Royal Caribbean International Reviews

Year Started: 1969
Ships in Fleet: 23
Category: Mainstream

Summary: The largest and most technically impressive cruise ships in the world. Great for kids, families and adventurous adults. A large fleet, but Oasis and Brilliance are often cited as favorites


Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

52 Reviews


Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.

9 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Mediterranean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.

45 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Canada, Transatlantic

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.

69 Reviews

Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Seniors. Group.

21 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean

Good for: Families. Seniors. Group.

47 Reviews

Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

3 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

17 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Teens.

48 Reviews


Good for: Teens. Group. Families.

48 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic

Good for: Seniors. Families. Overall Service.

17 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.

3 Reviews

Regions:China (as of May 2015)

Good for: First-time Cruisers. Overall Service. Value for Money.

43 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania

Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.

24 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Suez Canal, Bahamas, Dubai

Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.

28 Reviews

Regions:Brazil, Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles

Good for: Seniors. Families. Singles.

33 Reviews

Regions:Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Scan Russia, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.

1 Reviews

Regions:UK, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda

Good for: Families. Group. Disabled Travelers.

48 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Seniors.

28 Reviews

Regions:Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.

21 Reviews

Regions:Western Mediterranean, Panama Canal

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.

37 Reviews

Regions:Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket & Port Kelang,

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

42 Reviews

Regions:Hawaii, Alaska, South Pacific

Good for: Families. Group. Overall Service.

74 Reviews

Regions:Toyko To Taipei, Australia, Asia

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 758 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

758 User Reviews of Royal Caribbean Ships
TERRIBLE - They lose your purchases
Publication Date: May 15, 2014

I am writing this to those looking for a cruise that will actually care about your personal items. My wife and I chose to take this cruise only as an alternative way to get to Belize and back during some time off we had. It was between this cruise or a flight. We go to Belize once a year to pick up 4 bottles of rum, yes that's right, rum. Not just any rum, Old Master Rum made in Belize and not exported. We chose this cruise versus the flight due to its same price as flying and as a neat way to get there. No real reason other than that.

We arrived in Belize and quickly purchased our goods and returned to the ship. At re-boarding, as expected, the crew has a table where they hold your rum till the end of the trip and issue you a slip with the promise to return your liquor on the last night around 7 pm.

Fast forward, its the last night at 11 pm and still no liquor. We went to the guest relations desk and waited in line for 30

min. Finally, our turn we asked what had happened to our liquor. They stated they didn't know. They tried to shovel us away to help the next guest but we persisted. They conversed in the back and then came back forward only to offer us other random liquor bottles or money. We denied both as nothing could replace what we had lost. They had the bar officer look through the night and stated that our names were still on the list for delivery on both the master list and the maids floor list but not checked off due to the loss of the items. We checked again in the am before we left the ship to no avail.

I have since told my story to Royal Caribbean Ltd and the listened and notated my account. I also told them that short of a complete refund, which they and I both know that won't happen, I would be advertising this on as much social media as I can.

I make this WARNING to all consumers: This may seem insignificant as a few bottles of liquor. But, think if its your luggage, and your jewelry, and they admit to being at blame and decide that the replacement for your shiny items is a trinket from the gift shop. This is more then a small problem, this is a symptom of a bigger nonchalant attitude of a corporate entity just not really caring.

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Brazil coastal cruise
Publication Date: March 2, 2014

We took a weeklong cruise along the Brazilian coast, including Rio, in February 2014. Because this was an American cruise line, we never suspected that this is a cruise aimed at Brazilians rather than Americans. Out of 2000 passengers, only about 400 were English-speakers. Most folks who spoke Portuguese had little or no English proficiency. Both of us are experienced cruisers -- about 25 apiece -- so we chose to roll with the situation, but others might find it upsetting. In addition, this was the most disorganized cruise I've been on. The embarkation was a nightmare that took way too long. On the first night, there was no one to show us to our table in the dining room, so we wandered around 10 or 15 minutes until we found it. Even the waiters didn't know where the tables were unless it was a table they served. This was not an expensive cruise -- $900 -- but the air fare was $1300. We would have liked to get a little more for our money.

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Not what we expected
Publication Date: March 2, 2014

We booked a cabin on the Splendour of the Seas for the Feb. 16-23, 2014, cruise down the coast of Brazil, including Sao Paolo and Rio. Because Royal Caribbean is an American cruise line, it didn't occur to us that another language might be ;paramount on the cruise. But this is a cruise in Brazil for Brazilians, who speak Portuguese. Few speak much English, and few English-speakers know Portuguese. Out of about 2,000 passengers, 400 were English-speakers, and that was touted by the cruise director as the highest number they'd ever had. Some of the activities, such as exercise classes, were in Portuguese only. This isn't terrible, but Americans should know this before booking this cruise. In addition, the cruise was not well-organized. There was no one to show us to our dining table on the first night, so we had to wander around until we found it. Then when we did, our only tablemates were two ladies who spoke only Portuguese. The embarkation was a nightmare and took way longer than it should have. I've been on 25 cruises, including some considerably less expensive than this one, and I have never

experienced this level of disorganization. The whole experience wasn't terrible, but it was less than we expected from Royal Caribbean, which we have sailed on before without these problems. The cruise itself wasn't expensive, but the air fare was, so be warned. I didn't hate this experience, but I would never take this cruise again.
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Handled special food needs with aplomb
Publication Date: February 7, 2014

This was my 2nd cruise (both on RCI), so my perspective is obviously limited.

We ended up with lots of special food needs for our group of 6 - Gluten intolerant, Vegan

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ms. sunshine123
Publication Date: August 12, 2013

My best friend and I went on the carnival(fascination). We had a ball. I just loved the spa. The food, entertainment and the staff were just great. We attended the Captain's party. What a great time. I have been on 2 cruises with carnival.

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Royal Caribbean not so enchanted with providing good customer service
Publication Date: August 4, 2013

Really disappointed with the customer satisfaction of this cruise line or lack there of. Paid for 12 people to cruise with them...

wrote to the CEO about a satisfaction issue and he had a guest relations person contact me to let me know they could not provide me with anything except a "too bad for you" response. They couldn't offer me a single drink credit, a voucher for my next cruise......... nothing.

If this was a real service organization I would not have to be on a review site warning people to take their chances when using this company. Instead, I would be telling my friends and family what a great experience I had after emailing and writing to the CEO. If you decide to use this cruise line and you have any issue with service don't expect to have anyone care. Not using this cruise line again. At a time when the cruise line industry is getting such bad press you would think that the executives of Royal Caribbean might care a little more about the customer.

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Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review
Publication Date: July 2, 2013

From the very moment my wife and I stepped on board the Adventure of the Seas we were impressed by the cleanliness of the ship and the attention and politeness of the ship's crew. Within a half an hour we were instructed to our designated life boat site and given complete instructions on what we should do in the event of an emergency. The crew was very serious and performed this important task in a very organized, no nonsense manner.

We went to our balcony state room and were pleasantly surprised that our luggage had been delivered. We met our cabin steward named Elmer Torres from the Philippines who has been with Royal Caribbean for over 7 years and informed us that he would be taking care of us and our room.

Elmer did just that plus so much more. My wife and I wondered when or if he ever rested. He always seemed available. Each morning he greeted us by our first names. When we left our cabin for breakfast he was there at our door ready to make up our bed and clean the room. Each evening after we

had dinner and returned to our cabin we would find our room prepared with the bed ready for us with a special Elmer surprise, Each night Elmer would have one of his animal creations made from towels either setting on the bed or hanging from the ceiling such as a Rabbit, or a Turtle, or a Dinosaur, or an Elephant. We particularly liked the Monkey made of towels hanging from the ceiling on a coat hanger. It got to where we looked forward to this every night. Needless to say we liked and enjoyed Elmer very much.

Royal Caribbean has a slogan that says each of the crew that serves their particular area for passengers will also address the passengers by their first names after the first day. We found that they did this not only on the very first day, but every day of the 8 day cruise. We enjoyed how clean the ship was 24 hours a day, it was as if the ship had just been built and this it's maiden voyage, when in fact it was built in 2001, 12 years ago.

The food was wonderful no matter if it was breakfast, lunch or dinner. There was always a terrific selection regardless of any ones taste or preference (it was so good my wife and I each gained 4 pounds)

At one meal we met Francisco from Italy, who was the head person over one of the restaurants (oh yeah the have a bunch of restaurants on board, all of which are great)! He has been with Royal Caribbean cruise lines over 26 years. Do you see a pattern here? Every crew member we met was happy and would take time to talk as if they had been our friends for years, and they all had been with Royal Caribbean for years. I believe that says a lot about Royal Caribbean as a cruise line and as an employer.

Our Mozart dining room waiters Andrei and Carlos could not have been more accommodating. They not only served us well, they also seemed to anticipate our needs. Both of them have also been with Royal Caribbean for a number of years.

It was great that each afternoon we would leave the island that we had visited that day, and would cruise to our next destination at night. This would allow us to dock at the next island around 6:30 am and spend all day there and be back on ship around 4:30 pm. The choice of islands could not have been better, and was complimented by the various tours offered by the ship that they had coordinated with tour groups in each port of call.

I know that this review is long, but believe me it could be much, much longer, it was just that good. This was my second cruise and my wife' third, and we look forward to taking another cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship.

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A BIg City Vacation
Publication Date: July 20, 2014

We just had to sail on one of biggest ships in history and have an experience that would be very different, and it was. We went to the Bahama's, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. We have been to these ports many time but wanted to experience the ship so I won't talk about the ports. First, embarkation was amazingly easy. They have a terminal with the capacity to check-in a massive amount of people. RCL didn't just try to use the old system but instead effectively planned for the 6000 passengers that would descend in a short period of a few hours.

In each port they also had 30 by 30 foot portable classrooms on each dock with multiple security stations rather than try to run people through metal detectors on the ship entrance. This worked great and avoided the crunch at the gangway entrances. Again, somebody was thinking. Debarkation was also smooth and very quick. It's the fastest and earliest we have ever gotten off a ship. There was a long line at customs but it moved quickly and took, maybe, fifteen minutes. Don't hesitate on scheduling a flight out

of Ft. Lauderdale a noon to 1:00pm, you'll make it with plenty of time. We played it "safe" and ended up sitting around the airport all day.

Now about the ship. Our balcony cabin was on the 11th deck in the back overlooking the Boardwalk. Normally I don't like rear cabins because there is so much engine/propeller vibration. That was not a problem at all as it was very smooth and we rarely even felt this huge ship move. The inside cabins on the Boardwalk were great as they are sheltered from the wind. The inside balconies on Central Park often had a lot of wind as do the outside balconies. We used our balcony more than we ever have before. This ship itself is overwhelming.

The jogging track is one of the best at sea and is only 2.4 laps to a mile. Beware of a few people who think this is a nice place for a leisurely stroll and will walk side by side blocking the runners. On one occasion we saw one runner take a spill twice because of people who blocked the track. Some people are just oblivious to what is going on.

Entertainment was amazing, the best shows at sea. We saw a shortened version of Hairspray which was of touring company quality. The ice show was excellent. They had Clint Holmes, a Las Vegas regular, fly in and give a fantastic performance. The Aqua/Diving Show was very entertaining and very unusual. Be sure and book your reservations well in advance for these shows as there isn't enough seating for all the passengers.

The food in the dining room was good, not fabulous, but equal to all other cruise ship standard. This isn't a negative comment because it was good and we gained 5 pounds during the week. We "discovered" the Solarium for breakfast. It has the healthy food and was never crowded. It is for adults only and made for a very relaxing breakfast. It became our hide-away area. During "sea days" the dining room has a nice buffet with a great salad bar. They have the best chopped salad bar you will ever find. Every sea day we ate here. There is also a little Cafe in Central Park that has the best French dip sandwiches on a fresh roll. Now for the negatives. The Windjammer buffet was a nightmare. It seemed smaller than the buffets on some of RCL's smaller (but still large) ships. We ate there only 3-4 times. It was super crowded and congested. To RCL's credit they stopped people at the door and wouldn't let them in until there was a table available and then they seated the people otherwise it would have been a disaster. One time we saw the line go out both doors and wind down the stairway. A ship this size needed a huge buffet or two separate buffets. This lack of preparation and planning made this a huge negative. If you eat most meals at the buffet, avoid this ship.

The second thing that bothered me was during the karaoke night when the passengers could sing with the band. I think they called it "live karaoke." It only lasted one hour and should have been done every night. With 6000 passengers the talent was unbelievable, however, there were crew members who did four of the songs during this brief hour. One crew member did two songs. Given the short time frame that meant there were passengers who didn't get to perform. The crew should not be taking away from passenger participation. I wanted to tell the cruise director about this but he was impossible for me to find.

So, how would I rate this cruise overall? Half way through I decided I didn't like the huge ship. We took a wonderful cruise on the small Ryndam earlier in the summer and I loved that ship. But, I have to admit the ship did begin to grow on me. It was congested at times but you have to think of it as a big city vacation and not a relaxing country vacation. I would sail on the ship again, but only if it was a special itinerary and the ship just happened to be going there. Overall, it was a unique experience and I'm glad I did it this once, but I prefer a smaller ship.

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What’s Alluring About the World’s Largest Cruise Ship
Publication Date: June 29, 2014

Whats the allure of the worlds largest ship? In a word, entertainment. Of the four cruise lines Ive sailed with, no one does it better than Royal Caribbean.

The fare served up on the stages of Allure of the Seas is a refreshing departure from the usual shipboard shows and are worth the effort of scheduling your trip around them.

Allures full production of the musical Chicago was great fun, and the voices were strong and clear. How neat is that"a Broadway-quality show for free! And if you get to the theater super early, you can even get the best seats in the house.

Then there was Ocean Aria, a diving and acrobatic show thats so compelling you wont want to take your eyes away for a second. Adonis-like acrobat brothers wrap their bodies around each other in poses where you cant tell where one body ends and

the other begins. Divers from 90 ft. high fly into the air and amazingly, land gracefully and securely into the Allures tiny theater pool.

Inside the ship, on the ice rink, professional skaters"one a veteran of Disney on Ice"twirl, jump, spin and lift, while on a moving vessel, no less. The Monopoly theme lent itself well to playful and colorful sets and costumes.

The singers from Chicago re-emerged in Blue Planet, which had everything thrown in"acrobatics, singing and dancing"all in a celebration of nature. I wont give it all away, but it included a trampoline, large rings and a human tree.

This comes on top of onboard surfing, ice skating, zip-lining, rock climbing and miniature golf. And then there are the three neighborhoods; their personalities ebbing and flowing by the hour. Theres the Promenade, the hub of the ship and venue for parades, dance classes and the best people-watching; Boardwalk, where you can ride a full-size carousel over and over again for free or eat foot-high pink cotton candy for a cost; and Central Park, an oasis of real foliage and fake bird sounds.

Exciting, yes. But it does steal the show from the real leading lady"the mysterious, fascinating and ever-changing sea.


Not as Alluring

The Allures weak spot is the food. Some dinner dishes in the Main Dining Room were good (memorable was the shrimp on Italian-theme night), others were disappointing (Chicken Marsala was rendered as fried chicken with a nearly invisible sauce).

But what we noticed"and missed"was the absence of beef choices, particularly compared to competing cruise lines.

We found that among the free dining options, the Windjammer buffet was often the best choice. Not only did it have a wider variety (shrimp crackers, anyone?), but some standout spicy Asian choices. It was a nice break from the usually bland and unimaginative dining room dishes.

Aside from the food, the other area where the ship doesnt compare well to, say, the Caribbean Princess, is the staterooms. While okay on size, the Allures cabins offered less in the way of storage space. The closets are tight and night tables have open slots, which make them minimally useful.

Another downside is that the balcony chairs dont recline, which makes seaside napping a challenge (but nothing that a glass of wine cant cure!).


The Bottom Line

But, hey, you cant be good at everything.

This may seem heretical, given all that the Allure and Oasis have going for them, but I wouldnt recommend these ships for first-time cruisers. Because youll be permanently spoiled, and forever searching for the carousel and ice skating rink on every other ship.

My top tip: to really appreciate Chicago, stream or rent the movie version before your trip. And dont forget to reserve all your shows online well in advance of your cruise. You can gamble and try and get in once on board, but be forewarned"the lines for standby outside the shows were substantial.

For photos and more musing on Caribbean cruising, see

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Wow -- I paid how much for this cruise?
Publication Date: February 26, 2014

Just returned from a 7-day cruise to the Bahamas abourd RCCL's Explorer of the Seas. Overall, this was a terrible cruising experience. We have been on at least seven cruises with various cruise lines including Cunard, Carnival, Disney and one previous cruise with RCCL. After this experience, we are very unlikely to ever cruise on Royal Caribbean again.

Some examples of what we experienced, in no particular order:

• The experience of getting on and off the ship was awful, especially at Co Co Cay. It was a complete disaster; we have never experienced anything like it on a cruise before. What added to the frustration was when I tried to tell a member of the cruise director staff (Amy T) that a contributing factor was that the elevators were opening on Deck One, allowing people to cut in line -- she was dismissive and sarcastic with me (we were told the elevators were programmed to stop at deck 2, but after waiting on the 2nd deck for an hour, when we finally made it to the 1st deck people were exiting the elevator and getting straight into the line- we saw a

few people almost resort to fist fights over this – never great to have your kids view this type of behavior) We later found out that the line at the forward tender station was practically non-existent, while the line at the aft station stretched up the second deck. Plenty of people, including us, were in line for OVER an hour. While the crew, with radios in their hands, just watched, and never once mentioned there was another exit from the ship.

• Information in the Compass was often at odds with what the crew told us. An example was the question of whether there was to be one or two formal nights during the cruise. During the “first†formal night our waiter informed us there would only be one formal night, we expressed our surprise, and he said we should double-check with Guest Relations – we did, and they confirmed there would be only the one formal night. (On other lines, the entire week is explained at the start of the cruise.) GR told us there would be only one formal night – on Sunday night. Then on Friday morning we read in the Compass that that evening there would be another formal night. Again, we approached GR; this time they concluded that the Compass must be right, and there were indeed two formal nights. A few minutes later, when we returned to our stateroom, we received a call from GR telling us the Compass was incorrect. That night would not be a formal night. But how do you suppose most people were dressed that evening?

• We paid for the premium drink plan. I have one drink: a gin and tonic – with lime. The ship decided to not put fruit in any cocktails. I appreciate the desire to make cleanliness the priority, as I think was the main motivation behind this, but I was given several conflicting reasons about why I could not ever have a lime with my drink. Meanwhile, we were always able to get lemon for our water in the dining room. This was a constant point of frustration and irritation, especially given what I had paid for the drink plan.

• The entertainment on the last night of the cruise was awful. While I cannot name the entertainer (Jeff something I think), it was more than just not entertaining; it was rude, crude, and uncomfortably off-color. Indeed, there were plenty of children in the audience, including our pre-adolescent girls. This, after the cruise director talked it up the night before and implied that the entertainment would be family friendly.

• The various staff did not seem to follow their own “rulesâ€. Our girls were very excited to go ice skating on Saturday. We showed up 15 minutes prior to the 1:45 session (it’s supposed to be first-come first-served 40 skaters per session) only to be told that not only was that session already closed, but they had already given out the slots for the remaining 3 sessions for the day, only “standby†was available. There was never any communication that we should have showed up in the morning and signed up for a slot during the day – many people in line were very angry.

Overall, most of the passengers we chatted with were very unhappy with how things were handled on this cruise, the staff were clearly “going through the motions†and were tired and cranky. The only WOW in this vacation was “WOW I can’t believe I spent all this money for such a bad vacation!â€

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