After reading so many negative reviews of Voyager I felt that it was important for anyone considering Voyager for a future cruise to gain another opinion. From my experience most online reviews are generally from the complaint perspective as happy cruisers are off planning their next cruise not online voicing petty complaints. On that note, here goes!
We travelled as a family of 5 on Voyager on 22 Dec Christmas/New Year cruise. We have cruised 6 times previously. We are in the age demographic of 25-40 with kids aged 3-8. One of the few cruise lines in the world who offer a family of 5 accommodation in 1 cabin.
Boarding was fantastic, quick and painless and happy and helpful staff who understood everyone's eagerness to get onboard. 20 mins and we were on. The kids were hungry, so we sought out Windjammer for our first lunch. It was busy, but nothing like the Westfield food court we had encountered the day before. We were pleasantly surprised after the poor reviews of the Windjammer, food was fresh, hot and oodles of variety.
After lunch the cabins were ready so we ventured off to find our family ocean view cabin! OMG, huge is an understatement, main bedroom with queen bed, dresser, tv, double wardrobe and porthole, a separate bedroom with bunks, sidetable and wardrobe for the kids and a three-seater, double fold out sofa in the spacious loungeroom, with 2 single chairs and more wardrobe space and another tv, but sadly only one bathroom ;)
We had My-Time dining, so we decided to have a rest and then get ready for dinner. The Magic Flute restaurant (top level of dining room) was gorgeous with service to match. The children were treated like royalty and we too were made feel very special each and every night. Our kids mixed up their meals by ordering from the main menu and kids menu depending on what they wanted each night. My-time dining is fantastic.
Room service breakfast was in order for Day 2. Perfect, apart from I thought that ordering 4 pastries meant 4 pastries, not 4 plates of 4 pastries on each plate, oops, kids thought it was awesome. Like a few other days we skipped lunch as there was just so much food. Our preference was to enjoy lunch in the Carmen dining room, same with breakfast as we enjoy being served. We also had bbq by pool on last day.
Kids went and visited kids club. Wow, the kids club is kids heaven. Every day was something new including PJ party, discos, pirate night. A family holiday is not a holiday unless it has kids club, and Adventure Ocean is in a league of its own. Our kids loved every moment. Special thanks to No-hair Pierre, Kitty Kat, Alex, Happy Humphrey, Hello Kitty, Lauren, Step-up Steph and all the other amazing staff.
By Day 2 we were experiencing what I call 'Cruise Rage'. Here goes my complaint! The passengers are the only problem that we found onboard. Cranky, miserable, poor attitude and unfair treatment of staff provided for an overall negative vibe onboard. This continued for all 14 nights and we were disappointed that there are so many Australians with such self-righteous attitudes. There were exceptions, just felt embarrassed to be an Aussie. Everyone had a problem, instead of enjoying their holidays they felt it necessary to whinge and complain to whoever would listen. It was like they couldn't wait to criticise everything. Hearing things like 'that's going on my feedback form' gave me the impression that their holiday entailed writing lists of anything they could find to criticise.
Entertainment - overall was below the standard we have found on other cruises. With the exceptions of Dreamworks Move it! Move it! parade, the ice skating show, 70's disco inferno street party, illusionist John Taylor and Marty Coffey. We left many shows, and The Denise Canby Trio in High Notes were dreadful, making it impossible to sit through an entire drink. 3D movies, in-room movies and game-show type shows were excellent. The piano bar with Ed Manego was a true highlight.
I could go on for hours about how excellent the ship was, but I will just list everything we participated in and found to be AMAZING, really top notch!
- blackjack tournament, rockclimbing (yes made it to the top), ice skating, rollerblading, mini-golf, gingerbread decorating, bingo (hubby won!), photos, arcade, day spa (went twice & reasonably priced), pools and spas, Dreamworks character breakfast,fitness centre/gym, cupcake cupboard, adventure beach waterslides and casino.
Shore excursions - we booked all our own tours before the cruise. We mostly booked either our own hire cars, or private tours. Special thanks to Neil from TopHat Limousines Dunedin and Nicci from Marlborough Tours.
Highlights - we LOVED Portofino. We booked prior to boarding and our experience was brilliant, so good that we went twice! Kids loved Johnny Rockets, and the burgers were pretty good. The weather was so kind to us, perfect seas and plenty of sunshine. Kids also loved Ben & Jerry's icecream.
As a coffee lover, I understand other posts about Starbucks onboard. But people, we are on a SHIP in the middle of the ocean. The coffee was OK. Cocktails were very reasonably priced, and bartenders always made sure you were well supplied and happy with your selection. The overall quality of the food onboard was brilliant. Each and every meal was excellent and a well-thought out menu. We (including kids) enjoyed 3 courses every night and were all very happy, except with the bathroom scales on our return home.
Overall we had a sensational time, with so many happy memories and will sail with Royal Caribbean time and time again.