Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Share Your “Over the Top” Cruise Stories With Us

There’s something about cruising that lends itself to “Over the Top” stories. A recent example is the story of a family that excitedly arrived at the pier to check in for Liberty of the Seas in honor of their son’s Bar Mitzvah. There was only one problem: the family had no documentation for the son whatsoever.

Notwithstanding our and travel agents’ efforts to communicate the documentation requirements in brochures, eDocs, web sites and various other ways, these guests did not have anything for their son. Incidentally, we are currently in the process of making the documentation requirements easier to understand in order to help spare any future confusion and last minute emergencies. 

eDoc

With the sand running out of the hourglass and no family back home, which was a thousand or so miles from the ship, they were able to arrange for a friend to break into their house via the back door window, find and fax the necessary documents. The Bar Mitzvah present was preserved with minutes to spare. In honor of this family’s determination (unfortunately not in honor of their advance preparations), I ask our readers to post their “Over the Top” stories of what they or people they know have done to get on a cruise.

A related topic is things that guests, especially children, do to express their appreciation for having experienced the Wow on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I recently received through Customer Relations a phenomenal bound and desktop published PowerPoint from a 5th grader named Abigail. She had a page for every letter of the alphabet to explain something about her cruise on Explorer of the Seas. She did this as a project for school but also sent us a copy. I brought it to my staff meeting and all of the leaders of our brand wrote a comment to Abigail about her work. So my question for our readers here would be, what are the best expressions of appreciation for a cruise that you have ever heard about or seen first hand?

21 responses to:
“Share Your “Over the Top” Cruise Stories With Us”

  1. Kelly Huenefeld

    Our cruise on the Freedom of the Seas was a great time everyday. One particular evening as we sat out on our balcony after we left port a school of dolphins swam along side our ship. It was a delight to watch sealife out our front door. All the places we visited were fun and the sun was out every day. My family including my mother, friend, mother and father in law, sister and brother in law, and my own husband and children. The next time we want to try the new ship with the dreamworks entertainment. This is our child’s reward if she reaches her goal of school and home excellence. Our other daughter deserves reward as well she has graduated and is on to college.

    • Adam

      Kelly, we’re glad to hear you had such a great time on Freedom of the Seas. We look forward to seeing you and your family again with us very soon.

  2. Eileen Mastrio

    Adam, similar story from a cruise my sister and our family took with my mother a few years ago. She was stricken with ALS and had never been on a cruise before. After a quick booking and great handicapped accessible help, we flew from NY to Miami. When going thru my bag, realized we were missing my mother’s passport. We called home to have people break into our house, get her marriage certificate (she was 65) and same day send it ($650) to miami. Then as we put her to bed, my 10 year old daughter mentioned “mom’s bag fell in the car”. So we called the TSA in NY, they broke into our car, got the fallen passport, put it on the last flight on Jet Blue and I drove back to Ft Lauderdale airport to retrieve it from the Jet Blue people. Amazing. God’s hand was not going to let my mother’s only cruise not happen. She is still battling the disease today and can no longer talk or move. But we have fond memories. I can send you pictures of us on the Explorer if you have an email. Sincerely, Eileen Mastrio. Wilbraham Mass.

    • Adam

      Eileen, we are glad you were able to gather all of your necessary documents for your cruise on Explorer of the Seas. We’re so glad to hear that your story had a happy ending. Feel free to post pictures of your vacation on our Facebook page and share your touching story with fellow cruisers.

  3. Tammy Stack

    I’m just glad I found out last week that I had booked PM flights instead of AM flights to Miami. $300 later…I have AM flights for the Next Majesty of the Seas vacation!!!!

  4. Elizabeth armistead

    My husband and I took our very first cruise in June aboard Radiance of the Seas. We spent the first shore call enjoying the Lumberjack show, and shopping in town. The next morning I felt like I was coming down with a cold, and spent the rest of the trip pushing myself to keep up with the rest of the family members that made the trip. On the trip home, I was definitely ill; the day after arriving home, I went to our doctor, who called an ambulance to take me to the ER – turns out I had contracted the flu, which turned into bilateral pneumonia that went septic. I spent a week in the PICU, another week on the telemetry wing, and now 6 weeks at home on oxygen; I’m waiting for the go-ahead from my doctor so I can plan our next cruise – I want to enjoy all the things I missed while I was sick (and even so, I had a great time!) Think I’m going south this time, though… :)

  5. Nicole W

    In March of 2008, my family went on the Mariner of the Seas as a Christmas present from my mom and dad. It was an excellent cruise and we have some great memories, but my husband and I very nearly missed the whole thing. When we left Toronto to catch our flight in Buffalo, it started snowing… and really didn’t stop.

    Usually, that’s okay. Canadians are used to snow and driving in it, no big deal. But this was pretty much a full-on blizzard, with snow coming so fast that if it’d been rain, it would be a torrential downpour. But I was a cautious driver, so we made it to Buffalo all right, though watching the border guards wade through knee-deep snow was a bit of a trip. I was really concerned about the status of the next day’s flight, but I was convinced there was no point in worrying over it. Besides, the snow was supposed to clear by the next afternoon, when we were set to fly. People fly in snow all the time, anyway… right?

    The next day, it was sunny – but the news was not good down at breakfast in the lobby. Tale after tale of cancellations. Even so, our flight hadn’t been cancelled, even though it had started to snow lightly when we got to the airport. When we walked in, our flight was still ‘on time’ in departures. But when we went to scan our tickets, they wouldn’t work. When we got to the counter, it turned out that our flight had been cancelled in the few moments that it took to find our airline. The plane had been downgraded to a plane that was too small to fly, and there was not a flight to be had out of Buffalo. I begged the agent for help, telling her my mom’s heart would be broken if we weren’t all there – very true – and she said if we could get to JFK (a six hour drive), she could put us on a flight to Tampa from there. We didn’t have much time to decide, so I said ‘Book it, we’ll get there.’ With Amtrak booked up and too slow to boot, our only option was to literally dig out the car and start heading for New York. We figured, compared to the night before, how bad could it be? We should have known when we set out in the light snow, seeing ominous clouds on the horizon.

    It started snowing hard again in short order, and the further south we drove, the slushier and icier the snow got. Soon, our speed was effectively cut in half, and the people that speeded past us were usually in the ditch further down the highway. On stops, we tried to keep my parents updated via my laptop, having left cell phones at home. There was a brief period through Pennsylvania when the weather finally cleared, and it seemed like I might get a decent drive straight through to NYC – but as darkness fell, so did an actual torrential downpour as I drove out of the mountains on unfamiliar roads in the pitch black.

    When we reached New Jersey, the weather cleared, but the traffic started. Comparatively? No big deal. Neither were the check-in issues or the giant lines we found at our airport hotel; we were just tired and intent on straightening things out so we could sleep. Lack of food didn’t even really matter – we’d have time in the morning. The important thing was we had a flight.

    Well, we had a flight until we went to check in. The flight we were booked on out of JFK was cancelled. My husband nearly loses it; I send him away, and beg again. There’s a few flights that disappear before she can book them, then finally – there’s one leaving LaGuardia in an hour. She says if we go now, we can catch it. I thank her profusely and run.

    We get into a cab, and I’m freaking out at this point. I’ve managed to be pretty calm so far, but this is just kind of the last straw for me – we NEED to get on this flight. As we’re heading for LaGuardia, I am rocking back and forth in the seat and trying not to look at the time, when around the bend, JUST before the airport comes a giant accident, blocking the road completely. The cabbie pulls off the highway to turn around, says it’ll take another ten minutes to go the other way – and very kindly says he’ll turn off the meter at sixty bucks. He does a good job of getting us there though things are looking pretty grim, and while my husband takes care of the luggage and gives the guy a decent tip, I go to get in line. I think I find the end, and am corrected; no. This is just the gap in the line for self check-in. The line is HUNDREDS of people long. Once we’re situated, I admit I’m pretty convinced we’re not making this flight. However, there’s some lovely people working the line that assure us we’ll be called – and we are, and we get taken to the front of the line and put through check in.

    Of course, first we go to the wrong gate and spend time in that line. Then we have to jump the security line because they’re announcing last call for the flight. THEN we’re selected for special screening. So they’re swiping my laptop, and I’m about to throw up, listening to ‘Final boarding call to Tampa’, trying to pack up what they’ve taken apart. When I finish, they’re still screening my husband, but they tell me if one of us is at the gate, they can’t leave. So I pick up everything in pieces, shoes included, and run in sock feet through LaGuardia to my gate, and hand them my boarding pass. We both manage to get on the plane, the plane is not delayed or cancelled, we are amazed, it takes off and we’re going to make it. We think.

    This whole time, my parents, and my brother and sister in law knew nothing – the last they’d heard was our JFK flight was cancelled! When I called my dad to get us after we landed, he was on the way to the airport in hopes that we /might/ be there – so there was great celebration when we did get to port. And it was worth the pain, so much so that I made a LiveJournal icon for the occasion (the picture is the Mariner tendered at Labadee):

    http://l-userpic.livejournal.com/72697520/540921

    I was very determined to go on vacation. ;)

    • Adam

      Wow Nicole! We asked for an “Over the Top” story, and you delivered! We’re so glad to hear your story had a happy ending and you were able to make your trip. Thank you so much for sharing your exciting story.

  6. Viola Ross

    June 4, 2010 would be our 50th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate, we booked the nine night cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas sailing from Norfolk, VA. on June 3rd. On June 4th, we played Bingo where the jackpot prize was the Royal Suite. To our astonishment we won. Walking into that suite the first and every time was amazing. It is truly a beautiful suite and the service was unbelievable. Later we were contestants on the Love and Marriage Game and between these two events, were like celebraties the rest of the cruise. The crew of the Enchantment of the Seas is a cut above and the best we’ve ever sailed with. We met no one who was unfriendly or inconvenienced in any way by our requests, questions or interruption. Thanks to the Captain and crew of the Enchantment of the Seas and to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for making our 50th anniversary so much more than we ever expected.

    • Adam

      Viola, congratulations on winning our Royal Suite, we’re glad to hear that this has made your 50th wedding anniversary extra special.

  7. lynn sumski

    Our family always has a great time on a Royal cruise. But 1 cruise our dining room waiter forgot to tell us that the crew was having a drill the next day while we were in port. That next day 2 were in the windjammer having breakfast, 2 were in the hot tub, 2 were still in bed and I had just dropped my daughter off at Adventure Ocean. The alarm went off and all in my party kind of freaked out. The 2 in the windjammer said well we just sat down and we are going to eat until they tell us to leave. The 2 in the hot tub were also there with a couple of little old ladies and while 1 jumped out and started to look around frantic the other stayed to help the 2 other ladies out of the tub. The 2 still sleeping were jolted out of their beds. 1 ran around the room in a panic trying to put on clothes and such while the other kind of took her time. I ran back up to Adventure Ocean to grab my daughter. Then we find out it was a drill. That night at dinner we teased our waiter endlessly and we didn’t let him forget it the rest of the cruise. So each night he made sure to inform of us of what was happening the next day. The pay-off of the whole ordeal was that we were in port and didn’t realize it.
    This is just 1 of the tons of memories we have from our cruises and are looking forward to our next one in the summer of 2011.

  8. Ben kurzman

    I just wanted to say that I am 17 years old and I have been on 8 Royal Caribbean cruises and I have been WOWED every time, especially on the Oasis of the Seas. I just returned from my trip on the Oasis this past Saturday and it was unbelievable. I love Royal Caribbean and hope to work for Royal Caribbean in my future.

    • Adam

      Wow Ben! That’s quite an accomplishment to have that many cruises under your belt at such a young age. It is great to hear you’ve been “wowed” with each cruise. We hope you apply with us in the future, and we can’t wait to see you on your next cruise.

  9. Marvin

    My wife and I have had the good fortune to have taken 50+ cruises(20 with RCI). Five of these have been trans-atlantic crossings including one on the Navigator (and we are currently booked for a “sailing accross the pond” aboard the Liberty). The adventure does not end on disembarkation however, it begins again when you are asked by friends who do more conventional cruises why you would want to be on a ship for six or more days without ports of call surrounded by nothing but the Atlantic Ocean. This is a constantly recurring conversation which we love to answer. For those who love cruising and have not experienced the pure pleasure of a crossing on a favorite “city at sea” you are truly missing one of the most enjoyable travel experiences, especially when it begins with a week or more of European ports before the adventure of the crossing commences. Their is truly a comraderie of passengers and crew that seems to occur, perhaps generated by a more relaxed attitude. While you may not encounter an over the top experience it is certain to produce many memories and conversations while aboard and after as well.

    • Adam

      Marvin, we definitely agree. Having extra days onboard our ships also provides more time to enjoy the many activities we have to offer which provides an even bigger experience. We extend our thanks to you and your wife for cruising with us and reserving your next cruise on Liberty of the Seas. We can’t wait to see you onboard with us again.

  10. Pam Dyke

    My daughter experienced the “wow” factor on our recent cruise on the Freedom of the Seas, not one time but multiple times over the course of the week. This was due to true gold anchor service from our assistant waiter, Lucy (Lucelia) from Peru. She gave my daughter extra special attention all week, and on our last night in the dining room, my 12 year old daughter burst into tears at the thought of never seeing Lucy again. The next morning, she was still upset, so I asked around in the Windjammer if Lucy was working, and with another waiter’s help, we found her! She comforted my daughter, gave her email address to her, and told her she wanted to be happy, not sad. I have pictures which show what this moment meant to my daughter. This might not seem like the “wow” factor to some, but any mother will know how meaningful this was.

    Adam, the company does a phenomenal job in training its crew to be friendly and establish relationships with the guests. You also hire some exemplary employees!

    • Adam

      Pam, we are very happy to hear that Lucy was able to deliver that very special WOW to you and your daughter onboard Freedom of the Seas! It’s great to hear that our Gold Anchor service had such a profound effect on your daughter. We would love to see the pictures you took during your trip, feel free to post them on our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/royalcaribbean.

  11. Matthew

    My past 3 cruises have been great!,all of them on Radiance of the Seas.I made a “friend for life” of one of the personnel,she’s very very SWEET!

    Being warm and wonderful as she is,she treated my Parents and I to the total VIP Treatment,we loved it all and cherish our friendship with her.

    (footnote Adam,if possible please email me about that.as I would love to give her High Praise)

    It was a fresh Fruit basket one day,veggies and other food the next..and finally on the 5th and last day,she gave us a complimentary bottle of Champagne
    to commemorate my Parent’s up coming 50th Anniversary!

    She has definitely defined the meaning of WORLD CLASS,and Royal Caribbean is definitely that,WORLD CLASS!

    Next trip coming soon,this time on the Oasis Of the Seas

    • Adam

      Matthew, thank you so much for your kind words. We are glad to hear that your experience onboard Radiance of the Seas has been so memorable. We look forward to having you onboard Oasis of the Seas with us again soon.

  12. andres

    Adam, I am 14 years old, born in Venezuela, and ever since I was 3 years old, I have been “obsessed” with cruise ships, as my friends like to say, but I’ve never actually been on a cruise ship. I know so much about cruise ships, about Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, but most of all, Royal Caribbean. I truly believe that nothing tops Royal Caribbean. Not even if the other ship’s floor was stoned with diamonds. I love Royal Caribbean. I can pretty much name all the ships off the top of my head and give some information about each and every one of them. I love cruise ships so much, when I found out the Freedom Class had a Johnny Rockets about three years ago (I had never been to Johnny Rockets), I made a promise to myself that I would eat my very first Johnny Rockets meal on a Royal Caribbean cruise. To this day, I have kept that promise, and will soon accomplish my goal. The very first cruise ship I ever saw was Carnival Legend, and next to it, Holland Vendaam if I spelled that right, in the cruise port in Tampa. I have traveled many times back and forth from Venezuela and the US, and EVERY TIME we are in Miami, I almost force my parents to take me to the Miami cruise port to see the ships, but out of my almost six times, never had the luck to see one there. When I first found out about Project Genesis, I couldn’t believe it. This was probably around December 2008. A zip line, a park, a carousel, all of that sounded unreal! I was seriously impressed! For the next many months, I wont lie to you if I say that I checked the oasisoftheseas.com website and the Chairman’s Blog EVERY DAY for updates!!! I was completely staying up-to-date with every single little detail that was happening on the construction site. I saw every picture, every video, read every thread, read every news article possible on Project Genesis. I saw the construction happen step by step. Me and my family were planning to go on Oasis for the second trip it was going to make, December 13th if I remember right. Somewhere around October 2009, things got really bad economically with my family and I. They told me our vacation was not going to be possible. I was really torn. Going on that cruise was my dream. I lost hope with every month that passed that I saw videos of the Oasis on you tube, and wanted so badly to be there. On top of that, family members saw the arrival at Fort Lauderdale and I didn’t. I was so jealous. I would’ve taken the chance to just see it if I could. Somewhere around March, my mom got a job with a cleaning company. She sunk into her mind that we were gonna get on Oasis of the Seas one way or another. Every Saturday, my mom and I (I helped her on Saturdays)went to work together, and the money made that day went STRICTLY to a shoe box ( I know, shoe box is the weirdest place) that was named Oasis of the Seas. Those were our savings for our vacation. My dad also got tips every once in a while from his job, that he put in the box. Little by little, every day of this summer, we built up the foundation of our family vacation. By mid-August, we had already a fairly large amount of money in there. My mom and I, one day after school, decided to go to a AAA Travel Agency. We got a lot of information about the cruise, most of which I already knew since I had done so much research but my mom just liked to hear about it from an “official” travel person. After the AAA talk, my mom laid out all the cards for me on the table. She told me exactly what our position on our savings was, and she told me that we could either go on Freedom of the Seas and be able to do excursions and restaurants and plenty of activities that cost extra, or we could go on Oasis of the Seas but give up everything that means extra money to spend. Although the Freedom of the Seas option sounded very interesting, I always had in my mind that if we took that vacation, in my heart I would always feel like I never made it all the way, and achieved my dreams. A week later, after A LOT of thinking, I decided to give up the excursions. We booked on Oasis of the Seas for May 21st, 2011. I cannot tell you how excited I am. I still cannot believe it! My dream is finally, after all these years, coming true. This summer’s hard work did pay off, and so did so much other side work I had put into it. Besides their honeymoon, my parents have never really taken a vacation that doesn’t have to do with work or visiting family in any way. This vacation is for us, and only us. For my, it’s going to be all I have dreamed of, and it’s going to be a “second honeymoon” for my parents. We had to book on a small inside stateroom but all we’re going to use it for is to sleep and bathe, so it’s not something important. I am counting down the days for our cruise. LITERALLY! I have a whiteboard in my room, and have written on it “267 Days Until Oasis of the Seas”. I hope for these next few months to fly by. I am already making plans on what I want to do aboard, and meeting Captain Bill is for sure one of them. I just wanted to take this time to share my story with you, and tell you how happy and excited I am to be soon boarding one of Royal Caribbean’s best ships, and looking forward to a vacation of a lifetime.

    • Adam

      Andres, we are very excited to hear your dream is coming true! As you may already know, there are plenty of exciting activities you can enjoy while onboard Oasis of the Seas. Your excitement can be felt through your words and we thank you for sharing your great story with us. We can’t wait to see you and your family onboard in May 2011.

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