What makes us love a ship is not the opposite of what makes us hate it. What I loved about the Voyager was its layout, its deck space and the first few days in the dining room. But overall it was the little things that let the ship down - those things that individually make us sound like whingers if we complain about them, but cumulatively help us make the decision to choose a different line next time. As a summary I would say that this ship would be excellent for short (less than 7 days) warm weather trips. It would be great for the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the islands of the Pacific as the ship has been laid out for outside living with lots of space on the decks and lots and lots of deck chairs, though with perhaps insufficient cover to prevent sunburn.
But it was the little things that irritated. I am used to being able to do my own washing and I found that mattered to me that I had to pay $15 for a small plastic bag of undies and t shirts to be washed. I also More
hated eating off plastic and drinking out of plastic mugs and plastic glasses. As someone else said, "I wouldn't do it at home, so why would it be OK on the ship?" It also wasn't OK to be provided some days with paper cups in the cabins (and sometimes not depending on whether the cabin boy replaced them after taking them away when he cleaned up).
My husband's major complaint was that the coffee was undrinkable, leading to coffee withdrawal symptoms of bad headaches. He found the use of HT milk made "an abomination". The ship calls at enough ports to have fresh milk. But even the Starbucks coffee you had to pay extra for that they are so proud of was undrinkable for him.
All the family went down with the sore throat that did the rounds (and daughter developed a scarletina rash making it likely to be scarlet fever) and my husband got the norovirus as well. That was really, really bad and all credit to the medical staff for their care and attention during that difficult time. We don't hold these infections against the ship or the staff as they really did their best under difficult circumstances.
I'm not sure about the food. It seemed great in that first week. But did the standards slip or was it just that I so enjoyed being looked after in that first week that mediocre food seemed better than it was? Certainly by the middle of the second week the food was just so-so. I gave up eating fried or poached eggs as they were always cold or too cool for them to taste right. The bacon was of the American style - cooked till it was very crispy - fine for me but not to the taste of many. I wanted to eat paleo style (grain free and sugar free) and mostly succeeded although I found that the servers at the dessert section had no idea of whether flour was in various desserts. They thought it was OK to offer only brightly coloured jello and chunky fruit to those who needed to be gluten free. I thought they deserved better than that. The sugar free desserts were often tasteless. The servings and varieties of vegetables were very limited and our waiter in the dining room brought us us additional veges at our evening meal. I was mildly irritated and also amused in the Windjammer that my husband and other men were given much larger servings of meat than I received, though if I insisted they would give me more - sometimes disapprovingly.
Other irritations? There were insufficient chairs inside when the weather was bad and upstairs on the 14th floor they kept putting on loud whiney music on the first week though that was turned off or was much lower volume later in the cruise, so all credit to them for that. The library was very small and had too few books for a ship with that number of passengers. There was no way of getting news of what was happening around the world and with the US elections being important to some it would have been nice to get a short daily news review as Holland America provides. Being constantly stalked for photos was annoying as was being got at to buy fresh orange juice in the mornings (extra $4 charge). The duty free alcohol was overpriced and had little variety so we weren't able to get what we wanted. The company advertised that there was an ice skating rink but when the grandchildren wanted to ice skate they were told it was open for a couple of hours on a couple of days only. That isn't good enough. If they advertise it they should have it available. There were other things that were annoying, but this is enough examples.
A couple of things that were excellent: the child free, adult sitting area was sheltered and well laid out. The gym was excellent. Our waiter, Leonardo was fantastic. He should be used as a role model for other staff. I can't speak highly enough about him.
So what makes it good is not the opposite of what makes it bad. On the whole I wouldn't take a long trip on this ship again and I wouldn't take it unless I was expecting the weather to be over 25 centigrade. Its the little things that have to be right and this ship doesn't do it as well as another line we have been on. Less
Voyager of the Seas Cruises to Australia & New Zealand