It was our first ever cruise, and we booked on the Voyager of the Seas for a trip around NZ over Xmas and NYE. We're a young married couple (no kids) and we booked it because we thought it would be relaxing, without too much headache in booking flights, hotels, etc.
Overall impression was reasonable. On the plus side, the shows were good, live music was great (maybe 6 or so different bands playing every day) and we enjoyed the food. The service was also quite pleasant, although several of the attendants struggled to understand English. However, we did have a fantastic cruise director (Gordon) who tried to keep everyone happy. Also I could never complain about the scenery in NZ which was absolutely breathtaking.
However, we were disappointed with the cruise in a number of ways:
- Ship had many, many people... there was lots of queuing up (BBQ on the deck on the final day had a 30 minute queue), and it was very hard to find places just to quietly relax. We were literally searching all over the ship trying to find a quiet corner, but it was tough. Obviously not helped by the large number of kids running around! (but on the flipside this does look like a decent cruise for families)
- The pools & jacuzis were quite small, and packed full of people. I hate to think what was in the water!! I never went in
- The decor of the ship was pretty tacky... think an RSL club... plus the tables, plates, cutlery etc were a bit dirty
- Wifi was prohibitively expensive... $6.50 for 10 minutes
- Coffee was awful - they seriously need to get a decent coffee/espresso place
- Miraculously, no Australian sport. I'm not a huge cricket fan but even I was disappointed to miss all of the Boxing Day Test!!
Overall, I'm happy I tried out the cruising thing, but I'd probably not book this ship / Royal Caribbean again until I have several kids and was going with a couple of other families.
However, I did really enjoy the shows and music, and the cruise director helped to keep things fun. So kudos to him.