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 can other 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 (** - 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 (** 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 ** 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 - **, 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 ** 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 ** 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 **. 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, **.
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 ** 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 ** 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 ** continued with guests around them and I just sat dumbfounded that a manager was treating crew members like this, especially since I had informed ** that there was nothing wrong with his staff (except for **) 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 **, 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 **. I guess no one told her that I was already talked to by **.
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 ** 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 **, 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.
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 **.
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.
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?
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 seemed 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.
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.