A Visit to Down Under
Australia & New Zealand
Our recent cruise with RCL on Voyager of the Seas will remain as one of our all-time best cruises. While the ship is very large with a high volume of passengers, the crew are exceptionally friendly. It was so nice to have superb crew who were willing to assist and ensure a pleasant cruise experience.
Some improvements can always be made and the main one would be for the shops onboard to carry more of the ordinary souvenirs that are common to port visits and the respective countries, versus the high-end leather, jewelry and watch shops that occupy a lot of space, yet very few passengers shopped in them. Another improvement would be to ensure more than one point of egress for port calls. Some ports included only one gangway for passengers, crew and supplies which caused a long back up when returning from excursions.
Passengers were required to wait in line while supplies were moved up the gangway.
All in all, the cruise was excellent and we recommend it to More
anyone who wants to take in both countries, and an added bonus was a stop in Tasmania.
One really nice feature on this ship is the "No Smoking" policy in pubic areas. It was so nice to roam throughout the ship and not have to smell smoke from cigarettes and cigars. Kudos to Royal Caribbean for promoting the no smoking. Less
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Cabin review: D1
Aft, balcony cabin with plenty of room. The largest stateroom we have had of any cruise line. It was described as a Superior Oceanview Balcony and we intentionally picked an aft location for privacy, the ability to keep our balcony door open, and to keep away from any smokers.
Port and Shore Excursions
Our excursion included the Aboriginal Cultural Center and a visit to the Penfolds Winery. Both stops were exceptional and very informative, plus the trip involved seeing much of the city.
We wanted to take in the sheep experience, first thing, which was accomplished at Sheep World. It was a very good visit, especially for those who know nothing about sheep wool. The added stop in Richmond was lacking with very little to offer, other than it was an old town, founded by early settlers to NZ.
Otago Peninsula and Yellow-Eyed Penguins
Dunedin was a great port call; but the ship actually uses Port Chalmers, then guests are transported into Dunedin and other venues for Dunedin. The staff who conduct tours to see Yellow-eyed Penguins, were all very helpful and gave a lot of good information about the penguins and their habits. They are amazing animals. This excursion will also allow the passengers to visit the local train depot and other city sights.
Tasmania is a "must see" for anyone. It is one of the Australian states and continues to be very progressive and modern in it's infrastructure. Our excursion included a stop at the Bonorong Wildlife Park which is a superb place to view Tasmanian Devils, Kangaroos, Emu, and Wombats. The staff at the park do a tremendous job of rehabilitating indigenous animals that need special care. Their goal is to try and return as many as possible back into their respective natural environment. It is important to note that the Park relies solely on private donations and they get no help from local governments.
This port was just average. It had little to offer that was unique and different for the passengers. Excursions included stops at a wool store, chocolate factory and the Filter Room, which gave guests an opportunity to sample various beers, ciders, and ales. If you didn't care for any of those options, no alternative was provided to guests. A request for a glass of wine required additional payment and the same was true for water or soft drink.
Since this was the last port at the end of our cruise, we opted out of excursions and toured the city of Perth on our own. A one-night stopover allowed for plenty of time to see the city and it's highlights. The weather in Perth was warmer than other locations which gave us an opportunity to wear shorts each day.
A stop at this port involved the geothermal experience, offered on the north island of New Zealand. The excursion involved a visit to Rotorua and a Maori Cultural Center. Both are very informative and there was plenty of time visiting both. One word of caution: be sure to have something to snack on because the ship does not provide box lunches or snacks and the excursion spans almost 5 hours, beginning at 10:30 a.m. We suggested they consider adding a stop for food or provide box lunches to passengers on the excursions for this port.