As a first time cruisers and vegetarians, we had some good times on Voyager of the seas from Galveston to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel from 1/16 to 1/23.
Parking and Embarkation: We parked our car at the EZ Cruising Parking lot and got a shuttle to the Cruise Terminal. We got some luggage tags and checked in our bags. We stood in line for around 20 mins to pass thru security check and then went to the ticketing agent to get our sea passes. From there, it took us around 10 minutes to get onboard. The first sight of the ship was that it was huge! Our inside stateroom was pretty small with a tiny bathroom. We put our carry-on luggage in the room and went out to the Cafe Promenade to get some snacks and then attended the ship briefing at the muster station (D17).
Ship sails away: The wind was cold and it took forever for the muster to commence (later than the 4 pm schedule). We later found out that the dancers in the shows were the muster leaders! The drill ended at 4:30 pm and we went to the 12th floor to see the ship pull off the pier. The winds were cold so we just loitered around the Royal Promenade.
The room: As I mentioned earlier, the room was tiny with the good size queen bed taking almost half the room space. We were able to fit most of our luggage in the shelves provided and hung our formal clothes. A good number of hangers were provided. There was a 2 person sofa and a small coffee table, which was more an obstruction than of any practical use. The TV was on a swivel desk and there was a safe and a small writing table. The bathroom sink stopper had an issue which was never truly fixed throughout our 7 day trip and we had to take the stopper off and put it to the side of the sink. The shower was too short for me (5'10") but my wife had no problem with it. There were enough shelves in the bathroom as well to put all our stuff away. The cabin carpet had some pretty nasty stains and there was no alarm clock. With the stateroom getting really dark once you switch the lamps off, it was hard to tell the time. Next time, I will take my travel alarm clock! The Menu on the TV was nifty and we could order room service on the phone or the TV. We could also check our room charges on the TV. We also had a small fridge stocked with sodas and water, which were not complimentary. No iron boxes were provided due to fire safety and our small iron box was confiscated and returned to us the last day.
The food: We ended up eating at the formal dining room (Carmen - Deck 3) for dinner. The food was great and we very much enjoyed the nice dining experience. Our experience was enhanced by our waiter, Pedrag from Croatia. He took special care of us, pointing out vegetarian dishes and asking us to avoid some of the dishes that looked innocent enough but contained gelatin. At the end of each meal, he would give us a preview of what is going to be served the next day and will also tell us where the ship will be and what we need to take care of. The assistant waitress was good but not great. She missed our drink orders two times and seemed very busy attending to several tables, which is not her fault. We had breakfast at the Windjammer Cafe and at the Carmen dining hall. We liked the Carmen experience better. It didn't have people stepping over each other for food like the Windjammer and the service was much better. They have a buffet of fruits, juices and eggs in the middle and we ordered french toasts and pan cakes for the side. In contrast, Windjammer was crowded and the food generally tasted more buffet like. We strongly suggest going to Carmen for breakfast. Lunch was the really hard meal for us vegetarians. Windjammer's lunch was very poor. Not only were there not many options for us but also the food was cold and listless. We asked for Boca patty for our burger and a nice cook got us a burger from Johnny Rockets. This was more the exception though than the rule. The lunch buffet really sucked at Windjammer and during port days, this was the only option. On the sea days, we tried the Carmen or room service and we could find more vegetarian alternatives. So for lunch, my suggestion is to avoid Windjammer and try the Carmen or room service.
The Entertainment: We tried to go to as many shows as possible. The welcome show was pretty good and the stand-up comedian was pretty good. The dance shows were very good (Disclaimer: I haven't been to very many shows/plays/musicals!). The parade was not great and was only a few minutes long. The ice show was great even though a couple of performers took a tumble while executing some jumps. The cruise director Casey Pelter was everywhere during the cruise and seemed to have a good sense of humor. He had a morning show and it was funny and slightly stupid, but we tuned in every day for that. There was a guy called Gary Mule Deer. We hated his show. He wasn't funny in the least bit but some of our fellow passengers seemed to like him much. There was another stand-up comedian on the last night (Chaz) who was good as long as he didn't do his loud mimcry (which he did often unfortunately). The Love and Marriage show was very funny and the Majority Rules show had a dude with real English language issues but that made it even more funnier. There was an old Rock and Roll group and there were pretty cute even though I don't listen to that type of music much. In all, the entertainment was good in patches.
The Shore Excursions: We didn't plan ahead for our shore excursions so we booked them thru Royal Carribean once we got on the cruise ship. The excursions in all the three ports of call were well planned and we enjoyed them very much. However, we could've saved money booking by ourselves but we didn't mind this too much.
Cruising demographic: There were a LOT of retirees and seniors on our ship. My wife and I agreed that the percentage of people 50 and older is around 80% of the total number of passengers. The contrast was very apparent when the Carnival Conquest, which sailed with the Voyager of the Seas all the way from Galveston and back had passengers that were much younger. We met them during our shore excursions and they were a youthful bunch!
Disembarkation: We arrived back on 1/23 and we asked for the earliest time we could disembark (8:45 to 9:15 am). We should've asked for a porter to help us since that line was far shorter. But even otherwise it took us around 25 minutes to depart the ship. The EZ Cruising Parking shuttle was right there and they helped us get ourselves to our car. Great service!
In conclusion, we enjoyed our first week long tour on Royal Carribean. Since we dont have anything else to compare it to, we dont know if this is the best cruise around.