Royal Caribbean International - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Grandeur of the Seas
by Cheryl
Western Caribbean
March 24, 2007

I was disappointed with our cruise experience for the following reasons, in order of occurrence. The first impression of our stateroom, Deck Seven, Category D1, was indeed a letdown. "Shabby" is the first word that came to mind—the bedspread, window treatments, and carpeting looked as though they had never been updated since the ship had been initially launched. The bathroom sink was badly chipped and the room had an unpleasant odor, which, of course, was not noticeable to the room steward.

One of the things we were most looking forward to was our dining experience, both for the food and the company. I am under the impression that I requested to be placed at large table, thinking that would mean 8-10 people. You may be able to understand our disappointment the first evening when we were placed at a table of six—and the other three people never showed. In fact, they dined at our table only two of the nights. To make things worse, our table was at the rear of the dining room, next to the staircase. In fact, we were placed so close to the staircase that I commented I felt like Harry Potter—living in the 'cupboard' under the staircase. The railing of the staircase curves around, which made us feel even more enclosed. My husband spoke to both the headwaiter and maitre-d the first evening AND successive evenings, but was repeatedly told there wasn't another table available. The table next to us had three empty seats at least three evenings, and I asked if we could sit at that table when the other diners did not show. We were denied that accommodation also. I find it difficult to believe that we could not have been accommodated in some way—we even offered to come to the later seating. Would this situation have been resolved had we not been so naive and had placed extra money in the maitre-d's hand? Now I wonder.

Our stateroom was located directly above the South Pacific Lounge that had a band playing until after 1 a.m. The base resonated loudly, even though I wore earplugs. At 1 a.m. I called the Purser's Desk to ask how long the music would be playing. She responded that it would be ending shortly, and that this should be the only night that there would be music in the lounge. However, the next night the same thing occurred. The third day of the cruise, therefore, I went to the Purser's desk and spoke with Edison, and I was not in a very good mood. I asked him to please change our room if this was going to be a nightly occurrence. I was first told that my travel agent should have told us that this room was over the lounge and this was to be expected. When I refused to allow him to pass the buck, he then said that no other rooms were available. I questioned the truthfulness of this statement, considering all the things that could go wrong in a stateroom—I can't believe there wouldn't be an available room anywhere on board to take care of emergencies. There was a slight shift in his attitude when I suggested that I would join another passenger who had told Edison that he would be sleeping on the couches in the Centrum if his room situation was not resolved.

The following evening there was music in the lounge below us until shortly after midnight. Nothing changed with our dining situation. Edison was kind enough to send champagne and fruit to our room. Our dining table mates showed on the fourth evening of the cruise, and wasn't I surprised to hear the mother ask "And how do you like the music below us? I haven't been able to sleep." When I asked if she had said anything, she stated she had not—her daughter didn't want her to. This is exactly what businesses hope, isn't it—that people will grin and bear it? My husband was exchanging pleasantries with the people in the stateroom next door to us—they had three young sons—and their only complaint was the music at night prevented them from getting a good night's sleep.

I have requested compensation from the cruise line for the problems we experienced, but have received only vouchers (2--and there are 3 of us) for $50 for a future cruise, which will never happen. I don't recommend this ship or cruise line--anyone who complains is expected to grin and bear it and nothing is done to remedy problems.