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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
The food was mainly Asian and considering there were 2600 guests, of whom 600 were Asian, we couldn't understand why the food was mainly Asian. On formal nights there were many people in colourful polo shirts and when we mentioned ... Read More
The food was mainly Asian and considering there were 2600 guests, of whom 600 were Asian, we couldn't understand why the food was mainly Asian. On formal nights there were many people in colourful polo shirts and when we mentioned this to the Restaurant Manager, he replied with "Royal Caribbean change their policy for the Asian market". Pity no one bothered to tell us, we had carried all our formal clothes from England. Also when we went on the trips booked with RC, it was chaos in the theatre, queueing up to get our coach numbers and then we waited for over an hour on the coach for some passengers to get on. The queues at reception on sea days were very long, all day, with people waiting to complain. The evening entertainment was the worst we have ever known and we have cruised about 20 times. After the first few visits to the theatre we gave up and went to bed early. The only good thing was the two waiters were brilliant and couldn't do enough for us. We shan't be rushing to book with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked this cruise for a special anniversary having been on several cruise holidays before. The cruise was very disappointing despite the ship being very well equipped and well maintained. We encountered problems from the first day ... Read More
We booked this cruise for a special anniversary having been on several cruise holidays before. The cruise was very disappointing despite the ship being very well equipped and well maintained. We encountered problems from the first day re embarkation- having to stand in queues for two hours plus, in a crowded area where there was poor communication and organisation by those people in charge of the situation. Once on board the ship there were long queues at guest services by people trying to resolve a range of issues. We had problems with the drinks package we had already paid for. It was not showing on the sea pass cards and despite having an email from Royal Caribbean stating that we did have this package the staff would not or could not sort it out for us. The food on board ship was plentiful but unfortunately it was not delicious! It lacked variety and taste. It is the first cruise we have been on where we did not gain any weight! Every cloud has a silver lining. We only had one evening meal in the formal dining room and the main waiter was rather rude and abrupt having given our allocated table to other guests. The food was not very good and we waited 45 minutes before the starter was even served. We usually ate in the Windjammer buffet restaurant so that we could at least choose what we wanted to eat. The friendliest crew member on board was the young lady at the entrance to the Windjammer - she always had a lovely smile and genuine greeting for guests entering and leaving the restaurant. The facilities on board the ship are very good-we enjoyed the ice show- the performers put on a first class show. The theatre shows were not that good. We had two juggling acts during the cruise and magician and comedian, alongwith singers. Most were mediocre in terms of their performance. The 'game shows' were fun and events in studio B enjoyable. The reason we booked this cruise was the ports of call. We wanted to get a flavour of the far east, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. They are amazing places to visit but we do not feel that we really sampled the true cultures and architecture of the countries. This is often a drawback with cruise holidays as there are limits to time spent in places and so on. The cabin we had was spacious enough for two people, even though the bathroom area is quite small. We only saw our steward 3 or 4 times during the cruise. This is quite unusual as they are often keen to build up some rappport with guests to ensure a decent tip. The organisation during shore excursions was often poor- having lots of people crowded into the Savoy theatre waiting to get tour stickers or even worse crowded on the stairs outside the theatre! I did expect disembarkation to be quite disorganised too but surprisingly this went very smoothly. We did meet some lovely people on board the ship and enjoyed many new experiences but compared to other cruises we have been on this was disappointing and many of the problems can be addressed quite easily by having better organisation skills, communication skills and tastier food. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We booked a cruise in the UK to visit China, South Korea and Japan on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, sailing 6th September. The itinerary was changed just a couple of weeks before we set off and South Korea was taken out and ... Read More
We booked a cruise in the UK to visit China, South Korea and Japan on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, sailing 6th September. The itinerary was changed just a couple of weeks before we set off and South Korea was taken out and an additional stop in Japan added (Fukuoka). No explanation was given initially as to the reason for the change in the itinerary however when queried directly with Royal Caribbean in the UK they couldn't tell me which I thought was unacceptable, this was explained by RC as being as a result of a MIRS virus in the country. A second change was made to our itinerary shortly before setting off on the cruise that of a change to our preferred dining arrangements. We chose My Time Dining for the cruise as we prefer to dine at night as and when we chose and not to be subjectd to s fixed time with seating at the same table each night. We like to mix with other guests on the cruise, this to us is very much part of the cruise, getting to meet other people from different countries and experiences. We were told that My Time Dining was no longer available on this cruise by Royal Caribbean again no reason given, and that we would be given the option of a 6.00 pm or an 8.00 pm sitting. As a prerequisite to chosing the My Time Dining option it was conditional that gratuities had to be paid in advance prior to the cruise date which we did in full. The cruise included a three night stay in the Swissotel in Beijing prior to the sail date and also included a free day tour of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. We were booked into a standard room but upgraded to an executive room which gave us a complimentary continental breakfast and access to the executive lounge for snacks, soft drinks, house wine, beers etc. which we thought was a good choice. On the day of the tour the weather was a really wet with thousands of tourists visiting the Forbidden City. We had to walk a considerable distance through the streets, in street flooded conditions from the bus drop off point to the entrance to the Forbidden City at Tiananmen Square where we were left standing in pouring rain for half an hour while the tour guide went and bought our entry tickets to the Forbidden City. After treading through the various areas of the Fobidden City, we decided that we had enough and took a taxi back to the hotel rather than go on the rest of the tour to the Great Wall. The transfer the next day by taxi from the Swissotel in Beijing to the Tianjin Cruise Port took two hours. We arrived at 11.00 am on the morning of the first day at the Cruise Port to check in to be told that the cruise ship had not yet docked and was delayed. We were told that boarding would not take place until 4.30 pm that day. We were also told at this point by a Royal Caribbean official that the guests on the ship would consist of 2200 Chinese and 800 'Foreigners'. We did not know that this was the case prior to booking the cruise and was later found to be an indication of what was still to come. No offer of refreshments of any kind were offered at the cruise port and we were told that if we wanted something to eat, to visit the staff canteen on the third level at the cruise port where we could get and purchase some Chinese dish. Chop sticks were provided, no such thing as a fork and knife was in evidence to eat the food and nothing to drink. After a considerable wait in the lounge at the Cruise Port where we were subjected to pushing and shuving in queues to board the ship with no public announcements in English to tell us where to stand etc we eventfully boarded the ship at 5.50 pm. Dinner that evening on the ship was a 'free for all' affair. The menu for this and subsequent evening meals was not like the traditional menu offered by Royal Caribbean on previous cruises where a set menu on one side and a varied menu on the other side would be offered. This was nothing short of a 'fast food' type menu, designed to suit the Asian clientele. Dining on a cruise is one of the highlights of any cruise in our book and this fell well short of our expectations. The food when presented was short in quantity and poor in quality. Some waiter staff lacked the knowledge and training and this was obvious however improved throughout the cruise. Our set waiter staff at the evening times were excellent in particular Lial and Erick. Entertainment 'variety' on the cruise was of poor quality in evening at the theatre and elsewhere on the ship. The acts at the evening performances were repeatedly performed by the same crew members unlike previous cruises where star acts would be brought onto the ship at various ports to perform. Wi-Fi on board was an extortionate $20 a day and Internet connection poor. The excursions ashore were typical of Royal Caribbean, expensive, however free shuttle buses were offered in some instances to nearby towns. We didn't think it necessary to see the doctor since my wife had medication with her on board. Communication on board as well as ship decor was geared to suit the Chinese community. No shocks there as we later found out that Royal Caribbean had leased the ship to the Chinese for, as we later heard for a period of 6 months although this was denied by staff at the guest information desk. If we had known this prior to booking the cruise, I very much doubt that we would have went on the cruise. Cruises of this itinerary may suit the Chinese community but certainly not our chosing. The one good thing, and this was through luck more than anything else was that we were grouped with some lovely people at the evening 'set dining time' of 8.00 p.m. Thanks to Chris, Glenda, Alex and Wendy for their very good company on the cruise. I think Royal Caribbean kept guests who chose this cruise very much uninformed and should have made them aware that this was not the normal Royal Caribbean standard to be expected and as a result has seriously damaged its reputation amongst Foreign guests on the cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past and are members of their Crown and Anchor Society and found past experiences to be excellent however this experience has certainly destroyed that view and we very much doubt that we would be cruising again with the Royal Caribbean cruise company or recommending them to friends or family. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
After a considerable wait in the lounge at the Cruise Port where we were subjected to pushing and shoving in queues to board the ship with no public announcements in English to tell us where to stand we eventfully boarded the ship at ... Read More
After a considerable wait in the lounge at the Cruise Port where we were subjected to pushing and shoving in queues to board the ship with no public announcements in English to tell us where to stand we eventfully boarded the ship at around 6 pm. Dinner that evening on the ship was a 'free for all' affair. The menu for this and subsequent evening meals was not like the traditional menu where a set menu on one side and a varied menu on the other side would be offered. Dining on a cruise is one of the highlights of any cruise in our book and this fell well short of our expectations. The food when presented was poor in quality. Entertainment 'variety' on the cruise was of poor quality and only one show at the theatre each evening. The acts at the evening performances were repeatedly performed by the same crew members unlike previous cruises where star acts would be brought onto the ship at various ports to perform. We could not enjoy the shows as the other guests talked the whole time through the show, came and went as they pleased throughout the show, and walked slowly in front of you instead of going around you as the show was on. I think Royal Caribbean kept guests who chose this cruise very much uninformed and should have made them aware that this was not the normal Royal Caribbean standard to be expected and as a result has seriously damaged its reputation amongst foreign guests on the cruise. We have not cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past and are diamond members of their Crown and Anchor Society and doubt that we would be cruising again with the Royal Caribbean cruise company or recommending them to friends or family. What food we could get to at the Windjammer was marginal at best with most food being cold, and the quality was rather poor, the soup each day was always the same egg drop soup or white fungus. This cruise should never, ever be offered to westerners at all. It is geared entirely to the Chinese market. Interestingly, when we did our survey through RC, they never even as much as contacted us to find out why we were so disappointed in our trip! The ports were good, and the scenery lovely in Japan. The ice show was outstanding; the cast on board performed a wonderful show together and was very entertaining. The ship was very clean, and the staff could not have been friendlier. This was a high point of the cruise. There is a strict "no smoking" rule in cabins and balconies that many passengers overlooked. The casino was the most popular destination of the cruise for the Chinese. If you are a non-smoker, this was not the place for you. This included the lounges surrounding, and above and below the casino. The Diamond/Concierge lounge in the Viking Crown was overrun with young children that were staying with their parents in suites. This made for not the best experience. We did have the choice to go to any lounge on the ship for our "Happy Hour", since three drinks were loaded on our card every day. The vast majority of the passengers were in tour groups that had chartered their shore excursions. These trip leaders were no help either, they all wanted to be the first group off. Returning to the ship was the same experience, all 80 chartered tour busses returned at the same time, at the final time for "all on board". Not a big deal, but we left late out of each port. If we had known that we would stay two hours late, we could have done more exploring of the ports. Shore excursions for the independent passengers were limited to about two choices at each port. We chose to do things on our own which worked out well for us. Overall, this was a great learning experience but not the best cruise we have had. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Overall, I was quite happy with the cruise. There were 2600 passengers (approx. 800 short of capacity) so nothing was too squeezy. Hate to think what it may be like if the ship was full. Embarkation was easy. Cabin - we had an inside ... Read More
Overall, I was quite happy with the cruise. There were 2600 passengers (approx. 800 short of capacity) so nothing was too squeezy. Hate to think what it may be like if the ship was full. Embarkation was easy. Cabin - we had an inside looking over the promenade on deck 8. It was wonderful if you don't like an inside cabin and so was the price. We heard very little noise from the promenade and I would book one of those cabins again. The couches in the cabin were looking a little worn but nothing else in the cabin did. Staff - dining and cabin staff were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble. Staff all around the ship were friendly including those in the cake shop. Food. I would give the food a 4 out of 5. I am vegetarian and there were plenty of options for me. I loved the cake café where one could get tea or coffee any time with a little cake. I only liked the cranola cake but it was there all the time. You could also get fruit and muffins etc. from the cake shop during breakfast time. I loved the fact that the cake shop was central and one could get a cup of tea before going to bed. There was tea/coffee making facilities in your cabin but I preferred the cake shop. Tea - it was reported the tea RCCL offered was not good but I just used 2 bags of either English breakfast or black tea and it was fine. Ship - The very expensive merchandise was a joke. Surely, goods priced for most passengers was a better option for RCCL. There were hardly ever any passengers in the watch/jewellery shops and the bag shop. Passengers went crazy over the $25 dollar watches on special but one has to wonder if they lasted. The one watch I wanted wasn't even available so why display the watches that will be on sale if only different styles are offered. The ship is beautiful and I loved the concept of the ship with the Promenade or mall on deck 5. It was just such a shame the shopping wasn't worth it because everything was too costly. I would cruise the voyager class ships again. Tours - We went on the Ship tour to Bangkok which was very good. The tour in Singapore with an airport drop off was just so so. Entertainment - the bands around the ship were excellent. The nightly entertainment was OK but not excellent. The ice skating show was good. As the ship was eventually travelling to Australia, it was good to see Australian entertainers on board. Pool deck - we enjoyed staying in the solarium which was not fully enclosed but that was OK with us. One had to have the card swiped to get towels but still there were way too many deck chairs saved with towels on them and no people for hours. I saw one attempt of the deck steward noting the time and taking towels away (late in the afternoon). He did not touch deck chairs that had other items on them. Gym - always got access to a treadmill. Disembarkation was good but I was on a tour. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
For starters, the main let down was the ship stunk of sewage, as you go at the back/side of the ship, it stunk really bad. In some other areas I could get whiffs of the same stench here and there. The cruise was ok. Plenty of food choices ... Read More
For starters, the main let down was the ship stunk of sewage, as you go at the back/side of the ship, it stunk really bad. In some other areas I could get whiffs of the same stench here and there. The cruise was ok. Plenty of food choices at the Windjammer. I didn't like their Main Dining food options, they stated the meat wasnt tender, very chewy, and they advised us to choose something else which there wasnt else much to choose from. The people were amazing, friendly people. I loved their service so much I miss them already! They all seem very happy to serve and greet everybody. Plenty of cocktail options! It was so easy to just want to go through the list and taste all their cocktails! And good price for the amount of each alcohol content that goes in each glass! The Ice show was fantastic, however they had no musical stories. They had good, single entertainers on at the La Scala every night, but they had no "wow" factor to the entertainment, except the ice show. The activities were rather sparse. Lots of trivia games were fun, but they also featured many bingo games and casino games to pay for. The other activities that were available were live music, health spa seminars and fitness seminars that did not appeal to us. We spent most of the time playing mini golf and rock climbing. The ice skating was fun too, but were only open for 1/2hr at a time, and when it stated on their activity list the ice skating was open, half the time it wasn't open to the public. I reckon I will definately sail on another Royal Caribbean cruise, but maybe not the Voyager. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We have cruised 16 times, 4 of those on RCL and the first on VOTS. We flew from Sydney to Beijing and spent 4 nights at Kempinski Hotel which was excellent. It was national holidays so Beijing was very crowded but we enjoyed what we did, ... Read More
We have cruised 16 times, 4 of those on RCL and the first on VOTS. We flew from Sydney to Beijing and spent 4 nights at Kempinski Hotel which was excellent. It was national holidays so Beijing was very crowded but we enjoyed what we did, although dealing with local customs and manners was a challenge!! We arranged a private car transfer to Tianjin which was a good option as it when well. The terminal is fairly new and well organised so after filling out all the paperwork we were on board within an hour. We went direct to our cabin, 6668 dropped our gear and headed off for a look around and have some lunch. The ship is large but fairly easy to get around and looking closely it is in need of an upgrade which I believe is happening in May 2014, that will make this a very nice and modern ship. Our cabin on deck 6 was very average as it was aft and the corridor always seemed musty and there was regular very nasty smells out on the balcony and our neighbours had the same experience. We left Beijing on time and off to 3 ports in Japan and all of these were excellent, very clean cities and well organised ship tours although you could do your own thing. Then to Hong Kong at the new terminal which is very new and not finished yet. Getting to the city from is here is easy and cheap on your own. Then to Saigon but that is over 2 hours away from where we docked so a challenge for many. This was an overnight stay so many stayed overnight in the city. Then to Bangkok again an overnight stay so many stayed there overnight as it is over 2 hours from the ship. Next to Singapore and the end for us and many others. In summary a wonderful cruise with great ports and smooth sailing. There are always some negatives on cruises so for balance I will state what they were in our opinion and from feedback on board many other people. We changed cruise directors from a chinese guy to a british guy after a few days and he said the entertainment for the whole cruise had been prebooked so he couldn't change much and that was a big problem as the programs and standard was terrible. The cruise visited some very interesting and I particularly enjoy destination talks regarding the history of these places plus general lectures on interesting world history. The presenters here struggled with English and just read from notes, very disappointing and I did feel sorry for these people as they were doing their best but the delivery was terrible and of no interest. The new cruise director did a couple of these himself and that was much better but as he said that is not his job these should be presented by professional speakers and/or historians. The entertainment overall was very poor as were daily activities and clearly poor planning was the reason for this. The Captain told us there were 55 nationalities on board and very few chinese so they should have know what to plan for. Food in the restaurant was always very good as was the service. The buffet was always average to good but not to HAL or Celebrity standard. Staff as usual were excellent in all areas, the casino was dated and poorly laid out. I believe this will be an excellent ship after the upgrade so we will give it another go the. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We have just returned from a thirty day cruise from Tianjin China to Sydney. Back to back. Loved the cruise, especially the ports of call on the first cruise,, Nagasaki, Fukoka , Okinawa, all in Japan, then Hong Kong ,Vietnam , Thailand ... Read More
We have just returned from a thirty day cruise from Tianjin China to Sydney. Back to back. Loved the cruise, especially the ports of call on the first cruise,, Nagasaki, Fukoka , Okinawa, all in Japan, then Hong Kong ,Vietnam , Thailand and Singapore, 2 Nd cruise was to Malaysia then to Darwin , Brisbane & Sydney. A wonderful cruise , ships staff all very helpful and friendly . The panorama coffee shop was a hit with everyone where you could go make a drink any time of the day or night, on board shops a disaster, don't cater for Australians at all and all items were very expensive. The alcohol twice and more of what you would pay in Australia. Entertainment ok except some of the magician acts a bit weak. Loved Rhonda Burchmore, she got a standing ovation, think they need more entertainers like her to suit the age group cruising. We did several ships tours which were good. The cruise directors terrible , started off with someone called Fang, he was replaced and we ended up with Luke what a rude person so full of himself, do hope our next cruise he is not on board. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We travelled as a family of two adults and a teenager on the Voyager of the Seas. Our cruise departed Tianjin on 8th October 2013 for 16 nights arriving in Singapore. I enjoyed reading of other’s experiences on this grand ship before we ... Read More
We travelled as a family of two adults and a teenager on the Voyager of the Seas. Our cruise departed Tianjin on 8th October 2013 for 16 nights arriving in Singapore. I enjoyed reading of other’s experiences on this grand ship before we took our first ever cruise. Our choice of cruise was definitely because of the itinerary. It was a balanced compromise for our family to do a cruise (for my husband) visiting the Asian exotic ports including many we had never been to before (for me) on a ship with so much to offer for families (for the teen daughter). We travelled to Beijing and stayed for a few days prior before taking a shared minivan transfer for the two hour trip to Tianjin with 3 other couples -other Cruise Critic forum members. Check in at the port was very smooth and we were able to check out our cabin within an hour. Ports Nagasaki – Very easy disembarkation. The tram stop was an easy walk away and simple to navigate on our own for some sightseeing to the atomic bomb museum and Memorial Park.. Fukuoka – Canal city is the main shopping mall, nearby there is a couple of temples and a shopping street where you can find a Hakata doll shop. We took taxis to and from the ship port. Naha- Easy 20 minutes to walk to the monorail to go straight to the historic castle. Hong Kong – Landed at the new Kai Tak terminal. The ship organised shuttle buses to and from a central shopping centre that had a subway station. Easy to get around and a trip to the peak is a must! Wonderful food! The best Peking duck I have ever had! Hi Chi Minh – The city is a long way from the port. About 2 hours each way. We stayed over in Ho Chi Minh at the Grand Silverland hotel (fantastic hotel!) near Ben Than Market and took Vesper Tours of the city and countryside-Great fun and Highly recommended! The only downer was the long time it took to get off the ship in port. Immigration was rather sticky! Thailand – Again the city is a long way from the port. We stayed overnight in Bangkok – could not recommend the hotel this time! Singapore – Disembarkation was smooth. The Diamond Princess moored at the same time but there was not a huge wait for taxis and other transport. Food I did not really know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. If you did not like the food then you could simply choose something else. The Windjammer was great – it really does have something for everyone! Hamburgers, sandwiches or a plate of pasta at any time. Afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and cream! Three course breakfasts with my favourite pancakes with blueberries and fresh cream. The sea day poolside barbecues were wonderful with fresh salads and the best char grilled beef and pork ribs! The main dining room was great for breakfast, lunch with the Tutti salad bar and dinner. We ate in there most nights and enjoyed being spoiled by our very attentive waiters Mevin and Euclid. These guys were fantastic and made sure we enjoyed the cruise experience every night. They would bring us too many extras and their recommendations were always spot on! I am surprised at criticisms about the food on other reviews as I can only say that our dining experience was excellent every night! We chose My Time dining and found that worked well for us and we had a routine and the same service most nights. We never had to wait for a table at all. Cabin We had a balcony cabin (8222) and it was very clean and functional. There was plenty of space to hang our clothes in the walk in robe and the bathroom had plenty of space in the behind mirror shelves. I used an over door hanger as per other cruisers recommendation and it was great for keeping clutter off the limited desk space. The other top tip I was thankful for was to take a whiteboard marker to leave messages for other cabin mates on the mirror. The bed was very large and our Room Steward Marc kept our room tidy and clean. He was always helpful and nothing was too much trouble to ask for. Service I enjoyed the service on the Ship. Everyone from cleaners to bar staff was friendly and helpful. The ease with which potential troubles were dealt with at Guest Services showed the professionalism of the staff at Royal Caribbean. Always a smile and help when you need it. Overall we have a fabulous time on the Voyager of the Seas. I would highly recommend a trip upon this ship and look forward to returning to this ship one day and travelling with Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My wife and I have rececently returned from a 12 night cruise around Japan embarking from Tianjin in China. This was our first cruise and we did all the research and read the all reviews about this, and other big ships, along with Asian ... Read More
My wife and I have rececently returned from a 12 night cruise around Japan embarking from Tianjin in China. This was our first cruise and we did all the research and read the all reviews about this, and other big ships, along with Asian Cruising pros and cons. Before heading off we were excited and thought we were prepared for all we might encounter on this cruise. How wrong we were. Embarkation at Tianjin was realative seamless and we were on board and in our cabin by 1.00pm. Our Balcony Suite was spacious and well maintained for its age. Our cabin attendant Rodger was awsome. Invisible in his service but always available if we needed him, mainly for advice. Our first two sailing days were spent aquainting ouselves with the ship and its facilities and we were pleasantly surprised that the recreation facilities were mostly uncrowded. We chose My Time dining and our first meal in the dining room was below our expectations. Advertised options were not available and food quality was average at best. The next night we tried the Windjammer, but trying to find a seat was difficult and remained so for the remainder of the cruise. We had four more meals in the Dining Room (including formal nights) which did not improve with most of our meals served either cold, or dried out from spending an excessive amount of time under the heat lamps. Wait staff in the dining room were mostly overbearing in their attempts to seek our favour and upsell us for drinks. For docked days, we ate lunch at traditional Japanese restaurants so as not to rely on the ship for dinner. Often we left the dining room hungry and went to Johhny Rockets for a burger, or Cafe Promenade for a snack afterwards. Organisation at ports of call was non existant (unless your were booked on an RCCL Tour) . We requested exact port details from RCCL so we could plan to self explore. We docked at different ports in Toyama & Tokyo. The queues for Customs clearance, Guest Relations and Disembarkation were lenghty (often over an hour standing) as passengers largely disregarded crew instructions. Port transport options in Muroran and Busan were sadly lacking resulting in limited available time to explore these ports. The one shore excursion we did book with RCCL to Noribetsu Historical Village was overbooked, overcrowded and overpriced. Professional entertainment was average. Entertainment and shows by the crew singers and musicians was far better. Disembarkation at Tianjin at the end of the cruise was also chaotic. We waited for 2 hours at our designated muster point only to find out that the delays were not caused by customs clearance as advised by the crew, but again by wayward passengers disregarding crew instructions. Then a further 1 hour wait standing in a queue on deck to disembark. Our port transfer was subsequently 3 hours late. Numerous seasoned cruisers advised as not to be disillusioned by our experience on this cruise as it was not representative of a normal cruising experience. We are beginning to explore another cruise option for the future, but I don't think it will be on another large ship or with this cruise line, and certainly another experience like this will turn us off spending our holiday dollars on cruising in future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Hi thought I would share some of my experiences as I have just returned from a 12 night cruise on the Voyager of the seas. The staff were very friendly. The food in the main dining room was ok, but not up restaurant standards. It was mass ... Read More
Hi thought I would share some of my experiences as I have just returned from a 12 night cruise on the Voyager of the seas. The staff were very friendly. The food in the main dining room was ok, but not up restaurant standards. It was mass produced food. I was surprised to see how many recipes they got wrong. I would have thought they would have a top world chef researching this. On the up side you could order as much as you like and if you didn't like your meal there was no trouble in getting a new one. The staff couldn't do enough for you. The activities on the ship in the main were good. Although I thought they didn't need a skate track and an ice rink. After all how many people can skate and to have two activities that only cater for these people seemed a bit unfair. The Amusement arcade was good, but no one used it and I think this is because it was to difficult to use as you had to have American dollars and exchange them in a machine and as the ship is a cashless society no one carries cash. The overall appearance of the ship was a little tired, seemed to have lost its sparkle. Looked like they were struggling. But on reflection the ship is going in for a refit soon and all the money is probably getting spent on their new ship. Probably the most disappointing for me was the day spa. We did the right thing we thought by booking on line before we went, only to find out that they had specials on the ship. The towel I had was so ripped that my partner said at the end my arm was through the rip, and I could feel my toes also getting caught in holes. This made me look at my partners towel which wasn't as bad but was also fraying. Then at the end they spend about 10 mins trying to sell us something. The massage wasn't that good. There was no music, no herbal tea. For $330 I expect to be made feel special. The wine package was good and you can take what you don't finish at dinner to any of the bars or to your room or they will keep it for you for the next night. The organisation for getting on and off the ship was fantastic. And the welcome we got at the ports was excellent and very well set up. There was only one port where there was few problems but they had never had a ship dock before so I am sure they will get it right next time. The ship excursion's are very expensive. We joined a group on Cruise Critic and got excursions much cheaper. Also Most ports have free transport or taxis which is much cheaper. We felt and so did others that they were trying to get money out of you where ever they could. I guess it is a business after all... Over all we had a great time. I would highly recommend a cruise if you love food, enjoy a relaxing holiday or are elderly or have trouble getting around. Tracy   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My wife and I have finished our cruise from the 7th to 19th September 2013, on the Voyager of the Seas, a 12 night cruise around Japan and South Korea, leaving and returning to Tianjin in China. We have cruised before and this was our 10th ... Read More
My wife and I have finished our cruise from the 7th to 19th September 2013, on the Voyager of the Seas, a 12 night cruise around Japan and South Korea, leaving and returning to Tianjin in China. We have cruised before and this was our 10th cruise. We have sailed on Rhapsody of the seas twice before and other cruise lines, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity, so we can compare. We were very excited about the ports in Japan and South Korea. We have cruised Asia before in Vietnam and Cambodia. Sadly this cruise did not stand up to ROYAL CARIBBEAN standards in many areas. We did have a good cruise and a good time, but there were many things that we felt let down by. We may have obtained the cruise at a very good price, but it was never mentioned there would be poor food, poor shows and poor organisation at the ports. Embarkation at Tianjin was good and we were on board and in our cabin by early afternoon. We had a Balcony Suite, which was great and all we expected. Our cabin attendant was fantastic and did everything at a high standard. We spent the first two sailing days exploring the ship and had a good time. Sadly though the entertainment was scarce to non existent to what we expected and have experienced before. The Disney shows were great, but mainly aimed at children. There would only have been about 40 to 50 children on the ship. Very limited passenger participation activbities and the ones they did have were poorly run. At times it felt like it was the activities staff first day on the job. A big disappointment was the evening shows. We have come to expect great shows, but were sadly let down. When every announcement has to be said in 4 different languages, it makes for a very boring setting. On one evening when there was a medical emergency the Captain continued to give updates on the persons condition, but this interrupted the shows and the band ended up stopping the show altogether. You would think the passengers do not need a running commentary on a person’s medical evacuation. One announcement at the end is sufficient. We chose the early dinner sitting and did so every night. The meals were way below our expectations. On 4 of the evenings they did not have what is mentioned on the mebnu, and had to have an alternative. I have never had this on a cruise ship before and was VERY POOR. The meals were average to good, but not up to the Royal Caribbean standard. It is POOR when the advertised meals on the menu are not available. We only tried the Windjammer twice for lunch and found it O.K. but trying to find a seat was difficult, but that can be expected. The formal nights were good, but again the food let it down as nothing special for these formal nights. There was also no special shos around the ship for these nights. The staff in the dining room were very good ano in particular our table waiters were excellent. Organisation at ports of call was VERY VERY POOR and I could se a number of arguments between passengers waiting for shuttle busses as people pushed into the very lengthy lines. BUSAN, TOKYO, AND SUPPORO were very badly organised. As shuttles and taxis were random and no ship staff were there to organise queues and orderly conduct. We requested exact port details from RCCL so we could plan to self explore. We docked at different ports in Toyama & Tokyo. The queues for Customs clearance, Guest Relations and Disembarkation were lenghty (often over an hour standing) as passengers largely disregarded crew instructions. Port transport options in Muroran and Busan were sadly lacking resulting in limited available time to explore these ports. The professional entertainment on the cruise was at best average. On many nights there was only one show and on one occasion the show ws cancelled and the dancers did an extra show. No where near the expected standard. One exception was the ICE SKATING SHOW. This was FIRST CLASS and easily the best sho on the cruise, and I may even say one of the best shows we have seen on any cruise. Ell done for this show as it saved the cruise. Disembarkation at Tianjin at the end of the cruise was also chaotic. We waited for 2 hours at our designated muster point only to find out that the delays were not caused by customs clearance as advised by the crew, but again by wayward passengers disregarding crew instructions. Then a further 1 hour wait standing in a queue on deck to disembark. Our port transfer was subsequently 3 hours late. One passenger either had their luggage stolen whilst waiting for the shuttle bus back to Beijing or it was placed on the wring bus by a very disorganised and chaotic staff outside the terminal. I would say this POOR CRUISE was an exception to Royal Caribbean cruises and I would like an explanation from Royal Caribbean as to why this cruise was below standard. Tony and Mary. Sydney Australia. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We were excited by the ports of call on this cruise, Japan and Korea are places we always wanted to see. We were not disappointed with the ports themselves but the cruise (our 4th) was well below par. Stateroom We had a balcony, on edge ... Read More
We were excited by the ports of call on this cruise, Japan and Korea are places we always wanted to see. We were not disappointed with the ports themselves but the cruise (our 4th) was well below par. Stateroom We had a balcony, on edge of the hump on the 6th level. Very comfortable. Lots of storAge and an excellent shower with plenty of hot water. Our room steward was great, pleasant and friendly without being too in your face, he did a great job. There was a kettle in the room. Entertainment Not very much and the quality was questionable. The ice show was excellent. There was one production show, with dancers, quite good but we would expect at least one more on a 12 day cruise. There were "cultural experiences" but they were scheduled only at 9am, and altogether ( origami and a talk on kimonos in Japan on at the same time) the rest was occasional trivia, a table tennis comp etc. there were four formal nights presumably to allow for new passengers boarding in Tokyo. Formal nights seemed to be mainly about allowing an opportunity for photos, food was nothing special, no shows on formal nights. Ship The ship is a central atrium design which we quite liked, some parts looking a little tired, mainly furniture, with one exception. The aquarium lounge just looked unloved to us, the glass has been taken out of the aquariums, the "decorations" look like faded old carnival attractions, nota pleasant place to relax and certainly not somewhere to spend a fun evening, the other lounges were fine. Curtain throughout were a bit faded, tired. The shore excursion office was incredibly busy, mainly because of the mess on the web site and the port changes. At the beginning of the cruise we got someone else's tickets, unable to contact them, we waited in line for 2 HOURS to get our tickets. If they had staff working the line to answer simple questions the problem would have solved itself. Food This was a major problem, menus were mixed but half was not available. We had my time dining, usually ate at about 7.30. Service was fine, although one waiter told us in great detail about his lack of tips for room service work. The kng po chicken was the worst thing I've had on ANY cruise, deserts were ok, nothing exciting. Fruit in the Windjammer was hard to find at anytime, just melon and pineapple, the Asian section of the buffet was ok, but sushi ran out early, soups were always barely warm (I'm not sure there's an excuse for not being able to heat soup) prime rib was fine the first night but that was the only time a jacket potato appeared, even when on the menu it was replaced witha very uninteresting mash. Salad I the MDR for lunch was good. In general it was the worse dining I've ever encountered on any cruise. The speciality venues,Portofinos and Johnny Rockets were very good. Excursions and ports We only did three ship excursions, one in Toyama, one in Murano, one in Busan. Murano was added to the schedule on the ship and was an excellent tour to the Ainu village at night. Toyama was a trip to Kanazawa, left over an hour late, at11am, no food stops or even and opportunity to grab anything from a machine( it is Japan) far too rushed, 30 minutes at each stop, and at all of them the walk from the bus was at least 10 minutes, at a trot. Therefore we had 10minutes in the Samuri house, including taking off and putting on shoes, 15 minutes to walk around the geisha district, 1 hour in the gardens, including. 20 minute walk each way to get there. Busan was the same, the run through the fish market (which was supposed to be a highlight) was less than 30minites even though we parked 10 minutes awAy. The other ports I organised privately, but there was a lot of talk about the disorganisation and lack of transport. General weirdness I was told that RCI was a well organised cruise line, medium range but there were things on this cruise that made me doubt this. Our daughter bought us the romance package, everything great lovely roses and champagne, bathrobes waiting for us thanks to our great room steward. Canapés the first formal night were lovely, delivered on time. The second formal night there was a knock on the door and a room service steward handed over a giant silver plate of canapés, about 12 salmon mousse , two smoked salmon, a couple of falling over cheese canapés, all on a soiled doily, and all totally soggy. Obviously left over from a function much earlier in the day. The room service breakfast with the package had the normal menu, I assumed the the items above the line which did not have a check box were automatic, unfortunately that is not the case so there was no bread and pastry basket, no fruit platter but there was butter and assorted jams. We had scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, with no toast or anything else and tea . Prior to departure I booked and paid for a "premium wine experience" scheduled for the second day at 2 pm. We rolled up to the dining room, nothing, down to the desk, they had no idea but tried to find out, said it would be on later the next day, waited the next day at the dining room, nothing, back to guest services, just to arrange a reimbursement to be told it will be on and in the Compass. Second last day , behold there's a wine tasting advertised in the Compass so down we go again, only to be told its $10 ( we had paid $25 each) and that anyway it was cancelled due to lack of interest. Back to guest services to arrange a refund which this time was promptly organised. As previously stAted I organised tours privately in Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hokkaido. My contact in Tokyo informed me that our ship was not docking at Yokohama but at the the Oi terminal in Tokyo city, a considerable change. After 6 phone calls to various people who should have known this, including one to the US office, I decided that my contact probably knew more than RCCL about where their ships docked, including one rep who told me we must be docking at Yokohama cos it said on Google that this port is the Only one big enough for Voyager!? We docked at the Oi terminal and in a news article that day there were photos of the Captain and representatives of the mayor at a function on the ship announcing the future cruises from Tokyo (and NO ONE at RCCL seemed to have the slightest idea! ) On three occasions the Promadade Cafe was stocked with only Brie and cranberry bagels, heaps of them, but nothing else. The English pub didn't have English beer on tap. The Sportbar had the cruise DVD on continuous loop for the final four days of the cruise. ( on about 14 screens) needless to say the bar was totally empty. In general we both agreed that this cruise had somewhat put us off cruising as a vacation, which is sad because both MSC and Princess have given me very memorable holidays. I would need to be very reassured that RCCL had lifted its game before I even considered travelling with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My wife and I cruised from the 7th to 19th September 2013, on the Voyager of the Seas, a 12 night cruise around Japan and South Korea, leaving and returning to Tianjin in China. We have cruised before and this was our 10th cruise. We have ... Read More
My wife and I cruised from the 7th to 19th September 2013, on the Voyager of the Seas, a 12 night cruise around Japan and South Korea, leaving and returning to Tianjin in China. We have cruised before and this was our 10th cruise. We have sailed on Rhapsody of the seas twice before and other cruise lines, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity, so we can compare ships and lines. We were very excited about the ports in Japan and South Korea. We have cruised Asia before in Vietnam and Cambodia. Sadly this cruise did not stand up to ROYAL CARIBBEAN standards in many areas. We did have a good cruise and a good time, but there were many things that we felt let down by. We may have obtained the cruise at a good price, but it was never mentioned there would be poor food, poor shows and poor organisation at the ports. Embarkation at Tianjin was good and we were on board and in our cabin by early afternoon. We had a Balcony Suite, which was great and all we expected. Our cabin attendant was fantastic and did everything at a high standard. We spent the first two sailing days exploring the ship and had a good time. Sadly though the daytime entertainment was scarce to nonexistent to what we expected and have experienced before such as games, events and trivia. The Disney shows were great, but mainly aimed at children. There would only have been about 40 to 50 children on the ship. Very limited passenger participation activities and the ones they did have were poorly run. At times it felt like it was the activities staff first day on the job. A big disappointment was the evening shows. We have come to expect great shows, but were sadly let down. When every announcement has to be said in 4 different languages, it makes for a very boring setting. On one evening when there was a medical emergency the Captain continued to give updates on the persons condition, but this interrupted the shows and the band ended up stopping the show altogether. You would think the passengers do not need a running commentary on a person’s medical evacuation. One announcement at the end is sufficient. We chose the early dinner sitting and did so every night. The meals were way below our expectations. On 4 of the evenings they did not have what is mentioned on the menu, and had to have an alternative. I have never had this on a cruise ship before and was VERY POOR. The meals were average to good, but not up to the Royal Caribbean standard. It is POOR when the advertised meals on the menu are not available. We only tried the Windjammer twice for lunch and found it O.K. but trying to find a seat was difficult, but I do understand that can be expected. The formal nights were O.K, but again the food let it down as nothing special for these formal nights. There was also no special shows or events around the ship for these nights. The staff in the dining room were very good and in particular our table waiters were excellent. Organisation at ports of call was VERY VERY POOR and I could see a number of arguments between passengers waiting for shuttle busses as people pushed into the very lengthy lines, due to no ROYAL CARIBBEAN staff on hand. BUSAN, TOKYO, AND SUPPORO were very badly organised. As shuttles and taxis were random and no ship staff were there to organise queues and orderly conduct. We requested exact port details from RCCL so we could plan to self explore. We docked at different ports in Toyama & Tokyo. The queues for Customs clearance, Guest Relations and Disembarkation were lengthy (often over an hour standing) as passengers largely disregarded crew instructions. Port transport options in Muroran and Busan were sadly lacking resulting in limited available time to explore these ports. There was very limited information prior to the ports’, as we normally expect pamphlets or tourist information onboard prior to arriving at the Port. This was POOR. The professional entertainment on the cruise was at best average. On many nights there was only one show and on one occasion the show was cancelled and the dancers did an extra show. Nowhere near the expected standard. One exception was the ICE SKATING SHOW. This was FIRST CLASS and easily the best show on the cruise, and I may even say one of the best shows we have seen on any cruise. Well done for this show as it saved the cruise. Disembarkation at Tianjin at the end of the cruise was also chaotic. We waited for 2 hours at our designated muster point only to find out that the delays were not caused by customs clearance as advised by the crew, but again by wayward passengers disregarding crew instructions. Then a further 1 hour wait standing in a queue on deck to disembark. Our port transfer was subsequently 3 hours late. One passenger either had their luggage stolen whilst waiting for the shuttle bus back to Beijing or it was placed on the wrong bus by a very disorganised and chaotic staff outside the terminal. I would say this POOR CRUISE was an exception to Royal Caribbean cruises and I would like an explanation from Royal Caribbean as to why this cruise was below standard. This ship arrives in Australia in late 2013 and we were considering a cruise to New Zealand, but will now look at other ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We sailed on Oct 8th Voyager cruise from Tianjin to Singapore and truly had a wonderful cruise. It had a few negative aspects but overall we had a fabulous time. I have sailed Voyager before in 2006. Did not like the condition of the ship ... Read More
We sailed on Oct 8th Voyager cruise from Tianjin to Singapore and truly had a wonderful cruise. It had a few negative aspects but overall we had a fabulous time. I have sailed Voyager before in 2006. Did not like the condition of the ship back then (after only doing year long Caribbean cruises it was very rundown and tired in my opinion), but was pleasantly surprised this time. Our cabin 1624 was in excellent shape, with new TV, comfy bed, new sofa and a decent/clean bathroom with tub. Even the carpet was in good shape. Much much better than on Brilliance of the Seas in April. we did learn however later in the cruise, that not all cabins were in good condition. I guess we were just lucky being on deck 10. Embarkation was probably the best ever. There was so much paperwork to do, so many forms to fill out, passport copies needed, but RCL was very well prepared in my opinion. Check In staff had their act together and made sure everyone had what they needed. We sailed late due to immigration officers not being ready to leave the ship in time. No problem , we reached our next port Fukuoka in time. The demographics of this cruise probably surprised everyone, including RCL. Quiet a few cancelled the cruise months before ( as we learned here on cruisecritic ) due to the fear it will be a mostly Asian passenger dominated cruise. Well, it was not. Maybe 30% Asians, the rest from all corners of the world. A very diverse crowd. RCL was probably planning on having more Asians, the dinner menus at least reflected this the first 5 days. It was half Asian, half Western dining options. A welcomed change by all those experienced guests that are quite tired of RCL's never changing menu options. The food itself was OK. Sometimes good, sometimes less so. RCL really needs to improve their food in the dining room. We had breakfast and lunch either in the dining room ( good ) or at Windjammer ( the usual ). There was an additional BBQ at the pool every sea day, which was a nice touch. Johnny Rockets was also good. So there was a lot of variety to choose from every day. Portofinos was excellent, much better than on other RCL ships. We booked all our excursions except one through RCL before the cruise and were happy with them. They added a few options that were not available online and we had no problem changing one excursion. We received decent port information to the stateroom, there were also lectures about the ports/countries visited. I was amazed to see that many many people only booked their excursions sometimes only hours before reaching the port. The excursion desk was Always crowded, people often booked at the last minute. However as said, my experience was that RCL was very flexible and cooperative here. Guest relations was always full as well. Mostly because a lot of people have obviously not heard of banks that sell you foreign currencies for a reasonable price. SO most people seem to have come unprepared and rather used RCL as a currency exchange at a very bad rate of course, blocking guest relations mostly every day. Staff was trying hard to please everyone. I found them all very friendly and helpful, especially the Chinese ones. Our concierge was Chinese and very nice, so was our waitress and her assistant. They were brilliant! Entertainment was good to very good. Gordon our cruise director could not have been better. His humour and energy were 100% right for us. Organization in the different ports was excellent. Again kudos to the Voyager staff. The ports were all good, despite the fact that voyager had to berth in container ports nearly everywhere due to its size. That was maybe not so good in Vietnam (due to the long distance to HCM City) but also sometimes no problem at all like in Hong Kong due to the free and well organized shuttle to Ocean Terminal. However, at the end of the cruise RCL, as well as everyone involved in Singapore totally dropped the ball. Disembarkation at the brand new terminal was rather a nightmare, mostly due to the fact that 2 big ships were in port at the same time. Singapore was not prepared for Princess and RCL at the same time. It was a total shame for everyone involved. Chaos everywhere, totally overwhelmed and unprepared tour staff, bus drivers etc. I have never seen anything like this before. RCL had warned us before, that Princess would be in port and taxis most likely at shortage. That's why we booked a city tour with airport drop off. What a mistake!!!! Not only did we have to wait for the tout to begin over 1 hour, because luggage from the ship did not arrive for some passengers booked on the tour. In the end our bus was the last one, picking up passengers from the other 2 buses that had simply left with only little delay without the booked passengers. Our luggage did not go in the same bus we were in, but was said to be transported to the airport... We had mixed feelings about this, especially after seeing them marking the luggage tags with the needed terminal number ( there are 3 in SIN !!) at the very last minute by hand amidst all the chaos in front of the terminal. Did I mention everyone in charge seemed totally unprepared ?!? To make a long story short, after an exhausting excursion through the Singapore heat, we arrived at the airport ( missing 1 hour of the e4 hour trip of course). Well, rest assured, they gave us that hour back by letting us search for our bags, which were not where they were supposed to be. Bags were just dropped curbside, unattended in front of each terminal. A lot of them in front of the wrong one. Some bags seemed to have been left behind at the port, despite having the respective luggage tag. Most passengers were really angry and in disbelief about the whole situation. A terrible ending to a fab cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We also were on the Voyager of the Seas Asian cruise from October 8th - October 22nd. The cruise went from Tianjin,China to Fukuoka,Japan, Jeju Island, South Korea, Xiamen, China, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Bangkok,Thailand, ... Read More
We also were on the Voyager of the Seas Asian cruise from October 8th - October 22nd. The cruise went from Tianjin,China to Fukuoka,Japan, Jeju Island, South Korea, Xiamen, China, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Bangkok,Thailand, and Singapore. We, on the whole, thought it was a fabulous cruise!!!!! Yes, there were some negatives, but the positives definitely outweighed the negatives!!! The biggest negative for us, was that RCCL called us in August and told us it was going to be a "Chinese Immersion Cruise" with mostly Chinese passengers, food, entertainment, and languages. They actually implied that we would have a horrible experience. Nothing was further from the truth as there were mostly Britons, Australians, Americans, and Canadians!!! Only English was spoken. Check in was horrible and disorganized but at debarkation we walked right off the ship with no waiting and found our luggage!!! The food wasn't the greatest but the kitchen staff went out of their way to cater to my special diet. The staff all over the ship was exceptional! Most important of all, the fellow passengers were wonderful, and they made this a fantastic cruise. We met people from all over the world and formed some wonderful friendships!!! The ports were mostly amazing!!! We especially loved Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore! We booked a few private excursions in Vietnam and Bangkok and did others with the cruise line. The excursions we did with the cruise line were, for the most part, great. The only port we did not think was so great was our stop in Japan. All of our tour guides were very good and informative. Yes, RCCL has to get their act together in some areas, but on the whole, it was a fabulous cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
We had looked forward with excitement to this cruise in view of the ports of call, all places we had not been before. We had a cabin with a balcony on deck six which was well laid out, comfortable and well attended by our Cabin ... Read More
We had looked forward with excitement to this cruise in view of the ports of call, all places we had not been before. We had a cabin with a balcony on deck six which was well laid out, comfortable and well attended by our Cabin Steward. The facilities on board ship were good with plenty to see and do whilst not ashore or on sea days. All staff throughout the ship were friendly and helpful and quick to learn your name. The main downside of the ship was the evening dining. Having cruised before with other cruise lines we were disappointed to find that the standard of fixed seated dining was not up to their standard. We always enjoy the experience of fine dining whilst cruising but on the Voyager of the Seas the evening meals were average at best. The was only three courses provided and the variety available poor, they ran out of certain foods such as mussels and blue cheese despite having them on the daily menu. The excuse for this was that supplies had failed to arrive in Hong Kong, this also resulted in several beers running out in the bars. Due to the size of the ship the ports we called in were often Container ports, often miles from shops or restaurants. This did not bother us as we had booked excursions in most countries. The only port we did not have an excursion at was Fukuoka in Japan, we walked off the ship there and toured the city but in all honesty there was little to see and perhaps missing this port out of the itinerary and providing a extra day in Hong Kong would be preferable The excursions we did go on we're good value and enjoyable, I would recommend the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam and the elephant village Pattaya, Thailand amongst others. The entertainment in the theatre was mediocre but the ice show in the ice rink was fantastic. Our only other real gripe was with disembarkation. We were due to get off in Singapore at 9.30 am but were delayed until 12.00 and even then when we did get off the hotel transfers we had booked though the ship were not there and we had to wait around in total confusion until space on other buses could be found. The reason for the delay became apparent when I passed the staff member responsible for our disembarkation meeting area and heard him speaking on his walkie talkie. He had let groups disembark without authority and the expletives from his colleague ashore made it clear that this had resulted in the suspension of disembarkation. This particularly annoying or us as we only had one day in Singapore with our flight leaving at 2am so it restricted our sightseeing. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and will have many memories to look back on. everybody looks for different things in a cruise and as the dining is important to our overall enjoyment this did devalue the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Will it be my last trip with RCI , I've yet to make my mind up on that one. My trip from Tianjin to Singapore began well , with three magnificent days in Beijing. Every preconception that I had had of China vanished in an instant. ... Read More
Will it be my last trip with RCI , I've yet to make my mind up on that one. My trip from Tianjin to Singapore began well , with three magnificent days in Beijing. Every preconception that I had had of China vanished in an instant. The city was alive, virtually pulsating with life . From the great wall at Mityanu to the Forbidden City and Tianamin Square I was mesmerised! The city has approx M 22 inhabitants and is populated by more than M5 vehicles , each which makes its way across the metropolis ignoring all the rules of the road ( assuming they exist) People are extremely polite and everyone seems to be in possession of the latest technology. The underground is ultra modern, thronging with people and it, like the streets, spotless . Shopping is to die for with all the latest high fashion and luxury goods in abundance. If this is communism , then where did we go wrong! I booked all of my transfers to and from Beijing together with my trips to the Ming Tombs and The Great Wall via the Internet through Chinese official tourism sites . Dealing with the Chinese was a delight. They were incredibly efficient and polite even providing guest" pay pal " links to enable me to use my credit card. My tour guides arrived , bang on time , spoke perfect English and couldn't do enough for me. I can recommend China Highlights and Tour-Beijing. Com. I would certainly use them again. Anyway back to the Voyager of the Seas and the trip round the south china seas. Call me cynical but neither I nor most of the passengers were too happy at the ship docking so far out from some of the ports of call! Hong Kong was 30 minutes by courtesy coach but Bangkok was two hours away, as was Ho Ch Minh city. This meant that when factoring in a tour then you could finish up spending more time on the coach than you actually spent at your destination. I chose to travel to the tunnels of Cu Chi and spent two and a half hours getting there and another three and a half on the return journey. Result-- shattered! I don't know whether it was the sheer size of the ship which prevented it from docking closer to the cities or did RCI chose not to pay the high docking fees , preferring the cheaper option of the container ports? I leave the readers to ponder this one. On the whole I enjoyed the ports of call although I feel that I've seen every temple in the far east. Every tour seemed to feature a number of temples, albeit they were really beautiful. Japan was exactly what I expected, very orderly with incredibly polite people . Jeju in SouthKorea was a waste of time. Stay on the ship! Hong Kong - amazing. Ho Ch Minh - teeming with people and bikes. Bankok- only saw the temples before returning to the ship. Xiamen in China- amazing- modern - spotless- a true delight. Singapore- the highlight of the trip- do yourself a big favour and add a few days on at the end of the trip to enjoy the sheer delight and beauty of this modern , spotlessly clean Garden of Eden. Now to the ship. The crew were amongst the friendliest I have ever encountered , they couldn't do enough for you. This however is where the compliments end! The food was the worst that I have ever encountered on many of the ships I have travelled on over many years. Main courses were overcooked and dry and I found myself having to ask for vegetables, otherwise they might never have appeared! When they did appear however they consisted of broccoli and carrots.! That was the choice! Drinks were expensive as was the wine at dinner. The presentation was no better than one would expect of a poorly presented school dinner. The main dining experience was , in my opinion, so poor that I found myself eating on several occasions in the buffet dining room. To be fair to RCI however , when I complained to the dining manager , he did say that this had been a learning curve for them also and that they had had to cater for eastern tastes! He also stated that a lot of food had been rejected at Beijing as being below quality and other food had been taken on with Chinese script that they had difficulty in deciphering. I don't know if I can swallow that one! On one evening however we chose to dine at the Portofino restaurant which levied a twenty dollar surcharge. This was worth every penny and reminded me just how good the food should have been and undoubtedly could be if RCI got their act together. Other areas of the ship that needed improving included the theatre acts, where again I've seen better entertainment at my child's school. The skating on ice show however was superb. The library- the worst I've ever experienced at sea! Get a grip on this RCI, it doesn't take a lot of cash to sort this one out! Hardly any books and virtually no non fiction. Don't Americans read? The cinema was also an excuse for entertainment. It was tiny and the viewing experience ruined by the bright blue light shining on to the centre of the screen. The door to the small cinema was propped ajar and no one bothered to check that everything was in order before the film began. Poor show! The art auction- this was so loud as to be uncomfortable . Many people walked out and this in spite of the fact that I and others had asked for the microphone volume to be turned down-- alas to no avail. Having spoken to many fellow passengers , many of whom had travelled withRCI in the past , it seemed that there were obvious signs of cutbacks in a number of areas. Normally when you board a ship you are presented with a small fold up credit card sized plan of the ship- not in this instance- a sheet of A 4 was the proffered method. Likewise with the en suite toiletries-- where had they gone? Port maps provided were virtually useless and one got the distinct feeling that when you elected not to take a ship tour but rather do it on your own , then as far as RCI was concerned then you really were on your own! They did virtually nothing for the independent traveller. If travelling with RCI and if you plan to do your own thing then make sure you arm yourself in advance with street plans timetables etc. Be warned! The powers that be also failed miserably at giving out valuable information re local taxis, costs of fares , buses , where to pick them up etc. At the purser's desk they also gave out high denomination notes and refused to take back coins. If choosing to take a local taxi then the equivalent of a $20 or £20 pound note is about as is useful as a hole in the head! The port information lectures were invariably delivered at 10 am and were not filmed for the on board tv, so if you missed them, tough! What would it have taken to film them and put them on later during the day? On this ship , unlike others I struggled to find things to do during the day. Little or no interesting lectures, lots of tutorials on cake icing , ice carving, paper folding, origami, etc! Yawn!! The ship does however have lots of pool space , areas for sunbathing, mini golf, climbing wall, ice skating, many bars, cinema and art collection. Shopping on board was poor and most disappointing . A few expensive high end jewellery shops , some selling watches at £30'000. !! What was most obviously missing however was a general store. The "general" section amounted to a couple of shelves located in a fashion area. If you needed baby wipes, aspirin, elastoplasts etc then tough! I will not write off RCI just yet , but I will chose very carefully when comparing what they have to offer with Princess, Holland America etc. On this particular occasion let's just say I was most disappointed . Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
China Sea Royal Caribbean cruise last October, booked with ROL on the 'Voyager of the Seas'. Flew off with Qatar Airways - absolutely first class operators. Vastly overpriced Regal Hotel in polluted Beijing. Typical of Eastern ... Read More
China Sea Royal Caribbean cruise last October, booked with ROL on the 'Voyager of the Seas'. Flew off with Qatar Airways - absolutely first class operators. Vastly overpriced Regal Hotel in polluted Beijing. Typical of Eastern China the infrastructure was superb. Sailed to Fukohara, Japan; Jeju island South Korea,Xiamen China; Hong Kong; Saigon; Bangkok; Singapore. Including Beijing port that makes 9 but your box only allows for 8. Further cavils are that I was in the cheapest interior room but don't remember the code number and I may be slightly out on the number of nights. Great itinerary of visits but I'm crossing off Beijing and Singapore for being vastly overpriced. Fantastic, immaculate ship with a service aimed at patricians rather than backpackers - although I did appreciate the best gym I have ever seen and the most splendid food offerings. I should mention I dropped out of the set dinner as I was not prepared to dress up or tolerate fussy waiter service. On the latter point, their seemed much redundancy of staff and labour - I thought it was extravagant/wasteful. Great entertainment and I especially loved the karaoke and ice skating. Film fare could have been better and more varied (John Carter was srange choice). Didn't understand all the dressing up, gambling or expensive luxury offerings. Delectable staff - esp the Polish gym instructor and Land Dyak service lass from Sarawak. However, the cruise wasn't geared up to service lone, red-blooded, tho' rather ancient males. Room was superb and TV OK but repetitious. I objected to the persistent request over gratuities - as I hadn't noticed anyone providing any specially valued service worth extra remuneration. If they'd offered a massage I could afford, then that might well qualify but I wasn't going to pay over £100 just for the basic. These gratuities could well amount to more than £1M - so what about CTT, witholding tax just for starters! Quite a conundrum. At least all this was optional unlike the clipjoint capers in other cultural milieus where one can arrive to face unexpected surcharges/penalties! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
this was our first RCCL cruise. ( previously cruised Carnival ). the ship was huge, and with over 3000 passengers and crew on board, most would think crowded.. NOT THE CASE! there always seemed to be plenty of areas to find a quiet place ... Read More
this was our first RCCL cruise. ( previously cruised Carnival ). the ship was huge, and with over 3000 passengers and crew on board, most would think crowded.. NOT THE CASE! there always seemed to be plenty of areas to find a quiet place to just sit, enjoy the scenery, or just people watch. there are plenty of activities on board if you really want things to do.. Karaoke, card games, trivia, mini golf, inline skating, golf driving simulator, bingo, ice skating, indoor movie theatre, poolside music, and on sea days, a poolside barbecue and live bands.. the list could go on and on.. on the same token, plenty of bars, and a couple of café spots, just to sit and relax.. the promenade is lovely, but can get a bit crowded on show nights.. there is a true English pub, and a lovely little where you could find pastries, pizza , small sandwiches, and tea or coffee almost all night( all included in the cruise cost )great spot for those with late night munchies. there is also, what at first glance appears to be just a tobacconist / bottle shop.. however in this little gem you will also find everything from hairbands, to headache pills, Band-Aids and sunscreen.. I didn't know this til the last night.. (too late then :) there is a lovely looking coach ( handbag ) store.. a bit expensive for me, but they do have sale days.. heaps of bargains to be had here , so look out for them.. we cruised from Beijing to Singapore, and while I wont bore you with the individual tours that we did, I will tell you that there are so many options.. do your research on the individual ports before you go.. this makes the choice of tour much easier to make. we found with RCCL that there were more tour choices available on board, than was listed on their website, and although with 3000 people on board, some did sell out quickly, there were often similar tours still available. the lines at the tour desk could be long at times, but this is to be expected.. we were told that we could book tours on out in cabin TVs, but each time we tried, an error came up, and we had to go to the desk anyway.. we weren't the only ones, and were eventually told that this was an IT problem on the ship that they could not fix at sea.. oh well what could we do but go with the flow,.. this cruise is sponsored by Pixar I think.. had Madagascar characters making appearances all the time, so you would have thought that it was directed towards young families, however I found that more than 70% of passengers on our particular cruise would have been over 35...so I don't think that this was well thought out, but most found it amusing all the same. we ate at the buffet every lunch on board, most nights. we found it more relaxing, as we would come and go when we wanted, with all of the activities on board this suited us more.. we did eat in the main dining room twice on formal nights, and once in the Italian restaurant to join a friends 50th birthday dinner celebrations.. they were lovely for a treat, but not us every night.. I cannot fault the food or the service anywhere, but we are not on any special diets, nor are we fussy eaters.. probably the best advise I could give on this ship is ..BE PATIENT.. long lines come with the territory when you chose to go on such a large ship.. Read Less
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