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This is a combined review of consecutive cruises starting with the Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona of Nov 22nd, 2008 and the transatlantic crossing to Galveston on Nov 29th. I have completed 18 cruises with Royal Caribbean and am a Diamond Plus member. Prior to the cruise, I stayed at the Continental Palacete Hotel which was wonderful. Their 24 hour buffet which includes beer and wine was greatly appreciated! Check in was exceptionally fast and as it was after 1.00pm, I was able to go straight to my cabin - 9690, a corner aft cabin. Our first port was Villefranche where we tendered. I took the local bus to Nice for 1 euro each way. Livorno was the next port. As I have previously visited Florence and Pisa, I took the Royal Caribbean canal boat ride around Livorno which was interesting. Rather than go into Rome from Civitavecchia, I took the Royal Caribbean excursion to Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano. Tom Cruise was married there. It was a good excursion and I enjoyed it a lot. In Naples, I walked around and visited the National Archaeological Museum (costs10 euros). I highly recommend visiting this museum. I also walked all the way up to the Castel Sant' Elmo where for 3 euros, you get a wonderful view of the city and Mount Vesuvius. In Palermo, I walked around the town ending up at the Catacombs. 1.50 euros to enter. There are hundreds of bodies on display and it is quite creepy. Certainly not a place to take kids! We had a day at sea before returning to Barcelona. As we were there for the day, we did a private tour to Montserrat which was fantastic. We were given our new Seapass cards prior to the end of the cruise and our cabin steward moved the luggage so the changeover was easy. For the transatlantic crossing, I had Junior Suite 7694 in the aft. Our first port was Cartegena, a lovely small town that had their Christmas festival going on. Friendly people and a nice place to just walk around and explore. They handed out free liquor samples in 50ml bottles (which Royal Caribbean kept for you when you got back onto the ship!) In Madeira, we had a private tour that included a wonderful lunch near Camacha followed by Madeira wine tasting. Our next port was Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands which like Cartegena is small and easy to walk around by oneself. Then, we had six relaxing sea days before arriving in Nassau, then Miami and finally Galveston. These were two wonderful cruises and I enjoyed both of them. I have 11 more cruises booked (10 with Royal Caribbean and 1 with Celebrity) so you can see that I like Royal Caribbean. They provide a great product at a great price. The Concierge lounge is certainly a perk that keeps bringing me back. It's not just the free drinks but also the wonderful atmosphere talking to everyone each night. Here are a few comments in no particular order: • Bill Brunkhorst was the Cruise Director on both cruises. He is one of my favorite cruise directors and it was a nice surprise to find him onboard. • The crew on Voyager are terrific especially my cabin stewards Ray from Costa Rica and Elimar from the Philippines. Concierge Martin Sanchez did a good job considering there were 480 Diamond and Diamond plus members on the transatlantic crossing. • The ice shows are amazing - I went three times! I am always so impressed with the jumps and spins that they do while the ship is moving. A very talented group. • In most ports, one is able to walk into town but in some ports, Royal Caribbean provide shuttles - Livorno ($12), Madeira ($12), Miami ($15 to Bayside and South Beach). In Civitavecchia, the port provided a free shuttle. I would like Royal Caribbean to either provide free transportation or at least inform passengers before the cruise of these extra expenses. Many passengers were upset about docking far from town and being forced to pay for transportation. • Royal Caribbean hosted Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle parties on both cruises. There were well over 200 of us on the transatlantic cruise. Cruise Director Bill attended both events and I even won the fabled Wave Mouse in one of the draws. I do greatly appreciate Royal Caribbean's support of Cruise Critic. • If you go to Madeira, look out for the local drink called Poncha - rum with honey and lemon. It is fantastic and is especially good if you have a sore throat (or think you might get one!). 8 euros for a litre bottle. • Smoking was still allowed in the Casino all the time and on balconies. I wish they would stop the smoking on balconies. I had a pipe smoker on the balcony beside me and it affected my enjoyment of my balcony. Also wish they would restrict smoking when trivia (and other events) are held in the Schooner Bar and other lounges. • In addition to the usual parties and events, Royal Caribbean hosted a party for just the Diamond Plus members. It was nice to receive that extra recognition. • Food in the dining room was very good. I enjoyed Portofinos on both visits. Windjammer for dinner was excellent but I sometimes struggled with the choices at lunch. • We cleared US immigration in Miami which was a slow process but certainly made things easy when we docked in Galveston - we just walked off the ship there. • Certainly a highlight were the excellent lectures held during the transatlantic crossing. Ronald Bowers' Hollywood Murder lectures were exceptional. I do hope Royal Caribbean continue these on transatlantic crossings Thank you Royal Caribbean for two wonderful cruises. The more I cruise, the more I realize that it is the people you meet that defines your cruise experience and makes cruising so enjoyable. Long may the Concierge lounge continue!

Mediterranean and Transatlantic Crossing

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by tocanada

Trip Details
This is a combined review of consecutive cruises starting with the Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona of Nov 22nd, 2008 and the transatlantic crossing to Galveston on Nov 29th. I have completed 18 cruises with Royal Caribbean and am a Diamond Plus member. Prior to the cruise, I stayed at the Continental Palacete Hotel which was wonderful. Their 24 hour buffet which includes beer and wine was greatly appreciated! Check in was exceptionally fast and as it was after 1.00pm, I was able to go straight to my cabin - 9690, a corner aft cabin. Our first port was Villefranche where we tendered. I took the local bus to Nice for 1 euro each way. Livorno was the next port. As I have previously visited Florence and Pisa, I took the Royal Caribbean canal boat ride around Livorno which was interesting. Rather than go into Rome from Civitavecchia, I took the Royal Caribbean excursion to Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano. Tom Cruise was married there. It was a good excursion and I enjoyed it a lot. In Naples, I walked around and visited the National Archaeological Museum (costs10 euros). I highly recommend visiting this museum. I also walked all the way up to the Castel Sant' Elmo where for 3 euros, you get a wonderful view of the city and Mount Vesuvius. In Palermo, I walked around the town ending up at the Catacombs. 1.50 euros to enter. There are hundreds of bodies on display and it is quite creepy. Certainly not a place to take kids! We had a day at sea before returning to Barcelona. As we were there for the day, we did a private tour to Montserrat which was fantastic. We were given our new Seapass cards prior to the end of the cruise and our cabin steward moved the luggage so the changeover was easy. For the transatlantic crossing, I had Junior Suite 7694 in the aft. Our first port was Cartegena, a lovely small town that had their Christmas festival going on. Friendly people and a nice place to just walk around and explore. They handed out free liquor samples in 50ml bottles (which Royal Caribbean kept for you when you got back onto the ship!) In Madeira, we had a private tour that included a wonderful lunch near Camacha followed by Madeira wine tasting. Our next port was Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands which like Cartegena is small and easy to walk around by oneself. Then, we had six relaxing sea days before arriving in Nassau, then Miami and finally Galveston. These were two wonderful cruises and I enjoyed both of them. I have 11 more cruises booked (10 with Royal Caribbean and 1 with Celebrity) so you can see that I like Royal Caribbean. They provide a great product at a great price. The Concierge lounge is certainly a perk that keeps bringing me back. It's not just the free drinks but also the wonderful atmosphere talking to everyone each night. Here are a few comments in no particular order: • Bill Brunkhorst was the Cruise Director on both cruises. He is one of my favorite cruise directors and it was a nice surprise to find him onboard. • The crew on Voyager are terrific especially my cabin stewards Ray from Costa Rica and Elimar from the Philippines. Concierge Martin Sanchez did a good job considering there were 480 Diamond and Diamond plus members on the transatlantic crossing. • The ice shows are amazing - I went three times! I am always so impressed with the jumps and spins that they do while the ship is moving. A very talented group. • In most ports, one is able to walk into town but in some ports, Royal Caribbean provide shuttles - Livorno ($12), Madeira ($12), Miami ($15 to Bayside and South Beach). In Civitavecchia, the port provided a free shuttle. I would like Royal Caribbean to either provide free transportation or at least inform passengers before the cruise of these extra expenses. Many passengers were upset about docking far from town and being forced to pay for transportation. • Royal Caribbean hosted Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle parties on both cruises. There were well over 200 of us on the transatlantic cruise. Cruise Director Bill attended both events and I even won the fabled Wave Mouse in one of the draws. I do greatly appreciate Royal Caribbean's support of Cruise Critic. • If you go to Madeira, look out for the local drink called Poncha - rum with honey and lemon. It is fantastic and is especially good if you have a sore throat (or think you might get one!). 8 euros for a litre bottle. • Smoking was still allowed in the Casino all the time and on balconies. I wish they would stop the smoking on balconies. I had a pipe smoker on the balcony beside me and it affected my enjoyment of my balcony. Also wish they would restrict smoking when trivia (and other events) are held in the Schooner Bar and other lounges. • In addition to the usual parties and events, Royal Caribbean hosted a party for just the Diamond Plus members. It was nice to receive that extra recognition. • Food in the dining room was very good. I enjoyed Portofinos on both visits. Windjammer for dinner was excellent but I sometimes struggled with the choices at lunch. • We cleared US immigration in Miami which was a slow process but certainly made things easy when we docked in Galveston - we just walked off the ship there. • Certainly a highlight were the excellent lectures held during the transatlantic crossing. Ronald Bowers' Hollywood Murder lectures were exceptional. I do hope Royal Caribbean continue these on transatlantic crossings
Thank you Royal Caribbean for two wonderful cruises. The more I cruise, the more I realize that it is the people you meet that defines your cruise experience and makes cruising so enjoyable. Long may the Concierge lounge continue!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9690
Love those aft balconies
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