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

Sovereign of the Seas
by John R
May 19, 2006

Actual Letter which was sent to Royal Caribbean. No response from Royal Caribbean to this date 7/31/06.They have ignored us. We will never sail again with RCCL. Read Below

May 23, 2006

Royal Caribbean International
Attention Guest Claims
Pamela Powell
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, Fl 33132

Dear Pamela

We are writing to you about an incident that occurred aboard the Sovereign of the Seas. We sailed with our family (total of 11) from Port Canaveral on May 19, 2006. Our booking was # 8290705, cabin # 6596.

But first, we would like to say that we have sailed with Royal Caribbean International several times and have enjoyed wonderful experiences on The Voyager of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. There was a noise problem on the Enchantment, when we sailed on November 26, 2005 above our balcony cabin. After bringing this to the attention of the Chief Purser, she took care of the problem. We were pleased with the customer service and on this last cruise. Up to then we were very satisfied with Royal Caribbean cruises management and staff.

On the Sovereign of the Seas, our travel agent booked us a cabin with a great location, we were pleased with that. The first dinner in the main dining, (table 36 @ 6PM) our family was starting the main course. Our brother in-law found a hypodermic needle sticking out of the shrimp! Several other members of the family and children had ordered shrimp as well. You can imagine how upset we all became when we realized what was found in the food. As a result, this ruined our dining experience to say the least. How would you and your family like to find a HYPODERMIC NEEDLE in your food? You might expect a hair or a bug, and that can happen anywhere. We informed the head waiter and he took the plate with the needle back to the kitchen and offered my brother in-law another dinner plate.

After dinner we followed up with purser's office and spoke with Maria De Freitas, Guest Relations Manager and informed her of the incident. Maria took down our cabin numbers and she was informed who in the party had shrimp.

Of the management team, only Maria De Freitas was apologetic to 0ur brother in-law and his wife. However she only offered to the group medical assistance. The only thing was no one needed medical assistance! Also she stated they would conduct an investigation. The Chief Purser, Soren Poulsen, who we spoke to the next day, was not apologetic and stated he could not talk about the investigation and would not offer anything to make it right for Our brother in-law and the rest of the family. Not even "What can we do to make you happy". We then asked for an appointment to speak with the Staff Captain Patrick Dahlgren. We met with Patrick in his office along with four RCI staff standing behind him at his desk. Mr. Dahlgren did not introduce them to us. This was rude and not good etiquette. Maria De Freitas was in attendance. The atmosphere was very unfriendly and intimidating. Mr. Dahlgren just stated they were still conducting an investigation, could not give us any more information and could not do anything more for us. I did say that I expected more from the management team, and was very disappointed that they were not even offering the family a gesture to make "things right". Mr. Dahlgren did say that a bottle of wine was offered at the dinner and that we turned it down. Well, I guess Patrick could not understand we were upset and shocked at the time. We did not finish eating or have desert as we left the dining room to report the incident to Guest Relations. The staff did not handle this incident, proactively from a customer service perspective. The impression we were left from RCI staff, was that they trivialized the whole event. They lacked customer service, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.

The rest of the cruise we were picking through our food, and (deleted) and her husband (deleted) were concerned about their children as well. This incident could have turned out to be a much larger issue for RCI if the needle was ingested or (deleted) was stuck by the needle. Thank goodness this was not the case.

We are now reconsidering whether or not to book future cruises with Royal Caribbean. We are not confident on how management would handle any future issues and/or potentially serious ones.

The handling of this incident from a customer service perspective, in our opinion, was awful. Again no attempt was made to make us feel better, especially, (deleted) and his family.

Simple gestures, could us made the family feel better about the situation. A bouquet of flowers at the dinner table for the remaining meal's, would have been nice. The Captain could have dropped by the table, to ensure that we are happy and we would be treated properly. This is just a few gestures that could have made a difference. Instead 11 customers were left shocked and disappointed.

Other than the above mentioned incident, the family did have an enjoyable time, together. We enjoyed some excursions and the on board entertainment.

We would appreciate that you and RCI follow up on this matter, and inform us on how RCI will make us feel confident again, in sailing with RCI.


Diane and John