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Floating building site crewed by pirates
Posted by on
PETERBOROUGH, ALASKA -- 13th May 2009, bubbling with excitement of our pending 11 night cruise on a luxury cruise liner and celebrating my wife's birthday. We began with a computer failuer at check-in but they still got us through quite fast and we boarded, went to the cabin and had some food in the windjammer. HINT get there early or late, busier than the services on the motorway. The next day we stayed mainly in the cabin as we crossed the bay of Biscay and felt unwell. This was my first cruise after taking my wife 5 years to talk me in to it and I was very excited after reading the reviews. This was the odd ball. They told us (eventually) the reason for the MAJOR works still going on after leaving dry dock was due to bad weather and the ship had to be ready for when it reached Barcelona. My wife was in a wheelchair and it was very difficult to get around due to the works and many decks closed off. The running track could not be used due to it being fully resurfaced with a toxic material resin and also to store the unsecured drums of the chemicals to be mixed. Luckily for the staff they were all fully masked, unlike the unsuspecting passengers below them in the open air where this was being laid. The labels warn DANGER..HARMFUL..TOXIC and the safety data sheet more information. The pool area, where do I start. This was barricaded off most of the time, no aALL the time in one area or another and was not filled until the 6th or 7th day. This was due to staff in the bottom of the pools repairing and replacing parts, as in the Jacuzzi's. This was also done as people used them. We were in one as a workman scrapped the tiles and grouted them while in another a power tool was used but the passenger was told he will be OK as it was not electric. The hand rails were wet with varnish as we went up them and the noise was so loud we had to Shout to each other. The air, pools and Jacuzzi were full of dust, as I guess were our lungs, the word to remember is TOXIC. The childrens area was closed, the inline skating rink opened and closed too fast to use it and we were turned away from the climbing wall as it was wet. The floor to Johnny rockets was wet resin as we walked across it with no warning. Passengers returned to their cabins to find they had everything removed from it and staff laying carpets.
When complaining we were told not to talk of it in a public place or we would be put off the ship by a security guard. when we did manage to make a proper formal complaint we were told, yes we are at fault and depending on the degree your cruise was affected compensation would be paid. On calling RCI today I was told, NO we do not offer compensation for works. This is not a cruise ship but a floating building site crewed by pirates to take your money.
Now, the advertised entertainment. I must have slept through this. I recall three nights were there was some quality entertainment, other than that we had a juggler who told jokes, a comedy piano player, do you know what, it was so memorable I have forgotten. I will check and get back to you. But I do recall a lot of excitement and advertising promotion for the FOUNTAINS. Now, all stops were pulled out for this one. The "CRUISE DIRECTOR" :-) and some other staff dressed in sheets (sorry togas) with jugs of water stood in a line and spat it at each other, a bit like you did at age 7. As for day time entertainment, let me thing. Are yes, twice daily bingo, twice daily American based trivia quizs and art auctions. After such excitement you might want to relax and chill by the pool, oops, sorry out of order. None around the pool HA HA HA.
Right enough of the bad points what about the good. The cabin atendant could not be faulted, good old Stanley. The waiters and the staff in the windjammer were also first class. It was the others that were labelled entertainers, perhaps they were hiding and we had to find them. AVOID THIS SHIP AND LINE UNLESS YOU HAVE MONEY TO GIVE AWAY!!!!!
     
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goduke on 05/28/2009:
Your wife is in a wheel chair and is going rock climbing?
Mrs. V on 05/28/2009:
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 05/28/2009:
I try really hard to side with the consumer when I read complaints, but your description makes it seem as if this ship was being built from the ground up while you were on it! I'd like to see the pictures that you took.
yoke on 05/28/2009:
This is the second complaint, different OP, about a ship being rebuilt while underway. I wonder if it is the same cruise.
Anonymous on 05/28/2009:
Same cruise and written by the same person.
Anonymous on 05/28/2009:
Yoke, there was another complaint a few days ago. That cruise must have been the cruise from hell.
simply psychic on 05/28/2009:
Dear Sir.
This was my first cruise ever after my wife spent 5 years talking me into it. It was also her birthday on the cruise. Both of which were ruined by a rubbish entertainment programe and constant works and barricades on the pool deck and running track. We were coatedn with varnish one day, stuck to the deck another. The chemcals stack loose on the deck were labeled DANGER..TOXIC etc. We asked the captain about this and e said sit somewhere else. We bought a full cruise and it was not delivered and we are entitle to a refund.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 05/28/2009:
I think this is the husband's account and the other is the wife's account. Either way, I would expect some sort of compensation if most of these areas were unusable during an 11 day cruise. This is ridiculous. Cruises cost a lot of money and should at least provide most if not all services they advertise.
PepperElf on 05/28/2009:
Same letter, same OP?

Does filing more than one letter here actually do much?


though I admit... when he said "Pirate" I'd hope there'd be some swashbuckling and "Arrrrrr" .....
Anonymous on 10/21/2009:
This is the second complaint about this cruise.
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Royal Caribbean Robbed Over 3000 Passengers
Posted by on
Sailed on the Voyager of the Seas from Southampton on a 10 day Med cruise. The ship was a floating building site. We were never informed by RCC, they robbed all the passengers. All looked fine the day we boarded the ship, I guess it had to be this way as the majority would not have got on, work did not start until the following day at sea. We were never informed or even given a choice etc, if we were then like the majority we would not have boarded the ship. This was a blatant con from start to finish, all complaints were met with lies and more lies, the worst of which came from the captain’s mouth.

Huge areas of the upper deck were cordoned off due to new floors being laid with hazardous liquid materials, the workers all had full body suits and full face masks on when these liquids were being poured over whole deck areas to lay new flooring to the walkways, all of the upper deck sun bathing areas needed doing, each day a large area was sectioned off and worked on, this chemical gave off a bad smell and many people suffered from continuous headaches, they were laying this stuff down only yards from passengers who were sun bathing (see pictures) the wooden type floors round the pool areas were being stripped via an industrial sander, they were then re-grooved before being treated with some type of black Tar. The Tar got on clothing and footwear, worst still it was not coming off. Finally industrial buffers were used to finish off.

Royal Caribbean - Ship under construction during cruise - Picture 1 Ship under construction during cruise - Picture 2 Royal Caribbean - new floor being laid during cruise - Picture 3


Dust was every were, on clothing, seating and even inside the ship, this affected asthmatic passengers more than most, I myself am asthmatic, I was bed ridden for 3 days. On sailing all 3 pools were shut, one opened after 3 days two after 4 days and the last pool was opened on the 7th day. Hazardous materials, huge rolls of carpets and construction tools were stored in the children's pools and play area, cordoned off with cheap tape, the children suffered as these areas were out of bounds until the last two days. Passengers turned out of rooms to lay new carpets, overpowering smells throughout the ship. Passengers told not to use balconies as they decided to paint them in the middle of the cruise. No daytime entertainment for first 9 days due to construction work. The captain told me it was because it was too cold. 30 degrees!

Passengers told to stop complaining and threatened with security. After a week the passengers arranged a meeting for the passengers, The meeting went ahead and in the space of one hour some 1000 passengers left contact details and signed a complaints letter written out by an American lawyer who has promised to forward this document via email to all that signed. This was a ten day cruise, the work was full on for 8 days, it stopped for two days for reasons I can not mention. They begin the work again the morning we were leaving this ship, I am talking in numbers of around 30 men working, not 3 or 4. About 8 German dock yard workers included (the ship had been in a dry dock in Germany for 2 weeks).

I really can not believe that RCC had the front to allow this ten day cruise to go ahead knowing what they knew, its unbelievable and unacceptable in fact its criminal, they got us all on board and sailed knowing fine well we had no choice to cancel. We could walk away from a hotel but not this SCAM AND THEY KNEW IT. FACT IS ROYAL CARIBBEAN HAVE NO INTENTION OF REFUNDING ANY ONE, WHAT'S CRIMINAL IS THEY SEEM TO GET AWAY WITH IT. We Complained early in the cruise, we did not want to stay on this ship and requested to leave at the 1st port of call, we demanded a full refund and requested to fly home at RCC s expense and were told we had no chance. The best she could offer was a bottle of wine, I am not joking here. We then requested a meeting with the Guest Service Manager. We requested this 3 times, 3 times we were told they would get back to us and they did on the 3rd time only because I refused to move until I talked with this man. He admitted the company was liable in certain areas of their contract to us, he fobbed us off and told us there was nothing he could do, he nor no one else can make these decisions. We were told to contact head office in London on our return, Saying that he did up the anti and went one better and offered us $40.00 on board credit but that was only a maybe, again I'm serious. This is the way these robots have been trained by RCC, it one step in a long line of ROBBING its customers.

We saved for a long time and paid £2200.00 ($4,000.00 U/S) for this holiday, we were set up and ROBBED.

     
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Soaring Consumer on 05/25/2009:
I am appalled that they permitted this and I agree with you 100%. This cruise should have never sailed and every single passenger deserves a full refund for the horrendous experience that they were forced to go through.

Keep at them and good luck, please keep us updated with the outcome.

You appear to have sufficient evidence to support your case and I completely believe you so I am voting this helpful.
Mrs. V on 05/25/2009:
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.
Soaring Consumer on 05/25/2009:
Christopher Elliott might also want to hear about this. His website is http://www.elliott.org/
Anonymous on 05/25/2009:
Wow, that sounded like the true cruise from hell. We have had some pretty good cruise horror stories around here but yours is by far and away the worst. I hope that attorney gets some cash back for all of you. The ship had no business leaving port.
old fart on 05/25/2009:
The pictures pretty much tell the story... good thinking!
BokiBean on 05/25/2009:
All that should have been done when the ship was docked.

I would have felt completely ripped off...
Slimjim on 05/25/2009:
How sad. Voyager has a soft spot for me as we cruised it on our honeymoon when the ship was practically brand new. Unfortunately, these boats rarely ever stop running. Their costs literally prohibit them being taken out of service all but once in a blue moon. The ship stays docked less time during cruise changes then it does at port of calls sometimes. They just never stay in one place more than half a day.
While I'm an RC fan, I do believe you have a legit gripe. For these kinds of repairs, passengers should have known ahead of time and the cruise run at a discounted price for those who would book it. Then again, these repairs may have been scheduled after the cruise was pretty much finished booking.
madconsumer on 05/26/2009:
at least it was being re-furbished. had it not been done, you would complain it was to old.

cannot please all the people all the time.
Anonymous on 10/21/2009:
Mad, probably. However, I got to side with the OP on this one. I would be mad as heck too if I paid that much for a loud, noisy, reconstructing cruise that I couldn't enjoy.

RCC should have either rebooked ya'll on another ship, or cancelled the trip and either refunded or gave travel vouchers good for a year for the face value of the trip.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Be Careful if You Buy Air Tickets With Your Cruise From Royal Caribbean!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Be careful if you buy air tickets with your cruise from Royal Caribbean! They will take Choice Air tickets as a hostage and demand more money for the cruise as they’re pleased!!!!

It happened to me. They wanted more money after I had paid everything in full. I called but they were also confused about what the extra charge was for. The wait on the phone was terrible too. Talked to 5-6 rude customer services and I decided to cancel the trip. They laughed at me and said, "If you cancel, you will get penalty from Choice Air!"

I did cancel my trip anyway. It's disgusting. I didn't want them to have more business from me on board. I was sure they will find ways to rib me off if I go on with the cruise. Got $100 penalized for each piece of the tickets --$400 total!!!
     
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peggyc on 07/20/2013:
By telephone, a Royal Caribbean (RCI) travel agent specialist booked my flights, ground transportation (a 5 hour train) and the cruise. When I got my travel documents, I noticed that the train departs at 11:00 but my flight doesn't arrive until 1:22 (2.5 hours after the train leaves the station). I immediately contacted Royal Caribbean. After many phone calls and hours wasted on trying to correct the problem, I got NO SATISFACTION!!! RCI's Choice Air will not change the flight unless I pay a penalty. The bottom line is that RCI wants me to pay for its booking mistake. Instead I'll be taking a bus transfer from the airport to the dock. I'm cruising in 13 days and will make the best of the ROYAL MESS. RCI lost a very good customer today (over 15 cruises).
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Health hazards & terrible maintenance on Pool Deck 9.
Posted by on
FLORIDA -- We went on a 4 night western Caribbean cruise in July 2007. We spent majority of our time on Pool Deck 9 in WindJammers (the buffet) outside seating area which was also the designated smoking section. These 20+ table were always packed with smokers & non-smokers alike since it was the closest outside area to the buffet & yet the most neglected. Morning, noon & night you could never find a clean table. Starting with the very 1st buffet lunch, hours before the ship ever left port, these tables were piled high with dirty dishes, drinks & overflowing ashtrays with rotting food thrown in & literally left in that condition for 4 solid days/nights. Dirty breakfast dishes were still there through lunch, lunch dishes were still be there through dinner, one previous nights pool party with mountains of beer bottles, cocktails & rotting food were still their through breakfast. People would just shove the dirty dishes aside, add their own which would again sit there endlessly. Even when the ship was empty for 8+ hours when docked for island excursion. What was rotting out in 90+ degree heat in the a.m.'s were still sitting there in the p.m.'s, including overflowing ashtrays. Was there crew working in this area....YES. The number of times we saw them actually clear a table in those 4+ days, less than 5. How many times did they actually wipe down a table after clearing it....zero. Not once during this entire cruise did we see them wipe a table down with a dry cloth, much less with any type of cleaner. Layers of crumbs, rotting hardened food, spilled liquids & ashes were just left there. We noticed 5 ceiling fans mounted, we assumed because this area had little to no air flow, but also due to being the smoking section. 5 out of 5 fans didn't work. 2 fans were missing all the blades & the other 3 were dead, it was apparent these fans hadn't been working in a long time. So sitting in this area with no air flo in 90+ degrees was like sitting in a sauna which means these tables & chairs were also coated with layers of sweat as well. We initially tried to give them the benefit of doubt, possibly a new crew in training & they were trying to learn their jobs, while watching for 4 days not only crew, but officers turn a blinds eye to the unsanitary & appalling conditions. The 4th night of the cruise we complained to one of the managers inside the WindJammer buffet, describing the conditions we saw & asked who is responsible for cleaning that area. They stated that area has a history of being ignored, the 2 departments responsible, either the overnight cleaning crew or the pool crew, claim its not their area.

There's a history here???? Translation: Royal Caribbean &/or the crew on the Enchantment of the Seas are very aware of the deplorable & unsanitary conditions & instead of monitoring this area closer, if not for the comfort of their guest, then at very least the health hazards, they instead knowingly allow people, who had spent thousands of dollars, to sit in this nasty, filthy, appalling area. After complaining to the manager, the last morning of the cruise, we were happy to see that all the tables were finally cleared of all debris, with the exception of one, yet upon closer inspection, still none of the tables had been wiped down, they were still layered with 4 days of crumbs, dried food, spilled liquids & ashes.

Could not find a table ashtray anywhere. The floor ashtrays had finally been somewhat emptied yet the rotting food was left. Selecting the least grungy table, sat down & immediately stuck to the table & chairs, they were still a stick mess. It was beyond repulsive. We could not wait to exit that ship.

Though other areas on the ship seemed to be well maintained & clean, while other areas were neglected, it just reached a point where you didn't want to touch handrails or casino machines because you just were sure the last time anything had been sanitized.

Three large sliding glass doors connecting the WindJammer Buffet directly to the outside seating area were both broken & couldn't be used. Not convenient while juggling plates & glasses. All exterior windows in the WindJammer dining room & on the pool deck were beyond filthy inside & out, including our cabin's porthole windows. It was not just a little ocean spray, these window hadn't been cleaned in forever. Very disappointing.

The breakfast buffet was excellent. The lunch & dinner buffets were barely mediocre & the selections were limited. There was supposed to be early bird coffee available from 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. again on pool deck 9. One coffee maker was broke 3 of of 4 mornings. The small room right around the corner which was supposed to offer a continental breakfast at 6:00 a.m. had a sign on the door the entire cruise that read: This room closed. Sorry for the inconvenience. So if you wanted coffee before 7:00 a.m. you were out of luck.

Organization & planning seemed to be a major issue with this crew. The maintenance crew, instead of power washing the pool deck overnight or early morning when most people aren't roaming around the ship, they chose 9:30 a.m., when the pool deck is becoming very crowded, to start roping off areas & power wash. Of the 5 maintenance guys standing there, 2 worked while 3 just stood there watching. If they were looking for something to do, we could have easily pointed out some drastically needs ceilings fan & coffee machines that needed service. Instead of attempting to fix the coffee machines, they just hung a sign up saying cleaning in progress.

Many people were not pleased with this cruise. We heard grumblings everywhere. Needless to say, we will never go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. We'll stick with Norwegian. They take pride in their ships & bend over backwards for there guests comfort.

One positive though: The beds were comfortable. Now if only they could find some windex.
     
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jktshff1 on 07/30/2007:
Their trying to make people stop smoking in their own way.
great-grandma is M-A-D on 08/30/2007:
has anyone ever come across a ceiling fan that worked but blew absolutely no air down at all...it is on the right setting...I have five, but, this is only one, A Harbor Breeze fan, which gives absolutely no airflow at all...
any help on why ? Can't find their company anywhere, only know it is sold at Lowe's and they are just as bad as their fans...
great-grandma is M-A-D on 08/30/2007:
jktshff1 - maybe they were just Harbor Breeze fans...wouldn't help if they were turned on...they don't work when they are ...
BooBerry on 09/19/2007:
We've cruise RC several times and have been extremely happy. Our last RC cruise was on the Enchantment (March 2007)and we didn't see any of these problems. I'm disappointed to see these issues. We are true RC cruisers. We just did a cruise on Carnival's Sensation (Sept 2007) and absolutely hated it. We're headed on RC's Navigator in Feb 2008, I hope to not see any problems. My sister did an Alaskan on Norwegian and was pleased. Bad thing is, they don't go out of Florida (I don't believe) and we live in Georgia. We have a Norwegian planned in 2010 (Hawaii). Can't wait.
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Terrible Customer Service
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- My mother-in-law purchased a cruise vacation for 7 family members, spanning 4 generations (4 of whom include veterans). We drove 6 hours from Tampa to Miami to catch the Majesty of the Seas for a cruise from 12/13/2010 to 12/17/2010. Both the deposit and remainder of the balance were paid ahead of schedule. This was her first experience with Royal Caribbean, whom she booked with on a referral. Myself, my fiance, and his 7 year old son had never been on a cruise, and we were so excited and had been looking forward to this trip for months. We had issues with our GPS, and were running behind schedule, but we finally arrived at the dock at 4:40, and the departure time was 5pm. We were already checked in (we had done so 2 days before online) and had our luggage tags on our bags. Our documentation failed to stress that if we were not at the port a minimum of 1 hour before departure, we would not be allowed on the ship. The security supervisor explained this regulation, and without much outward sympathy suggested we call customer service. In a state of disbelief that they could do nothing to help us, we got back in the car and drove another 6 hours back home, not getting in the door until midnight. When my mother-in -law called customer service the next day, she was told that not only was she not eligible for a refund, she also was not eligible for a credit to use towards a future cruise. The only thing she can do apparently, is call for a refund of the taxes she paid, once the ship docks back in Miami on the 17th. The customer service agent would not refer her to a supervisor, even though she requested to speak with one. I have worked in customer service for over 10 years, and I have never heard of such a shocking lack of empathy from a company, especially around the holidays, and towards a family of veterans. We were not looking for a refund of the more than $2,000 she spent, we were asking for credit with the company to be used for a future trip. I do not believe it is right that Royal Caribbean should be allowed to keep so much money without providing any services, and such appalling customer service. Neglecting to inform the customer of the importance of the deadline for boarding is one thing, but then refusing to work with that customer to rectify the situation by at least honoring the money they have spent is reprehensible.
     
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dan gordon on 12/18/2010:
I'm sorry but its totally your problem. Its such poor planning to try to show up the same day as a cruise when your arriving from somewhere else. $2000 for 7 people sounds like about $300 pp so I'm not sure what type of cruise this was. Cruisecritic.com deals just with this sort of issue but I think you'd be informed on the same thing if you were to post.
partyhero on 12/18/2010:
Things happen, like traffic and getting lost. But I do wonder if it is more of a case of not reading the fine print regarding regulations. I recently went on a cruise and knowing the port was four hours away, we gave ourselves six hours travel time. But, I think asking for a credit for a future trip sounds reasonable in this case.
clutzycook on 12/18/2010:
I wish people would stop playing the veteran card. I'm thankful for your family's service, but that doesn't mean that you all are entitled to any more special treatment than the rest of us. Yes, it would have been nice if RCC had helped you out, but they're not obligated to. And all of your complaints are addressed in the fine print.
jktshff1 on 12/18/2010:
You booked space, were late, so the booking could not be resold, not like you canceled the trip. Poor planning on your part is not the fault of the cruise line, similar to missing an airline flight. Browsing through 6 pages of terms and conditions for the cruise line, I found this:
g. Carrier shall not be required to refund any portion of the Cruise or CruiseTour Fare paid by any Passenger who fails for any reason to be onboard the Vessel or Transport by the embarkation cut-off time applicable to the specific cruise or cruisetour or the boarding cut-off time applicable at any port of call
or destination or point of departure as the case may be, and shall not be responsible for lodging, meals, transportation or other expenses incurred by Passenger as a result thereof. Embarkation cut-off times for cruises are available at www.RoyalCaribbean.com. Boarding cut-off times for any port of call or destination or point of departure are as announced on the applicable Cruise or Cruise Tour. Carrier shall have no obligation to any Passenger to deviate from any scheduled sailing or port of call or destination. You are out of luck.
werelucky on 12/18/2010:
The only neglect here is following the terms of your agreement with RC. They are in the right keeping your fare. They did everything right. Had space ready for you, but you chose to provide adequate travel time to show up on time. It's a good lesson for the kids to see the consequences of your choices.
Anonymous on 12/18/2010:
definitely the OP's fault. I would be SURE to be at LEASE 3-4 hours early for departure. Especially if I'm travelling from far away. Maybe a nights stay in a hotel room would have been better. Especially if I was dishing out a lot of money.
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'Why not' ignore the guest and make their stay unhappy.
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Made the mistake of sailing with Rhapsody of the Seas in August, 2010. First night I slid out of bed. The mattress was old, lopsided and had never been turned. Child froze the first night until I gave her my blanket. One bed was left without a blanket or comforter. Reported it the next day. They laughed at my sliding out of bed but did give us the missing comforter.
The adult pool had so many kids in it, us two adults had to leave after being jumped on, splashed on and kicked. RC did nothing about it when it was reported to them.
A broken hairdryer and the refusal of the housekeeping dept to answer their phone and of guest services to bring a working dryer after they promised one was on the way resulted in our family pictures not being taken.
For two days and repeated attempts to call housekeeping and 3 face to face requests our stateroom was out of soap for the shower. We also ran out of toilet paper and had to go across the hall to get some.
I tried to talk to the manager of guest services about these situations. He said it was cultural and none of it was his area anyway but he would write it up.
The refused to leave us a guest survey until I had waited in line for 20 - 30 minutes on two occasions to try to get one to fill out.
One of my kids found a weeks worth of various pills in a pill dispenser on the shelve in their room. That could have been a very bad situation.
Some of the food for sale in the stateroom had been previously opened and retaped and half the boxes were expired. In the other room, the boxes disappeared then reappeared, minus one. Our departure was delayed while we argued about the missing box which the room attendant had told me she took. We were charged for it anyway.
I asked the pursers desk to have housekeeping come up so I could talk to them. Housekeeping refused. The purser then handed me the phone saying the head housekeeper was on it. It was actually the guest in room ####.
A girl from their customer relations department called me trying to talk me out of writing the President. Then she didn't believe what I reported since the managers I had spoken with never wrote anything up like they were supposed to.
The girl called back today saying they weren't going to refund my money (I had never asked for or even hinted at that response). She was kind of snotty. I told her I hadn't asked for a refund. She replied 'Well, you said you sold your car to pay for the trip and the it was expensive.' I said yes I did say that but I never asked for a refund.
She got me to thinking, though, most travel places will comp you a trip or part of a trip or something to try to get you to try their service again. I had one airline do that after a flight that was as bad as this cruise. I always use that airline now. Obviously RC has so many customers they don't care to work to correct any problems, after all you are a captive of theirs for the duration of the trip.
This is our third cruise in 10 months. The other two were with Carnival. One Carnival was awesome. The second was great. This RC sucked big time. As one mother told me "I am underwhelmed." Another mom and daughter asked me, "Where's the fun?" I agree wholeheartedly with both assessments.
     
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Anonymous on 08/26/2010:
I can understand not having toilet paper, that would be annoying. Its weird because our room steward was always there when we needed him, since they work off tips and gratuity. The pool situation, I really don't know what you expect RC to do. Kick everyone out of the pool so you can have it for yourself? You actually sold your car to pay for a cruise? Sounds a little weird. I think you kind of ruined the vacation yourself by letting every little inconvenience get to you. Let it go and think of the good time you had, man. Life is too short.
clutzycook on 08/26/2010:
You sold your car to afford a cruise? Uh, OK....
unhappy999 on 08/26/2010:
I don't get it, you sold your car to go on this cruise but it was your 3rd cruise in 10 months? Sounds like you had a few small problems but nothing that would ruin a vacation. I've read a lot worse on some of the hotel stays on this site.
Anonymous on 08/26/2010:
Cultural?
Anonymous on 08/26/2010:
Wow selling your car to go on a cruise hope its worth it. I have never been on a cruise so I prob don't understand what's so spectacular about them.
Ytropious on 08/28/2010:
"This is our third cruise in 10 months"....but you had to sell your car to go on it? I'm sorry but what? That doesn't make any sense from a financial standpoint.
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Was a Loyal Customer--Never Again--Where is the (Customer) Service?
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I have cruised with Royal Caribbean a few times in the past and thought I would take my new fiance on his first cruise to celebrate our engagement. We saw a ship leaving out of Norfolk, VA and thought it was perfect so we wouldn't have to fly. The day of, we had our family drop us off at the port and in the frenzy, the porter took my fiance's carry on bag with his passport inside. No more than five minutes went by before we told the people at the ship what happened and they told us not to worry because it happens all the time and they could bring us the bag in time for us to board the ship. Over two hours went by and by the time we were told that this was actually impossible, we were standing in the terminal watching the ship sail away and booked as no shows standing in the port.

We immediately got on the phone with our travel agent and Royal Caribbean to see what could be done. Of course, after hours on hold and talking to multiple people, they said nothing. They wouldn't even let us talk to them directly without our agent on the phone! Long story short, after 5 people teamed up to try to get an answer, we got a letter stating that the only way for us to redeem our trip would be for it to meet it in the next port of call, San Juan. At our own expense of course. None of this was met with a kind word or an "I'm sorry for your situation" from the time we were at the pier to the time we arrived in San Juan. When we got there, they didn't even ask to see identification, we were just on some sort of list along with the other lucky few who had the means to fly down.

To top it all off, we were NOT told that someone had gone in my fiance's bag to retrieve his passport and thought it had been lost when they transported it to the room, because it was in the outside pocket of his suitcase. But on the last day on the ship (which was not the greatest ship I've seen), we happened to run into the same crew member who we told about the passport issue in Norfolk and he said "Oh, yeah, hey man, I have your passport". Ridiculous!

How is it possible that you can hold on to someone's property and not tell them? Not to mention if we hadn't met the ship, they would have kept our bags on the ship and we would have had nothing. We saw them turn people away in Norfolk with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and their purses, and these people had nowhere to go. We were lucky in that we left out of our hometown and had family to stay with.

Admittedly, we have two things working against us, one being we booked through an agent and turned down the agent's insurance. However, we did learn after the fact that the insurance would not have covered our situation and we would have been out the money anyway.

Regardless, what is my ultimate concern is that you can keep people's money without providing them any kind of service. They made real money off of the three days we missed of our cruise and would have made more had we not showed up. Also, what makes it worse is when you encounter sour people with callous attitudes who put you on hold for minutes on end and respond flatly with the company line, "there's nothing I can do". If you're going to put me through a hassle, at least don't patronize me in the process. I am going to be vacationing for decades to come, and from what I hear, RC doesn't want you on their boat if you are going to complain about anything, so 'so long' Royal Caribbean! And you can bet, I've told this story to everyone I ran into who sails as well. Sorry to say.
     
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MDSasquatch on 06/07/2010:
I cruised on Royal Caribbean just last year and I can assure you, the boarding procedure is far from frenzied unless you wait until the last minute.

Simply put - no passport = no travel; I really don't fault RCL for this one, but I do feel sorry for the OP, this sucks.
Weedwhacked on 06/07/2010:
This was terrible, but let me give you some advice. Wallet, keys, cellphone, passport...ALWAYS in your pocket. Where was yours?
Skye on 06/07/2010:
When we travel, I usually keep things for my husband in my pocketbook, wallet, keys, etc.

I do feel for the OP also.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
MDS and Weedwhacked, BA.

goduke on 06/07/2010:
I'm not a cruiser (so to speak), but from a look at the facts on the surface, it appears that (1) the porter took a bag s/he wasn't supposed to take and (2) the cruise type folks said "no problem, we can get it back for you prior to the cruise," but failed to do so. Irrespective of whether the OP should have kept the passport on his person, it seems like the cruise line has a bit of culpability here.

BTW, Deanna, congrats on the engagement.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
That's pretty much the way I see it goduke.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
I'm unaware of how the porters (who, for the most part, don't work for the cruise line, BTW...I can't speak for every line) would be able to take my carry on. It wouldn't leave my person at any point, until I go through security.

Unless they grabbed it out of my hand, or I handed it to them.

As a matter of fact, I remember being asked quite clearly "Does this bag go?"

MDSasquatch on 06/07/2010:
Before we even set off for our cruise, we received a package in the mail from Royal Caribbean; this package contained everything we needed prior to getting on the ship, including luggage tags. The porters will not take any bag that is not tagged, this is just not how it works.

The turn-around time from the time one cruise ends and the next one begins is very short; I doubt that porters have time to go through thousands of bags trying to find a single bag. Even after the cruise began, it took hours for our bags to arrive at our room.

I flew to Puerto Rico for my cruise and I had to show a passport at the airport both going and coming; if the OP made it there without a passport and still salvaged most of her cruise, she should consider herself lucky. -- Just Saying.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
MDS + 10. Same here with Carnival and Princess.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
Cruising sounds too complicated. Yet another reason I'll never cruise.
MRM on 06/07/2010:
Stew, cruising is complicated? You're a complicated man yourself, so you shouldn't have any problems going on a cruise!
goduke on 06/07/2010:
Thanks for the helpful info, MDS.
goduke on 06/07/2010:
I don't think Stew is talking about cruising on a ship, MRM....
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
Oh? Give us some insight, Goduke.
Anonymous on 06/07/2010:
Yeah, I was talking about cruising on a ship. Who want's a vacation full of rules and dealing with a bunch of yardbirds like the ones manning this RC cruise. That doesn't sound like something I'd want to do.
BEJ on 06/07/2010:
I keep all of our travel documents with me in my purse-- my husband's as well. Sorry you had such trouble.
saj80 on 06/07/2010:
My only question is this: what happened to your old fiance?
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Free cruise for winning BINGO? Don't you believe it!
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MAIMI, FLORIDA -- We took a 7-day cruise on RC's Liberty of the Seas on May 23. I'll get to the point - on the final day, we decided to play BINGO since the grand prize offered for winning the fourth game of the day was a free cruise for 2. Of course, all 300+ people there (at least the one we spoke to later) assumed it was for a 7-day cruise.

So, RC rakes in about $15,000 in that session (a minimum cost of $37 per person to play the four games) and paid less than $800 in total for the first three, so it seemed all the more reasonable to believe the winning prize was a 7-day cruise for 2. You guessed it - my girlfriend and I won game four. She was so hysterically happy that she fell back into her chair in tears and starting cheering out loud.

Imagine our shock to find out the prize we won was actually a 2-day pre-inaugural cruise, which was not disclosed to us until everyone at the game left the theater. This "cruise" is from Friday evening on the day after Thanksgiving until the following Sunday morning, roughly about 36 hours. The prize does not include airfare, transfer from airport (or anywhere) to ship, taxes, gratuities, drinks, etc. It is not redeemable for any value, can not be used for an upgrade and can not even be transferred or given away.

Misleading? Underhanded? Cruel? That's how we feel. Seriously, would anyone at RC really believe that anyone would spend money on airfare for 2, taxi to the airport and all other expenses for a 36-hour ride? This was my fourth cruise on RC and I have never experienced or heard of this kind of treatment from this company. All the hype, take in all that money, promote a prize of a cruise for 2 (yes, they never said seven days, but no one we talked to ever heard of a 2-day cruise) and all you award is a worthless prize that would never be worth redeeming!

Frankly, we're disgusted by this recent practice of Royal Caribbean. What we found the most ironic is this - we went to a presentation on our first day and were warned by RC not to be taken advantage of on this cruise and the only time we were misled was by the cruise line itself!!!

Learn from our (and many others) mistake - don't take anything offered by RC at face value. I'm sure that business must be good and Royal Caribbean will not miss us in the future - there will many others at those BINGO games eagerly trying to Win a "cruise".

Finally, we sent an email and were promised a response within 48 hours. It's now been three days and we've been ignored. What exactly has happened to the reputation and commitment that Royal Caribbean used to stand for?
     
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Ben There on 06/06/2010:
While I personally am no fan of RCL, there are lots of people like me who like take 2-4 day cruises. You get some time at sea without having to take off a full week of work.

That said, they should have done a better job calling out the dates and times of the prize, through. It would be an ideal prize for someone from Florida, but flying to Miami that weekend will be very expensive.
Skye on 06/06/2010:
Yes, they should have disclosed how long the cruise days were, but look at the bright side! You both won!! Like Ben said, it will be a nice little weekend get away. At least you didn't have to write a review how it cost you $37.00 a game, and you didn't win a thing.

Have fun and be happy, it's nice to win. And most of all, congratulations!!
PepperElf on 06/06/2010:
was there any fine print about the free cruise?

Weedwhacked on 06/06/2010:
You made a lot of assumptions that built up your expectations too high. The amount of money RC makes on that night has no bearing on what the prize would be. They're in business to make money. They announced that you would win a cruise and you did.
michaeltman16 on 06/07/2010:
I can appreciate all the comments so far. Yes, we made assumptions, reasonable ones. There was no disclosure as to the conditions of the prize. As for a nice weekend getaway, paying the cost of that "free cruise" is prohibitive. And by the comments made from many of the other players who has been to similar games, many were under the impression (based on past experiences) that RC was giving away a 7-day, all-inclusive cruise.
Citronelle on 08/08/2010:
My daughter purchased two tickets for us to have a cruise together. They asked for either a passport OR drivers license and birth certificate. No problem I have a drivers license and birth certificate. BUT when I went through security they said my name had to match on both documents. For perfectly legitimate and legal reasons my name does not match. But I am not a terrorist. However the denied me boarding and did not offer to return my money. THey also took my bag aboard and when I was denied boarding I asked for my bag back and they said they were getting it right away. So I waited and waited and waited. You guessed it by the time I went and asked for the second time they said "sorry you can't get the bag back" so there I am stuck in a different state with no clothes and other stuff that was in my bag. Three weeks later the contact me and want ME to pay for getting my bag bag. What the hell? I will never ever ever cruise Royal Caribbean.
Ben There on 08/08/2010:
Citronelle, I think you will find that all cruise lines will deny boarding. It is very important for you legal documents to match the name on your travel tickets. If you get married or divorced, you must change your name on your IDs.
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Law Firms Please Contact Me to Force RC Make Their Surcharges, Discounts and "Perks" Equitable
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA --
If there are any people who have sued RCI or any law firm who feels that there is a case for legal redress please contact me for this a company does not equally and fairly apply its discounts (quite different from offering equal BASE fares which I understand like the airlines are based on occupancy ) to ALL who qualify for it, charges some surcharges while NOT others, giving other "perks" like 2 cruises for the price of one, while refusing others who find out after booking but STILL on the cruise. They not only discriminate on nationality offering some nationalities prices that they don't offer others but discriminate with whom you book with, if you find out about a fare difference BEFORE you take your cruise you may get a refund but NOT if you book through your travel agent (who they make a big deal of how they work with them). This may be a consumer advocate law firm vs. one that specializes in suing cruise companies as they specialize in personal injury suits.

Because of my bitter experience with RCI, I can no longer recommend taking their cruises but since they are now offering good deals, there may still be others and I want to offer advice to those.

I advise one to book no sooner than the month (if you can, CNN advises you to book no sooner than 2 weeks) before you go, as they will cut the rate almost 80% off the rack rate (they have slashed the rates, many, MANY times before and would rather fill it up VERY cheaply then cancel the cruise).

If you paid ahead of time and are not aware of the discounts before taking the cruise, they will refuse you any kind of credit for future cruises or onboard credit to make up the difference (I'm not even talking about a monetary refund which would be less to their advantage).

Because of the economy where they feel they have to offer cheap cruises, they have really cut down the service and amenities to the point that unless you are probably in higher priced cabin like balcony or above, you may not even get complimentary toiletries. It is best to READ the reviews on different cruise websites on the ship (better yet, specific cruise) you are going on, if that can be found, my cruise was extremely cheap but because of ongoing renovations on the ship, many public areas were closed and the buffet dining was simply awful as they had to truck the food from the dining room to the solarium as the Windjammer was closed. It may be different on their other ships and it's all right to have it cheap, BUT the cruise lines SHOULD inform you WHAT to expect if the ship you're on is VASTLY different from ships you've taken before. I told them they should have this disclaimer on their website if they offer any cruises like the one I took (transatlantic voyage from Vision of the Seas from Santa Domingo on 4/19/09).

Was told that Southwest has the highest satisfaction rating as they promise anything but a low price and people are not disappointed by the expectations, I think RC wants to become the Southwest of the cruise industry. You will have CONSTANT reminders on the cruise that yours is a cheap cruise from them FIGHTING you over providing toiletries that a reservation agent over the phone promises you that they will have, to the waiters joking that because it's a cheap cruise there won't be lobster.


RCI used to be a good cruiseline (I liked their rooms because with the curtain it was like you had two rooms instead of one, but unfortunately they don't even want to compete with the likes of NCL but more like EZ cruise.)

Although I am allowing 3 Cents to forward this, RCI new customer service policy (since I DID contact them is too bad, we won't try to compensate you and retain you as a customer.)

To keep updated on this pending lawsuit if I can find a lawyer or if you have found that your were on this cruise or on another that you found you were not given the discounts you were entitled or paid surcharges others did not have to pay, please go to this website
http://groups/. yahoo.com/group/RCCLlawsuit

Evangeline
     
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Ben There on 05/14/2009:
So you booked a cruise, the price went down during a last minute sale and you are mad they did not automatically give you a refund? You want to sue because the price went down?
Marine 63 on 05/15/2009:
I got a better solution...BLOW the ship up.
BokiBean on 05/15/2009:
At ease, soldier.
Marine 63 on 05/15/2009:
Okay, BokiBean I'll calm down for about 30 sec. LOL...
BokiBean on 05/15/2009:
hahaha! Mr. High Energy :)
Marine 63 on 05/15/2009:
High Energy...Only when I'm in Combat Mode...LOL
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Run screaming from RCL
Posted by on
Save your vacation, run screaming from RCL.

On Royal Caribbean, you are vacationing cattle, held captive to be herded and milked dry. You will encounter all manner of crass, tacky scams designed to wring every penny from you before you are hustled grumbling home. Royal Caribbean brings new meaning to “shake down cruise”.

Tips for Royal Caribbean cruisers:

1. BEWARE OF RCL AMNESIA - Record everything the Royal Caribbean reservations agent says to you. Bring the recorder with you aboard. You will need the recorder and a stool for the hours you will spend complaining at the“Guest Relations” desk. Get everything in writing. RCL reservations will tell lies to get your booking. Nobody on board will honor the lies.

2. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES – You will be gouged by RCL for a ride to the end of the pier. It is worth the walk. Royal Caribbean shore excursions are a complete rip off. You will find great cheap tours within a block of the pier head.

3. REVENUE ENHANSEMENTS – Royal Caribbean will give you crummy orange juice, awful coffee and cafeteria food as a part of your ticket. If you want decent food, real orange juice, sodas, water or drinkable coffee, you must pay lots extra. On our RCL cruise, there was a $25 dollar per person cover charge just to set foot in the decent restaurants. Internet service is set to run at a snail’s pace, maybe because RCL charges by the minute. You will be given a handful of gratuity envelopes. Swallow your anger and tip, in person, only those staff that actually did their job. In our case, our cabin steward, one bartender and one waitress.

4. ADVANCE PURCHASES – If you purchase anything from RCL reservations for a “discount” you are being screwed. The same packages are available at the same price aboard the ship. When you try to redeem anything you pre purchased from Royal Caribbean be prepared for a long, long wait and something like an IRS audit. The usual excuse is “nobody has the wine locker keys” or “the wine steward is off duty”. If you advance purchase wine you can’t have it delivered to your state room. Room service will, however, sell you another bottle instead of delivering what you have already purchased. RCL tells you where and when you can have the wine that you pre purchase. If you buy a soda package you are doomed to roam the ship for two weeks carrying the “special” sippy cup that you must drink from to be served.

5. ALCOHOL – You will pay simply infuriating prices for alcoholic beverages aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise. RCL will search you and your bags at each gangway to make sure you don’t have any bottles…they even sniff your mouthwash. Once they are sure you have no bargain booze they will really put the screws to you. Expect to pay multiple times the retail price of a bottle of wine. You will pay almost the cost of a twelve pack for just one beer. Plan to get short poured on cocktails and bend over and grab your ankles when they bring the bill.

6. AIRPORT SERVICE – Imagine the service you have received from the airlines in recent years. Picture your worst airline terminal nightmare. Visualize long lines, screaming kids and high handed treatment from puny gods behind counters and podiums. Now surround that with water and you get some idea of the Royal Caribbean cruise experience. Royal Caribbean advertising bears no resemblance to RCL reality. As our shuttle bus finally departed for the airport, someone yelled “Anyone who had a good time, raise your hand”….nobody did.

Royal Caribbean still owes us $92 dollars in disputed charges… They were going to contact us. I am not holding my breath.


SEARCH WORDS: “RCL reviews” , RCL rip offs”, “RCL complaints”,” Royal Caribbean complaints”, “ discount cruises”, “cruise vacations”, “Royal Caribbean Cruises”, cruises, RCL,

Adventure of the Seas • Allure of the Seas • Brilliance of the Seas • Enchantment of the Seas • Explorer of the Seas • Freedom of the Seas • Grandeur of the Seas • Independence of the Seas • Jewel of the Seas • Legend of the Seas • Liberty of the Seas • Majesty of the Seas • Mariner of the Seas • Monarch of the Seas • Navigator of the Seas • Oasis of the Seas • Radiance of the Seas • Rhapsody of the Seas • Serenade of the Seas • Sovereign of the Seas • Splendour of the Seas • Vision of the Seas • Voyager of the Seas


     
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Mrs. V on 12/30/2008:
Answers to your complaints:

1) BEWARE OF RCL AMNESIA - Booking with RCI is the same as anywhere else. Bring copies of everything stated. If something isn't right, just let the purser know, and it will be fixed as long as you have proof.

2) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES - The excursions through any/all cruise ships lines are higher. But you also get the safety of A) if the excursion is late, the ship will wait for you. B) if the excursion in not what was advertised, you will get a refund C) the excursions are safer.

3) REVENUE ENHANSEMENTS - All food and drink are included in the price EXCEPT for sodas, juce anytime but am and achohol. The specialty restaurants are extra on all cruise lines.

4) ADVANCE PURCHASES - If you are missing something your ordered in your room, just tell your attendant. They can/will get it for you. You can always go to the purser if there is a problem. If you buy the soda package, you do not need your cup to get soda. They place a sticker on your SeaPass card for that.

5)ALCOHOL - RCI is the only line that doesn't allow your to bring alcohol onboard. You may order a package for dinning and/or a package for your room. The drink prices are higher than Carnavel but not as high as NCL.

6)AIRPORT SERVICE - Disembarkation can be very hard, depending on the ship, port and time. Leave very, very early (1st off) or late and it is not too bad.

Contact info for RCI:

Letters should be sent to:
Corporate Guest Relations
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, FL 33132
(Due to mail processing times, please allow 10-14 days for a response.)

You are also welcome to call our Corporate Guest Relations Department at:
1-800-256-6649
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST
Saturday - Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. EST

Crown & Anchor Society (800) 526-9723

Also go to cruisecritics.com for extra info on all the lines and ships to see which is better for you and what to expect.
Ponie on 12/30/2008:
Thanks for the clarification, Mrs. V. I'm not a cruiser because I'm not one for the confinement and my sea legs are wobbly even when on flat ground. I was always under the assumption that your meals were included on a cruise. You enforced that assumption. Possibly the poster was looking for champagne service on a beer budget? Not that a beer budget is anything bad, but don't expect more if that's the case.
Anonymous on 12/30/2008:
Thanks "RCL victim" for a most excellent review. I'll keep a copy of it handy for the next time my fiancee tries to persuade me into taking a cruise. (VH).
hubbard53 on 12/30/2008:
good review. I have no desire to take a cruise. I'm actually thinking about a Sandals all inclusive resore but I'm leary b/c I know there has to be a way to make money somehow...
bill on 12/30/2008:
I was on RCL Radiance a few years back and had a great time. I did not experience any of the problems you listed here.
Slimjim on 12/30/2008:
I sail RC regularly and also do not experience any of these issues outside of the expected. All cruise lines charge heavy for alcohol, just like a better restaurant or club. In fact, booze sales is a major part of a ship's income. I also rarely pay the cover to upgrade the dining. The main dining seems more than fine to me and there are other step down meal alternatives as well. All at no extra charge. Internet is slow because you are on a boat in the middle of nowhere. No T-1s or DSL out on the ocean. You can have unlimited internet cabin access for the full or partial cruise by paying a flat fee comparable to hotels. I agree if you go to the library and use the per minute terminals, you will get flogged. I vote Mrs. V best answer. I think you ran into some modest problems while also being a cruise newbie and having different expectations.
Mrs. V on 12/30/2008:
Each cruise line is for different people.

RCI is a mid level 'mass market' line.

The food is mostly free on board most lines and there are a lot of things to enjoy.

On RCI the 'pay restaurants' are:

Chops! - Steak type place, very good food. There is a $25.00 covercharge (this includes tips)

Portofios - Italian type place, very good food. Hosts the Murder Mystery Dinner. There is a $25.00 covercharge (this includes tips)

Johnny Rockets - Burger type place, OK to good food. $15.00 covercharge (inclues tips)

Ben and Jerrys - Ice Cream $2.00 - $5.00 charge
Mrs. V on 12/30/2008:
The online internet is VERY slow. They use satellite for the uplink so it's not very fast at all.

Good enough to check email and such.
Slimjim on 12/30/2008:
The Ben and Jerry's and Johnny Rocket covers must be new. Rockets was always free to get in but you usually went in for a shake, which of course, carried a fee.
RCL victim on 01/01/2009:
Mrs V obviously works for RCL....
Slimjim on 01/01/2009:
I knew all that outside of being outdated on some covers RCI victim and I don't work for them. She obviously cruises with them a lot. The fact is, we have a different opinion then you on this.
RCL victim on 01/01/2009:
Heads up aficionados of the mediocre, those thrilled to ride in steerage and defenders of RCL, there is a yummy Cajun shrimp special next week at Red Lobster… hee hee
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