I've been on many cruises. Been on Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Star Cruises.
This is the worst experience ever.
Food was the worst I could ever experience on a cruise ship, a close 2nd behind Star Cruises. First time a staff scolded us on a cruise ship. I travelled with my wife, my brother, and mother. We requested that we both be separated into two tables, with 6 pax and 10 pax per table. We alternate tables every day, because we'd like to meet two different groups of people. People I met on both groups were lovely. One table was a family from Florida (Jacksonville), the other was a mixture of Australia, and Canada. The waiter on the 6 person table serving the Florida family, was very upset to see us changing tables. On day 3, he told us off in a manner, which he claimed later he wasn't scolding us, but he was loud, told us we aren't allowed to do that because it would confuse the waiter. The entire table was shocked by his attitude. We had to talk to the head waiter, and the head water assured us that we're fine. So we still managed to switch table every night. Food served at both tables were really bad, everyone complained. Twice I ordered medium cooked steak, and was served overcooked steak that tasted like rubber. After that, I refused to order steak for remaining of cruise, and sticked with chicken, fish, shrimps, pork, etc. Chicken weren't fresh most of the time. Food was served cold most of the time. A few nights the food was so bad, we decided to head over to Johny Rockets right after the main dining event. But the desserts were good I'd have to admit.
The corridor towards our cabin had a very bad odour, mostly smelled like bleach, and some parts smelled like damp mouldy carpets.
Bathroom had backflow of dirty water twice during our cruise. The water was stinky, and got out into our room. We had to vacate the room twice, but they managed to clean it up. They told us it was due to the waves, causing the ship to rock too much. We were unlucky to encounter rough seas on our way from Australia to NZ.
They closed the cigar lounge area, one of my favorite place to hangout when I'm on a cruise, especially on sea days. I brought exactly 10 cigars to enjoy, and I only smoked two. One was in the open deck, was a mistake, too windy. And another was in the disco area during the day, and the ambience there was terrible. There was only 1 attendant, no one bothered to serve me. I had to walk downstairs to get myself a glass of Scotch Single Malt. The reason they closed the cigar lounge is because they were trying to cater to the Chinese market during seasons where they cruise off Asia. But that room was locked the entire time. I can't enjoy my cigar in a nice cigar lounge with leather chairs, what a shame and turn off for a cigar aficionado.
Activities were almost non-existence. On every other Royal Caribbean, we see quiz shows all the time. We checked our cruise compass nothing much going on. Even the prizes given out were cheap keychains, fridge magnets, pin-lapels, etc. unlike other Royal Caribbean ships where they give out Champagnes for winner. None was given out. I attended every single quiz shows.
Only good thing about this ship is we did not need to queue up or show up early at the theatre every evening. On Independence of the Seas, which we sailed out from Southampton, the theatre is always full 45 minutes before show even begun.
Shows at theatre is the main thing we enjoyed, so we never missed any. The on-board singers were terrible, or mediocre at best. We found only 2 shows throughout our 14 nights cruise to be good. One was the ventriloquists, was the 1st day, and he stayed on and performed again on day 12 (if I remembered correctly). Another was a violinist.
I'm not against RCI, I've had great experiences with Independence of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, but this is rubbish.
Never in my life on a cruise that I've looked forward to getting off a ship. To make things worse, we missed Dunedin, but that's not their fault. Weather was bad. And we ended up with 6 sea days in a row.
We missed the Dunedin port, but no port charges were refunded. When we cruised on other ships, when we missed a port due to weather, port charges were refunded. I know it isn't a lot, maybe $20-$30 per person, but we still got ourselves some refund. This isn't a big deal, but wanted to bring it up.
Another good thing is that our Cruise Director was Luke Aerowsmith, from London. He was pretty good, very funny. But was told he will not be with that ship any more, as he jumps around often.
I will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean, as I'm a Diamond member, only 22 nights away from being Diamond Plus. Won't be difficult as I usually travel on 12-14 nights cruises, sometimes suites with double points, at least twice a year. Once I reach Diamond Plus, I'll explore Celebrity more often. But at the mean time, please avoid this particular ship (Voyager of the Seas) at all cost.