Fabulous cruise with a top shelf cruise liner: Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by taninaus
Overall Member Rating
Fabulous cruise with a top shelf cruise liner
Destination: South Pacific
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
Boarding - the boarding process has been improved since the last time we cruised with Royal Caribbean with the lines staying within the building. Boarding was delayed as they did a thorough clean of the ship to stop the previous incidents of Gastro/Noro (and it worked). We were able to drop our bags off at the pier and there are plenty of eatery options at Circular Quay and the Rocks. Boarding was a 3 stage process with staff at every section to help you complete the forms and go to the next stage. The one big thing we noticed - if you had powerboards you were taken aside at the security screening and your power boards were taken off you, there were about 400 in a box when my friend went through. Oh and boarding when muster is on (was at 5pm) is like the walk of shame :-) with lots of people watching you.
The Ship - this ship is much larger than the other options out of Australia, which means on More the most part that every one is spread out and there are lots of activity options available. Those who went to the 3D near new to DVD movies said they were great to watch. The evening shows varied in quality and interesting content - unfortunately cruise liners still think that most of their client group was born in the 1940's or earlier with not much in the way of modern or popular music for those in their 20-30's without going to the night club. The fitness centre was very popular with a good number of cardio machines (try and run straight on a rolling ship!), some fixed weight machines and benches. however it lacked fit balls and stretching areas without going into the group fitness room. the group fitness classes targeted the already fit but could be scaled to a point.
The only criticism is when the promenade is used for something it can be hard to see the entertainment between taller people and it is impossible to walk through if you aren't participating (the alternative is to drop to level 4 but this requires walking through the casino which may not suit some people.
Spa - the spa was a wonderful experience but very expensive compared to land prices for similar services (eg. $160 for a 1 hour massage). there were some daily specials offering 2-3 shorter time services for $99-119 USD eg. 20 min ea massage, facial and foot and leg massage, total 60 minutes.
Shopping - if you have lots of money there are stores just for you, if you are a mum and dad or regular person then wait for the $10 sales a few days into the cruise as the regular stores don't have much to offer you. for the cosmetics/body care ranges I am familiar with the prices were about 10-20% less than I would normally pay, but with the dollar at 90c plus what my card will charge I think it would have worked out about even. paying for your shopping is too easy (and tempting) with a swipe of your seapass card, so watch out for impulse spending. there is a basic snacks and essential items store tucked away in the alcohol shop if you forget essential items or need a sugar fix. all brands are US and prices are reasonable. Alcohol - duty free alcohol on the ship was great if you liked vodka, whiskey, rum and tequila but not much else on offer - if you want the biggest choice buy when they have the sale on day 2 (I missed out on a few things as I waited).
Cruise Director - we had Bobby Brown and Chris Brown as the main cruise director staff - these guys were very funny and provided a good program overall.
Food - we mainly ate in the dining room under My Time. the staff were very attentive and got to know our preferences to the point where a few of us with predictable drink choices had them arrive very soon after we arrived. on a few nights we also got an extra meal to sample that wasn't on the menu. while there was a heavy presence of seafood, there was usually a beef,. chicken and vegetarian option along with a standard set of meals that didn't change. the windjammer was the more casual option with some similar offerings but much more variety. we had no issues with finding a table as people came and went very quickly in this area. the Voyager also has a café on level 5 that had sandwiches, pastries, pizza and biscuits throughout the day along with free tea, coffee and hot chocolate - great for snacks.
Land Days - the ship tours were very well organised and at each stop there were touts at the pier offering direct sale tours about $40 less than the ship purchased ones. However the ship won't wait if you are late off ones they haven't sold and in Latouka the ship did have to wait for ship purchased tours - so that guarantee worked.
Suva was as expected, a bit gritty but we didn't feel unsafe here. there is good shopping with some department stores and smaller shops. if you can though get out of the city via a taxi or tour. our taxi driver offered to take us on a few hours tour for $20pp in air conditioning.
The stop at Latouka was not so great, we had decided not to go on tours and I think this was a mistake. the town is not set up for tourists, as simple as we couldn't get a map of the town to see where to go and there is no tourist info area. a shuttle bus takes you to Jack's and back to the ship. there are lots of shops up the main street full of cheap Chinese made stuff that you can get at Paddy's markets in Sydney with very little genuine items. the markets are interesting but didn't take long to go through so not really a time consuming destination. at this stop there were touts on the dock with some interesting tours that got you out of the city that would be worth considering.
disembarking - we chose the self disembarking at 6.30 - the only problem was the lack of staff marshalling those waiting which led to severe and unsafe overcrowding in the waiting area, including people stuck in the lift, holding the lift at that floor for 20 minutes. otherwise it was quick and efficient to leave (esp if you had nothing to declare) and there were plenty of cabs lined up waiting to take us all away.
Room - I had a promenade stateroom which is an internal room with a window over the shopping/entertainment area. this was a nice balance of affordability but not living in a windowless box. the room was reasonably spacious and comfortable and there was little ambient noise from the promenade (was at the aft end over guest services). Less
Cabin review: 7601
this was my first experience of a promenade state room (these are inside rooms with a window over the central shopping area). my room was at the aft end overlooking the general store and guest services. The room was very spacious with a sitting area, king bed and lots of cupboard space (you just had to be careful as you walked around the base of the bed as my shins will attest). the room was extremely quiet - most of the activities happened at the other end of the promenade. being able to sit on the couch and people watch was a nice distraction sometimes if I didn't feel like going out.
Port and Shore Excursions
Unfortunately we arrived at Noumea on a Sunday which virtually renders this port a waste of time unless you want to go to the beach or on a booked tour. all the shops were closed including the duty free and pastry shop.
The ship arrives in the container port due to its size, but the ship had shuttle busses to get us to the tourist centre that other ships arrive at. the tourist centre had lots of touts selling tours and transportation to see things around the island. it also had stalls selling lots of different items, some cheap imports and some genuine Noumea made, or improved, items.
we got tickets for a hop on/off bus that took us along the coast line to the main beaches. there were other busses that went further afield - make sure you check where it is going before buying so you get what you are after.
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