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Nicole

Age: 33

Occupation:Chiropractor

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: April 25th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean


Our cruise was scheduled for April 23rd but due to the fact that the captain was unaware of the loss of a anchor he wrecked the ship into the dock at Costa Maya. This delayed our trip by two days and limited it to a 5 day cruise. Full refunds were offered but a last minute change in our plans was not possible. As a result we settled for the $300 stateroom credit which did not cover the cost of the two days we had lost and decided to make the best of it. Unfortunately, the best was not very good. The smart half of the people cancelled their trip therefore RCI cancelled half of their entertainment (really fair to the rest of us). The entire staff had a chip on their shoulder and whenever there was any complaint the patented response was "you could have gotten a full refund". Upon boarding, our room had not been properly cleaned with half filled bottles littering the dresser and a dirty towel in the corner. I understand that they had little turn over time to get us on but they were not accommodating when I informed them of the open bottles and asked that they not be billed to me. In the dining room, 5 requests for a soda finally brought the result after my child had finished his meal. Due to the fact that our trip was shortened we were not offered Costa Maya or Grand Cayman. We went instead to Key West, hugging the coast the entire way. Close to the coast we had terrible weather, rough seas and a lot of sea sickness to go with it.

Our one sunny day.. Cozumel! We booked an excursion but due to the tardiness of the tenders (ours actually hit the dock?!), we missed it. Back on board they stole yet more of our time as we had to wait in line to get the refund, and without a "we apologize for the inconvenience". I also found out that RCI, when a previous trip was shortened to 5 days due to a hurricane, offered a $500 stateroom credit and 50% off of your next cruise. How is it that a trip foiled by an act of God gets fuller reimbursement than one foiled by a mechanical error and the ignorance of a lost anchor??!! I mean, I didn't slam their boat into the dock! Last and most offensive thing: Safety. Now, most of us who have been through the routine one time are not overly concerned with the safety drill. However, as we were on a boat that suffered a 42 foot long hole and was patched with a thin piece of metal, I took it very seriously this time. In preparation for the drill I attempted to secure a toddler life vest. I told housekeeping, the pursers desk, various room stewards, etc. 8 requests over 44 hours and still not lifejacket for my 3 year old. My last attempt at the pursers desk brought two replies "you might want to sit down because it may take a while" ( I had refused to leave without it) and "You could have cancelled". Finally, after a call to the Florida Coast Guard and one to RCI headlines, we got the vest with only 2 more hours of our cruise wasted by the cruise line itself.

In a nut shell: We were charged for a 6 day cruise (reimbursement for the loss was not prorated), received a 5 day cruise, had rough seas, poor service, lots of attitude, one day of sun on which we were late to our port and missed our excursion. We will NEVER go RCI again. As a matter of fact I've scheduled a NCL as a "make-up" cruise as my RCI experience brought me home more frazzled and stressed out than when I left for my "vacation".

Ocean Adventure: Despite the numerous problems we had, my son thought the trip a smashing success. We could not even get through dinner before he would ask to go back. The programs were innovative, the staff well trained and truly caring towards the children.

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