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Empress of the Seas - 15 September 18 - COMPLAINT: 4520 Stateroom is very small, not even suitable for a single use. No space to put even a cabin bag size. I asked that the chair to be removed from the room to have extra space. Toilet/Shower area are too narrow that someone needs to stand on a side in order to use the facilities. Stateroom window is too small, while the staterooms around us are much bigger. No fridge was inside the room (when I complained to the service desk, he said this should be requested) while in 20 cruises that I’ve done, I never asked for a fridge, and it was there. No tissue box was loaded. (as well the guy at the service desk told me that it is on request). These days on 1 star hotel, you will find tissue box.
When I booked this cruise through my agent, I requested for a dinner table for two persons and I got a confirmation, unfortunately this request was not communicated and I had to deal with the head of waiters to change from table of 10 persons to a table for two (even the head of the waiter made me feel that he is giving me a big favor). I requested as well for two separate beds and got a confirmation, but the beds were not splitted. I asked the person-in-charge to split them, he confirmed to me that he will do it after the emergency drills, when I came at 7pm, it was not done and I had to ask another guy (second shift) to do. He said that he didn't receive any information and then it was done at 9pm.
The 2 excursions that I booked in advance, I didn't receive the vouchers in my room (as it is supposed to be). I had to go the counter myself to get/print them. When I was filling the special forms for Cuba, I ticked that I will use the tours from the cruise, I managed to book to 2 stops, while the third excursion (Cienfuegos) was mentioned that I can book it on the ship, I boarded at 11.30, when I approached the lady who is supposed to assist me with excursions, she said that the tours are sold out and there are only the botanical garden and cigar factory tour, which we are not interested in both.
I asked her if possible to get off from the cruise and walk around the port, she started to give me a lecture about the regulations. I left her and came back after dinner, a gentleman replied back to me in a clear way that I can disembark without any problem. Changing Labadee to Bahamas one week before the sailing date was not a problem, but trying to book for an excursion for Bahamas, was a problem, which the Royal Caribbean website was not updated.
Purchased travel insurance, understood policy, however, Hurricane Florence directly hit our neighborhood, town and area. Flight was cancelled, could not get to Miami or out of my neighborhood. American Airline, even without insurance refunded 100%, Royal Caribbean with insurance would not refund, however would give me a 75% credit toward another cruise. Now if my home was not uninhabitable they will refund, I understand policies but this was beyond my control and I was meeting family. Just really think it was poor business and greedy in a time of crisis. I am sure if it was a family member of theirs it would be reviewed differently. Think twice before booking Royal Caribbean!
I am a recent TICO certified graduate of the Travel and Tourism program at Algonquin College here in Ottawa and I am an avid cruiser with over 35 cruises under my belt to date. I am a Platinum member with Carnival Cruise Lines and I have cruised Celebrity, Costa, Norwegian, Fathom, and Louis (which I believe is now Celestyal). With this amount of cruising experience, I believe I am in a position to accurately assess or compare any cruise experience.
Until this experience, I had never chosen a Royal Caribbean itinerary as your price points were always higher than other comparable cruise line Itineraries. My past cruise experiences were mainly with my children, so price was a large consideration, so thus the reasons I chose other cruise lines. My belief that my cruise experience with Royal Caribbean would be greater, due to your higher pricing, coupled with my need to experience Royal Caribbean as a newly licensed travel consultant, lead me to choose your 14-day Mediterranean cruise for my recent honeymoon. The cruise I chose for my much-anticipated honeymoon was your 14-day Mediterranean cruise leaving out of Barcelona July 1st 2018 on Vision of the Seas. My fiancé and I had an Inside cabin at a price of $1010 CAD taxes and fees in per person.
As a comparison... June 2016, I cruised a 12-day Mediterranean cruise in a extended balcony cabin on Carnival Vista for $929.50 taxes and fee’s in per person. Considering I was paying ($72 per day for your cruise and $79 per day with Carnival) almost equal per day amount for your cruise, in a much cheaper inside cabin as opposed to the extended balcony cabin I had on the Vista. My expectation was that this would be a far superior cruise experience… Boy was I wrong!!!
My first disappointment was upon embarkation of the ship. From our first steps on this ship, it was apparent that this ship was tired and worn and was years past its refurbish date. From the worn carpets and worn pubic area furnishings, to the outdated and worn cabin furnishings, cabin ceiling water stains and rusted cabin bathroom doors. My immediate thought was “I think I’ve made a critical mistake...” The days that followed only solidified my initial thought. Below you will find some but not all of the reasons for my extreme dissatisfaction and why for the first time in my cruising experience that I feel I’ve been “Ripped Off “by a cruise line:
Morning Coffee in my room is one of my highlights of my cruising experience. I always order a carafe of coffee delivered to my room at a nominal fee of a small tip to the delivery staff. In order to have my morning coffee on your cruise line I would have been charged a delivery charge $8.00 + fees and taxes = $12.00... which is completely absurd… Thus, I never ordered my much-enjoyed coffee during my entire cruise.
No fridge in room… Asked at embarkation… Were told none available, which was very disappointing as we had prearranged a rental car in Cannes, France, in order to attend one of their markets to purchase some local fare to enjoy during our cruise… Were told all the fridges were old and failing so had been removed. When complaining 3 days later, about another issue, I mentioned the lack of fridge being another one of my disappointments, I was told that if I wanted a fridge I could have one… One was delivered within the hour… 2 days after our stop in Cannes.
Food in Windjammer… was ok but often cold and tasteless and during peak periods refilling took 30 minutes or more. Coffee stations in AM often empty by 7:30am and took 30 minutes to refill… Had to wait for them to rebrew. Cream only available for coffee at one of coffee stations… Had to ask for cream every morning and wait 15 minutes for them to locate it. No charge drinks. Only available during peak meal hours but even then, often empty or out of order. Water was the only thing available to drink for majority of the day and evening. Ice cream stations dirty, melted ice cream, broken cones all over. Disassembled for cleaning most afternoons at peak times. Therefore, not available most of the time. Main dining room food – repetitive and quality similar to local family restaurant. Quality subpar to other cruise lines. Did not meet typical cruise line expectations.
Lido deck and Solarium are in constant disarray. Tables chairs and floors covered in a constant array of abandoned dirty dishes and an obvious lack of staff to keep up. Bussing done later in evening around 9 pm. Upon arrival on Lido deck at 6-7am for morning coffee often found tables cleared but not wiped… Sticky coffee-drinks stains covering majority of tables.
In 12-day, cruise was asked once by wait staff if we wanted a drink. No bar staff ever at any venue on this boat. If we wanted an alcoholic drink we had to go to a bar ourselves. One guest was so frustrated at this because she had bought a bucket of beers and it took her 45 minutes to find a bar staff to open her beers. When she eventually found someone to open her beers she asked for them all to be opened as she was unwilling to wait to find someone again. My belief is that majority of passengers on this cruise purchased a drink package… I believe that you avoided having wait staff available in order to limit the amount of drinks for the people that purchased the drink packages making them have to go to a long bar lineup to get their drinks.
In daily pamphlet Solarium pool hours were advertised as 7-7 pm sea days and 9-9 pm on port days. On 3 occasions during the first 5 days of this cruise we changed into our bathing suits and proceeded to the Solarium pool only to find it closed during the advertised hours. The third time of this occurrence we went directly to guest services to complain with towels in hand! They argued with us that the pool was open, we said we had just come from there and it was closed. After a 10-minute discussion they called only to discover that yes in fact the pool was closed. We were told by other guests that they didn’t have enough lifeguard staff as the main pool was busy due to FIFA world cup so staff was directed to main pool shutting down Solarium pool. We did not use the pools again during our voyage.
Being our honeymoon, we were anxious to have pictures taken to record memories from our trip. Almost every evening we dressed and had pictures taken. Backdrops were old, tired and repetitive. Absolutely every time we got pictures taken we were asked to do the same 4 poses. Not one photographer changed up the poses. We still continued to have pictures taken in hopes of some decent shots. Nearing the end of the cruise we painstakingly chose what we thought were a few decent photos and proceeded to the cash to purchase them.
Upon payment of these photos I was handed my photos in a plastic bag! I asked if there was not a cardboard envelope as I have purchased numerous pictures on other cruise lines and always received my costly photos in a cardboard envelope to ensure their safe travels home. I was told NO, that I would have to purchase an album to ensure my pictures safety. I then told them that I would not be purchasing these pictures and had them refund my sign and sail card leaving me not one memory of my honeymoon evenings.
We booked a number of Excursions with you… yet again you disappointed us. Your excursions were considerably more expensive than other cruise line but yet again I booked them with the belief that they would be superior to the excursions I have done with other cruise lines due to the higher cost. Again, I was very wrong! Not only were they not superior to my past experience they were by far inferior.
This is one of many examples: Imperial Rome and Coliseum small group, your price $260.82CAD… 2016 Carnival Vista price $221.00. Tour Itinerary was identical right down to attending the exact same restaurant for lunch. (It should also be noted that I have done this excursion 4 times in total, attending the same restaurant each time.) Yet the lunch served on your tour was considerably less. We only got white wine with your lunch and all 4 other times we got white and red. Your lunch consisted of salad, pasta and dessert, again all 4 other times lunch consisted of salad, pasta, meat course and dessert. Our table was not keen on the pasta that was served, I told them that we would be receiving a meat dish as well. They had to ask for their pasta dish to be return when much to my surprise we were served dessert. Another prime example of why I feel your company has “Ripped me off”.
I thought you should be aware that this was the most expensive cruise to date for me and the worst cruise experience to date for me. It is so disappointing for me as this was my Honeymoon and should have been the most wonderful vacation ever. Thank you Royal Caribbean for ruining the most important vacation of my life. As it goes without saying this was the first and last cruise I will be doing with Royal Caribbean... And rest assured I will be steering my clients away from your cruise line as I pursue my new career.
I had contacted Royal Carribean to cancel my upcoming cruise in April 2019. I was told I could not get a refund because I didn't choose that option, which I did. A supervisor TINA spoke to me and told me she would listen to the tapes and call me back in 24 hours. That was over 2 weeks ago. I have spoken to two different guest relations personnel who told me they would get back to me, HAVEN'T. It's ridiculous how when I want my deposit back no one can get on the phone for over two weeks with me. Still waiting to hear... NEVER use this company.
We sailed from Hong Kong and walked to the terminal. On arrival there was no signs or staff. As it was raining we headed into the first door we saw. We walked through the terminal looking at maps to work out where we needed to go. Finally we found what looked like the right place to be told, "No. You need to go downstairs." We finally found the port staff and checked in. As we approached the ship our passports were taken from us. We was not told beforehand this would happen. I went to take my landing card out but was told to leave it in. Once onboard we were very happy and the ship looked good. We got a drink and walked around the ship.
We had early dining so we got ready and headed to the long queue to go for our evening meal. As we were getting to the front of the queue the line started to slow down. By now it was 6.15pm and dining was 5.45pm. Another 5 minutes passed and we were still in the queue. 3 dining room staff were stood around the door. I finally asked what is happening and they said the dining room was full. I had to ask, no one was coming to inform us what was happening. We expressed that we had early dining to be told there is no assigned dining on this ship. We explained we was asked to choose and was told, "No. It's an Asian cruise so no dining options, you just basically turn up and hope there is a table." Obviously not impressed as we chose this time to dine and expected to, just like on other cruises we have been on.
After 5 minutes of talking we asked if we would be assured of a table at 8pm and was told we would. "Just come to the front of the queue and stand by this wall and you will be seated straight away." They also said this has never happened before but for other staff members to say it always like that so we're not impressed. So on return it's another free for all with the guests and the dining staff didn't really know why we stood there. Communication was horrendous but we did finally get to sit down. All in all no assigned dining and we didn't sit on the same table each night with the same guests to share our adventures of that day which we were looking forward to.
Before we left home we did a lot of research on the ports and where to go and what to see. We obviously know due to weather conditions this can change but once we arrived in Okinawa we had to go through immigration. We were not informed of this when we booked our cruise or any day before we sailed. This took one and a half hours so the plans we had made we were not able to go ahead with due to losing so much time. It was very disappointing as we could have been informed of this beforehand and not got our hopes up of visiting the places we wanted to. We also planned to get day travel cards in Japan but this was not possible as our passports were taken off us. They would only accept the original passport and not the photocopy we had so this cost us more money to travel around.
ALWAYS WATCH THE BAR STAFF MAKING YOUR DRINKS! We do not blame the bar staff as this happened several times at several different bars with several different bar staff so they are clearly told to them to do this. But they would use house spirits instead of branded spirits. We often had to stop them or ask them if it was our drink they were making. One bar server was like, "Ermm no no. That's not yours," when we pointed out he was using the wrong spirits. They would happily replace it and make a fresh but this shouldn't happen in the first place and it is illegal.
We are not big gamblers but we do like to have a little play on roulette. Unfortunately this was not possible due to the higher game limits. Basically because it was an Asian cruise they increased the minimums which meant we couldn't enjoy a game. The staff confirmed it was because it was Asia, but what about the rest of us on board. Please the Asians but not the rest of the world. I guess it saved us money by not gambling!
There was plenty to do onboard and the rest of the cruise went by smoothly (but still watching what our drinks were made with) until we collected our passports. As we gave our room number and were passed our passports my landing card was missing. The staff member said, "You can get another one at the airport." Obviously I was annoyed and said, "Why should I waste my time at the airport when it's the company's fault." She said it's one of those things and tried to usher me away.
I didn't go anywhere and said, "Can't you check through the box." She eventually said she would have a new landing card delivered to my stateroom. Why could she not have said this in the first place?? "Really sorry but I can get a replacement sent to your stateroom." No fuss and the situation dealt with but instead she couldn't be bothered. A new landing card was delivered to our stateroom along with my missing landing card. It really wasn't that hard to sort a small issue. We did enjoy the cruise and ports and the ice show was amazing but it's the little details that are making us think if we should cruise with Royal Caribbean again as this hasn't happened on our other cruises with other cruise companies.
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We recently moved to Orlando from Hawaii and do not know FL. We had won a trip from wife's work on the Royal Caribbean. We spent months planning this trip with our kids (2yr boy, 4.5 yr girl)... I mean every detail. Everyone was so excited. We were trying to be responsible and arrive early (10:30am). They took out bags without checking their labels (prominently displayed as recommended by Royal Caribbean), then parking our car added on nearly 45 min bc the shuttle went to the other cruise terminal first. We got through security, where they checked our names and boarding passes, and in line for check in by noon where they FINALLY told us we were at the wrong Port! Our hearts sank. Somewhere in all our planning we got ports mixed up. We were supposed to be in Ft Lauderdale 2hr 50 min away from Port Canaveral, where we were. Talk about panic mode.
Then we were sent to the hospitality desk, where they put out a call for our luggage. If they could find it in a timely fashion, we could still drive down to the other Port as the boat didn't leave until 4:00pm (they kept stressing be at check in by 4:00 or they close the doors.) While RC was locating our luggage we taxi to our car and called RC's customer service line to see what our options were. The agent we spoke with (at 12:30) put us on hold and when he came back told us he had spoken to Port authority and was told they could hold the boat until 4:30 pm. At 1:30 pm we were notified they had located our luggage! However, there was miscommunication over walkie talkies as to where the luggage was brought to, taking away 10 precious minutes while we waited painfully for them to get it to us. We finally get out luggage threw the kids in the car and drove down to the other port.
After several hours driving (like I've never driven before) we pull in curbside, actually getting there at least 10 minutes before 4pm which I know because I pulled my parking ticket at 3:53pm (see photo) and I thought "Hey we made it before 4pm even, great!" I immediately drop wife, kids, and luggage 20 feet from the check in, then I quickly go park, right next to check-in actually, finding a spot halfway down the parking lot and RUN! Urgency was on our minds. There were no check-in people from RC even around. Just Port authority staff and police.
When I made it to the check-in where we could see the boat still docked 100 yards away. We were right there but we were being told we had to be cleared by a port authority supervisor who showed up at 4:05pm and declared we would not be allowed to board bc it was clearly after 4. We begged and pleaded explaining we were there! (Just a few minutes but it was still before 4pm!). He just stood his ground. We told him we were a part of 35 people, which seemed to make him hesitate, but still no. We told him we had called RC and they told us they would was holding the ship 30 min for us. He said the only way he can hold the boat is if RC had to called him and he never received that call (First time cruisers aren't going to know this and that was RC failure not ours!).
I take a moment to recognize Veronica **, a port staff member who spent almost an hour past her work time empathizing explaining what she could, and getting security to let us out of the parking lot that they lock up entirely for the week long cruise - we would still be locked in without her. Thank you, Veronica. It only takes a single person to make a big difference.
The short of it is, we called RC 4 times after arriving at the Ft Lauderdale port, and got the same answer, even from supervisors: you are SOL. They refunded our taxes and excursions, that's all. They are doing nothing to help us, refund us (including the extra $700 additional we had to pay them for an upgraded room to have our kids with us), re-book our paid cruise, accommodate us in a hotel, out on another cruise, or show any empathy. In fact, their solution was for us to purchase airline tickets to fly into Puerto Rico on the 4th day and spend the last three days of a seven day cruise on board the ship. That was it. We are in a hotel room tonight in Ft Lauderdale (which my wife's boss paid for, not RC) writing this review, not on a week-long cruise we had planned had anticipated so long and that RC is still being paid for.
I got to tell you, as a dad - and I'm still a fairly new dad, my heart literally hurts so much as I am left tonight sitting in my hotel room, at 11:30pm, looking at my wife and kids sleeping. I'm constantly remembering, always remembering, walking away from this ship seeing my wife and two kids sinking to the ground all of us together holding each other, I lift my head and see them reduced to tears as the boat we paid extra to be on departed behind them, instead of welcoming us. Sadly, that is always going to be etched in my heart. I freely cry. Is this a ship you want to sail on?
Our cruise was the experience of a lifetime. Everything was just perfect. I have room with the balcony was wonderful. The food was superb. Everything was very clean and nice. Every employee was top-notch. We couldn't say enough. All the offshore excursions had been investigated and were very safe very informative fun and the food on those excursions was excellent.
Excellent service, smaller ship, not crowded at all. Radiance of the Seas. Everyone took great care of us. Cruise director's staff excellent. Great choice of shore excursions.
Been on several RC cruises. They make it very easy to register, board and do anything you want onboard as well as shore excursions. They take great care of you and go out of their way to make you happy. The ships are very clean, beautiful and well-arranged.
Please be careful of the information given to you. I have had many cruises with RCCL, but this is my last one. I just finished the Mediterranean cruise 14 days with them and headed to my next cruise 6 months later. This cruise I planned to pay with point, but when my travel agent called them they had removed her as my agent and would not allow a transfer so she could complete the booking. Now I have to spend money that was not planned for this cruise. Customer Service had told me I did not need a transfer of agent for each booking, well if you make the reservation yourself apparently you do have to also complete the transfer to your agent within a certain time period. From here on I will use Seabourn for cruising, done with RCCL.
Please be careful of the information given to you. I have had many cruises with RCCL, but this is my last one. I just finished the Mediterranean cruise 14 days with them and headed to my next cruise 6 months later. This cruise I planned to pay with point, but when my travel agent called them they had removed her as my agent and would not allow a transfer so she could complete the booking. Now I have to spend money that was not planned for this cruise. Customer Service had told me I did not need a transfer of agent for each booking, well if you make the reservation yourself apparantly you do have to also complete the transfer to your agent within a certain time period. From here on I will use Seabourn for cruising, done with RCCL.
The ports they stop at is all you make it be. Some destinations are better than others. Overall it's a chance to see parts of the world you normally wouldn't.
Very classy cruise, great choice of foods, excellent side tours, terrific employees, and good shows. Good control of children so that adults without children are not inconvenienced.
The whole onboarding process was effortless and speedy. I had an inside cabin which was delightfully large and exceptionally clean. My cabin attendant was excellent. However, food was not that great unless you paid for a specialty restaurant. The buffets were recycled from the day before and not as tasty. Individual food preparation stations within the buffet area were better than the prepared foods displayed. Felt like we were "nickel and dime" for everything from pictures to trinkets. However, the entertainment was FANTASTIC. Everyday was something different. Would sail with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line again.
For the most part I found the excursions to be very high priced. In my opinion there should be more excursions offered for a lower cost or free. Nevertheless, all other areas were nice.
We did a Southern Carribean to at least 5 or so islands. Food, and atmosphere was great. Rooms were nice, our cabin attendant was really great. Loved the island and snorkel trips. Want more time to do this again. I had just discovered we were expecting our son right before we traveled, so I did not get to imbibe as much as I would have liked. Lol.
It was a magical experience. The food was excellent. Service was great and all the employees on board were very considerate and friendly. I was amazed how they remembered our names.
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean for the last twelve plus years. I have taken my 2 sisters, my mother, daughter, son-in-law and my two grandchildren on these cruises. We have always been treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. The dining room was super. Love the entertainment and my grandchildren loved the entertainment for the young adults. I am planning a cruise for January 2019. Great cruise line.
It’s overall good. Nice folks, good food and there lots to do on there and kids have fun too. I did not think we all would like it but it awesome. Thank you.
I had a relaxing vacation. I can't say anything bad about Royal Caribbean. More excursions would be welcome because some ports were a distance away from other attractions.
We have taken this cruise line for a family vacation with a wide range of ages and all were entertained and thrilled with their experience. From the food to the activities, we feel this cruise line is tops.
The crew was very friendly and anxious to help. Price was on the high side for the age and condition of the ship. The excursions were not the greatest and several were cancelled the day of the excursion.
The food was really a disappointment compared to any cruise in the late 90s or early 2000s. Mediocre food and fewer choices... And rushed/pushed dining room experiences for breakfast or lunch. No more Royal Caribbean for me.
Very basic cruise. Great for first timers. No extra frills; no fancy evenings; few excursion choices. However, enough to keep an extended family happy for a week.
The staff was wonderful, food was great, we enjoyed the entertainment, auction and casino. Ports were beautiful and accessible. Ship was extremely clean and the weather was perfect. Truly an enjoyable experience.
We traveled on the Enchantment of the Seas. Not a real family friendly cruise. Not much for kids to do. The food was decent, the mousse was delicious. The drink package is worth it if you drink alcohol. It does include bottled water and soda. The bed in the balcony room was awful. It was so uncomfortable, we didn't get much sleep for 5 nights. The excursions weren't bad, I wasn't fond of having hurry up just to wait. Overall the cruise wasn't bad but I traveled on Carnival and like them better.
Royal Caribbean delivers a great cruise. The accommodations are good, the food is very good, the entertainment is great and the price is reasonable. They have a lot of options for people who like physical challenges.
I had a good experience with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. I won the cruise from a company I worked with at the time. It was a lot of fun. Wonderful food. Staff was great keeping my room clean and tidy.
Royal Caribbean has consistently provided excellent cruise experiences. Would recommend it without any reservations. Easy to work with in planning and excellent service on board. We have cruised with them often.
The crew was very helpful with directions and information about the ship. The entertainment was very good, not top of the line. The food was good but also not top of the line.
The cruise and itinerary was well organized. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. The ship was clean. The meals were incredible and the buffet was spotless.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968 and has since developed two unique destinations, Labadee and CocoCay; it also sails to numerous popular worldwide cruise destinations.
Adventure Ocean youth program: Adventure Ocean provides kid-friendly activities for babies, tweens and teens.
Flexible dining experience: Dining options range from casual dining venues to sophisticated meals in the dining hall.
Onboard casino: Gambling enthusiasts can take a seat at the Roulette table or slot machines while sailing to the next destination.
Performances: Movie fans can enjoy watching Tony award-winning performances.
Pre-sailing communication: Guests can take advantage of itinerary updates and online check-in; these updates let them know what is available to cut the wait time and when it's time to board the ship.
Best for: The Royal Caribbean liner is best for active adults and families.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Company Information
- Company Name:
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
- Year Founded:
- 1080 Caribbean Way
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 562-7625