7 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Our cruise experience began in the dockside embarkation station set up by Royal Caribbean in Southampton, England. Royal Caribbean apologized that their computer system was not functioning, so the whole process resembled something more ... Read More
Our cruise experience began in the dockside embarkation station set up by Royal Caribbean in Southampton, England. Royal Caribbean apologized that their computer system was not functioning, so the whole process resembled something more akin to a boatload of immigrants seeking asylum at Ellis Island: long lines and short tempers. Once on-board, we marveled at the beauty of Voyager, with her well appointed, multi-story promenade running half the length of the ship, with cabins that overlooked the street-like scene. Upon entering our stateroom, we were pleased with the larger, family-sized stateroom (approximately 211 square feet, a little more money - but worth it). After a bit, we noticed that there was no welcome basket of free goodies (such as razors, crèmes, etc) that we had become accustomed to on previous Royal Caribbean cruises and other cruise lines as well. Also, robes were no longer provided for our use. The stateroom was clean and maintained to a very high standard throughout our cruise. A side note: stateroom television programming was abysmal. Signals were choppy, at times interrupted, and on one occasion, during the showing of the classic movie "Safari" with Clark Gable, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner, the movie looped back on itself at a point about twenty minutes from the end, and for about 36 hours you could go to that channel and continue to see the same portion of the movie, over and over and over and over again and again. Our traveling companions in a stateroom three cabins away reported even worse TV service. We reported these difficulties to our room steward who reported it to the appropriate personnel, and then we reported this malfunctioning to Customer Relations who were also malfunctioning, but on a different level. The food in the three-deck high dining room was very well prepared and the wait staff and service was excellent, but unlike previous Royal Caribbean cruises, most passengers had noticed and commented that the selections were rather limited to lower-end cuts of beef, lamb-chops so thin that they looked as if they had survived a death-march, and the inclusion of a nightly Indian menu (appetizer, main course) that most passengers concluded were introduced to cut meal costs. If you wanted a good cut of beef, like filet mignon, you had to pay an additional charge of $14.95, according to what my wife read on the menu. And, horror of all horrors, there was no lobster offerings on any night of the cruise. Now that is really skimping!! Royal Caribbean: if you want me to dress up like a penguin on formal nights, then feed me lobster. The desserts were generally very good, and there was always a sherbet and ice cream, as well as a sugar-free offering. In the Windjammer Restaurant on deck 11, we were assured that all the serving lines served the same foods. Not true! On several occasions, they ran out of the carving station meat (pork loin, roast turkey, roast beef) and simply stated: "there is no more". I'm sorry Royal Caribbean; that line just doesn't cut it. The breakfasts as well as lunch selections were plentiful and for the most part, very good. Often tables would be littered with dirty dishes, requiring you to clean them yourself. Then you would set your full plate of food down to go get a drink, only to come back and find that some bus person had removed it from the table and disposed of it. Come on, fellows, you're supposed to pick up the empty, dirty dishes. LEAVE the full ones! This happened often enough to be an annoyance. Bar service was difficult to understand. On some occasions, we would order a glass of wine from a bar, only to be told that "we are out of that wine, would you like something else/" I could walk to another bar and get that wine, but for some reason, no one else could. One waiter, Jose Junior, actually did go to another bar for my wife. Thank you, Jose. A few more "can do" people like you and Royal Caribbean would be far better. If you have a wine in fifteen other bars, how hard would it be for someone to lug a few bottles back to the empty bar? Duh, how many Guest Relations personnel does it take to screw in a light bulb? Also, many crewmembers could not tell you where different venues were located, or on what decks. Entertainment was either a hit or a miss. One outstanding performance was UK pianist/vocalist Jacqui Scott belting out Broadway tunes on the piano, performing a Beatles medley, and singing her Broadway hits. A standing ovation followed. And juggler Pete Mattews was a far cut above most jugglers and very entertaining. Sadly, the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were just marginal and had to resort to electronic enhancements to boost their vocal capabilities, which was only slightly better than their dancing. It also appears that some of them might need a good seamstress to let out their costumes, so that their portly condition doesn't detract from the performance. At one point, one of the dancers was struggling mightily to lift and hold one of the four stars aloft while performing a routine. Someone sitting behind us blurted out "he's going to drop her." That said, it should be noted that there are so many cruise ships vying for the best talent that these type of shows have become mundane and rather average; better than most high school plays, but a far drop from most college productions. However, the entertainment booby prize goes to a forgettable group attempting to pass themselves off as the "Motown" sound. They mostly picked songs seldom heard by anyone, that way no one could figure out how bad they really were. They should have been arrested for impersonating vocalists after murdering the all-too-few recognizable Motown songs in their retinue. But the really bothersome things about this cruise happened at the management staff levels. And I will enumerate these below: The "Explorations" excursion desk was only open from 7-8am, and from 6:30-8:30pm, which meant that you had to choose between being in line at the desk, or getting ready for a tour or getting ready for or having dinner. It was never open when it was convenient for the passengers, only the crew. On several occasions, passengers complained about being put on the wrong tours by the Explorations staff, which issued passengers the wrong stickers placing them on the wrong buses. One of our tours failed to stop at indicated points of interest on two occasions leading to long waits in 87 degree heat without any shade, seating, or bathrooms available. We were given a token $13.00 refund off our $55.00 tour ticket. Our friends were not even given that pittance. The service was very uneven. The Guest Services desk was very task oriented. In other words, if you wanted to change currency, euros to dollars, only one person was apparently trained to handle that task, and they were not always available; actually, more often than not, they were unavailable. And they were not capable of changing UK pounds into Euros without first changing them into dollars. Other staffers were similarly handicapped by a lack of thorough training, which led to longer waits for passengers with differing needs. The only bright spot in Guest relations was a young man named "Baris" He seemed to be the only person in Guest relations who had the chutzpah to make a decision. Everyone else had the "fill out this form, we'll turn it in to management, and someone will get back to you" attitude, about the most trivial things. It was truly exasperating. The Captain is touted as the youngest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. What a caring man. I am not a smoker, nor am I partial to those people who are, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander, unless you are the captain of the Voyager. Whenever the Captain made an official "meet/greet/photo op visit to the public decks, he prohibited smoking on all these decks. At first blush, you would think, "great, score one for the non-smokers." But he only did this when he was present. Apparently, our captain could care less about the passengers; he was only thinking of his own health and comfort, because as soon as he was off the public decks, the ship could once again light up to their hearts desire. And the "rock wall" and ice-skating rink they tout in their ads? Forget them too. The rock wall was mostly unavailable due to a lack of staff to man the safety lines. The ice-skating rink was only available during one sea day, and three times during dinner hours between 6:00 and 9:00pm during the cruise. Oddly, it was not open for use during the other sea days because the rink was covered and used for the sparsely attended art auction. Art auction personnel were not happy with the location either because of the coldness from the ice. But the staff was happy, because they were able to keep the auction out of the nice, warm Cleopatra's Needle Lounge, which might have had to be used as a muster station. I guess they could make that argument for every other lounge as well. Safety at sea is paramount. Needless to say, the only people happy with the arrangement were the staff: not the passengers who might have enjoyed some family fun on the ice, and certainly not the art auction staff and their followers. But the most serious shortcoming was a safety issue. On May 23, 2009 at approximately 4:00pm, we were returning to our stateroom after lunch and noticed a strong odor permeating about 100 feet of the passageway on deck 9 forward on the port side. Having served professionally as Hazardous Material Response Specialists, our traveling companion and I noted the odor to be either a diesel-like fuel or possibly a hazardous gas vapor from some shipboard operation. Neither was appropriate for a passenger area. We opened our cabin doors and the odor had infiltrated into the staterooms as well. We contacted Guest Relations immediately and requested a response to our area by ship's safety personnel. There was no response. We called again, still no response. At this point, my wife and I visited the Guest Relations desk and after a heated exchange with Guest Relations over their lack of grasping safety issues, I threatened to pull the fire alarm as a way to alert ship's staff. At this, they finally acted and sent a crew with air evacuation equipment to our passageway and stateroom. It should not have been like this. About an hour later, my wife received a call, purportedly from the bridge. The caller stated that the odors were gas fumes from a welding operation that was scheduled to stop at 5:00pm. My wife was advised to open the balcony door to let in fresh air. When she advised the caller that we didn't have a balcony cabin, he seemed surprised. I would hope that in the future, gas fumes from a welding operation would constitute a need for an immediate hazard response. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
I have just returned from the Voyager of the Seas Floating refit, this cruise will certainly make me think twice about ever sailing with RCI again. Boarding in Southampton was painless and when you walk out and see Voyager up close it ... Read More
I have just returned from the Voyager of the Seas Floating refit, this cruise will certainly make me think twice about ever sailing with RCI again. Boarding in Southampton was painless and when you walk out and see Voyager up close it definitely has the WOW factor. We went straight to our cabin a Junior Suite on 9 Deck to offload our bags. The Cabin was wonderful, very large with a walk in wardrobe and plenty of storage space, a nice size bathroom and lovely balcony (the cabin and balcony was probably the saving grace of the whole holiday). Our Stateroom attendant for the Cruise Alex Prosper was brilliant and the cabin was kept immaculate throughout, he entertained us with various towel animals in the evenings and was always happy and polite. The swimming pool area was under maintenance for the whole of the cruise, admittedly the first few days were too cold to use it anyway, but once it became warmer trying to relax around the pool became difficult, we had to put up with people using huge sanding machines on the deck and other noisy machines trying to get the pools finished, (Just a note here, Voyager had just come out of Dry Dock and these jobs should have been completed then). The pool area was still not finished when we pulled into Barcelona 11 days later. Adventure Ocean, the kids pool area, was closed for the first 9 days of the Cruise, again not completed in DryDock. Deck 12, with the running track was never completely open for the whole Cruise as they were replacing the deck covering, again surely this should have been done in Dry Dock. All that apart the Voyager does look good but they really should think about a major docking period as it is starting to look a bit worn in some of the interior spaces. Food - generally the food was mediocre, All meals taken in the main dining room were luke warm and towards the end of the cruise we used the Windjammer where the food seemed hotter. On the last night we ate in Portofino's, what can I say, the food was outstanding and the service immaculate, well worth the extra money you pay to eat here, if I were to travel RCI again I would probably eat here more often. Excursions - Didn't do any, we are very do it ourselves Cruisers (especially at RCI prices), however I do begrudge the fact that in Liverno you cannot just walk off the ship through the dockyard but have to take a shuttle bus for which RCI charge you $12, if you call into a port with limited access surely the Cruise Company should provide transport (just my Opinion) Entertainment - If you like BINGO this is the cruise line for you, twice a day they make shipwide announcements about Bingo, WHY?, they don't announce anything else from the Cruise compass daily activities list, whoops forgot they announce Art auctions as well, could it be they only announce stuff where they make money or am I just being slightly cynical. As for the other stuff, not bad, a good mix of entertainment, with Broadway style shows, singers, magicians and comedians. However the one you should not miss is the ICE SHOW, it was stunning, very professional and highly entertaining. The in Cabin television is a joke, we were shown the same 8 or so films and repeating programs for 11 days, maybe this is to get you to use the PAY FOR VIEW which showed not very new films at $12.95 each. I can buy the DVD cheaper than that at home.Drinks - Most bank robbers have the decency to wear a mask when robbing people, RCI do it with a smile, it may be a policy to stop people getting drunk, well it worked here, $12 for 2 Buds is a bit over the top. At least the bars in our ports of call made some money, if the amount of passengers in them were anything to go by. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
What a vacation!  We were looking for a port-intensive cruise to maximize our time in Europe and the Best of Europe itinerary more than met our expectations in that regard.  Since the cruise was 11 whole days, rather that review ... Read More
What a vacation!  We were looking for a port-intensive cruise to maximize our time in Europe and the Best of Europe itinerary more than met our expectations in that regard.  Since the cruise was 11 whole days, rather that review port-by-port, I'll hit the highlights of the main categories. Accommodations:  We splurged on a Grand Suite and were not disappointed!  The bathroom is very luxurious, the bed and linens great, and the space and balcony were awesome.  It was especially fun to make bets on the port captain's success jumping off the ship to his waiting boat after each port.  It's also a great place to relax with an adult beverage when dulling the pain of an injury from 2000 year old rocks.  Don't ask.  The cabin steward was fabulous and we loved how he learned our schedule within about a day.  Never had him bother us when we were sleeping in.  Our one constructive critique is that we would have loved a walk-in closet instead of the different closet cabinets. Ship:  Voyager just got out of dry dock and overall the ship seriously impressed!  There was a bit of work going on resurfacing pool and sport decks, but the lousy weather the first few days kept all but the craziest swimmers away.  It really didn't bother us any, and the solarium had no construction.  If you've never been on a mega ship, it's awesome.  We loved the atmosphere and the elegance.  Spa was nice - great port specials on our cruise that we took advantage of.  Not overly in love with the fitness classes offered - those were just okay. Food:  WOW!  If you went hungry on the ship, you didn't leave your cabin, couldn't find the phone for room service, or were taken ill and could only drink broth.  The dining room did not disappoint - so elegant and the food was terrific.  The three-course meals each night had much more variety than expected - Indian dishes, Italian, and vegetarian were almost always available.  Definitely an exotic flair!  Our waiter and assistant waiter were very personable, knowledgeable, and pretty much anticipated our needs - if we even mentioned an item, they generally ordered it for us to try.  The "O Solo Mio" serenade was fun and we really appreciated the ability to dress casual (read: jeans) on every night except the 3 formal nights. Ports:  This was absolutely the jewel of the cruise.  We cruised out of Southampton, so we spent a couple days in London before.  The ports of call were: Vigo Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Gibraltar, Sardinia Italy, Rome Italy, Florence/Pisa Italy, South of France (Villefranche/Nice/Cannes/Monaco), and ending in Barcelona.  If you love lots of activity, this cruise had it!  We were exhausted by the end of the trip from the long days back-to-back-to-back in port, but to be able to see that many countries in 11 days, it was worth the sacrifice.  We did some excursions through RCCL and some privately.  The ship's excursions we took were well organized and decently priced.  We took private tours in Rome (USE ROME-IN-LIMO - they are wonderful), Florence/Pisa (Tuscany by Taxi - good for getting you around but no guide included in the base price), and South of France (Revelation - a top-notch tour of little French villages, plus Nice and Monaco - use them!!).  Our favorites were Florence for the shopping, the South of France for everything - Michel the tour guide was great, the villages so charming, and the scenery amazing.  It's a place we'd love to come back and explore more.  The neatest surprise was Gibraltar - I would go there again to see the apes and shop!!!  Staff & Entertainment:  This was probably our biggest disappointment.  We loved Captain Patrik - he was very personable to us.  Not as impressed with Jill, the Cruise Director.  She did not really address passenger complaints well and I think that may have contributed to the "mutiny" (as it was referred to) on the last day.  Unhappy passengers confronted the Captain in a very public forum.  The issues really did not bother us - it was really about the work that was going on during the cruise, and we were in port so much we didn't really care since we were off the ship those days.  The scheduling of many of the fun activities also were just not optimal.  The game show-type events fell on long port days at the end of the cruise and were rather late for the early mornings the next day.  Just probably would have had better turnout if they had done that differently.  I can say that I was rarely bored, which was a big complaint I had on a prior cruise on Norwegian.   I thought the Cruise Director's staff were all very nice - dance lessons were fun, as were the cooking demonstration and some of the other activities. Overall, we will definitely put RCCL at the top of our list for another cruise and would recommend this to other couples as well.  Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
I traveled with a group of 15 from the United States.  we all arrived in London a few days prior to the cruise. We all flew Delta from CVG-LGW.  We stayed at the Hilton Tower Bridge. In London we toured the Tower of London, Tower ... Read More
I traveled with a group of 15 from the United States.  we all arrived in London a few days prior to the cruise. We all flew Delta from CVG-LGW.  We stayed at the Hilton Tower Bridge. In London we toured the Tower of London, Tower Bridge,St. Pauls cathedral and a few pubs. We also visited Wesley Chapel. We arrived at the ship around 12:30. It took us about 15 minutes to board. Once onboard we dropped of bags and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Our group had a sailaway party in one of the cabin suites. The ship had just come out of a refurb in Germany. The ship looked good; the staff was putting carpeting in some of the cabins and stores onboard during our cruise. Since this was a re-positioning cruise, the staff were trying to get eveything ready for the arrival in Barcelona, which was ten days down the road. Our cabin steward was ok.  We didn't see him that much. Our cabin was a grand suite and it was nice. There was plenty of room, since we were at sea 11 nights.  The size of the room was great.  We had plenty of closet space, and plenty of drawers to put our clothes in.  The bathroom had a double sink, and bathtub.  We had plenty of drawers in the bathroom for storage.  There was a makeup area with a counter and seat, and also a mirror and hairdryer.  The balcony was double size.  it went from the bedroom across to the livingroom.  The tv was hooked up to a bose system with speakers hung up on both sides of room.  The location was a little forward of the hump.  We had to walk about two hundred feet to get to the elevator and stairs.  We were on deck ten, so we went up one flight to the windjammer, and one flight down to the conceirge loungs.  The room was quiet,  we never heard any noise from neighbors of the pool area above. There were no rooms directly across from ours.  Location, space, size, and comfort, were great.  We also had a large couch with two arm chairs.  Our balcony had a table with four patio chairs. We did use the concerige lounge and concierge service more than usual. Martin (pronounced Marteen), was great. He got our entire group ice show tickets, made appointments for use, and even changed shore excursions at the last minute. The cruise director Jill Tasker, was just ok. She was not that involved with the everyday things; in fact I didn't see her that much. Not like other cruise directors whom seemed to be everywhere on the ship.  Same with the Captain. He stated on Day one that he doesn't do dinner with select guests. He says' he would rather walk around the dining rooms each night, that way he gets to meet more people.  In 11 nights at sea, our group never saw him in the dining room.  The shows were good; there were a couple of performers, mainly the comedians who were very funny.  The food in the dining room was excellent. The had plenty of choices, and over the 11 nights, I only say two items that were repeated at dinner. Desserts were good.  We ate one night in Portifino's and I have to say it was excellent, and worth the money.  Went to Johnny Rockets twice and both times had a great time. Saw the ice show (Ice Oddessy),  it was an amazing show.  All the bartenders were nice; I visited every bar on the ship and talked with the bartenders.  Most have been with Royal Caribbean for over ten years and they like the company.  We had a meet and mingle on the first sea day.  There was about 60 people;  got to meet face to face with all who were on the Best of Europe thread for the past year.  We had three formal nights on this cruise.  I rented a tux and shoes. Everything fit perfect. I was amazed; didn't need any alterations, and the shoes were a perfect fit. Never attended the art auction. Did not attend bingo, although members of my group won at bingo and won in the casino. My wife visited the spa and was pleased, I went to the fitness center on day and gave up. PLayed shuffleboard a couple times, and also play mini golf twice.  Did not climb rock wall, but members of my group did. All in all I was pleased with everything on this cruise. It was relaxing, the shore excursions were good, the food was good, the crew were nice; and our head waiter, tablewaiter and ass't table waiter were excellent. Junior, Olivia, and Ignohr, did a superb job.  The royal singer and dancers did two wonderful shows.  The royal promenade was great, and the staff at the windjammer did their best to make us feel at home.  The weather on this cruise was great. We had one bad sea day.  that was on day two from Southampton-Vigo.  We were in the Atlantic Ocean and it got bumpy.  The rest of the cruise was like sailing on a glass lake. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Background: We were 4 adults traveling, me and my fiancee and her parents. We were all new to cruising. Since I was a little kid I've always been fascinated with big ships and because of that it's been a life long dream being ... Read More
Background: We were 4 adults traveling, me and my fiancee and her parents. We were all new to cruising. Since I was a little kid I've always been fascinated with big ships and because of that it's been a life long dream being able to go on a cruise on one of the biggest ships in the world. All 4 of us are from Sweden and unfortunatly there's not many cruising opportunities there and perhaps that's why it took me 30 years before I finally had the chance of going on a cruise. Needless to say I had very high expectations for this cruise...We booked our cruise in oktober last year (2008) and thanks to www.cruisecritic.com I was able find the perfect cabin. We booked the aft cabin 7388 which was highly recommended on the boards and her parents booked an inside cabin with a view over the royal promenad.FoodFood... perhaps the most important part of the cruise for many people... so I'll start with that :) Before I go further describing the food let me just take a minute to explain that we're ordinary hard working people, we don't eat out every day nor do we eat in 5 star restaurants very often. I emphasize this because I've read some people that complain on the food and I guess that maybe, just maybe if you eat out on 5 star restaurants every day, then maybe you'll find something to complain about.We absolutely loved the food. 3 course dinner every day, what's there to complain about? Top that with the best service we've ever had! Breakfast was good, we ate all of our breakfasts in the Windjammer. There were enough lots of things to try for breakfast making sure you could have different things every day if you wanted it. We ate most of our lunches at Windjammer as well, twice we did try Johnny Rockets though, more about that later. Lunch is buffE-style and one could always argue about the quality of the food on a buffE, but there were always lots to choose from and in general well tasting food. As a comparison I stayed in a 4 star all-inclusive hotel in egypt 2 years ago and it's not even possible comparing the two. This food was so, so much better. The desserts was also very good, even though there were some that I didn't like there were enough I DID like unfortunatly for my weight :)My fianceE is gluten intolerant so that was something that worried us before we went. We didn't need to worry! They were very knowledgable about it and in the main dining room the head waiter usually helped us answering questions. Every night Marie (my fiancEe) got to select from the next days menu and the head waiter would say if it was possible or not. Sometimes they prepared her meal specially with special sause, sometimes she got no sause and sometimes she had to select a second dish that she wanted. But they were always very careful and tried their best to make it as enjoyable as possible for her. They also made special desserts for her at several times! They did have gluten-free bread but my fiancEe didn't like that very much so we she skipped it. But it is possible to get if you want it! One thing that took us almost the entire trip to understand is that when they make a special order with a special sause or something, they will only serve exactly what's on the order. Meaning that they won't serve any potatoes or rice with the dish even if it's on the menu. So at the end of the cruise we finally learned ordering potatoes and rice as a side order. Of course it was never any problem as our wonderful waiter Carlos would always get it for us.The service was excellent as I said earlier. Normally I don't really like stiff, fancy dinners with waiters hovering over me and to start with I was a bit uncomfortable about the waiter and assistent waiter always being around asking how the food was, if we wanted anything else or refilling our water as soon as we took a sip. But they were really nice people, making you feel like they really cared about you and your dining experience. They felt very genuine and soon I felt right at home. Thank you Carlos from Chile and Kristina from Hungary (I think)! The excellent staff is perhaps the impression that's going to last the longest for me, something I had not expected before the trip as I normally don't care so much about the service.Last about the dinner, we signed up for my time dining as soon as it became available. How someone would not want the possibility of choosing your own dinner time is beyond me! We ended up getting the same waiter almost every night anyway which was great! On future cruises my time dining (or similar program) will be a must for us to even consider the cruise. I also want to comment on an earlier reviewer who said it was hard finding food to eat on port days... were we on the same cruise? I felt like we were always eating, even my fiancEe who couldn't eat alot of the snacks on the royal promenade never went hungry.   The cabin As I mentioned earlier we had an aft cabin (7388) that we had found browsing cruisecritic.com. We absolutely loved it! Now it will be hard booking anything else other than an aft cabin, the balcony size as almost as big as the cabin itself. We had 2 ordinary chairs and 2 sunchairs and 2 small tables. We spent several wonderful sailaways and nights on the balcony. One thing I loved about having a balcony was waking up on the morning, opening the curtains and looking out over the ocean. The balcony cost some extra, but at those times it was worth it.   As her parents had a inside cabin in the middle of the ship we got to compare both the noise level and if the you could feel the sea more in our aft cabin. About the noise, yes, there is a slight humming from the engines which we could hear clearly sometimes. But to me it was just soothing and I to be honest I think the rythmic sound made me go to sleep faster! On the second day there was quite rough sea. Being in our cabin then was alot worse then being in their mid-ship cabin. To add to our uncomfort at the time was the fact that our drawers and closet doors would open up as the ship rocked. I would perhaps think twice about an aft cabin on a cruise where I'd know there was a high chance of alot of rough sea, but otherwise I'd pick aft cabin anytime!   Out stateroom attendent did an ok job. He was not very cheerful and neither was he overly friendly. But he did his job, and he did it twice a day. Can't complain there.   The entertainment We didn't join too many of the events going on, but we did go on many of the shows in the La Scala theater. We also went to see the Ice show. I can't say that I go and watch that kind of entertainment very regulary and therefor I'm probably not the most qualified person to say anything about the quality of the shows. But I did enjoy most of the shows and the evening show in La Scala theater quickly became the main event for us every evening. To my untrained eye the quality was very high and the same goes for the Ice show which we all enjoyed very much!   I have to agree with what several other people has said afterwards, and that is that the cruise director Jill was nothing special. As a first time cruiser I didn't know what to expect but it seemed to me that she lacked carisma. But like I said we didn't join to many of the events going on and we might have missed her when she was at her best.   The ongoing work I've heard many people complain about the ongoing work that was going on on several places of the ship. First it was the pool area that was closed and later the crew closed parts of the deck as they did paint jobs in sections of the ship. To me this was only a milder annoyance. The first days the weather was to bad for bathing and even though parts of the deck was closed there was always plenty of space left. If I had been a jogger I would probably been more annoyed as I don't think the entire track was ever open. The carpets of our cabin was also replaced on the third day, we spent most of the day on deck so it didn't bother us much.   The captainI was happy to hear that the captain was a fellow countryman! There weren't many swedes aboard (I encountered 4) so I decided to try getting a word with him at some occassion during the cruise. That proved hard as the only time the captain was available would be 30 minutes during each formal night and we always seemed to dine at this very time. On the second formal night though I managed to get there just as the captain was leaving. I managed to call his attention and had asked my fiancee to take a picture as I shaked his hand. I did get to shake his hand but then he cut me short saying I'd have to wait for next formal night to get a picture as "there were to many people on the royal promenade now". I had perhaps hoped for a slightly warmer reception and I was quite dissapointed. Reading the boards afterwards one complaint seem to be about the captains ability to keep his passengers happy, I have to say that I wholeheardedly agree, his social skills could have been alot better.   The ports I won't go in to length here as this trip had a huge number of interesting ports. Gibraltar surprised me the most and turned out to be my favorite port. We walked into town and took a mini cab up to the gibraltar rock. Really liked this tour. Most dissapointing was Rome. It was very warm and crowded. The town was very hard to navigate and we got lost at one time having to take a taxi back to our designated meeting point. The vatican was impressing and I would have liked more time here. By the time we got to the colosseum we were all so tired we just found some shade and waited for the bus to go back. Our second favorite port was Villefranche. The ship tendered in the bay just outside this small cozy town which was surrounded by high mountains, providing a beautiful setting. I could imagining myself living in this peaceful little town!   Summary The best vacation of my life, period. What made it really stand out was the food, service and the feeling of a living like royality every day and not needing to spend a dime (of course I know we paid alot for it :). Living on the ship is better than living on a luxuary hotel cause the ship has so much more to offer. To top it you have to possibility of seeing a new place almost every day. The ship was like a fairy-tale castle to me... big, exciting and just plain wonderful! :) I'm going to give this cruise 5 starts out of 5 possible which is a very high grade for me. Side note: I think it's a culturual difference but in Sweden we very seldom give out that high grades, on a scale on 1-5 we start at 3 and subtract or add from that. Looking at cruisecritic.com I'd guess that american do it differently as many quite negative reviews still end up with a 4 out 5 :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
     We embarked in Southampton, UK after having spent 3 days in London proper.  The embarkation process was smooth and we were enjoying the Windjammer by 11:30AM.  After conversing for almost a yr. on the CC Board we arranged a ... Read More
     We embarked in Southampton, UK after having spent 3 days in London proper.  The embarkation process was smooth and we were enjoying the Windjammer by 11:30AM.  After conversing for almost a yr. on the CC Board we arranged a Sailaway party in the HIgh Notes Lounge after the muster drill.  It was great being able to put faces with all the writings we had exchanged.  One of the members of our group volunteered to do name badges and about 60 members attended our M & M party the 2nd day.        The ship had just come out of dry dock in Hamburg, Germany and this was a repositioning cruise to Barcelona, Spain.  Overall, the ship was in good condition.  New carpeting could be found in most of the public areas and work was still going on in the pool area which necessitated the pool beng closed for the first two days.  This proved no inconvenience to us since it was a bit windy and cool outside as well as rough seas as we crossed over to Vigo, Spain.  From what we heard many passengers, as well as several new crew members were a bit under the weather as a result of the rough seas on the first night.  Fortunately, we didn't experience any of the malaise     Our cabin attendant, Michael from the Phillapines was excellent.  We saw him at least twice a day and whenever any issue occured - he was right on top of it.  We had a one day issue with our toilet not flushing and it was repaired within 2 hrs. and we inquired as to why we could not hear the ship's announcements in our cabin and were told that ALL  of the speakers within the cabins had been disconnected due to passenger complaints about early morning port calls. We really enjoyed having the balcony in our cabin and must say that the balconys aboard the Voyager are much more private that ones we had previously had.     The Main Dining Room was 3 stories tall and our waiter was Erklan (Turkey) and his Assistant (Samuel) Jamaica did a superb job with our table of 8.  Several times we or other members of the group requested more than one entree as well as additional appetizers or desserts and all requests were cheerfully accommodated.  We also enjoyed an evening meal in Portofino's and would highly recommend it to anyone that has the opportunity to reserve it.  It was a 6 course meal that took 2 hours to consume and well worth the $20 fee.  We visited Johnny Rockets one day for lunch and it was a fun time as well with excellent burgers, fries, and milk shakes as well as entertainment. There were 3 formal nights during the 11 night cruise and the last one  was following a full day excursion in Florence so we opted for the Windjammer.  The first two were on sea days and I rented a tux from the ship which allowed for extra room in my luggage.  We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and never had any problem with lines or choices of entrees.Overall the food and staff in the dining areas were excellent.     The Voyager has a young Captain (34 yrs old) and although quite competent at operating the ship lacked some personal skills in terms of mingling with the passengers.  We never heard of anyone being invited to his table for dinner and the only time we saw him was for photo op's on formal nights in the Promenade.  The Cruise Director, Jill, had the least amount of personality I have ever seen on a cruise ship.  She almost seemed put out hosting the few events that she was responsible for on board,  While most CD's are usually fairly outgoing and friendly Jill could best be described as somewhat "snooty".       The ports were fabulous: Rome, Florence, Vigo, Gibralter, Sardinia, Lisbon, Monaco, and Barcelona - who could ask for more,  The excursions we booked in Rome, Florence, Sardinia, and Lisbon were all excellent as well.         We climbed the rock wall, ice skated, played Miniature golf, and played bingo and enojyed them all.  Although the Voyager is now 10 yrs. old and no longer the largest ship in the fleet, I would highly recommend her to anyone considering either a European or Carribean adventure.          Disembarkation took place in Barcelona and was quick and efficient.  We stayed in Barcelona for an additional 3 days and ejoyed everything that city had to offer as well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
After 4 wonderful days in London, our group embarked in Southampton for an 11 night, Best of Europe Cities cruise with RC.  This was our 2nd cruise with RC.  We were so happy with our 1st experience (11 night Southern Caribbean cruise on ... Read More
After 4 wonderful days in London, our group embarked in Southampton for an 11 night, Best of Europe Cities cruise with RC.  This was our 2nd cruise with RC.  We were so happy with our 1st experience (11 night Southern Caribbean cruise on Empress of the Seas) with RC in December 2007, that we had to do another cruise, and this time my mother and her friend joined us.  I was somewhat disappointed with this cruise and could tell in the 1.5 years since my last cruise that the quality of the food has plummeted.  It was bland, and tasteless.  The same food that is served in the Windjammer, was served in the dining room, was served for room service.  The steak was tough (how hard is it to grill a steak medium well?).  When I asked for the steak to be cooked medium...it came out medium well, and was still tough and dry.  The Windjammer is now offering what appears to be less options.  Also, while in port, at times, there wasn't anywhere to get any food except through room service, and their menu is sparse to say the least, and what you get is not that great. But, the interesting thing was, you could get a drink around the clock.  No food, but I can buy alcohol; such BS!!   It's obvious we were HIGHLY disappointed in the food.  I kept telling my mom and her friend how much different it was on our last cruise (almost apologetically).  In the Dining Room, our waiter and the assistant waiter (Eduardo and Andres) were nice, friendly, and provided excellent service.  However, our head waiter, she came to our table only twice during an 11 day cruise!!  And, the 1st time wasn't until the 3rd night.  On our last cruise we saw our head waiter every single evening we ate in the Dining Room.  Needless to say...we didn't tip her.  In fact, we took what we would have tipped her, and added in to the tip we gave the Waiter and assistant waiter.  I rate the food, during dinner, in the dining room 3.75 stars.  Max!!  The only real vegetarian options (my husband is vegetarian) they had was always Indian food; as if the Indians have cornered the market on Vegetarian Food.  As I mentioned before...the quality of the food, and the selection has plummeted since my last cruise with RC. I didn't see any of the shows, even though I heard the Ice Show was excellent.   I did hear complaints about the pool being closed and repair work going on while people were trying to lay out.  The running track was being repainted, so you had limited access to that.  All things that were being done on our dime/time.  I think this is unacceptable.  Don't use the pool as a selling point (which they do) if it's not available for use!!  Our favorite bartender (Christian Ferrari) was in the Aquarium Bar.  He seemed to be the only bartender on the ship who knew how to consistently make a good Grey Goose Cosmopolitan.  LOL.  Oh Yea...there was a bartender in the Schooner bar who wasn't bad as well.  But, the others, it was hit and miss.  Even with my Fav bartender being in the Aquarium Bar...the best place on ship is the High Note bar on deck 14.   We ate at Portofino's one night.  The food was good, and the service was impeccable.  I would highly recommend spending the extra money for this experience. Oh Yea!!  I did use the Spa and got a $65 pedicure!!!!!  $65 for a freakin' pedicure!!!  But, you know what?  It was one of the best pedicures I've had in a long time, that girl worked my feet over, and afterwards...I felt it was totally worth it. The ports on this cruise were wonderful (the main reason we chose this cruise).  We stopped in Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar, UK; Cagliari, Sardinia; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy; Villefranche, France.  Both Vigo and Cagliari were a welcome surprise, as was Gibraltar.  I HIGHLY recommend NOT using the ships cruise tour in Rome and Florence, and going with a company called Limo in Rome (limoinrome.com).  We used this company in both ports and we were extremely pleased with the personalized service and the experience.  These tours are private (meaning just your group is on it), the small vans they use are roomy and get you right up to the sights you want to see, without having to walk great distances, and you're on your time (you see what you want, for the time you have).  Our driver in Livorno even arranged for a private tour of a vineyard in Chianti.  In both Rome and Florence we were taken to restaurants that were both reasonably priced, and were where the locals ate.  We LOVED it!!  And, the best part of all of this (as if it could have gotten any better) was that it is actually cheaper than what the ship charges for the similar tour, and with the ship excursion, you're on a big tour bus, which has limited access on the small narrow streets you find in Rome and Florence, with a bunch of other people.  Compare $345 per person for the ships excursion to the 500 Euro for all 4 of us on our private tour. It's a guarantee ours was a better bargain and a better experience. While Rome, our drive through the Tuscan countryside (via our private vineyard tour) on our way to Florence, and Florence, were the highlight of our trip; I wouldn't do this trip justice if I didn't mention Cannes!!  We LOVED it!!   During our stop in Villafranche, we rented a car and drove to Cannes.  Why?  Because the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival was in full swing.  The energy was palpable, and, the drive along the French Riviera was awesome.  It was easy to rent the car;  109 Euro (with tax, insurance, etc. included) and we were on our way.  On our way to Cannes we stopped and strolled along the beach in Nice, oogled yachts that screamed "I'm a weathly _____ (fill in whatever you like)", and enjoyed views of the Mediterranean that were just breath taking. My overall rating for this cruise 4.5 stars.  The ports of call receive 5 out of 5 stars and the food 3.5 stars.  Royal Caribbean really should do something about the food.  Seriously!!!  It was tasteless and cheap.  If you're a fast food eater (and I'm not)...you may enjoy it...but, if you have any idea what quality taste like...you WILL be disappointed.   We enjoy the cruise experience.  But, now, RC has given me compelling reasons to try another cruise line.  Next time...maybe Princess Cruises? Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Voyager of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.2

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