to stop young children bobbing under the tape to try to get to the pool areas. Two children slipped and go the irritant mixture on their hands and shoes.

At no time were we advised either verbally or by letter that this major and minor maintenance work would take place in nearly every area of the ship. During the cruise we were told and noticed that carpets were still being laid in public areas, (rolls are clearly seen in the photograph on the top deck). We were also told by irritated passengers that their cabins had had new carpets fitted but prior to that all of their personal belongings had been turfed out into the hallways. One couple with young children who contacted us told us that they had been travelling with their young children and had returned to their cabin to find that their veranda was being painted and were told the paint was still wet, so they couldn't use it for three days. (The fumes were bad enough from the paint, let alone not being able to use the one facility that they had paid an extra £500 for). Another couple told us they were woken up at 5:00 A.M. to see a plumber fixing pipes in their bathroom!

We would not have gone if we had known what to expect.

Until day 10 of our 11 day cruise, areas around the pool were still shut off and being re-surfaced. We could see the cans of chemicals stacked on deck and being used above the deck where passengers were sat.

The sand that was thrown on top of the resin, could be seen coming down on passengers heads.

Maintenance crew had to be being fully aware that passengers could only sit in just one area of the pool - all the other chairs were stacked behind barriers in any case. Although there were labels saying "highly flammable" the maintenance staff were working directly above the smoking areas and passengers who were smoking did not even know that they were in danger of inhaling the solvent and in danger of catching themselves and their fellow passengers alight. (The crew wore face-masks and can be clearly seen in several of our photographs).

Being a flammable solvent we expected to see fire extinguishers. There were none visible that we could see.

Another facility shut was the adventure area, specifically for young children - in the stern of the ship. This was closed and cordoned off for the whole of the cruise.

In the Windjammer restaurant, one whole side was sectioned off each time the ship was in port and yet there were hundreds of passengers that choose to stay aboard as the ship making it nigh on impossible to find a table. With the hundreds of people crammed in like sardines a lot having to hold their plates of food and wait until a table became free it was like trying to find your way through Harrods January sale just not as enjoyable.

I felt like road runner in my wheelchair trying to spot and grab an available table on several occasions and trying to get pasta and sauce on to a plate at eye level meant every day I increased my washing by a machine load with some passengers obviously thinking that I was starting a new trend. I realized they thought that copying my idea was a good one and took to wearing spaghetti-meatball-red t-shirts twice a week.

Being in a wheelchair (an injury I suffered whilst on board), it was not possible for me to get off and on coaches for trips as disabled passengers with wheelchairs were not catered for and in any case some passengers chose to stay aboard because we were asked to pay to either get the shuttle bus (no passengers were allowed to walk from the ship on quite a few of the port days) or the ship’s tender.

Both were chargeable. This was not as expected-I have never ever had to pay to take a shuttle bus or tender whilst cruising with any other line than Royal Caribbean.

In the adult only section around the Solarium area, on actually managing to secure a metal sun bed (the only ones available in the adult area), the arms were extremely hot in the sun, so I burnt my arms. Choosing to wallow in the adult only Jacuzzi we thought we would be safe from burnt arms, noise, fumes and power tools, we were both bemused to notice maintenance men taking off the tiles, replacing them and re-grouting them just behind our heads in one of the two jacuzzi’s. One man who stayed in the opposite adult only Jacuzzi complained to us as a crew member was using a power drill whilst he was sat in the water - he was told by the crew member “not to worry.. it isn't electric.”.

The exceptionally loud power tools in the both ends of the main pool areas made conversation impossible, even when you were able to get a sun lounger. Looking around all you could see were passengers silently herded like cattle into small groups in hard-to-get-to areas and then roped either end for the re-surfacing major maintenance work to continue.

On tackling Captain Patrick face-to-face (a group of us), demanding to know why were were not warning, asked if we preferred not to cruise on a ship that was not ready in several areas, shouting to be heard over the noise of the power drills and vacuums removing all the saw-dust, he calmly told us and others to "sit somewhere else if we didn't like it". We thought this was appalling and very sadly, he said this to a lady stood by my husband who told him that she had only weeks to live. She told him she had hoped to prepare to die peacefully. Later, when we called for an interview with the Operations Manager and we recanted this conversation we were told by Gary Huyton "there you go, don't talk to the driver; what does he know".

The pools themselves were roped down without being filled with water until day 7 as according to Captain Patrick it had been “too cold and too wet”. He told us that he hadn't expected anyone to want to use them. Sadly, WE did expect to see them, photograph them sit by them. At least that what the brochure photographs had shown us. There were no photographs in the brochure that showed roped off pool areas with stacked high sun beds and chemicals stored on deck, or ripped up running tracks, or shut Adventure play areas for the little children and many, many cordoned off areas. Again, misrepresentation with a capital "M" is what we thought; beside words that cannot be printed here!

The Operations Manager Gary Huyton told us that the Miami had been informed of the 170 written complaints that had been made whilst at sea. He stated that after 9 days in dry dock in Southampton inclement weather had prevented the crew and sub-contractors from completing the necessary work needed before they set said. He stated that they had constructed a giant tent over the ship and this had blown away. He also told us that Miami had instructed them to set said in any case and to do the maintenance whilst at sea and that complainants were to be told "no action" would be taken by the Miami office if passengers complained about anything.

Gary Huyton admitted to us and many others who contacted us during and since the cruise, that they were culpable and had broken their service contract and had failed in their duty of care towards their passengers and that the brochure had been misleading offering us a luxury cruise, but if we spoke about it to others in a public area we would be breaking the customer charter.

We had been told two days before by security if we complained about it to anyone in a public area then we could be put off the ship. (This was said in front of the customer services desk with many witnesses). Not being a violent person, I held my tongue.

The entertainment was one 70's "party" which consists of some of the entertainment staff dressing up in 70's costumes and dancing on the Royal Promenade - we watched and it was entertaining but that was it.

One night in La Scala Theatre we were treated to "Fountains" where the entertainment crew dressed up in Toga's and spat water at each other. We did not consider this the equivalent of a West End Show and professional level of entertainment we were promised in the brochure. Again, we felt this was misrepresentation with a capital “M”.

We did not consider the daily Bingo, Karaoke or Trivia Quizzes to be amazingly or sensationally entertaining either. Sadly the friendly well-mannered entertainment staff did their best with what they had been provided with but in all honesty, did not speak English very well so the audience kept having to correct them in one way or another each day.

The funniest question being "What book was Zon Linnens murderer carrying when he was shioit..". That did make us laugh. We felt sure that John Lennon would have appreciated that.

Karaoke, Bingo and trivia quizzes were the order of the day - We felt Butlins Holiday Camp would have been a quarter of the price and would have offered the same facilities and in some areas of the shows - an improvement.

That said the American Dreamers a copy act of the Drifters were very good as were the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers but again sad the show was 90 minutes long and they were on only twice during the cruise with the Dreamers making one appearance. We felt, not the spectacular West End Shows with well-known performers as advertised in the brochure, either.

We were disappointed that there were pool games, exercises, music, entertainment around the pool areas that were accessible. No b-b-q's as advertised in the brochure No deck entertainment, just recorded music on the last day (and you could hear it as they stopped the power tools). No midnight buffet due to the credit crunch, stopped as they said, due to the amount of food wasted. (What about the amount of money we had paid to enjoy this advertised thrilling event?).

That said, there was a small display of dazzling ice sculpture, but, if behind the first row on the available bit of pool area - as we were - you could see nothing. From my point of view trying to see anything from wheelchair height was not possible, I just had to use my imagination!

We again collared Captain Patrick and asked why no pool games? Why no exercises around the tiny areas of the pool space? Why no b-b-q on deck? Why no dancing on deck? Why no live music around the pool areas when it was accessible? He said, quote: "It has been too wet and too cold" to provide any.

Of course we sympathized and nodded we understood that it was too late for us and the other 3,000 passengers, they had our money.

Over the last 11 days we have put in several verbal complaints and joined the other 170 passengers in written and e-mail complaints to RCCL in Surrey, England and Miami.

We are mesmerized into the fact that not only were we not told that we would be paying up to thousands of pounds to sit aboard a floating building site where there was severely restricted access every single day of the cruise with only noisy power tools and disruption but that the Voyager of the Seas published and paid for facilities were almost non-existent including the in-line skating rink, the adventure wall and putting golf with the cordoned off pools with everything barricaded off for maintenance at some point every single day throughout the whole cruise.

(Please excuse me whilst I take a breath and get yet another cup of coffee to steady my shattered nerves – I did this cruise to relax and have fun. I have an ankle injury, only one working kidney with 40% function – was I stupid to expect that everything in the brochure would be as advertised?).

My husband couldn't climb the adventure wall until the last day as it had been "wet". We laughed until we cried. (Incidentally there was no rain throughout the cruise although it was 12 degrees when we left Southampton, so it was a bit chilly).

The “wet” was from the hosing they had just given the deck area at 9:00 A.M. when we turned up eager and ready to do battle with the wall. We did though, get to do it when the staff requested the emergency doors be able for us to have 15 minutes alone to climb the wall so long as we came back 8.5 hours later and it would be opened just for us – there was no access from deck 13, it was sealed off for resurfacing. So that was the highlight of our cruise, and “Yes!” I was determined to try as I didn’t board the ship in a wheelchair!

Did they stop Hilary from climbing Mount Everest because there was snow?

The restaurant staff, the stateroom attendant could not be faulted for their customer service. They were very helpful with my wheelchair and their manner was polite and helpful, all nationalities some not even speaking any English. However, laid alongside what we did have to suffer for 11 days for a cruise that was nigh on £1,000 each for 11 days of torture to say we were extremely disappointed is an under-statement. No-one should look forward to returning to work!

We felt we had little fun except for when we were stuck in the lift between decks 13 and 14.

The lift stopped and got stuck between two floors. Great fun in a wheelchair and having to be dragged up by your elbows! Thank God my husband was strong enough to get hold of and pull up my wheelchair! This was one of the few "adventures" we had!

I am and still remain truly gutted.

There is more, including video of Captain Patrick trying to placate us. I trust you can get an idea and flavour of what we suffered.

What was the most appalling was the use of dangerous and irritant chemicals and the lack of forethought and care for RCCL's passengers in regard to Health and Safety issues and yet on day 1, Captain Patrick stated “Health and Safety is an issue that concerns us all – it is everyone’s responsibility”.

I work for Kvaerner the company that built Voyager of the Seas. I have done loads of cruises in the Med and in the Caribbean but never with Royal Caribbean. For my husband this was his maiden voyage and took me five years to talk him into taking me (as my birthday present). For us personally, we feel we will never again, from a personal prospective, ever cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We called it a Right Royal Cock-up.

We await RCCL's comments regarding our verbal and written communications but will not hold our breath for either an apology or compensation.
     
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Mrs. V on 2009-05-28:
This is Adam Goldstein's direct office info:

Christina Vazquez
Executive Guest Specialist
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Phone: 1-888-767-4644 Ext. 11709
Fax: 1-800-886-6485
E-mail: CVazquez@rccl.com

Mr. Goldstein's email is: AGoldstein@rccl.com

Try and email your complaint here. Make sure that it is concise, polite and to the point.

Also add any pics you have.

You may also wish to ask for help from www.cruisecritic.com

Good luck.
Anonymous on 2009-05-28:
Are you the wife of bonjfan who wrote a shorter version of your complaint?
Slimjim on 2009-05-28:
This is the third complaint now here about this particular cruise. I'm betting just about every one of the 3000 guests were pretty unhappy the ship was under such renovations during their trip.
Anonymous on 2009-05-28:
I searched a few cruise review forums for that particular sailing and found nothing like the complaint above.
Mrs. V on 2009-05-28:
On Cruise Critic (on the Meet & Mingle form) there is a bit of talk about the extra work that was ongoing for this cruise.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=740692&page=58
amazon21 on 2009-05-28:
A MESSAGE FOR USER PASSINGBY. PLEASE OPEN THE FOLLOWING LINKS, HERE YOU WILL SEE (VIA OTHER REVIEW FORUMS YOU COULD NOT FIND) MANY UNHAPPY CUSTOMER COMMENTS TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR CRUISE....http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-reviews/read_review_13944/

amazon21 on 2009-05-28:
http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-reviews/read_review_13944/
Anonymous on 2009-05-28:
Slim, I'm guessing the same thing about this cruise. The bad PR can't be doing Royal Caribbean any good.
Slimjim on 2009-05-28:
I mentioned this on another complaint. This ship (then almost new) was where we spent our honeymoon. At least I'm glad it's being maintained properly, although not preferred at the expenses of passengers. -Katarina Witt (ship's godmother) agrees
Anonymous on 2009-05-28:
Amazon21: I searched about 5 cruise forums. Didn't occur to me to look for a UK forum. Thank you for the link.

MrsV: That link requires a login.

I hope that the OP does get some sort of compensation.
Mrs. V on 2009-05-28:
Ack... Sorry PassingBy >_< Forgot that.

The whole thing is that they ran into some rough seas on the cruise before this one and some parts of the ship were damaged.

RCI choose to keep the ship in service for this sailing and due repairs.

There is quite a few different opinions on this on the boards.

Some people seem to have been not at all bothered while for some it seems to have ruined their cruise.
amazon21 on 2009-05-28:
The ship did not run into rough seas as far as I am aware. It was pre booked into dry dock in Germany for a re-fit and was not finished before it left dry dock. It was decided at the passengers expense that the refurb would continue during the 11 day cruise from Southampton as it had to be ready for the Barcelona - Barcelona cruises throughout the summer. These were far more important than our cruise as they are more expensive due to being the start of the summer season. The passengers who did not complain were mainly the passengers who chose not to use the upper decks. They chose to sit in the library, play bingo or relax in the bar. This was their choice, however people who chose to use the pool areas, childrens areas and upper deck found their cruise completely ruined. Two members of our party went out for a day trip and returned to to find their personal belongings thrown on the floor of the wardrobe and in the corridor outside their cabin as they decided to fit a new carpet in their stateroom without informing them they would be doing this. We heard another story whilst still on board of a couple waking up early in the morning to find a plumber in their bathroom fixing their toilet. Need I go on.
Mrs. V on 2009-05-28:
I can only relay what the passagers for that cruise at the Meet & Mingle are saying on Cruise Critics.

If you wish more information on what was discussed there, please feel free to join. It's free.

simply psychic on 2009-05-29:
Much debate has taken place from the passengers who were not aware that this was a "repositioning" cruise - a cruise that goes one way to it's destination for a sailing for the season. These cruises are commonly at much reduced rates so RCI say because that passengers travelling from America to Barcelona will need to pay their own return costs. The actual PAYING cruisers start in Barcelona for Voyager of the Seas. They say we would have had discounts from travel agents which is why no compensation will be offered or paid. Friends of ours have been offered $250 cruise vouchers sailing with RCI next year; they should have put out a tannoy apology for the disruption and noise; even if Captain Patrick hadn't wanted to show his face, as it is we are now taking our personal views and photographs and video of the Captain walking off in mid-sentence, to the BBC, GMTV, the Daily Star and The Daily Express. Maybe we will all get the apology we deserve. Being in a wheelchair and not being able to put my weight on either leg I was more concerned personally with not getting access up and down in and out to find barriers everywhere on the top decks - I was frightened that if the toxic chemicals in the resin actually caught fire as it is highly flammable, what would I do - you can't use the elevators so I couldn't use the stairs except on my bum, I suppose I would just have to sit and wait to be carried off to that great shipyard in the sky! (Just my personal view though I should add).
Don on 2013-10-26:
I will never ever cruise this line again.
Horrible customer service
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Awful Experience! Avoid At All Costs
Posted by on
MEDITERRANEAN -- My wife and I wanted to see the Mediterranean area as a nice second anniversary trip. In the past, we have traveled on land tours and have enjoyed seeing many countries in Europe, Asia, and South America. This time, however, we felt that a cruise would be the best option to see these coastal areas.

Upon arrival in Rome, Italy for our cruise, the problems started. Royal Caribbean reps told us to get our bags and wait for further instructions. Our transfer ticket stated that we would get a orientation tour of Rome if we arrived early (which we had). So, we were looking forward to that. The agents promised us that the tour would begin as soon as we got outside the airport. But, after we were herded into a pack of our tourists, we were informed that the "traffic" would prevent us from doing a tour. This is a strange and unbelievable excuse. We rode on a bus to Citiavecchia.

At the "holding tank" area, we sat for at least 30-40 minutes without being told what was going to happen and when. Suddenly, we were informed that the ship would be opened and boarding could commence. People rushed to the entry way and we were again herded onto the ship in a tiresome manner.

Once inside, our rooms were not ready and we had to wait in the WindJammer cafe and eat. The food in the main cafe (as we found out throughout the cruise) is similar to going to a Golden Corral buffet or perhaps some other American style buffet restaurant. While palatable, the food is mediocre and tiring at best.

Rooms:
The rooms are VERY small and uncomfortable. My college dorm room was FAR better and cleaner than the room we had on the ship. I had trouble sleeping every night and the walls creaked, crackled, and popped all night. Also, the ship turns off the A/C at night and it gets REALLY HOT in the middle of the night. I woke up sweating many nights. Also, there is no water in the room (or nearby) except for expensive bottled water. The shower was VERY small and the curtain was ineffective at keeping water off of the floor. My wife and I constantly had problems with the shower curtain.

Excursions:
The Royal Caribbean excursions were hit or miss. The ones to Egypt, Turkey, and Capri/Sorrento/Pompeii were fairly good. The ones to Rhodes, Cypress, and Athens were awful. In fact, the one to Cypress actually omitted a scheduled activity because we were supposed to visit a castle. Incredibly, we did not get to see this even though we paid for the tour. The guides on the bad tours were also rather bad. They rambled at a consistent monotone as if they were doing a lecture for the 1000th time without concern for whether we could hear. One guide in Rhodes, for example, lectured about everything under the sun to kill time while we waited 50 minutes for people to use the restrooms. So, a good chunk of that tour was outside the restrooms of Rhodes!

When we complained about the bad tours to Royal Caribbean reps, they just said to fill out a form and they'll get back. I thought this was a poor response and asked to see a manager. They were VERY reluctant to even allow us to see a manager. The manager merely parroted corporate policy and seemed to interrogate us as to why we would be upset!

The deal is that if you don't like something, you can file a complaint and you won't hear the result until THE LAST DAY OF THE CRUISE. The reason, I think, is so that you won't cancel any other excursions and won't get any more upset.

On the last day, they refunded us 20% of two excursions for our troubles. This amount seemed arbitrary and was part of a form letter attached to the refund.

Overall, I must say that the tours were well below what you'd see with something like Globus, Trafalgar, Cosmos, Brendan, etc.

Facilities on Board:
The ship itself does not have all that much to keep you occupied for days at sea. The golf course is very small and has a few holes. It might keep you occupied for an hour. The climbing wall was interesting and took maybe 45 minutes (including the line). The library/game room is nice in theory. However, like much of the ship, it is first come-first served. People swarm to the good games and books. So, for instance, the game of Scrabble was usually out. We ended up playing the Spanish version of Scrabble :)

The gym was nice with one big exception: IT WAS HOT. If you plan on running on a treadmill, you will nearly pass out from the heat. There is no fan in the gym, poor air circulation, and no way to get air flow in there. Also, there is no water except for a small water pitcher near the spa (which is usually almost empty). I felt like I was going to sweat to death in there. If you try running on the upper deck, it will be nearly impossible because of people lingering around up there.

The computers and internet on board are acceptable. However, the connection will be worse than most high speed access you use at home. I paid $55 upfront for the privilege of having the $0.37/min package. That goes fast given the slow speeds. I could check emails and correspond well with people back home. However, you cannot really download email attachments or use Word while at sea.

Staff:
Many of the people at the burser's desk, excursions desk, or any other customer service post simply give a robotic response that no one is available to give an immediate resolution to the issue presented. They never have authority to solve your problem and act rude in light of simple questions. I saw the burser people treat one elderly lady very harshly on the final day of the cruise when she asked them to remove a charge she did not make. They said they could not help her until later. She was upset because she was leaving that day. This did not concern the burser and he replied, "well, we'll be here."

Poor information:
As big as Royal Caribbean is, you'd think their instructions would be crystal clear (after all, their legal disclaimers seem to be!). This is not the case. On many occasions, the tickets had incorrect information about where to meet. On the last day, for example, it said to meet in the theater on Deck 4 for our group to be called for the transfer to the airport. We went to the theater at the appointed time and it was CLOSED. No signs or anything. We went to the bursers desk and asked them and they said to try Deck 5. We did that and no one was there. Finally, a maid told us the transfers just go to Deck 1. When we finally got there, the bus was about to leave without us! I was very upset because our tardiness was due to their own poor instructions.

Medical Center:
For some reason, I got very ill on this trip. I don't know if I got sick on board or from visiting Egypt. I knew to wash my hands and did so regularly. So, it's hard to say. But, in any event, I was so sick that I could barely walk down to the medical area. I was treated with IV antibiotics for two days (which, as I heard from other cruisers, is what they typically do). In the end, this cost us $1,500.00 in fees. The doctors were foreign trained (i.e. Colombia, Poland) but seemed decent. I was shocked, however, at the drugs because they were Chinese made pills in a little envelope. When I got home, I went to my doctor and got a new prescription. These same drugs were free at my local Publix. On board, they cost $161.00.

Waiters: I must say that our waiters were excellent and this was one positive aspect of the trip.

Food: They only serve Americanized food (and 1 Indian dish as Vegetarian). You will NOT get to sample the local foods from the ports!

Security Staff:
The Security people are rude and will literally throw your bags into the x-ray if you do not move fast enough. Also, they confiscate any wine you might buy in the ports and only return it on the last day.


Overall, I wholeheartedly DO NOT recommend this cruise or this company. Please save yourself the money and pain we experienced and try something else.
     
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PMSNBC on 2008-06-04:
Excellent review...very helpful!
Mrs. V on 2008-06-04:
You did not state the ship you were on, but with the discription, I would say it was a Vision Class (Freedom of the Seas, maybe).

The rooms are small on ALL ships with the exception of the Suites (they cost more).

As to boarding, they (all lines) start boarding as early as possible (11am - noon in most cases). Most of the time, your rooms will not be ready until after 1 or 2 pm (they are still cleaning from the last people aboard).

The food in the Windjammer *is* very buffet style. I have always found it good to very good. That have an American side *and* The Jade that serves Asian style food. There is always Chops Grill and Portofinos (charge $25.00 per person) and Johnny Rockets (charge $3.00 per person)if you want something else. Also free (no extra charge) cafes on the Promenade.

The air eviromnetal contrals are always near the bathrooms or the front door. The ship turns down the AC *but* you can adjust your cabin as you wish.

Your room attendant should have provided a buckett of ice every night for you (if you want ice in am & pm, just ask). Water from the sink is very good.

The showers in the smaller cabins always have the 'curtain problem'. Next time bring a pare of cloths pins to place at the bottom (stops the curtain from blowing out).

You didn't say if you planned your own excursions or bought them through RCI. If they gave you 20% off, that is the norm.

The golf corse *is* very small, that's true. But there are a lot of other things to do on the ships (shows, classes). And it's true that things are first come first served (over 4000 people on the bigger ships).

The internet is slow. They have to use a satalight feed (slower than dial up) but this is true on all ships.

The Med Center is good. The care you received is the norm. They do need to charge for medication and other things. Ask for a bill and you can submit it to your insurance co.

If you decide to take another cruise, please research it in advance. Cruise Critics (cruisecritics.com) is a wonderful site for information and sugestions.
Anonymous on 2008-06-04:
Another extremely helpful review, and an equally helpful post by Mrs. V. How disappointing that the cruise doesn't serve local style foods, especially in the Mediterranean.
Mrs. V on 2008-06-04:
I always recommend that anyone going on a cruise do a LOT of homework.

Talk to TAs, go online, ask friends.

You are going to be spending over 1000 per person for this trip so do what you can to make it great ^_^
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Royal Caribbean Management Disaster
Posted by on
I recently got back from a 4 night cruise on your cruise ship “The Enchantment of the Seas”. We sailed out on the 10th of September and my partner and our friends from Texas were all excited and ready to begin a relaxing and fun-filled voyage. While we enjoyed the cruise as a whole (mainly due to one of your crew members) there were moments of extreme rudeness from managers, absurd comments (Once again from the management team) and aggravating inconsistencies from – once again, you guessed it – from managers. I don’t know if these managers didn’t care, or are not aware of how rude they sounded, or if they were just giving us what they believed we paid for, but whatever the reason, I for one was especially not happy with them and continued to be aggravated at times with them, even as we were debarking.

Problems for us began on Day One – we were assigned one table and then they moved us because there were guests still at our table when we arrived for the late seating at 8:30. The table was right off the kitchen and we got to see the parade of food and drinks go by on each night of our cruise – while we could have had the pleasure of looking down upon the rotunda area of the dining room and the Captain’s Table if we had our original table. But, we were there to have fun and did not complain, even when another of the Head Waiters tried to move us to the table we should have been in, where the next group of guests that should have been at our new table where now seated. They removed our bread and glasses and began having us move until…another head waiter said “No, they are staying here.” This Head Waiter/Dining Room Manager/Whoever Manager then took out his sharpie and changed our table number on our room keys on a permanent basis for the rest of the cruise …so we were then stuck at the kitchen table. This was fine and we didn’t complain. Service took forever that night – surprising because we were right next to the kitchen.

Day Two – problems really begin. We had an enjoyable day in Key West and were coming back to have lunch in the dining room. Hostess ([snip] – rude in a smiling nasty evil way) said one of our friends had a sleeveless shirt on (which it wasn’t – it was a shorter sleeved shirt, with hemmed sleeves, but was not a tank-top). Our friends decided to go eat in the Windjammer because they didn’t want to change, while my partner really wanted to eat in the dining room – so because of some arcane European rule, we did not get to eat lunch with our friends who we see if we are lucky once a year. Sad, sad, sad. Where was the customer service? Not in the dining room that day, and I didn’t even get what I ordered for lunch! Later that night, at the kitchen table, our Head Waiter was talking with us, and we mentioned about the lunch. He said that if we had problems getting into the dining room again, just tell the hostesses to call for him and he would take care of it. Guess what, we took him at his word and actually tried to get into the dining room for breakfast the next day – silly us…

Day Three – Breakfast. Same type of shirt (not a tank-top – not a sleeveless shirt, still no one seems to care). Ask for Head Waiter – says to follow him… Hostess ([snip] again of course) decides she will get Head Waiter in trouble (hence why you don’t hear me mention his name, since he was wonderful and was the only one at that point attempting to provide any form of guest service) and [snip] goes to her manager and we are denied breakfast in the dining room. The most upsetting part of this was the only time I was able to have a breakfast with Metal Building Company my friend from Texas who also happens to be my best friend from Grammar School, so we missed out on a special time because of an uptight Hostess with a God Complex and an inconsistent rule. I saw women in tank-tops and women in bathing suits and any other assorted strapless tank-toppy things, but we were denied because, and here I must quote some manager who came from above “we are hairy men”. This Manager (assuming he was a manager, don’t really know) then told us to go to Guest Relations if we have a problem, which I did. This particular quote “hairy men” continued to be spoken out loud and expanded upon when we went to Guest Relations. I still haven’t had breakfast … up since 6:30 and still haven’t had breakfast at 9:00. Guest Relations can’t do anything – we are after all “hairy men” in shirts which are not tank-tops and not sleeveless, but anyways… Windjammer here we come… packed – no seats…. Back to Dining room with my partner, minus my best friend who decides to eat in his room. We are there at 9:35 – Dining room is closed and [snip] tells us she will not seat us (my partner and I both are in appropriate shirts). Back to Guest Relations where this aggravating comedy is about to get a star player – [snip] Torrez, Guest Relation’s Manager. Once again we are “hairy men” and can she get us room service (remember I still haven’t eaten). Food and Beverage Manager not available have a nice day, maybe you can talk to him later…. I’m on vacation, I give up! I finally do get breakfast once the whole ship leaves for Cozumel.

We are still on Day Three, and we hear that [snip] has maybe set up a meeting with the Food and Beverage Manager or maybe that the food and beverage manager will be available at 8:00 or something which is never quite communicated to me, but and this is a big but … who sets up meetings for someone on their vacation? If I want to attend a meeting, which I was not told about, I would stay home at work and have all the meetings in the world. I am not here for anyone to schedule a meeting for me, and besides we were at the Magic Show during the “meeting”. If [snip] or the Food and Beverage Manager really wanted to talk with us, why not show up at the kitchen table – they have to know what time we eat. Maybe they don’t know what table we are at… Odd Guest Service Manager was all I could think of… Dinner is uncomfortable because I didn’t know if the Head Waiter got in trouble or what.

Buffet Dinner that night on the pool deck – I get to talk with the Food and Beverage Manager – [snip]. We are now “sweaty and hairy men” and certainly I can understand that we don’t want to offend the ladies in the dining room – I feel as if he thinks I am a crew member after berating me for missing the meeting, which I had no idea was scheduled for me by your Guest Service Manager, [snip]. After attempting to get in some comments, I finally have had enough of this Manager talking at me, and I tell him that he was being rude and not bothering to listen to my problems whatsoever – I then tell him that I was upset about the arcane rule in the dining room and that even if this rule is in place, my friends who were kicked out twice from his dining room were in fact not wearing tank-tops, and that the daily compass said nothing about just men in tank-tops. Once again I was informed I could write my comments at the end of the cruise. I informed [snip] that I would not bother with that, but would write a letter to the corporate office in Miami. This news apparently did not sit well with [snip] because as I walked away, he called our Nameless Head Waiter over and berated him in full view of guests and myself on the Pool Deck! I could not believe this. This conversation with our Head Waiter and [snip] continued with guests around them and I just sat dumbfounded that a manager was treating crew members like this, especially since I had informed [snip] that there was nothing wrong with his staff (except for [snip]) but the issues I was having rested solely with the management. I guess he disagreed and instead of taking personal responsibility for his words and actions with me decided to blame a crew member and berate him in public, on the pool deck. Very sad. Very sad. I went upstairs and just wanted to get the cruise over with.

Day Four – I am blamed once again for missing a meeting this time by [snip], and of course this doesn’t sit well with me. I am on the phone with a Guest Service Manager who is blaming me for missing my meeting with the Food and Beverage Manager – [snip]. I guess no one told her that I was already talked to by [snip]…

In conclusion, because this could go on for pages and pages, I did not appreciate how the managers blamed me and my friends for the problems we had on the ship, I did not appreciate being talked to like a member of the crew, I did not appreciate meetings being scheduled for me – you come find me, I am the guest, and finally I did not appreciate the way the managers handled the crew members involved, especially since for the most part they were trying to be accommodating. I would not sail on “The Enchantment of the Seas” ever again and luckily Royal Caribbean has a wonderful crew member named Janet Facey who is the only reason I would sail with Royal Caribbean again. There are other cruise lines with better management staff, and maybe on those I will find a management staff that actually cares for not only their guests, but their crew as well.

And just a quick note to [snip], when you are saying goodbye to everyone at debarkation, it is not a good idea to say goodbye just to one member of a party and ignore the others, especially the one you set up a meeting for. You couldn’t remember my name – bad guest service and rude. Well, at least it set me up to go back to the reality of the real world – no, wait, the custom officers were actually nice and friendly and good at guest service.
Thanks for your time in reading this and I do apologize for the length, but someone needs to be aware of these guest relation nightmares and how they are dealing with guests and the crew on the ships.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-26:
So you were told the shirt was inappropriate and then your friend showed up in the dining room with the same type of shirt again? You were asking for trouble and got it.

Someone needs to sit at the table by the kitchen. Did you pay more than anyone else to sit away from the kitchen?
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-26:
Sounds like you were looking for drama and confrontation and you found it.
Ben There on 2009-12-26:
I took Royal Caribbean and the Enchantment of the Seas and I also found the RC staff to be very rude. I prefer Norwegian Cruise Lines... I think you would like the "Freestyle" cruising more as well since they don't have set tables and dining times. The dress code is much more relaxed.
madconsumer on 2009-12-26:
cruise ships have strict dress codes for the main dinning room. a lot of this story is not relevant to the issue.
Anonymous on 2009-12-26:
Hugh hit the nail on the head.

PepperElf on 2009-12-26:
and technically none of the employees names are supposed to be in the post - good or bad about them
PepperElf on 2009-12-26:
And I'm still wondering why
I'm seeing employee full names mentioned here

=(
puggo63 on 2009-12-30:
I think this poster will have issues everywhere he goes. I have been on numerous Royal Caribbean cruises with my parter(we're gay)and never had a problem with the staff or the ships rules and regulations. I did have issues with the many obnoxious and entitled passengers. It sounds like you nit-pick EVERYTHING and were expecting the ENTIRE staff to cater to your whims - mind you - this is a ship of 2000+ passengers. There IS a dress code for the main dining rooms and captain's night - this is not Carnival Cruise lines where anything goes. Also, with so many passengers onboard, there must be time limits/strict schedules to accommodate EVERYONE. Since you wrote that you had "pages and pages" of complaints is a dead give-away that you are never satisfied with anything. My suggestion is to travel on the Cunard's magnificant Queen Mary II and SEE what incredible complaints you can come up with!
Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
Puggo63, Carnival does have a dress code.

Slimjim on 2009-12-30:
It's so hard to really get a feel for this without being there to survey the whole context thing, mostly how unsightly was this hairy guy in this shirt. I mean, it does make a difference if he stood out as under dressed. If he was any bit borderline with a dress code, why not just wear a different type shirt into the dining room to avoid all the hupla?
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Unpleasereable experience and poor customer service
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- This is an actual letter I wrote to Royal Caribbean. The cruise company unfortunately told me to expect no compensation and could only toss out an "I'm Sorry"

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to forward another of my unheard concerns to RCI. I set sail along with my family on the Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign of the Seas on October 29, 2007. I have made three separate complaints on different occasions with no one at all returning my calls or letters. The first of the complaints was on the ship at the purser’s desk and also the questionnaire before disembarking. The next complaint was emailed to the company in November 2007 after returning home and this is my final attempt. I have sailed on other cruise ships in the past and have been more than happy with the services, food, and accommodations of others. I was not so impressed with that of the Sovereign of the Seas after being highly recommended by my parents who were guests in the past. We found that the boat was due for retirement within a few weeks with only a few sailing dates remaining.

Upon arriving to the Port Canaveral everyone had to wait in their vehicles for hours. We were shuffled into a parking lot to wait. We arrived at the Port at 11am and boarded the boat after 4pm. immediately upon boarding the ship we were sent to the muster drill. Our friends who were sailing with us were then reprimanded for being late to the muster drill even though it was the fault of the cruise line for the lateness. The process was horrible. The situation went down hill from there.

We were all aware that there was a hurricane threatening the path to the Bahamas and it could prove to be an issue. After setting sail we were informed that the path was still one that was heading to the Bahamas and should arrive early morning by 10am and that the order of our stops would be reversed. After waking up the next morning many people on the boat headed to the top of the boat and waited to see land. At 11am the Captain finally made an announcement that the boat was not going to be able to safely arrive in the Bahamas and a destination was unknown, he made this announcement and hour after we were supposed to have been in port. So we made our way around the ship and enjoyed some of the amenities. The Captain then made an announcement that we were going to Key West, FL and would be there the next morning and leaving the port at 6pm. We were stunned to say the least. All this way and all this money and we end up on a cruise to no where. If we had wanted to go to Key West we would have driven to the island from the port – it would have taken less time. When planning the cruise it was to be planned for two destinations. I know that it is not the fault of the Cruise line for the hurricane and the path that we had to take. I was not aware that there was only one port in all of the Caribbean that we could pull into other than the Bahamas we should have been made aware of this when we purchased our tickets. It was not that much fun being trapped at sea for two days of our voyage on a tossing sea vessel maneuvering a major storm when we could have pulled into a port or at least been kept up to date.

The dinners in the dining room were very sub-par compared to other cruise lines. The food was usually cold with little flavor. Our party usually had to order multiple items to find something on the menu worth eating.. The steaks were the poorest cut of meat and never cooked to order. Desserts rarely appeared to be what one ordered nor did they taste good. The only positive dining experience the group had was the chocolate party. There were many things to choose from at the party and the desserts were very good. The show was great at the chocolate party and the food was displayed in a very appealing manner. It really was a very beautiful evening. During dinner our waiter was very eager to make our dinner a more enjoyable one; if the food did not meet our approval he would bring us something else. The cocktails and wine were there immediately when we ordered them and our sodas were always there waiting on us.

The final day on the cruise seemed to be the most unhappy of all. The pools were all completely drained. This left people standing around wondering what there was to do. On the deck most of the day was usually games held out and around the pool. But how can one enjoy the pool when they are closed. The only thing anyone could do was attend an art auction or gamble. I am not one to gamble nor did I come aboard a cruise line to purchase art. Many people on board became very aggravated and agitated since there was nothing to do and no compassion towards the people on board. I feel that this cruise line handled this situation poorly. This was the first time I went to speak my complaints to the Purser’s Desk. I was told that they would take my information and forward it to the main office in Miami and someone would contact me. Upon disembarking I filled out the survey and questionnaire and also requested again that someone please contact me. Generally speaking the service on board however was very good. The waiters and cabin stewards had very proper manners. The gentleman that took care of our cabin didn’t miss a touch! The boat was kept very clean and the beds were very comfortable. I however am very upset with the professional staff at Royal Caribbean International. After several attempts trying to contact customer service about my issues, leaving voice mails, emails, and also the survey completed aboard the ship. No one has attempted to contact me in regards to my unhappy stay aboard the Sovereign of the Seas. I am currently planning another cruise in the very near future. I however am not sure that it will be with Royal Caribbean international. I was treated very well on a Carnival Cruise Line in March of 2007. There were no complaints and the food was a mark above the standard of most food on cruise lines. Every evening at dinner we looked forward to our time in the dining room and the creations that were brought out. My family actually purchased cook books with the featured recipes from Carnival. I would like to extend the offer to Royal Caribbean cruise lines to help make a future trip more appealing to me and my guest aboard another boat. I am a police officer and work very hard saving my money to afford a vacation. A cruise is a very special treat for me and my family and takes a long time to be able to afford such a vacation. I am going to be cruising with a company in the next few months. I would like to think someone from the customer service would wish to change my negative thoughts about Royal Caribbean International. I would like to hear something from customer service about my unpleasureable vacation aboard the Sovereign of the Seas.



     
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Slimjim on 2008-02-09:
Classic different strokes. I personally think the Bahama Islands are unattractive and would have been happy with a reroute to Key West. Plus I like the casino amid would have not been bothered. Of course that's me, and I can understand being frustrated if you wanted to use the pools. The must have given a reason why they weren't open. FYI, they probably had a very hard time getting a port of call on the fly like that. All piers for these ships in the Caribbean are spoken for by specific boats everyday. It isn't like a car, or even an airport, where you can just find room to dock in these tourist ports. Also, a muster drill is a mandatory requirement on any cruise ship before disembarking. Having cruised before, that shouldn't have surprised you.
Justusryan on 2008-02-09:
Damn their ability to not control the weather!
sigmonk on 2008-02-10:
well the controlling the weather...it is understood why they can't control the weather but they do have control of the food on board, and yes....the muster drills are a law....yes I know....but when you are in the parking lot waiting to 3 hours to herd into a parking garage then in the terminals for another significant amount of time....they shouldn't repromand you for being late. I was there in plenty of time that I should have been able to have put away the items in my room and been able to have lunch before a muster drill. As for the pools it was a clear day, nice sunny weather then they drain the pools. I know that everyone has their own views on things,,,which is understandable and helpful.
lilydarling on 2008-02-10:
I've never been on a cruise, but I'd figure that if a cruise had to be rerouted somewhere else because of bad weather, the cruise line would go out of their way to make the rest of the trip an enjoyable one. I'm not sure why they drained the pools, but it would have been nice to keep them open, and maybe add a few extra activities to the cruise for people to enjoy.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 2008-02-10:
I've been on several cruises but all through Carnival. In Dec, we too were re-routed because of the hurricane damage in Costa Maya. We ended up going to Isle of Roatan. This place was horrible. We only visited the island for about 20 minutes and spent the rest of the day on the ship. There were a lot of activities going on throughout the day so we had a great time. I have no idea why they would drain the pools unless they were expecting to encounter serious weather conditions. I agree with Lily...they should have offered extra activities. Maybe next time, give Carnival a try. Sorry you had such a bad time.
chow on 2008-02-10:
hard to please every one!
Bronto on 2008-04-11:
Did you purchase travel insurance? If so, did you attempt to make a claim? We never travel without the insurance. It costs some but it costs more without it if something negative happens. Your situation may have been covered. We use Cruise Brothers, they are great and they know the ships. Also, we never travel at Hurricane Season. Sorry to hear your cruise was a bummer. It costs too much to go wrong. I think we will use Carnival next time, too. Happy trails...
burkett on 2008-09-11:
I had a very similar experience with the customer service onboard my Royal Caribbean cruise. I have cruised on other lines as well and have been given 1st class treatment; however, on Royal Caribbean I was treated worse than I have ever been treated before. I went so far as to call the Miami office while on board the ship and was told that because I was still on the cruise that I would have to take up any issues with the staff on the ship. I explained that I had made several attempts to resolve my issues with the management on the ship without success. The Miami office still would not assist me. I called again once I got off the ship and was told that the best Royal Caribbean could do was sent me a letter of applogy.

Some of the issues I experienced were:
1) I did not receive the cabin I reserved. When I asked to be changed to the cabin I had reserved I was told the ship was full but I would be first on the upgrade list if someone did not show. Later I was told that everyone had arrived and the ship was full. At dinner a fellow cruiser told me she had received an upgrade and didn't even ask for it. I took this information to the ship staff and was told well that happens sometimes and if I had a complaint I should take it up with my travel agent.

2) On a five day cruise we received stateroom service three days. The three days that we actually received the service it was poor at best. All he did was add new towels and make the bed.

3) Many many problems with the excursion staff and the information that they provided. We were charged for three excursions that we did not receive, I had to stand in line for 45 minutes on the morning we arrived at one island and then cause a scene at the desk before they would credit my account.

4) Every time I went to the customer service desk I was treated like a child. One peerson actually told me they did not believe that I knew what I was talking about. I asked to speak with a manager and was told they would leave a message for the manager. I never heard from anyone.

5) The dinning room staff were wonderful but the food was prepared with cheap ingrediants and it showed. One woman at our table ordered an indian dish and was served romin noodles (yes the kind college kids eat). Several desserts were made with twinkie cake with the filling pulled out.

6) I never received a survey card at the end of the cruise and when I asked the staff for one I was told they could not give me one because they were assigned by the computer for each stateroom.

I will never sail Royal Caribbean again! My money would have better spent if I had flused it down the toilet and it had nothing to do with the weather! This man is trying to express his discontent with the customer service I and agree.
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Complete Disaster Husband Locked Out Of Room By Attendant For 3+ Hours
Posted by on
WILMINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- We took my mother on a cruise for her 90th. birthday. I purchased an owners suite which cost almost $5,000. for a wk. First day our water was brown (not tan, not yellow, dark brown), the door on the bathroom was broken. We called and they said they would fix the door and that the water would clear up and not to be alarmed. Day 2, water still brown, door still broken and my husband got LOCKED OUT OF OUR SUITE BY THE ATTENDANT THAT WAS CLEANING THE SUITE FOR OVER 3 HOURS. I was out with my mother and the attendant came in to clean the room and my husband told him he would just sit out on the balcony until he was finished. The attendant locked him out. My husband had to yell for help, finally, someone heard him and called security. We were at sea and it was cold outside.

Day 3, they said water should be OK, so I tried (once again) to take a Jacuzzi bath, the water seamed OK at first and then turned brown again, the jets stopped (probably from the sediment in the water). The door was finally fixed. Called to have Jacuzzi fixed. Day 4, Jacuzzi not fixed, called again, water clearing up but still has sediment. Day 5, water still discolored to point it leaves stains on towel after you dry and my blond hair is changing color.

Day 7, called for room service and told we could not get room service (which we were told on and off the whole time) we were supposed to be able to order the same meals that were being served in the restaurants but they never had the menus. Got fed up and went to talk to customer service. Was told that even though security was involved and we had continuously complained to our room attendant, the supervisor of house keeping and the cosier, they did not know anything about it and the best they could do is offer a 25% discount on any future cruises. LIKE WE WOULD EVER BE THAT STUPID AGAIN

This was the worst vacation we ever had, we paid to be tortured. My husband could have had a heart attack from the negligence but no one cares. I got the suite so we could take Jacuzzi bathes and have nice room service. And, they feel like they do not have to do anything but offer some discount on some future cruise. DO NOT EVER USE THIS COMPANY, THE SERVICE WAS BAD, THE ROOMS WERE HORRIBLE AND WHAT IS WORSE - THEY DON'T CARE. I will try to dissuade any one I ever know from using this cruise line. If nothing more than from a safety point of view.
     
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Skye on 2010-05-09:
Wow, this is a horror story. I'm sorry something wonderful you did for your mothers 90th birthday, turned out to be such a nightmare!
sharpasice on 2010-05-20:
We cruise RCCL all the time and have NEVER had any problem like this. Any little problem we've had has always been taken care of promptly. If this is what happened you should file a complaint in writing. Then try this website if you get no satisfaction www.elliot.org
jimazee on 2010-05-20:
Wow. Sounds pretty bad. Our experiences with RC have all been good. Maybe it was just this particular cruise, ship or its staff. Not that that is good mind you. I would definitely contact the line with specifics.
SaMoore on 2010-06-16:
I sailed RC last year on a 5 day cruise. All night every night there was this loud banging noise in our walls. This is supposedly b/c of the steaming pipes to the restaurant. We got no sleep at all in our rooms and I slept 3 days on deck in a deck chair. RC did nothing to rectify the sitch, would not move us to another room and offered no discount. I'm with the OP no more RCCL for me either.
Anonymous on 2010-06-18:
Locking the door while cleaning protects the employee and your belongings.However 3 hours to clean is excessive.
shayen on 2010-06-22:
I think she said that he was locked out on the balcony. There is no reason for the balcony door to have been locked, unless the cleaner was protecting the room's valuables for the owner himself! Great review! I will think twice before I ever consider "cruising" with these people!
happynot on 2011-10-22:
I wished I had researched this cruise company before I booked and paid for our holiday - I am shocked at how much they have discounted the fare for new bookings we have paid $4000.00 more than new bookings and when I rang the customer service was very unhelpful and condescending, I only hope that we do not now have issuses with unpleasant smells in our cabins or any other issues.
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December Cruise
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Let me start by saying this was my 10Th cruise with Royal. Every cruise has ups and a few downs. Every ship is being up-kept everyday so expect to see repairing. As an example crossing to Hawaii aboard Radiance of the Seas, they replace a section of deck two while we were staying on deck 3. I have witnesses to the grinding and welding that went on for days! That being said they must upkeep the ship and keep her sea worthy and they must do so in a cost competitive way.
I sailed on cruise 10 out of NJ on Explorer of the Seas Dec 11 through the 20Th. The ship is big and was decorated well for Christmas. My first issue was luggage I received one piece not the other. My tag was ripped off. This is pretty common except I had to retrieve it myself at midnight or so and my name was largely written on the exterior of the bag. Still it was left on a lower deck. So really I spent day one looking and waiting for my bag with my casual clothes. Time lost.
Second and more importantly my cabin 8666 was loaded with paint flakes as they peeled due to extreme cold of NJ or so I was told. Lax clean up on that but I really am not complaining but it was an issue that was resolved day 3 I suppose. Cabin attendant was terrific. My major issue however was really serious. My cabin was furnished with a sofa that was tattered in spots. The carpet was stained by Fridge looks like rust and the wood work appeared chewed in spot along counter desk area. Now I paid for a cruise damn it and not a no tell motel like cabin furnishings. In the past I put up with inferior air condition and other issues and kept on being loyal. However I am cancelling my 14 day to Alaska as I have to date been told essentially too bad though were sorry to see you unhappy. I demanded some credit but to no avail as of yesterdays letter I received. Now I have honest to goodness pictures of the sorry cabin. The view was great by the way and the bed was the first comfortable Royal Bed I slept in since Navigator of the Seas. To add insult to injury I had brass come view the issue along with the cabin attendant and others and the say they didn't even write that down! They say my log shows I complained about the luggage which till they reminded me I had put out of my mind. By the way while I'm on them. In my opinion RCCL has the darned stalest hamburger rolls ever. On every trip I was on. I always pointed it out discreetly to no avail. I was told they don't bake em on board whether that's true I am not certain. Royal Caribbean hey I liked them still do . Fell bad that they treated me this way and I can't let it go so I will cruise with Holland America I guess maybe Princess but not RCCL it's just not fair to me that I have to miss out on some things I really enjoyed like the Crown Lounge but I wouldn't enjoy them very much remembering the lack of concern they have for my comfort and every one who used that cabin prior. Thanks - Eric











     
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Anonymous on 2010-02-25:
People who take cruises expect too much!
lancer2 on 2010-02-26:
If you expect little in life that's probably what you'll get.
Alain on 2010-02-26:
I prefer Azamara or Princess cruise lines myself.
Slimjim on 2010-02-26:
I like RC and obviously you do too but were really disappointed on this one. I've been on Explorer and also found the boat to be in worse shape than other RC ships.
You are batting 9 of 10 though. Give them another shot and go on the Alaska cruise that obviously you want to. I bet they win you back.
lancer2 on 2010-02-27:
I was very loyal and I told many many people what your telling me over the years. I have heard pretty bad things (good things as well) and many times while on board. I would always explain that Royal was a good company and the same thing can happen on any cruise ship. I felt that they wrote things down and would in the long run not leave you out in the cold so to speak. This for me was different and easily remedied. I paid for a well kept stateroom that's not what I good the late luggage I can live with but I d to go back to my cabin and meet staff so they could see the issue and they say they have no record. I mean what the heck goes on? The overall ship condition was good but the cabin 8666 was not so. I certainly feel they owe me because that's not what they promised they would give me when I booked. Now I have pictures which I will forward RCCL soon as I get them downloaded from my camera. I never thought I would need to until now.
lancer2 on 2010-03-03:
Anonymous on 2010-03-04:
If you know they are remodeling, WHY would you book with them?
lancer2 on 2010-03-16:
I found out after the fact. To date RCCL offered me $200.00 credit for use on my next cruise. So I said to them. If I paid for my cabin and you called me a week prior and said hey the cabin you will be in is kind of beat. So we'll give you $2 hundred bucks, enjoy! Do you think I would go? Answer----no!!
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No medical treatment available on ship suffered with horrible illness
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Upon arriving Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas I was very healthy no signs of any medical problems nor did the 8 friends I was sailing with. On the second day while at sea I experienced severe lower abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, headaches, lower back pain, and bloating.

That morning I immediately went to the first floor infirmary with my boyfriend to seek medical attention. As we entered the area the door was locked to enter the infirmary. There was a doorbell to ring so we rang it several times waited and waited. No one answered the door I walked out in the hallway by the elevators and asked someone if it was
open and they were very pleasant and said “yes” smiled and walked away. I was not able to receive any assistance in the clinic. My
condition continued to get worse due to no one in the infirmary I had to try to resolve this on my own I tried over the counter medication
in the shops but nothing worked. A few hours later I again tried to go to the first floor clinic to receive assistance. This time the door
was finally open, but the clinic was very unorganized, extremely crowded, and unsanitary. The prices were listed on the wall for
certain procedures. The prices were outrageously expensive, and to make matters worse they did not accept health insurance! I am a full
time college student and do not have over 600 dollars to pay for cruise medical bills but, I was very ill and in desperate need of
medical attention. At this point I did not care, but felt I was going to be taken advantage of.

I needed to be seen by a doctor on board right away! In the clinic here was no place to sign in, no one around to ask for help, no sign
of any nurses, or staff members. People were waiting in the lobby clueless of what they needed to do to see a doctor. At this point I
had no energy and I was very frustrated and too sick to get anymore upset. I waited well over an hour in a small waiting area hoping I
would be able to see a doctor. Without any assistance by now I couldn't wait any longer I had to keep running to the bathroom every
few minutes to get sick. I was very worried about my condition I knew I was very sick and needed help. That night I progressively got worse
I started to vomit blood and continued to have bloody diarrhea, and could not urinate on my own. I continued to ask employees on the ship
for assistance and I kept getting the same thing. "Madam you have to go to the clinic on the first floor". I walked down to the clinic
again for the third time the door was locked again. I continued to ring the door bell and received no assistance again!

I again went down to the clinic for the fourth time the next morning the clinic door was open but I experienced the same problem the clinic
was filled with people with no one around to help me. The entire cruise was a horrible I had a difficult time eating, I was experiencing severe amounts of pain internal bleeding, constant diarrhea and vomiting. The
majority of my time was spent in the bathroom and the stateroom on the ship. I was in so much pain and so miserable all I wanted was medical
attention. My boyfriend could not enjoy any of the amenities on the ship either he knew something was very wrong with me seeing how sick I was and too afraid to leave my side. He also became very frustrated and tried several times on his own to get a nurse or doctor to help
me. I also tried several times again going to the infirmary and was unsuccessful. All I could do was stay in my stateroom try and try to
keep myself hydrated waiting till I was able to depart the ship to get the medical help I needed.

Departing the ship my boyfriend had to rush me to the doctor and I was
admitted that day June 15th to the Hospital. After several tests I was diagnosed with severe Clostridum Difficile and Ulcerative Colitis. I am still being treated by three doctors for this
and have over a 50 percent chance of it coming back. This is a highly contagious infection. If I was still onboard the ship and unable to get treatment it could have caused me to have my colon removed and also is known in some cases to kill you. It hurts and makes me so upset knowing that due to the severity of my illness I still could not be treated or receive any medical assistance on board. I don’t want to see someone else on their vacation severely ill like myself and not being able to be treated. I am being treated at home now on heavy amounts of
antibiotics and no longer contagious. But because of the severity of my illness I am still in a lot of pain and it is going to take me several months to heal. I was extremely disappointed at the lack of care and concern when someone becomes so ill on Royal Caribbean. I would have expected that kind of treatment from a third grade cruise line. It was
sad to see how the focus was only on well passengers; and such little attention was paid too those that unfortunately became so ill with
such a contagious illness.
     
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Slimjim on 2009-08-14:
I'm a big RC fan, so this review disturbs me to see they wouldn't accept health insurance. I've never been sick on a cruise so I guess I don't know how this goes on any ship line. Maybe being foreign registered has something to do with not taking insurance.
sharpasice on 2009-08-14:
I also am an RC fan. My husband became ill on a cruise vactaion on RC recently. We had to make a trip to the clinic also but did not experience any of the problems you apparently did. The doctor was available and the prices were not too bad including the drugs our bill was less than $80 which was reimbursed by our health insurance when we arrived home. In addition, my husband had to go back a second time, there was no charge and the doctor again was available, no waiting time, no one else in the waiting area.
Eternity403 on 2009-08-14:
I have traveled on several cruise lines and never received any problems until now. I was so upset that nobody was able to help me.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-14:
RCI doesn't (no cruise line does) accept incurance. It all has to be paid upfront and then you are reimbursed by your private health insurance and/or travel insurance.

Also, all medical doctors on the ships (all but a very few lines) are *not* employees of the cruise line. They are contractors.

If you are ever that ill on a ship, you have a few options.

1) One is to go to the clinic. If you can not get the help there (or they are closed-hours are posted on the door) you should go to the pursers desk (or call from your cabin) and explain the problem and ask for a 'cabin-call' to be made by the doctor.

2) Second is to self disembark at a port and go to the nearest hospital.

3) Third is to request that the head of Customer Relations on the ship contact you and explain the problem.

4) Fourth is to contact RCI headquarters by phone while on ship and ask for Cutomer Relations (tell them it's a emergency).

To be honest, with the OPs symptoms, the OP should have been ether air-lifted from the ship or disembarked at the nearest port.
Doctor Charlie on 2009-08-15:
When the post started, I thought it was going to be another case of a standard GI bug on the ship.

As the post went on, it became clear that this was a major life-threatening illness. I am sure that the poster was too sick, and wasn't in the frame of mind to figure out how to get emergency care.

However, there should be some sign on the door to the clinic, explaining how to get emergent care.

She needed to be airlifted off of the ship. There would have been little they could have done for her on the ship.

What if someone was having a heart attack or stroke, and just ringing the door for the clinic.
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