As the day dawn the anticipation mounted, and having travelled on several other cruise lines, including RCCL, cruising on the Voyager was a new experience. My partner and I also introduced 5 other passengers to RCCL, we had travelled with this group previously in March on HAL. and had such a wonderful trip we decided to do it again.
Embarkation was a breeze and on less than 40 mins we were on board and escorted to the Windjammer for lunch. It should be noted that we did require wheel chair assistance, I believe that the ease of embarkation was due to the on shore staff rather than Voyager crew, but having said that the Crew member who assisted was very pleasant, even with her limited English, this was to be a recurring theme I am sad to say.
Lunch was chaotic but as we were lucky to secure a table the food was ok. About an hour later we were allowed in to our stateroom, a balcony on deck 9. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself and welcomed us back to RCCL, and thanked us for choosing RCCL, shame he had to read a card to do so. Our attendant was pretty aloof the whole trip, we asked him about fruit, yes you need to ring room service, previously cruises it was not a problem for the attendant to organise. He left us his card with his number , however when ever we called it was never answered we were left to try and catch him in the companion way
Little things matter, and are like bills if they keeping piling up unpaid eventually your bankrupt,, so it was with this trip. The robes appeared after 3 days, and 2 trips to guest relations, we donated 1 to another in our party who needed it more. The complementary toiletries did not appear till day seven! again these were shared. On the upside the shower was wonderful
Dinner was uneventful in the Carmen restaurant, the menu was ok, until we found out that basically it was to be the same with only a minority of the items ever changing. The windjammer for lunch was almost impossible to get a table unless you joined the herd at the beginning of lunch service, the end, or battled the crowds - who had no idea of orderly queuing, and with 1 mobility impaired partner it was not feasible to queue. We either ate lunch in the Carmen restaurant, or ran the gambit and ate outside in the wind and cold - it is interesting to note that for dinner they have 2 sittings with 3 levels of restaurant and the windjammer plus a couple of other alternative venues Portofino's and Johnny Rockets. For lunch only 1 level of the restaurant was open and only for 90 mins- same amount of passengers significantly less seats !!! The food in the WJ was plentiful and reasonable varied, unfortunately hot food was cold by the time you got it to the table,, Have to say there were some delicious deserts, especially some of the sugar free ones,
Voyager is a beautiful vessel, without a doubt, a little tired but she is due to be refurbished next year. Hope that RCCL fixes the pervasive smells of sewage, in the companion ways and often in the stateroom- mentioned this to guest relations but never got any better. Even after they did emergency maintenance on it. It stank enough to almost make me vomit... and run to get outside... Mentioned this at the Captains Corner and had our stateroom numbers taken but this was at the end of the cruise.
There were 3 members of our party that smoked, and only joined us on this cruise because the smoking policy published by RCCL stated that there was smoking on the balcony and in parts of the CASINO... we were on a cold water cruise and those with the habit need to be able to smoke somewhere inside. THIS IS NOT THE CASE... no smoking in the CASINO at all, as I write this I checked the RCCL.com.au website and I quote... "
Casino Royale allows smoking and has a designated area for non-smoking guests. There will be visible signage indicating the non-smoking area in the casino. There are select cruises departing from China that will not have a non-smoking area in the casino. " This policy was confirmed by phone with Staff of RCCL in Sydney!!! We spoke to Guest relations who stated that it wont change its Australian law. My question is why publish a policy that is incorrect and certainly misleading
We felt that we had been deceived as it have been extremely unlikely that we have travelled on Voyager without this. There were those in the party that were totally isolated, unable to smoke inside and had to battle the cold winds. I don't expect sympathy - however I expect honesty from the company I am purchasing a product from. In most cases if you buy something and don't get what you thought you were you getting you get a refund or an exchange- there was serious discussion about getting off at the first Port which was Melbourne and driving back to Sydney...
Deck service (some of us like a drink with our smoke) was hit and miss, there are more cleaners than bar staff, and quite a few had challenges with English most were lacking a bit of personality or maybe it was because they like us were cold!!!!
It wasn't a terribly happy cruise and I know at least 2 of our party will never travel RCCL again, I would but not on Voyager too big, and too unorganised but the others had a reasonable time. Disembarkation was ok, although our stateroom attendant delivered the wrong labels and we had to chase around to get the correct ones