Stayed onboard for back to back cruises.
1st Cruise, Britain's Beautiful Isles
Excellent itinerary, visited several Scottish Islands which would be a pain to get to by car ferry. For next year this cruise is already nearly ... Read More
Stayed onboard for back to back cruises.
1st Cruise, Britain's Beautiful Isles
Excellent itinerary, visited several Scottish Islands which would be a pain to get to by car ferry. For next year this cruise is already nearly booked up.
2nd Cruise, Viking Lands & Icelandic Explorer
This went very well, and for a change it did not rain in Bergen
Some of the pre cruise paperwork we received appeared somewhat contradictory and unclear, but things muddled through alright, but there is room for a lot of improvement in this area.
The Check In
The car parking and luggage porterage went very smoothly, however the actual check in was not quite as good, because we had booked a suite we were entitled to priority check in, however when we arrived there was no priority check in. So we joined the general queue, after some time had passed a member of staff actually thought about putting up the priority queue signs. So we backed tracked and joined that queue. Health forms were not given out until people were queuing up, these could have been given out whilst people were waiting for check in to start, improvement in their procedures is needed.
Rocking and Rolling
Considering the calm sea conditions the ship rocks and rolls a lot and is certainly not the most stable ship we have sailed on, would not want to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific on this ship.
Because it is a small ship the entertainment team is quite small, however whatever they lacked in numbers they made by their talent and continuous hard work. They multitask, appearing in the shows, the bars and then organising onboard daytime games for the passengers, plus looking after the single travellers, Lauren always managed to keep smiling.
Friendly and helpful staff.
The Explorer Restaurant
My wife and I felt very sorry for the waiters, the tables are crammed together, they have to squeeze though very narrow gaps. The restaurants are far too crowded; the average river cruiser appears to have more dinning space per passenger than this ship. The oblong tables for six are very tight for elbow room; the tables for four are a little better, but not much, this overcrowding lets the ship down badly, the second cruise was not as bad as the first as I believe it was not full.
There appears to be a shortage of crockery and glasses, waiters have to keep taking items from other tables as everything appears to be in short supply. Most nights our table was always short of something, the waiters have to find missing items of glassware, cutlery, crockery, this was better during the second cruise.
The menu in the Explorer is exactly the same as the Discovery, sometimes the food is hot, sometimes it is a little on the cold side. Overall the food is not bad, the portions are a little smaller than other ships, and the selection somewhat limited, but it must be remembered that this is low price cruising so it should be expected that the food budget per head is lower, that said on average it was on par or better than that found on P & O in recent years.
The drinks and wine prices are very very low, apart free drinks they are the cheapest drinks prices we have ever encountered on any ship or cruise line, a gin and bitter lemon is £2.95.
The tablecloths were not changed between dinners; often they had stains on them, when resetting a table the waiters would brush the crumbs off and spray the tablecloths with something, presumably some sort of sanitizer, thought this was rather unhygienic, considering the number of passengers who had been ill.
Any restaurant shortcomings were more than made up for by the excellent, hardworking, on the ball managers and waiters, really friendly and likeable, a brilliant team.
The selection was more than somewhat limited. Sometimes items were missing from orders; toasted sandwiches tend to be cold, not the best.
Considering the size of the ship, we thought the little shop, there is only one, was excellent, better stocked than some of those found on some ships four times the size. The shop is run by the excellent Harding Brothers. Friendly staff and excellent service.
The wifi is very cheap, in fact the cheapest we have ever had apart from when it has been free, but don't expect to use be able to use it in your cabin, there are only few areas around the ship where it works, and then it is slow, but no slower than other ships.
All returned in the stated service time, the pressing/ironing was far far better than the average ship, and was possibly the best we have ever had, very well done the brilliant Laundry team.
Mostly went very well, the guides did vary a little but were mostly alright. Apart from one all the coaches were excellent. One of our excursions which we had picked because it was an AM departure was changed to a PM departure, so we were unable to have a walk around town after the excursion, not very good.
When we booked Britain's Beautiful Isles there were only going to be two tender ports, but by the time we boarded there were four and later that went to five ports, then ended up as four and a half. One of the ship's tenders had engine problems and had to be taken out of service, so at two ports one tender and local cabin cruisers/tour boats were used. We reassured by the ship's crew that the broken down tender could still be used as a lifeboat, this did not over inspire confidence, if a tender is unfit to be used as a tender, it hardly makes a good lifeboat. The engine problem was not fixed until the next cruise, when we docked in Iceland the tender was lifted on to the dock and repaired, see photograph.
At one port the passengers had started going ashore by tender, halfway through the process there was a change of plan and it was decided to dock, this caused some excursions to start one and a half hours late.
It appears that local tenders had to be used in the Scilly Isles, these were very old wooden open launches, very unsuitable when it's raining, and the local crews seamanship might be a little questionable.
The ship's own tender crews were very good, and had far better than the average seamanship expertise of other tender crews on many ships.
The Cabin 7202
The cabin was spacious, but well over due for refurbishment. Some noise is heard from the sundeck above the cabin, but not much.
Bedding, so much for the 'Upgraded bed linen' in the suites, the duvet cover was far too small for the duvet, and did not reach the edge of the bed, we asked the cabin steward about this and were informed that they shrink in the laundry. Later in the cruise we had larger duvet covers, but these were still not the appropriate size.
Some of the drawers and cupboard doors are so worn and loose that to stop them banging in the night as the ship rolled we had to jam them with folded pieces of paper.
In the bathroom one of the mirrors had a dangerous broken edge, the toilet seat had some of the rubber pads missing and a broken hinge, the seat was replaced during our second cruise.
On occasion the water in the bathroom can be more than a little brownish in colour, but this only happened twice.
When the ship is full it feels very overcrowded, it would be a much better experience if Voyager put their prices up by 10% and reduced the number of passengers by 10%.
The public areas have been refurbished, but the cabins are well overdue for a revamp.
Voyager has numerous shortcomings but these are mainly offset by the excellent friendly crew, low cost of the cruises and very low drinks prices, because of the crew giving the ship an average, if it was not for the crew it would have been a poor rating. Read Less