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Sad to say I had to disembark from my 9 night Navigator OTS trip to Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba this morning.  I don't think I could have asked for better weather.  I certainly have some comments and stray observations that I'd like to post perhaps in the coming days, but the one topic that is just on my mind is Voom.  

 

Having been on Oasis & Allure in the past two years I suppose I have been spoiled with connectivity.  With that in mind, I was excited to hear RCI was rolling out Voom fleet wide.  As a small business owner, I could keep connected in the rare event I needed it!  

 

I've taken the time to read many posts on the blog about what can cause service interruptions, low speeds, etc.  I felt prepared.  So in the interest of staying as objective as possible, even though we all love subjective criticism *insert sarcasm here*, I will say this about my experience with Voom on NotS. 

 

Connectivity was exceptionally slow to, at times, nonfunctional.  Many times websites would simply time out while loading.  I attempted to do a speed test twice daily after I noticed a speed not equal to Oasis.  Connecting to the network was never an issue, my devices connected without incident.  In total I attempted 19 speed tests over the last 8 days of the sailing.  11 of them were so slow the test would simply time out.   Of the remaining 8 that I was able to accomplish, I have attached the results of the best speed test for your own consumption.  

 

I attempted guest services with the results of my speed tests and knowing full well the guest services individual did not launch a rocket with satellite internet services, and wire the ship himself, I know there was only so much he could do.  On my first visit to GS I was given new log in codes for my Surf and Stream, and the second trip 3 days later, a 25% OBC refund.   The results of the new code were identical to the previous code.  Regardless of time of day, and location of the ship, speed was virtually nonexistent.  

 

So my dilemma is this, and perhaps someone can offer guidance:  I don't feel that I got what I paid for.  Do I contact someone at RCI and attempt to get a refund, and is that something that is even considered post-sailing?  I'm torn here because I love Royal, but I know mine was not an isolated instance, and to not deliver on something that was advertised in turn makes me disappointed in the online aspect of my cruise.   

 

I should point out two things in closing.  1.  The devices I used were a 2015 MacBook Pro, iPhone 7+, 6+, & 7, in addition to two iPad Air 2's.  (The family has an orchard of Apple products, don't judge.  We like fruit.)  2.  I was so upset with my experience, I booked Allure 7nt in April '17 and Anthem 12nt 12/2/17- obviously I was appalled ;-)

 

Sorry for being longwinded!

 

 

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Personally I don't get internet packages because I try to disconnect from the rest of the world while onboard; however, in October I was on Navigator for a cruise to the north coast of Spain and France, and both of the other couples at my table had the internet packages and it seemed to be working perfectly for them. One of them was even streaming TV shows they had recorded at home in Canada. I'm not sure why the difference in performance on Navigator now, but its hardware is at least capable of delivering better results.

 

As for your question -- sure, why not contact RCI? The worst that can happen is they'll say they can't do any more than they already have done, but I would hope they'd at least give you an additional OBC for your next cruise given the circumstance.

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Great review Ryan.  I thought you handled this as objectively as can be.

 

I was very surprised to see the speed reports.  On non-Oasis/Quantum class ships, it's not unusual for the speeds to be decent but the ping time to be quite high.  In this case, you have just awful speeds.

 

I sat here trying to think how I would handle this, because I will be onboard in February and doubt much will change between now and then.  I rely heavily on the internet while at sea, so hearing that these speeds are nowhere near Voom really bugs me.

 

I think I know what you're asking us: it's not that you can't handle slow speeds, but you feel like it was completely misrepresented as fast internet, when it is clearly anything but that.  (Correct me if I am way offbase).

 

I would definitely do a few things...

 

  • Mention (at length) in the post-cruise survey about this. Don't pull any punches, because those surveys are the most likely read feedback RC takes
  • Send an email to RC guest relations stating you feel the product was completely mis-represented.
  • You might follow all that up with a phone call. I've never gone to that length for anything, but I don't know how bothered you are by all of this.
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We are booked also in February. I suppose we'll have to rely on internet cafe' and working offline. Streaming seeems like an exercise in frustration.

 

FWIW, the satellite situation in the Southern Caribbean is surely poor. Which may contribute to the problem. I have seen comments that, during transATL and transPac cruises, connectivity gets spotty. I don't know if this applies here. 

 

I still plan to have a great time.

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Matt, 

 

You are totally right, I just felt as though it was misrepresented.  I definitely brought it up in my post-cruise survey, and I'm jotting a quick note to the RCI team on land.   

 

And like I said, the representatives shipboard were as absolutely helpful as they could have been.   

 

Good luck on your next sailing!

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