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69 South Pacific Holiday Cruise Reviews

This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too crowded. Too long to wait for any activities if they were not already booked out. Very short times on activities due to the number of guests they are trying to accomodate. (1 hr wait per activity the norm) Think your getting something special with the drinks package including premium coffee but there are so few places to get a decent coffee expect a 30-40 min wait at peak times. No real dramas with other beverage availability but some venues need more bar staff to reduce wait times. Food quality was quite inconsistent. Some was good and some was poor. Most was pub grub at best. Even in the 'extra fee' restaurants we were disappointed. Felt like RC is out to bleed your wallet at every opportunity. We had a travelling companion that needed some antibiotics from the medical centre. A consultation and a few pills later... a bill for $400 US? Trying to get off for the day at a port, now that's an experience. Expect delays after delays and total chaos trying to get 5000 people through one gangway and everyone wanting to be the first ashore. Ovation gangway rage was brewing. Trying to get a decent seat near a pool... Set your alarm for 6 am. Want a decent seat at a show you've booked.... Get there an hour early or you'll end up trying to look around a 400mm column in the Royal Theatre or be stuck up the back of Two70 with a huge designer lamp blocking your view to the upper level stages. Forget about seeing the performers on the lower stages unless your in the front 2 rows. The robot bar is the ultimate gimmick. It doesn't create drinks anywhere near the standard of a decent bartender and spills 15% of your selection trying to get it in the plastic cup. Most times I walked past, it was being re-stocked or had broken down. And the one that most people don't expect... This ship looks like a tsunami couldn't influence it's bulk. Wrong! Ovation is quite influenced by a swell as low as 3-4 metres. It's just too damn top heavy so be prepared for some extra rock 'n roll. With the huge amount of guests on board and the chaos we experienced in calm controlled conditions, one might question their ability to efficiently handle an emergency situation. On the positive side, If you do get a decent seat for any entertainment you should enjoy the talented performers. The band 'Rock The Boat' is one of the tightest and most talented covers bands you'll find anywhere. The Dream and Legs were also great. Pixels... well, got a crap seat so couldn't see much of that. Most of the staff are very friendly and efficient and will bend over backwards to try and please you. The accomodation is spacious, modern and comfortable but any announcements can't be heard inside the well insulated cabins. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Should be a speaker and volume control or TV override so you don't have open your cabin door to hear any announcements. Most people I spoke to on the ship about their experience had similar opinions to us and most said they won't sail again on Ovation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal ... Read More
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival. We are Celebrity Elite level members. Here is the good and the not so good. Cabin Attendant – Excellent – Our cabin attendant (Gabriel) was superb. He was always efficient, smiling and helpful. Our departures were noted and our cabin made up immediately. Tenders – Excellent – Tenders were used at Isle de Pines and Mystery Island. On previous Celebrity cruises tenders have been a problem. On this cruise there were only short waits and even long queues moved quickly. The reason was simple – whoever was in charge used up to 7 lifeboats to provide a high frequency service from two boarding platforms. This was a problem from past cruises fixed – let us hope the same approach is adopted on other ships. Photo Shop – Poor – Bring your own camera and take your own photos. Avoid the photo packages. On previous Celebrity cruises the photo packages were good value by skilled photographers. On this cruise we felt there was no skill or art involved and the resulting photos were poor quality camera work such as parts of heads cuts off. Delays and stresses even getting the package USB on the last night suggested incompetence. Shuttle Bus – Excellent – Noumea – Often a problem on other cruises this, like the tender issue, was solved by whoever was in charge by having plenty of buses in Noumea running a high frequency service so there were no waits. Main dining room (Epernay) – Very Good – We had recently been on much higher priced Silversea and Oceania cruises. The food in the main dining room on Solstice was better than the main dining room on each of those cruise lines although not up to the standard of the speciality restaurants on those lines. Celebrity remains the best food in the mega ship market. Service in Main Dining – Excellent – Our waiters (Valentin and Iryna) were excellent and helpful. Seating in Main Dining – Poor – We are Elite Celebrity members but for some reason got about the worst table in the middle of the bottom level of the dining room. We used to get much better tables before we reached the Elite level. At no stage were we aware of the presence of a maitre d’. Coffee – Poor – The coffee throughout the ship is terrible. Café Bacio does not live up to the hype with poor service, attitude and coffee. Coffee was bitter and too hot. Children – Being an Australian school holiday cruise the ship had over 3000 passengers with lots of children (and prams). Most were well behaved but a few insisted upon pushing all the buttons in the lifts and gangs playing chasing games around the corridors on treasure hunts posed a hazard. Smoking – As non-smokers we were pleased that overall the smoking on board was only a minor inconvenience. Walking/Jogging Track – A design flaw of the Solstice is that the jogging track runs around a deck used for sun lounges and often during the day is hard to use because people put their sun lounges across the track. Whilst not as bad as on other cruises this was still an issue and the staff did not move sun lounges off the track. Sun Lounges – Most of the passengers being Australian it was shade rather than sun that was in demand. There were plenty of lounges available in the sun and sometimes in the shade. Unfortunately there was a lot of saving of lounges by passengers who rarely used them or who put belongings on adjoining lounges to stop them being used and give themselves extra space. This did not appear to be policed by the staff. Ocean View Buffet – Excellent – Huge and at times overcrowded it is usually possible to find something to eat from the wide range. The effort made for Christmas and New Year was spectacular and greatly appreciated. Sushi – Not Good – On previous Celebrity cruises Ocean View Café had reasonable sushi in the evening. Now that is gone. Instead there is only a Sushi café on level 5 which costs extra. Embarkation – Good - Surprisingly quick and efficient. On board 25 minutes after arriving at pier at 12.30pm. Unfortunately we were not then allowed off again that afternoon to spend any more time in Sydney and had not been warned this would be the case. Disembarkation – Good - At 6.40am there was a huge line for walk offs which commenced at 6.50am and went so quickly we were at Sydney airport at 7.20am. Itinerary – OK – Australia is a long way from anywhere which means too many days at sea. There were 6 days at sea and only 5 ports on this cruise. Cabin – Clean and functional the cabins are good for the price. Hygiene – Problem – Whilst there is hand washing lotion everywhere the system for obtaining beverages (sodas, water or alcoholic) seemed likely to be very efficient at spreading disease. You have to hand your seapass to a waiter who swipes it and hands it back and then does the same with someone else’s seapass and on it goes. The system needs to be contactless with the passenger simply waving their seapass. Beverage Packages – Poor – Even if the beverage package you purchase includes the type of drink available in your minibar you get charged again if you take it from the minibar. If your package includes Coke you cannot take the can of Coke from your minibar. Your package only allows you to get one drink at a time from a bar even if that drink is water or soft drink (and each time your seaspass is handled by a staff member who is handling lots of other seapasses and bottles and glasses handled by other passengers). At times the brand of bottled water sold was undrinkable. Internet – OK – Internet costs extra still unless some minutes are included in a deal or because of your status. Speed was fair. Security – As an Australian holiday period cruise there were a lot more passengers in the 20-40 age group than on other cruises, many of them appearing to consume vast amounts of alcohol. Given the amount of alcohol consumed security did a very good job of keeping it a safe cruise. It is certainly far safer than going out in an Australian capital city at night. Entertainment – Disappointing – Apart from Aussie Boys the acts and Celebrity in house entertainers were below the standard expected out of US ports. Movies – Some nights recent release movies were shown in Celebrity Central which is a comfortable cinema. Overall we were impressed. Christmas and New Year were made special which they have not been on some other cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 ... Read More
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 kids currently 19 and 21) and sometimes with our friends. We live in Australia but we were born in Portugal and Brazil. This was our 7th cruise. We booked this cruise 10 days before departure, it was a last minute decision we booked the last cabin available being an inside cabin (1055 level 10) and we paid AUD$5,900.00 for it. I have heard hat Celebrity was on the same level as Princess Cruises (we cruised with Diamond Princess and we really liked the ship and the service) and a level higher than Royal Caribbean (we did Radiance, Rhapsody and Voyager) so I was expecting a beautiful ship,with great amenities and outstanding service. It was a Christmas, new years and my husband birthday. Because we are Paltinun level on RC (almost emerald) we had the "Select" tier on Celebrity. Upon arrival, around 3pm, we boarded without any delays or queues, as almost everyone were already in the ship. We went direct to our room. The room was a good size, and good set up, the only improvement would be a nice picture frame or a mirror on the wall opposite the door to give some focal point as one opens the door. The shower whithout the curtains was a big relief, and the best bathroom i've had on a cruise. The only thing we found on our room was a print out with some "special events" for the select members. On the day of those events no invitation was sent to the room so its easy to forget and miss those events. My husbands birthday was during our cruise and nothing was said or given, not even a card saying happy birthday, not a cake or no one wine him a happy birthday. Very disappointing. The ship was on its full capacity, and we noticed it on the pools, and during lunch and breakfast. Breakfast closes at 10am and with only 2 hours to serve breakfast for over 3,000 it was a dogs breakfast, queue for bread, queue for eggs, queue for everything. Same history for lunch. The food was not presented in a nice way, it was like they were feeding the army, bland food and not very nice to look at, no decorations. The hours of service should be increased when the ship is full to accommodate and serve everyone in a nice manner. The lunch was supposed to end at 2.30pm but they start removing the trays around 2.10pm and all is removed but the pasta and pizza only after that. We tried the main dinning room for two nights but the food was not special, and we decided to have dinner at the buffet. The seating area isn't big enough to accommodate all guests during meal time. The only time one could use the buffet wihitout having to fight or queue for food was at dinner time when most guests where at the min dining room. The entertainment was a hit and miss, and we did walk out on few show and didn't turned up for others. With only 3 swimming pools, one indoors for the oldies. And 2 outside with the children taking over was not possible to use it at all. One of those outside pools should be for adults only and the other for the kids. There isn't many activities happening and after 11pm the only option is to go to bed, because there isn't anything to do. The ship is okay and being a new ship to should be stunning. The excursions where very overpriced. The Captain was the best thing on the ship, Captain Tesos is a people person and e is always around the ship and happy to have a chat and take photos. I wouldn't cruise with celebrity again based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an ... Read More
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an urgent health issue. This has no bearing on my review of this particular cruise. My companion had never cruised or left Australia before. I am an experienced traveller, often solo. This was my first ocean cruise. Previously I have cruised for up to 14 days on a small ship expedition off Kimberley WA coast and a river cruise in Russia. We are both of average fitness with no mobility problems. We chose the New Zealand itinerary over Christmas for the ports and shore excursions available around New Zealand sailing out of Sydney Harbour and the personal recommendation of at least 6 people regarding Princess Cruises. We used the Princess Sydney Airport shuttle bus both ways. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process and passenger experience was severley compromised by poor communication, lackadaisical service and in fact misinformation on the part of Princess staff/contractors on the ground and on board ship. We had been upgraded to Club Class - thank you - but were not informed of this until we had been standing in various queues for more than 3 hours at the Sydney terminal. There was nothing on the Cruise Personaliser and we or our travel agent were not informed. We were told to get into one queue and then another and then we were appartently in the wrong queue. Honestly this mob could not run a chook raffle. We were even told at one point that they had run out of trolleys - "go and look after your own bags" - after being told by another Princess staffer that they would be looked after between getting on the bus and cabin. Then after considerable panic, some nice young man turned up with more trolleys. The beginning of the cruise was marred considerably as it took my companion the first 3 days to get over it! Disembarkation was just as disorganised. We had done everything we had been told - as always - to the letter. We were called "light blue 6" so we made our way to where we were told only to be told by Security to "wait until you are called" We said "We have been called". We made our way down to the luggage and mine went missing for more than an hour. Another woman and I were both given "lost luggage vouchers" before some sheepish young bloke turned up with my bag. As far as i know, the other woman is still waiting. Cabin (mini-suite) OK, maitenance very poor. Shower/bath outlet blocked so showering in ankle deep water that took up to 20 minutes to drain (after 2 minute shower) - plumber materialised 48 hours after complaint - apparently no one had noticed prior to this. Speaking to other women on cruise - this is the first thing that they check - they clean their own outlet pipe of hair and other debris left by previous occupants! Yuck!!!!! Toilet broke while room steward on time off (Day 5 Auckland). Bowl overflowing and down back wall. Managed to stop before the dirty deluge reached the carpet, after wading in - not happy. Paged steward - no answer - pager clearly not put through to anyone else. Contacted Passenger Services and demanded help - not taken seriously. Plumber took 3.5 hours to arrive. Strange little man came to mop up water - did not clean bowl. Eventually saw supervisor 3 days later, who called me a liar - not a high point Princess! Complimentary bottle of cheap wine not really appreciated after that experience! Food repitive, average, sometimes poor - inedible - even CS Share. Room service - most times something - like milk - left off tray. Entertainment disappointing. High point of trip - the marvelous Ana (Club Class dining room hostess). Perhaps Princess need to make her a trainer in customer service and common sense! On-shore excursions generally as expected although expensive for what is provided. Akaroa - Southern Alps including train to Arthur's Pass. As with all the excursions considerably overpriced. I might be nice to at least get a biscuit to go with the cold weak coffee. Disappointing when driver left an elderly couple behind with their bags and coats still on bus after 5 minute photo stop. They could both be clearly seen by all of the other 20 passengers on this particular bus hurrying back to whithin 2 metres of the bus front door! Driver told repeatedly, but they were left to catch up at next stop an hour or so later on another bus - not good enough! Driver's name - Gary. He was clearly seen being interviewed for the "Reflections" DVD for this cruise. In Dunedin after city tour, bemused when "complimentary shuttle bus back to ship" costs $10 NZ one way! Bemused when on boarding found "gift for you" card for prepaid internet access. Apparently they were the "only cards that we had printed". People who had prepaid drinks packages had to ask for refunds as it was cheaper to arrange on board. Far too often there were language problems including incorrect drinks orders - or perhaps just convenient excuse for appalling service. Most of captain's and other announcements not audible from inside room. Some were - why not all? Told by steward to "open the door". If it is important enough to make an anouncement about then it needs to be heard throughout the ship. Sometimes by the time I realised that there was an announcement going on and got to the other end of the long skinny mini-suite to open the door - the announcement was over! The biggest bugbear was the door to our cabin / mini-suite. One or both of our cruise cards needed to be reactivated no less than seventeen (yes 17) times for the 14 days or our cruise to operate the door. Strangely the magnetic strip worked just fine for everything else - only the door was a problem! Just as well as my companion used hers to spend an awful lot of money in the ship's retail precinct. That was the only time except overnight on the bedside table away from lights etc. that she removed the lanyard from around her neck - as for both of us. She doesn't actually carry a phone and her bag did NOT have a magnet! It got to the stage that my companion would not leave the room without me for fear of not being able to get back in. We made contingency plans so that we did not miss various bookings because we couldn't get timely entrance to our room. Each foray into the queue at Passenger Services took from 5 - 30 minutes. Yes - I timed it! Yes, I, in particular do understand the concept of magnets, phones etc. as I hold post-graduate university qualifcations in medical physics. Other passengers also had problems with their doors and batteries etc were replaced - particularly if at least one of the passsengers was male! I have never had this problem before and no - I do not believe that this was our fault. Twice we were told that this would be checked out - it was not and of course on the last morning of the cruise my companion's card ceased to work yet again - right on queue! It was particularly disheartening to see our cabin steward and one of his nasty little mates appearing to have a good laugh at my elderly companion attempting to gain entrance to her own room and failing. It may be fine in some cultures to treat middle-aged and elderly wormen as invisible - not in mine. Please remember that it is my generation and older particularly in Australia and like countries who DO have the disposable income along with the opportunity, health and fitness in retirement to use it; but we are choosey where we spend it - and we are becoming silent no more regarding poor service and downright rudeness. "Princess Cruises - Come back New"...................... Princess Cruises - Come back broke and disappointed! Princess Cruises - don't come back at all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. However, the overall food and restaurant experience were appalling. Bad organisation, cheap food, no change of menu, no flexibility with dining times, having to queue for breakfast, upstairs pantry - don't even go there .... you had to pay for a lot of the food, and which cruise line does not put food on after 9 pm on New Year's Eve, for heaven's sake? THIS ONE!!! We would hang out to be on shore just so we could find something decent to eat. The biggest problem with P&O is that even though they get you to complete a survey on your experience, they don't seem to give a toss at how bad the review is. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We waited anxiously to board the Sea Princess at for the Christmas cruise from Brisbane. Having sailed previously on her, we were waiting to see the remodelling that had been done in Singapore - and it didn't disappoint. Her new ... Read More
We waited anxiously to board the Sea Princess at for the Christmas cruise from Brisbane. Having sailed previously on her, we were waiting to see the remodelling that had been done in Singapore - and it didn't disappoint. Her new Horizon Court was extremely fresh and welcoming - providing and array of foods (greasy and non-greasy) depending on taste. A nice addition was the Italian Cafe offering cakes and pastries and in the afternoon some sliced meats and cheese. We learnt on the cruise that the beds are finally getting an upgrade - about time. This is overdue and will provide an important to sleeping comfort. It was disappointing that many parents with children on board, forgot that they needed to provide adult supervision. I witnessed on several occasions inappropriate behaviour of children, particularly around the staircases and in the lifts (pressing every button when exiting). It was great to hear the Captain (although shouldn't have had to do) remind parents and children about the safety aspects and conduct around the ship. For those parents who were upset by these announcements - maybe look at your kids! Tender disembarkation was good at those ports requiring tenders. However, tender disembarkation is always slow, so may have upset some who had to wait for a tender. Return services from the islands was great. Overall, the cruise was value for money and very relaxing. Looking forward to sailing on the Sea Princess again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only ... Read More
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only to be disappointed on the Aria. We will go on the dawn again. Everyday we participated in some activity from going on the tender boats to the various islands and at night enjoying the karaoke and shows. Love the trivia. Food was absolutely beautiful. Staff were fantastic and so friendly. what more can I say it was an amazing cruise. Thank you for all the wonderful people we met. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We are a very well travelled cruising couple and have been on many a different cruise lines including P&O. We arrived home today after a 9 night Pacific Christmas Cruise and we will never travel with them again.We travelled on the ... Read More
We are a very well travelled cruising couple and have been on many a different cruise lines including P&O. We arrived home today after a 9 night Pacific Christmas Cruise and we will never travel with them again.We travelled on the Pacific Dawn and all I can say it has gone downhill. We travelled on her last year and we had no complaints but this time around the service was appalling. I think P&O have cut back a lot on staff and crew since we last sailed with her. The food in the restaurants have also declined to near Rock bottom, we never had a hot meal except for the second last day when we ordered a soup. The quality of the meals were very poor to say the least. Salt Resturant was an exception fabulous food as always.P&O really need to pick up their game as there is now a lot of new competitors here in Australia. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I travelled with our family - children and grandchildren - we had cruised before but none of the others had.  The cruise was terrific in that the grandchildren were well catered for - food, entertainment, port activities - but ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with our family - children and grandchildren - we had cruised before but none of the others had.  The cruise was terrific in that the grandchildren were well catered for - food, entertainment, port activities - but you MUST remember to take you own reef shoes, goggles, snorkel and flippers - thankfully they did.  The adults enjoyed the experience and the benefits of cruising life - including the kids club and kids entertainment/activities.  Our reading said the ship had a re-furb in 2011 - our daughter suggested it was a 'soft' re-refurb as there were parts of the ship that still looked 'tired'.  Staff were polite and reasonably friendly but seemed to lack the 'zest' for their jobs - it was like they were going through the motions.  Having said that we were super impressed by our waiters in the Cascades Restaurant - they were brilliant - they were patient with the children and attentive, knowledgeable and courteous with the adults.  The same could not be said for the fee-for restaurant Chops Grille - the meal was quite good but the service left a lot to be desired, mainly due to being short staffed, very short staffed - I had no qualms about tipping in Cascades but didn't even consider it in Chops - give it the Chop.  We had anytime dining but because of the size of the group were able to secure a regular time slot but our observations were that there was always a wait to be seated if you didn't have a booking - no matter what size your party was - at better choice may have been set time where the dining room/area seemed to be slightly better - but we did have the best waiters/servers you could ask for.  My wife and I continually compared this cruise with the cruises aimed at the adult market and we did find that it didn't compare but we were there for a family holiday and in that sense - mission accomplished. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have just returned from our holiday aboard Voyager Of The Seas and it was outstanding. The food was varied and delicious, with a different menu every night. The service was personal and outstanding.We had 2 waiters (Imade and Leo) who ... Read More
We have just returned from our holiday aboard Voyager Of The Seas and it was outstanding. The food was varied and delicious, with a different menu every night. The service was personal and outstanding.We had 2 waiters (Imade and Leo) who were fantastic and catered to our every whim.The cabin was large and spacious and very comfortable. The entertainment and facilities were fantastic.The cabaret show was one of the best we have seen. A perfect holiday Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P ... Read More
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P & O / Carnival cruise than a RCCL cruise so yes they have gone down a notch. Now not that I drink alot but the thing I found disappointing on the Carnival Spirit was the way they had Nip pourers and they even had measuring jugs for Wine - whereas, the RCCL line did not. To my surprise they have introduced this now (apparently within the las 3 mths) as a cost saving messure as told to me by the Bar Staff. Also one of the highlights use to be the singing of the Reastaurant staff near the end of the cruise - this has also been cut out. On RCCL they have a Fundraiser called "Save our Seas" T-Shirts and they sell them for $10 and you do a 1km walk with the Captain and his cruise. Well this was the first RCCL cruise that this did not happen as I supposed we were not good enough to walk with Captain Gustav.....The last time I was on The Rhapsody was April 2013 and this time the so called "Broadway" showa were exactly the same and the other supporting shows were mediocre as best - Very Disappointing indeed. The saving grace as always id the Main Restaurant and Dinner each night was enjoyable. I am hoping that RCCL will pick up their standards otherwise, I will have to find a new Cruise Line to travel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have just returned from a Christmas cruise on Voyager of the Seas to the South Pacific To say it was a disappointment is putting it mildly. The food in the main restaurant was of such poor standard that most people opted for the ... Read More
I have just returned from a Christmas cruise on Voyager of the Seas to the South Pacific To say it was a disappointment is putting it mildly. The food in the main restaurant was of such poor standard that most people opted for the Windjammer buffet (half of the seating was closed off nearly every day) and was closed from 3pm to 6.30pm. The menu hardly changed for the whole cruise and there was no special menu for Christmas day at all. Breakfast was always the same. The temperature of the hot dishes was nearly cold most of the time. The queue for espresso coffee (to be paid for) meant a wait of over half an hour sometimes. There was no provision for specialty morning or afternoon tea. The lifeboat muster on the embarkation day was a laugh. The crew checked the cabin off but did not cross off the number of guests in each cabin. Hopefully in the event of a real disaster the system would have improved. This is my eleventh cruise and the first with Royal Caribbean and will be the last with them. Embarkation procedure worked efficiently probably because of the online checkin. Debarkation was efficient, probably because everyone was anxious to get off this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, but our first from Australia. We have previously done a European Cruise on a Voyager Class and a trans Pacific with Celebrity Cruises. Boarding was straight forward, we arrived at about 1pm ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, but our first from Australia. We have previously done a European Cruise on a Voyager Class and a trans Pacific with Celebrity Cruises. Boarding was straight forward, we arrived at about 1pm and only had to queue for about 5-10 minutes to check in, but the line was moving constantly. Passport control was straightforward and we found ourselves on the ship in no time. Rooms were available when we boarded so we went to check out our cabin. We had booked an aft corner balcony 8168 on deck 8, and it was fantastic. It is a normal balcony room on the inside, but the balcony itself is at least twice the width and half as deep again as a standard balcony. It is set up with 2 lounges as well as 2 chairs and a table. It was great sitting here on sea days watching the wake, and seeing the Islands slide by. The only negative would be that because it doesn't have much of an overhang above, it's quite exposed to the elements, so it got very wet when it rained and quite hot on sunny days. Our cabin attendant was fantastic, very friendly and new our names right away. He did great towel animals too :) We had my time dining, and with just the 2 of us we were always able to get a table with only a few minutes wait. We usually ate at about 7pm most nights when we went. I had heard from other people they were having issues getting seated but we personally didn't have an issue. We tried all of the specialty dining except chefs table, and as a whole enjoyed it, although I found the quality of the paid restaurants is no longer so much better than the main dining room, so found the extra fee a little steep. I probably wouldn't go to them again next cruise unless I had OBC. They have also recently changed the menus and they are much smaller than I remember. I found the General layout of this class ship confusing, I know it's a smaller ship than Voyager class but I found the shops area very cluttered, the flow of people around the ship very restricted and some things plain hidden away. For example the pub could only be accessed from midship by walking through the casino, Rita's Crabshack and Izumi were wedged up the back of the windjammer and you had to walk through them to get to the outside seating for windjammer. But then they have a huge space for a hotdog stand and another restaurant on an upper deck where you have to go outside to reach. I much prefer the layout of Voyager. Entertainment I found pretty good, I enjoyed going to the different trivia but did sometimes find them scheduled at a time when most people were at dinner. Martin was a fantastic trivia host, but there was an American guy who sometimes did it and I didn't like his style. And I often found the questions very American at times, even though there were only 200 non Australians on board. I also found the lack of a good communal space difficult for some events, on Voyager there is the ice rink area, on Radiance anything large was done in the colony club which only has a small amount of seating near the central area, otherwise you are sitting quite far back with lots of columns and balustrades in the way, it made participating in lots of things impossible. Ports were very good, I loved all the islands and we just organised our own thing in each port, which was very easy to do. Just make sure to bring your own snorkel equipment if this is what you want to do. The day we were at mystery island it was horrible weather and the crew did a great job of putting on extra activities to cater for most people staying on board. On a whole I enjoyed this cruise very much, there were some minor things wrong but nothing to ruin a holiday. I would cruise on Radiance again but I do prefer the Voager class a little more. But the things I didn't like about Raidiance is probably the things another person would love, it's just a personal preference I guess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group ... Read More
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group of others literally ran off the ship and all stated never again in a month of frosty fridays in hell would we sail on Voyager again,if at all RCCL. Embarkation was 100%. A steady slide downhill from then on. Our junior suite was on level nine,in a good location,but thats it. We weren't looking for fault as on Radiance there had been little to complain about,just kick back and enjoy. Oh,no,not on this sorry ship...the first thing noticed was the unvarnished handrails on our balony,complete with sticky patches of plastic protective coating that lazy workers had failed to peel off(it came off easily i might add). Filthy glass doors,and deck(i cleaned those doors myself,after the cabin steward had a go and gave up). Black mould in the shower,which after 5 days was removed and re siliconed. Patches of rolled on flat paint(aprox 20 of these)on the living area ceiling covering tiny scratches!all these patches were around 20 x25cms each! But more to the point,the ceiling was satin finish,so you can imagine what they looked like,way worse at night...positively shameful standard of work. Not all our drawers had been re-lined(a swanky part of this refurbishment, i believe),so maintenance arrived with a box cutter and roll of sticky to do this. The reason id said something was because there was hair and such still in the drawer from the previous holiday makers. The first time we met our cabin steward,he informed us of his income,really do i need to go into any more detail regarding that?apart from unrequired information and an unacceptable thing to do. After day 5 we politely(as always)asked if we could please have clean sheets and our room vaccuumed,as it had not been done since we boarded.. this was met with a statement that it had been done...were not stupid,so could clearly see it had not been. This sort of malarkey carried on until customer relations were spoken to yet again and the situation sorted. We received a bottle of cheap red wine "for our discomfort". I mean,lets face it,our cabin is always immaculate,because that's how we choose to live,so are not hard to look after! Anyway we were assigned a new steward who was just lovely and did a great job...but no monkey towels and treats for us because i guess they were not pleased we has to complain so often,to get a mediocre result really. As for mealtimes,well i think that if you're reading this then you will know that all other comments written by my fellow reviewers are 150%true. Theres nothing i can add except,over populated ship,understaffed and lack of dining areas...actually a god awful experience. We found a lot of English language issues. We were told very firmly by the Australian customer relations assistant that"UM..they actually have to pass a test,so of course they speak good English",so ok,use it then! May i say that the gals in the high end shops were not only helpful,but cheerful and so obliging...consequently,i spent a heap of money on luxury items that i cannot buy where i live..YAAAY!! Bar staff could not have cared less,and depending on where you went,depended on the price and size of wine glass served,but,tell you what..being female ensured that any men standing at the bar did not get served before females! Very little to do really on this cruise,unless you were into noisy kids,shrieking unsupervised teenagers,or in pools that were most undesirable places to be. Most definitely lacking in anything to do for peaceful adults who wish to spend time reading,or just relaxing. So we found ourselves often driven back to our cabin,and hey,lets face it,that wasn't the best place,was it?? We knew there would be a ton of kids on board,but i question the parents who allowed their unruly kids to run riot,all over the ship continually,to the point that we are surprised there wasnt an emergency overboard...do not think that when on board,your horrid kids will be out of your hair and supervised...make no mistake,they will not, Instead they will be annoying other passengers who have paid a lot of good money to put up with them. I asked my Husband who is a construction company site manager,what makes a building/structure such as Voyager feel so sad and just not work? He said that a building has to have a soul,has to be put together by people who care..or it just wont work. Sadly Voyager is one of these such structures..a huge tank of people all sailing round in what sounds and feels like a 40 gallon drum.. I think Mr.Goldstein needs to take a good hard look at attention to detail,how his staff work and feel and make a lot of changes. And sometimes that can only come from the top and work its way down...and we all know what that means. We would have to be really keen to do RCCL ever again Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were ... Read More
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were aimed at rest home level, and were regular. i.e. knitters group, craft group, bridge players group, and on it goes! There was little of interest for anyone under 50 years old and there were no new activities during the cruise. The cruise director was dreadful. He appeared lazy and stale. His jokes were weak and he repeated them often. He was rarely seen during the day and came on after each show in the evening, and many people just walked out when he came on. The singers and dancers were great, but unless you enjoy ballroom dancing and associated music, there was nothing else to do in the evening except gamble at the casino which became expensive, or drink too much. They had one deck party during the entire cruise which was great, but needed more. We love good music but there was only the princess band which had a large brass section so could be hard to listen to, a duo who where almost karaoke with their electronic backing, a quartet which played classical and the band which occasionally played on deck who were painfully out of tune and untalented (only ok to listen to after large quantities of alcohol). The nightclub mainly played disco music. Occasionally they screened concerts by good bands like tina turner or U2 on the big screen which were great, but often at 10am?? The food was amazing. Fabulous, fresh, tasty, great selection, cannot complain. We had an inside cabin which was quite adequate for us, but the beds were very hard and a bit lumpy. The itinerary sounded good, but all of the Fiji ports were just that - ports or small towns. No little islands with sandy beaches and good snorkelling and swimming unless you paid for an excursion. New Caledonia ports were good though. In general the best staff were the lower ranking ones. They couldn't do enough for you, although it soon transpired that if they put one foot out of place they were disciplined. They wouldn't even let us fill our own wine glass from the bottle on the table, or they would end up in the office of their superior. The supervisors, however in general were not great and could appear arrogant and unhelpful. Typical of such a hierarchal organisation. I would have happily fired a few and promoted their subordinates. Overall I definitely would not travel with Princess again. They have dated and slipped behind in a hugely competitive market where there are superior ships and experiences available. My advice to Sun Princess is get rid of your Cruise Director and find someone with some fresh ideas and some get up and go.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I recently over Christmas travelled to Fiji and the South Pacific onboard the Sea Princess. Have cruised several times before but this was the first time onboard a Princess cruise ship. I was with my parents and my girlfriend and we had a ... Read More
I recently over Christmas travelled to Fiji and the South Pacific onboard the Sea Princess. Have cruised several times before but this was the first time onboard a Princess cruise ship. I was with my parents and my girlfriend and we had a wonderful time. Food - The food onboard was unreal! So much choice and was delicious. We ate in the buffet, the dining room and in the speciality Steak House. Did not have one complaint, was fantastic! Staff - Probably on of the best features onboard. All the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Did not encounter one rude or unfriendly staff member. Everyone happily greeted you and offered assistance where ever they could. Staterooms - Very clean and tidy. Everything you need is there for you. Embarkation - Was a breeze! Arrived there at our allocated time to a waiting shuttle and boarded with ease. Ship - Really nice design. Pool area is great, theatres and bars all fantastic. Entertainment - AWESOME! Had some terrific shows! They catered for everyone. Anytime you on a cruise it comes down to what you make of it. There will be people who will complain about anything however we had a very enjoyable time onboard and will definitely cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my first cruise, so I really have nothing to compare it to. There were 20 of us, on this xmas 2014 cruise. The Voyager was lovely, found it to be really clean, and the service exceptional. Both our restaurant attendants were great ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I really have nothing to compare it to. There were 20 of us, on this xmas 2014 cruise. The Voyager was lovely, found it to be really clean, and the service exceptional. Both our restaurant attendants were great even knowing individually what food you liked and how to cook it before you could order, after the first night!. Our room attendant looked after the room constantly with the slightest change of mess cleaned up, as soon as you left the room. They didn't supply shampoos etc. though, which could have been included, however if you asked for them, there they were as soon as you got back to the room. The entertainment was average, with the magician being really good and funny. I didn't enjoy the singing shows that much, but some of them weren't my thing. The bars for the Quiz shows did get a bit crowded, but you did get to meet new people this way, which was a positive. The windjammer food was good, but with not a lot of variety, but then I don't eat seafood, eat quite plainly, so not really fussed if there was any extravagant choices. More service could have been provided around the pool decks, for those who drank. In the 9 days I still did not get to see the whole ship, too busy enjoying the activities, and relaxing. The café on deck five was a great food and meeting place, thoroughly enjoyed the food and coffee, and was a good viewing place for the street activities. If you didn't get enough food on this ship, you must have been blind or busy. Madagascar 3D was a highlight in the theatre, well worth watching. Overall it was well worth the money, and hardly had to spend a thing on board, would go on again. The only critism I could make was the lack of Xmas theme going on, Xmas day was in port, and when you got back on wasn't really much different to any other day, apart from the food where xmas food was available, and a tree and a few decorations. Would go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my 6th cruise, 1st time on Royal Caribbean. I had heard lots of good things about RC so I was a little disappointed. Firstly I agree with some of the comments others have made here; greatly under staffed in areas. Whilst the staff ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, 1st time on Royal Caribbean. I had heard lots of good things about RC so I was a little disappointed. Firstly I agree with some of the comments others have made here; greatly under staffed in areas. Whilst the staff do their utmost, they are run off their feet. Most mornings there was a 30 - 40 minute wait for coffee at the Cafe and the quality of the coffee was appalling. My biggest complaint would have to be the quality of the food and cocktails. I purchased a drinks package prior to departing. If I had know that all cocktails are pre-mixed out of a carton I probably would not have done so. They were horrible sugary, artificial tasting crap! I tried to think up cocktails that might not come out of a carton and decided on a caprioska to be told they had no limes, then mysteriously on the last day, they had no lemons only limes!! Go figure. Even some of the food tasted like it came out of a packet. Eggs benedict served with a packet mix sauce and most of the desserts were a gelatinous packet mix concoction. Christmas lunch / dinner was a disappointment as stated by others. the entertainment was disappointing also. No sailaway parties and Christmas and New Year were celebrated in the centrium which was only a small are where a few could actually join in leaving the rest of us to hang over the railings on the upper levels watching and not being able to join in. why not have it up on the deck pools side where there was a lot more room and also not so stuffy and hot?? it didn't make sense. Having been on P&O, Princess and now Royal Caribbean I would say P&O have the best value, food and drinks. Royal do have a nice ship and Princess... I think I'll wait another 10 - 20 years before I go back on one of their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I was a cruise virgin until I spent 14 nights on the Solstice sailing from Sydney to Auckland and loved it! As a Brit, I loved the British entertainment crew - they made it for me. Seeing Santa in the Solstice theatre on Christmas ... Read More
I was a cruise virgin until I spent 14 nights on the Solstice sailing from Sydney to Auckland and loved it! As a Brit, I loved the British entertainment crew - they made it for me. Seeing Santa in the Solstice theatre on Christmas morning giving gifts to all the kids up the age of 17 was such a treat and made me feel so Christmassy even though I don't have kids myself. Had a wonderful dinner in the Epernay main dining room in the evening and the turkey and stuffing were cooked to perfection as always. New Years Eve was so lively with plenty going on that we didn't get to bed until around 4am! All of the staff were awesome and so attentive we were made to feel special All in all a great first cruise that I would definitely do again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
After an amazing trip on Freedom of the Seas we were excited to be spending Xmas onboard Voyager of the Seas after the refurbishment. Unfortunately the boat, cruise and service were all disappointing. The meals were average and lacked ... Read More
After an amazing trip on Freedom of the Seas we were excited to be spending Xmas onboard Voyager of the Seas after the refurbishment. Unfortunately the boat, cruise and service were all disappointing. The meals were average and lacked variety, the wait at any of the bars to purchase a drink was ridiculous, the service received was below expectations and the cruise lacked any Christmas spirit. The entertainment was not up to standard for a RCI cruise. We visited the day spa and were forgotten about and left in the lounge area, went back to see reception after 30 minutes. Finally had our massage / facials but it was rushed and below standard. For which we paid a compulsory tipping of about 17%. We came down with food poisoning on Xmas night and spent the remainder of the cruise unable to participate in anything. Left the boat on the 29th straight to the airport and then to see our doctor on arrival home. Whilst onboard and at the medical centre only nurse was available during the cruise and just gave injections and tablets. Not at all interested in another RCI cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As there is only 2 of us at home and generally 1 friend for XMAS, we decided to getaway instead of trashing the kitchen and eating leftovers for 2 weeks. I am not much of an author so this will be short and sweet, but you will get the ... Read More
As there is only 2 of us at home and generally 1 friend for XMAS, we decided to getaway instead of trashing the kitchen and eating leftovers for 2 weeks. I am not much of an author so this will be short and sweet, but you will get the idea. We arrived in Sydney early in the morning and could drop our bags off after 8.30 am. That was great as our boarding time was not until 1200. We went back to the wharf at 1145 and the let us through. To get our cards and clear customs took a whole 18 minutes - brilliant. Our cabin was ready 1 hour later, plenty of room, clean and I will highlight why we picked this particular cabin later in the cabin review. The first day was probably the lowlight of the cruise, many of the bar staff were very stony faced and made you feeling uneasy about asking any questions. All except the people serving at the red frog pub. What an incredible team they have. Dining staff were our favourite, they made going to dinner a pure pleasure. Some nights we actually delayed our dining just to get a seat where Sirocco and Magdalena were serving. Any cruise line will have difficulty matching the friendliness, professionalism and general attitude of these people. Only one meal (duck) was a bit dry, but everything else was top quality, no complaints here. Outing were okay, a lot of snorkelling carried out and great marine life to see. Nothing like swimming with a huge turtle, but this cruise was for relaxation so only a few ports and that suited us The shows were amazing. Some of the dancers and musicians were used in a number of the shows and there versatility was astounding. Many nights after the show the entertainers would move to the Red Frog Pub for dancing and playing music. Great times had by all. Drink prices were about on par for cruise lines, some mixed drinks better than others depending which bar you went to, One number off on the $5000 bingo prize, hoe disappointing. Day time activities a little light one, but suited our agenda. One point I need to make is about this children, and no I am not against children on cruises, in fact it is good to see them having fun. But when I am up late at night and see groups of 8 to 13 years old girls and boys sitting on the floors outside of elevators, I get very concerned. And in no way I totally blame the cruise line for this although I feel they should make more of an issue of it. I do however fail to understand how a parent isn't concerned when there daughter is not in there cabin at 2 am on a cruise ship filled with people they don't know. Could imagine what a fuss they would make if something happened the there child. Just look for someone else to blame I guess. Overall, loved the cruise and would not hesitate to sail with Carnival again Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our 12 night cruise to Fiji, Vanuatu, Isle of Pines and Noumea on the Rhapsody of the Seas. Staff were very attentive, particularly in the main dining room. Food was excellent. Several bars to choose ... Read More
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our 12 night cruise to Fiji, Vanuatu, Isle of Pines and Noumea on the Rhapsody of the Seas. Staff were very attentive, particularly in the main dining room. Food was excellent. Several bars to choose from. Entertainment was very good. Cruise Director Graham Seymour is fabulous. Our Junior Suite was very comfortable with good storage and a Balcony. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have read many times on CC that cruising over Christmas is on many cruiser;s bucket list so I thought I'd do a review specifically about being on board for Christmas. We boarded the Rhapsody on the 19th December, She is a beautiful ... Read More
I have read many times on CC that cruising over Christmas is on many cruiser;s bucket list so I thought I'd do a review specifically about being on board for Christmas. We boarded the Rhapsody on the 19th December, She is a beautiful cruise vessel and looks even more beautiful with her Christmas decorations up. (I believe they go up late Nov) There is large glittering Christmas tree in the Centrum, pots of red Poinsetta spread around the balconies on each level of the Centrum. There was a buffet display of Gingerbread in the Windjammer (Buffet Restaurant) and on Deck 4 or 5. Both looked absolutely gorgeous and were very tempting but sadly we were not allowed to eat. It was there for display and photo purposes only. The entry to our Deck has a small Christmas decoration on the wall. I put up two lovely cardboard decorations on our cabin door which got lots of favourable comments. Several others put up small red stockings on their cabin door but majority of people on our deck did not decorate their cabin door. Being a Christmas cruise, my fellow passengers were smiling, relaxed and happy. Everyone said hello in the lifts which was very nice. Christmas Eve was a port day and we were in beautiful Champagne Bay, Vanuatu. On disembarking our tender, we were met by a crew member dressed as Santa and you could have a professional photo ($16.95 AUD) taken with him on the beach. He was there until about 3.30pm. My teen had this done and it was her favourite photo of the cruise. Most of the Christmas activites seemed to occur on Christmas Eve. Our Cruise Compass came with a blank RCCL christmas card and a candy cane. Many of the guests were Christmas gear - hats, t-shirts and illuminated decorations! The movie of the day was "A Muffet Christmas Carol" (!) 8,00pm we had Christmas Concert in the Centrum with the Royal Carribean Singers. 2 male and 2 female leads from the Production Shows, dressed in formal wear, sang on the steps of the Centrum. This was excellent. Headliner Show was Patrick McMahon singing Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash. this was not "Christmassy" so I did not go but my teen did and she loved it - even though she did not get "the old people jokes" between songs - her words. 10.00pm Christmas Champagne in the Centrum Free glass of red, white or green "coloured" champagne in the Centrum followed by the Cruise Director at 10.25 reading "Twas the Night before Christmas" Very nice. 10.30pm Christmas Carolling with RC Officers, Crew and Production singers. We were all given song books. Officers, crew, and Production singers in long gold gowns on the steps of the Centrum All guests joined in singing the carols Loved this. Followed by a spectacular aerial performance in the Centrum to Michael Buble music. Loved this! Midnight Mass was held in the theatre. There also appeared to be face painting in the centrum as many of the young kids were "rudolph" etc. CHRISTMAS DAY Was a sea day. Staff in Windjammer welcomed us all wearing Santa hats (this may have happened on Christmas eve as well but I can't remember. "Santa" was in the Centrum from 9am-11.30am. Handing out a free RCCL gift to each child. He sat on the traditional red chair and you could get a professional photo if you wished. Teen gifts were RCCL towel or drink bottle for boys. Scrapbooking/cardmarking for girls. Your child was ticketed off a list - so no double dipping! Rest of the day was very quiet. Teens a bit disappointed. But if you were cruising in a big family group I am sure you would have a lovely day. The "Mens Belly Flop" was re-scheduled to Christmas Day and the teens enjoyed this and it attracted a big crowd but this would not be normally held on Christmas Day. Christmas Movie was "A Christmas Story" - bit dated to say the least. In the MDR for dinner, we had Christmas crackers on the table (one per guest) and some Christmas items on the menu. Food and service excellent as always. Production Show was "Ballroom Fever" - again not Christmassy but again my teen loved it. At 7.30pm The Big Band played Christmas music. This did not attract much of an audience. Boxing Day - sea day - no cricket - teen disappointed. 27th Dec - we were "near" Australian coastline so Boxing Day test on room tv and pool tv - teen delighted. This Christmas Cruise was my first cruise. I loved it. it was a full ship but it never felt crowded. Always could a find a deck chair or seat. Buffet ran smoothly. Never crowded or too busy. Calm seas and beautiful weather There were kids on board but you didn,t see them until Christmas Day (they must have spent most of their time in kids clubs). My teens were disappointed by Christmas on board but they loved the cruise overall and want to cruise again - soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
For our Xmas cruise my wife and I chose the Voyager as we hadn't been on RCCL since 2009 so wanted to see how it compared. Fair to say Voyager is a tad tired but that's OK because we were lucky enough to snag a "flights ... Read More
For our Xmas cruise my wife and I chose the Voyager as we hadn't been on RCCL since 2009 so wanted to see how it compared. Fair to say Voyager is a tad tired but that's OK because we were lucky enough to snag a "flights included" deal and the ice rink, etc, sounded interesting. Sadly, our travel agent failed to book early dining and when we realised the error in mid October we were told we were stuck with 2nd sitting. (Strangely, folk who booked in early December were given early dining, another yellow card for RCCL.) The flights and transfer went smoothly and as we had already travelled on the Rhapsody in 2009, our crown & anchor status saw us go straight on board for lunch. The food in Windjammer is great. Fresh and reasonably varied. Were able to go back on shore and post the late Xmas cards, etc. Boarded again about 4:00 o'clock and tried to switch to early or anytime dining but ended up on a long waiting list so filled in time till the 8:15pm sitting in our allocated restaurant, Le Boheme. This is where it really started to unravel. We found ourselves together, alone, just the two of us, on an 8 seat table and sat there for 30 minutes while the waitstaff waited to see if anyone else came along. Eventually ordered the "chef's recommendation" on the theory that, the easiest way to gauge the grub, is to eat whatever the chef puts his/her name to. Sadly, the entree that turned up about 9:00 o'clock was like a large lump of fish paste with a couple of tired looking leathery prawns thrown on top. OK, maybe the main will be better. About 20-25 minutes later, out came the pork chop (I think it was Mojo Pork Chop), went to cut a bite, it was so tough I reckon if I'd been at home, I would have used the nail gun to fix it over the hole in me work boot and it would have been good for months. Needless to say, Julia's meal wasn't much better so we gave up and walked out, much to the consternation of the waitstaff. Felt a bit guilty for the waitstaff so decided to try Le Boheme again on night 2. Jane, our waiter, took our order a bit quicker this time. After the previous experience, I was smart enough to NOT order any recommendations but Julia couldn't resist the Roast Duck. BAD MOVE. What turned up looked like something that had been cooked in the morning and sat out of Woolies rotisserie all day till late night closing. It was so tough she could hardly find any edible meat -- not what you expect on a cruise ship under the chef's name. Desert was also not great but they simply bought out a different dish. Needles to say we henceforth ate in the Windjammer. Come Christmas Day, we thought we would give Le Boheme one last try as we had already run into other passengers who had also walked out and figured even the dumbest chef would work out there was a problem and fix it. Sadly, we ordered the traditional Christmas pud and custard. When it turned up, mine was so hard that I needed a hammer and chisel to break it open. Julia's was actually burnt under the custard. The same problem was observed on several tables. Talked to guests who had been to the 5:15 sitting, they found their food was fine. Finally worked out the problem (BE WARNED) The "chef/dishwasher" was obviously cooking ALL the "special" dishes in the afternoon for the early sitting and then shoving them (hopefully) into a baine marie or slow oven for several hours until they were finally served after 9:00 pm that night . In any serious restaurant dishes that badly overcooked would not get out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, like many yank ships, they close the buffet at 9:00 o'clock so if the late sitting meal is inedible, alternatives are limited. (Eagle boys don't deliver at sea.) Basically, while we enjoyed all other aspects of the cruise, this sort of treatment of guests is enough to cause us to write off the Voyager and put a big question mark against RCCL. I'll bet RCCL wouldn't actually try this if they were in the Caribbean with American passengers but obviously don't have the same respect for Australians, especially as we are forced to prepay gratuities rather than being allowed to actually reward good service and withhold from average service.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Embarkment : no problems and very quick. Room, lovely room with extended balcony, our cabin boy was excellent and have no complaints in that area at all, room was always clean with fresh towels and turned down every night. Dining,, ... Read More
Embarkment : no problems and very quick. Room, lovely room with extended balcony, our cabin boy was excellent and have no complaints in that area at all, room was always clean with fresh towels and turned down every night. Dining,, wonderful, dining room had great meals and entertainment every night , buffet was great and 24hr pizza, entertainment, great entertainment except some shows where on at the same time as the deck parties and ended up missing one or the other. Lots of children who at times where not supervised which meant a few of injuries. Running around on a wet pool deck and stairs will do that. Overall a great cruise and I would recommended to anyone considering canival spirit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013

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