Nice cruise, good value: Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by chris_kelowna

Voyager of the Seas 5
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Nice cruise, good value

Sail Date: February 2013
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
I wrote this pretty much as we went, please forgive the tense irregularities! Embarkation was very good. We arrived at the port at 11:00 and were stepping aboard by 11:35. Some lineups but handled very well and quickly. We headed up to the Windjammer to have some lunch and were joined by some people from the roll call. Very nice choices for lunch including the famed Honey Stung Chicken (it looked like a deep fried cutlet -- I gave it a pass) and when we had finished, an announcement that our cabins were ready. We made our way to our Promenade Stateroom (7601) and found that it was exactly as the photos we'd seen. Small but lots more storage than we'd expected. This particular stateroom is well situated, right across from Guest Services. We have not heard any noise from the Promenade.

The bed is indeed a king size. I expect they have to say queen because of the length but it is very wide and comfortable. There is a kettle and makings for tea but not coffee. I had brought some More Nescafe instant Latte sachets -- a good idea! If you are an instant coffee lover, take some with you. The coffee on board while not terrible is also not great, whether you like instant or not. There is a small fridge filled with mini-bar stuff including coke products, water, and some chocolate snacks. The fridge does not get very cold but I found that if we left the outer cupboard door opened for ventilation, it maintained a cooler temperature. The couch and window seat are adequate -- not very long but reasonably comfortable. There is a blow dryer and two American style outlets in the vanity and a shaver outlet in the bathroom (on the ceiling). The shower is equipped with a short clothes line and there is a small bar of soap in the shower and by the sink. There is also a wall dispenser with 'gloop' in the shower. I used it as body wash and laundry soap. The water pressure in the sink is very light but the shower is lovely, with lots of water pressure. The shower is a hand held one, useful for rinsing clothing in the sink. The stopper in our sink does not work. The bed is high enough for us to stow our three suitcases under it. There were two mattress pads under the bed which I asked the stateroom attendant (Olinda) to remove. One was large which she took away and the other had two twins. I asked her to put them on my side of the bed and I now have a very comfortable (for me) bed.

There is a channel on the TV that shows our position, things like speed, wind, time, etc and occasional shots from the deck but there is no channel dedicated to the web cam at the front of the ship. Revision, on about the third day of the cruise, this channel with the deck camera was turned on. We tried to leave it on -- muted -- through the night to sort of simulate sunrise, but found the ambient light of the turned on TV was too bright for us. This channel plays classical music.

Activities on board include some physical exercise. My husband has enjoyed morning stretches at 7:00 AM. These are available even on port days. There are also stretches at 9:00 AM and also aqua aerobics (very gentle!) in the Solarium pool at 9:00 AM. All a good way to start the day -- these are not available on port days. The water exercises were particularly fun when there were a lot of waves -- a lot like a wave pool! These exercise classes are all free. There are for pay ($12) yoga classes at 4:00 PM.

The food on board has been very good. We ate at Portofino's on the first night and found it quite good but would probably not do it again. Except for the first day, we have been eating in the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch as well as early seating for dinner; many choices with wait staff very eager to please. Tutti Salad in the Dining Room on sea days is lovely. It's very difficult to try and maintain any kind of control over my diet -- many delicious options to choose from. There are always some lighter/healthier choices on the menu for appetizers, mains, and desserts. Most of the meals we've had have been excellent with just a few misses, and those were rectified immediately. We have eaten in the Windjammer a few times and find that the food is more to our liking in many ways -- less 'haute'!

Entertainment on board has been patchy. The Ice Show was truly spectacular and very well attended, get there early for good seats! The Broadway show was good for the production numbers but we were very unimpressed with the solo singers. We very much enjoyed Jane Cho, a classical violinist who played a lot of rock music -- truly excellent! Movies are not first run and the theater is very small but comfortable

There were few enrichment programs that we were interested in. Lot's of art auctions. There was an excellent astronomer on board who gave several talks on stars, life 'out there', the sun etc and who took us outside at night to observe the Southern Hemisphere stars. She was excellent!

I had asked on Cruise Critic about a place to play cards and didn't receive much response. We did find up on deck 14, Seven Hearts -- a room mostly dedicated to game playing. (It was closed once or twice to make room for an expanded Diamond Lounge. Lots of complaints about that and it didn't happen again!). There were boxes of playing cards (free), scrabble boards, chess and checkers boards and some other board games. Lots of card tables and comfy chairs and a great view of the ocean. This was a nice place to spend some time.

Overall, we enjoyed the cruise. The last three days of our cruise were sea days from Adelaide to Perth. We had not realized that we could have left the ship at Adelaide and if we did this cruise again, we might leave at Adelaide. This was three days at sea that we could have spent visiting Australia. After 15 days, we would not have missed the extra sea days! It was worth doing and I'm glad we did. Less

Published 03/28/13

Cabin review: PR7601 Promenade Stateroom

Our cabin was a connecting cabin but we never heard any noise from next door. The window faced Guest Services and with the exception of two parades, we never heard any noise from the Promenade. There was no noise from upstairs. It was close to the elevators, well situated.

Read All Promenade Stateroom (PR) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We did not take any tours of Adelaide as we were returning another time. It was a beautiful city and we were there at the time of the Fringe. Many street performers in the mall - lovely, lovely place. Totally worth a return visit.

This was our first port of call. We took the Hop On, Hop Off bus tour and that offered us the opportunity to see a little of Auckland. We stopped at the Kelly Tarlton Aquarium and in the Parnel (I think!) district. Auckland seemed to be a vibrant larger city.
Read 263 Auckland Reviews

We did the Back to Nature Tour - arranged privately before the cruise. Excellent tour, great city. We loved the ambiance of Dunedin and would return there.
Read 207 Dunedin Reviews

Did the Hop On, Hop Off tour at Hobart. Shore time was very limited and this was a good option. Very pretty town, worth a return visit.
Read 100 Hobart Reviews

A nice little town with not very much to do. A few Art Deco buildings in the centre - not one I'd go back to.
Read 80 Napier Reviews

We took Archer Tours to Rotorua - one of the best things we did on this cruise. We had booked the tour with Archer Tours several months before arriving. Jim was excellent at communicating with us, emailing us to amend the pick-up time before we even knew that the ship's itinerary had been changed! Pick-up went smoothly, with Jim waiting with a placard with our name on it, right outside of the ship's exit as he had said. Five couples had reserved and we waited for about 30 minutes for the fifth couple who did not show up. This did not cause a delay in our tour as I believe Jim accounts for this kind of thing in planning the day. Jim proved to be a wonderful guide full of interesting commentary about what we were seeing. We never felt rushed but we did see such an lot in one day! We began with a trip to a beautiful beach at Tauranga on the Pacific Ocean. We were able to get out of the van and walk on the beach, take some lovely pictures. Then it was off to the kiwi orchard. Again, Jim was a font of interesting information about kiwis, how they're grown, where they came from, and what happens to them after harvest. A tasting of green and gold kiwis, kiwi wine, jams, and liqueur followed by an opportunity for some retail therapy in a very well stocked gift shop. Next was Rotorua to visit the Maori Cultural Centre where we had ample opportunity to walk among the boiling mud fields, see steam vents and visit the geysers. Later came a presentation in the Cultural Centre. Very enjoyable, with fierce Maori warriors confronting our 'chief' (one of the visitors from our group) and then inviting us into the house to watch the greeting ceremony and dancing. We had lunch in the cafe at the Cultural Centre -- good wholesome food, well prepared and for a reasonable price. We did some more visiting around Rotorua and then it was time to return to our ship, taking a different route back and giving us the opportunity to see even more of the beautiful New Zealand country side. Jim had us back to our ship in plenty of time, tired but happy after a beautiful day. This tour remains one of the great highlights of our 18 day cruise, I have no hesitation in recommending this tour to anyone who wants an excellent day out.
Read 174 Tauranga Reviews

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