We just returned from seven-day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. My wife and I (ages 65) took my daughter, her husband and our three grandsons -- ages 14, 12 and 10 on this cruise that left from New Orleans on March 31, 2012.
We chose this cruise because we could drive to New Orleans rather than fly seven people to New Orleans. We had three staterooms -- two balcony staterooms rooms and one inside room for the three boys across the hall from their parents. This was our seventh cruise and our second on RCI - the first RCI cruise having been 24 years ago. We have also cruised on Norwegian, Costa, Renaissance, Oceania and Azamara -- most with European itineraries. Our first RCI cruise and the cruise on Norwegian had similar Caribbean itineraries and the NCL cruise also originated in New Orleans. We took the NCL cruise with our grandchildren in 2009.
Voyager of the Seas is a big boat -- especially for us who are more accustomed to smaller, more More
intimate vessels. However, it worked really well. The staff and crew are fantastic and made us feel that we were on a much smaller boat. Getting on and off were handled very efficiently and with no issues.
The food was fantastic -- really it was. I did not expect much and the choices offered were not only good, they included lower calorie fare as well. We chose the My Time Dining option and ate most meals around 8:00 PM in the main dining room. Some nights the boys joined us -- some nights they did not. The wait staff was wonderful and the boys really only went to dinner with us so they could interact with Woravit, our wonderful main waiter. Thanks again Woravit for making dinner such an enjoyable experience!
Normally, we have found resort and cruise ship entertainment to be not worth the effort. This was NOT the case with the Voyager of the Seas!! The ice show -- that I reluctantly agreed to go to -- was amazing. The Drifters were great, and the comedic juggler on the final night had us laughing in stiches. The bands, the combos in the bars and the DJs were all over-the-top. This is a very happy cruise crew and it shows in their enthusiasm and professionalism. The kids all had a good time -- the older boys mostly played sports and the youngest did use the kid's club activities.
We had pre-booked our own private excursions in the three ports of call so I can't comment on the ship's shore excursions. Same with the spa -- we did not use it.
The Voyager of the Seas is a bit tired and could use a cosmetic refit -- especially in the staterooms. Our couch was a bit threadbare in spots but not bad enough to complain about. The bathroom was small but very efficient and there was lots of storage space all through the cabin.
The three days at sea did make getting shaded space on deck hard to find and in order to get a spot in the adult pool area you did need to be an early riser. Also, lines for the pool deck barbequed ribs and the soft-serve ice cream machine were a bit too long for my patience level. But, this was a spring break cruise for our grandkids -- not a luxury cruise for us -- and it turned out to be much better than I expected and we had a lot of fun especially for the price! Less
Voyager of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Balcony is very private due to its location on the ship. However, location aft of the 'bump' in the center of the ship restricts your view of anything forward of your room.
Room needs redecorating but is fully functional. Everything worked. Bed was surprisingly more comfortable than expected.
Bathroom was very good layout for cruise ship. Always enough hot water and great water pressure.
All of us had been to Cozumel before so we did not need to go to Chankanab or to spend time in town buying Mexican junk. Instead, we booked our own trip to Passion Island. We picked up two Jeeps in town and four-wheeled our way to the boat launch following our guide. The trip was over the beach and through the jungle and was a load of fun. We put the Jeeps through their paces for about an hour. Passion Island was a very nice - and very clean - respite. Good food, good drinks and great guacamole! The kids played in the water and on the beach. The segways that were advertised for rent apparently left for parts unknown. Oh well. All of us enjoyed our time here - with my son-in-law and me having the most fun 4-wheeling through the jungle.
loved our time Jamaica. We booked a private tour to Dunn's river falls and then for three hours at a private beach in Ocho Rios. Falmouth is about an hour away from Ocho Rios. Fortunately, we were one of the first groups to Dunn's River falls and that is a really good thing! There were hundreds of people there when we left and it was completely crowded. GO EARLY!!! We then went to a small private beach right next to the Riu in Ocho Rios. Their was great snorkeling right off the beach and the food and Red Stripe in the restaurant was really nice.