Voyager is an amazing ship! The Royal Promenade is still the most awesome idea for a ship and makes the Voyager and Freedom class ships extra special. This is my third time sailing on this great ship from Galveston. I hope Royal Caribbean will keep her in Texas.
Even though I had sailed this ship twice last year, in getting ready for this years sailing, it seemed the one thing everyone on the cruise boards as well as me wanted to know about was any changes to the dining and food.
I am happy to say that Royal Caribbean has made some changes. First off, the menus have been redone in the dining room. They now include the "always available" entrEe choices in the main selections for main course. This makes it easy to see all that is available. Lots of great choices.
Lets talk about salads..... A few nights in the dining room, they had the salad in a stand on the table family style (reminded me a bit of Olive Garden). It was a nice touch for something different. The salad in Portofino's is one of my favorite salads ANYWHERE! It has feta and honey pecans in it. ...YUMMY! The salad bar in the Windjammer is excellent too. They have lots of topping choices as well as cold potato salad, a Greek salad mix, and pasta salads. The Caesar dressing is great too...not too salty.
The smoked salmon on the breakfast buffet is great on a bagel or English muffin, and I loved the grits too. A word about the coffee, it is pretty strong. We brought our own cream from home in the individual size International Delight creamers and instantly every cup of coffee was fine! I think the best coffee was in the Cafe Promenade, they also had my favorite coconut cookies everyday. The Windjammer buffet also offered cooked to order pasta which was always fresh and when we brought over some broccoli and olives from the salad bar, they were happy to cook and mix it in the pasta. Johhny Rockets was yummy and well worth the $3.95!
The service in the dining room was terrific, our table waiters Dominic and his assistant, and the head waiter Amed, and the dining operations manager Joe, and some waiters that we remembered from our last time on board Voyager were all great to see again and made dining a pleasure. One night they sang Deep in the heart of Texas after dinner and flew both the Texas and American Flag from the balcony! It was a fun nice touch.
Portofino's is well worth the $20.00 per person. The food and service were fantastic. Say Hi to Mimi, the Portofino Manager if you stop by. He is a charm!
They also offered the chili cook off by the poolside and are now doing a jambalaya cook off too at the pool. They also offer a BBQ buffet one day, and on our sailing due to the cloudy weather they moved it to the Promenade at lunch time and it was a big hit to have the buffet down the middle of the Promenade, not to mention lots of places to sit and eat with all the bar chairs and tables available.
Our cabin was an ocean view on deck 2 on the port side aft. If you have a choice on this itinerary, take the port side if you want to see all the action of docking and folks getting off and boarding. The window is quite large, and I only wish it would open! The room has plenty of storage for two people. One interesting thing to keep in mind, if you take a connecting cabin and you are not using the connecting door, they only put a chair and table in your room instead of a couch. We have had both rooms and now know the difference. The couch will block the door, so they only give a chair if you have the connecting room. The non-connecting room has a small couch and table. Just fyi if you do not NEED to connect. All rooms have a safe and fridge. Both are great! The deck 2 aft location was great, it was easy to take the stairs for all the ports, as they get off on deck 1 aft! It was also easy to take the stairs up one deck for the dining room! The aft elevator also let us right off at the Windjammer too on deck 11.
The weather was a bit up and down on our sailing. We really enjoy walking around the top deck, walking track and did so as often as we could. A fantastic view and great workout too!
We have seen the shows before on this cruise and they have not really changed. We did catch a bit of Merrill Osmond of the Osmond brothers, since that was new for us. We are always on the lookout for new things to do if possible. The Pig and Whistle bar is now non-smoking. Now, if only they would make the Schooner non-smoking!
In the mode of trying something new, we decided to take the professional photos on the ALL WHITE background. We really had fun with this, as they have you get barefoot and pose you in some fun casual poses. You can pose alone or with someone else or a group. I would do this again and I am usually not a big fan of the pictures. They were running a special in the photo shop, if you buy 4, 8x10 pictures of any mix from the week; you get a free photo album and picture of the Voyager.
As for the ports, we had been to all of these before. The weather was rainy and overcast with occasional sun. All I can say is I am amazed at the amount of unprepared folks! I know we all want sun, but if anyone looked at the weather in advance, they should have known to bring some dollar store ponchos or at least a jacket or small umbrella. Many people got off the ship and put towels over their heads!
In Cozumel, we went downtown and shopped around and had lunch at Casa Dennis. YUMMY! On the way back to the ship we stopped at the new "MEGA" which is a HUGE new store that is like a Mexican Wal-Mart! It was really cool and clean and new.
In Roatan, it rained, and since we had been there 3 times before, we decided to stay onboard the Voyager. The sun came out in the afternoon and we went to the pool.
In Costa Maya, we had pre arranged to go to the Maya Palms Resort. It was a great resort with good food and drinks. If the weather had been better, the pool and beach looked great. You can see it all on their website.
I start packing for my cruises about a month in advance. I make lists and mark things off as they get packed. I always read the thread on what people forgot to bring, so I won't forget. I think I did pretty well on this cruise, as there were things I was glad I had and a few I wish I had brought.
Here are few to help you out: Glad I brought: sticky post it note paper to leave notes for the cabin steward, lots of pens (seems you always need one), business cards (seems you always want to stay in touch with someone especially after all the folks we met at the meet in mingle and saw all week long!), water spray bottle (easy to spray your hair and go in the morning), a 2 liter of diet coke (perfect for one week of soda in the cabin and there was always ice in the cabin), my book, my mp3 and the portable speaker from home to play it in the room and charge it too! Don't forget the extension cords to plug it in at the desk and run the cord under the bed to the nightstand, lots of different size plastic baggies came in handy too. The only thing I forgot that I wish I had brought was a pump soap bottle for the bathroom by the sink. The little bars of soap they give you are a pain to have sitting on the sink all week, but not the end of the world. I will remember this for my next cruise.
If you have any questions or need help planning your next cruise, feel free to email me at C2Cmarci@yahoo.com and I will happy to answer.