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After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have cruised over 840 days at sea and now made cruising a family affair as we cruise with our minor and adult children and their families. On this 3 week holiday we had a great experience beginning at the Ocean Park Marriott Resort in Hong Kong before boarding Voyager of the Seas and was very excited to sail. However, we are sick with disappoint on our most recent Royal Caribbean sailing. We expected the smaller class ship would not have all the amenities we enjoyed on the Harmony, but we did expect the same level of food quality and service. In 30 years having cruised budget to exclusive lines we have never seen food prepared so poorly. Much of the food served on Voyager was very tasteless and served cold in both the main dining room and the buffet. When we payed for meals at Johnny Rockets and Chops the food was flavorful and served at an edible temperature. My husband began eating burgers in the hope of getting a quality tasty meal. He changed to ordering a hamburger from the main dining room as they were better than the burgers served in the Windjammer which appeared to contain filler and certainly not the quality of Johnny Rockets burgers. We tried being the first in line for the buffet, but the pork chop and pancakes were cold even at the start of the mealtime. We were also disappointed that the Windjammer buffet closed so early in the evening leaving only 1 after 9pm dining option which only had complimentary water, coffee, hot tea and milk. Being a non coffee drinker and lactose intolerance water and or basic hot tea was my only choice. In addition small things like sweeteners and the selection of tea flavors was half of what was offered on the Harmony. As for complimentary beverages, we don't believe fruit punch beverages which mimic Koolaid is acceptable. There often was debris clinging to our glass after consuming the drink. Our cabin steward provided wonderful service, as did Mr. XXXXX at the front desk. However, the rest of the staff provided substandard service and we found most staff were focused and commenting on what they would be doing once the guest were off the boat and the renovation of the ship begins. The children's activity center discouraged us from dropping our 8 year old son off. We did not understand why they would not take a child during published open hours even if other children would not be there. When we have someone watch our son at home when we are out, there are not other children present. Entertaining a ward when the parents are at the shows or casino should be the goal of the activity center, instead we had to limited our casino and bar experiences as those are not family friendly activities. Our first excursion was Halong Bay by Boat. The bay and caverns were beautiful; however, the guide provided limited or virtually no details of what we were seeing. He was very personable, but unable to answer several of our questions regarding the formation of the caverns. The Shore Excursion team tried to address our dissatisfaction of the tour of Halong Bay, but that too was several hoops to go through. The initial Shore desk agent we expressed our disappointment to made us feel like the inept guide was our fault as no one else had complained. She implied by her comments that we were lying. She was supposed to get the manager to talk to us, but it took following up with the front desk twice before we received a call back from the Shore Desk manager 36 hours later who was unfamiliar with what happened even after we had filed a complaint. We had to relive the experience again. Eventually Ms. XXXX refunded 50% of the tour cost. Great news but we were saddened that the tour did provide the learning content required of his school needed to complete his trip report. In all it did not provide a learning experience for us or our son. Although the cruise was not going well our goal was to book another with the onboarding Next travel team. This attempted booking was also a new disappointing experience. Even though we were not excited to be on the Voyager, we thought we would plan our 2020 cruise. Wow, booking early offered little incentive and the Next Cruise booking manager did not seem very concerned that we will be expanding our travel search to competitive cruise providers. Basically he was of little service and did not live up to the hype that we experienced during the frequent cruiser reception. Once aboard we understood from the crew that the Voyager would be going out of service for renovations and modernization after this cruise. However for this cruise we had to endure elevators which were non functional and some partially functional contributing to my husband discomfort as he is under the care of a sports medicine physician and was advised to avoid stairs during the trip. Modernization is definitely needed for this ship as many baseboard tiles were falling off the wall, water for hand washing was unavailable in some washrooms, and stairwell tiles/lighting leading to the casino were broken. Casino display lights were partially functional. As we have stated we encountered numerous other maintenance issues we do not normally encounter on a cruise ship. Tiles were missing or loose, the bed shade was cracked but taped together and the exterior seemed to have rust stains everywhere. RC cruises have always raised the bar for food, entertainment and experiences. However this cruise has recalibrated our RC experience to the level of experience similar to more budget cruises but for a higher price. And end the end not only were gratuities automatically added to our shipboard account now envelopes are being left for additional gratuities for cabin/dining staff. Leaving additional gratuities is a good thing but for first time cruisers they may not understand that the envelopes are not mandatory. In addition, we found that some tours had a $100.00 per person markup when compared to walking 100 yards off the ship and getting the same tour from the local provider. Right now we'd not recommend RC mid level ships for a family cruise nor do we believe our last experience lived up to RC's reputation of service, support, and guest appreciation.

Of 840 cruise days worst cruise and Royal Caribbean Cruise experience ever

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by irossfam

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have cruised over 840 days at sea and now made cruising a family affair as we cruise with our minor and adult children and their families.

On this 3 week holiday we had a great experience beginning at the Ocean Park Marriott Resort in Hong Kong before boarding Voyager of the Seas and was very excited to sail.

However, we are sick with disappoint on our most recent Royal Caribbean sailing. We expected the smaller class ship would not have all the amenities we enjoyed on the Harmony, but we did expect the same level of food quality and service. In 30 years having cruised budget to exclusive lines we have never seen food prepared so poorly. Much of the food served on Voyager was very tasteless and served cold in both the main dining room and the buffet. When we payed for meals at Johnny Rockets and Chops the food was flavorful and served at an edible temperature.

My husband began eating burgers in the hope of getting a quality tasty meal. He changed to ordering a hamburger from the main dining room as they were better than the burgers served in the Windjammer which appeared to contain filler and certainly not the quality of Johnny Rockets burgers.

We tried being the first in line for the buffet, but the pork chop and pancakes were cold even at the start of the mealtime. We were also disappointed that the Windjammer buffet closed so early in the evening leaving only 1 after 9pm dining option which only had complimentary water, coffee, hot tea and milk. Being a non coffee drinker and lactose intolerance water and or basic hot tea was my only choice. In addition small things like sweeteners and the selection of tea flavors was half of what was offered on the Harmony. As for complimentary beverages, we don't believe fruit punch beverages which mimic Koolaid is acceptable. There often was debris clinging to our glass after consuming the drink.

Our cabin steward provided wonderful service, as did Mr. XXXXX at the front desk. However, the rest of the staff provided substandard service and we found most staff were focused and commenting on what they would be doing once the guest were off the boat and the renovation of the ship begins.

The children's activity center discouraged us from dropping our 8 year old son off. We did not understand why they would not take a child during published open hours even if other children would not be there. When we have someone watch our son at home when we are out, there are not other children present. Entertaining a ward when the parents are at the shows or casino should be the goal of the activity center, instead we had to limited our casino and bar experiences as those are not family friendly activities.

Our first excursion was Halong Bay by Boat. The bay and caverns were beautiful; however, the guide provided limited or virtually no details of what we were seeing. He was very personable, but unable to answer several of our questions regarding the formation of the caverns. The Shore Excursion team tried to address our dissatisfaction of the tour of Halong Bay, but that too was several hoops to go through. The initial Shore desk agent we expressed our disappointment to made us feel like the inept guide was our fault as no one else had complained. She implied by her comments that we were lying. She was supposed to get the manager to talk to us, but it took following up with the front desk twice before we received a call back from the Shore Desk manager 36 hours later who was unfamiliar with what happened even after we had filed a complaint. We had to relive the experience again. Eventually Ms. XXXX refunded 50% of the tour cost. Great news but we were saddened that the tour did provide the learning content required of his school needed to complete his trip report. In all it did not provide a learning experience for us or our son.

Although the cruise was not going well our goal was to book another with the onboarding Next travel team. This attempted booking was also a new disappointing experience. Even though we were not excited to be on the Voyager, we thought we would plan our 2020 cruise. Wow, booking early offered little incentive and the Next Cruise booking manager did not seem very concerned that we will be expanding our travel search to competitive cruise providers. Basically he was of little service and did not live up to the hype that we experienced during the frequent cruiser reception.

Once aboard we understood from the crew that the Voyager would be going out of service for renovations and modernization after this cruise.

However for this cruise we had to endure elevators which were non functional and some partially functional contributing to my husband discomfort as he is under the care of a sports medicine physician and was advised to avoid stairs during the trip.

Modernization is definitely needed for this ship as many baseboard tiles were falling off the wall, water for hand washing was unavailable in some washrooms, and stairwell tiles/lighting leading to the casino were broken. Casino display lights were partially functional.

As we have stated we encountered numerous other maintenance issues we do not normally encounter on a cruise ship. Tiles were missing or loose, the bed shade was cracked but taped together and the exterior seemed to have rust stains everywhere.

RC cruises have always raised the bar for food, entertainment and experiences. However this cruise has recalibrated our RC experience to the level of experience similar to more budget cruises but for a higher price. And end the end not only were gratuities automatically added to our shipboard account now envelopes are being left for additional gratuities for cabin/dining staff. Leaving additional gratuities is a good thing but for first time cruisers they may not understand that the envelopes are not mandatory. In addition, we found that some tours had a $100.00 per person markup when compared to walking 100 yards off the ship and getting the same tour from the local provider.

Right now we'd not recommend RC mid level ships for a family cruise nor do we believe our last experience lived up to RC's reputation of service, support, and guest appreciation.
irossfam’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 7D 7542
Clean and well maintained except for the broken light fixtures.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews