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Voyager of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1431 reviews
1 Award

Voyager or Brilliance..?

Review for Voyager of the Seas to the Eastern Mediterranean
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Columbus Canaries
2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

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Sail Date: Oct 2009
Cabin:

Having taken a Med cruise last year on Brilliance of the Seas we decided to give Voyager of the Seas a go this year. Could only fit a week in this time however so was a slightly different itinerary. Firstly the comparison between the two ships...well we preferred some things on Brilliance and other things on Voyager and concluded that if we could just put both ships together we'd have the perfect ship. Preferred the Windjammer on Brilliance as it had the open air seaview cafe at the back of the ship which meant you could eat outdoors. Also the Adult Solarium was nicer on the Brilliance - firstly it was indoors and secondly it felt newer and more sytlish. The things we preferred on the Voyager were the Promenade deck with the shopping mall feel, and the extra activities onboard such as the ice skating and inline skating. The evening entertainment was average although this year we did make an effort to try and see all of the shows after missing most of them last time. The Beatle Maniacs were very good and really enjoyed the farewell show with the comedian and the acrobats. Not enthralled with the resident singers and dancers but was free entertainment nevertheless. The ice show was very enjoyable and we managed to get in to see it twice - shame that the same girl kept falling in both shows though! After eating most of the time in the Windjammer last year, we decided to book the my time dining option this year so that we would not be taking up a table if we decided to do the same again. As it was, we did prefer the dining experience in the Windjammer again but went to the Magic Flute on two evenings. The first time we pre-booked a table for 2 with no problem, and the 2nd time we just decided to turn up and were seated with a nice friendly family from the Midlands. The restaurants were very glamourous and the chandeliers were spectacular. The choice in the Windjammer/Island Cafe was pretty much the same on the Voyager as the Brilliance, however I think the Brilliance had the edge. Found the chefs a bit stingy with the carved joints and you had to practically beg for a second piece of meat this time, and also found that the sweets were no longer self -service.With the cabin we just booked the standard inside on the Voyager as we did last year on Brilliance. They were almost identical on both ships but the colour scheme was nicer on the Brilliance and of course had a newer feel. Also on Brilliance we were lucky to be upgraded to an outside cabin which did make a bit of difference! Just a small detail but the showers are much nicer on Voyager due to the solid shower doors rather than the curtains. The cabin was alway kept clean and tidy but we only ever met the steward on 1 occasion. This was the arrival day when he came to introduce himself and then after that we never saw him again (probably cos he knew we had pre-paid the gratuities and had no need to work extra to get them!). Once again we decided to decline the on board excursions and did our own visits. Went to Pompeii last year so decided on Herculaneum this time. Not as big as Pompeii but still very interesting in it's own unique way. Very easy to get to by local train as was Rome and Florence. In Livorno instead of paying the $12 pp for the shuttle, we paid 20 euros for a taxi from the ship side to the train station and shared the cost with another couple. Managed to find another couple to do the same with on the way back too. In respect of the drink prices... we didn't bother with the refreshment package this year as we did on Brilliance. Felt that we didn't use it that much so wasn't good value. Normally went to the bar or the Vault disco in the evenings and had a few cocktails (usually the cocktail of the day which worked out at $7.50 each with tax and service). The beers were very expensive and worked out about $10 for a pint of draught, and a coke was just over $2. One thing that we found surprising and very annoying was the way that the pre-paid gratuity system works. On the last evening when the vouchers and envelopes were delivered to our cabin we decided that we did not think it was fair to award all of the vouchers to our waiter and assistant waiter being as they had only served us on 2 occasions. We went to guest services to ask if we could give the vouchers to the waiters who had served us in the Windjammer. We were told that this was not possible, and whether we gave the vouchers to the waiters in the dining room or not, they would still get the allowance automatically. We were advised that the envelopes were only a formality. For sure next time we will not pre pay the tips and we will decide who will get our appeciation. All in all we will not hesitate in using Royal Caribbean again. The ships are marvellous and the whole experience is without fault. From the checking in at the port to collection of luggage at the end, everything has run like clockwork on both occasions. No cruises next year unfortunately as all our vacations are organised already but for sure the following year we'll be back - hopefully on Oasis of the Seas!!

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