We decided to take a cruise (first one ever, for us) this year as a graduation present for my wife making a 4.0 on her MBA. We so wish we had done something else. Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas was the worst vacation ever.
They allowed smoking all over the ship, even in areas clearly marked as non-smoking.
We purchased a balcony suite, and we could not even use the balcony due to all of the smoking on the nearby balconies. Security was called repeatedly, they would arrive 10-20 minutes later, well after the smoking was finished, not smell it, and refuse to go check adjacent rooms (even to simply ask other passengers). The ship refused to notify passengers over the PA system, they refused to send any paraphernalia to rooms about no smoking areas, and nothing at all was done about it, in the end.
Additionally, nothing was hardly ever open. Even though some shops, restaurants, and bars shad stated hours (or hours were stated on their TV shows, by the cruise director), the venues obviously picked and chose when they wanted to be open. Nothing would open till late in the morning, and everything closed early in the evening. We did not go on a cruise, and purchase the unlimited drink package, just so that we had to sit in our room (not on our balcony) and do nothing. Numerous times we would eat breakfast, then go for a walk to try and find something to drink (anything, not just alcohol) and nothing would be open. The cruise director stated that the coffee shop was open 24/7. But, we were made to stand in line till 06:30 one day, because the guy would not serve anything till then.
After numerous complaints, with nothing being done, we decided to ask for some form of refund. Since we paid for a balcony that we could not use. The customer service person went to the back, and stated that they were very sorry, and we would receive a ten percent refund on the cruise and a bottle of champagne (which was a nice gesture, but we had the unlimited drink package – so it cost them nothing). Later that night, we received a letter saying that we were being offered ten percent off our next cruise. That is unacceptable as we are never planning on taking a cruise again, especially not on Royal Caribbean. We are owed our money back for the balcony room, at the very least.
Our excursion in Cozumel was great. We are very happy that we did not book snorkeling with RCI. We do recommend the Vacations to Go (Playa Mia) snorkeling excursion. Excellent staff, and excellent locations.
Luckily we did not book anything in the Grand Cayman. Though the Tortuga store personnel left a lot to be desired, so we did not buy anything there. We did find an amazing little secluded beach that had about 10 people on it. It was one of the locations where turtles go to feed, and we were lucky enough to see a turtle swimming around.
Our RCI excursion in Jamaica was an island tour and rum tasting excursion. We were led to believe that we would be touring around tasting rum at various places. But, in reality, we were driven to an overlook owned by the excursion company (where were were expected to buy drinks and souvenirs); then we were driven to a single store that was owned by the excursion company, for shopping; then we were driven to their compound (Reggae Hill), and expected to buy lunch and more souvenirs. Finally, after we were adamant that we did not want food, we were walked a long way across the compound (definitely not on ADA paths, which should be noted on the description), and given a five minute rum tasting. We were only given six rums that are owned by the excursion company as well. Horrible excursion.
About halfway through the cruise, the ship began to reek of sewage and cigarette smoke. It was very disgusting.
We were also assured that tax was only on any alcohol over one gallon. Yet, we were harassed by security guards pretending to be federal tax agents and made to pay tax on everything, or suffer violence. In addition, all of the security guards were very rude.
And don’t forget the taking of my pocket/wallet multi tool, from my wallet (because it’s not allowed – though that is not noted anywhere on their site), yet they had no problem leaving me with multiple pocket knives (on me and in my luggage), and two more pocket/wallet multi-tools in my checked and carry on luggage. Complete stupidity.
The food was bland in all of the dining rooms. The bars were barely ever open. The movies always played late at night (when the bars were closed), or during dinner. The staff watched people smoking in non-smoking areas, and did nothing.
This was literally the worst vacation I’ve ever taken.