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Not impressed with Sovereign or Royal Caribbean

M

Michelobdude

Guest
#1
I hate to be negative, maybe I expected more than Royal Caribbean could deliver. We has a Junior Suite to the Bahamas for 3 days aboard the Sovereign of the Seas. I would rate the whole experience as a 5 out of 10. The room was smaller than a balcony room on most other ships. The ship has been updated and looks okay ( on the outside). I thought the pool deck smelled bad ( sewage smell) and our cabin is already showing wear. The sofa was torn, shower flooded the floor ( lousey curtain), not very clean. Royal doesn't have enough staff ( when we called the desk on several occasions they never answered). The bartenders were rude. Our room service staff was nice, we gave them a large tip on the first day, but they cant do too much with an old ship i suppose. The food was mediocre at best. We ate at the main dining room only once, I didn't want to go back. We had better luck at Johnny Rockets and the buffets. Shore excursions were okay ( Atlantis Beach Day and CocoCay). I will say that Norwegian Cruise ( Sun) was absoloutely better than Royal in every aspect of the cruise. I know that was a new ship but the Sovereign could have been better kept. On the Sun the staff is so incredibly friendly, they bent over backwards for you no matter what the request. I seriously doubt if i would ever set foot on a Royal ship again. I don't mean to beat up Royal Caribbean, but they need better customer service and definitely are overrated when placed above NCL in the ratings. TRUST ME......go with NCL if possible.
 
S

sailingrose

Guest
#3
Sorry to hear you disliked the Sovereign. I loved her when I sailed her in March and I'm thrilled that I'll be on her again next month.

She just had a multi-million $ make over but I do agree with you that they didn't finish the updating that the ship needed. Boy if you had seen her before the redo you really would have been disappointed.
 
G

Granduer Sailer

Guest
#4
I am sorry that you disliked RCCL but using mediocre is a very strong word and i do not think the food was that bad. But thats just me!
 
M

Michelobdude

Guest
#5
They should just start with a new ship and staff! Like I said, maybe I expected the class of service NCL offers and that's expecting too much of RCCL.
 
L

LindaInCT

Guest
#6
Sailing on the Sovereign next week and really looking forward to it! :dance

I'll let you know what I think!

Nordic Empress 05/02
Enchantment 04/04
Sovereign 04/05
 
K

Kenny

Guest
#7
Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your cruise. I have not sailed on Sovereign or any NCL ships yet, but have done some extensive online reading of all the major lines and their ships. I would like to offer my 2 cents on RCCL.

My wife and I have sailed on Mariner Of The Seas in March 2004, Enchantment Of The Seas in October 2004, and Carnival Miracle this past March 2005. We love RCCL and look forward to sailing with them for many years to come. The people, cabins, and overall experience has been wonderful for us. Knowing the age and size of Sovereign, I can say that ship is nothing like the classes above it.

The newer ship classes (Radiance, Voyager, and soon Freedom) are like nothing else at sea. From overall design, wow factor beauty, and cleanliness to unique features like ice skating rinks, mini-golf, inline skating, full size basketball courts, etc... the smaller, older Sovereign might as well be a ship in a different cruise line.

As you know, the smallest, oldest ships in a line do the 3-4 night Bahama cruises, and therefore give the absolute minimum experience one can get from that cruise line. This doesn't forgive any short comings you found in service, flooding showers, etc.. but, I can say that these things do not reflect the RCCL experience on others ships. I think the 3 ships in the older Sovereign family and Empress will be fazed out in the next few years anyway. This would raise the experience across the board, by moving some of the Vision class ships into the 3-4 night runs.

My wife and I prefer RCCL over Carnival any day, but do plan to try Princess, Disney, and NCL very soon as well. We want to see what kind of things everyone has to offer, so we will get to see why you like NCL so much as well. Just try to keep in mind how drastically different a cruise on Sovereign would be from any of the ships in the Voyager or Radiance class RCCL ships. Maybe you will give them another chance one day! :)

Happy cruising,

Kenny
 
K

Kenny

Guest
#9
Well, thank you very much.

I hope I didn't come across as "Anti-Sovereign" though. I'm sure alot of people really enjoy it, and it's all opinion anyway. :)
 
S

soccerandy

Guest
#10
What about for first time cruisers? I'm sailing on Sovereign on 5/9 with my parents and my sister and we're all first timers, so we really have no expecations (except may from Love Boat reruns, lol), so do you think we won't think it looks old and run down? I really really want my family to have a great experience because my parents haven't been on a "real" vacation in forever. They will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary and my dad finally got off his wallet to take mom on a nice trip, so I want it to be nice!!! Any encouragement would be very welcome!

BTW - Sailingrose - I've checked out your reviews and photos and do feel better. I just seem to see more negative comments on SOS than positive, although I do agree that people who are unhappy tend to be more vocal than those who were satisfied.

Thanks all!
Andrea a cruise :newbie

:CO Denver

Sovereign of the Seas 5/9/05
 
M

Michelobdude

Guest
#11
Good points Kenny! It could be different on a better class of ship. I wouln't have thought the service would be so lousey on a lower class ship ( should have standards)
 
V

viet630

Guest
#12
Remember ALL OF the cruise lines retire thier older and less desireable ships to the 3-4 day cruises.For a fair comparison try a 7 day or longer on the lines of your choice and you will see a huge difference in all of them.
Viet
 
S

sailingrose

Guest
#13
soccerandy, thanks for viewing my pictures and review. I was impressed enough with the ship to rebook her 2 more times this year. I'll be on her on May 13. I sailed her pre drydocking 5 times and I've always loved her. She may not be shiny and new but she has true class like the older liners.

I've sailed on all sizes of the RCI fleet and yes a longer cruise is different however we had excellent service on our trip. Of course you can always run into some so so service but that happens on all lines and all size ships.

If none of you have cruised before you won't have the expectations that us long time cruisers have. Make sure you tell the head waiter that it's your parents anniversary. They will bring them a piece of cake with a candle in it (free-don't order a full cake for $8.00) and sing to them. A nice surprise and something extra to make it memorable.


My husband just reminded me that we were on the Jewel of the Seas at Christmas, new, big, etc but it had the worst food and the worst service we have ever had. Just thought you'd like to know.
 
S

soccerandy

Guest
#14
/Thanks sailingrose! That does ease my concerns. I just really want it to be special for them. My TA already ordered the cake for them, she wanted to do it because she thinks it is great to see a couple married that long! I am going to buy decorations at Party City for their door too and not spring for the ones RCI offers.

You're getting on the ship the day we get back! We'll try to leave her in bood shape for you. Too bad we're not on the same cruise!

Happy Cruising!
Andrea a cruise :newbie

:CO Denver

Sovereign of the Seas /
 
S

sailboat

Guest
#15
When hubby and I frist started cruising we went from our honeymoon cruise to a bargain cruise, so needless to say, the second ship, which was older and set to retire (Costa) could not begin to compare with the Cunard ship on which we honeymooned. But we loved it anyway, because we love cruising. Over the years, we've had ships that were "better" or newer, rooms that were larger or smaller, food that was amazing to just ok, but we've loved them all, because we love cruising. There's just something about being on a ship that is unlike any other vacation experience. Set sail with an open heart and open mind--figure that some things will be disappointing but that overall you'll have the time of your life and I hope you'll soon become a cruise addict, too.
 
R

rshreib

Guest
#16
To show how any 1 person can have vastly different opinions...

I have sailed several RCL ships and they were all great. Food is better than average (I still think Carnival has the best chefs) and service was always great. On the other hand, I will never sail NCL again. Rude staff, poorly maintained ship, lousy food (sound familiar).

Any one can have a bad cruise (though a bad cruise is still better than a good day at work if you ask me). People need to read more than just one opinion to get a better feel for the ship and its crew. Not saying the above opinion isn't valid, just one of a million opinions for RCL this year. as mine is of NCL.

RS
 
G

Granduer Sailer

Guest
#17
THATS ENOUGH! IM SICK AND TIRED ABOUT THE LOWER CLASS SHIPS BEING SO LOUSY. IM SORRY THAT THEY DIDNT MAKE YOUR "HIGH" STANDARDS. I HAVE SAILED ON THE LOWER CLASS SHIPS ALL MY LIFE AND I HAVE NOT HAD A PROBLEM. Some times they have bad days.
 
S

sailingrose

Guest
#18
I wish we were going with you too soccerandy, glad you feel better now.

BTW I posted some of our pictures in the gallery for those that have not seen them.
 
L

ljeanbrown

Guest
#19
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise on the Sovereign, but in all fairness when you compare it to a new NCL shiip you are comparing apples and oranges. The Sovereign was launched in 1988 and even with a refurb is not going to be like a brand new ship. We were on the Sovereign in Jan. and as usual had a very good cruise, I agree that it is not , nor does it look like, a brand new ship, but again it's not and yes they could do more refurb in the cabins. As far as the service, we have cruised several cruise lines and to be honest if we did like you want to do and based our opinion of an entire cruise line on one cruise we never would have cruised with Princess again and would have missed a wonderful cruise :thumb I have had less than great service on some cruises with a couple of cruise lines, but I try and look at the overall cruise experience and since I love cruising, I always find plenty of positives and have never had a bad cruise on any cruise line, just some were even better than others. Like it has been mentioned in above posts, you may have a different opinion if you went on a 7 night cruise on one of RCI'S newer ships. Also I was talking with a woman while we were sitting on the pool deck of the Sovereign and she was telling us how she and her husband had gone on a cruise with their family on NCL'S Sun and she thought the food and service were much better on the Sovereign than on the Sun and she liked the layout of the Sovereign far better as well. I'm not saying this to start anything,honestly, I just wanted to show how different people... really do have different opinons when it comes to likes and dislikes.If you really like the Sun and the cruise experience you had, then you may want to stay with NCL, but maybe you might want to give RCI another chance on one of their newer ships =shrug Again ,I am sorry you didn't have the cruise you were hoping for and I hope your next one is great , no matter which ship you decide to go on :thumb
 
L

LindaInCT

Guest
#20
I've only been on two cruises, and the Sovereign will be my third. The two ships I've been on, Nordic Empress and Enchantment, are not new or huge compared to the newer fleet of ships, but for someone who has never been on any of the newer fleet of ships, I was in complete awe of these two. I could only imagine what I would think if I ever make it on board one of the new ships! So, I guess if you don't know what to expect and you're not used to the class of the bigger ships, then you should really enjoy the older ships. I did!


Nordic Empress 05/02
Enchantment 04/04
Sovereign 04/05