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Lori Heien

Age: 43

Occupation:EHS Coordinator

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: October 3rd, 2004

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

To whom it may concern:

Recently, me and my family were on the Rhapsody of the Seas cruise sailing out of Galveston on 10/03/04 – 10/10/04, and I can tell you never in the two times have I cruised prior to this cruise, have I ever experienced a big disappointment in a cruise or cruise line. There were over 600 kids on-board and their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t control them. The kids thought is would be fun to knock on cabin doors while running down the hallways, change the tags in the doors to say Do Not Disturb to make up the room and vice-versa, cut in line at the buffets, talk during the shows and activities on board the ship, use the elevators as toys to go up and down, etc. This was only the beginning of a bad vacation. We have two people in our group that are in wheelchairs and at check-in we waited 20 minutes for a porter to help us onto the ship. He felt it was more important to talk to his girlfriend then to help us.

When we finally get on ship, we find out that the seating arrangements for dinner have 4 members of my party sitting at one table and the other 4 at another table. We asked if we could have a table for 8 and we were told that we couldn’t and the tables couldn’t be moved because they were bolted to the floor. This was a lie because after the third day the tables were moved so we could all sit together. We booked this cruise 5 months prior to sailing, so I felt this should have been adequate time to arrange for 8 people at one table. Other parties of eight were seated together. To top it off, the fourth day at sea, the Rhapsody of the Sea decided it needed to have construction done. There was hammering, pounding, etc. right under my cabin window. I went to talk to the Purser about this, and his response was it had to be done. Why couldn’t the construction waited until it was in dry dock? I informed him that it was giving me a headache and his answer was to take some aspirin.

The shows and activities on-board were not quality standard. They were out-dated or of poor quality. There were not enough on-board activities. You couldn’t get into the swimming pool because it was packed with kids. You either had to wait until very late at night or very early in the morning to go swimming. When it came time to the gratuities I went to put it on my sea pass card and I asked three times if the standard amount of $68.25 was for two people, I was told three times that it was. When I received the bill, there was a charge of $68.25 twice. I tried to talk to the Purser about this and his answer was that it couldn’t be removed from the bill and that whoever told me that $68.25 was for two people was wrong. Well guess who told me, a lady behind the Purser desk told me this. I felt $68.25 was too much gratuity for what my family and me had to experience on the cruise.

My overall experience on the Royal Caribbean cruise line was not very impressive. I would not recommend your cruises to any of my friends or family. I have taken a cruise every year for three years and this is the first cruise that has been a huge disappointment. In the future, my family and me will be taking cruises on other cruise lines. This is just some of the things that I had to endure while on the cruise.


Lori Heien

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