Back from Voyager to NZ inc Melbourne for 14 nights.
We are middle aged, have cruised before & travelled a lot.
Have been on Radiance & other cruise ships prior so can compare.
Gold Crown & Anchor member.
Expectations - realistic! ;)
Embarking - Arrived at 11.00am approx & was allowed to board immediately via C&A priority check in (official boarding time 1.30pm)
Took the 2 bottles of wine onboard no problems.
Cabin was 8612 - hump cabin on deck 8, available at 1pm when checked & bags were already waiting for us.
The cabin & ship in general were clean & in good condition, some minor wear on some furniture here & there, but didn't notice any issue with carpets as mentioned in some reviews.
Did smell smoke on our balcony more often than our last cruise on Radiance which was uncomfortable at times as the slightest wiff of smoke sends my sinuses into chaos, but not sure if this was the hump position of the cabin or just happened to have a smoker below us, neither side were smokers that I could see.
Staff & Service - Excellent! Both of our RCCL cruises have been great in this respect.
Some reviews have mentioned the Chinese staff had language issues, but in general I found them fine to communicate with.
Food - We did Windjammer for most breakfasts & lunches, did MDR 8.30pm seating every night bar one when we did the Murder Mystery night which was good & the meal was in Portofinos & quite enjoyable.
Windjammer food was fine, no issues with plenty of options. Only thing to be aware of was that some options on our cruise were only available in the rear section known as the Island Grill (eg omelette station, English style bacon, hamburgers)
Always found a table no problem even in peak times as we are willing to 1. share a table & 2. walk more than a few metres to find one.
We always selve served our drinks as well & placed them on the table to secure a seat along with our cutlery, then went off & collected our food.
MDR food was good, lots of choices & also enjoyed breakfast there & lunch a few times, especially liked the Tutti salad which is the select your own salad ingredients section in the middle of the dining room.
Promenade cafe - food was nice with a limited but changing daily offering of mini rolls with savoury fillings, cakes, deserts, biscuits & pizza.
Self serve Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate station here.
Ben & Jerry's ice cream had about 6 flavours available most days (pay for these)
Johnny Rockets - enjoyed the milkshakes & onion rings, had a BLT which was OK but not exceptional, most people seemed to enjoy the burgers from what I was told. Only did this the once as that place is a heart attack on a plate if you over indulge.
I don't drink coffee but hubby felt the American coffee was too strong & bitter, we heard from the cruise director that RCCL are trying to source a better option for Australian cruises.
Suggest you take your own coffee if you drink instant & like your own as they had tea/coffee making facilities in the cabins.
Shows - good on average, saw most of them & the odd one not to our taste - but that's life, they have to cater to many different tastes so we don't expect to love every show.
Ice Show - well worth seeing, although not sure I would rave about it like some reviews, but still good.
3D Movies in La Scala Theatre - Mostly on during the day & very enjoyable, much better 3D experience than our local cinema.
Saw the latest Madagascar movie, Men In Black 3 & the newish animated movie Rise of The Guardians & enjoyed them all.
Promenade 70's show & Dreamworks parades quite good & a fun party atmosphere, can get crowded though & getting their early you may get a seat but people WILL turn up at the last minute & stand in front of you. So be prepared to stand up if you want a good view or view from upper decks.
General Entertainment - good, we went to quite a few trivia games, didn't go to bingo, used casino once as we had vouchers but in general not gamblers so can't really comment, but didn't hear any complaints.
Lots to do or not do depending on how involved you want to be & all scheduled activities clearly marked in the daily cruise compass delivered to your cabin each night.
Cruise Director - Graham Seymour, quite funny & a nice guy, he held morning coffee chats most sea days in the Pig & Whistle Pub & answered all kinds of questions from the audience.
Had a morning TV show viewed via your cabin TV which was entertaining most days.
Shops - good with usual duty free alcohol which we found well priced as well as the expected souvenirs, jewellery, handbags as well as some cheaper options for watches, jewellery offered daily in the kiosk set up mid central Promenade.
Gym - large & well equipped although the gym hot tub was more often filled with seniors who were in their out of the wind, not all actually using the gym.
Pools & Hot Tubs, all clean & good, although not much used by us for many of the days due to cool weather & windy conditions. Adults only solarium good, but would be better if covered in like Radiance's.
Ships Tours - Did just one to the Hobbiton Village Movie Set from Lord of the Rings etc & really enjoyed it - great day out & found it to be good value compared to private tour options.
NZ was very clean & pretty, cooler weather in the South Island, but had clear weather for most of the sounds cruising.
Negatives for us were that at times the ship was cold inside at certain spots & also on the lower level of the La Scala theatre at times.
The weather though was cool for the most part due to a cool front & also because NZ is a cooler destination so to be expected & we packed jumpers/jackets etc in case & did use them at times.
Demographics, much older on this cruise than our previous South Pacific cruise, probably due to NZ being the destination, a lot of seniors (60+ years old- maybe 50-60%?), some quite a lot older (75+) than on other cruises we have done, not a lot of kids - that we saw anyway.
The odd rude person here & there, but no different than anywhere, rude people cruise as well it seems! LOL
Not many whingers, but of those people I heard complaining most were usually those that don't bother to read info provided, don't read their cruise brochure before boarding, or are too lazy/unfit to use the stairs so complain about waiting for a lift etc etc etc.
Basically self inflicted inconveniences in most cases.
Overall a good time. If you have fair expectations & are willing to do a little to help yourself at times then you should have a great cruise on Voyager.
No Noro virus onboard as far as I know either which is always a plus. :)
Looking forward to cruising with Royal again.