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Cruising on a budget - Top Tips Admin When you embark your passport will be taken by the crew, we didn’t really figure out why until afterwards we saw our passports was processed by customs in Singapore and Thailand to allow us to embark and disembark when we felt like it in Thailand, using only our “sea pass cards” (on-board identity and payment card) and therefore not having to go through at customs every time you leave the boat. We required a copy of our passports when going into Thailand and had to go and make copies in the departure lounge – tip: make copies of your passport before and keep it with you anyway. Sea Pass Cards and Lanyards You get issued with a sea pass card at boarding and this is your identity for getting on and off the ship, buying anything on the ship and participating in activities. You basically carry it with you everywhere you go and this card in a trouser pocket is bound to get lost, thus a lanyard is very convenient. Everybody had one except us for the first 2 days, and the $8 each I spent on lanyards was worth every cent.Tip: Bring a lanyard! Boarding After boarding it was a bit weird we didnt really know what to do and where to go. We basically had time to find our room (which was a bit of a mission if you haven't been on a ship before) and wait for the life boat drill. You will get in trouble if you miss the drill. Not a pleasant activity but essential, we stood in the sun for nearly 45 mins - wish we brought a water bottle as it was steaming hot. Shows & Activities Mains shows are free and worthwhile. The shows on our cruise were world class. There was a main event, every night in the main theater and although it was pretty full there was always some empty seats available. I saw 4 shows and 3 out the 4 was high quality with world class performers. They also make announcements at the show regarding the next day and events. There are lots of free activities like bingo, quizzes, karaoke, dance classes, disco, music performances, pool activities. All free and well organised – a great way to meet people. Kids Our teens spent a lot of time at the ‘Teen-Zone’ called ‘Optix’. They mostly ‘hung out’, swam and did some activities together, in fact after dinner they disappeared until midnight and could have gone on after that if they were allowed. They made some good friends. Food Don’t worry about food. There is a 24 hour station that serves pastries, pizza slices, coffee, tea and water. Free/Included. Then there is main dining room. Each room has its own allocated dining room table and this table may be shared by other passengers, we never had anyone show up thus had our own table. The Dining room has a dress code but basically means no thongs and no singlets or bathers. Dining is 3 course dining every night with some variation, and some specialties like steak, veal, lobster, lamb and fish. The best part of the experience is to have 2 waiters serving you, food and drinks, they are the same waiters every night thus you get to know them quite well. There was 2 seating times 5:30pm and 8:00pm. We were on the early seating which meant we were often not hungry yet (after being out for the morning, having a late lunch and obviously snacking in between.) The food was fantastic, and our waiter really spoilt us by bringing extra portions if we asked. Yes I had 2 lobster tails on the 6th day for dinner. And this is all included/free. The main dining room is also open for breakfast. Then there is the buffet style dining room on level 11 that is called the Windjammer. A totally different experience. The windjammer is open for most of the day just closing between meals to reset. Depending on when you go it may be busy or less busy but expect a few elbows, some queues, some people in a rush and some people not in a rush, thus not as laid back relaxing as the experience of the main dining room. There is a Great selection of food, good quality and in large quantities, always well supplied and fresh. Drinks Don’t ask us about the drinks packages as it wasn’t in our budget. We consumed a bottle of the cheap wine from the menu each evening and the 2 kids each had 1 soft drink every day. Including laundry our bill for the 7 days was just over US$400, and I believe the fully inclusive drinks package is $570pp for the 7 days, but that includes all you can drink including all the weird and wonderful cocktails they serve. The Soda package would have worked out +/- $140pp but we don’t drink enough soft drinks to justify that. We bought 12 bottles of water delivered to our room and we really used it, you are not allowed to fill waterbottles at the water station but many people bring their own bottles, and use a glass to fill up their bottles at the drinks station - a little embarrassing but hey who really cares. I wish I brought a proper water bottle. We brought the allowance of 2 bottles of wine and I really enjoyed having a sip before dinner. Room We had a level 2 family room with a window. The 3,4th beds drop out of the ceiling but was safe and comfortable for our 11 and 13 year old to use. We slept well, the beds, duvets and pillows was fine. Level 2 was fine we had a port hole and was far from the lifts thus really quiet. Doubt if a balcony is really worthwhile if on a budget like us. The window was bonus. Shore excursions For the 7 days we booked 2 excursions with the cruise company. They are expensive but I doubt if we could have gotten everything done in the time they did, had we made our own arrangements. The one day was a 5 hour excursion for +/- $42 and the other was an 8 hour excursion for +/- $130 including speed boat transport, drinks and lunch. They were well arranged with a guide that shared information and made sure everything ran on time and everyone was on the bus and/or boat on time. Other days we did our own thing and was relatively successful. Staying on the boat is cool too, lots to do or just to relax sip coffees and munch snacks. Wifi We only had one device on wifi and the wifi quality was good. In hind sight I should perhaps have gotten both adults wifi to help with planning the next days, but once in port we could connect to the local cellpone network at a fee. Dress Code We dressed properly (shoes) for most dinners and even dressed up for formal night, many people do and it was fun. Yes read the dress code - I did see them sending someone back for incorrect dressing but they are not very strict. Conclusion Really recommend this cruise - was a fantastic first experience for us. Us and the kids really enjoyed it.

Fantastic first cruise on RC in 7 night Asia, tips for first time cruising

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by BesonderDownUnder

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
Cruising on a budget - Top Tips

Admin

When you embark your passport will be taken by the crew, we didn’t really figure out why until afterwards we saw our passports was processed by customs in Singapore and Thailand to allow us to embark and disembark when we felt like it in Thailand, using only our “sea pass cards” (on-board identity and payment card) and therefore not having to go through at customs every time you leave the boat.

We required a copy of our passports when going into Thailand and had to go and make copies in the departure lounge – tip: make copies of your passport before and keep it with you anyway.

Sea Pass Cards and Lanyards

You get issued with a sea pass card at boarding and this is your identity for getting on and off the ship, buying anything on the ship and participating in activities. You basically carry it with you everywhere you go and this card in a trouser pocket is bound to get lost, thus a lanyard is very convenient. Everybody had one except us for the first 2 days, and the $8 each I spent on lanyards was worth every cent.Tip: Bring a lanyard!

Boarding

After boarding it was a bit weird we didnt really know what to do and where to go. We basically had time to find our room (which was a bit of a mission if you haven't been on a ship before) and wait for the life boat drill. You will get in trouble if you miss the drill. Not a pleasant activity but essential, we stood in the sun for nearly 45 mins - wish we brought a water bottle as it was steaming hot.

Shows & Activities

Mains shows are free and worthwhile. The shows on our cruise were world class. There was a main event, every night in the main theater and although it was pretty full there was always some empty seats available. I saw 4 shows and 3 out the 4 was high quality with world class performers. They also make announcements at the show regarding the next day and events.

There are lots of free activities like bingo, quizzes, karaoke, dance classes, disco, music performances, pool activities. All free and well organised – a great way to meet people.

Kids

Our teens spent a lot of time at the ‘Teen-Zone’ called ‘Optix’. They mostly ‘hung out’, swam and did some activities together, in fact after dinner they disappeared until midnight and could have gone on after that if they were allowed. They made some good friends.

Food

Don’t worry about food. There is a 24 hour station that serves pastries, pizza slices, coffee, tea and water. Free/Included.

Then there is main dining room. Each room has its own allocated dining room table and this table may be shared by other passengers, we never had anyone show up thus had our own table. The Dining room has a dress code but basically means no thongs and no singlets or bathers. Dining is 3 course dining every night with some variation, and some specialties like steak, veal, lobster, lamb and fish. The best part of the experience is to have 2 waiters serving you, food and drinks, they are the same waiters every night thus you get to know them quite well. There was 2 seating times 5:30pm and 8:00pm. We were on the early seating which meant we were often not hungry yet (after being out for the morning, having a late lunch and obviously snacking in between.) The food was fantastic, and our waiter really spoilt us by bringing extra portions if we asked. Yes I had 2 lobster tails on the 6th day for dinner. And this is all included/free. The main dining room is also open for breakfast.

Then there is the buffet style dining room on level 11 that is called the Windjammer. A totally different experience. The windjammer is open for most of the day just closing between meals to reset. Depending on when you go it may be busy or less busy but expect a few elbows, some queues, some people in a rush and some people not in a rush, thus not as laid back relaxing as the experience of the main dining room. There is a Great selection of food, good quality and in large quantities, always well supplied and fresh.

Drinks

Don’t ask us about the drinks packages as it wasn’t in our budget. We consumed a bottle of the cheap wine from the menu each evening and the 2 kids each had 1 soft drink every day. Including laundry our bill for the 7 days was just over US$400, and I believe the fully inclusive drinks package is $570pp for the 7 days, but that includes all you can drink including all the weird and wonderful cocktails they serve. The Soda package would have worked out +/- $140pp but we don’t drink enough soft drinks to justify that. We bought 12 bottles of water delivered to our room and we really used it, you are not allowed to fill waterbottles at the water station but many people bring their own bottles, and use a glass to fill up their bottles at the drinks station - a little embarrassing but hey who really cares. I wish I brought a proper water bottle. We brought the allowance of 2 bottles of wine and I really enjoyed having a sip before dinner.

Room

We had a level 2 family room with a window. The 3,4th beds drop out of the ceiling but was safe and comfortable for our 11 and 13 year old to use. We slept well, the beds, duvets and pillows was fine. Level 2 was fine we had a port hole and was far from the lifts thus really quiet. Doubt if a balcony is really worthwhile if on a budget like us. The window was bonus.

Shore excursions

For the 7 days we booked 2 excursions with the cruise company. They are expensive but I doubt if we could have gotten everything done in the time they did, had we made our own arrangements. The one day was a 5 hour excursion for +/- $42 and the other was an 8 hour excursion for +/- $130 including speed boat transport, drinks and lunch. They were well arranged with a guide that shared information and made sure everything ran on time and everyone was on the bus and/or boat on time. Other days we did our own thing and was relatively successful. Staying on the boat is cool too, lots to do or just to relax sip coffees and munch snacks.

Wifi

We only had one device on wifi and the wifi quality was good. In hind sight I should perhaps have gotten both adults wifi to help with planning the next days, but once in port we could connect to the local cellpone network at a fee.

Dress Code

We dressed properly (shoes) for most dinners and even dressed up for formal night, many people do and it was fun. Yes read the dress code - I did see them sending someone back for incorrect dressing but they are not very strict.

Conclusion

Really recommend this cruise - was a fantastic first experience for us. Us and the kids really enjoyed it.
BesonderDownUnder’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 2N 2284
Good clean, and the cabin service is fantastic making your room up 2x per day.
Deck 3 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews