Friends don't let friends go on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship. In July 2007 I too have had the unfortunate experience of the Royal Caribbean treatment (RCC). In short, I had received acupuncture on-board only to return to my cabin with a needle still stuck in my chest beneath my shirt, which could have punctured my lung. My 12 yr old daughter slipped in unattended vomit (nowadays considered a bio-hazard) in the main promenade. A few minutes after witnessing my daughter hitting the marble floor and covered in vomit did a staff member finally showed up to place a warning sign.
The cruise line callously dismissed each incident in the hopes that I, but not my wallet, would just go away. Only after I demanded an X-ray for my daughter and threaten to expose them publicly on the Internet with some of the video footage did they realize my frustration. And like many other RCC victims have stated, had the gall enough to send us vouchers for another cruise. Yeah right! Not in this lifetime.
Every time I see an RCC commercial it reminds me of the waste of time and money due mainly from the sub-standard treatment and lack of respect that my family has received from RCC. But on the other hand at least the commercials continuously remind me to share my wonderful experience with everyone that I meet and hopefully will spare another family the horrible nightmare that we went through.
Do yourselves a favor, take a plane to the Caribbean and avoid the nightmare treatment of an RCC vacation. After taking this trip Royal Caribbean's slogan of "Get out there" should be "Stay away from Here" and be sure to look for my Royal Caribbean Nightmare video soon to be posted on a YOUTUBE near you.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Just wanted to say thank you Radiance of the Seas for ruining my Alaskan vacation that I had saved for a year to pay for. First my clothing was stolen at the Vancouver Dock. Complaint was made to customer service who just shrugged his shoulders as if to say "what do you want me to do?" Simply asked for a newsletter and was caustically replied to that it was in the room. Told him "yes, it may be but we cannot access the room until 1:30 so please give me a copy of the newsletter." He slammed it on the desk and walked back into his inner sanctum.
The food was deplorable -- pork every night and hardly any fresh vegetables. Now if you were from India you had ample selection of food to choose from. My key card did not work and it took not one but three customer service personnel to figure out how to issue a new one. Then when it came time to purchase an item on the ship, I found out the key card was invalid. The pool was out of order for the first four days of the cruise. All the so-called seminars on the next port were nothing more than enticements to pick up their brochure on where to purchase their diamonds from the ship-owned stores.
All you heard was purchase our diamonds. Forget playing a friendly game of bingo as the ship was charging $20 a card to play -- outrageous. When a group of us tried to go off the ship to do our laundry, we were told we could not do so because it was against international law and there was no customs agent at the dock to inspect our laundry. Told the customer service person that in the USA we do not consider laundry a package. The ship's personnel kept stating we could not take a "package" off the ship. Nowhere in the newsletter did it ever state a person could not take their laundry off the ship. Thanks to Radiance of the Seas they made what was supposed to be an enjoyable trip, a trip from hell.
I have been cruising with Royal Caribbean for quite a few years. Over that time, there have been incidents that occurred that interfered with our vacation (like a hurricane). Not every one of our cruises was "perfect", but when kept in perspective, not every non-cruise vacation is perfect either. All the RCCL staff we have encountered have been personable, professional and friendly. Over the years, the food has changed somewhat, however, I still feel it is the best overall of any "inclusive" vacation. Itineraries may change due to weather or extenuating circumstances, but that is something that should be considered before you book a cruise.
Royal Caribbean puts the safety of its passengers first, not the intended itinerary; and I wouldn't have it any other way. I think that the people's perception of cruise lines is that since you cannot easily "check out" like you can at a land-based hotel, the cruise line is even more responsible for the issues that may crop up. If you weigh the amenities and things to do on a cruise ship with any hotel property, where else could you find so may options offered for the a set price?
I strongly suggest that if you have had a bad experience with Royal Caribbean, try a second cruise before you make a decision never to cruise with them again. If you take into consideration all the people that cruise Royal Caribbean and have a good experience compared to the complaints, I'm sure that you will see that they really do it quite well.
Over the years, I have had friends that have vacationed with other cruise lines and they hated it, stating that they now hate cruising. After trying Royal Caribbean, they have changed their minds about cruising and after making comparisons, admitted that the Royal Caribbean experience totally blew their perception about cruising "out of the water" (no pun intended). I am a loyal Royal Caribbean customer and will continue to spend my vacations with them. Like any vacation, prepare for the unexpected, educate yourself, and just keep things in perspective and your days at sea will be most rewarding.
A group of us bought a cruise on Royal Caribbean through a travel agency. Once having the cruise booked, it was time to air transportation, in this case to San Juan. OK, that's done. Now we need to get from the airport to the ship. Going a day early (it snows where we are) so we decided to deal with that when we got there...Next - what shore excursions are available and how do we book them - little problem, create an account with RC, pick your activities, pay with credit card, get confirmations. Neat.
Now, how do we get from the ship to the airport when cruise ends. RC site says that if you book through travel agent, call RC customer service to arrange transfers or you can buy them on board. Decide to get it done before the distractions of onboard life. So, call RC customer service. They say "call your travel agent". OK, we can spend a grand on their site arranging shore activities but can't buy a transfer to the airport (unless you happen to be on the ship, then it's OK). We play their game. Call travel agent, provide airline itinerary, and the obligatory credit card info. They promise to arrange with RC. "It's a done deal." (maybe)
Do an online check on the RC site of travel documents, it says nothing about shore transfers for two days. Check with credit card company and find RC took the money immediately when contacted by travel agent. Call RC and ask why transfer documents are not in our "guest vacation documents" online. They tell me that's a problem for the travel agent, but don't worry "you're on the manifest". I have visions of being on the pier in San Juan and saying to the bus driver "But Amanda told me I was on the manifest" Him saying "Who is Amanda?".
I insist that since RC took my money, they should be responsible for issuing a transfer voucher. After talking to a supervisor, they promise to do me a favor and deal with the travel agent for me. Later, they send a voucher to the person who booked the cruise who lives in another state. It took hours in several days to get done what should have been a simple few clicks on their website. If you can book shore excursions, buy soda packages, beer packages and all manner of other things on their website, WHY NOT A SIMPLE AIRPORT TRANSFER??? ROYAL CARIBBEAN IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DEAL WITH.
My fiancé and I thought we would celebrate my birthday with Royal. At first, we were going to book with a competitor. But then our travel agent suggested Royal Caribbean. Our first afternoon on the boat on my birthday we decided to take a nap. We slept very well for about 2 hours… In urine… Because the staff had not changed the bedding. We only found this out after we retired for the evening at about 2am. We pulled the bedding off of the beds to push them together that evening. The bedding reeked of urine when we pulled the bedding off. We immediately reported this to management.
We were then moved to a very cold room where the temperature could not be controlled. The following day we advised management of this issue. We were then moved to another room… Smaller! Wow, three days into a five day cruise the issue was finally semi-resolved. I won't bother to go into how hard it was to find a clean dish to eat on this cruise.
But back to the urine… The guest services manager M advised that it wasn't his problem. He directed us to another guy who sent us back to M. This was the worst service that I had ever had. Well, to sum it all up, we were promised 20% compensation on our next cruise… To sleep in urine. We then complained to Associate Hotel Director. M then promised 30% compensation on the next cruise! Wow, would you sleep in urine for 30%… On the NEXT cruise? No takers? Well, we never saw the 30% in writing.
We then received a call a month later from a cruise line representative who left a message with us that gave a toll free number that led to… Oh, nowhere, to call them back! Wow! Never again will I cruise Royal… Or any of their affiliates. Now I doubt that this is published to be read by potential customers who desire to know that truth about this cruise line, or their reputation for NOT addressing passenger issues.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- When we did an advance booking on the “Enchantment of the Sea” for the “Independence of Sea” for a December 6th cruise, the consultant promised that if the prices went down we would get credit for the difference. The prices went down and I so advised my regular travel agent, was told by RCI that the prices did not gone down but up instead. This was a lie and I met several passengers on board the ship who had booked 3 weeks before and received the lower fare.
I tried on board to settle this matter through the purser's office and the future cruise consultant. “Guy” the man in charge of that department agreed with me that I should have received the credit, however several days later when I asked him again what was happening he said "Miami said no," and he refused to give me a written explanation.
It is highly time that the federal government of the USA and the state of Florida investigates the shoddy operating mode of these cruise companies because they don't seem to be responsive or accountable to anyone. It took 4 hours to start boarding the ship, and the debarking was also late and disorganized. I had a noisy cabin and they only offered us a new cabin on the 4th day of a 6-day cruise. I did not want to impose on my poor wife the hassle of changing cabin for 2 days – we are senior citizens.
If you traveled previously on their “Explorer” ship, the “Independence” and all the newer ships RCI produces are not much better, in fact they are worse. No longer do they offer the clowns entertaining people in the main drag and in the main theater. The food is bargain type, nothing special. It seems that because of the financial stress the company is facing they pinch every penny everywhere they can.
The bad attitude of the company and its lack of good faith ruined our trip. They don't treat their” diamond customers” any special. We often take Carnival with whom we have cruised 17 times and the administration of Carnival knows how to treat their repeat customers with respect.
This is obviously not the case with RCI, and I am presently no longer planning on cruising with RCI ever until they refund me all the money, which I was overcharged TWICE already. Trying to resolve issues with the Miami headquarters is like butting your head against the wall. They don't want to understand or more probably they are told NOT to understand no matter what.
Avoid Royal Caribbean if you expect any service recovery after a bad cruise. RCCL is not a bad cruise line, at least in our first 14 cruises with them. But our 15th cruise was a disaster: On arrival, our bathroom was flooded and our cabin attendant had no clue as to his responsibilities (soiled robes, no amenities for our “diamond” status, no pool towels, no ice, and finally he hid the appraisal form at the end of the cruise, thinking that if we found it he would not get good marks!).
The casino charges 3% even before you make your first bet. Any experienced player recognizes that the casino has a huge % advantage in normal play.... adding 3% to that is absurd (NCL, for instance, has no such charge). For four prior cruises, we were seated at a table for four in the dining room, despite our requests for a 6 or 8 person table. We did not complain... but on this cruise, we did ask for a larger table and the head waiter was not helpful.. in fact borderline annoying. The clincher was that the other two guests scheduled for our table never arrived... so we ate alone for seven nights.
When I returned home, I sent a careful letter of dissatisfaction to the executive section of customer service at RCCL. I received three phone calls from a very slick and sophisticated customer service rep... one of their best I am sure. She told me that, after 14 cruises with them (no complaints), compensation to us was two restrictive certificates in the amount of $52.00 each.. $104.00 total! I could not believe after spending tens of thousands of dollars with RCCL their response as service recovery for one really bad cruise was $104.00!
I challenged that as not being a proportional response, common in the industry, and the customer service representative blew me off... well, what she really said was that she would buy me a bottle of wine on my next RCCL cruise. Goodbye, RCCL.... every bit of good that you did on our many cruises with you has been destroyed by a lack of service recovery... NCL is going to benefit from your decision... just booked two cruises with them.
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 rip me off if I go on with the cruise. Got $100 penalized for each piece of the tickets --$400 total!!!
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I am writing to complain about the unsatisfactory service regarding my attempts to fax a Request For Medical Records form to your Medical Services Department. After downloading the form from your website and providing the necessary information, I faxed the form to the number appearing on the form (305) 982-4900.
Following up the submission, when talking to a customer service representative, I was notified the number I had faxed it to was incorrect and to use 305-982-2104. However, this number just rings without connecting to a fax. I called in a third time and was told the fax number to use was 954-517-3721. This also didn't work.
Today, I called again and asked to speak to a Supervisor. I was told that the number to use was, in fact, 305-982-2104, I asked her to ring the number to confirm it was a fax. After being on hold, she assured me she had verified it was a fax. After completing the call, once again, I attempted to send the form to 305-982-2104. Not surprisingly, all I got was the phone ringing and no fax modem connectivity.
This dissemination of an incorrect phone number information and the failure of a customer service representative to handle the process correctly is unacceptable. I'm mailing a copy to the Medical Services Department, as well as enclosing a duplicate copy herein. Hopefully, the form will get to the appropriate focal point so that I can receive a copy of my Medical Services Bill as soon as possible. The form on your web site needs to be updated as well ensuring customer service representatives confirm the accuracy of the information they are providing.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I chose to use Royal Caribbean's Choice Air for my 40th Birthday Cruise. What a mistake. Since I made the reservations, the time has changed (3) times and not once have I been notified. Had it not been for another one of my guest who did not book with Royal Caribbean's Choice Air, I still wouldn't know. Not only did the time change, it changed drastically to the point I would have missed my flight.
I notified Royal Caribbean via E-mail explaining my concern and I received an e-mail saying "They could not release or amend any information with anyone but the travel agent." Problem with that is I'm the one who booked the air travel not the agent. And, if that is the case, Why not just correct the problem? I've since tried calling only to be on hold for a half an hour only to be told that there was no supervisor for me to talk to but someone would contact me within 24hrs.
The travel time on their website still had and 3 hour difference from the Airline's website flight times for the same flight numbers. I've cruised with Royal Caribbean before and had not had a problem but their Choice Air department is a huge problem. Take it from me and DO NOT USE.