Year Started: 1969
Ships in Fleet: 23
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
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Mediterranean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Caribbean, Canada, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Families. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Teens.
Good for: Teens. Group. Families.
Regions:Eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Families. Overall Service.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.
Regions:China (as of May 2015)
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Suez Canal, Bahamas, Dubai
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Brazil, Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles
Good for: Seniors. Families. Singles.
Regions:Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Scan Russia, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:UK, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda
Good for: Disabled Travelers. Group. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.
Regions:Western Mediterranean, Panama Canal
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket & Port Kelang,
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Hawaii, Alaska, South Pacific
Good for: Families. Group. Overall Service.
Regions:Toyko To Taipei, Australia, Asia
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Cruise started in Malaga with confusion at the baggage book-in spot being opposite the cruise terminal. No sign of Royal Caribbean in sight, only the name of another ship also docked. After walking up and down we were told that it was the baggage book-in for RCL as well.
As Platinum members we were on the ship quickly, but our room was not ready until 14h00. Went to the Windjammer and what a commotion and noise, children running all over the place and apparently the ship was booked mostly by Spanish speaking passengers. They were communicating to one another from the one side of the restaurant to the other.
The food on this cruise was the worst we ever had on a RCL cruise and it was our 7th. The meat in the Windjammer was constantly tough and the variety in the main dining room was poor.
The shows were also not up to standard and one evening it was mainly in Spanish. Our previous cruise was from Sydney to Nieu Zealand and we had the most wonderful entertainers, but here it was really not worth bothering to go. Our 2nd seating inthe dining room was 21h30 which is very late, normally it is 21h00, but I presume it is because of the my time dining. By the time we were served our last course it was 23.30.
One evening about 18h00 when we wanted to have a drink in the Viking Crown Lounge we were told it is closed for a private party! As far as I know are all the lounges open for everybody. I was also amazed that there are such a lot of lounges and bars for smokers!
The get together for platinum members were in the morning of the day we entered Valencia. We were told that dress code was smart casual, no jeans etc. Our excursion was one hour later, do they really think that we must dress up twice in one morning? Why not have it while we have a day at sea?
Disembarkation was a nightmare. We had to be in the main dining room as platinum members by 7h00 where we were supposed to be served a continental breakfast. When we came there the tables were empty and a young man was standing there greeting us. He tried several times to get people to bring some food and in the end of the day they had to bring food from the lower dining room. Most of the buns, bread, rolls etc were sweet, covered with some icing or sweet dough. In the end he told us that if we do not leave for the terminal, we will be between all the other passengers who disembark later.
We had red tags numbered 1. On the conveyer belt only bags with green tags came out. A few people were standing around waiting for their red tags. I later talked to one of the ladies helping passengers and se told me that I must give it 10 min. then she will go and look at the back. One hour later we were still standing there looking all over the place, no luggage. In the end it appeared that our red tags were put with the orange tags because of the small diferrence in colour, apart from the fact that red was written on the tag if the person handling the baggage was colour blind!
This is really a trip I want to forget and I can really see that RCL is cutting down on costs. The vouchers being given are always for either the casino or spa or you must buy one to get one free. If RCL do step up their act drastically, I am sure that they will loose good and faithful customers.
The good - The ship is beautiful,the shows are greatand most of the staff are wonderful.
The bad- food was fair to poor, speciality restaurants at extra cost only passable,the crowds at times were unbareable. The some staff at the spa were only going through the motions, the person giving me a massage left the room for five minutes in the middle of my treatment without an explaination. The was always litter from the small restaurants on the Boardwalk and the Royal Promenade on the deck or floor. The ship is just to big.The Crown and Anchor Society reps were never available, to busy selling futher cruises.
Second time in a year,on ROTS it was her 500th sailing. Great crew and staff all very friendly and helpful,maybe because of Capt. Lis Lauritzen a female a first for me.
Main Dinning room had some great table mates we had some good laughs Food very good and HOT! wait staff a 10. Cabin stewart awesome. Customer service never in all my 47 cruises did I ever encounter a line there,they must be doing some right. To bad ROTS is leaving end of April. Will have the "jewel" next season. Smooth sailing
The ship seemed even larger than advertised. It was our 13th cruise and we sincerely enjoyed the cruise. The entertainment(there were several venues) was fantastic!! We loved the Central Park area.
The only downsides were: The balcony room over the Boardwalk area seemed a littl small (compared to regular rooms on previous cruises) and we didn't especially like the "My Time Dining" which was all that was available when we booked. But, I would still highly recommend the cruise to anyone.
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 stateof 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.
One thing i would like to state first i had a lovely holiday wich id saved 4yrs for. what i was upset about was the lack of childrens activitys for my 2yr old. not at any point did i get told that kids have to be 3yrs for kids clubs and they did not have any ice skating shoes for his size. the also have no baby changing facilitys. nore did they have any way of heating my babys bottle during the night in wich he wakes up 4 times, so i had to pay for room service to do it in wich they took 45 mins 1 night. i had a good time but my poor baby had nothink to do at all i would warn people with kids under 2 to be carfull also he did not fit in the travel cot as it was so small.
If you're reading this then you may be debating whether or not to take this cruise. Sea Dawg says you should because of the Holy Land itinerary - not because of the ship. Or you may have already booked and now you might be wondering whether or not you messed up. Sea Dawg says you done alright. Or you might be hoping to learn a few things from a salty dawg. Sea Dawg will try to do just that. Is Sea Dawg critical? You betcha. I call it like I see it. Criticism should not be equated with dislike of cruises.
Arrival: We flew into Marco Polo Airport, Venice, Italy and rode the city bus (3 Euros) to Piazza Roma hub - about a ten minute walk to the port.
Embarkation: We arrived and witnessed the Royal Caribbean port terminal in chaos. Advanced printout of our SetSail Pass and completed information failed to speed up processing. Though advertisements trumpet express check-in, hospitality room and priority boarding for Platinum & Diamond members - we found we weren't the only Platinum dawgs denied this "perk". Human error? Maybe - but there are no consequencesto those that made the error. It was "hurry up and wait" - we sat on a bare concrete floor with luggage waiting for our group number to be called for processing aboard - the first group began at 1:00. We were finally allowed aboard at 2:15. Sea Dawg rates Royal Caribbean embarkation all growls. Those who waited until 3:30 "breezed" through check-in.
Photographs: Photographers will greet you throughout the cruise. You should know in advance that these photographs are not complimentary or cheap. But you are not obligated to buy. If interested, stop and pose. If not, say, "no thanks" and be on your way. Sea Dawg has experienced a few times when photos go on sale or can be bargained down in price near the end of the cruise.
Welcome Aboard: Vision of the Seas, (1998), older and next to smallest class (78,000 tons; 915' length) than others in the RCCL fleet, is scheduled for an overhaul - and it really shows. Some salty dawgs familiar with mega-ships found Vision disappointing, but others found her a good size. Sea Dawg's experience has been bigger is not always better. You may have learned that sodas, bottled water, fruit juices, beer and alcoholic drinks are available for a price. Unless you can be content with free coffee, tea, lemonade and tap water, you may want to purchase a soda package. If you are keeping track - shore excursion expenses and soda packages are adding to the cost of this cruise you thought you had already paid for - and Vision hasn't left the port yet! If you aren't careful, RCCL will nickel & dime dawgs at every turn.
Cabin: Ours was an inside stateroom on Deck 7, forward. We found it convenient to everything. We are not ones to spend much time in the stateroom anyway. Our stateroom was quite small but efficient. Carpet, furnishings and bathroom were showing their age and heavy use. Two people had to choreograph moves to navigate the tiny floor space. One person standing in front of the closet could be caged in if another opened the bathroom door. The bathroom was something like an airplane restroom with a tight don't-drop-the-soap shower. Sorry, no bathtub except in luxury suites. Sea Dawg says it is a good idea to pack your own won't-fall-through-cracks soap and specialty shampoo. Be forewarned - our hot water was either scalding or lukewarm. We find that we keep a small stateroom neater than a larger one - have to or else the accumulated clutter immobilizes us. I think we would have felt less ship motion in a cabin more in the center of Deck 7.
A Day 1 Cruise Compass listing all the ongoing activities, information and suggestions was on the bed. The lifeboat muster stations are on your SeaPass card. We did not have to wear life jackets to the mandatory muster drill. Muts be warned not to skip drill because staff is checking your name on their roll.
Around the Ship: We had time to explore the ship. If you have time try to locate places where events happen. My advice is start at the top and work down using the stairs. You should at least know where the medical facility is (Deck 1). You might want to inquire if your medical insurance covers you - in most cases it won't.
We encountered faint musty odors and sewery smells wafting down the hallways on Decks 2 & 3. To us this indicates chronic plumbing problems hard to fix. If this might be an issue with you, book staterooms on higher decks.
Aquarius, the main dining room, has two levels on Decks 4 & 5. We met the Maitre 'd and got information on our table seating, attire and meals. At this time of year, the sun goes down before early dinner begins so there's not much advantage to getting a window seat. Windjammers only sometimes offered the same entrée as the main dining rooms at dinnertime. Windjammers is the buffet restaurant where one can spot chow hounds loading plates like they're about to be stranded on a deserted island for a month - only to eat half of it. And few appreciate line crashing hyenas who snatch away all the remaining servings forcing those whose mothers taught them better to wait until another tray arrives from the kitchen. Deck 4 is also home to the Centrum floor.
Deck 5 is where Guest Relations, Casino and Masquerade Theatre are located. By far the largest cash intake comes from the gaming in the Casino. House odds are higher than at Las Vegas. In other words, there are greater odds you will lose. So consider money lost gambling the cost of entertainment. To that end there are free gaming lessons offered. Be careful, the ATM machine is here, too.
Deck 6 has the onboard shopping. Think of the pricey little shops at upscale hotels and you'll have the right idea. Resist the temptation and don't pay "retail" just yet. There will be "sales" throughout the cruise and a few good values might be found. Deck 6 also has the Schooner Bar and Some Enchanted Evening Lounge.
Decks 7 & 8 are cabin decks. Deck 9 is home to Windjammers, the Main Pool, the Solarium (sheltered adult pool) and the Spa. Deck 10 is home to the jogging track, Fitness Center, and Ocean Adventure. Deck 11 houses the Viking Lounge.
Our cruise was not fully booked, so we were pleased few experienced long waits for an elevator. Even so, we found the stairs quicker at peak times. There were quite a few organized Holy Land tour groups aboard, notably from South Korea. The majority of passengers were mature dawgs 50 years up. There weren't many pups aboard and no frisky college canines. Not to worry, we had our share of incredibly loud and rude, line crashing, seat saving, argumentative Russian hounds aboard.
Dinner: We met our fellow tablemates - all new to us, about the same age and cruise experience, and truly enjoyable company. Kudos to RCCL table assignments.
I've read some reviews from Pedigrees complaining about dinners and I have to reply that it is completely unrealistic to expect 5-star dinners at RCCL's moderate prices. Sea Dawg found the quality and quantity of the prepared food consistently very good. No, it's not the best culinary offerings the cruise industry has to offer. - and RCCL no longer serves lobster. Pedigrees who want 5-star cuisine should book luxury cruiselines and pay their premium prices. For the rest of us, this is a chance to sample cuisine we don't often enjoy. If it's not to your liking, your waiter will bring you something else. Big dawgs can order a second entrée if they like. No, we weren't offered filet mignon or whole boiled lobster. But duck, lamb, veal and tiger prawns were. And, yes, you could order steak every night. Vegetarian, "lite" and Asian offerings were usually available.
Dinners are an event that shouldn't be rushed. If you are in a hurry, do your tablemates and waiters a favor and eat at Windjammers. If you want to know the chef's secrets, you can purchase the recipes.
Waiters come from all over the world. Their English proficiency varies but is generally merely functional. Most try very hard to please you and really do earn their tips. Wit and humor were in ample supply at our table and any pretense of formality fortunately disappeared the first night. Dinnertime became an enjoyable highlight of this cruise.
Dancing Under the Stars: Romantic sounding isn't it? Fortunately, on this cruise there were many opportunities for romantic dancing. Never learned how to dance? There are free ballroom dance classes available.
Day 1 - Venice If you've never seen Venice don't miss this opportunity.
Days 2 - 3 - 4 At Sea Vision has a long way to go and a short time to get there. Seas were moderate and the realized wind topside was about 40 knots. In order to make speed, the stabilizers didn't seem to be deployed. Vision maintained a slow undulation punctuated by jerks and vibrations. Seasick bags were hung on stair landings, and seasick pills were available at the Guest Services Desk for green dawgs. It serves as a warning. Dawgs prone to motion sickness are well-advised to be prepared to medicate. In rough seas Vision will definitely rock-n-roll.
The Shows: The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers productions were a notch above theme park shows. To their credit, the shows were performed live to music provided by a live band. Special kudos go to Tim, the sound tech - who kept the sound from becoming loud and distorted.
Headliner Guests were hit and miss. Our best performers were singer Bruce Parker and pianist Naki Ataman. Your cruise will probably feature different entertainers. Most of the others had show dawgs heading out the exits.
Day 5 - Haifa, Isreal This is the port for excursions to Nazareth, the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. The city itself features the famous Baha'i Gardens. For those who plan to walk into Haifa, be forewarned to be met by taxi drivers promising the moon for a bargain but most will take you for a ride and demand more than you thought you agreed to pay. A word about shopping: make your shopping list before you leave home. Too often dawgs purchase items on a cruise destined for a yard sale. Record the local or internet price so you'll know whether you are getting a bargain. Bone up on U.S. Custom limitations before you leave or you might find yourself in the dawghouse.
Day 6 - Ashdod, Isreal This is the port for excursions to Jerusalem and area. Hopefully you took advantage of the free travel talks that should prepare you for what you will see. For most, it isn't like anything they pictured. The Jerusalem walking tours are strenuous. Many group tours throughout this cruise rush here and there with limited site visitation time and greatly restricted opportunity to purchase merchandise along the way. At the end of the tour you will be taken shopping at a "trusted and approved" but overpriced store. Be aware that the merchant gives a percentage of sales to the tour guide and to the cruise line. Many of the same items are sold for less in shops near the port. Also be aware that Jerusalem is not a good place to attempt to tour on your own.
Days 7 & 8 - Alexandria, Egypt This is the gateway to ancient Egypt and you will find a good variety of excursions to match your interests and budget. There are a few rules to remember here: (1) Nothing is free. (2) Bargain for everything. (3) If you make a counteroffer, the merchant understands you are serious about buying. (4) Stay with and in your pack. This is a place dawgs should consider risky to attempt to tour on your own.
Day 9 - At Sea After four straight days of excursions most welcome a restful day at sea. The seas were glassy calm and the weather delightfully sunny and warm. So why was Vision still jerking and vibrating, especially aftwards? Most salty dawgs suspected the engine room.
Day 10 - Kusadasi, Turkey This is the port to catch excursions to the amazing ruins of Ephesus. Kusadasi has a maze of shops at the port entrance worth investigating.
Days 11 & 12 - At Sea The weather turned windy and rainy, with moderate seas as Vision steamed back to Venice. As before, Vision rolled, jerked and vibrated as she had to average 17 knots and the stabilizers were probably not deployed. The seasick bags reappeared and attendance in the main dining room dropped considerably. Salty dawgs feasted on abundant quantities of truly giant shrimp.
There is a lot going on aboard as RCCL makes an all-out final effort to part dawgs from their money. Bingo jackpot's gotta go! Items in shops go on close-out sale! Book your next RCCL cruise now and get onboard credit! Haven't climbed the Rock Wall yet? Well "get out there!" while you still have the opportunity!
You'll have received your envelopes to stash your cash for tips to your cabin steward, waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter. RCCL's suggests tip guidelines for all of the above persons per passenger.
You'll receive a comment card. My thinking is that if you mark everything "excellent" then RCCL will have no incentive to improve anything. But what most want RCCL to improve is not even on the comment card. You'll have to write in comments like "enforce your rules", "need more crew checking SeaPasses and attending the Guest Relations Desk", etc. yourself.
Check your SeaPass account for charges and accuracy at Guest Relations today before the crowd forms a long line. You should get a statement of account in your stateroom tonight. That's when many discover their bar tab, purchases, casino gaming and excursions cost more than the stateroom!
We had a early flight out and only had carry-on luggage so we signed up for express departure.
Departure: We ate a final breakfast in Windjammers then got our luggage from our stateroom.
Departure went well. There were the usual rude line-breakers trying to beat the system and too few crew members assigned to stop them. I can't figure out why line-breakers think they're the only ones in a hurry or why they are more important than anyone else in the scheme of things. This is one area I fault RCCL - too few personnel assigned to handle so many passengers. This should be an "all available hands on deck" situation. There were handicapped passengers needing more assistance than they received. There were people who didn't know which line to get in (one went to Guest Relations - not the exit). Nor do I comprehend why everyone must pass through one and only one exit. (FYI - those who booked the grandest staterooms receive special treatment. The old First Class and Steerage Class steamship system can still be witnessed.)
Given the recent bad press RCCL has received regarding poor security and crime coverup, we thought we might see more security patrolling the decks and enforcing the rules during the cruise. Not so. Know what you are getting into. You are taking certain legal risks on a cruise. U.S. law does not apply on the high seas. That is to say, you don't have Constitutional rights once you leave US territorial waters. Maritime law applies and by signing your ticket, dawgs waive many legal rights. From what I have experienced, RCCL security is all about minimizing RCCL liabilities and protecting their interests (and casino profits) and not protecting passengers or their belongings.
We used express departure - and rolled our own luggage off the ship. Sea Dawg has learned there are many advantages to packing light.
Should You Take This Cruise?
Cruise lines would have you believe cruising is for everyone. It's not! Are you willing toeat and converse with people you have never met? tolerate long, slow lines to most everything? Line-breakers? listen to loud music and noisy, rude, often drunk people? tolerate unsupervised teens running about the ship? be herded like cattle here and there? accept you're getting ripped off paying high prices for sodas, juice and alcohol? be comfortable in cramped quarters? Do you like seeing new places and doing new things? Do you function well in crowds? If so, then cruising may be for you. If not, then it wouldn't take much to ruin your vacation. As for us, we are ready to go again - but not on Royal Caribbean. I have a question for the "Nation of Why Not?"; Why not treat your Platinum and Diamond members better?
This was a great cruise. The ship is in great shape, the food was great and the staff and crew were wonderful.
Our stateroom was always clean and the our stateroom attendant Nadine was was a dream. The weather was excellent and "Thomas" did very little to spoil out fun. The shows that we went to were OK, the the 4 Seasons show was the best of all. The casino, welllllll what can I say this is how they make money, the slots are VERY tight.
The ports, labadee was OK, the beach was clean and nice, the ship brings a BBQ to shore and everyone eats. Samana, this is not the best port they can pick, this was a very LOW BUDGET port I don't want to go back there again. St. Thmas was great we went to St. Johns for the day them shopping in St. T. St. Kitts was beeter then I thought it would be, the beaches aren't so great but the island is very pretty with lots for trees etc. We hired a local man, Christian with Tangernie tours, for 25 each he touk uson a 5 hr tour of the island complete with Booze. The shoopng off right off the boat is very good and the casono in town paid more then the ships LOL.
All in all a great cruise, great fun and we will do it again on the Explorer of the Sea.
After waiting for just over two years we finally went on our Oasis cruise. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale early on Friday morning and spent the day at the Lago Mar resort. It was a great hotel located on the beach.
We checked out at 10:30 a.m. and caught a taxi to the port. We checked in and were on the ship in about twenty minutes. After checking out the various areas on the ship we ate in the windjammer and spent the rest of the day familiarizing ourselves with the layout of the ship. The muster drill was much improved, the stations are located in various venues onboard instead of outside on a hot deck. Ours was in the Champagne lounge and went very well. An added benefit to this is that the outside deck on deck 5 where the lifeboats are is much smaller and really only has room for the two lane jogging track with a couple feet on either side. This allowed for more room for the interior, RCCL was very smart with that improvement.
We were very impressed with the amount of thought that went into thelayout of this beautiful ship. There are so many things to look at and do and they are spread out around the ship. With this layout no one area ever looked crowded and it was hard to believe that there were over 6000 people onboard. We also liked the interactive tv screens near the elevators you could do everything from finding your way around, to seeing what activities were available, and the best feature the restaurant indicator that would tell you how crowded the restaurants were at any given moment. These were also available on the stateroom tv’s.
We did go off the ship in each of the ports of call, however it would have been nice to have had more time in Nassau (only there until 2:00p.m.) Even the locals there were complaining at the early departure of both the Oasis and the Carnival Dream that was also in port that day.
We made pre-reservations for the shows we wanted to see and was very impressed with the ice show, Aqua theater show and the Up in the Air show. We also went to the comedy show, the first comedian wasn’t that great but the second was funny.
My husband and teenage boys really liked the flowrider and spent quite a bit of time on it. It was nice having two of them so one could have stand-up surfing while the other had boogie boarding. They also signed up for the boot camp classes in the fitness center and even though the workouts were hard they enjoyed them. I used the regular fitness equipment and never had a problem with anything. The location was a bit different as we are used to the fitness center being on the top deck with full length windows. It is located on deck 6 with porthole windows on either side.
The Zip line was an absolutely incredible experience, a word of advice is to do the Zip on one of the first few days onboard as the lines get longer on the last two days at sea. My 17 year old son and I rode the Zip as my hubby and 15 year old were to scared. It was so much fun, only wished they had made it longer.
We stayed in an Owners Suite and was impressed with both the layout and size of the room and bathroom. Having two tv’s was also an improvement over the Owner’s suite we stayed in on the Explorer. The balcony was also large with both upgraded table and chairs as well as two lounge chairs. We also had pool towels in our room and they were exchanged for clean ones by our stateroom attendant as needed.
We tried out some of the various restaurants onboard, Johnny Rockets, Seafood Shack, Chops as well as the MDR, Windjammer, Sorentos, Izumi’s and Promenade Café. All were great food, with Chops being our favorite.
We also enjoyed the casino and even though the machines weren’t being friendly it is nice having half the casino as smoke-free (my hubby had pretty good luck on the roulette wheel). A lot of our evenings we spent with the kids playing either mini golf or ping-pong. Both very well laid out towards the back of deck 15. The ping pong tables are in an enclosed area which is great to both keep the wind out and the balls in. There are two areas with 3 tables each.
Overall the Oasis much exceeded our expectations the size of the ship (it is enormous especially when looking at her when walking off in port) and the very well thought out layout, nothing was ever crowded. The only disappointments were in some of the artwork in the stairwells, some of the chromograph pictures were not the most professional looking and didn’t seem to match up to what you would expect to see on such an exceptional ship. Also the lack of some of the people onboard to be able to put there golf clubs and balls away as well as the ping pong balls and paddles. I mean come on its not that hard to put your stuff away, and the amount of ping pong balls being stepped on and squished seemed very disrespectful.
Getting off the ship took longer than we expected. We were able to stay in our room and leave it at our leisure. We had earlier numbered luggage but decided to sleep in and leave whenever we were ready. There were problems with the ramps from the ship to the terminal so the lines were long to get off. It took an hour until we were out of the terminal and in a taxi. I don’t think it normally takes that long though.
I had read previous reviews so had a good idea what to expect on board Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation was smooth and swift, the only down side being the rude and unpleasant port police officers shouting at us as we went through the check-point at the entrance to Port Everglades. First our cabin, we had an inside cabin (the cheapest) I really liked the cabin and thought it was cosy. It does look older but in our cabin everything worked and it was clean. I don’t really understand other reviewers’ complaints about the TV being small; do cruisers really spend 5 days cruising the seas expecting to watch films on big widescreen TVs? ? Regarding the shower which some reviewers commented on, I found that it was possible to get good water pressure and nice and hot if you played around a bit with the water control knob. Our cabin was quiet, we heard no noise. Our cabin steward wasn’t very friendly or chatty but kept the cabin clean. The bedding was good quality but the mattress hard and uncomfortable.
Next, the dining. As my wife pointed out, the menuin the main dining room was re-hashed every night so there didn’t seem to be much real variety. The service to our table of 8 was poor to average. The waiters seemed confused and people’s meals arrived with large time gaps. The quality of the food was fine but as already mentioned the menu lacked imagination. Dining in the Windjammer buffet was good in my opinion although my wife mentioned that she felt the variety and quality could have been better
Next, the entertainment. Both my wife and I enjoyed all of the entertainment on board. We both agreed that everything on offer was really professional and very impressive.
Next, the staff. None of the staff was very bad, but none was very good either. The word mediocre sums it up for me. The one exception to this was a barman whose name I no longer recall who had a really cheeky sense of humour and was very good at his job.
Next, the fellow cruisers. There were no real complaints in this regard from my wife or me; the other guests were pretty sedate. We didn’t see any unsavoury children running about screaming although there were a small number of loud drunks in some of the bars.
Next, the ship in general. We were quite disappointed with the décor, which we felt didn’t offer much attractive to look at. Some parts of the ship were very much showing signs of wear and overall the ship does feel as though she really could do with a major refit. It was true, I’m afraid to say, that sewage could be smelled in the atrium at certain times of day! The air conditioning on this ship did not appear as efficient as it could be, it felt a bit hot and stuffy at certain times. Having said all this, we paid a very inexpensive price for our cruise and felt that the cruise was priced in accordance with the condition of the ship. The indoor pool was really nice, as were the whirlpools and the sauna. The Seattle’s Best Coffee Bar was fabulous, wonderful iced coffees and cookies. We really enjoyed the table tennis tables on deck.
To sum up, a good cruise for the price paid but if you want posh then pay a bit more for something more up market. My wife and I did enjoy the cruise despite the negative points but next time we will probably try to save up a bit more money to go on a posher ship.