CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Brilliance of the Seas by James B dowd New Zealand September 21, 2011

This was the pits, 15 nights...and offered $100.00 each for next RCL wife said no way, even if next cruise on NCL was offered for free...she is not going ever again.  I would have given them another chance, but my wife is adamant about such poor service and treatment.

We have been on about a dozen cruises so far, we are in our 60s and both retired.

We checked 3 bags and two cases of water, with the dock's porter and gave him the GTR, guarantee, luggage tag, and $6.00 tip.  [we have sailed out of that Hawaii port with NCL 2 times before with GTRs and never a problem.]

We got in line for check in, and to get boarding cards...after about 30 minutes, the girl could not get the system to check us in.  She called her supervisor, he tried for 30 minutes too, then said, the reason we can't check you in, is that you don't have a room assignment.  Let me go get you one.  He left and 30 minutes later, had not come back.  The girl's shift was ending or she was to go on break, so she went to look for him.  He came back and said, you will have to go back over there where all those people are sitting and wait for a room assignment.  I then insisted that they give me back my check-in paper work and passports back too.  They didn't want to do that.  But I was very firm about it. We went to that section, and 3 of the ship's uniformed staff were there handing out room cards, calling names.  After a few minutes, I asked if all these people were waiting for room assignments.  The staff member said "No, they all have rooms assigned and are waiting for cards."

I then asked to speak to the top person in charge, of the check in process, as we the other supervisor misled us.

A few minutes later, and elderly gentleman, think name was Walter, came over and said, "I don't know why he told you to wait here, let me check, do you have your confirmation paper."  He said could thing you got that back, or we would have had a real problem.  He came back 3 minutes later with our room cards.  I thanked him.  He said, "Don't thank me they were sitting there already, I didn't do a thing,"  Let me take you to the front of the line to check you in now."

On the way up the gangway, we passed about a dozen crew members, only the very last one, said welcome aboard.

We checked the room, they had upgraded us to an ocean view, and we went to get something to eat.

When we returned the cabin girl was there, by our door and said "Is this your room?  How did you get this room?  You do not belong here!  You are not on my list!  I said, this is the room they gave us.  In any event, we will need a refrigerator for our medications.

She said, "You don't look sick to me! What is wrong with you, are you diabetic?  I said no, but both my wife and I have medical problems and a bag of different meds many eed to be kept in cool place.  I will have to ask my supervisor."   I said, "Also, I would like you to make sure you keep our Ice bucket full too."   We never got the frig, or ice, for 2 days.

It was now 5pm, we went in and set down in the room, not feeling very welcome.  The phone rings, the lady on the phone said, "Do you want your bags."  I said yes.  "She said then you better come get them."  I said why can't you just bring them to our room."   She said, "This is security, your bags are sitting out here on the pier."

We went to the gangway, and the staff did want us to go leave the ship to get them and refused to go get them too.  I got upset, and said no way we are leaving without them.  He said let me ask my supervisor...I followed him down the gangway.  The supervisor said, let them go em, but you better hurry, because we are sailing any minute.

We got down to security and I said to the lady, the ship confiscated our passports, how can we get back in, if we go out, she said do you have your pass cards. I said yes, she said that is all you need.

We went out and the bags were just outside security on dolly. Only our bags were there, they all were tagged with our names and GTR tags too.  The porters were sitting on the other side of the hallway on other dollies, the guy we tipped was no where around.  Another one offered to help us, but I told him, we had tipped the other guy and were not going to tip again, after all this.  He said, he understood.  He started to wheel the dolly in to security check point, when I guy in white shirt, pushed him away and said I will take it from here.  When we got into the security area.  I told him was not going to tip again.  He said well I am not going to help you then and you can't use our dolly either.  He put everything on the floor and took the dolly and left.  We had 3 bags and two cases of water.

Somehow we managed to put through scanners and I was fit to be tied.  I had the airline type carry-on bag, put one bag over the handle and the water on the top of roller bag and my wife did the same.  We got up to the gangway, where the dozen crew were standing, no one offer to help us get them to the room, or even open the heavy door to the staterooms.

The ship did not sail for another 3 hours, as the check in process was such a mess for a lot of people.

The pier staff said they could not check in the bags, as no stateroom had been assigned timely. But they could call us in the stateroom.  The ship blamed the pier staff.

We were exhusted physically and mentally, and slept for most of the next 2 days and rarely left the stateroom.  We didn't go the Captain's Welcome either.   But went up to the open buffet, about 8 pm to eat.  The officer's were comiing up there now too, to eat, after the Captain's welcome.

One of them was behind me in line, and asked how I was enjoying the cruise so far.  I said you really don't want to know.  he insisted that I tell him, explained he was the manager of customer relations on board, his name was Rolston, as I recall.   He spoke with me and my wife and said he was going to look into it.

I only told him about the cabin girl, no ice, no frig, no answer, and we did not feel wanted there.  I asked to moved to another area, even if back to the inside cabin we had booked.

The next day he called and said, he had another stateroom for us, with a frig and asked us to come to the pursers desk to get the room keys and check it out.

It was a big balcony on the fan tail, the room was little bigger too. The desk draw would not stay shut...and the shower drain backed up...probably why it was not assigned before.  Moreover the soot collected on the fan tail furniture and we had to wipe it down every morning.

I asked to have someone help us move the luggage, but the Purser's staff said everyone was in a meeting, as soon as over would send someone down.

We were almost done packing. The girl room steward shows up with a bucket of ice.  "My supervisor said to give you this."  My wife said "Take it back, your to late, we are leaving now."

She left, then another guy showed up to help us move, with a hotel dolly.

When we got to new room, the male stewards said, "Is this going to be your room?"  I said, yes.  He said, "So your the ones!"  Apparently, we were one of the topics at the "meeting."

I handed him $50.00 up front and asked him to keep the ice bucket full too."  He did, but in 13 days in that room, only made 3 towel animals, my wife really likes them.  Never cleaned the balcony.

We wedged a wad of paper in the desk draw...and they had some come an fix the shower drain, I believe it had a reverse valve that was sticking in the open position.  I found if you flushed the toilet it would drain.

We book the inside cabin all the time, mainly because the wife get sea and air sick easily.  She was in bed for most of the trip, but really liked the balcony and didn't want to move.

Later, I told the Roys, about the check in process and pier experience a week later.  He said, would take something off the bill.  He took off $70.00 in the end, in Internet charges.

I also filled out a long questionnaire and left this story in the drop box.

Later, I got email from Aam M. Goldstein, President and CEO, blanket type, thanking us for choosing RC and hoped to see us again.

I wrote back all the above to his email, no reply to that or the one in the drop box.

I then worte to RC on its reply to that one either.    My neighbor suggested that I should have gotten another free cruise after all we went through and to write them email.   She has been on RC many times and never had a bad experience.

i said only way we would take another one is if it were free.  We have been on NCL, Carnival, QE2, and Disney, this was the pits on RC.

No lobster night either.   The best part of the cruise was the dinning room staff.

Best regards,


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