We were very excited to have the opportunity to travel on the Voyager of the Seas. We were a travelling party of 3 couples. No matter where we go we always create our own fun, and we did on this cruise. We travelled directly to the ship flying in on the morning of departure and arrived by taxi to the port. Embarkation and disembarking at the start and end of the cruise was excellent, no holds up and straight onto the ship. Our balcony cabin was on the 10th deck. The ship was huge and the formal dining rooms were beautifully decorated. We did not use the cruise shore excursions or children's clubs. Our evening waiter was outstanding. Between us, we participated in many of the activities, particularly shuffle board , mini golf and rock climbing.
However, it was the norovirus and poor quality of the food and food handling that really spoilt this cruise. I have read the previous cruise critic reviews about this ship and its issues with the noroviris stemming back to USA in February 2012. What was the most disappointing was the captain blaming the Australians for introducing this virus into the ship. Even though on day 3 he announced that there was no virus on the ship. The illness started appearing after our first port of call. Some of our travelling party and friends we met on the ship became ill and were put on a drip. We heard many stories of other passengers also seriously ill. The ships staff did its best to try and contain outbreaks,spraying and fumigating, however they missed one of the simplest key transmission points..the "sea pass cards". But it was too little too late. the food serving and handling in the windjammer cafe was of very poor standard, no doubt contributing to the outbreak.
At one point I actually wrote a letter of complaint that the staff insist that they handle everyone's sea pass card when getting on and off the ship, and again when ordering drinks, a key transmission point for any disease . Yet at no time were we requested to sterilise our cards or touch on and off our own cards during embarkation. I also raised this issue to the service desk staff who were quite shocked when I mentioned it. Their reply was that they sterilise the money, yet passengers very rarely handle money on board. Within 2 hours of my written request to have the disembarkation process reviewed, the staff requested passengers to process their own card. however not all staff would let you touch on and touch off though. pity they didn't ask us to also sterilise our cards at the same time as our hand washing.
Mostly we were always herded through the promenade street, again a major point for transmission of disease, just like a crowded shopping mall at Xmas , yet they encouraged street parties knowing full well that the norovirus was rife through the ship. We have travelled many cruises and have never come across the level of illness that is in this ship. Many fellow passengers, some travelled more than 30 cruises also commented that have never experienced the level of illness like we did on this cruise. This ship is a sick ship and needs to be fully decontaminated as well as processes and procedures revised to prevent continual cross contamination by staff.
The ship sailed under a "yellow flag" from singapore to Fremantle. RCI will not win over Aussies if they continually blame us for diseases and dirty habits . We will happily cruise again but not with this company!!