Having been on cruises on more than one occasion including the Jewel of the Seas a few years ago, I have enough experience to know and appreciate what a good cruise is like. The ‘shows’ on Voyager of the Seas, were practically non-existent, compared to previous cruises. The ‘entertainment’, in most cases, ran for 30 – 45 minutes and, whilst entertaining, they were a poor relation to previous Cruises. Will Bailey’s show, in the Schooner Bar, was about the best entertainment on the cruise, but even this was very repetitive – the same songs night after night. There was a very nice and talented Ukrainian classical pianist. Then, some of the shows were only staged once during the cruise, not giving some a chance to see it if they were otherwise occupied on the first night!
The menus were disappointing, in that they weren’t very adventurous. I’ve often bragged to friends of the ‘5* Hotel menus and food’ on previous cruises, however, on this occasion the most I could give would be 3* and on one or two occasions less than that. We were dining in the main dining room on one occasion and ordered marinated chicken and fries (I can’t remember the name as it appeared on the menu), well, it was ‘as dry as a bone’ and I told the waitress as much and she passed it on to her manager. On another occasion I ordered ‘Fish n Chips’ and the batter was not crispy as it should be, it was sad and soggy! Don’t get me wrong, we did get very nice meals too – the Lobster Tail and the New York Steak were very nice, and some of the starters were too. Generally, I found the temperature of the food to be warm, at best. The Windjammer was also disappointing in the quality of the food, especially when compared to the Jewel of the Seas.
Then, as if all the above wasn’t enough, on ‘Day 5, Cruising’, to watch the television screen displaying the map of our nautical progress, of the day ‘at sea’ and see the ship going up and down the length of Skagerrak Strait (between Kristiansand and Skagen), three or four times at about 8 Knots per hour trying to waste time instead of calling to Gothenburg or some other port within reach to give the customer a little extra for the overpriced cost of the Cruise. Several of the other passengers on board expressed similar observations to me about this cruise.