1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: March 2012
We just returned from a 7 night cruise that left out of New Orleans on St. Patrick's day. First and foremost, New Orleans is an amazing port to leave and return to! There is so much to do in the city and so many places to visit! I ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 night cruise that left out of New Orleans on St. Patrick's day. First and foremost, New Orleans is an amazing port to leave and return to! There is so much to do in the city and so many places to visit! I highly recommend the excursion offered at the end of the cruise. It is a city tour of New Orleans and very much worth the money to do! Actually, it is cheaper than booking a taxi to the airport and they drop you off there when finished. Anyways, we booked on the Voyager of the Seas and had a fantastic time. We had a balcony cabin (7348). We took the Voyager due to its location and the cost of airfare. New Orleans was much cheaper than any port in Florida so we made our decision based on money. This was worrysome prior to leaving but we quickly realized we had mad a great decision. Embarkation was simple and fast. Royal Caribbean really has this down. If you are crown and anchor members check your seapass before check in. If there is a small G you do not have to wait in the regular line. There is a much quicker line for returning guests. We entered the ship and went straight to out cabin. It was very clean and organized and enough space for my fiance and I(in our 30s). We had the most amazing stateroom attendant Utami. She is from China and was very friendly. She greeted us every morning and evening asking about our day and if there was anything she could do for us. She was extremely happy and very outgoing. For dinner we did the second seating (8:00pm). Dinner each night was great. We enjoyed Portifinos one night but ate in the main dining room nightly. Everything was fantastic. Our waiter Helen (Weng) was amazing as well. Each night she took care of us and offered information about the ship and events each day. She ensured that her assistant never let the drinks get empty and was more than happy to ensure we enjoyed what we had for dinner. She actually took the time one night to tell us about her home country of China. She was very outgoing and made us feel at home during our trip. She like the dinners, were fantastic. Daily we ate at the windjammer or cafe promenade. The lunches and snacks were to be expected. Nothing amazing but it got the job done. The windjammer was never really crowded and the food was good for the most part. The only issue we had on the ship was the other cruisers that were with us. People thought they didnt have to wait in line and often cut it daily or would stand in line and eat off the plate. Those two things really irked me but what can you do! The shows and activities were fun. Our cruise director Keith was fantastic. His staff mainly Chris and Gordon were fantastic as well. There is plenty to do on the ship and many events to participate in. The two must do activities would be Quest and for Love and Marriage. Those two are fantastic and funny! The art auction was fun buy ended up costly as I had to buy another Britto for our home! For excursions we did 2. At Cozumel, we did a catamaran to Passion Island which was fantastic. All the food and alcohol you want for 79$. The beach there was fantastic and there were all kinds of activities. At Grand Cayman we did the Tiki Beach (seven mile beach). It was great as well. The water was warm and crystal clear. It was great to just float around or just snorkel the day away. In Jamacia we didnt do an excursion. We got off the boat and stayed in the "compound". Downtown Falmouth isnt much of a place to visit and I highly recommend staying in the Royal Caribbean area. Overall we had a great time. A couple words of information. The spa deck has a hot tub that never has anyone in it. If the pool decks are full head here for some private relaxation! Also on deck 4 you can go all the way out to the front of the ship. You can stand right in the very front of the ship and have yourself a titanic moment! Enjoy your vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We took the 3/3 sailing out of New Orleans to the Western Caribbean and overall had a wonderful time. We flew in the day before and stayed 1 night at the Hilton Garden Inn, which had a good location to the French Quarter. The hotel was ... Read More
We took the 3/3 sailing out of New Orleans to the Western Caribbean and overall had a wonderful time. We flew in the day before and stayed 1 night at the Hilton Garden Inn, which had a good location to the French Quarter. The hotel was decent, nothing spectacular. The room definitely had a temperature problem. Despite how low we set the thermostat, it was pretty warm. Also, there was a strange sawing noise as if there was maintenance work taking place in the room next to us in the middle of the night. Since we were there just 1 night, we didn't complain. Though, in the email survey they later sent us, I mentioned those issues and received a kind email from the manager who mailed us a certificate for a free 1 night stay. We went to the cruise terminal and after a pretty smooth embarkation process, we were on the ship somewhere around 11:45. We explored the ship and eventually had a late lunch in the Windjammer. Our room was exactly what we expected as we have sailed Voyager class ships before. It was clean and our cabin steward was quite efficient. Voyager of the Seas was just beautiful and I thought that staff was cordial and friendly. There were many activities available, but my husband and I spent a lot of time relaxing on our balcony. The only ones we participated in were bingo, the champagne art auction, mini golf, and the Secrets of the Voyager Art Tour. I highly recommend the Art Tour if you have any remote interest in art. Royal Caribbean has an amazing collection and it's great to learn more about it. I'm hoping that the activity is added to the rest of the fleet's activities. We spent time in the Pig and Whistle Pub listening to Derek Lewis perform pub favorites. That was a lot of fun. We also enjoyed some late night drinks and dance music in The Vault. We didn't utilize any of the exercise equipment or classes, but I did love the jogging track. We did lay out on the lounge chairs for some sun. It was pretty easy to find lounge chairs in a decent location in the late morning during sea days. Unfortunately, the Solarium was consistently packed, which ordinarily would be a more relaxing atmosphere. The food was kind of disappointing. We have sailed with RCL before and honestly it does seem like it's going downhill. We had all of our dinners in the Main Dining Room, with the exception of the last night, in which we ate in the Windjammer. Our waitress, Fe from the Phillipines, and assistant waitress, Zhe Liu from China, were great. Zhe Liu was especially good and she was genuinely friendly, good sense of humor, and so accomodating. The most memorable meal items were the escargot, as usual, and the shrimp dumplings with ponzu sauce. The lobster was quite bland. Our last dinner in the Windjammer was very good and I'm always reminded of how we should just eat there much more often for dinner. They have almost everything on the main dining room menu, with the exception of lobster, escargot, etc, but we certainly wouldn't have missed the lobster this time. They also had many things that were not in the dining room, like sushi and fajitas. They had great little touches that were unexpected, for example, pickled watermelon for the fajitas. It's just such a more casual atmosphere if you don't feel like dressing up for dinner. We did not get to Portofino, but we still intend to the next time as I keep hearing how good it is. We ate in Johnny Rockets for an early lunch on our last sea day. That was good and the service was excellent. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer and lunch in the Windjammer or Cafe Promenade. The chocolate mocha tart served in the Cafe Promenade was just delicious. This cruise stopped at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth, Jamaica. In Cozumel, we took the X-Rails jungle buggy tour to Jade Caverns. My husband was looking forward to driving the dune buggy and I was primarily interested in seeing the cenote. After the van ride from the terminal, we were taken through a small jungle trail where they had parrots you could get your picture taken with. Then, you drive the dune buggy to the cenote. On the way, you would stop and could get your picture with a baby crocodile. My husband drove and I sat in the passenger seat. He said that the power steering was shot. The condition of the vehicles could have been a lot better. The ride took way too long because one child threw a tantrum and refused to get back into the buggy and some guy in front of us drove into a tree, which we knew was going to happen long before. The cenote and the surrounding foliage was just lovely. Many people swam in the water, but we chose not to. There were lots of bats and I really didn't want to swim in bat poo despite the guide trying to say how clear the water was. I stuck my foot in and the water was quite cold. On the dune buggy ride back, we just got filthy. They encouraged you to drive super fast through a huge mud puddle. We were covered in mud head to toe. My clothes from that excursion could not be salvaged. In Grand Cayman, we booked the Tiki Beach Break. We waited a long time to board the bus and finally get to the beach. Frankly, the driver was extremely rude. It really seemed like the people working at the cruise terminal organizing the tours in Grand Cayman were just annoyed with all of the tourists. This was my third time there and I had not felt that before. The beach and water was nice, though you could not go deep into the water due to the sharp rocks. We ended of leaving the beach early and taking a mini-bus back to the terminal, which cost $5.00 for the two of us. Next time, we will skip the excursion and take a mini-bus instead. The tendering process was pretty efficient. We enjoyed our day in Falmouth the most. I've read many complaints about Falmouth, but I was pleasantly surprised. Having been to Ocho Rios before, I felt that at Falmouth, they did a good job at keeping out the aggressive vendors, drug dealers etc. I found that the port vendors were very friendly. We took the Dune Buggy ride at Good Hope Plantation excursion. This was a lot of fun. The vehicles were in good condition, much better than Cozumel. We didn't get too dirty, just a drop of mud here and there, and the scenery around the plantation was just lovely. We also had the pleasant surprise of pulling over to let Prince Harry's motorcade through. Of note, the first few days of the cruise was incredibly rough. Many crew saidthey have never felt it that bad before. It didn't affect our feelings of the cruise, but it was surprising. The disembarkation process was very smooth. We then spent 2 days in New Orleans at the Doubletree Hotel. The hotel was better than the Hilton Garden Inn and good location. We had a fabulous time and can't wait to sail again with RCL. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had a very easy drive to New Orleans, but found it a bit tricky getting around the city. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Metairie, which we would suggest. It was a very clean and pretty hotel. The rates were much better than staying ... Read More
We had a very easy drive to New Orleans, but found it a bit tricky getting around the city. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Metairie, which we would suggest. It was a very clean and pretty hotel. The rates were much better than staying in New Orleans. We arrived at the dock around 10:30 and got right to the check in station. This would have been an even easier process if our travel agent would have had all of our paper work. Since we are gold members, we were called quickly and we were on the ship before we knew it. After reading reviews, I was a bit nervous about the ship, but found it to be very nice. There were parts of the boat that needs attention, but it is what we would expect for a ship that has been used for 10 years. We went to the windjammer for lunch, which we found the food to be good. We explored the ship while waiting for our cabin to be ready. Now for the bad part of our trip. We had fruit flies in our room when we got there and they remained the whole trip...even after the ship crew sprayed for them 3 times. We also had a leak in our window which made a noise the whole week. They tried to tell us it was the direction the ship was moving, but it didn't matter what direction we went, the noise was always there. We did not find the shows to be as good as shows on other ships. Jimmy the cruise director did a great job. The juggler on the last night was by far the best show of the cruise. The ice show was good and the stakers did a good job considering the small rink. There must have been bad ice the night we saw the show because they fell about 10 different times. We did enjoy the food in the formal dining room. We had my time dining, but after the second night we had Fradj and Chew Chew as our waiters, so we requested them for the rest of the cruise...best service we have ever had on any of the cruises we have taken. We tried the formal dining room for breakfast on morning but did not find the food any better than in the windjammer. Our only other complaint was the lack of drink stations on the ship. If you wanted iced tea or lemonade, you had to go all the way to the windjammer. They only offered water at other spots on the boat. The ice cream station was always a great afternoon treat. As far as our ports of call, we enjoyed them all. We found Falmouth to be a bit scary and unsafe, but once we arrived at Doctors cave it was all good. We used Reggae tours and were very happy with them. While in Cayman Island we took a taxi to the beach. this cost us $5 per person each way. Our taxi driver did not want to take us to the beach we wanted to go, so we went to the public beach, which was very crowded. Had a great time in Cozumel. We booked the jeep and snorkel tour through RCCL and it was a good tour. Over all a great vacation and we would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Since we live in the Northeast we flew into New Orleans on Friday morning prior to embarkation. We arrived around 12:30, checked in and were able to explore New Orleans that day and evening. That was fine although I am not in any rush to ... Read More
Since we live in the Northeast we flew into New Orleans on Friday morning prior to embarkation. We arrived around 12:30, checked in and were able to explore New Orleans that day and evening. That was fine although I am not in any rush to return to that area. Boarding On Saturday we checked out of hotel and were on board by 12:00. Very smooth embarkation. Good Job Royal Caribbean!! Lines moved along very rapidly and as long as everyone had their cruise documents in hand there was no issues. We had 1 cabin 7383, an inside room. The cabin had plenty enough room and was comfortable. Our room steward Igede, kept our cabins clean and was very good at his job. He anticipated every need and we could not have asked for better service. We could lay down for a nap, get up and go out for an hour come back and the bed was perfectly made up again. Very satisfied with housekeeping on this ship. The ship herself is in great shape for her age. Like some posts before, yes there is some worn spots on the carpets, and some of the dining room chairs (In the Magic Flute) need some TLC, but considering an estimated 15,000 people on this ship every month, the crew is doing a fantastic job in keeping her in good shape. Entertainment The entertainment on board is the usual productions on board. They did have 2 comedians and a comic/juggler on board that were good. The Ice show is the best show i have seen on any cruise. How they manage to do the jumps and twirls on the small sheet of ice and on the ocean is unbelievable a MUST see. We also loved to go to the Pig and Whistle and listen to Derek Lewis. Derek is a guitarist cum vocalist from Texas is a one man band who performs at the Pig and Whistle Bar. You are most welcome to sing with him. And if you are good enough he may even award you a recording contract. "Super Star" Dining Our dining room service was impeccable. Anil (Waiter) and Saluh (Asst Waiter) not only made sure we were full when we left the table, they both made it eating great food entertaining. The food itself was delicious. In addition, Anil asked us what excursions we were doing and then the next night at dinner inquired about them. Not just saying how was your day but naming the excursion. I know this is their job but I appreciated the attention to detail. Our bar server, Mavalyn Mackenzie was also amazing and made sure we were never thirsty. The maitre'D's who sat us each night didn't have to ask us our stateroom number or names after the first night. The recognized us, addressed us by name and made us feel welcome. Overall we were very happy with the dining experience. Ate all breakfasts and lunches in Windjammer. Wanted to try Johnny Rockets but just never got around to it. Ports of Call We visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We got off in each port and did RCCL sponsored excursions and loved each one. We did the Dunns River Falls and White River innertubing in Jamaica. We did the Swim with the Stingrays and snorkeling in Grand Cayman which then consisted of an all inclusive lunch and rum punch and beach afterwards. The water was a little rough and the tour guide didn't feel it was safe to snorkel so we all received a 25% reimbursement on our cruise account. And we didn't even have to ask. In Cozumel we did the Learn how to cook Mexican dishes excursion at Playa del Mia. We were taught three different dishes and got to eat our own creation for lunch accompanied by Mexican wines. Afterward we relaxed at the beach and went for a swim and used kayaks. You also have access to the underwater Mayan city, shopping center, swimming pool, hammocks, lounge chairs, volleyball and soccer court, ping pong tables, kids club and playground, restrooms and dressing rooms, beach umbrella, kayaks, paddle boats, sailboats, water trampoline, water bicycles, floating tubes, and the iceberg water mountain. Disembarkation We all hated to see the cruise come to an end, but all good things must. Royal Carribean made disembarking a breeze. Proper paperwork out, number called, and walked straight out of terminal. Even customs was a breeze. Great Ship, Great Crew and a very good time. Thank you Voyager of the Seas!!! We are so ready to book again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We just returned from seven-day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. My wife and I (ages 65) took my daughter, her husband and our three grandsons -- ages 14, 12 and 10 on this cruise that left from New Orleans ... Read More
We just returned from seven-day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. My wife and I (ages 65) took my daughter, her husband and our three grandsons -- ages 14, 12 and 10 on this cruise that left from New Orleans on March 31, 2012. We chose this cruise because we could drive to New Orleans rather than fly seven people to New Orleans. We had three staterooms -- two balcony staterooms rooms and one inside room for the three boys across the hall from their parents. This was our seventh cruise and our second on RCI - the first RCI cruise having been 24 years ago. We have also cruised on Norwegian, Costa, Renaissance, Oceania and Azamara -- most with European itineraries. Our first RCI cruise and the cruise on Norwegian had similar Caribbean itineraries and the NCL cruise also originated in New Orleans. We took the NCL cruise with our grandchildren in 2009. Voyager of the Seas is a big boat -- especially for us who are more accustomed to smaller, more intimate vessels. However, it worked really well. The staff and crew are fantastic and made us feel that we were on a much smaller boat. Getting on and off were handled very efficiently and with no issues. The food was fantastic -- really it was. I did not expect much and the choices offered were not only good, they included lower calorie fare as well. We chose the My Time Dining option and ate most meals around 8:00 PM in the main dining room. Some nights the boys joined us -- some nights they did not. The wait staff was wonderful and the boys really only went to dinner with us so they could interact with Woravit, our wonderful main waiter. Thanks again Woravit for making dinner such an enjoyable experience! Normally, we have found resort and cruise ship entertainment to be not worth the effort. This was NOT the case with the Voyager of the Seas!! The ice show -- that I reluctantly agreed to go to -- was amazing. The Drifters were great, and the comedic juggler on the final night had us laughing in stiches. The bands, the combos in the bars and the DJs were all over-the-top. This is a very happy cruise crew and it shows in their enthusiasm and professionalism. The kids all had a good time -- the older boys mostly played sports and the youngest did use the kid's club activities. We had pre-booked our own private excursions in the three ports of call so I can't comment on the ship's shore excursions. Same with the spa -- we did not use it. The Voyager of the Seas is a bit tired and could use a cosmetic refit -- especially in the staterooms. Our couch was a bit threadbare in spots but not bad enough to complain about. The bathroom was small but very efficient and there was lots of storage space all through the cabin. The three days at sea did make getting shaded space on deck hard to find and in order to get a spot in the adult pool area you did need to be an early riser. Also, lines for the pool deck barbequed ribs and the soft-serve ice cream machine were a bit too long for my patience level. But, this was a spring break cruise for our grandkids -- not a luxury cruise for us -- and it turned out to be much better than I expected and we had a lot of fun especially for the price! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We arrived at the port early, around 11AM, having checked with the cruise line prior that it would be okay to drop off our suitcases so we could roam around Riverwalk prior to our cruise. Well, we were hustled through and before you knew ... Read More
We arrived at the port early, around 11AM, having checked with the cruise line prior that it would be okay to drop off our suitcases so we could roam around Riverwalk prior to our cruise. Well, we were hustled through and before you knew it we were in line for the security check point. Reading that you couldn't board until 1, I didn't want to sit there for 2 hours waiting. The man assured me that this was best, as they start allowing you to board at 11:30 and if we go and come back, he said it would be an hour or more in line to get on board and I should consider this VIP boarding. Enough said, we decided to board. Once on board we were not allowed into our stateroom until 1PM but all the other parts of the ship were open; the grill, cafe and all the bars and pool. So we had a good time and it was nice to take in the views of New Orleans before we set sail. Setting sail was unique, traveling along the Mississippi River seeing old factories, other ships and towns - just beautiful. The ship itself was very nicely appointed, all the public areas were beautifully and uniquely decorated and very clean. My favorite hangout became the Aquarium bar but mostly due to the fact of the fantastic staff they had working there; Marina, Jovica and Raymond. Other bars like the Sky Bar above the pool and the Schooner Bar were also nice. The casino was nice, my mother actually won $3000 playing penny slots so that made her whole cruise. Drinks are not free there like in Vegas but all-in-all it was a nice place to spend a little time. The dining room was immaculate, 3 floors and simply stunning. The service was great as were our tablemates at dinner. Dinners were good and they allowed you to order 2 appetizers, or have an entree as your appetizer, etc. anything you wanted. We never did breakfast in the main dining room, we either ordered into our room or went up to the Windjammer cafe's buffet. Room service is okay if you get the pastries, otherwise the food is not that great and my toast could have been used as a lethal weapon. Alternate dining we did try both Portofino and Johnny Rockets. Portofino was magnificent both service and food wise, and it is highly recommended you make reservations before your cruise. Johnny Rockets on the other hand, it is a cute 50s like diner with burgers, fries and shakes but unlike Johnny Rockets on dry land, they annoy you here yelling "Everybody say hello!" when someone enters, followed by "Everybody say bye!" when someone leaves and while you are waiting to place your order or receive your order, the entire waiting staff breaks into a dance and they are not dancers. I think if they would have just left it as it is at the rest of the chain it would have been better. The shows were very good, went to three of them and they were all great. They had karaoke in Cleopatra's Needle which was very entertaining and fun. Although a word of caution, the sofa/bench seats there have a 1 inch piece of metal that extends past the cushion, sliced my leg open on it and we found that they were all along the seats. If it doesn't cut your skin I am sure it could rip a dress or pants. The pools and jacuzzis were nice, they even have a kid zone small pool for the little ones and there is also an adult pool. Shopping and entertainment on the Promenade deck were great, very uniquely designed, like a city street and it even had a pub. The only bad thing . . . by the time I could navigate my way around on the ship it was time to go home. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We are a 39 year old couple cruising with our 5 year old daughter. This is our 6th cruise on RC, and we have cruised 3 times on Carnival and once on Holland America. We flew into NOLA late Thursday night, and had a very nice stay at Days ... Read More
We are a 39 year old couple cruising with our 5 year old daughter. This is our 6th cruise on RC, and we have cruised 3 times on Carnival and once on Holland America. We flew into NOLA late Thursday night, and had a very nice stay at Days Inn N.O. Airport, then moved to the French Quarter to stay Friday night at Ursuline Guest House. It was conveniently located to all the sites, but not a very impressive hotel. Cab from airport to FQ was $14 per person, and from FQ to terminal $7pp, and they did charge for our 5 y.o. We arrived at the terminal at 10:00am, intending on dropping our bags with a porter then walking to the aquarium, but there was no line to go ahead and check in, so we did. The entire process took about 10 minutes, and we were told we could board around 11:00am. The terminal is very nice, and actually had vending carts with sandwiches, chips, fruit, etc for sale. Boarding was quick and easy, and we were at the empty Windjammer at shortly after 11. I don't know where the usual mad crowds were, but we walked right in with no waiting, and there were plenty of seats. The food this cruise was excellent, with the best buffets we've experienced on a cruise. Lunch for me was honeystung chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and a cookie. We explored the ship, then let DD play in the great kids pool. Open house for Adventure Ocean was from 1-3:30, and muster was at 4:10. We then enjoyed an egg salad sandwich, fruit cup and cookie from Promenade Cafe. We used the Cafe every day after DD would leave Adventure Ocean. The sandwiches and pizza are great, and the tiny fruit cups were a great way to make sure she was getting a little something healthy. She loved being able to pick out her own cookie. And I must say, the reviews are correct about the ranger cookies. Yum! For dinner, we had My Time dining, a first for us. We found it to be simple and just as good as traditional seating. It was a nuisance to have to check in every evening, but no big deal.It appeared that most people thought "my time" dining meant "casual", as jeans, shorts, and t-shirts were more prevalent in this dining room than dress clothes. We even saw soccer shorts and flip flops on most of the teens. Our waiters the first night were Francis and Jaromey, and we asked to be seated with them each night. Their service was outstanding. They went out of their way to make our daughter feel welcome and entertained, made sure she had a fruit plate and chocolate milk right away, and brought her meal with our appetizers. They were just fantastic. We were leery about how the service would be on this cruise, as there are only two more sailings before the ship repositions, and we had heard that much of the crew was being phased in/out. Tired crews are not happy crews! However, we actually had the best service ship wide that we've ever had. Even in the WJ, they could not do enough for us. One night, we were having a late snack in the WJ, and the waiter came to ask us what we wanted to drink, and DD said "Sprite." We did not have a soda card, and frankly, she is rarely permitted to have soda, but before I could correct her, the nice waiter winked at her and said "just for you, I'll get you a Sprite." We had service like that all week, just above and beyond. Dinner the first night was tortilla soup, spinach salad (both excellent), prime rib with baked potato, and chocolate cherry cake (both just okay, I will order something different next time.) DD had a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit, chicken fingers and fries, and the "special" dessert Francis said he'd bring her, a delicious brownie sundae. We then went to AO registration, which was from 7:15 to 9pm. Tonight's show was the Welcome Aboard show, with a featured comedian. Sunday, DD was impatient to get to AO, so we had a great breakfast at WJ, then dropped her off, and went to the busy basketball court. This is usually our favorite place to hang out on Voyager class ships, as DH can play ball while I read next to the court. On this ship, there are no chairs on deck 13 at all. I really missed this, plus, being a Spring Break cruise, there were so many teenagers onboard, that the Bball court was packed, and DH could not even get on it. AO was open today from 9am-noon, 2pm-5pm, and 6:45-10pm at no charge. They also offer dinner at 5:45 for kids at no charge. DD LOVED this. The menu stayed the same all week, and was a choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, and grilled cheese with fries. I wish they had offered fruit or vegetables, but they didn't. We had to make sure she was getting enough to drink and enough healthy food in the short amount of time that she was actually with us. Those fruit cups at Promenade Cafe came in handy! Lunch today was tacos, rice, veggie medley of corn, broccoli and carrots, and mud cake and creme caramel. The food was so good! DH played in the BBall tournament, but there were so many people entered they only let the teams play to 4 points. That was pointless. We tried out the pool (cold!) and ended up just taking DD up to the warmer kids pool. The waterslide was open today, and she loved it. Dinner tonight was formal, with shrimp cocktail, scallops au gratin (not usually on the menu, but Francis advised that they were unable to get escargot this cruise, so this was the substitution. It was fabulous!), beef filet with mashed potatoes and asparagus (all outstanding), and chocolate souffle (just okay). Francis brought out a platter with slices of the beef to give us extra if we desired. After this meal, I don't understand how people say the food isn't good. The beef was so tender, and delicious. Tonight's show was Music in Pictures. Monday we ported in Cozumel. We decided to stay onboard for awhile, as we've been to Cozumel many times, and only planned to shop for a little while. We had a leisurely breakfast. I should say how impressed we were with the buffets all week. Our last few cruises have been with Carnival, and their buffets are terrible, so to be back to RC, and see how great the food was, made us very happy. The breakfast selection was fantastic, and even had made to order eggs, biscuits and gravy, a different specialty scrambled egg daily, made to order toasted breads, and every fresh fruit you could want. There was grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi, plums, and even bananas left on day 7! My daily breakfast was a freshly toasted bagel with cream cheese, a vanilla danish (these are so good!), bacon actually made crispy, hash browns, pineapple, strawberries, and grapefruit. Doesn't get any better than that! Apple juice and water was available. Chocolate milk was not set out on the buffet, but was available if we asked. DD loved having a tiny box of Rice Krispies every morning (all that great food and that what she wanted... :) Throughout the week, various chefs would come out behind the buffet and ask her if she wanted chocolate milk, and twice a chef told her to wait, then brought out a plate of chocolate covered strawberries just for her, and then a special donut with jelly beans on it. That is such great service! After breakfast, DH tried the basketball court again, and was happy to see that most people were in port, so he had the court mostly to himself. He had a great time playing, while I read in the shade of the golf themed bar area above the court on deck 14. We left the ship at noon and walked to the (much nicer) Puerta Maya pier to shop. I had a $5 margarita at our pier, and was not allowed to bring it on the ship since I hadn't finished it yet. No problem, I can't really complain about standing on the pier looking at the beautiful turquoise water while finishing a cool drink! We had lunch back onboard, of tacos again, nachos, crab and asparagus soup, and white chocolate mousse ( delicious, like a chocolate covered homemade marshmallow). AO hours today were 7am-5pm, and 5:45 dinner to 10pm. AO will take the kids to WJ for lunch, but again choices are limited, and the only option each day was pizza and fries. She really enjoyed this. The dinner menu tonight wasn't appealing (it's the menu with the crab cake appetizer), so we went to the WJ, but didn't see much here that appealed to us either. We decided to go to Johnny Rockets. Now, I don't like to pay for food when I've already paid for food as part of my cruise fair, but I must say JR was worth it. For the two of us, we spent $18 on the cover charge, 2 sodas, and tip, but it was fun, and good food. We both had burgers, the fries/onion rings and ranch that is served automatically, and split an oreo sundae. "Everybody say hellloooo, everybody say goodbyyyyyye." Love that guy! After AO, we took DD to WJ for a snack of jello and vanilla ice cream. (one of the desserts that night was apple cobbler, so they actually had scooped ice cream available.) Be advised that WJ closes at 9pm, so that limits the snack options to Cafe Promenade after picking up from AO. Tonight's show was the Headliner show, the Drifters. Tuesday we ported in Grand Cayman. Our tender number wasn't called until 11:30am, which was also when the call was made for anyone without a number to board. While we didn't rush down to get a tender #, a 3 hour wait seemed excessive, and half the day was gone by the time we hit the shore. DD wanted to stayed onboard in AO, and we took a $4pp taxi to 7 mile beach for a wonderful swim. We walked back to the pier, which wasn't a bad walk at all, and passed several free public beach accesses. (we were charged $2 pp to enter where the taxi dropped us off.) Along that walk, we passed a Pizza Hut, Wendy's, KFC, and Burger King. 2 combo meals at BK set us back $18.80 US$. Yikes! The shops were very expensive here, and in Jamaica also. I'd advise doing any souvenir shopping in Cozumel. Dinner tonight was jalapeno potato soup (delicious), seasonal salad (okay, it has mesclun greens it it which I don't care for), beef should filet with mashed potatoes and yellow squash (very good), and creme brulee ( I love creme brulee, but this had been sitting too long and was soggy). I asked if I could get just the chocolate portion of the choco-chino trilogy dessert, as I don't care for the other two portions of the trilogy, and of course I was served the whole portion. I was glad to have the little bite of chocolate since my creme brulee was disappointing. DH asked Francis if he could get just a plain iceberg salad, and Francis said he would make something wonderful for him. He came out with a pretty lettuce wedge that my husband loved, and each night after, Francis asked DH if he'd like his special salad with bleu cheese dressing. Also, I never had to ask for iced tea after the first night, and Jaromey never let our glasses or our bread plates get empty (who really NEEDS more than one dinner roll, right?) After dinner, we discovered the hot tub in the gymnasium, which was completely empty. All the tubs on the pool deck were packed. We had this one all to ourselves. It is HOT though! We had the best time relaxing in here. As a side note, there is some "interesting" decor on the top floors of the forward part of the ship. It became rather like a scavenger hunt for us, and we renamed the ship the "Voyeur of the Seas." Discover it for yourself. To stay on that theme, if you want to have some naughty fun, order ice cream in the MDR. It's a "happy" dessert. AO was open again today from 9am-5, and served lunch, with dinner at 5:45 and open to 10pm. Tonight's show was the ice show, and late night comedy. Wednesday was Jamaica. We again took our time getting off the ship, and enjoyed the deserted Bball court and reading time. We got off the ship around noon and walked around the port. The port area has been very beautifully designed, but we don't understand why RC would sink so much money into a port that few people seem to enjoy. Our previous experience in Jamaica was frightening and left us no desire to ever return. I wish RC would have invested the money into a new port/island that is safer and more appreciative of the tourists. We did not leave the gated area, and weren't interested in the RC owned and sanitized diamond shops. There is a craft/flea market area, and the vendors have been obviously told not to hound people, to the point that when we did want to know the price of an item, we had difficulty finding the right person to give an answer. All the booths seemed to sell all the same items, and prices were very high. ($10 for a childs straw purse and no offer to negotiate) The shops at the rear of the complex were a little more interesting, and I did buy a few wood carvings here. There is also a Quiznos restaurant here. We were back onboard quickly for a lunch of pizza, salad, corn chowder and creme brulee. We spent time exploring the ship, as we always enjoy finding the helipad on deck 4 (we watched sailaway here, from N.O. Fun place to watch the river go by) and the peek-a-boo bridge on deck 11 forward. We missed the usual interesting stairwell art on this ship. We didn't see anything very interesting. Dinner tonight was shrimp cocktail, spinach dip (both excellent) NY strip with mashed potatoes and green beans (pretty good) and key lime pie (excellent). Tonight's show was Broadway Rhythm & Rhyme. Thursday and Friday were sea days, so AO was open 9-noon, 2-5, and 6:45-10. Dinner was offered on Thursday only, and the morning session on Friday ended at 11am because of the talent show. DD enjoyed the club so much. The staff was great, and it was nice that they took the kids out around the ship a little bit. It seemed like there were less "freebies" than on other lines. They gave out a small stuffed octopus or a lanyard during registration on day one, and an activity kit on the last day, but other than that, she mostly brought out coloring sheets. We were disappointed that the "dolphin" character never visited. I can't believe RC missed an opportunity to make $10 on a photo. I probably would have bought that one! Today's show was the Headliner show featuring Voices 3, and also the last showing of the ice show. I should mention here that on Sunday we attended the meet and mingle. The gift is still the passport holders. My husband was asked to draw a name for the raffle, and he drew his own, and won a great prize pack of logo merchandise. We met cruise directer Jimmy (who claims to read these reviews, so hi Jimmy, if you're really reading this)and he said to contact him if anyone needed help with anything, like if anyone needed ice show tickets, etc. Well, we had somehow missed the tickets being issued, so when we left the ship in Grand Cayman, Jimmy was standing near security, and I asked him how we get tickets, and reminded him of what he said at the meet and greet. He said to find him later on the ship, but also asked our stateroom #. The next day, he called our stateroom to see if we were "home", and personally delivered our show tickets. Pretty impressive! This was DD's first time seeing an ice show, and she was mesmerized. We enjoyed it, as always, and even got to talk to a few of the skaters that night in the hot tub. Lunch was a cheeseburger, fries,vegetable soup, and salad. Dinner was seafood salad, asparagus soup, lobster and shrimp with rice and broccoli, and the dessert sampler. Everything was excellent, except I didn't care for the rice, and only the chocolate portion of the dessert sampler is good. I wish they would change this dessert menu. It is lacking in comparison to the other nights, and has only 2 selections. Francis brought a second lobster and more shrimp and placed it on my plate before I could say no thank you (who am I kidding, I ate every bite!) I had also ordered a baked potato, of which he brought two because he said they were too small. Ate both of those too. (6 pounds in one week. I know you're wondering.) Friday we decided to go back to Johnny Rockets again for lunch. It was very crowded and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. There were groups of teenagers taking up tables just drinking Cokes since before we arrived that were still there when we left. The staff was trying to move them along to be able to seat other customers, to no avail. Today we had the grilled ham and cheese, the chicken club, and DD had chicken tenders (yes, they charged the cover charge for her.) We tried to use the BOGO free soda coupon from our Platinum book, but were not permitted to. Food was great again, but after so many fries and rings, I could barely eat half of my sandwich. Still got down that oreo sundae, though. Our last dinner was scallop risotto(the best item on any cruise menu, anywhere), insalata mista, garlic shrimp with asparagus and spinach, and warm chocolate cake. Francis saw me picking asparagus off of DH's plate last night, so had put some extra on my plate tonight, plus brought out (the very funny) vanilla ice cream which he recommended with the cake. Everything was outstanding. We tipped Francis and Jaromey extra in our "handshake", and they earned every penny. We informed them that we had mentioned them specifically in our comment card, and they said that they had just won 4 hours of time off because of the comment cards. I always wondered what became of those comments. Good to know. They also said that today was their last day on the ship, and they were going home, and did not know where they would be reassigned to. I was especially impressed to hear this, because I know I am not working at my best during that last week before my vacation! They were fantastic. We also tipped the Adventure Ocean staff. Service and food was extraordinary on this cruise. Thursday night the ship came to a stop off the coast of Cancun, to evacuate a person with a medical emergency. In light of the recent Costa tragedy, it was a little frightening to be walking outside and suddenly realize that we're not moving. No one had any information, and it wasn't until we saw the coast goard boat meet us that we started to figure things out. We learned from an AO staff member that someone had had a heart attack the night before, and needed to get more medical attention than the ship could provide, and we got the feeling that she wasn't really supposed to have told us that. I feel like the captain should have done a better job of keeping us informed. During the middle of the previous night, we were woken by a page of "alpha alpha alpha," which we later learned is the emergency signal for staff, and must have been the heart attack victim. There was also an "alpha alpha alpha" on Friday afternoon, which we heard was someone falling down the stairs on the pool deck. Hope everyone is now alright. Friday night we saw 5 ships at once sailing near us. That was pretty neat to see. It was also obvious when we hit the mouth of the Mississippi river (around 8:30pm). The weather cooled considerably, and even in the dark, we could see the water turning browner and browner. That was depressing! The party's over. Misc: We were leery of taking a spring break cruise. We never really saw the crowds on the ship except on the Bball court, and the elevators, of course. This was also a "quilting" cruise, so there were quite a few people taking the elevator to go one floor, and quite a few kids hitting a button to get off then running to the next floor to get back on again. That clogged things up quite a bit. (all the fun stuff to do on the ship and they played in the elevators?) We never saw crowds in the WJ, except the last morning of course, and we left the crowded hot tubs in favor of the deserted gymnasium spa. We loved our cabin location. We had an inside, cabin 6445, which was located off of a main hallway, on the same end of the ship as the WJ, our dining room, the BBall court, and AO. It was the perfect location, and very quiet. Many thanks to our neighbors, who we never heard. There was very little door slamming on this cruise. Our cabin steward was adequate, and gave us towel animals 5 nights, and helped me send out a dress to get pressed (a bargain at $3.) We had "rented" beach towels and hung them to dry in the bathroom, and he folded them up wet and laid them on the vanity chair, which I found odd, plus there was mildew in the shower all week, which was unusual. I always look forward to watching movies on the cruise, and love that these ships have a screening room. We had already seen all the movies playing on this cruise: Zookeeper, Smurfs, Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter/Hallows 2, The Help, Transformers 3, Larry Crowne, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Jumping the Broom, Green Lantern, & Captain America. We did not see any of the production shows, as they seemed to be all involving the staff singers and dancers, and we never particularly care for those, plus past reviews have steered us away. It was obvious that all the entertainment budget is going towards Oasis and Allure. Debarkation was a little confusing, as we could not hear the numbers being called, so once we finally decided to ask someone, our # had been called long ago. We were unable to find one of our bags in the terminal, and were starting to panic, as we had an 11:35 flight, and I don't normally like to book flights that early. Our bag ended up being held behind the sliding doors of the terminal with many other bags that they just didn't have room for. We looked through all the other numbered areas, then received help from a terminal officer, who after about 30 minutes, finally got permission to open the other warehouse, and allowed us to go on back to look for our bag. We lost an hour to this process, but he allowed us to go through customs in the "porter only" line, thankfully. The line for customs was LONG! We tipped him for this and appreciated his help very much. We ended up making it to the airport in plenty of time, even with "race weekend" traffic. An 11:35 flight was no problem. We've been sailing Carnival lately, mainly because RC prices have increased so much, and because we are tired of sailing the same old stale itineraries (like this one.) That being said, this cruise was the best spring break price we could find, and we couldn't be choosy on itineraries with the date limitation. We wish RC would sail to more of the exotic islands from continental US ports, like they do from port of San Juan. In comparing cruise lines, we liked the Carnival Dream, but none of the other Carnival ships we've been on. They just can't compare to Voyager class ships, and RC has MUCH better food. We were so pleased with this cruise, and we did purchase the "next cruise" certificate. Many thanks to all you cruise critics for all the great information that helps us plan our cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This was our first cruise ever. I have been trying to convince my wife to cruise for over a decade. She does not like closed spaces. So I paid extra to get the Grand Suite. We were definitely spoiled. We actually were the first people ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. I have been trying to convince my wife to cruise for over a decade. She does not like closed spaces. So I paid extra to get the Grand Suite. We were definitely spoiled. We actually were the first people on the ship. I have 2 boys and I never have seen them so excited. I do suggest bringing Walkie talkies. They loved all the activities and the camps. What a vacation! The staff is so friendly! They treat you awesome! My wife and I spoke about our service everyday multiple times a day. The ship was clean and well taken care of. There are so any activities to do that it is overwhelming! You must visit the Pig and Whistle bar - great times! The ice show was great too! Our favorite part was the dining room. Our servers were truly awesome! The food was super! I had 1 meal that was average, the rest were incredible! The gym was perfect, not too crowded with plenty of activities to do. Having the Grand Suite was nice due to the concierge services. I do not know how I did it, but I did get a great price for the suite, so we were able to afford it. If you can afford it, or you too can get a reasonable price, then I HIGHLY recommend you getting the suites. There are a lot of benefits to it that make the cruise even sweeter! The ports that we visited were Mexico, Grand Caymen and Jamaica. I used a website for the excursions. So much cheaper and worked out perfectly! It is true what people say about Jamaica - pretty run down and very uncomfortable once you leave the Royal Carribean fenced off area to explore. They are constantly in your face wanting to buy things. Grand Caymen was great and so was Mexico! I loved the cruise, ship, people, room, cleanliness, activities, servers, food and laziness on our behalf. Only complaint I had was that there was 1 ice cream machine for everyone - that's the only. Omplaint! I'll take it! God bless everyone and feel free to contact me with any questions! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Just returned from a 7 day Western Caribbean tour on Voyager of the Seas. It was my first cruise and will certainly not be my last. Overall, it was a fantastic week. Voyager is a beautiful ship. Even though the ship was completely ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 day Western Caribbean tour on Voyager of the Seas. It was my first cruise and will certainly not be my last. Overall, it was a fantastic week. Voyager is a beautiful ship. Even though the ship was completely full, there were so many different places to hang out that you never felt it was too crowded. There was always a place to sit and enjoy the ocean. The entertainment was also great. The ice show, WOW. Just amazing. And the singers and dancers were also wonderful. The staff was friendly and very helpful at all times. I thought the ports were fun, but the stop at Falmouth was a bit strange. If you did not do an excursion then you just got off the ship and wandered around a sort of unfinished shopping mall with many stores selling the same items. I'm sure this area will develop but for now, it was not great. The food on the ship was very hit and miss. We all felt that it seemed as if a new chef took over half way through the cruise as the food changed so much. The first part of the trip it was great! I had a delicious pork tenderloin one night and the prime rib was yummy! But I also had an eggplant parmesan that pretty much tasted like paste. And the potato gnocchi was dismal. The breakfast buffet was super but the lunch one was also pretty bad. Finally, please note that Voyager is NOT a no smoking vessel. There are spots all over where folks can smoke. If you don't like smoke then this is not the ship for you. There were four of us on this trip and we all agreed that cruising was a great vacation but that we wanted to try a different line next time - (the food really was not good) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Please allow me to rate our experience: 1. Getting on board and situated was pretty much the same as all cruise lines we have gone on. 2. Food: Pretty average with the exception of a couple meals. Variety was also the same as most ... Read More
Please allow me to rate our experience: 1. Getting on board and situated was pretty much the same as all cruise lines we have gone on. 2. Food: Pretty average with the exception of a couple meals. Variety was also the same as most cruises. 3. On board activities: We thought that although RCCL had the climbing wall and ice rink, their activities for us were limited compared to other lines. 4. Room: Very average room with a balcony. We did think the bed was extremely hard and the balcony was not as open as other lines. 5. Service was excellent for the most part. 6. We couldn't remember every being on a cruise that had so much smoking going on all over the ship. That really bothered us. Half the time we couldn't even use our balcony because of smoke. Smoking on deck was bothersome too. 7. Maybe it was the time of the year but our cruise was filled with wheelchairs, walkers, etc. Not saying it was bad, but just mentioning the fact that it made moving around a little more difficult. 8. Practically all the desserts seemed to be "reduced fat" or "fat free". That was bothersome. 9. Disembarking at the end of the cruise was the best we have ever had. We found our suitcases with in seconds of the luggage area. Well done RCCL. 10. Having additional dining options like Johnny Rockets was great. Also the Promenade shopping area was great. 11. We thought the shows on board were below average for the most part, although the ice show was amazing! Nice job RCCL! 12. We thought the ship was well laid out with lots of places to explore and lots of quiet and noisy places on board for anyone's preference. Bottom line: We would recommend RCCL and would travel with them again. Jamaica was fun as was the Grand Cayman's. Cozumel was too short, could have used more time there. Would have liked to have seen more of the Mississippi river but both leaving and returning was at night. Thanks RCCL for a nice experience! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
For our vacation this year, my husband and I went on a double-date vacation with our 2 best friends, another married couple. This was our first time on a cruise, and overall, we had a great time. We had a room with a window, which was cool ... Read More
For our vacation this year, my husband and I went on a double-date vacation with our 2 best friends, another married couple. This was our first time on a cruise, and overall, we had a great time. We had a room with a window, which was cool because we could wake up and see the ocean every morning. We slept great every night -- I'm not sure if it was the huge, comfy bed, or the gentle rocking of the ocean that lulled us to sleep each night. Our friends had an interior room that overlooked the Promenade. The view was cool, but they said they could hear music late into the night, which was kind of annoying. The crowd on this cruise was mostly older, retired people (we are in our late 20s), but we didn't mind, since we are not the crazy, partying type anyway. The first couple days leaving New Orleans, the weather was too chilly to be outside, so we got a little stir-crazy on the ship. The on-board activities that we most enjoyed were the ice skating show (even the men loved this -- it was very impressive!), the multiple hot tubs (the one inside the spa on deck 11 is free, big, and usually not crowded), and when the weather was good, the rock climbing wall and shuffleboard. One thing we did not discover until the last night was the "Jack and Kate" look-out spot at the front of the ship. You get to this spot from deck 4, by taking the stairs at the front. Check this out if you want some cool photos from the front of the ship! There are a couple things that were not communicated clearly but are very important. One is that pool towels must be checked in by 7 p.m. the last night of your cruise, or else you will get charged $25 per towel. Another is if you are carrying out your own luggage, there is no need to go to one of the assigned check-out locations -- you just walk off the boat with your bags. We left at 8:30, which apparently was late for a self-check-out, so I would suggest leaving by 8:00 so that you beat the rush of people who are congregating for assisted check-out. The food was pretty good for the most part. Not everything in Windjammer was fantastic, but I think that is to be expected of a buffet. Loved the fresh fruit, but the coffee was terrible! Espresso drinks on the promenade were good, so I am not sure why the drip coffee was so gross. Lunch and dinner in the main dining room were pretty consistently good, and the presentation was fabulous. Of the three stops, the Grand Cayman was by far my favorite. We stopped at Jamaica first, and that was pretty scary. The vendors on the street were very aggressive and followed us around, hounding us to buy things. We were not prepared for this, and had not booked an excursion for Jamaica so that we could save some money. We ended up getting in a taxi with a somewhat sketchy driver who took us to Montego Bay, where we had to pay $5 each to go to the beach. The beach itself was nice and there was a small bar where we bought drinks, but I would recommend booking an excursion to avoid the hassle of finding things to do in Jamaica. Actually, I probably would recommend staying on the ship and having the pools all to yourself during the Jamaica stop. We spent $30 a person on the taxi ride and then the driver haggled with us at the end for more money so we really didn't save that much money after all. The second stop, Grand Cayman, was like Heaven after coming from Jamaica. The ferry ride from the boat was pretty quick and we had booked the Shipwreck and Snorkel excursion. This was our first time snorkeling, and it was fantastic. The fish were so close, and the water was so clear. My husband had purchased an underwater camera (Nikon Coolpix, I think) that shot video, too, and we were glad we had this. After we snorkeled, we walked around a bit and ate at on the balcony of a restaurant and had a wonderful time walking down the main street. Wish we could have spent more time here. We will probably go back! The last stop was Cozumel, which was also beautiful. We had booked the Mayan Jungle Horseback excursion, which was a lot of fun. The "jungle" turned out to really be a trail through a private ranch, but there definitely were Mayan ruins along the way, which were very cool. There are iguanas everywhere -- they are like the USA's squirrels. The horses didn't go fast, but our tour guide was great and we had a fun time. We walked around Cozumel afterwards, and got a snack at Cafe Cafe. The food was great, and we got to practice our Spanish skills with the gracious waitress. Overall, we had a great time with Royal Caribbean and we probably will cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Ok, first things first. Every other review I've read is from American guests. Therefore, being British, I may have a slightly different opinion. The ship is fantastic and unlike some of the other reports, I did not see any sign of ... Read More
Ok, first things first. Every other review I've read is from American guests. Therefore, being British, I may have a slightly different opinion. The ship is fantastic and unlike some of the other reports, I did not see any sign of undue wear and tear. In fact, considering that 4,000 people have been on the VOS every week for the last 12 years,I thought the condition was excellent. Although it's very big, it still has an intimacy about it. The staff are brilliant. They are friendly, always smiling and go out of their way to provide outstanding service. Perhaps those who think differently need to examine how they behave towards these people and treat them with more respect. The food. OK, it's not Michelin star, it's mass catering that has to suit all tastes. There's a huge variety at every meal and if you really can't find something you like, what can I say! The thing I found most annoying was the people who pay 3* prices and expect 6* gourmet cooking.The entertainment. There's something for everyone. The shows are good; we saw two and the Ice show was really good. There's music all over the ship and dancing to suit most people. Whether it's Riddim Waves by the pool during the day, Synergy (Katrina is something else!) in High Notes at night, pianists, violinists, Derek in the Pig & Whistle, or the Ballroom Trio, there really is music everywhere. Summary. Well done RCI and thanks for a great week. It is what it is, which is a mass market holiday designed to appeal to many different tastes. Yes, you can find fault with anything if you want to, and making comparisons with other ships or holidays seems pointless. We had a great time, ate well, enjoyed our time on board and were made to feel special by all who served and looked after us. We had no problems getting on or off the ship. All you have to do is to follow the instructions whether it's the start or end of the cruise, or at the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We arrived in New Orleans two nights early. If you are debating coming early, let me just say "DO IT" you won't regret it! I want to return for a longer stay as we just couldn't cram enough into two days. We stayed ... Read More
We arrived in New Orleans two nights early. If you are debating coming early, let me just say "DO IT" you won't regret it! I want to return for a longer stay as we just couldn't cram enough into two days. We stayed at the Drury Inn and it worked out very well for our group of four couples. The evening happy hour included three drinks per person and a nice buffet of snacks, salad, soup, hotdogs, potatoes, and nachos. Drury is walkable to French Quarter. Two tours I would highly recommend are "The Original New Orleans Movie Tour" and "French Quarter Culinary History & Tasting Tour". Thanks to the tour guide on the Movie Tour, we ended up on Bourbon St Friday envening watching a filming with Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman. This was right outside the Funky Pirate, so we went in there to sit down and enjoy some music and drinks. Big Al is very entertaining! Our embarkation was delayed a few hours as they were cleaning the ship after the previous cruise experienced some noro virus outbreak. The delay created some confusion and long lines, but most people expected as much and we definately wanted the ship clean! Our first Sea Day was Super Bowl Sunday. Game was shown on Big Screen in the Ice Arena. They had two buffets going of hot dogs and nachos for during the game. We'd been on a Super Bowl cruise before and the casino had done some game gambling which we were looking for this year. Not to be found. Previously the entertainment staff had also been more active in some friendly rivalries, but this was lacking as well.Cozumel port day: We had contacted a private snorkeling trip. Formal night with a Temptations Tribute show by the Platters was better than expected. Grand Cayman port day: There were several ships in port, so tendering was slow, but seemed to go ok if you expected it. Falmouth: This port is new and reviews I'd read pre cruise seemed very mixed. The port feels touristy and sanitized to me. We did take a ship's excursion and went golfing @ Cinnamon Hill. Thoroughly enjoyed a gorgeous day there! Lots of evening activities - Quest, always fun, and a Toga Party with a late night Buffet on deck. Next two days were at sea. We took advantage of the sun on the first one and took in the outdoor activities as well as the Ice Show. This is a real WOW and a must see! Evening show was Marty ALlen - yes, the Marty Allen of the Ed Sullivan Show era. He's now 90 yrs old, but still working with his wife. Last sea day was rainy. We enjoyed lunch in the Main Dining Room - great salad bar (you pick the items and the chefs prepare it. Also the Love & Marriage Game show was fun to watch. Cruise Director can make or break this, but this CD did a good job. A couple of notes to add - Yes, this ship is old and shows her age (which many reviews point out so that should be expected) Furniture in state rooms is stained. She's due for refurbishing and will then be on her way to China. I found the crew to be very friendly and helpful. This was our first cruise with RCCL as Diamond members. The "special" breakfast room did not impress us. Service was not as good as the usual MDR service. There was no Diamond Lounge, but I guess they did offer evening drinks in the Card Room. We didn't make it there. The private luncheon with staff was nice though. I would not bother to try to use the computers on board. I tried for 15 minutes for a connection without luck and gave up. Many people were very frustrated by this. Save yourself the frustration! I had read complaints on how expensive the drinks are on board. They are a little higher than back home. We enjoyed the daily shooters after dinner and saved a couple of the glasses to take home. They seemed pretty reasonable. I found the food to be it's usual quality. Lyall was our waiter and he kept us entertained as well as well fed! Several of our group ordered more than one starter and more than one entree to try and no one complained of being hungry. Try the vegetarian Indian dish as a side dish for the table to share. The Windjammer is nothing to write home about, though, so we avoided it! Room service and the Promanade cafe were a delight! Entertainment was generally enjoyable. A good time was had by all in our group and no one was ill! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
We selected this cruise since it was leaving New Orleans a few days before Mardi Gras and we had never been to New Orleans. We stayed on Magazine St at the Country Inn & Suites. Great location that was walking distance to parades, ... Read More
We selected this cruise since it was leaving New Orleans a few days before Mardi Gras and we had never been to New Orleans. We stayed on Magazine St at the Country Inn & Suites. Great location that was walking distance to parades, French Quarter, Bourbon St. and close to the port. Nice hotel. We arrived at port @ 11:30am. Check in was easy but then had to wait @ 20 min to get on the ship. It was pouring rain after we arrived and 2 suitcases got wet. One got soaked but luckily it was our shoes and I had them in zip lock bags anyway. The other suitcase had a few wet things in it but they dried in the room. Our 3rd suitcase was dry. Room: We had a balcony room - 6322. Very clean and comfortable. Bed was a little firm but most nights we slept very well. Typical bathroom with glass rounded doors and plenty of storage for what we had. Stateroom attendant took good care of us. Dale was his name. Rather serious, but spoiled us. Dining Room: Lots to choose from, though I am a beef or chicken person. Quality was OK, but you do have to keep in mind the number of people that are getting served every day. We certainly did not go hungry. We did eat at Johnny Rockets 1 night. Had a great time there. Windjammer: Great selection, but don't eat too late in the AM as they do run out of certain items. We party late so we don't get up early. Never tried the dining room for breakfast since it closes at 9:00am. Promenade Cafe: Since we ate a late breakfast but had 8:00pm seating for dinner, we were able to get a sandwich to hold us over till dinner. Had a ham & cheese croissant that we liked. Also have desserts and pizza. Open 24/7. Room Service: We had room service coffee most mornings. When I would call to order it, they would say 40/45 min. Then they would be at the room within 15/20 min. Coffee very strong so we added some tea water to it and then it was great! Scoreboard: Smoking allowed so it was a favorite bar. Bartenders were very attentive and we chatted with many nice folks there. High Notes: Smoking allowed in small section of this bar. Great dance band "Synergy" played there as well as at Cleopatra's Needle. Great views of the pool and ocean from High Notes as it was on Floor 14. Cleopatra's Needle: Non smoking but close to the cigar room. Saw Synergy there too. Great time! Casino: Old fashioned coin machines, but I like them especially when you win. Love to hear then clang of dollar coins falling :) My husband was playing Black Jack and I joined. Never played before and the dealer was very helpful and patient. My husband was winning and tipping him so that may have made a difference! Same at the craps table. Overall we enjoyed the ship. Danced more on this cruise then any other because of the band Synergy that was on board. Towards the end of the cruise there was a weird odor in the stairwell. Not sure what it was. Staff were very friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. It was a school vacation week and there were many kids running around. Leaving the ship was a breeze. We were on a tour so left at 8:00am. Got right down to the luggage and through customs no problem. They did have a dog checking luggage. Guess that's because we had been in Jamaica. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
Our trip began in New Orleans and our embarkation was a breeze, but we are platinum members so we did get on faster than most of our friends who did have to wait a little over an hour. I was very disappointed though at all the negative ... Read More
Our trip began in New Orleans and our embarkation was a breeze, but we are platinum members so we did get on faster than most of our friends who did have to wait a little over an hour. I was very disappointed though at all the negative reviews I read before I went on the cruise! I read all the nitpicky reviews about food, service, condition of the ship, and these are all trash and not worth reading. The cruise was great! If you expect perfection then don't cruise. If you expect Ruth Cris dinners everynight, then don't cruise. Even though it rained the first day in New Orleans I was still just happy to be on vacation and relax and enjoy the beautiful ship. The ship is 12 years old and is in great shape, some people need to keep that in mind that it has been sailing since 1999. The entertainment as well was pretty good, again not perfect or the best but it was very entertaining. Comedy shows were funny, dancers were good, and the Adult Daycare in the Pig & Whistle was great at night if you can withstand some adult humor and music. Derek at the Pig And Whistle is a "Superstar"! Weather for most of the trip was great, hot, sunny. We did get a few windy days and the boat did sway but it wasn't bad. I thought the food was pretty good. Dinner was great. Windjammer was really good. I mean come on it is a buffet what do you expect? Way better than any other buffet I have been to with a much better view! Being able to go to the front of the ship was great. My wife and I a couple nights sat on lounge chairs on the front of the ship or on top deck and enjoyed the sea breeze and the stars and sounds. If you have any questions please ask. But the vacation was great and can't wait to go on another RCCL cruise! If you are going on this cruise, enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We live right outside of New Orleans so we had no problems getting to the ship. Check-in was pretty easy and everyone was really nice. Ship- When you get on, we were just blown away how beautiful it was. The ship is not badly worn as ... Read More
We live right outside of New Orleans so we had no problems getting to the ship. Check-in was pretty easy and everyone was really nice. Ship- When you get on, we were just blown away how beautiful it was. The ship is not badly worn as some have said, it is kept up beautifully. If your tying to find something wrong, then yes you will probably see a stain but stop being so negative! Anyway we got there early, so we ate in the windjammer. It was good food and a lot of choices! Throughout the week, we did see adults and children eating off there plate while in the line. Licking their fingers then grabbing the tongs for their next item... Gross! We had sanitizer in our pockets so after getting the food, we used it! Cabin- We had a family oceanview stateroom 7200 with 5 people. It was a large, great room! It was nice for the 2 teenage girls to have their own little space. It is located in the front of the ship, and we felt some movement but really wasn't bad! I would definitely choose this cabin again! Our bed was so comfortable! As far as the cabin steward, he was not that great. We only saw him 3 times and he wasn't overly friendly! He would clean the room, but not the bathroom. Main Dining Room- We chose 8pm seating and we were in the Carmen table #325. We were at the foot of the staircase, just a beautiful location. Our waiter was Alejandro and Asst. waiter was Arte. These guys were wonderful! The food was Ok. We had some nights that we liked and others were just ok. Desserts were not the best at all. But for me not having to cook or clean, I was happy and we never left hungry. So all was good! The head waiter took a liking to my 4 year old son, and would bring him his food and cut it for him. He liked the extra attention! Shows- Ice skating is a must see!! The juggler was ok at best. The games were really good, and the Royal Caribbean singers were excellent. All other shows were really for the older crowd. The one thing I do like, was that all shows I was allowed to bring my son with me. It may have been an adult game show but he was allowed in. He was quiet and I would bring his ipod to keep him occupied if the show wasn't entertaining for him. Johnny Rockets- It was really good and they give you a lot of food! It is well worth the $4.95 and the shakes are great. We loved the entertainment too! Promenade Cafe- The pizza is soooo good and the sandwiches are great. I liked having a choice and always was fresh! My kids loved the cookies! It was great that this is always available! Mardi Gras night parade- This was spectacular! The Bear club men dressed up and paraded through the crowd and there was a small band marching. Beads and doubloons were being thrown and people were watching from the balconies. It felt like Bourbon street during Mardi Gras! Keith, the cruise director, was the best. He had everyone dancing in the Promenade with the 70 disco! Best night ever!! Deck 11 Outside pool area- We found that on one side of the ship, no tables had ashtrays on them. Don't know if this was the non-smoking side but no one was smoking!! One nag I do have, is that when someone is standing waiting for the elevator for 10 minutes just don't come there when the doors open and jump in. Have a little courtesy! This has happened to us so many times and I would never do it to other people. Respect please! Overall, this cruise was great! Wonderful, friendly staff was appreciated! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
It was with a lot of trepidation that we booked this cruise on Voyager of the Seas. Our last cruise with Royal Caribbean was on Vision of the Seas in Northern Europe and the British Isles last summer. It was a much less than happy ... Read More
It was with a lot of trepidation that we booked this cruise on Voyager of the Seas. Our last cruise with Royal Caribbean was on Vision of the Seas in Northern Europe and the British Isles last summer. It was a much less than happy experience, and I wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for when we booked this cruise. However, there was a group of poker players on board and my husband wanted to join them, so we gave Voyager a try. We're really glad we did; she's a great ship and we had a great time on her. We flew to New Orleans a day and a half early to see a little bit of the city. We took a cab to the Drury Inn and Suites after seeing it suggested on the Homeports board. It's great that the cab fare is a set amount ($33 for one two people, $14 for each additional person) from the airport to any part of downtown New Orleans or to the port. The Drury Inn is comfortable, if not grand or regal, and the location was perfect to explore the French Quarter and waterfront areas on foot. They serve a buffet breakfast and a "5:30 Kickback" snack and drinks buffet as part of the hotel rate. Both were fun, though not gourmet, and we knew we'd be eating tons on the ship so weren't overly critical. We walked to the French Quarter both nights we were there, and to the Riverwalk area during the day. We also took a streetcar out to see the Garden District, and felt we were able to at least scratch the surface of what the city has to offer in our limited time. On embarkation day we took a cab from the hotel to the pier($7 per person) at about 10:30. Checkin was fast and easy, and since we are Emerald we only waited a few minutes before the priority boarding began. We were on the ship before 11:30, and headed up to the Windjammer, which was still uncrowded. We had read that the buffet setup on Voyager was different from the new ships in her class, with the traditional long serving counters rather than the stations. I found that this worked better than the newer setup on Mariner, and we absolutely loved the Island Grill at the rear of Windjammer. We never found long lines or felt crowded in the Windjammer, even with 3,000 plus passengers. And the food was some of the best we've had on a ship's buffet. There were a lot of familiar items, both in Windjammer and the MDR, but they tasted better somehow. As an exemple, we had a hot spinach dip appetizer in the past that was so salty I couldn't eat it. On Voyager it was perfectly seasoned. I found that was the case in the Windjammer too. Foods that were too highly spiced or too salty on other ships were just right. We ate dinners in the MDR all but one night, and the food was good. Not gourmet, you understand, but I never had trouble finding something that I wanted to try. Sadly, that hasn't been the case in the past. I don't think that beef dishes are Royal's strength, but everything else was pretty good to excellent. One exception was that fish dishes tended to be overly dry at times, but on lobster night (and yes, there was a lobster night) there was a real lobster tail, of good size, and deliciously moist, not overcooked. Our table waiter, Antonio, was absolutely the most professional waiter we have had in several years, and still friendly and fun to talk to. His assistant, Craig, was attentive in keeping us supplied with bread and water glass filled. We had dinner in Portofino one evening to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The meal was delicious and the service matched it. My husband had the filet steak, and I had lamb chops, and we enjoyed both. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8. The cabin was in good shape except for a few small items. The balcony railing was in need of varnish, and the couch was tired looking. But everything was clean, and everything worked as expected. I expect that some small maintenance items are being deferred until the refurbishing that will accompany voyager's deployment to Asia. With the extremely mild weather we had, I used the balcony day and night and really enjoyed it. Even on sea days when it was very windy and the seas rough, the balcony was deep enough to shelter me so I could read and relax there. We had two days at sea at the start of the cruise. The seas were very rough on the first sea day, with high winds. After that, and on all our port days, the weather was hot and humid but only a few drops of rain fell during the whole cruise. Our first port was Falmouth, Jamaica, where we took the ship's "1700s Manor House with Lunch". The port itself struck me as very manufactured and Disneyish, though clean and safe. The tour was a very pleasant surprise; one of the best ship's tours we have ever taken. We were bused to the Good Hope Estate, where we boarded a kind of tram and toured the agricultural areas and outhouses, then the manor house itself, before having a light lunch of jerk chicken. We both enjoyed the tour thoroughly. Our next port was Grand Cayman, where we disembarked by tender and walked around the downtown area. We had been there before and decided not to do a beach break or snorkeling this time. The last port was Cozumel. I had done some research here on Cruise Critic, and decided we would take a cab to Chankunaab, an eco-park just over 5 miles from the port. The cab ride was $10 for the four of us who went, and we spent our time walking through the park's botanical gardens (amazing), replicas of archaeological ruins, and toured the areas where dolphins and manatees are kept. The park offers the chance to swim with the dolphins but we chose not to. It was thrilling to see the animals just a few feet from us as they came up to greet the trainers conducting the tour. We also saw a Sea Lion Show which was great. We could have chosen to lie on the beautiful beach or snorkel, including swimming to an underwater sculpture garden. If we return to Cozumel, we will probably go back to Chankunaab to see what me missed this time. Be warned, it is very hot and humid, however. When we were on Mariner previously we missed the ice show, so we made sure to get tickets for it this time. It was amazing, so professional and beautiful, and on such a small ice rink. The skaters were able to execute jumps and spins without mishap. We also attended one of the production shows, which I thought was somewhat mediocre, but of course that's very subjective. What was good about the show was that the music was not so loud that your ears hurt, as most shows at sea are. My husband attended a show with a musical impressionist and liked it a lot. We were kind of surprised when Quest was held in Studio B, which is usually the ice rink. We didn't think the stadium style seating was as relaxing as the usual lounge setting. The Cruise Director, Keith Williams, did an excellent job of keeping the show going, and was more funny than graphic when the action got a little wild. All in all, we loved Voyager. We loved the promenade, especially the Cafe Promenade where food and drink is available all the time. The service on the ship was wonderful, given with a smile. There were a number of new Asian employees in the various areas, including Guest Relations and Windjammer, obviously still learning their jobs. But their smiling attitude and willingness to keep after it until they found what you needed, made interacting with them fun. The Hotel Director announced at the Top Tier party that the ship is being deployed to Asia next month and will be there for at least the next couple of years, depending on how she does in that market. I enjoyed our cruise on her so much that I will have to research an Asian cruise as soon as the schedules come out. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We live in the "burbs" outside of NOLA and were so excited to hear that RCL was coming to town! We booked this cruise early (about a year in advance) and ended up securing a great rate and also put together a group cruise ... Read More
We live in the "burbs" outside of NOLA and were so excited to hear that RCL was coming to town! We booked this cruise early (about a year in advance) and ended up securing a great rate and also put together a group cruise package with 33 family and friends in 11 different cabins. Of our group, 10 were veteran cruisers and the other 23 were first timers. There are incentives to book a group of 7 cabins or more, but you have to ask. We ended up getting a nice lump sum onboard credit that we split among all of the cabins. This was our second time on the Voyager. Our first trip was literally within weeks of it's inaugural cruise over 10 years ago! The ship is still in pretty good shape, but could use some exterior TLC (mainly paint and wood finish issues...but that's being picky). The interior still looks great and the passenger areas and cabins definitely didn't look as though they'd been through 10+ years of tourists! We've also sailed the Adventure, Navigator, and Freedom. What all of the group liked about the Voyager (and this applies to the other Eagle class as well as Freedom and Liberty) is the ease of getting around. RCL's Royal Promenade is one of the best ship features of any ship on any line. We are Platinum members with RCL's Crown and Anchor and that definitely knocked at least an hour (maybe more) off of our boarding time. The only negative about living in and departing from New Orleans is that the parking lot RCL uses is not sufficient for the number of local cruisers on holiday weeks. Once we parked and dropped our luggage, getting through security and check-in was a breeze thanks to the Crown and Anchor "express lanes". The other members of our cruise still had no problems going through the main line and their check in experience was pretty simple. Once on board at about 1:30PM, our staterooms were ready and the ship was "open for business". It was an especially rainy departure day so most of the passengers were in the restaurants and Royal Promenade the first afternoon. Our luggage began arriving to our stateroom by about 4PM with the last bag arriving just before our 5:30 dinner time. My wife and kids seem to have packed 19 days worth of clothes for a 7 day cruise, but there was adequate room and hangers to handle it all. The unpacked suitcases fit nicely under the bed. The Oceanview balcony rooms have several "covert" storage cabinets tucked behind mirrors that help with the toiletries and knick knacks. One very important tip: invest in a basic travel steamer. You CAN NOT have irons on board (hair curling and flat irons are ok, but no clothes irons). The $15-20 spent on a travel steamer really helped freshen up the formal attire. Regarding the staterooms, two people are fine in any room, however, if you have 3 or 4 passengers, consider the Superior Ocean View or even the junior suite. The extra space is worth the extra money and the Jr.Suite gives you a bathtub instead of just a shower. If you have a family of 5 or more, adjoining rooms are available and that gives you a ton of space without having to worry about being disconnected from the other half of your family. We headed to dinner on the first evening and had only one minor issue that got resolved quickly. Our group of 33 had four tables assigned for dinner with 33 seats. Somehow a group of 3 was also assigned to one of our tables by mistake and they had to be reassigned. The head waiter had the issue remedied in no time, but I had to show him my group table assignments email to help him understand the issue. Our waiter, Ali, was wonderful and the food throughout the week was very good. We tried nearly everything on the menu. I've seen some pretty harsh reviews regarding cruise food. While it isn't 5 star cuisine, the food was hot, had good flavor, and was prepared to our request. If there was anything we weren't fond of or wanted more of, Ali went out of his way to take care of it. The quality of service was excellent. Bottom line, if there is something you don't like, speak up. Don't wait to complain in a review. The staff did everything to make sure we enjoyed our food selections. We didn't do the specialty dining, but ate at the dining room for Breakfast and Dinner, Windjammer buffet, Cafe Promenade, and Johnny Rockets. All of the food was good, but Johnny Rockets is evil and will be the reason for needing to hit the gym after your trip! There were 3 sea days on this voyage. One after the departure day and two after the ports prior to the end of the cruise. The only rough seas we encountered were just beyond the mouth of the Mississippi river entering the Gulf of Mexico and again heading back into the river at the end of the trip. This motion was very minimal and lasted maybe 2 hours. This is a very large ship so the waves had very little effect. in fact, once in the Royal Promenade, you really forgot that you were moving along at 20+ knots. Our days at sea were filled with various activities. We hit the pool, participated in the pool games, played Bingo, shopped, ate, and even entered a team in (and lost) the dodgeball tournament. Over the course of our trip, members of our grouped earned "fabulous" prizes for participating in the activitied (keychains, pens, highlighters, and even a silver medal in the kids hula hoop competition) On our evenings at sea, we participated in many of the trivia events, game shows, parades, etc. There was no shortage of activities and entertainment for all ages. There were events that were family oriented and there were some noted as "adult themed" (I'd call it PG-13). The "game shows" are pretty informal yet very funny to watch. The event to not miss is the QUEST adult scavenger hunt in Studio B (it's more like PG-15....if there was such a thing). It is an absolute riot to see and even more fun to participate in. For entertainment, my only complaint is in the performance quality of the major production shows. The music and singers were professional, but the dancers were sub-par and they had some legitimate prop issues throughout. I didn't see the singing, dancing, impressionist, comedy "headliner", but the reviews were mixed and that part of the entertainment varies week to week. Later in the trip we saw the Ice Show and it was SPECTACULAR. There was one minor problem in that the first day of ice shows had to be delayed to the last sea day due to a technical issue. Our "tween" members of the group really liked the Optix lounge for their age cruisers and we felt perfectly safe with them being able to roam the ship on their own (ages 12-15). In fact, security was very visible and enforced a curfew that would not allow unattended youngsters out in the public areas after 1AM. Our younger aged kids (9-11) only did the program in the evening while the parents went to the shows since they said that "broadway shows are boring". The optional $6 per hour late night kid (10P-2A)sessions are a blessing if mom and dad want to relax, do some dancing, cut up and party, etc, etc. Regarding the ports, I'm not a big fan of excursions on the smaller islands so we went out on our own in Cozumel and Grand Cayman, however, DO NOT VENTURE OUT INTO FALMOUTH beyond the cruise pier gated market without being on an excursion! I'll have more on that later. Our first port was Cozumel. I've been there several times so we called in advance and reserved two vehicles from a local rental facility that I am familiar with. We got a 9 passenger Suburban for $75 and a VW Golf for $18 at a rental facility located next to the Hotel Barracuda. Our group of 33 went various ways, but 11 of us went off in the two rental cars. I lead the way around the island. We first stopped at the Corona Beach Club bar/restaurant which has great snorkeling right on the beach behind their open air restaurant. Some of us relaxed in the hammocks and had a few sodas while others snorkeled. There is no charge to snorkel at Playa Corona and the reef is really not much different than the snorkeling you'll do at Chunkanaab that costs $25 a person! In fact it's less than 1/4 mile from there. If you need snorkel gear you'll have to rent it. We left after about an hour and drove to the other side of the island. (There's only one main highway so it's near impossible to get lost and there is minimal traffic on that loop plus the whole lap only takes about 40 min without stops). Our next stop was lunch at Playa Bonita. We had a superb meal (fajitas, quesadillas, chips and pico, etc). Some of the crew did the complimentary tequila tasting. After lunch we continued our route and stopped for about 30 minutes on the windward side of the island for some beach/surf time at a somewhat secluded beach. The benefit of the less populated beach is that there are virtually no peddlers bothering you to buy their trinkets but the surf can get rough and lifeguards are scarce. I don't recommend going beyond waist deep for that reason. Upon leaving the beach we drove through town, but it was a local holiday so the markets were very busy. We opted to simply shop at the cruise pier market instead and headed that way after dropping off the rental cars. Our second port was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Again, we did not book an excursion so I lead 21 people in our group on an impromptu adventure. At the cruise pier, I negotiated a private glass bottom boat tour and reef snorkel for all 21 of us for only $200! The reviews for Cayman Glass Bottom Boat on trip advisor are all excellent. The only other cost was for those that needed to rent their snorkel gear or fins ($5-$10). After a 50yd walk out of the cruise pier, we were at the dock, loaded into the boat and were on our way. We viewed a shipwreck though the glass bottom boat and then spent 30-40 minutes snorkeling at Cheeseburger reef. The boat ride and snorkel took about an hour and a half. After the snorkel, the boat beached about two miles from the pier at the Royal Palm resort on 7 mile beach. We swam and snorkeled more after being dropped off. once finished, we walked through the resort and hopped in taxi buses for the $4 ride back to the cruise pier. Since we still had 2 hours, we opted to have a snack and some drinks at a waterfront bar that was adjacent to the Seven Fathoms rum distillery (it's a tiny local distillery...and I mean tiny as in one 300sq ft room). After a few drinks and some appetizers, we walked 100 yds back to the ship pier. Our last port was Falmouth. Falmouth is an RCL terminal with a nice shopping complex. It is halfway between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. To be blunt: the people outside of the gates of the pier are very sketchy and are not to be trusted. Do not go beyond the market unless you are in a cruiseline booked excursion PERIOD. We booked the combo Green Grotto Caves and Dunns River Falls excursion with 11 members of our group. This excursion is only $2 more than the Dunns River only tour and lasts about an hour and a half longer! Note: This excursion requires a bit of athleticism to navigate the caves and the falls. The caves are great and Dunns River is a "must do". The tourbus ride is an great adventure to itself thanks to the video game like driving skills of our driver. Our group had kids 9,12,14,and 15 who loved it! The caves are exciting and educational at the same time and there are literally hundreds of small (harmless) bats flying around. There were three grandparents in our group who did the caves and enjoyed it, but opted out of climbing the falls, however, the did love the observation areas of the falls. At the falls, I recommend NOT using a guide to climb. The guides enforce a hand-holding chain of the entire group which I find makes it much harder to climb since you can't use your hands for grip and balance, plus if one person falls down, it's human dominoes for the group! Head to the bottom with the group and then simply begin your own journey to the top with your friends and family. The only negative is the pushy nature of the locals selling their crafts as you walk through the local market on the way back to the tour buses. Disembarking was almost too easy! We got off the ship, grabbed our bags, hopped in the SUV and drove 30 min home...only to get on the website to begin planning the next cruise. Overall, this was a great cruise and most of our group is already discussing a repeat on the Navigator next Mardi Gras. The ship is great, the staff excellent, the ports have something for everyone, and both veteran as well as first time cruisers had a blast! I've sailed on 10 cruises on 5 cruise lines with and without children. Overall, this ship/port combo is a great value and I plan on doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We had a wonderful time on the Voyager and loved meeting everyone!! I cannot think of one thing to complain about. We started celebrating the Friday and met Suzanne and Rodney at the Tropical Isle and had a ball with them!! ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Voyager and loved meeting everyone!! I cannot think of one thing to complain about. We started celebrating the Friday and met Suzanne and Rodney at the Tropical Isle and had a ball with them!! Embarkation we walked to the Whale parking lot, 2 blocks from where we were staying and handed our luggage to the big truck in the parking lot and we were on the ship in no time. Disembarkation would you believe the porter that helped us get our luggage walked us all the way back to our place, he laughed and said this is the first for him. Meet and Mingle -Well we got there at 10:00 and it had already started and was over before we knew it. Enjoyed the gift exchange and meeting everyone. Our Stateroom Attendant, Arturo, checked on us often and made sure everything was just right, he was great. Concierge Lounge -I cannot say enough about Israel, the Concierge, he was so wonderful, one of the best Concierge we have ever had. We throughly enjoyed meeting everyone every night in the Concierge Lounge, we met the nicest people there. We looked forward to seeing them every night and they all made us feel so welcomed!!!! My Time Dining - this was the first time we tried it and really enjoyed the flexibility of it and ended up with the same waiter, Volcan, and his assistant every time, they were both great. We enjoyed the food very much, cannot think of one thing we did not like. Mystery Dinner -this was our first time and we would definitely do it again. I think being with the wonderful people who asked us to join their table, helped make it even more special. Thanks Lou, Herb, Denny and Irene!!! We really enjoyed your company and hope to see you guys again!! We also loved Moustafa, the waiter in Portofino!! Pig and Whistle - Derek Lewis!!! I cannot say enough about him, he is such and entertainer!! We looked forward to going to the Pig and Whistle everynight and I still cannot believe I got up there and sang, I have never done anything like that in my life!! Superstar!!!!!! He is so much fun!! We met so many different people in there everynight and everyone was always so nice!! Carlos, the waiter at the Pig and Whistle, was great, when he saw us he knew what we wanted!! Jamaica - They canceled our excursion so we just got off and went shopping in the port, which is very nice and clean. We went back on the ship and enjoyed the pool. We made friends with the waiter, Jon Jon, he was also great and everytime we went by the pool he would take care of us! Grand Cayman - We did the Reef and Snorkel tour and we both enjoyed it! We then went to Guy Harvey shop and bought some t-shirts for my son, well he was there and was able to sign the shirts for us, he was a very pleasant and nice man to speak too. My son loved the shirts. Cozumel - We did Playa Mia at your leisure. It was nice. We stayed a few hours and then went back to the cruise port and had some nachos at Carlos and Charlies and went back to the ship and enjoyed the pool area. Galley Tour - This was a first for us and my husband enjoyed this tremendously. Captain Frank Martinsen - We were asked to join him for dinner on the last formal night, what a treat, he was such an intelligent, nice, pleasant man and we enjoyed it very much. Our table mates were wonderful! Suzanne and Rodney were also invited and that made it very special!! All in all, great trip!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We had a great time on the Voyager of the Seas (VOS). This was a series of firsts for us. First time using an internet travel agency, first time staying towards the front of the ship, first time visiting Jamaica and Grand Caymans. You can ... Read More
We had a great time on the Voyager of the Seas (VOS). This was a series of firsts for us. First time using an internet travel agency, first time staying towards the front of the ship, first time visiting Jamaica and Grand Caymans. You can still have a lot of firsts when you have only cruised 3 previous times. We had sailed on the VOS sister ship Adventure of the Seas in 2009, so the ship layout was similar. Still, we were always checking the ships maps the first few days. The ship itself was very clean, very nice. It was all bright and shiny. Our room was very nice and our room steward did a great job. Yes, we only got 3 towel animals but I don't cruise for the towel animals. The food was great. We ate dinner all but one night in the main dining room. We changed tables because we were at a table for 9 and were the only ones there after the first night. The second table was great. The service was excellent. I like a glass of milk with my dinner and the waiter and asst made sure I had it right away. The shows were good. There were two comedians on board we saw that were excellent. The Ice Show was fantastic! We missed that on the AOS and now I feel for not going to it. One of the Broadway shows was a little mystifying as they were paying a tribute to great Broadway composers (Gerswhin, Webber etc) but didn't do any of their most famous songs. I'm not a Broadway geek by any means, but I know a few songs from "West Side Story". It was a good show but not what I expected. The staff kept us entertained all week and it took until Friday for me to win at trivia. I must be slipping. The ports were great and the early arrival in New Orleans let us experience that city for the first time too. Boarding was one of the easiest I have had and our luggage appeared fairly quickly. RCCL can't do anything about the weather so I won't hold the thunderstorm on Sunday against them. I've never gone through a thunderstorm at sea before. That was pretty cool. My wife and I had a great time on the VOS. Too bad it's leaving for the Orient soon. Oh well, we are thinking our next cruise will be to Alaska anyway. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We were looking for a vacation with grown children that we could all enjoy. This cruise was perfect for our family! I was a little worried about the age of the ship but we really like the boats with the Promenade(shopping Mall)in the ... Read More
We were looking for a vacation with grown children that we could all enjoy. This cruise was perfect for our family! I was a little worried about the age of the ship but we really like the boats with the Promenade(shopping Mall)in the center. It is a great place to meet up and they have lots of fun parties and parades on the mall. We had already done the Freedom of the Seas itinerary and the southern itinerary so we had to go with this older boat. We were NOT disappointed. The boat was in great shape. There was so much to do.Leaving out of New Orleans it takes a couple days to get to warm weather. We did not have trouble filling our days with fun. The ice show on the boat was excellent,the food was very good, there was so many bars and so much fun entertainment. The pool setting was very nice with a great adult only pool for quiet reading. We enjoyed all the stops. Our kids just want a good beach so we had a nice time at a very beautiful 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman. It was just a short cab ride from the port. In Cozumel we found the Paradise Beach Club. It was the BEST! $2.00 got you in and there you found a beautiful big new pool with an outdoor restaurant and waiters by the pool, a palm tree shaded area with lounge chairs and a very nice beach area with lounge chairs. We also got the use of very nice clean bathrooms. If you want to spend $12.O0 admission you get the use of many huge blow up toys in the water just off the beach. Young families would LOVE this! The staff on this boat was awesome. We had so much fun! We can't wait to go again next year! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
My wife and I have been on six cruises on four cruise lines. RCL; Holland America; Carnival and Celebrity. On this cruise we left from New Orleans. We had not cruised from there since before Katrina and were impressed with the port. There ... Read More
My wife and I have been on six cruises on four cruise lines. RCL; Holland America; Carnival and Celebrity. On this cruise we left from New Orleans. We had not cruised from there since before Katrina and were impressed with the port. There are several hotels from which you can easily walk to the port with your luggage (if there is one suitcase and one carry on each). We stayed at the Drury Inn for two nights prior to the cruise and one night after. We enjoyed the hotel. There is a good breakfast each morning - I like the biscuits and gravy with sausage patties. There is also an evening meal - hot-dogs the night we tried it. The evening meal, while great for families who want to save some money, is poor fare compared to the many great restaurants within walking distance. The day of departure we did take a taxi to the port ($7.00 each) because of weather conditions. Our cruise did not start boarding until 1:00p because it need to be sanitized due to a gastrointestinal problem on the cruise prior to ours. This meant everyone wanted to get on at the same time which resulted in long lines, about 1 1/2 hours for us. This though is unusual and while inconvenient was understandable. We were in a junior suite, which isn't really a suite at all in the conventional sense. It was a very spacious room with a walk in closet and a nice balcony. The balcony was shielded from the wind for the most part while underway which was very nice. It also seemed more private than some we have seen. Our steward provided us with excellent service, always straightening the room in the short time we went to breakfast. I highly recommend this stateroom if cruising on this ship. This ship itself is larger than we are used to. Meals were not of the same quality we have had on all other cruises. This is not to say they weren't good they were, just not as good as usual. Smaller portions and fewer choices.Of course you can always ask for more. Entertainment in the evenings was great. Comedians, jugglers (better than it sounds), a great ice show, and of course the singers and dancers. I highly recommend the ice show, I enjoyed it very much. I had only gone because my wife wanted me to, I would have skipped it and am glad I did not. Shore excursions were the standard stuff. I would just as soon wander at any of these ports. Jamaica is pretty but very "touristy" and the cities are dirty, crowded and mostly uninteresting. We went fishing in Cozumel which was fun but then I always have fun fishing no matter where we are. The Caymans are great. If I was to spend a week in one place in this part of the world it would be the Caymans. We did the dolphin encounter and turtle farm. The encounter was a lot of fun, glad we did it but wouldn't spend the money for it again. The turtle farm was interesting at best - overpriced if paid for on it's own. There was one thing on the Voyager we were very disappointed in. The best seats for shows and a separate, very nice looking, dinning room at the buffet are reserved for high rollers. Always before on a cruise we had felt first class and noticed no difference in the treatment of inside cabin users and luxury suite users. We are not naive, there is a difference, but it has never been obvious. On this ship there is first class and then the rest of us. We opted for carrying our own luggage off the ship. We were told we would be getting off between 715 and 8 in the morning. We started getting off, per the announcement, at 715 and had walked the mile back to the Drury Inn by 8. Just as promised, how often does that happen? The Drury let us book in at 8 in the morning when we arrived even though check in was 3p. I thought we would just drop off our bags and wander the city until 3, it was a nice surprise. All in all we will avoid the Voyager on our next cruise. We will opt for a smaller ship weather RCL or another line. Perhaps the decrease in food options and quality is the new industry standard but we are hoping it was because of the much higher number of passengers on board. We are also hoping on a smaller ship there is no obvious distinction between first class and the rest of us. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
For the past several years, we have had wonderful experiences cruising Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately this was not one of them. If this was our first and only Royal Caribbean cruise we would not be cruising RC again. We hope that RC ... Read More
For the past several years, we have had wonderful experiences cruising Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately this was not one of them. If this was our first and only Royal Caribbean cruise we would not be cruising RC again. We hope that RC reads this review and our feedback on our cruise review survey form. The food was absolutely horrendous. Many people stopped eating by mid week because the selection, preparation and overall quality of the food was awful. This is not normal for RC. We hope they are not starting to cut back as the Head Chef mentioned how much his weekly budget was versus how many people they had to feed. Please RC this is an area that you have excelled do not cut cost here. The staff with very few exceptions all seemed that they were sentenced to this ship. Seeing someone who truly loved their job was rare and the moral was very low. Again, this is a 180 from our experiences in the past. The condition of the ship was very worn and abused. Rugs dirty and torn and the gym had several pieces of equipment broken that were not repaired during the entire time. We understand the ship is going in to be refurbished in about 2 months. If you are scheduled to go out on this ship in the meantime, recommend that you change it. The entertainment was excellent!!!!! The ice show, the Jersey Boy Like Show, and overall entertainment throughout the ship all excelled. The smoking policy needs to be reviewed and changed. All internal bars should be none smoking. As the smoking from the sports bar and casino over take the fresh air in the promenade. Please RC change this policy!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We have cruised many times (on Royal Carribbean, Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity) so there is a level of quality and excellence that we have come to expect from cruise vacations. This cruise did not meet any of our expectations ... Read More
We have cruised many times (on Royal Carribbean, Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity) so there is a level of quality and excellence that we have come to expect from cruise vacations. This cruise did not meet any of our expectations (with the exception of the entertainment which was very good!). First, the food was not only bad...it was AWEFUL! Just to give you an idea, on the way off the ship, we were chatting with first time cruisers and unsolicited, the wife told me she had stopped eating after three days into the cruise because the food was so bad! - now that's bad food!! Here are a couple of specific examples...The selection of food at the Windjammer was the same everyday. On previous cruises, the theme and selections changed daily. Not only was the selection the same, but it looked (and tasted) like they simply reheated and re-served leftovers from the previous day. The bread was stale, the hamburgers were rubbery and tasted like they had been microwaved, and the chicken tasted waterlogged. The fruit wasn't fresh and sweet and the waffles and french toast were stone cold! If we hadn't experienced it, I would have never believed the food could have been this sub-par on a cruise. The food was a little better in the main dining room, but still not even close to the quality of meals we have had on other cruises (including Royal Carribbean cruises). One very telling fact is that someone on the intercom giving accolades to the chef and staff were congratulating them for feeding us on a $300,000/week budget. If you do the math, that comes out to a budget of about $3.00/meal. Ok, you get my drift with the food...now let's talk about staff/service. The crew/staff of this ship had very low energy and there was very little - if any- enthusiasm coming from them. There were a few members of staff who would greet you with a smile and friendly hello, but most were checking the box and doing their job as if they had been sent to purgatory. Again, very very different atmosphere from all other previous cruises we have experienced. The condition of the ship was also sub par. We found out that the ship is going to Asia to be completely refurbished in the next couple of months (which is sorely needed). That being said it did not change the fact that for our cruise, the ships carpets and furniture were stained, the decks were rusty, ATM machines were down, arcade equipment was broken, and several pieces of gym equipment were broken. They can't get the Voyager to Asia quick enough for her much needed face-lift! Meanwhile those of us sailing between now and then are/were stuck with a tired ship. Royal Carribbean should also revisit it's smoking policy. We sailed during the NFL playoffs and wanted to watch the game in a common area with a bar, food, etc. The only place to do that was in the Sports Bar in the Promenade . We assumed that smoking was not allowed in indoor common areas, but this was not the case. Smoking IS allowed in the sports bar which made it uncomfortable to us non smokers watching the game. (We did have an option of going back to our private non-smoking rooms and watching it there, but how fun is that?! Also, throughout the cruise the smoke from this bar permeated the promenade area so to say the common areas are non-smoking is like saying it's ok for folks to pee in one end of the pool, but don't worry....it won't effect you on the other end. Just saying..... On a positive note, fortunately we traveled with friends that we enjoyed and we did get to relax and enjoy time at our destination ports, so the cruise wasn't a complete bust. Prior to exiting the ship, we signed up for a cruise next year on Royal Carribbean's top of the line ship - The Allure. We thought for sure, the food issue would be better on that ship. Upon getting home and reading cruise critic reviews on the food on the Allure, we found it's not much better, so we will be cancelling our reservation on the Allure and choosing another ship line to cruise with next winter. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We cruise yearly and really look forward to our trip. We decided to try going out of New Orleans instead of Florida. Going down the Mississippi River is very unique, and at times made me a little nervous due to the fog. Sailing was ... Read More
We cruise yearly and really look forward to our trip. We decided to try going out of New Orleans instead of Florida. Going down the Mississippi River is very unique, and at times made me a little nervous due to the fog. Sailing was lovely once on the Ocean. Now...this shop is OLD by ship standards. And looks old. For example there were stains on the faded carpet, torn curtains, broken ATM machines, torn upholstered furniture, and broken exercise equipment. I was dismayed RCCL would operate a ship looking so dowdy and dated. But that wasn't the worst of it. We always prepare for our cruises by increasing our exercise to be able to enjoy the food whenever we want. We so disappointed in the food--this was definitely the worst food on any of our 10 cruises. The windjammer food tasted reheated from day to day. The French toast and pancakes were so cold and hard you could throw Them and hurt someone. The milk was warm. The selection was the same every day. The dining room food was not much better. We ended up ordering several entrees to try to find one that was good. There were times when the food was barely edible. It really appears that RCCL is cutting corners. Now the staff. I have heard this ship is going in for a up grade, and the staff reassigned. And that is how they seem. Pleasant but lackluster. Nothing extra just punching the ticket . They have cut back to 3 towel animals a week, no robes,etc to save money. The room refrigerator was warm. Old tired ship with poor food. We are so concerned that this could be a trend we have reserved on another line next year. So much for our crown and anchor points. As far as the ports we loved Cozumel the best of all. We hired a taxi and explored the shore and snorkeling ourselves. The shopping is great. Remember you can buy medications cheaply at the Pharmacy which have proven safe and well worth the money. Cayman is difficult as they do not allow ships to dock, requiring a tender. Voyager was very slow getting us off. We waited an hour on the ship to get off. We had done stingray city in the past and loved it. We had also para sailed here and loved it. If you go by private cab, shop around. They are very expensive, and because their gas is so high, they try to get you into group vans, dropping people off at different locations. Takes forever. The shopping isn't really good because everything is very expensive. The good thing about caymans..safe with no crime. On Jamaica, i would recommend taking an excursion. Once outside the protective gates, you will be hounded to buy stuff. It also is not as safe as the other islands and the ship trips are safe and will get you back in time. So, we are done with Royal Caribbean for now-I hope they improve their service in the future! Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise