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Age: 59

Occupation:Management Consultant

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Sovereign of the Seas

Sailing Date: July 3rd, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

My wife and I cruised as part of a group of fifteen family members participating in a small reunion. Our neighbors, Diamond Members of Royal Caribbean, also were on the ship by coincidence and they had a Junior Executive Room with balcony. Thus we had plenty of company and things to do. This was our fourth cruise. My mother and stepfather have been on about 20 cruises. I should note that all of my prior cruises were longer ones as were those my mother has taken and my neighbors have taken and all were higher in cost. This will make a difference in comparing cruises to some degree.

We found the staff to be pleasant and eager to please. I had no complaints whatsoever with the service. Our cabin was on the starboard side, second level, and while we were not unhappy with it, it was very small. Once we had the attendant move the bed and convert it into two singles instead of one double the room improved. As it was originally set up it was impossible for one person to get up in the night without waking the other and even after the room was reconfigured it was impossible to approach the porthole. The porthole, by the way, was screwed shut unlike previous cruises.

The bedspreads were a bit worn and didn’t give the impression of being very clean although we found cleanliness on the ship to be very good. I came into the room in the middle of the afternoon one day to find attendant on his hands and knees scrubbing the shower and bathroom floor.

With that said, there was a distinct odor of a sewer at times in the hallways and we had to have maintenance in to fix our toilet that would not flush. This was a problem unique to our room this time but the day before our friends reported that no toilet in their section of the floor would flush.

This was the overall worst of the four cruises I’ve taken and the ship was not the oldest I have been on. Some people commented about having CNN on their TV’s but we certainly didn’t nor could we find it on the lounge TVs. The World Cup was on TV and they were constantly tuned to the games. I was news starved and unlike other cruises the Weather Channel was not on the TV.

The production shows were the best I have seen on a cruise ship. While the ship is small by comparison to some others, its facilities were OK.

Food was my biggest disappointment. The breakfasts were poor. You could order omelets made to order but otherwise the breakfast served in the main dining room used the very same food served in the breakfast buffet where most people go. Scrambled eggs were dry and tasteless. Link sausage tasted like it had been made the day before a was reheated. McDonald’s fried potatoes are far superior to these frozen potatoes. The Hampton Inn gives away a better free breakfast than this. To me this is like being all dressed up with dirty shoes. Breakfast is an important meal to many people including older people who make up a large number of people on cruises.

Lunch was OK. I ate dinner at the first sitting in the Illusions dining room. The food was not as good as on other cruises. My New York Strip steak could not be cut using a sharp knife and everyone at my table who got steaks had the same complaint. Food was well presented and no one went away hungry but the quality was not what it has been on my prior cruises. I bought the soft drink package where you pay $29 and get all the soft drinks and juices you want for “free”. But I do resent not getting a beverage with dinner without paying a high price for a very small drink, then calling this high class service. We found ourselves eating at Johnny Rockets to get a really satisfying meal believe it or not. The evening buffet that was once the talk of all cruises and the best PR tool the cruise lines had has been reduced to one night as is the case with most cruise lines. It was not bad. By the way, when it rained, rain gushed into the buffet area at several locations. The midnight chocolate buffet was very nice.

I used the casino every night and did well due to one nice win. Otherwise the slots were about as tight as they can be.

I didn’t get off the boat at Coco Cay since I live at a Florida Beach and it was raining that day but those who did get off found it to be very nice. The Bahamas have cleaned up and fixed up after the hurricanes a few years ago and the island looked better than ever. We took a water taxi from the port to Paradise Island and visited Atlantis resort for a great casino and aquarium experience. Very impressive resort!

Shopping on board was nothing special. You can buy the same $10 watches, jewelry and scarves in the Atlanta airport and the upscale merchandise was no real bargain. Use of the internet to send email was too expensive to consider for many.

We were just less than half way in the debarkation order and it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get to our bags but this is about typical so no real complaint.

For the cost of the cruise, I have few complaints. It was a good value by comparison. I would have gladly paid a bit more better quality and soft drinks included with meals. We charged $239 in drinks and snacks to our account and we are not heavy drinkers considering I drink only Diet Coke so plan on a fair amount of out of pocket expenses.

I will never take a smaller ship nor an older ship again and whether I travel with Royal Caribbean would depend upon the deal. My previous cruise was a totally non-smoking ship and I would consider trying Royal Caribbean again for their new yet to be launched mega ship or anybody’s non-smoking voyage.




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