Were Our Expectations Too High?: Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Review by Off Shore
Overall Member Rating
Were Our Expectations Too High?
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Among the positive features were the cleanliness and decor of the ship. The cabins are large, and the bathrooms are generously appointed with marble. The flat screen TV with 150 movies on demand was a nice feature.
Entertainment was quite good, on the level of good regional theater. Particular stand-outs were the ballroom dancing duo of Travis and Kristen. Travis is the best ballroom dance instructor that we have ever had ashore or afloat! We also would like to praise Jaime Logan, the cruise director. He was very professional, and (a rarity in the industry) did not talk to us like we were children or treat us like idiots. The library was also quite nice.
The Compass Rose and Signatures were good, although More with a tendency to use too many cream sauces. The best meal that we had was dinner at La Veranda, with excellent antipasto, pasta, and veal courses washed done with a very good chianti.
Another positive feature of the ship was that you never felt that you were being "nickeled-and-dimed". You were encouraged to take as many of the free bottles of water as you wished when you left the ship to sight-see. The waiters and bartenders served out excellent drinks and checked up with you often to see if you wanted liquid refreshments.
Unfortunately, there were too many negative features on this cruise. The first negative experience was when we arrived at the pier and tried to park at the terminal. We were informed by the parking staff that it was reserved for the special guests of a Regent Cruise line function (were these the travel agents that we saw touring the ship that day?)and that we would be forced with our baggage to use the other parking garage, a ten minute shuttle ride away.
The tours were an enormous disappointment. The main reason we booked this cruise was to see the Mayan ruins. The 8 hour tour to the Lamanai ruins in Belize required a total of 6 hours on boat and bus. Part of the 2 hours at the site was taken up by a meal of doubtful provenance (of which we did not partake). By the time we got to the most impressive ruins we were informed that there was not enough time to climb them or explore. It was a simple walk past. I felt like Moses at the entrance to the Promised Land... Next stop was the archaeological park at Quirigua in Guatemala. This was a 4 and a half hour tour; of which 3 hours was taken up by a bus ride. We had no time at the site to walk around or explore on our own as we had to return to the ship by 12:30. We rushed back, but why, the ship remained in the port of Santo Tomas, a place with very limited facilities for sightseeing; for another 5 hours? The final bad experience was with the $29 "self-guided GPS walking tour of Key West". This considered of us renting a GPS system that took us on a guided tour of selected bars and tourist traps!
At Lattitudes we had the worst meal that we have experienced on a ship. We have much better Asian food at home (South Carolina and New Jersey. The menu selection was extremely limited and inferior to most take-out restaurants. But an exceptional experience was finding a black (not ours!)human(?)hair in the chicken with cashews. We cut short our meal as we lost our appetites.
Although internet service was slow but good, we experienced terrible problems with the AT&T cellular service on the ship. We were not alone in this, as 4 other passengers had similar experiences. The service was intermittent. We invested $68 to contact AT&T in a ship-to-shore phone call and they advised us that the problem was on the ship. The ship's Reception Desk denied that there was any problem with the service and was not at all helpful.
Our parting memory of the "Voyager" will be getting the "bum's-rush" by our cabin attendant on our day of departure. We were supposed to be allowed to stay in the cabin until 8:30. At 8:15 she opened the door and told us she had to start making the bed. This was in spite of the fact that we were not quite ready to leave. Perhaps this is because tips are included in the cost of the cruise? In a way this is representative of some of their problems with service. The staff is now largely young, Asian, and inexperienced.
We will certainly take other cruises, possibly even with this line, but this was a disappointing experience. Less
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