Wonderfabulous Trip: Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by DiabloDeb

Voyager of the Seas 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Wonderfabulous Trip

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
We arrived at the port early, around 11AM, having checked with the cruise line prior that it would be okay to drop off our suitcases so we could roam around Riverwalk prior to our cruise. Well, we were hustled through and before you knew it we were in line for the security check point. Reading that you couldn't board until 1, I didn't want to sit there for 2 hours waiting. The man assured me that this was best, as they start allowing you to board at 11:30 and if we go and come back, he said it would be an hour or more in line to get on board and I should consider this VIP boarding. Enough said, we decided to board.

Once on board we were not allowed into our stateroom until 1PM but all the other parts of the ship were open; the grill, cafe and all the bars and pool. So we had a good time and it was nice to take in the views of New Orleans before we set sail. Setting sail was unique, traveling along the Mississippi River seeing old factories, other ships and towns - just More beautiful.

The ship itself was very nicely appointed, all the public areas were beautifully and uniquely decorated and very clean. My favorite hangout became the Aquarium bar but mostly due to the fact of the fantastic staff they had working there; Marina, Jovica and Raymond. Other bars like the Sky Bar above the pool and the Schooner Bar were also nice.

The casino was nice, my mother actually won $3000 playing penny slots so that made her whole cruise. Drinks are not free there like in Vegas but all-in-all it was a nice place to spend a little time.

The dining room was immaculate, 3 floors and simply stunning. The service was great as were our tablemates at dinner. Dinners were good and they allowed you to order 2 appetizers, or have an entree as your appetizer, etc. anything you wanted.

We never did breakfast in the main dining room, we either ordered into our room or went up to the Windjammer cafe's buffet. Room service is okay if you get the pastries, otherwise the food is not that great and my toast could have been used as a lethal weapon.

Alternate dining we did try both Portofino and Johnny Rockets. Portofino was magnificent both service and food wise, and it is highly recommended you make reservations before your cruise. Johnny Rockets on the other hand, it is a cute 50s like diner with burgers, fries and shakes but unlike Johnny Rockets on dry land, they annoy you here yelling "Everybody say hello!" when someone enters, followed by "Everybody say bye!" when someone leaves and while you are waiting to place your order or receive your order, the entire waiting staff breaks into a dance and they are not dancers. I think if they would have just left it as it is at the rest of the chain it would have been better.

The shows were very good, went to three of them and they were all great.

They had karaoke in Cleopatra's Needle which was very entertaining and fun. Although a word of caution, the sofa/bench seats there have a 1 inch piece of metal that extends past the cushion, sliced my leg open on it and we found that they were all along the seats. If it doesn't cut your skin I am sure it could rip a dress or pants.

The pools and jacuzzis were nice, they even have a kid zone small pool for the little ones and there is also an adult pool.

Shopping and entertainment on the Promenade deck were great, very uniquely designed, like a city street and it even had a pub.

The only bad thing . . . by the time I could navigate my way around on the ship it was time to go home. Less

Published 04/11/12

Cabin review: JS7394 Junior Suite

The cabin was larger than the standard cabin, comparable to a standard 2 double bed hotel room. The bathroom was much larger than most cabin bathrooms and had a bathtub. The closet was a walk in closet but narrow, hard to reach to the back left side. The room had a nice size flat monitor television, a very comfortable sofa that converted to a bed. There was also a small refrigerator in the room and tons of cupboard and drawer space. The balcony, which faces the rear of the ship, was nice size and sheltered from the wind and there were some windy days at sea. It had two chairs, a table and two lounge chairs and plenty of room. The down side is the design of the ship. It as if they cut through to make the balconies but the metal support beams for each floor extend past the balcony to the back of the ship, you can see through them but your view, say of a sunset or island, are obstructed by them.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Wildlife Tour

The cruise line only offered the dolphin encounter which is also at the same park, Chankanaab. We booked on our own and took a taxi from the port and arrived a little before the park opened. There was plenty to see and do at this park, they have an archeological garden, that are reproductions but still nice to stroll through, many magnificent gardens, a really beautiful lagoon, a fantastic beach complete with thatch umbrellas and wooden lounge chairs. They also offer snorkeling and even have underwater statues, also a sea lion show is presented there. There are some gift shops, food and drinks available. Spectators can watch the various encounters with either the dolphins or the manatees. We did the manatee encounter and you don't need to be able to swim to participate, in fact there was a gentleman there at one of the encounters that was in a wheelchair so they make accommodations for people. You step down a small flight of stairs onto a metal platform, a small group maybe around 15. The instructor talks about the manatee as she brings the animal past for you to pet. Then they are set up with a photographer and you get one-on-one with the manatee, kissing them and then getting a hug. Then you are given some lettuce and allowed to swim with them, there were three in with us along with some small reef fish and a sting ray. It was such an incredible experience.

Upon entering the port we say men on stilts dressed in costumes colored like the Jamaican flag, they also had pirates - all for tourists to have their photos taken with for a tip. The port had ample shopping but not too much in the way of places to eat. There was small little bar, a hot dog place, snack bar and small jerk stand. Most of the shops carried the same items and most of the shopkeepers hounded you constantly to either enter their store or once inside, followed you around and anything you barely looked at they asked if you wanted it or want another color, etc. which made the shopping experience less than fun. Besides the shops there were some craft vendors set up selling their wood carvings, clothing and jewelry and they weren't nearly as annoying as the shopkeepers. We booked the Chukka Horse & Buggy tour through the cruise line. It was a nice tour through the old town but some places made you feel pretty uneasy the way the locals stared at you. We made one stop at an old church, King Charles the Martyr which you could use their restroom, and were free to walk around the grounds. The port itself is fenced in because it is not safe for you to enter the town alone. At the gates there are security officers in white vests with white hats that will escort through the town that has many places to eat and shop but it is highly recommended you don't go without a guard.
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Saltwater Forest

The worse part about this port is the fact that six cruise lines are all in that port the same day and without an actual port for cruise ships, you have to be water tendered in and the process is lengthy. As far as the ship we were in, they were using two water tenders on the port side and if you had booked an excursion through the cruise line then you were allowed to leave an hour before your tour. If you did not have a tour booked then you had to go at 9 am to the lounge and were assigned tender times. I realize they must have tried many different ways and this must be the most efficient of them but an hour before your tour you arrive 15 minutes early, if you are lucky, and that doesn't allow much time or no time at all to walk the town's shops or grab a bite to eat. Lucky for us, our tour was pushed back an hour so our tickets were printed with the old time so we had enough time in town before our tour because there was no time when we returned, just enough to get in the long line to tender back to the ship before it set sail. The Native Caymen & Saltwater Forest was a longer tour. You were taken by a small tour bus through the town (George Town) and the driver told you what various buildings and statues, etc. were along the way. We made a stop in Hell, how many people can say they have actually been to Hell and back? There they have some neat limestone deposits that look like old lava flows, a gift shop/post office and they will even stamp your passport that you had been to Hell. From there we made it to the marina and boarded a small pontoon boat that took you out to the mangroves, AKA saltwater forest. Not what I had expected and the crew who were very much conservation minded spent way too much time talking about how the trees grow, get their water and about other trees not even there. I felt like I was back in school on a field trip. The highlights were seeing the iguanas but most of them were along block walls to homes and some jellyfish that we got to touch. After the boat trip we boarded the bus and traveled to 7 Mile Beach, which is a pristine beach with great views and there were some vendors selling refreshments.

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