CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Serenade of the Seas Alaska June 6, 2004

Adios to Royal Caribbean. This was my third cruise on RCCL and my last

Overall I think this was an ok cruise.

Good: The ship was beautiful. There is lots of glass which was good for seeing Alaska. The captain did an amazing job of maneuvering the ship at Hubbard Glacier and Misty Fjord. Alaska is a great place to cruise to. The casino personnel were very helpful.

Bad: Service. Service. Service.

Check in took an hour in line. Then we had to wait 2 hours to go through US customs (in Vancouver). The waiting area was an open room with folding chairs with over 500 people in it. You could barely hear your group called. Very poorly done.

The daily info letter "Cruise Compass" had numerous errors. Call to the passenger relations to confirm times usually gave erroneous results too. No one seemed to know what was going on.

Our daughter got sick in our room from food poisoning. We had to ask several times to get the carpet cleaned. After cleaning they left a blower to dry the carpet and never returned. The room still smelled and made the hallway outside the room smell too. No one ever checked to see if the room was ok. After asking for some deodorizer we were told they didn't have any. I guess this was the first time anyone ever got sick on a ship. We finally got a can of Glade to cover the smell. The next day we demanded some action so they cleaned to carpet again and it still smelled. No one checked up afterwards. The room still smelled at the end of the cruise. I feel sorry for the next cruise occupants.

The food in the main dining room was consistently only warm, never hot. The meats were generally tough. I would rate the food as marginal. It was a lot like bar food. The service was poor and slow. Several times we were served cold coffee at dinner. Once they were too busy to get us hot coffee after we complained. On the plus side I did save on tips.

The ship has dispensers to sanitize your hands before entering the dining room. Good idea. However they only have one at each entrance and they do run out. It takes ten minutes for everyone to get into dinner because of this bottleneck. If they bought 4 more it would eliminate the problem.

The Windjammer food was awful. It was impossible to find a table. They also played a game called "find the condiments". The ship has condiment stations with push buttons to dispense condiments. These stations only worked once in a while and were never marked as being out of service. You had to hunt to find the liquid gold (ketchup, mustard). I asked a manager about the problem and he just yelled at someone at the drink bar who ignored him. I then realized that they must be hiding it behind the drink bars. I was right. I grabbed some packets of ketchup and was scolded by the drink attended for going behind the bar.

After complaining about the lack of service to the passenger relations manager we got a note saying they were sorry and hoped these flowers would make up for our problems. However the note was taped to a bottle of champagne. They can't even get an apology right. None of our complaints were ever addressed.

Royal Caribbean has cut corners to the point where cruising with them is not an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed my previous cruises with them but this was simply not worth the price.

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