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Melissa

Age: 29

Occupation:Human Resources

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Splendour of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2013-01-12

Itinerary: Santos Brazil

This is the email that I wrote Royal Caribbean, awaiting their response... To whom it may concern, I am writing you this letter to convey me and my husband's disappointment in our honeymoon trip taken with Royal Caribbean. As experienced cruisers, we had expected a level of quality of major cruise operators and of Royal Caribbean; this was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and 5th cruise for us each respectively. We greatly enjoyed our last trip with Royal Caribbean out of Rome, my husband proposed to me on your Navigator of the Seas during the summer of 2011. Therefore, we felt it was a sound decision to again choose Royal Caribbean and selected the 7 Night Argentina & Uruguay Cruise on the Splendour of the Seas for our Honeymoon. We could not have been more shocked and disappointed with the level of quality encountered by Royal Caribbean on the Splendour of the Seas - as we had high expectations from our experience on the Navigator of the Seas. As a brand name, the expectation of quality should be consistent; this clearly was not the case here. See the following issues we encountered on this cruise: • We feel extremely misled regarding the cruise itself. My husband and I are experienced travels and the thought of a Cultural Immersion cruise out of Brazil was a welcomed adventure for us. We both are native English speakers, and speak some Spanish, but no Portuguese. We were informed by Royal Caribbean that the cruise cuisine and activities would be geared toward the Brazilian taste; however, English would be also spoken as a secondary language. This could not be farther from the truth. The number of native English speakers on the boat had to band together to do anything on the ship, and the crew made little to no attempt to engage us. It was also told to us by Royal Caribbean representatives that English would be an option for excursions, television, all staff would be bi-lingual and activities and more importantly announcements would be made in English (just not first). From the beginning of the cruise until the very end there was absolutely no English being spoken. We are both well-traveled Americans that have been to many non-English speaking countries and would never expect anyone to speak English to use while traveling. In this case however, we were blatantly lied to that we would still be able to have fun and participate in the cruise even if we did not speak the native language. The poor service and quality on this cruise was extremely disappointing. As stated, this trip was our Honeymoon a once in a lifetime opportunity to see South America. We spent a total of $7,000 dollars on the trip ($3,300 for the cruise, $1,100 on the ship and the remainder for flights). During the time we were onboard we were not engaged by the staff until day 5. Up until that point not a single staff member passed by with a smile or a hello. Our Suite was in disrepair. The room that we stayed in was Suite 8582 on the ship. While our stateroom attendant was extremely nice and courteous the room cleanliness and quality was just not up to Royal Caribbean standard. During our stay our bathroom sewage backed up two times, to which we had to call someone to fix it both times (and wait extended periods of time). Our bathroom door broke two times as well, screws kept popping off the door. Our towel bar was broke the entire time and never fixed. At one point I couldn't find one of my shoes so I looked underneath the bed only to find an old hair tie (full of someone's hair) as well as a few pills of Tylenol that had been left there by the last guest. The total cost for the suite was $1600.00 per person. I would have expected the stateroom attendant and staff to offer at minimum their apologies for all of the inconveniences. The service on board the ship was by the far worst part of the experience. The staff was not only not friendly but we encountered several individuals that were blatantly rude to us when we had questions. The service in the windjammer and on the pool deck was where it was the worst. Many times when we went to eat we couldn't find a place to sit (due to volume) as well as there were many tables with plates and cups sitting there for extended period of time. On two separate occasions I sat with the previous guests food my entire meal. Besides the evident lack of staff to clean up these areas, on the pool deck plates and cups were left out so long that they were actually rolling around on the deck/floor (falling from the upper deck to lower deck). In our previous cruise experience we were greeted by every staff member we encountered with a hi, how are you, anything I can do to make your stay with us better. Until day five, not one of the staff members acknowledged us with a simple hello even as they passed by. The overall service was horrific and made us actually feel not welcome. To the bar staff, waiters, casino dealers we rarely were met with a smile. At no point were we offered the purchase of beverages or anything while trying to enjoy the pool. There were no staff members walking around period to check on any of the guests to see how they were doing. The food was of horrible quality. Not only were the food choices extremely limited (pasta, hamburgers, deli meat and French fries as the main staples) but the food quality was not up to Royal Caribbean standard. The fruit was never ripe, the cheese and deli meat quality were horrible. Besides the food quality being poor the variety was also so limited. The majority of the excursions were nice (although the options are very limited). There were no water sports or anything really to do besides sightsee. The first excursion we went on was an "English Tour" - the person did not speak English even though we were told she would. Her English was not proficient enough to give a tour, which was really frustrating. If Royal Caribbean isn't able to offer excursions in English, they just shouldn't advertise them this way. Activities-There wasn't a single activity in English. I don't know how Royal Caribbean expects any English speaking guests to have fun, if they can't participate in any pool activities, bingo, casino (everyone was allowed to speak other languages at the table), nightly shows, dance classes etc. Why would Royal Caribbean advertise this cruise to us if we can't do anything on the ship? Even the activities director made every announcement in Portuguese without any thought to just making a second one in English. On our previous cruise many of the shows were tailored so that even if you don't speak the language they could still be enjoyed, this was not the case here. I have never been so disappointed in a trip as I was in this one. I doubt I will be going on Royal Caribbean again and will surely be writing a review on several websites. This cruise in no way should be advertised for English speaking guests as it doesn't even mildly attempt to accommodate them. Royal Caribbean had set a standard for us in quality that we had come to expect and I was sadly mistaken as that must have been a one-time occurrence. The other English speaking guests we encountered were also blindsided by the experience, as I think every English speaking person found each other simply to ask, is that what you were told about this cruise? It would have been nice to have an experience of a lifetime for my Honeymoon. We feel strongly that your organization needs to do something to correct the situation, as this was not acceptable.









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