A great deal has already been written about the Adriatic Cruise aboard the Voyager of the Seas from Venice. We agree with all of the port information and hints provided by our fellow Critics.
We found the transfer from Venice Marco-Polo to the VOS to be very easy and inexpensive! Catch the Aero-Bus at Euro 1.20 to the Venice Bus Terminal and subsequently pay 1 Euro for the People Mover from the Bus Station to the Cruise Terminal (1st Stop)
It is true that the checkin process is split between the bag drop building and the check-in area however, we did not encounter any significant delay and found ourselves aboard the VOS within .30mins from arrival at the port of Venice.
We met up with our fellow Cruise Critics on departure from Venice and kept in touch during the week which was very nice. The Cruise Critic meeting was on Thursday (only sea day) Chris the Activities Manager hosted the meeting, none of the Officers participated which was disappointing.
RAVENNA would be the only stop that we would consider as not worth going to see downtown. You need to take a taxi (4 of us, it was cheaper a taxi than the RCI Coach transfer) the travel time is approx 20mins.
Next to the cruise ship dock you will find a beautiful beach and a small town. If we were to visit again, we would have walked into the town and spent the day on the beach! - Nothing worth seeing downtown in our opinion.
DUBROVNIK is a gem however, it is a VERY LONG WALK and we recommend a taxi (10Euro) which takes 10mins to the Old Town from the Port, the RCI transfers are more expensive.
As for the Voyager of the Seas - We read several of the reviews on Cruise Critic but have to say that we found the decor of the ship to be quite tidy, so do not worry or think that you are about to embark upon a "Rust Bucket!"
Our last cruise was aboard the Oasis of the Seas which cost a fortune and overall was disappointing and totally overated!! - We would not travel on the OASIS again.
Not so the Voyager of the Seas!! We noted that the crew worked very hard, service was good, the ship is very clean, and we enjoyed some of the best quality food from RCI for sometime. We ate in the Dining Room and Windjammer, both provided excellent choices, the quality and presentation of the food was very good.
In the Dining Room we were seated with a family of fellow-Critics!! We received very good service from Anthony and Ursula and I am delighted to add that for once, our Head Waiter worked very hard and was very attentative too.
Several reports on Cruise Critic have panned "Merecedes" the Cruise Director. In our opinion, Mercedes is very polite, not 'Over The Top!' she works very hard (albeit that she is not as visual as some Cruise Directors.) We enjoyed all of the activities that the Cruise Directors Team prepared including the Masked Ball on the last night of the cruise.
The entertainment was also good. The highlight ofcourse is the Ice Show (FANTASTIC!!) in the Theatre we enjoyed Frankie Valley (East Coast Boys)and could have listened to them all night!
The Shadow Dancers on the last night of the cruise turned out to be VERY CLEVER (so don't miss it!)however, the start of their show is "I'm BORED, lets go!" so stick around, don't leave... they improve!!!
As for the RCI Singers and Dancers, they were good too however, the performances are based upon songs that the majority of the audience have never heard of and are out of date. Subsquently, people get up in the middle of the performance and walk out which is such a shame for the S+D Team.
Sing and Dance to modern songs and themes and you will have the Audience on their feet!!!
We enjoyed Elton John too, he looks like him, acts like him, but DOES NOT SING LIKE HIM!
Our Cabin Attendent was Carlos (Deck 2) and he did a fantastic job. I cannot recall a cabin smelling so "clean" each day upon our return from port. Towels were lined up, a Monkey, Elephant, etc.. every night as a surpise, probably the best CA we have had (OASIS of the SEAS was shocking!)
Trips are expensive and there were not many takers. Drop the price RCI, people will participate!
Drinks - We dont drink however, the prices that I observed did seem a little high for a glass of wine with dinner, a bottle was in the region of $50 for a low end wine which is a little excessive.
My only complaints would be the following:
Internet - VERY SLOW, VERY EXPENSIVE - Not value for money and in my opinion lots of POOR EXCUSES from RCI as to why the internet was so slow etc.
If I can fly at +30,000ft and receive high speed internet on an aircraft, I see no reason why the Voyager of the Seas cannot provide a similar level of service when docked in port!
RCI, if you are going to charge a considerable fee and make LOTS OF MONEY!! then the least you can do is provide a quality service to your Guests.
Our only other 'niggle' was the Captain!! - What a misery, no personality, he should retire at the earliest possible opportunity. Accordingly (and he constantly reminds you...) he is "the longest serving Captain in RCI."
He looks fed up with cruising, such a shame... the only member of the crew that in our opinion DID NOT try to please his Guests!
Apart from the above "niggles" the weather was fantastic, crew overall were outstanding, lots to do and see...
A great Cruise and a most enjoyable holiday!